See also: Fear, Madness, and Saving Throws

The human mind is truly a wondrous thing, both complex beyond our understanding and powerful beyond our measurements. Sadly, it is also fragile and finely tuned. When confronted by the terrors and abominations lurking at the edges of reality, the careful balances between logic and emotion, reality and imagination, can be shattered. Thus, those who wander the Realms end up in asylums almost as often as they do the grave.

In game terms, madness can be thought of as the ultimate form of both Fear and Horror. A person confronted with a great menace often allows his animal instincts to take over. As fear grips him, he turns and flees. When it becomes clear that there is something macabre and supernatural about the menace, his senses are shaken, and his basic view of the world is disturbed. In the presence of such a threat, horror thus replaces fear. Lastly, repeated assaults on mind and body can endanger the victim’s sanity. It is then that madness overwhelms the character, allowing him to escape the horrors of reality retreating into an imaginary world of his own design.

When to Make a Madness Check

Thankfully, very few occasions call for a hero to make a madness check. The severity of this condition is mitigated only by its relative rarity. Certain events can mandate madness checks, just as for Fear and Horror checks. These rare events are brought about by the actions of the character as often as by the twists of fate and the world around them.

Direct Mental Contact

One of the most common triggers for a madness check is direct mental contact with an alien or insane mind. When two characters link minds, each must deal with the thoughts and mental patterns of the other. Thus, it matters little which side establishes such contact.

Making Contact: A number of spells and magical items might allow a character to glimpse the minds of others. When the character examines the mind of a creature similar to himself, he faces no danger of madness. However, when he crosses certain racial and mental boundaries, madness becomes a distinct possibility.

Among the wizard spells known to cause madness are Bloodstone’s frightful joining, Strahd’s frightful joining, contact other plane, ESP, know alignment, brain spider, telepathic bond, and wizard sight (among others). By the same token, priest magic can also endanger the mind of the user. Among the spells that can threaten the sanity of a character are commune, detect lie, divine inspiration, genius, group mind, idea, know alignment, mind read, rapport, speak with dead, thought broadcast, and thought capture.

Many magical items afford contact with other minds and, thus, also carry the risk of inspiring madness. These include the claw of magic stealing, crystal ball, crystal parrot, helm of telepathy, medallion of ESP, mirror of mental prowess, and thought bottle.

Of course, psionicists (especially telepaths) regularly peer into the minds of others, so they must constantly be on their guard lest they allow the seed of madness to take root in the fertile soil of their brains. Even an exchange of blows in psionic combat can result in madness if one is not prepared for the touch of an opponent’s mind.

Dark Thoughts: Once two minds have embraced each other, the Dungeon Master must consider their affinity for each other. After all, a trained telepath is not likely to be disturbed in the least as he sifts through the thoughts of another human being. Of course, if he discovers that the supposed human is a doppleganger, he may be in for something of a shock. Mental contact with any of the following types of creatures is assumed to require a madness check:

  • Those who are utterly inhuman, such as beholders, morkoths, and cloakers.
  • Intelligent plants, such as doppleganger plants, phycomids, and treants.
  • Creatures from the Inner or Outer Planes, such as fiends, fire elementals, and golems (since the animating force of a golem is a minor creature from the Elemental Planes).
  • Creatures of the Mists, such as Mist horrors and Mist ferrymen. (This does not include the dark powers. While it is certain that contact with them would require a madness check, it has always proven impossible to attain such contact.)
  • An insane mind (that is, anyone suffering the effects of a failed madness check).
  • A mind currently dominated (using either magic, natural abilities, or psionics) by any of the above.

While many other types of contact can require a character to make a madness check, the above list indicates the most common. By using it as a standard for comparisons, Dungeon Masters should have no problem deciding whether any other given creature falls into this category.

Breaking Point

Characters can also go mad due to events around them. While this fate can befall adventurers in any world, it is far more common in the Realms. Here, where horrors and evils seem to lurk in every shadow, no hero can truthfully claim to be unaffected. Deciding when a character has reached the breaking point can be difficult. In many cases, the character can be pushed into madness via a failed Horror or Fear check. Still other times, the Dungeon Master will feel that a madness check is in order when no previous fear or horror check has been made. The following is a list of possible breaking points:

  • The character has witnessed the destruction of the rest of the party and now stands alone in a very dangerous situation.
  • The character is a paladin, ranger, priest, or other character with special abilities who has found himself stripped of these powers for misdeeds on his part.
  • The character has undergone an involuntary alignment shift or suffered some similarly overwhelming mental transformation.
  • The character has been subjected to some physical transformation far beyond the bounds of the normal world (for instance, his brain has been placed in the body of a golem or, worse yet, now floats inside a glass jar).
Induced Madness

Not everyone who has been driven mad traveled that road unassisted. Many are directed, or even forced, down the path of lunacy.

