This Is Madness / Oh The Humanity [Distant Earth]

Characters in Distant Earth must keep track of two additional ratings that can affect their actions and outcomes: Madness and Humanity. Although they can affect each other, or both be affected simultaneously by the same actions, the two ratings are independent from each other.

Humanity represents how closely you resemble/act/identify as a Clean Human (which is a Human that has no mutations or cybernetics, and follows the commonly accepted social rules of the Human Race.) It is both a representation of how others perceive you and how you relate to fellow Humans. Your Humanity rating affects how certain groups treat you. Clean Humans may not deal with you if your Humanity rating is too low. Mutant gangs may decide to kill you on sight instead of talk if your Humanity is too high. It is not meant to represent good/evil or right/wrong, only how you “fit in” to the many diverse populations of Distant Earth.  A very human-like android may have a higher Humanity rating than an actual human with tons of cybernetics, and on the other hand the alien-yet-humanoid-looking Droog may seem more relatable to a Clean Human than a metal Utilibot with no appendages.

Madness on the other hand represents a character’s sanity and control over their actions. The world can often be a desperate and horrifying place, and maintaining a balanced outlook and a grip on reality can be a challenge. Cybernetics or mutations have the possibility of creating a sort of body-horror in the character, even if obtaining them was a conscious choice. Spending days without food or sleep will push you to the brink of your emotional capabilities. Killing innocent people for no reason can cripple you with guilt. Witnessing the slaughter of an entire village by renegade robots can spiral you into depression. These things can all increase your Madness rating, which may affect how well certain abilities and skills are performed, as well as affect outcomes and responses by others that encounter you. It’s hard to focus on hacking that computer when you’re laughing maniacally and desperately wanting to attack the console with a steel pipe instead.

Humanity is tied to Charisma, but may also affect Willpower, Wisdom or Luck. Madness is tied to Wisdom, but may affect Awareness, Stamina, or Charisma.