Sanity, Insight, and Oddities: Character Development on CEV Eris
The Eris is known as a cursed ship. Nobody knows this better than the crew that inhabits it. A mix of existential dread, cabin fever, and gigantic insects have turned the crew of the Eris into a hardy people; yet even the hardiest have their breaking points.
|100 to overwhelming|
Eris features an integrated "Sanity" system in your character development. The way sanity works is that you start at full(100) just like a health bar, but it can only get depleted by more abstract means. Things such as:
- seeing horrible things such as corpses or blood
- witnessing somebody die
- feeling pain or being hurt
- suffering from addictions and hunger
- other psychological (or psionic) effects
Recovery & Prevention
Your sanity rises at a passive rate when there is nothing damaging it. It recovers quicker when you consume food, drugs and alcohol. Other things will also restore sanity, such as oddities in your vicinity, holo-plants or Church Obelisks. Working in clean areas devoid of blood and trash, avoiding pain and damage, and satisfying addictions can also help to prevent sanity loss. Vigilance is directly tied to Firearms and Military training so the Vigilance(VIG) stat is used to actively mitigate sanity damage. Having higher VIG will lessen any sanity damage you take considerably. Ironhammer Operatives have a high VIG stat, allowing them to witness and experience far more brutality and combat before they experience a "breakdown", than a person with a moderate or lower stat value.
Once your sanity deteriorates enough,you might hear or witness some puzzling events or start experiencing some things that do not make sense. Eventually, if your sanity keeps being depleted to the point of 0, your character will suffer a lasting effect known as a "breakdown". There are many ways a lack of sanity (insanity) can manifest itself but almost all of them are negative. Some examples include kleptomania, delirium, hallucinations both visual and audible, and manifestations of horrible intrusive thoughts and obsessions into reality. “Positive” breakdowns also exist, sometimes allowing you for a moment of respite in face of certain doom or a second wind to get yourself to safety. These are very rare however, and relying upon them is only a fool's wish. Note that having any kind of breakdown will put your Insight gain on a cooldown, and you will stop gaining it for a while.
|White||0 to 20|
However, as the crew aboard know full well, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. As we gain more experience aboard this hulking spaceship, our competency levels surely must also naturally increase to have escaped untimely death up to this point. This is reflected in the form of Insight. Insight gain is passive over time and once it reaches 100, you will gain an Insight point. Your insight lose 100 points and you will be made aware of the fact that you need to rest and rethink your life choices. If you reach 100 points again before you fulfill your desires, you will not gain an insight point, and your insight gain points will not be deducted.
Your current amount of Insight is reflected in the current color of your sanity icon. The Icon will be overlaid with the corresponding color as it increases.
The game will inform you that you now have desires, and will print a list of them. This list reflects something special your character wants to help them cope with the strenuous activities they have been recently engaged with, and symbolizes Rest and Meditation upon your life choices thus far. Acquiring and consuming one of the items on this list will fulfill your need for Rest. The desires include many recipes, or alcoholic drinks as well as drugs and smoking desires. These are specific to every point of Insight gained; you will receive new desires every time you gain Insight.
So you have gained Insight and you are ready to fulfill your desires. But to what end? Well the answer is simple: to develop your character of course. Satisfying your desires after gaining an Insight point, will permanently boost your stats for the rest of the round. If you don't have an oddity, your stats will be randomly increased from a 30 point pool. You can control which stats and how big of a boost you can get by fitting in our last piece of the puzzle: Oddities.
|Blue||Weak (2-6 points gain)|
|Green||Medium (6-12 point gain)|
|Red||Strong (12-20 point gain)|
|Gold||Overwhelming (20-Infinity point gain)|
Oddities are items you find in the world that might seem bizarre or out of place. They are unique in the way they are named and appear. Use shift-click to examine the item if you are unsure. If you examine an oddity, you will see that it has Aspects corresponding to the 6 stats you possess (MEC, COG, BIO, ROB, TGH, VIG). You can see your stats by using the "Show Stats Values" verb in the IC tab. These aspects can also have a quality from Weak to Overwhelming in any stat, randomized at round start. Once you gain a point of Insight, and subsequently fulfill your desires, you will gain a permanent stat boost. This stat boost is directly related to the oddity which you are carrying with you at the time of Rest.