Magical Inducement: It is possible for a character to be affected by a magical spell or even placed under a curse with the sole purpose of driving him mad. Examples of this terrible fate are far more common than one would like to believe. Depending upon the strength of the magic loosed on his mind, the character may be forced to make a madness check or even be automatically driven insane. Examples of the former might include repeated applications of a hypnosis or neverending nightmare spell, while the latter might be accomplished by spells such as brainkill, feeblemind, descent into madness, brainblaze, chain madness, mindshatter, or many others.

Gaslighting: When someone sets out to drive another person mad, the Dungeon Master must determine the effectiveness of the effort. If the perpetrator has magic at his disposal, then the information presented above applies. If not, the perpetrator must attempt to gaslight his victim. Even without the aid of magic, the evil Dr. Dominiani has worked for many years to drive his unsuspecting patients mad in hopes of studying the process and devising a cure for it – an admirable end, to be sure, but a less than noble means. Other examples of gaslighting might include a husband who seeks to rid himself of a shrewish wife by driving her mad, or a woman who marries wealthy men and then shatters their minds hoping that they will kill themselves and she will inherit their fortunes. These guidelines are intended for use only on nonplayer characters. Dungeon Masters should not allow someone to gaslight a player character simply by making a die roll. With that understood, the following conditions must be met in order for a character to attempt to gaslight someone:

  • The perpetrator must have higher Wisdom and Charisma scores than those of his victim.
  • The perpetrator must be a close and trusted companion, friend, or family member of the victim.
  • The perpetrator must remain in close proximity to the victim for thirty days, during which time he uses his influence over the character to convince him that his sanity is slipping away.

At the end of thirty days, the victim must make a madness check, with all of the normal modifiers. If the madness check fails, the victim suffers the normal effects of such a mishap. If the check succeeds, the character resists the efforts of the perpetrator. In addition, the victim is entitled to an Intuition check which, if successful, allows him to realize what is being done to him. If the perpetrator’s actions are not discovered, he may continue his efforts and force the victim to make another
check in thirty more days. As his victim attempts the forced madness check, the mental assailant must make a powers check. The chance that he will fail this roll is equal to his own Wisdom score, since clever individuals use more diabolical means to force their victims into lunacy.

How to Make a Madness Check

Madness checks are made in exactly the same fashion as Fear and Horror checks. When a player makes a madness check for his character, he rolls 1d20 and applies the modifiers listed below to the result.

Modifier Condition
+/- Magic Defence Adjustment (based on Willpower Score)
-1 Character is of chaotic alignment.
+1 Character is of lawful alignment.
-2 Hero has been horrified by a similar scene within the past twenty-four hours.
-1 Hero has been horrified by a similar scene in the past (but not within the last twenty-four hours).

If this modified total is equal to or greater than the character’s Madness check number, as indicated by his class and level, he successfully masters the assault on his mind and retains his sanity. If the roll is lower than the target number, however, the character fails the madness check, and deep within his psyche, something snaps. A roll of 20 always succeeds, and a roll of 1 always fails.

Effects of Failure

When a character fails a madness check, his mind may be damaged in many ways. The exact nature of a character’s lunacy can be determined by consulting the table below.

1d6 (modified) Madness Check Results
1 Horror
2 Depression
3 Catatonia
4 Delusions
5 Halucinations
6 Schizophrenia
7 Paranoia
8 Amnesia
9 Multiple Personalities
10 System Shock
Modifier Condition
+1 Character has a Wisdom of 9 or less.
+1 Character has a Charisma of 9 or less.
+1 Character is of chaotic alignment.
+1 Character has failed a fear, horror, or madness check within the last twenty-four hours.

Each of the types of madness listed on the table above has its own unique effect on game play. The following entries describe these mental ailments in detail.

Horror: Some characters are fortunate enough to be able to throw off the effects of a madness check, though still suffering the hazards associated with horror. When this result appears, the Dungeon Master should refer to Failed Horror Check Results. All of the normal modifiers apply.

