Monday, June 25, 2012


There's a bunch of stuff I'd like to write about--but I don't have a lot of time so here's something short that came up: Traumatize!

The Traumatize Attack
So I'm re-doing the Telepathic attack powers. There's a bunch of them (different kinds of memory manipulation, Burn Mind, Mind Control, etc.) and one of the questions that came up during our Psi game of long ago is this "how do you have it that someone who was savaged by a telepath has like, lasting psychological damage?"

This is the sort of thing you'd expect in some fiction--or darker games. It's pretty, well, dark--yeah. And is that really necessary?

Well, our Psi game was very dark--and, as I think about, mental assault is dark too. Of course so is physical assault and we don't have rules for PTSD. So do we need them for Psionics?

The answer is "no." We don't need them--but I had a set of rules written up--a Traumatize attack--and I decided I would like to keep the basic concept. After all, if you are going to sack someone's mind, having lasting (if only for a few hours or day) disorders might be a good bit of color.

So I went to transcribe it--but then there was a problem: who the heck would take it?

I mean, sure: some villain. Some PC with an attitude--okay. But I decided that I didn't want people running around with a Traumatize attack because it was oh-so-good and I generally don't want "villain" powers in the game (example Villain Power: Diseased Sword--it cuts you and then you get deathly ill like a day later--very few PCs will get any value out of this--but they sure would fear fighting it).

So I adjusted the standard Burn Mind attack to have an optional rule where, for +25% power-boost your damage results can have "traumatic" effects where the target suffers temporary psychiatric problems. This has the beneficial effects of:

(a) Getting rid of a power
(b) Solving the "who would ever buy this?" problem. Lots of people might buy Burn Mind. It now can come with it.
(c) Having that stuff in there as an optional rule instead of a separate power.

Another Note
Although the rules (probably) won't make it into JAGS Revised Archetypes, the rules for crippling in combat do exist. In our formulation, when you suffer a wound result you can--if the optional rules for crippling are in play--elect to take a "cripple result" instead. That means (probably) rolling on a table based on Wound Result.

So let's say you are playing a gritty fantasy game and you suffer a Dying Result. That's bad--but you go "I'll take a Crippling Roll" and on the Dying Table (maybe we could even do it by damage type too--I always loved Fantasy Warhammer critical hit charts!) you could roll like "lose a leg" or something. Hey, it's better than being dead, right?

At the higher levels there's stuff like "Facial Scar" and "Missing Ear" and "lost eye (eye-patch).

So that's how in JAGS you can get crippling injuries! We, of course, could add psychological trauma to that list too ... if we wanted to / if anyone cared.


  1. If you break the crippling chart down by damage type, then you should totally add psychological trauma for crippling rolls from mental attacks. That would be cool.

    ...So consider this comment a vote for doing both of those things.

  2. does any1 know decent rpg games on flash ?
    like this one