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The Lunatic

Copyright Simon Foston

There's method in the madness.

Attributes: The Lunatic fulfils all of our expectations of how “crazy” people behave. Virtually all of the avatars on the path of this archetype are accidental, being genuinely insane and totally unaware of the powers that they’re channelling, but a rare few mystic seekers choose to “go through the motions” for the power that it provides. There are some sane avatars that are just pretending to be mad, but it’s a very dangerous fašade to keep up for too long. Inevitably, the “sane” Lunatic ends up destroying any possibility of normal relationships with anyone that he might care for, and if he has to do insane things to maintain his appearance of insanity it’s very likely to have a very damaging effect on his identity. Ironically, he might just go properly mad after all.
Every Lunatic must display the symptoms of a mental disorder that can be classified as such by a qualified psychiatrist. This isn’t a problem for someone who really is insane, but a fake Lunatic must pick his psychosis carefully and be totally convincing when he acts it out.
Taboos: Get cured. Genuine Lunatics are going against type if they undergo successful therapy, whereas fakers weaken their link to the archetype by ‘acting normal’ in the presence of other people. A Lunatic is violating taboo if he does anything that causes people to think, “Oh he isn’t so crazy after all.”
Symbols: The strait jacket, badly mismatched clothing and an acute lack of personal grooming are all emblematic of the Lunatic.
[b]Masks:[/i]The Baccantes (Greek)
Suspected Avatars in History: There are a great many. Emperor Caligula stands out as a prominent example; King George III is another.

1%-50%: The Lunatic doesn’t always care very much about things that would completely freak out normal people. Whenever he fails a stress check, he can make an Avatar: The Lunatic roll. If successful, he gains a Failed notch as usual but isn't prone to the fight, freeze or flee response: he can continue to act normally.
51%-70%: Madmen are often thought to be ferociously strong when they get angry, and the Lunatic can take advantage of this assumption. Once a day, he can make an Avatar: The Lunatic roll and if successful, he can add the result to his Body stat for a number of rounds equal to the digits result on the die.
71%-90%: Most people react to the Lunatic with either fear, disgust, condescension, or all three at once. They certainly don’t react in the same way to normal people, and this gives the Lunatic the chance to see things about their characters that they wouldn’t otherwise reveal. Whenever the Lunatic meets a quantifiably sane person, he can make an Avatar: The Lunatic roll. If it succeeds, he gains an instinctive but totally accurate impression of how that person would respond to one thing that he says or does. What the Lunatic chooses to do with this insight is completely up to him.
91%+: It’s very commonly said that the line between madness and genius is a very fine one. A Lunatic who has progressed this far along the path of the archetype is living proof of this, as he can choose, once per day, to roll against his Avatar: The Lunatic skill in place of any Mind or Soul skill that he already possesses.

Simon Foston | profile | Aug 08, 03 | 9:39 pm

Visitor Comments

Good. Really rather good. Nicely low key, nothing too powerful. I particularly like your first level effect

URNOVI | profile | Aug 09, 03 | 7:44 am

Indeed, I think this does a great job of fleshing out the "nuts-type" role via manifest symptoms, rather than focusing on the internal aspects.

Menzoa | profile | Aug 21, 04 | 1:25 pm

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