Depression: A character whose mind is subjected to a truly terrible mental shock can even lose the will to live. Such a depressed person abandons all interest in life and effectively becomes a living zombie. Such a character will initiate no action, wanting only to be left alone. In any given situation, the character is 50% likely to do nothing, regardless of the matter’s urgency, even if his personal well-being seems threatened. If the roll indicates that the character is not interested in a situation, he will simply stand still, sit motionless, or wander around aimlessly. Any strike directed at the character receives a +4 attack bonus, and the depressed character automatically fails all saving throws.
If the character does take an interest in the situation, it will be only a minor one. He will follow instructions given to him by his friends or companions (preferring to obey the directions of the character with highest Charisma score over all others). He undertakes these actions listlessly, however, receiving a -4 penalty to all attack rolls, saving throws, and proficiency checks. In either case, the depressed character is still subject to the effects of subsequent fear, horror, and madness checks. However, his absolute lack of interest actually provides a +4 bonus to all such rolls.

Catatonia: When a situation proves too overwhelming to deal with, the mind sometimes closes itself off. When this happens, the character collapses and appears to be in an incredibly deep trance. A catatonic character will sit motionless, responding to no external stimuli, regardless of events around him. The brain simply refuses to acknowledge any input it receives. Because the character remains utterly motionless, he cannot defend himself in combat. Thus, attacks made against him succeed automatically, and all of his saving throws fail. Any catatonic character, whether he is a psionicist or not, effectively employs both the tower of iron will and mind blank defenses continuously. Thus, attempts to contact him mentally can prove very difficult.

Delusion: A character suffering from delusions believes himself to be something or someone he is not. Often, this newly adopted persona is someone the character greatly admires. For instance, a Knight of Solamnia (from the world of Krynn) might believe himself to be the reincarnation of the legendary knight Huma, or even Huma himself. The player should be allowed to choose the form of the delusion, but the Dungeon Master can always veto any unreasonable suggestions. The best options are those relevant to the events that drove the character insane. Significantly, the player’s choice need not reflect his true abilities or personality at all. The above mentioned Knight of Solamnia could feasibly believe himself to be the great wizard Palin or even the mighty Malystryx, greatest of the red dragons.
One of the most fascinating aspects of a delusion is the character’s ability to rationalize away any evidence that might be used to disprove his new beliefs. A character who believes he is actually a dragon might respond to comments about his clearly human appearance by pointing out that he has been trapped in a human form. No argument will shake the character’s faith in his delusion. Indeed, the deluded hero may even adopt a condescending attitude, feeling sorry for the poor souls (clearly madmen) who do not see him for who or what he is.

Hallucinations: Characters suffering from hallucinations see the world around them as a twisted and unusual place. In many ways, this can be considered the opposite of a delusion. Exactly how a character sees the world should be determined by the events that drove him mad.
Consider the example of Victallus, a warrior from the domain of Barovia. While traveling on the Sea of Sorrows, his ship sank, and he found himself under the care of the vile Dr. Dominiani. The mad doctor decided to induce a phobia of insects in the poor warrior’s psyche as part of his research on madness. Although Victallus eventually escaped, his mind was shattered due to the ministrations of Dominiani. For over a year after he returned home, the young warrior saw insects everywhere. They crawled over his food, covered his bed, and swam in his bath water. It is a tribute to the warrior’s courage that he was ever able to regain his sanity in the wake of such terrors. A character eventually becomes incapable of dealing rationally with hallucinations. A normal person seeing blood everywhere might eventually become inured to the horrifying sight, but not a hallucinating character. The hallucinations always cause an extreme emotional response, sometimes even completely overwhelming the victim. In game terms, the effects of a particularly overwhelming hallucination might be resolved with a Fear or Horror check. Of course, the effect of a failed check is merely a subset of the greater madness and does not require separate treatment.

