Mental Trauma

If your character receives a number of stress points at once that equals or exceeds their Trauma Threshold, they have suffered a trauma. If the inflicted stress points are double or triple the Trauma Threshold, they suffer 2 or 3 traumas, respectively, and so on. Traumas are cumulative and must be recorded on your character sheet.

Each trauma applies a cumulative –10 modifier to all of the character’s actions and –1 to Initiative. A character with 2 traumas, for example, suffers –20 to all actions and –2 Initiative. These modi ers are also cumulative with wound modifiers.

Any time a character suffers a trauma, they must make an immediate WIL × 3 Test. Trauma modifiers apply. If they fail, they are temporarily stunned and disoriented and must expend a Complex Action to regain their wits.

Any time a character is hit with a trauma, they suffer a temporary derangement (see Derangements, next page). The first trauma inflicts a minor derangement. If a second trauma is applied, the first derangement is either upgraded from minor to a moderate derangement or else a second minor derangement is applied (gamemaster’s discretion). Likewise, a third trauma may upgrade that derangement from moderate to major or else inflict a new minor. It is generally recommended that derangements be upgraded in potency, especially when result from the same set of ongoing circumstances. In the case of traumas that result from distinctly separate situations and sources, separate derangements may be applied.


Minor derangements are temporary mental conditions that result from traumas.

Anxiety You suffer a panic attack, exhibiting the physiological conditions of fear and worry: sweatiness, racing heart, trembling, shortness of breath, headaches, and so on.
Dizziness You are psychologically incapable with dealing with the source of the stress, or some circumstance related to it, so you avoid it—even covering your ears, curling up in a ball, or shutting off your sensors if you have to.
Echolalia The stress makes you light-headed and disoriented.
Fixation You become fixated on something that you did wrong or some circumstance that led to your stress. You obsess over it, repeating the behavior, trying to fix it, running scenarios through your head and out loud, and so on.
Hunger You are suddenly consumed by an irrational yet overwhelming desire to eat something—perhaps even something unusual.
Indecisiveness You are flustered by the cause of your stress, finding it difficult to make choices or select courses of action.
Logorrhea You involuntarily repeat words and phrases spoken by others.
Nausea The stress sickens you, forcing you to fight down queasiness.


Moderate derangements result from intense or ongoing trauma. They’re incurred when a character sustains two traumas, or sustains one trauma before an existing one can be healed.

Chills Your body temperature rises, making you feel cold, and shivering sets in. You just can’t get warm.
Confusion The trauma scrambles your concentration, making you forget what you’re doing, mix up simple tasks, and falter over easy decisions.
Echopraxia You involuntarily repeat and mimic the actions of others around you.
Mood Swings You lose control of your emotions. You switch from ecstasy to tears and back to rage without warning.
Mute The trauma shocks you into speechlessness and a complete inability to effectively communicate.
Narcissism In the wake of the mental shock, all you can think about is yourself. You cease caring about those around you.
Panic You are overwhelmed by fear or anxiety and immediately seek to distance yourself from the cause of the stress.
Tremors You shake violently, making it difficult to hold things or stay still.


Major derangements are serious mental impairments. They’re incurred when a character accumulates three traumas.

Blackout You operate on auto-pilot in a temporary fugue state. Later, you will be incapable of recalling what happened during this period. (Synthetic shells and infomorphs may call up memory records from storage.)
Frenzy You have a major freak out over the source of the stress and attack it.
Hallucination You see, hear, or otherwise sense things that aren’t really there.
Hysteria You lose control, panicking over the source of the stress. This typically results in an emotional outburst of crying, laughing, or irrational fear.
Irrationality You are so jarred by the stress that your capacity for logical judgment breaks down. You are angered by imaginary offenses, hold unreasonable expectations, or otherwise accept things with unconvincing evidence.
Paralysis You are so shocked by the trauma that you are effectively frozen, incapable of making decisions or taking action.
Psychosomatic Crippling The trauma overwhelms you, impairing some part of your physical functioning. You suffer from an inexplicable blindness, deafness, or phantom pain, or are suddenly incapable of using a limb or other extremity.


Disorders reflect more permanent madness. In this case, “permanent” does not necessarily mean forever, but the condition is ongoing until the character receives lengthy and effective psychiatric help. Disorders are inflicted whenever a character accumulates 4 traumas. The gamemaster and player should choose a disorder that fits the situation and character.

