Yep. It could be anything. The only people who know for sure are totally mad. I actually like it that nobody knows, it just is. We can put out a number of theories, but we should never say this is right because it would kill the mystery and make it just another puzzle for the players to solve.
There is an easy and fast way to know...
...but then you are yourself a candidate for the Asylum. Go to Comment
Maybe a few people in the city are immune to the madness for whatever reason. They would have to
A: Convince the guards/caretakers that they really are sane.
B: Figure out why they, among everyone else, are immune.
C: Figure out what to do with that information.
P.S. - I think I'll use this idea in my in-progress game world. 'Tis neat. Go to Comment
I wonder, what happened to the city guards that were off duty? Were they fine, or did they fall into madness as well? If they are well, could there be something in their rations that's making them immune? Go to Comment
-You hear somebody quietly humming a tune behind you
-You hear somebody whispering nonsense in your ear
-You see a squirrel rolling a golden egg into an alley
-You see the ground crumbling where your shadow touches it (A la Akira)
-You see your own stomach split open and your innards flow out (A la Akira) Go to Comment
Good thought. The historical record does not say I (though I always think those on the walls were the only ones that didn't go. I have always throught the material in the walls, some property of the stone. However, I do not know. Go to Comment
Nope. They are not. Generations have gone by since Asylum went mad (the meaning of the name of the city has changed) and the apparently immortal, near invunerable, and incredibly strong mad people, are still insane waundering about in a mad parody of normal life.
It is said, everyone who enters the city and stays there over long goes mad. Those who go into the city to heal the mad, usually are never seen again. Popular thought is that they go mad themselves before they can do any good or just die there.
If you want there to be expeditions into the city in an attempt to help them in your campaign, feel free. I could see that happening every generation or so, as people forget what happened to the last one OR the organizer thinks they are cleverer than the previous organizer. Go to Comment
When playing with any potentially insane person, I will occasionally pull them aside and give them other information about things occuring. You hear shuffling behind you... you feel them looking at you... you hear your friends laughing at you when they think you are not around... you see the monster pulling the strings of the people around you... see CP for more insane things.
Then if they refuse to act upon this information, I pull the rest of the people aside and we run a less than lucid moment. The other players act out the strange reality and the character must react to it appropriately because it is really happening... to them. I then take notes about what the crazy one does and says. We then play out the game, with me telling them what the crazy person does. Go to Comment
Occasionally they send the mad from other areas of the land to Asylum. You might encounter an army unit herding some crazies to the city, while taking them supplies.
An interesting idea is to be a young person inside the city, being a little nuts, rather than insane, As you advance in experience you, you advance into madness.
The leader of the country uses Asylum as a prison for political prisoners. "I am the Duke of Ellington! yah, right, another crazy. But, I AM!. Yah. Right. Move along."
An interesting idea is to be a new army officer assigned to watching over the city and realizing how insane the officers are. Are you just nuts? Is that why they sent you here? If they realize you will tell others they are insane, they will stop you... perhaps throwing you into the grand city.
Perhaps you have to risk Asylum to reach the great library, or find a political prisoner, or find the orb of McGuffin (an object of power that is requires to save the city/ world/ temple), or even on an expedition of healers to try and heal the mad. Go to Comment
There is a game call Asylum as well. When the world went mad. Interesting, but not really.
Perhaps it has been centuries, now the land is farmed by zombie automotons. The only living people in the region are the guards around the city.
Perhaps the entire country is comprised of great cities converted to asylums.
Perhaps there is a gate of somekind in the city where extradimensional things come through and possess the humanfolk.
.....They want to communicate with the sane to save their world, yet their presence causes madness.
.....They would escape the city, but the unique stone of the wall wards them. Talismans of that stone protect you from them.
..... Perhaps they already have escaped the city and have prepared for an invasion. The city is their staging area. Go to Comment
I seem to be on a jag with these orbs.... (See Corvus )
But imagine if a greater orb went mad and took the city with it (given its ability to manipulate people). It could be pushing the regions leader to supporting the poor people of Asylum in its more lucid moments (or asking one of orbs if it would take help the city out).
Even nastier... the orb is telepathic and conducting an experiment on the human minds inside the city (and nearby). It may not be cruel or evil per say, but simply sees the humans as transient lab rats. Go to Comment
Yep. It could be anything. The only people who know for sure are totally mad. I actually like it that nobody knows, it just is. We can put out a number of theories, but we should never say this is right because it would kill the mystery and make it just another puzzle for the players to solve. Go to Comment
Madness can be quite liberating. There is a fine line between madness and genius, and sometimes that line is very, very, blury.
Mad people see the world in different ways, not constrained by binding (or blinding even) paradigns. They can see solutions to problems or innocvations that so called sane people can not seen. It is only those who see the world different who can't relate to those who see the world normally that we lock up (well we should lock up, but now they waunder the streets in and out of halfway houses and medical facilities). Those who can vaugely relate, we pay large sums of money for their interesting ways of looking at the world and the problems that their way of looking at the world can solve. Go to Comment
I think Asylum is an intersting fantasy idea. It is certainly different from most fantasy entries. If you have an idea for a plot or idea revolving around Asylum, feel free to add it. PM me, MoonHunter, and I will add it to the Asylum post so it will come up.
All I ask is that you "don't solve the mystery" of the place. Every GM who runs this should make up their own reason for why this occurs.
As for reasons, we have a angry God, something in the water, an insane magik user/ psionic creature, one of those glowing balls in Star Trek Original Series that eats madness rather than hate or death, or an ORB of Corvus. Pick one of ours, or make it up for yourself. Go to Comment
Another outbreak of madness has occured. Do we make a new city or try to herd a town's worth of mad people to this one? Of course, the PCs are involved in some way...
An army of barbarians is invading the land. They are approaching Asylum. What to do? Leave it to its fate or defend it to the last man, just in case the madness might expand. And the Barbarians do not know about Asylum's special history.. and the defenses of the city are to keep people in... not out. Go to Comment
I saw this as a random today. It has been a while since it has seen the light of day. You would be crazy not to comment on it ;)
This was one of my first submissions on the Citadel. It does show. However, this one has a lot of potential. It is one of those defining elements for a game world, as it is so "odd" that society has to have a response to it. Go to Comment