Schizophrenia: A schizophrenic character can have sudden, and occasionally violent, changes in mood or personality. While the mind of such an individual is not as splintered as that of a multiple personality, others may perceive him in much the same way. At the start of every week, or whenever a schizophrenic character experiences a stressful situation, his personality has a chance of changing drastically. In game terms, this entails sudden shifts in alignment. At such times, the Dungeon Master should roll 1d10 and consult the following chart to determine the character’s new alignment:

d10 roll Alignment Change
1 Chaotic Good
2 Lawful Good
3 Neutral Good
4 Lawful Neutral
5 True Neutral
6 Chaotic Neutral
7 Neutral Evil
8 Lawful Evil
9 Chaotic Evil
10 The character’s normal Alignment

This is not considered an involuntary alignment shift, so none of those penalties apply to this change (including the making of a Madness check). In addition, magic designed to detect alignment reveals only the character’s true alignment, not that indicated by his aberration. Psionic powers, on the other hand, can determine the character’s current alignment.

Paranoia: Paranoid characters have an unreasoning fear of the world around them. The character sees plots and schemes everywhere; every action is meant to discredit, injure, or kill him. Even the members of his own party are not above suspicion. At the start of each day, the Dungeon Master should select (either by choice or randomly) one member of the character’s party. For the duration of the day, every action the selected character takes should be described to the player of the paranoid character in sinister and ominous ways. For example, a wizard putting an object in his backpack should be described as “taking careful steps to conceal something within the dark confines of his pack”. Descriptions of strangers or casual acquaintances should always hint that there is more to them than meets the eye. No one ever simply looks the player character over; instead, they are described as examining him “hungrily” or “with a predatory gleam”. If the character ever actually comes upon evidence of a plot against him, the Dungeon Master should require the player to attempt a Horror check. Failure on this check yields normal results, except that they pass within twenty-four hours.

Amnesia: In an effort to throw off the horrors of the world, a character’s mind can opt to simply block out some (or all) memory of the trauma it has suffered. In the most minor cases, the resulting amnesia is only partial, perhaps blocking out a few hours. In more traumatic cases, however, all memory of the past can vanish. In game terms, amnesia is reflected in a loss of experience points and, thus, levels. When a character loses his memory, the Dungeon Master should roll percentile dice to discover what percentage of the character’s life (and experience points) has been lost. On a roll of 75, a character with one hundred thousand experience points is reduced to twenty-five thousand experience points. In the event of an barbarian character, this would indicate a drop from 7th level to 5th level. A roll of 100 indicates that the character loses all memory of his past and must be treated as a 0-level character until his mental health can be restored.
This memory loss does not usually eliminate a character’s ability to make use of his proficiencies, although special abilities (like those of a thief) may be reduced in effectiveness. Similarly, a character’s spell casting or psionic abilities, hit points, saving throws, and attack rolls will all reflect his new level. Spells like restoration, which are useful in restoring levels to those who have suffered level-draining attacks, do not restore lost memories.
A character reduced to 0th-level by Amnesia may, if he chooses, immediately change to a different class and start over as a 1st-level character. A character that does this will be subject to all of the penalties and limitations of a Dual-Class character should he ever regain his memories. Likewise, because of the change in lifestyle, even should he regain his memories, he may not pursue his old class(es) again.

Multiple Personalities: In very rare cases, a mind can try to protect itself from the violence and terrors of the world by splintering into several distinct personalities. The character’s original personality (or core) is assumed to be the base from which all others are drawn. When a character’s core personality is in control of the body, he has access to all the abilities he had prior to failing his madness check.

