Friday, 12 April 2013

Shock and Horror

As a bit of preview for what will hopefully be an urban fantasy/Pulp horror OSR game, here are some simple rules for handling shock and horror in your games.

They could also be applied to a more horror-based fantasy game, and would even be appropriate for a fantasy europe game as well

Events that surprise, startle or otherwise dazzle the character may result in shock. This is a common reaction to encounters with monsters, or even frightening natural phenomenon. This is handled as a saving throw against Paralysis. Failure indicates the character fails to act this round. If the character is directly attacked, he recovers for next round, otherwise saving throws are repeated each round until the character recovers.
Another character may take an action to “shake them out of it”, permitting an extra saving throw to be taken.

Particularly terrible and mind bending horrors and alien creatures can send the mind reeling. In such situations, the character must take a saving throw against Spells. Failure will send the character into an unreasoning panic. The player may elect to have the character flee the encounter, collapse in a catatonic stupor or attack in berserk rage.
In any event, the character is completely out of the players control, and will not act rationally, unless the encounter has ended.

Note that monsters will generally ignore characters suffering from horror, unless the character goes berserk.

Characters subject to horror can be rallied, but at great difficulty. This takes another characters action, and succeeds 1-in-6 times. A rallied characters spends 1 round to regain their composure, before being able to act normally.