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Published by Samuel Penn.

Also, see my profile for things that interest me.

Glendale Website - My main web site.

Yags - Main site for yet another game system, a generic GPL'd tabletop RPG.

Yagsbook - Documentation on the Yagsbook RPG documentation format, a Sourceforge project.

Mapcraft - Documentation on world mapping tools, another Sourceforge project.

Midnight Saga - An Ars Magica campaign.

Active Topics

The current topics are currently under active development (relatively speaking).

Yags is Another Game System - Game design notes for Yags, a Free roleplaying game system I use as the core system for most of my campaigns.

Yagsbook - Notes on an XML based documentation system I use for documenting Yags and related campaigns.

Full Thrust - Notes on Full Thrust

Stargrunt - Notes on Stargrunt.



Insanity is often caused by Magic, either when it is learnt, or when control over magic is lost. The Insanity of a character is measured by insanity points. As they are gained, so the character will begin to loose control over their actions, and start becoming part of the other world. Insanity represents how close a character is to the Otherworld, and also how far they are from the world of Men.

Insanity is a Trait, so ranges from zero to five. Zero represents the bulk of the population, and Five represents total, unplayable, insanity.

Here are some Ideas about Insanity, and some about Generic Insanity. However, I intend to keep things simple for now.

Levels of Insanity

Insanity is measured on a scale of zero to five. The following table describes each level.

Insanity Description
0 Totally sane. Most of the population.
1 Mild insanity. Has very little effect on the character.
2 Moderate insanity. Effects the character in little ways.
3 High insanity. People will recognise the character as odd.
4 Severe insanity. The character cannot function in normal society.
5 Critical. The character has lost all their humanity.

Insanity and Magic

When using Mysteries, your current Insanity adds to your Will.

Gaining Insanity

The first way to gain Insanity is by fumbling the use of magic. Both Powers and Cantrips can cause insanity in this way, though cantrips are more dangerous. When you fumble, you must make an immediate Will check. Fumbling the will check counts as a normal failure, unless the actual result was worse.

Action Will target
Using a power 10 + 5 x aura
Using a cantrip 10 + 5 x aura + 3 * level

The aura is the level of magical aura in the area. The level is the level of the cantrip being case. Effectively, a Power counts as a level zero cantrip.

Success Effects
Good Magic fails, no other effect.
Moderate Magic fails, +1 fatigue.
Failure Magic fails, +1 exhaustion, overwhelmed.
Bad Magic fails, +1 exhaustion, Dreaming.


You are overwhelmed by the magical forces involved. The effect it has on you depends on the Mystery you are trying to use.

Effects (d20 roll)
Mystery 1-5 6-15 16-20
Spirit Sensitive Confusion Depression
Water Depression Exhaustion Apathy
Earth Apathy Lust Steadfast
Iron Steadfast Catatonic Fever
Fire Fever Rage Fit
Air Fit Mindless Sensitive

The effect lasts 1d20 minutes.


You can sense everything in great detail, however you are unable to focus and are overwhelmed by all sensations - touch, sight, sound, taste. Your Perception is doubled for purposes of noticing general things, but at -2 for focusing on details. Perception caps all actions.


You are confused and cannot focus on any one task. Each round make a Will check at a target of 30 to act. When you do act, rolls are halved.


You have failed, and will continue to fail at everything you do. Your heart isn't in it any more. Will check of 20 to act, and at -1 to attribute for all actions.


You are tired and want to sleep. Gain 3 extra levels of exhaustion. Will 30 to stand up and move.


You do not want to do anything. Will 20 to act.


You are overcome with an urge for sex. Will 30 to resist any opportunity for sex.

Learning Cantrips

The easiest way to gain insanity is when trying to learn a cantrip. Learning a cantrip can be hard, and you generally need all the bonuses you can lay your hands on. During the meditation, you can choose to risk your sanity, by opening up your mind to magic.

This is probably similar to a twilight check in Ars Magica.

Make a Will check:

Roll Bonus Insanity
1-9 +10 +5
10-19 +20 +4
20-29 +30 +3
30-39 +40 +2
40-49 +50 +1


When a character gains insanity, they also gain an affliction. The affliction is chosen by the player.

yags/insanity.txt · Last modified: 2015/02/04 22:40 (external edit)