A Departure of Sanity

   A Departure of Sanity is a free RPG based on the works of
Lovecraft, Housman, Byron, Poe, and (to a lesser extent) Dante.
It has been created by Bioproject.  Enjoy.

Step 1: Creating a Character

   The characters of this game differ from those of AD&D
because they come from real-life.  To Create a character
determine their:

Occupation-This is what they do for a living.  You could
be anyone from a street sweeper to a baker.  Your character
earns money and talents from this job.  You begin at an
entry-level position and go up from there.  Consult this

entry level   3 talents   1,000 dollars
established   4 talents   2,000 dollars
veteran       6 talents   3,500 dollars
jr. exec      6 talents   4,500 dollars
exec          6 talents   6,000 dollars
management    7 talents   6,000 dollars

The characters recive the above amount of money per month.
3/4 of the character's money goes to living expenses.

Hobbies-A character's hobby is anything they do outside of
work.  It must be reasonable (no skunk fishing) and should
give your character no more than 2 talents.  A person can
chose not to have a hobby and start off the game at the
established position in his/her job.

Demeanor-A character's demeanor is how they relate to others.
When conversing with other players or NPCs act in your
character's demanor.  Your demeanor determines who you will
associate with:

wrathful      Your characters will only speak to loved-ones
              or others of wrathful demanor.
depressed     Your character associatees with loved-ones, the
              poor, or anyone who has fallen on hard times.
normal        Associate with most average joes or those 1
              demaenor level below or above.
kind          Will go out of their way to associate with anyone.
polite        Always acts in accordance to the rules of etiqute.
              That may cause some to dislike them.
aristocratic  Will speak  to anyone if personal gain is involved.

Talents-Talents are things that your character is good at.  Unlike
most RPG's.  You can pick any talent, as long as it applies to your

Exceptional Skills-Each character may chose one final talent, the
exceptional talent.  These are: execptional strength, constitiution,
intelligence, speed, or personality.  It expresses something special
about your character.

Weakness-Each character has a weakness, the driving force of the game
because the weaknesses cause the character's situation.  These may
range anywhere from fear of the dark to O.C.D.  A weakness is anything
that hinders you, including prejudices.  Remeber that the
characters should have differing levels of weakness.  After all,
a party full of psychos can't get anything done.

Step 2: Learning the Story

(DM's, please read this section before deciding what you want the players to hear. Also please make sure players no nothing about the game before creating characters. Making a game-perfect character is not a good way to go.) The basic idea behind this game is that a group of working-class stiffs (in any era). Comes into a bit of trouble. They are now being taunted by forces beyond their control. Their dark secrets (weaknesses) are coming out and being used against them. They are suddenly forced to fight for their life, and sanity. The games's antagonists are the Elder Gods (Found in Lovecraft novels, especially the Cthulhu Cycle and The Horror int the Museum and other revisions.) and Lucifer, the new god of darkness (find out about them in Milton and Dante). These god's influence is not direct, but it is felt through other means. There may be amazing things to happen to the characters, but there are no vampiric hitmen. The characters are being tortured by normal folks and mysterious strangers. They may sense something masterminding their problems, but they cannot find the clues for some time. The characters should each have their problems brought out into the forefront slowly. This is not a game of combat and is meant to be played on the table or live, for it is a game of conversation. For, tortured people are standing around trying to find out what the hell happened to them and how they can stop it. The game should go on until the characters reach a solution and there is a resolution (Hint: sometimes good solutions won't work). This game is really about dealing with strange problems and stranger hosts, have fun.

Part 3: How to Play

I.Progress of Play

Each game has four steps:

Exposition-All the characters say hi, reflect on the previous
adventure, and possibly buy items.  If you buy any items, in
this or any phase, buy them according to a catalog or vendor
price.  This part really is not plot relavent.

Problem-A character's weakness is used against them once in a
minor way or some strange things go about.  Characters use this
time to investigate what the heck is going on.  This a stressful
time, where action must be taken, so, non-plot-related actions are

Danger-The problem is manifesting itself in a greater way.  The
investigation is over and a solution must be made.

Resolution-Everything comes together, your characters win out
(or lose out) over the problem.  This is another time to take
non-plot-related actions.

II.Doing Something

Talents-You do something based on a talent you have.  The DM 
usually decides if your talent attempt is sucessful (see Dice).
Characters can also undertake non-skilled actions or attempt
a skilled action.  If they attempt a skilled action that
they are not talented in, they must detract 1 from that dice
roll and the dice must be rolled.  You may only attempt one
skilled action you are not talented with in a talent sequence.

Items-You can use objects like talents, even in talent rolls,
the same rules apply.


Most RPGS have dice rolls, but I do not encourage it.  I 
feel that this is a game of storytelling and that the plot is the 
most important factor.  However, I understand how a random element 
can add to storytelling.  Here it goes:

Rolling for Talents-Characters should normally complete talent 
attempts depending on the wishes of the DM.  However, in 
situations where chance is important to the story, you should
make a roll.  First, the DM should tell the character the
situation and how many problems the character faces at the
present moment.  The character should then determine how many
talents help them in the present situation.  Both should roll
a number of six-sided dice equal to the number of problems
or talents.  Which ever has the higher score wins.

Rolling for Combat-If, by any inexplicable chance, you happen
to fight another character or a character controlled by the
DM, you go into combat.  You first determine bonuses.  
Exceptional strength, speed, and constitution give you a bonus
of +1.  If (due to your hobby or job) you are talented in weapon,
you add a +1 bonus if you hold that weapon.  Consult the charts
about other ways to get +1 bonuses (bonus winner to the left):

Close Range

Hands VS. Projectile
Bludgeon VS. Hands
Fail VS. Hands
Knife VS. Hands
Sword VS. Hands/Flail
Shield/Armour VS. All except Flail and Hands

Long Range

Projectile VS. All
Fail VS. All except Projectile
Sword VS. Flail, Hands, and Bludgeon
Shield/Armour VS. All except Flail and Hands

You should then tally up all bonuses and have each involved player
or DM roll a D6.  The winner wins the combat, but does not usually
make a kill (that is against another player).


All games have means of advancing.  Here is our rules for 

Actualization-The highest step on Maslow's Pyramid, you one 
actualization point every time your character survives a
adventure without being overcome by a major trauma.  You gain 
a new talent every five actualization points.  At 50 actualization 
points you can utilize certain special talents and at 75 points you 
become even stronger and aware of your tormentor's true nature.

Trauma-If your character has something horrible happen to them or
loses, you gain a trauma point.  Every two trauma point erases one
actualization point (but never what you learn from it).  Every 25
trauma points, your character takes on a new weakness.

Promotion-You gain levels in your job if you spend 4 real-world
months (3.75 game years).  Without gaining more than 3 trauma
points.  During that time, you must play over 10 games.  In
the executive positions, you must not gain any game trauma points,
but you gain 1 trauma point for every real-world month as an exec

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