RECON: Fear & Phobia Rules

Many other Palladium RPGs feature notes on fears and phobias for player characters, but not Recon. So, I’ve come up with the following optional rules for implementing such things into your Recon games…

Note that these rules require that you also use the optional Morale rules, found here.

 

New Rules:

Fear & Phobias

To flesh out a character realistically, a player should roll on the table below to find out their character’s “greatest fear”; that is, their Phobia.

ROLL                              PHOBIA                                                         
01-10 ………………………… Spiders
11-20 ………………………… Snakes
21-28 ………………………… Insects
29-36 ………………………… Rodents
37-44 ………………………… Enclosed spaces (claustrophobia)
45-50 ………………………… Heights (and/or flying)
51-58 ………………………… Public speaking or public humiliation
59-68 ………………………… Fire
69-78 ………………………… Deep water (and/or drowning)
79-82 ………………………… Doctors or dentists
83-86 ………………………… Sickness or disease
87-90 ………………………… Dogs (or another specific animal)
91-93 ………………………… The opposite sex
94-97 ………………………… The supernatural
98-00 ………………………… Clowns

Whenever a character has to experience their Phobia, they will suffer a -10 penalty to their current Morale, lasting until they can remove themselves from the situation causing their fear for at least one hour.

Additionally, when a character is forced to face their Phobia in a direct and confronting way (such as a claustrophobic being forced to crawl through a VC tunnel network or a character afraid of fire being trapped in a burning hooch), they must roll against their Morale to avoid panicking. Failing this roll means that the character must remove themselves from the situation as quickly and expediently as possible, even if this means disobeying an order or putting themselves (or others) at risk.

Example: Cpl. Louis Bannister – who has the Phobia “Snakes” – is pinned down by enemy fire behind a fallen log. Suddenly, a snake slithers out of the grass and into Louis’ boot. Louis must roll against his Morale of 49 (with a -10 penalty) to avoid panicking. He rolls 41, which is failure (he needed to roll 39 or less). Louis screams and leaps up from cover to yank off his boot, exposing himself to enemy fire in the next round before his buddies can pull him back out of harm’s way.

At the MD’s discretion, the Morale penalty may be increased to -20 if the situation would be especially terrifying for a character, such as an arachnophobe falling into a whole nest of spiders, a character with claustrophobia being buried alive, or a character with a fear of heights falling out of a chopper and needing to hang on to the skids.

Note that some obvious phobias are not listed (fear of blood, death, etc.) as these would be impossible to hide and almost certainly preclude a character being sent into active combat duty. The MD may of course allow these (and other unlisted) Phobias, if they and their players agree.

 

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