Stress Points

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C.O.G. variant - replacing lunatic

Stress points are a measure of how mentally unbalanced a character is. During game play, if a character has gone through an extremely stressful or disturbing experience, the referee may give the character one or more stress points. Additionally, a player may give their character a stress point in exchange for performing a frenzied action.

Once a character’s stress points are greater than their will power, the referee has the opportunity to spend the stress points by inflicting Stress Traits on the character (nervous tick, narcolepsy, memory loss, etc.). When spent, the stress points are used up and if the character’s will power is once again greater than their stress points, they are safe from the referee’s cruel imagination until such time that they earn more stress points.

If the setting allows magic, the number of points of magic the character has is added to the number of stress points. For example, a magician with 3 magic points and a will power of 5 would only need 3 stress points to be over the threshold.



Working on a combined page for COG... here's a draft. Tried to incorporate the original lunatic concept of insanity, and made the requirements for doing a frenzied action simpler.


Stress Points

Stress points are a measure of how mentally unbalanced a character is. During game play, if a character has gone through an extremely stressful or disturbing experience, the referee may give the character one or more stress points. Additionally, a player may give their character a stress point in exchange for performing a frenzied action.

Once a character’s stress points are greater than their will power, the character is considered insane. When this happens, they receive 3D of stamina and in combat get an extra attack per round. The amount of stamina should be noted as it will be lost if and when the character loses their insanity. Countering these positive aspects of insanity is the fact that when you are insane, you are unable to earn experience. The character will remain insane until the stress points are reduced to equal to or below their will power.

There are two ways to lose stress points.

  • Referee removes one or more. This can happen if the character engages in an activity that reduces stress, or something that resolves the issue which caused the stress in the first place.
  • You can spend the points on stress traits (nervous tick, recurring hallucinations, etc.). When spent, the stress points are removed from the character. While the player may decide that he wants to spend the stress points, it is up to the referee to decide what stress trait will be inflicted.

Frenzied Actions

If a character is in a desperate situation (as deemed by the referee), the player may choose to give them an extra action in a round. Possible actions include attacking, stealth, movement, tampering, healing, or anything else the character may do that requires dice. Not available are defensive rolls - ducking or parrying.

For each frenzied action, the character will receive one stress point.

There is a slight will power requirement to perform a frenzied action. The character must roll 1D6 and get under their will power. So, for a character will 7+ will power, the roll is unnecessary.

Stress Traits

When the player wants to reduce their character’s stress points, they can spend them in exchange for a stress trait. The referee dictates what the trait will be, as well as how many of the points are spent. The traits should include a negative on a character attribute or ability in similar magnitude to how many stress points were used.

Possible traits could range from a 1 point nervous tick that manifests when the character is lying, to a 5 point recurring hallucination that causes major negatives to awareness. This is an excellent opportunity for cruel referees to get creative.