Addiction Addiction as a disorder can refer to any sort of addictive behavior focused toward a particular behavior or substance, to the point where the user is unable to function without the addiction but is also severely impaired due to the effects of the addiction. It is marked by a desire on the part of the subject to seek help or reduce the use of the addicting substance/act, but also by the subject spending large amounts of time in pursuit of their addiction to the exclusion of other activities.
ADHD This disorder manifests as a marked inability to focus on any one task for an extended period of time, and also an inability to notice details in most situations. Sufferers may find themselves starting multiple tasks, beginning a new one after only a cursory attempt at the prior task. ADHD suffers may also have a manic edge that manifests as confidence in their ability to get a given job done, even though they will quickly lose all interest in it.
Atavism Atavism is a disorder that mainly affects uplifts. It results in them regressing to an earlier unor partially-uplifted state. They may exhibit behaviors more closely in line with their more animalistic forbears, or they may lose some of their uplift benefits such as the ability for abstract reasoning or speech.
Autophagy This is a disorder that usually only occurs among uplifted octopi. It is a form of anxiety disorder characterized by self-cannibalism of the limbs. Subjects afflicted with autophagy will, under stress, begin to consume their limbs, if at all possible, causing themselves potentially serious harm.
Body Dysmorphia Bipolar disorder is also called manic depression. It is similar to depression except for the fact that the periods of depression are interrupted by brief (a matter of days at most) periods of mania where the subject feels inexplicably “up” about everything with heightened energy and a general disregard for consequences. The depressive stages are similar in all ways to depression. The manic stages are dangerous since the subject will take risks, spend wildly, and generally engage in behavior without much in the way of forethought or potential long term consequences.
Borderline Personality Disorder Subjects afflicted with this disorder believe that they are so unspeakably hideous that they are unable to interact with others or function normally for fear of ridicule and humiliation at their appearance. They tend to be very secretive and reluctant to seek help because they are afraid others will think them vain—or they may feel too embarrassed to do so. Ironically, BDD is often misunderstood as a vanity-driven obsession, whereas it is quite the opposite; people with BDD believe themselves to be irrevocably ugly or defective.
Depression This disorder is marked by a general inability to fully experience one’s self any longer. Emotional states are variable and often marked by extremes and acting out. Simply put, the subject feels like they are losing their sense of self and seeks constant reassurance from others around them, yet is not fully able to act in an appropriate way. They may also engage in impulsive behaviors in an attempt to experience some sort of feeling. In extreme cases, there may be suicidal thoughts or attempts
Fugue Clinical depression is characterized by intense feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. Subjects usually report feeling as though nothing they do matters and no one would care anyway, so they are disinclined to attempt much in the way of anything. The character is depressed and finds it difficult to be motivated to do much of anything. Even simple acts such as eating and bathing can seem to be monumental tasks.
General Anxiety Disorder The character enters into a fugue state where they display little attention to external stimuli. They will still function physiologically but refrain from speaking and stare off into the distance, unable to focus on events around them. Unlike catatonia, a person in a fugue state will walk around if lead about by a helper, but is otherwise unresponsive. The fugue state is usually a persistent state, but it can be an occasional state that is triggered by some sort of external stimuli similar to the original trauma that triggered the disorder.
Hypochondria GAD results in severe feelings of anxiety about nearly everything the character comes into contact with. Even simple tasks represent the potential for failure on a catastrophic scale and should be avoided or minimized. Additionally, negative outcomes for any action are always assumed to be the only possible outcomes.
Impulse Control Disorder Hypochondriacs suffer from a delusion that they are sick in ways that they are not. They will create disorders that they believe they suffer from, usually to get the attention of others. Often hypochondriacs will inflict harm on themselves or even ingest substances that will aid in producing symptoms similar to the disorder they believe they have. These attempts to simulate symptoms can and will cause actual harm to hypochondriacs.
Insomnia Subjects have a certain act or belief that they must engage in a certain activity that comes into their mind. This can be kleptomania, pyromania, sexual exhibitionism, etc. They feel a sense of building anxiety whenever they are prevented from engaging in this behavior for an extended period (usually several times a day to weekly, depending on the impulse) and will often attempt to engage in this behavior at inconvenient or inappropriate times. This is different from OCD in the sense that OCD is usually a single contained behavior that must be engaged in to reduce anxiety.
Megalomania Insomniacs find themselves unable to sleep, or unable to sleep for an extended period of time. This is most often due to anxiety about their lives or as a result of depression and the accompanying negative thought patterns. This is not the sort of sleeplessness that is brought about as a result of normal stress but rather a near total inability to find rest in sleep when it is desired. Insomniacs may find themselves nodding off at inopportune times, but never for long, and never enough to gain any restful sleep.
Multiple Personality Disorder A megalomaniac believes themselves to be the single most important person in the universe. Nothing is more important than the megalomaniac and everything around them must be done according to their whim. Failure to comply with the dictates of a megalomaniac can often result in rages or actual physical assaults by the subject.
OCD This is the development of a separate, distinct personality from the original or control personality. The personalities may or may not be aware of each other and “conscious” during the actions of the other personality. Usually there is some sort of trigger that results in the emergence of the non-control personality. Most subjects have only a single extra personality, but it is not unheard of to have several personalities. It is important to note that these are distinct individual personalities and not just crude caricatures of the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde sort.
PTSD Subjects with OCD are marked by intrusive or inappropriate thoughts or impulses that cause acute anxiety if a particular obsession or compulsion is not engaged in to alleviate them. These obsessions and compulsions can be nearly any sort of behavior that must be immediately engaged in to keep the rising anxiety at bay. Players and gamemasters are encouraged to come up with a behavior that is suitable.
Schizophrenia While schizophrenia is generally acknowledged as a genetic disorder that has an onset in early adulthood, it also seems to develop in a number of egos that undergo frequent morph changes. It has been theorized that this is due to some sort of repetitive error in the download process. Regardless, it remains a rare, yet persistent danger of dying and being brought back. Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder where the subject loses their ability to discern reality from unreality.