EP2E Disorder triggers

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Hydrargyrum Hydrargyrum's picture
EP2E Disorder triggers

I'm a bit confused about how disorder triggers work.

EP2E p. 224 wrote:

Triggering a Disorder: Each disorder is triggered by certain
circumstances, as determined by your GM. Example triggers are given with each listing; disorders are also triggered by traumas ▶223. When a trigger condition occurs, make a WIL check; if you fail, the disorder is triggered. When activated, the disorder directly affects your actions and what you can and cannot do, as fitting the affliction. The GM may direct your character’s behavior or apply modifiers as they see fit. The episode lasts for as long as your character is affected by the triggering condition. [...]

The cross-referenced section on traumas says:

EP2E p. 223 wrote:

TRAUMA EFFECTS [..] Disorientation: Each time you suffer a trauma, make an immediate WIL Check (modifiers apply). If you fail, you are temporarily stunned and disoriented by what you have experienced. You must expend a complex action to regain your wits. Additionally, if you have a disorder triggered by that type of stress, it is activated by the trauma.

Many of the disorders are triggered by some or multiple of the standard stress categories: alienation, helplessness, the unknown, and/or violence.

Does any exposure to these things cause a potential disorder trigger roll? Or only if the exposure generated enough stress to create a trauma? If a person with a relevant disorder is traumatised by a relevant trigger, do they have to make two trigger tests (once for exposure, once for being traumatised?) Or does being traumatised by a relevant trigger automatically trigger the disorder effects? If so, does that mean that the disorder will remain in effect until the trauma is healed because "The episode lasts for as long as your character is affected by the triggering condition"?

Many disorders have Effects that require WIL checks. E.g. Autophagy requires a WIL Check or you begin to consume one of your limbs. Are these WIL checks a second roll made after the disorder has already been triggered (as a second chance or temporary relief), or is the WIL check mentioned in the Effect text the same as the WIL check made to see if the disorder triggers in the first place? I'm not sure why the disorders seem quite inconsistent concerning which ones mention WIL checks in the Effect and which ones don't.

In the specific case of Body Dysmorphia, the effect is a -30 penalty on Resleeving Stress Tests. Let me check if I understand this correctly. When someone with Body Dysmorphia resleeves, they first make an Integration Test to see how long it takes them to adjust to the body. Then they would make a WIL check to see if Body Dysmorphia is triggered (since it's triggerable by Resleeving). Then they make the Resleeving Stress Test, possibly modified by the Body Dysmorphia. If they are traumatised by the stress incurred from the Resleeving Stress Test, that would presumably automatically trigger Body Dysmorphia (since it's a trauma arising from the disorder's trigger condition). But apart from the deeply unpleasant personal experience, that might not apply any further mechanical penalties (since the Resleeving Test is now in the past) unless the GM decides that further penalties are called for. Does that sound right? Have I messed up any rules points?

BlckKnght BlckKnght's picture
As I understand it, any

As I understand it, any stress of an appropriate type can trigger a disorder. If it's less than your trauma threshold, then you just make the test as described in the disorder section. The same stress might make you test for multiple disorders, if you have more than one and their triggers overlap.

If the stress you received was enough to give you a trauma, then I think there may be multiple WIL tests. First you test for disorientation from the trauma you took. If you avoid disorientation, then you need to roll for any disorders triggered by the kind of stress you just took, as above. But if you fail the disorientation test, you automatically activate all the relevant disorders, without needing any separate rolls.

Hydrargyrum Hydrargyrum's picture
BlckKnght wrote:As I

BlckKnght wrote:
As I understand it, any stress of an appropriate type can trigger a disorder. If it's less than your trauma threshold, then you just make the test as described in the disorder section. The same stress might make you test for multiple disorders, if you have more than one and their triggers overlap.

If the stress you received was enough to give you a trauma, then I think there may be multiple WIL tests. First you test for disorientation from the trauma you took. If you avoid disorientation, then you need to roll for any disorders triggered by the kind of stress you just took, as above. But if you fail the disorientation test, you automatically activate all the relevant disorders, without needing any separate rolls.

So you need to take at least one point of stress before a trigger roll is called for? That seems like a reasonable guideline, but I'm not clear on if it's part of Rules-As-Written. For example, boredom is a trigger condition for anxiety; is the design intent that any amount of boredom could trigger an anxiety attack (waiting 3 minutes for a fabber to crank out some coffee in an area with poor mesh coverage), or only boredom of sufficient magnitude and duration to generate stress points?

BlckKnght BlckKnght's picture
Hmm, that's a good point. I'm

Hmm, that's a good point. I'm not sure how triggers that are not for stress are supposed to work exactly.

Maybe it's whenever the situation is not routine? So if your brewmatic autocook usually takes 2 minutes to produce your coffee, waiting for it wouldn't be a boredom trigger by itself. But if it took three minutes one day because your feedstock is unusually crappy, it might require a WIL test to avoid the unexpected boredom triggering your general anxiety. But I'm just making up this "out of the routine" rule, maybe you feel like some situations (waiting in line for the public fabbers, or whatever) are just inherently boring and should always be a trigger, even if they're often the same.

The one thing I'm confident to say is that it should be a conversation between the player and the GM. Together you should figure out how you think the disorder should work to be an interesting and dramatic aspect of the character without rendering them entirely useless in play. You might decide you want it to work differently depending on the other characters in the group. For instance, if you have a top notch psycosurgeon in the team, the rest of the PCs can perhaps be a bit more psychologically fragile, since their shrink can (eventually) get them back on their feet.