Oversight and Trauma

Additional Notes on Damage

Oversight and Trauma aren’t well-defined in Magenta, primarily due to the military focus of Magenta. Because Death may Die handles some distinctly non-military scenarios, greater insight needs to go into the nature of Oversight and Trauma.


Oversight Damage indicates any event that drives a wedge between the character and the rest of civilization. This can include reputation harm, lapses in social intelligence, identity theft and its consequences, social media attacks, psychiatric illnesses, injury to credit rating, etc.

Someone who’s suffered Oversight will likely become more reclusive and more abrasive or defensive. They may be attempting to control the damage caused by a social media blitz, or suffering the effects of psychosocial illness.

On the Mend

Recovery of Oversight happens naturally over time. Usually, bad events don’t cause long-term consequences to one’s social standing. A Mediator might need to step in for public relations control and reputation management, using social media and social networking to restore social contacts and preserve reputation integrity. They might also retrain the sufferer in social routines and social acceptability and accountability.

Dying from Oversight

It may seem strange, but it is possible to die from Oversight, usually in the form of psychological reactions to helplessness or due to terminally bad life choices.

Every day that someone has as much Oversight as he has Clout, roll 1d20. On a roll of 1, he’s going to do something self-destructive, either intentionally or without thinking about it. This can be run through roleplay, but a simpler way of handling it is to simply roll another d20. On a roll of 2-20, the event fails to kill the character. He now has Injury equal to his Body, and he gets discovered. (It’s possible that this will be impossible – again, this is up to the GM, but the intent is to give the character a chance at survival.)

On a roll of 1, the event takes the character’s life.

Oversight and Supporting Characters

Don’t accumulate Oversight for Supporting Characters. Instead, every point of Oversight will, at the end of the game, cost one point of Standing loss.


Trauma is a learned reflexive reaction to a situational crisis. It may even be healthy at the time that it happened, but it ceases to be useful over time and, at any rate, it is harmful in the long term. The trouble is that reflexes, once learned, take time to abate. Fortunately, reflexes disappear over time. Thus, while in one sense posttraumatic stress disorder is permanent, in another sense it’s impermanent.

Understanding Trauma and Its Consequences

For a long time astronomers looked at the number of meteorite impacts on the Moon and wondered why there weren’t very many on Earth. They eventually looked around and realized that there were a large number of meteorite impact craters on Earth, but they’d become part of the ecology and “filled in” (as lakes, valleys, etc., often teeming with life).

The same phenomenon is applicable in metaphor to Trauma. When someone suffers a Trauma, it leaves a lasting impact. However, over time, that impact will “fill in,” as the mind learns to adapt. This is the optimal case, at least. If the person learns new ways of handling the old reflex stresses, he will adapt effectively.

Brief Reactive Psychosis

When Trauma reaches Drive, the character suffers a brief reactive psychosis. “Brief” may mean it lasts for a long time, but it won’t last forever and naturally disappears. When Trauma reduces to below Drive, the brief reactive psychosis is at an end.

Possible symptoms of a brief reactive psychosis include disorganized behavior, false ideas about what is taking place (apophenia is a common process), delusion and hallucinations, strange speech and language, and in some cases spree violence up to and including spree killing. The effects on a character are as follows.

  • The character may not take Rotes. He must Roll, Breeze, Risk, or Push.
  • The character will not succeed at most long-term tasks. Labors are usually out of the question.
  • The character will suffer one of five major behavior patterns in stressful environments. See below for the description of these.
Stress Reactions during Brief Reactive Psychosis

When a character enters a stressful situation, he will begin to behave in one of the following ways. He chooses which one at the time the stress begins, but to change his choice he must make a roll of Introspection against a d12 difficulty.

Escape: As the Magenta rules for Panic.

Evade: The character will ignore stressors and act as if they were not there. He will passively avoid harm or hazard, but will not actively take any action to assist or evade those stressors.

Kill: The character will kill or destroy any stressor, including potentially useless actions (shooting at an incoming avalanche, for instance).

Posture: The character will seek to threaten or terrify any stressor, including potentially useless actions (insulting an avalanche, for instance).

Submit: The character will not resist any action taken against him, and will obey instructions given until the instruction either fails to make sense in the circumstance or until someone else instructs differently. Any Social skill can act on the character to change his current course of action, but Lead is required for complex instructions. The character can resist with Sixth Sense if the instruction is obviously pointless or counterproductive, but keep in mind that the character has no objectives of any kind while in this condition.

Trauma to Secondary Characters

Unless the rules say otherwise, Trauma to a secondary character will cause Panic. If the Secondary Character is already in Panic, he immediately enters a Brief Reactive Psychosis. Recovery follows the rules for Injury to Secondary Characters, but is separate.

Oversight and Trauma

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