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A tabletop RPG set in an ominous space station, home to millions, where stories of struggle and survival are written on a daily basis.
A tabletop RPG set in an ominous space station, home to millions, where stories of struggle and survival are written on a daily basis.
558 backers pledged £27,224 to help bring this project to life.

Nibiru Update #22 - Mind

Posted by Federico Sohns (Creator)

Hello Vagabonds!

We are just a stone throw away from the next stretch goal :) with six days away from the end line. I mentioned before there's a Christmas gift incoming—backers will get that today at midnight (UTC).

I wanted to step into a particular theme of Nibiru, one that (if you have been following us for a while) you might be aware of. The game has a system in place to track the physical and mental health of characters, but while the former is very simple and it's designed to discourage people from just killing everything that moves in their path (seriously, don't try, it's quite easy to get killed in Nibiru—and nobody wants to see all those memories ripped to shreds in vain), the latter is a bit more nuanced.

How nuanced? Again, we've brought in someone that's more knowledgeable (that'd be Dave Coulter, one of the people behind the awesome Roleplay Haven club, and a worker in the mental health system) to design Nibiru's mind system.

We've drawn some inspiration from games such as Unknown Armies to try to make our sanity system more thought through—something more than just a downwards spiral. In this system, which generally triggers when characters are faced with a stressing situation, the roll of the dice determines their reaction to the situation itself. It can result in many different scenarios, but in short, failing such roll by a big margin takes you to a breaking point.

A breaking point is representative of a character's tolerance to the situation. When its passed, it marks the character with a particular symptom, which is randomized by rolling two four-sided dice. One of the interesting things of this method of randomization is that it allows us to use the probability curve of the roll to replicate the frequency of occurrence of symptoms. Too complicated? Basically, the roll's results tend to favor common symptoms such as depression and anxiety, rather than schizophrenia and personality disorders.

At the same time, being exceptionally successful when reacting to the stressful situation denotes a mental health issue in itself. Apathy—being detached from violence, from situations of helplessness, and even from the unknown—becomes a problem in itself.

With both kinds of symptoms, you tend to become subject of one particular mechanic. Maybe if you have a recurring memory, every time you evoke one yourself, you run the risk of just copying (and thus, remembering) that same traumatic remembrance that keeps coming back. Maybe if you are detached from violence, every time you exert it, you trigger a breaking point in those who surround you.

There's a lot to unpack with it, and in a way I hope that it helps bring some realism to this particular aspect of role playing games.

With that said, I hope y'all enjoy a very merry Christmas, and remember to open your mail inbox at midnight (or check this space) for your present!

See you around~

Francesco Paparelli, Zaarin, and 7 more people like this update.


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