I'm planning to run Curse of Strahd for my D&D group after we finish our current campaign. It's a group of 6 players plus the DM. According to the book, six players is the recommended upper limit for the party size.
In keeping with the campaign's theme of gloom & doom, the the book suggests adding Madness from chapter 8 of the DMG. My group likes to use the homebrew Critical Hits Revisited and so I'd use the insanity effects from the last page of that PDF.
- I'm imagining that the way insanity would work is players would roll a d100 Wisdom save after finishing a long rest. I would use a d100 for this one save specifically so that it gives the players a build up where the odds of going insane are low but not insignificant. This would build tension for the players. I don't want the DC to get too hard too soon, which is what would happen if a standard d20 roll were used.
- Each day, the DC would increase by 1. So after a ten day, the DC would be 10 (I'm including the first day to keep the DC equal to the day number). With a group of six, the odds of someone failing the save start to become very good towards the end of the first week.
- I'm not sure yet if I'd have them stop rolling once they failed and acquired an insanity trait or have the DC reset to 0 and start building again. The idea is to produce a sort of "ticking clock." The resulting insanity is almost inevitable so the question becomes a matter of "when" and the exact nature of their insanity, not "if."
My thinking is that adding this element will definitely add a sense of (meta) fear for the players and some interesting RPG/story interaction. But my concern is that, even at the upper limit of recommended party size, this could make things too hard for them. I don't want the entire party to go insane but I'd like some members to pickup some quirks during the course of an adventure.
So maybe instead of increasing the DC, I just peg it to a lower rate.
Is this homebrew mechanic likely to make the campaign too hard and how many in-game days can I expect the campaign to last?