  • Fragments: A character with multiple personalities may develop as many as one hundred distinct personas. Of these, however, most will be mere fragments who can have interest in only one thing. For instance, a fragment could be an avid top collector or musician. In game terms, a fragment can be built around a single nonweapon proficiency. While a character with multiple personalities can be assumed to have 10d10 personality fragments, these usually have no place in play except as role-playing elements. Still, completists are welcome to create a list of the character’s personality fragments and assign them each a skill or interest.
  • Alter Egos: A character with multiple personalities will also manifest a number of major alter egos (or alters) equal to 20% of the number of fragments he has formed. These personalities are real and distinct individuals. Even though each alter is usually aware that he shares the body with many others, he cannot be persuaded that any of them are less than “real”. An alter often believes he has special abilities and powers (like spellcasting or psionics) which the core persona does not have. In most cases, the alter cannot actually manifest these abilities, although he certainly appears very knowledgeable about them. Thus, an alter who believes himself to be a wizard might not be able to use spells, but could have access to the spellcraft proficiency.
  • Changing Personalities: In most cases, a character’s alters surface only when he is alone or in the company of close friends. Thus, it is quite possible for a person with multiple personalities to appear normal at any given time. As the alters become more comfortable with those around them, they may become more willing to make themselves known. The true danger of this form of madness occurs when the wrong personality controls the body during a crisis situation. Whenever the character experiences extreme stress, the player must make a madness check. If the check succeeds, the character’s core personality remains dominant. A failed check, on the other hand, indicates that the character randomly switches to another personality. His actions must then be based upon the alter that surfaces. If the personality now in charge of the body can cope with the crisis, then things should go fairly well. If not, however, the character may be in serious danger.
    Consider the case of Juno Andropopolus, a thief from Westgate whose mind has been splintered. While hiding from the local watch, he sees two constables drawing nearer. The Dungeon Master calls for a madness check as the tension mounts, and Juno fails, randomly switching personalities. Instead of a masterful thief, Juno’s player is now running Aurora, a four-year-old girl. Seeing that “those bad men” are about to find her, she bolts from her hiding place and tries to run away. Aurora has neither Juno’s ability to hide in shadows or move silently, so she is almost certain to be caught. In cases of prolonged stress, the character is entitled to make another madness check every hour. Success indicates that the core personality gains control of the body, but failure results in another random personality shift. In addition to mounting stress, any sudden shock can require a madness check to avoid changing personalities. Whenever the hero is called upon to make a fear or horror check, attempt a saving throw, or enter combat, he should first make a madness check.
  • Defining the Personalities: In order to establish the details of the character’s many fragments and alters, the Dungeon Master should roll on the following charts (or allow the Player too). For fragments, the information presented below is more than sufficient. It is recommended, however, that a separate character sheet (though possibly an abbreviated one) be created for each alter.
    • Age and Sex: While the alters and fragments generally recognize the age and sex of the body, they do not see this as having any importance to their own characteristics. A male personality living in a female body will usually try to cover up for his embarrassing shell by dressing and acting in a masculine fashion. Conversely, a little girl in the body of an aged man might tend to wear pretty colors, jewelry, and carry a doll.
1d12 roll Alter Ego Age and Sex
1 Male child
2 Female child
3 Male adolescent
4 Female adolescent
5 Male adult
6 Female adult
7 Male elderly
8 Female elderly
9 Other Demihuman race (roll 1d8 for age/sex)
10 Other Humanoid race (roll 1d8 for age/sex)
11 Other Non-PC humanoid race (roll 1d8 for age/sex)
12 Other Totally Alien race (cloaker, beholder, dragon, sentient plant, etc.)
  • Demeanor – Just as the personalities do not always correspond with the physical body, neither are they bound by the nature and demeanor of the original personality. While they retain the same alignment as the original personality, their reactions to any given situation are based on their own values and beliefs. In order to determine the demeanor of each personality, the player should roll 1d100 twice on the table below. The first roll indicates the major facet of the alter’s personality while the second provides a moderating or additional aspect. For example, a roll of 06 and 56 would indicate a personality who is haughty, though also honest. While others might see such a person as a snobbish braggart, the truth would be that he is very proud of his accomplishments, tending to look down upon those who have not done as much with their lives as he has.
d100 roll Personality Traits d100 roll Personality Traits d100 roll Personality Traits d100 roll Personality Traits
01 Garrulous 26 Inquisitive 51 Gloomy 76 Laconic
02 Hot-tempered 27 Prying 52 Morose 77 Soft-spoken
03 Overbearing 28 Intellectual 53 Compulsive 78 Secretive
04 Articulate 29 Perceptive 54 Irritable 79 Retiring
05 Antagonistic 30 Keen 55 Vengeful 80 Mousy
06 Haughty 31 Perfectionist 56 Honest 81 Practical
