Friday, January 17, 2014

Insanity Cures

Driving in to work with the full moon  in the west and the first pangs of cabin fever caused by yet another long Midwestern winter reminded me that I need to finish off my series on Insanity and Insane Lists by writing up the ways in which characters can be cured of their afflictions.

There are three ways characters can try to over come an insanity, each affliction needs to be treated separately.  The ways are therapy, alchemy and magic.  Keep in mind that the cure is often worse than the disease.

Therapy in a fantasy setting is only available in the form of 'aversion therapy'.  Negative stimulus is applied to the character by the thug therapist whenever the character engages in the objectionable behavior.  In other words the character hires someone to beat them with a stick whenever the insanity kicks in.  All damage inflicted is subdual damage.  Each 'treatment' has a 1% chance of curing the character of the affliction for each point of damage inflicted.  The chance of a cure is halved for Serious Disabilities and therapy is ineffective in treating Disabling Disorders.  The character must heal completely between sessions.

Alchemy offers the hope of temporarily alleviating the symptoms through pills, powders and potions.  First one must find an alchemist who isn't working on the whole lead to gold issue. To find the effect of the potion, the character rolls a Constitution check and consults the table below.  Note that alchemists are always tinkering with their formulas, so each batch they make will have separate effects. There are 2d4 doses in each batch.


SeverityPoisonDose lasts forCost
Eccentricity1: No effect and character becomes addicted.
2: Works, but the character becomes addicted.
3: No effect, character is Sickened for 1d6 hours
4: No effect, character is Sickened for 1d6 * 10 minutes
5-12: No effect
13: Works, duration is halved
14: Works, character is Sickened for 2d6 minutes
15+ Works
20+ Works, duration is doubled

Natural 20: Permanent Cure
1 week 10 GP
Minor Disorder  1: No effect and character becomes addicted.
2: Works, but the character becomes addicted.
3: No effect, character is Sickened for 2d6 hours
4: No effect, character is Sickened for 3d6 * 10 minutes
5-14: No effect
15: Works, duration is halved
16: Works, character is Sickened for 2d6 minutes
17+ Works
22+ Works, duration is doubled

Natural 20: Roll again 10+ Permanent Cure
1 day 100 GP
Serious Disorder 1: No effect and character becomes addicted.
2: Works, but the character becomes addicted.
3: No effect, character is Comatose for 1d6 hours
4: No effect, character is Sickened for 2d6 hours
5-16: No effect
17: Works, duration is halved
18: Works, character is Sickened for 2d6 minutes
19+ Works
24+ Works, duration is doubled

Natural 20: Roll again 15+ Permanent Cure
1 hour 250 GP
Disabling Disorder  1: No effect and character becomes addicted.
2: Works, but the character becomes addicted.
3: No effect, character is Comatose for 1d6 days
4: No effect, character is Sickened for 3d6 hours
5-17: No effect
18: Works, duration is halved
19: Works, character is Sickened for 2d6 minutes
20+ Works

Natural 20: Roll again Natural 20: Permanent Cure
1d6 * 10 minutes 1000 GP

Magic seems to offer the most reliable or the least painful way of curing insanity, but there are severe limitations.  Few arcane spells deal with curing, at the DM's option reversed arcane spells, such as Feeble Mind and Confusion will alleviate specific types of insanity for the duration of the spell.

Divine spells will take care of Insanity, Restoration will cure one affliction for each casting.  But insane characters marked as having been 'touched by the gods'; and deities are wary of crossing each other's will.  Most deities will not allow their servants to remove Insanity immediately .   The case of exemplary worshippers is an obvious exception.  Of course when a high level cleric or paladin becomes insane, it's a good indication that they have gathered a supernatural enemy.

The safest way to have the affliction removed is to perform a divination to determine which deity inflicted the insanity, then go to that temple of that deity to have the affliction lifted.  This will almost certainly involve the character performing a quest.

Wishes can cure insanity, but because of the divine nature of the affliction the wording should be creatively interpreted by the DM.  For example, wishing to remove Serious Acrophobia could leave the character so fond of heights that they insist on walking on stilts.

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