Saturday, December 10, 2011

OSRIC Insanity

I'm still enjoying reading through the massive OSRIC tome. After 30 years or so, I think I'm so familiar with the original 1E DMG, that I tend to gloss over large portions of the original work without really paying attention to it. So what tends to happen is I read something in the OSRIC book, say to myself "is that how it worked in the DMG?" and go grab that book to look up what ever irritating little thread of a rule or concept I've gotten snagged up on.

Coming across Insanity (OSRIC p126) was one of those instances. Some little differences come up. OSRIC has 16 forms of insanity detailed, whereas the 1E DMG has 20. Among the missing are Dipsomania (a favorite of mine, where a character, once a week or so, is compelled to drink until they pass out), Melancholy (an Elric and Conan prerequisite, leading them to brood in the shadows at the back of the tavern despite the comely wench seated upon their knee), and Sado Masochism (a guaranteed way to make every hp of damage rolled at your table an interesting experience).

Actually "missing" is not a fair term, as OSRIC and 1E both have their own separate insanities listed.

Frustratingly, what both tomes lack is a system for duration, treatment, cure, and degeneration for these diseases. So this is now something I must create and post on the blog here someday :)

To be honest, I don't remember encountering a whole lot of Insanities back in the days, really it only seemed to come about as a result of psionic attacks, as far as I can recall. Though I do remember Multiple Personality coming up on (ahem) multiple occasions, mostly, I fear, as a rule-bending way of getting an additional suite of class abilities for "free".


  1. To be honest, I don't remember encountering a whole lot of Insanities back in the days

    Most of the Insanities in our games belong to the players, not the characters. :D

    I was never really an out and out AD&D fan, We played a mash up based on B/X but this post reminds me that I should really sit down and read the 1e DMG, as I only flipped through my mates copy looking for stuff to yoink for our B/X games.

  2. I'm a big Edward Gorey fan :) Lots of great inspiration in his work, as well.

    I went the extra step of giving characters insanity points for certain extreme situations. They had so much fun with it they sometimes did things just to try and get insanity points.

  3. I'm likely to be handing out at least one insanity to an OSRIC PC in the next few weeks so I'm looking forward to that article. Thanks Al

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  5. I just adore the OSRIC book. I've got the SC already and I've ordered the A5 edition and am anxiously awaiting it. You can open it to any page and find so much inspiration. I no longer own the original 1e books but I personally find OSRIC's single tome every bit as appealing....

    As far as insanity goes, I think I'd be inclined to use it as a primarily temporary effect to add a bit of flavor to an adventure.

  6. ha! connecting the dots on multiple personality disorder may have been my first power-gamer moment!



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