07 Elitist 32 Stern 57 Truthful 82 Level-headed
08 Proud 33 Harsh 58 Innocent 83 Dull
09 Rude 34 Punctual 59 Gullible 84 Reverent
10 Aloof 35 Driven 60 Defensive 85 Ponderous
11 Mischievous 36 Trusting 61 Bigoted 86 Scheming
12 Impulsive 37 Kind-hearted 62 Biased 87 Paranoid
13 Lusty 38 Forgiving 63 Narrow-minded 86 Cautious
14 Irreverent 39 Easy-going 64 Blustering 89 Deceitful
15 Madcap 40 Compassionate 65 Hide-bound 90 Nervous
16 Thoughtless 41 Miserly 66 Cheerful 91 Uncultured
17 Absent-minded 42 Hard-hearted 67 Happy 92 Boorish
18 Dreamy 43 Covetous 68 Diplomatic 93 Barbaric
19 Foolish 44 Avaricious 69 Pleasant 94 Graceless
20 Insensitive 45 Thrifty 70 Foolhardy 95 Crude
21 Brave 46 Wastrel 71 Fatalistic 96 Cruel
22 Craven 47 Spendthrift 72 Depressing 97 Sadistic
23 Shy 48 Extravagant 73 Cynical 98 Immoral
24 Fearless 49 Kind 74 Sarcastic 99 Jealous
25 Obsequious 50 Charitable 75 Realistic 00 Warlike
  • History: Each alter has a distinct history and background from which his personality is drawn. For the purposes of play, this is one of the major points that separates fragments from true alters, for the former have only vague and ill-defined pasts (if they have any at all). The table below can generate major events from a character’s background (or the player and DM can work together to make something up). As with the previous table, the Dungeon Master should roll twice. The first roll indicates the major aspect around which the personality is based, and the second is a moderation factor.
    For example, a roll of 20 and 13 might indicate a personality who believes himself to be a wealthy prince who fled from his homeland in order to escape his corrupt parents. Of course, the entries on this chart are intentionally vague so they can be interpreted many ways. Before deciding exactly what the results indicate, the Dungeon Master and player should consider both the character’s alignment and personality.
d20 roll Alter Ego Background
01 Rightly accused of a crime.
02 Wrongly accused of a crime.
03 Enslaved, but set free for some reason.
04 Enslaved, but escaped (may fear recapture).
05 Exiled from homeland.
06 Had star-crossed love affair.
07 Only survivor of terrible disaster.
08 Victim of violent crime.
09 Hunted by assassins.
10 Acquired tremendous wealth.
11 Has a powerful enemy.
12 Orphaned.
13 Ran away from home.
14 Cursed by hags, gypsies, or such.
15 Wanderlust.
16 Witnessed a heinous crime.
17 Has secret knowledge.
18 Was once another alignment.
19 Abandoned by family.
20 Member of the nobility or aristocracy.
  • Character Class: It is quite possible that an alter sees himself as a different character class than the original personality. The following chart can determine the alter’s class. The player should roll once for the alter’s class, once for a kit, and once for a homeland. If the table requires additional rolls, duplicate rolls and further “roll twice” or “roll thrice” results are ignored.
    The normal restrictions for dual and multi-class characters do not apply to alternate personalities. It is quite possible for an alter to be a paladin/ranger/thief. The important element is simply the player’s ability to come up with a background story to explain away any seeming contradictions. Also, racial restrictions do not apply to an alter’s class.
    Importantly, the alter does not gain all the abilities of his “class”. An alter who fancies himself a wizard has no spellcasting abilities unless the original character did. However, an alter does take on some of the traits of his chosen class. For instance, if the character is called upon to make an attack roll or saving throw, he uses the table indicated by the controlling personality’s class (at the same level as the core personality). The same is true of fear, horror, and madness checks. Likewise, the alter ego will have weapon and non-weapon proficiencies appropriate to his class(es) and kit (though he gains no bonuses for his Knowledge score). While a wizard with a priest alter could certainly not turn undead, he might very well be proficient with the use of a mace or war hammer.
1d30 Roll Character Class Character Kit Homeland
01 Fighter Ascetic Archendale
02 Paladin Barbarian Baldur’s Gate
03 Ranger Bounty Hunter Barbarian Kingdoms
04 Harper Danseur Battledale
05 Barbarian Deathslayer Calimshan
06 Berserker Diplomat Daggerdale
07 Thief Dragon Slayer Deepingdale
08 Bard Exile Elturel
09 Lone Wolf Explorer Elversult
10 Shadow Walker Fiend Slayer Featherdale
11 Spy Gladiator The Great Glacier
12 Tinker Guilder Harrowdale
13 Cleric Infiltrator High Dale
14 Druid Investigator Impiltur
15 Shaman Mercenary Lantan
16 Monk Merchant Mistledale
17 Mystic Mind Stalker Moonshaes (Northmen)
18 Crusader Outlaw Procampur
19 Specialty Priest Pathfinder Rashamen
20 Mage Peasant Hero Scardale
21 Wild Mage Pirate Scornubel
22 Specialty Wizard Planeswalker Shadowdale
23 Sha’ir Psychologue Sossal
24 Runecaster Savage Tantras
25 Spellsinger Scholar Tasseldale
26 Psionicist Settler Teziir
27 Roll Twice Shinobi Thar
28 Roll Twice Swashbuckler Waterdeep
29 Roll Twice Tribal Defender Westgate
30 Roll Three Times Player/DM’s Choice Player/DM’s Choice
  • Final Comments: Players and Dungeon Masters should be aware that these tables reflect how the alter or fragment sees himself. Most of the personalities feel only a limited association with the physical shell which houses them. In a way, they look upon the body in the same way that most people view their homes. While the emergence of a personality involves no sudden physical transformation, each one has its own mannerisms, handwriting, sense of values, and so on. Alters also tend to have distinctive traits such as stutters, favorite phrases, and unusual clothes. Even the character’s voice changes with each personality, making it possible for those who know the hero well to distinguish between the various alters.