Higher tier aspects will boost the stat much higher than a weak one. Also you will not boost stats that your oddity is lacking the aspect of. Keep this in mind when you are deciding what kind of character you would like to play, and which oddity is right for you. Since aspects and aspect strengths are randomized between oddities, you can always trade yours for something more suitable to your needs. If you have multiple oddities on your person when you fulfill your desires and rest, you will be asked to choose which one you would like to use to boost your stats. Feel free to keep multiple oddities and alternate between them for every Insight point, just keep in mind that they must be on your person for you to be able to choose them as your Insight inspiration.
They all take up inventory space, so consider trading away ones that you don't particularly want or need. Alternatively, stash them in your department or hideout for a passive sanity gain boost for anyone in the vicinity... Credits are always welcome, and most people without oddities will be willing to buy or trade for a desirable oddity.
Above the bar, there is the Fitness Room - a place dedicated for increasing your combat stats either temporarily, or permanently by using rest points - you can obtain those by choosing to "convert your fulfilled insight for later use". There are two instances of three types of exercise equipment, each one of them increases their own stat: Total Resistance Punch Machine for TGH, Interim Resistive Exercise Device for ROB, Advanced Arcade Machine for VIG. To use this equipment, you have to buy an electronic ticket from a nearby "Club's Total Workout" vendor for 50 credits and use it on the device. These tickets can also be very rarely found in maintenance loot.
It takes some time to use the machines, and you will experience overexertion for three minutes afterwards, reducing your TGH stat by 15; this time can be reduced by drinking a protein shake - either the commercial version that can be obtained from the same vendor, or the regular version that the good folks at the bar can make for you. The latter is significantly better at reducing the recovery time. While you experience overexertion, you cannot use the exercise equipment.
Insight and Sanity Tips
- You can increase the rate at which Insight is gained by making sure you are living an exciting life; any sanity fluctuation, both positive and negative, will increase the rate of Insight gain. This means that if you play it safe, and sit in your office all day you will not gain Insight points nearly as fast as someone who is out there in the trenches dirtying their hands.
- If you are that someone who is getting down into the thick of things, and actively losing sanity going about your business: Make doubly sure you are actively recovering as well to maximize your gains (and minimize the damage to your own mental health).
- Participating in lots of combat is a surefire way to gain Insight. The sight of blood and death, as well as pain and injuries you might incur will cause your sanity to deteriorate quite quickly. Make sure you are keeping yourself away from the edge, as having a mental breakdown during battle is a great way to get killed.
- Usually vagabonds will incur the biggest damage to their sanity during a round, due to low starting stats and limited availability of cash to buy food and amenities, coupled with the hazardous work environment found aboard Eris. Only the brave and foolhardy can truly gain insight into the inner workings of the ship, usually at the cost of their mental fabric being ripped apart and unwound over the endless hours spent in the tunnels.
- You don't have to do everything by yourself. The Club is open for all your food and alcohol needs and desires! A good Manager will do anything in his power to keep his customers happy. As long as you have the credits!
- Club is closed? You're probably left with little choice at this point. You are going to have to take responsibility for your own lunches. Grow your own ingredients in the public garden and use your departments microwave to make the food you want. You can find alcohol in food piles, and stashes. Drugs can be refined and found in the tunnels. Beware that this is bound to be quite more bothersome because of the lack of a grocery store, so taking advantage of the clubs services is almost always more favorable.
- If you don't take the time to rest and consume at least one item on the list, you can actually waste the stat boost. This will only happen if you do not receive the message saying “You have rested well.” before gaining a new list of desires.