Don't Zap to the Extreme
Originally started by Quote Me Now from the CWCki forums, Don't Zap to the Extreme is a version of Don't Rest Your Head developed for a play-by-post RPG, in a great case of getting shit done. It was done because QMN felt CWCville was the perfect place to set a horror RPG, because there’s so much unintentional horror there to begin with, especially if you exaggerate it.
The resulting game was almost like collaborative fan fiction.
He adapted the posting style into one of those nifty conversation things with all players (Once sufficient people were interested, of course) and using those to handle all the normal GM-Player back and forth that tends to go on, so the thread didn't get cluttered with what was going decided upon, turning the ongoing CWCville horror-adventure into a highly enjoyable thread, the results of which will eventually be documented here.
Making a character for Don't Zap to the Extreme begins with just a few simple questions:
1) What’s your character's name?
2) What really Grinds your Gears? This is your “Stress Power”, a mundane thing you’re really good at. It can be anything, as long as it’s possible for a normal person to do it. Probably not as well as you, though.
3) What can you do that you can’t explain? This is your “Madness power”, an impossible thing that you can inexplicably do due to exposure to Magi-Chan’s powers. It can be anything, as long as it’s impossible, but Chris-inspired ones are very very welcome.
4) Why does Chris hate you? This is the big one. Each of your characters has done something against CWCville’s laws. Usually this is open-ended, but the following are listed as examples:
a) I waste unborn children by not “Recycling”.
b) I have a sweetheart and my name isn’t Chris, making me a JERK
c) I am…*Sigh*…a homo.
d) I smoke tobakky.
e) I make SLANDEROUS MOCKERIES of Mayor Chandler’s creations
f) I just don’t like The Original Chris'tard Chandler very much.
So you’ve started to think for yourself. It’s new, I know. Don’t panic.
I don’t care how it started. Maybe you broke the rules intentionally, maybe you didn’t, I’m not here to judge you. The point is, it bothered you. It nagged at you constantly, and it made you question the rules. Whether they were just. Whether they were right. Little by little, you started to notice all the small things wrong with this place. The straws that are just a little too big. That feeling just at the back of your mind, like you’re being watched. Until one day, something snapped.
That’s when you started wondering about it all. The almost-human abominations that are venerated and celebrated, the “Mayor” having a lifetime tenure, the happy daze people walk around in all day. When you took a long, hard think about it all, you stopped being a Citizen and instead, became Aware.
But that snap you heard wasn’t the sound of your mind breaking under the guilt of what you’ve done and reality falling away. No, this is all too real. It was the sound of the straps fastening on your wrists in the ten-button electric chair, and the switch being primed. When you started thinking, you became a target. They can sense that you know what they are, and you’d better pray they never find you.
You’re going to be hurt. You’re going to be hunted by the very people... No, the very things that not long ago, you called your guardians. There’s no going back to the life that once was, if you can call it life. You’ve got to find a way out of CWCville before they find you – but nobody ever leaves.
Don’t Zap to the Extreme.
All characters in this game have the same "Stats". These stats are Sanity, Stress, and Madness. Everyone starts with 3 Sanity.
All monsters and challenges only have one stat - Autism.
When a conflict needs to be resolved, dice rolls happen on the GM's end - 1 roll per conflict. Before each roll, you may choose to add one Stress to your total, and up to 8 Madness. The GM will roll a number of six-sided dice (d6) equal to your Sanity, Stress and Madness combined against a number of D6 equal to the challenge's Autism rating. If you win the conflict, yay! Whatever you were trying to do is accomplished! If you lose the conflict, your Stress will increase by 1, and other effects may happen depending on what, exactly, you just failed trying to do...
Stress is "sticky" - it stays around after you gain it. If you add one Stress on a roll where you previously had zero, you will have 1 Stress at the beginning of the next conflict. This will make you more powerful, but it comes at a cost - if you hit 6 Stress, you will Crash into Slumber - Your character can no longer stand all this Stressful Torture, and can do nothing of note (shitting yourself, however, is allowed).
If your friends don't help you, the nightmares of CWCville will soon descend...
Madness, however, is not "sticky". It disappears after every roll.
You may be wondering, "Why not just add 8 Madness to every roll?"
Here's why. A roll is always "Dominated" by a stat. The only one that's good for you is Sanity; all the others will hurt you. Interested parties can look at the main game page for some more info, but it's important to note that the stat that dominates is highly likely (but not certain) to be the one with the most points - So if you add 8 Madness on a 4 Autism challenge, it's very very likely that Madness will dominate.
Roll domination will affect the story.
If Sanity dominates, you may decrease your Stress by 1, or restore a Madness response (More on that later). This is, once again, the only one that is good for you.
If Stress dominates, your Stress increases by 1, bringing you ever closer to Crashing into Slumber.
If Madness dominates, you act according to primal instinct - Fight or Flight. If this happens 3 times, you "Snap", and one of your Sanity dice is permanently replaced with one permanent Madness dice.
If you run out of Sanity, well...pick your favorite color, a terrible name, and an awful Pokemon-inspired power, because you're one of them now.
If Autism dominates, the GM gets a point in his Pot of Fail that I can use later on to affect roll dominance. This will undoubtedly be bad for the players.
That's pretty much all the mechanics you'll need to know to understand what's going on here. In summary, don't hit 6 Stress, don't overuse Madness lest you become a recolor, and Sanity is your only refuge.
You can read about how the whole thing went down here.