System Shock: Sometimes madness can take the ultimate toll on an adventurer. When a character rolls this result, he must attempt an immediate system shock survival roll with a -25% penalty. A failed roll indicates that the character simply falls dead. Attempts to revive him fail, although magical means might save him. A successful roll indicates that the character has a chance to survive. His Constitution is instantly reduced by one point to reflect the strain on his health, and he falls to 0 hit points. In either case, any items carried by the character are dropped. A saving throw vs. fall for each item can determine whether or not they sustain damage.

Recovering from Madness

The following methods can help a character recover from a failed madness check. In the case of amnesia, curing the madness will restore both experience points and levels.

A trained Psychologue has a variety of options available for treating insanity. See the kit description for details.

The most obvious route to recovery is having a psionicist use the psychic surgery science. If successful, the psionicist cures the character’s insanity at once. This practice is a bit dangerous, however, since a psionicist who makes contact with an insane mind must himself make a madness check. Only after a successful check can the psionicist attempt to cure the lunatic.

Truthfully, wizard magic can do very little to cure insanity. It seems that wizards have had little interest in the ailments of the mind. Exactly why is unclear, but they may have shunned the field merely because it clearly, in their opinion, fell into the realm of psionics.
However, a number of priest spells can cure mental illness. The most common of these are heal and restoration. In the case of the former, the mere casting of this spell cures madness. Alternatively, the restoration spell must be cast with the specific intent of restoring the character’s mind. As stated before, restoration cannot restore lost memories.

Hypnosis is a long, mundane road to recovery for characters who do not have either of the above options available to them. The character must be placed in the continued care of someone capable of performing or casting hypnosis. Once each week, the patient must be hypnotized so that the therapist can spend an hour working with the now-pliant mind. At the end of the hour, the patient must make another madness check (with the modifiers below). If the check succeeds, the therapy session has been productive. To be cured, the patient needs as many successful sessions as he has points of Reason. If the character fails a madness check during treatment, all previously successful checks are eliminated, and the process must begin again.

Modifier Condition
+2 The therapist is able to sense the subject’s emotions through magical or psionic means.
+1 The therapy takes place in a location where the patient feels safe and relaxed.
+1 The therapist is of the same alignment as the patient (prior to the onset of madness).
+1 The therapist is of the same class as the patient (prior to the onset of madness).

A few sanitariums are scattered across the Realms, although these are restricted to the most culturally developed realms. After all, only the most sophisticated medieval cultures recognize that madness is an ailment which can be treated and cured. Most sanitariums are devoted to curing insanity. They can show visitors room after room of demented people, driven mad by a variety of experiences. The doctors claim to be trained in dealing with such patients through hypnosis and other methods. In truth, however, the quality of treatment varies from sanitarium to sanitarium. To determine the level of care a patient receives, the Dungeon Master should roll 1d8-5 (providing a modifier from a -4 penalty to a +3 bonus). This adjustment applies (in addition to any others) to the madness check made for any therapy that the character receives in the sanitarium. In the event of a major change at the facility (like the appointment of a new director), the modifier should be rolled anew. Almost all sanitariums charge for their services. Typical fees to treat a patient average about one hundred gold pieces a month. Any month that the sanitarium is not paid, the patient receives no treatment. If no payment is made for two consecutive months, the character is simply discharged and left to fend for himself.


Ruins of Adventure Brand_Darklight Brand_Darklight