Mental break

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A mental break may occur randomly when a pawns's negative thoughts outweigh their positive thoughts enough to push their overall mood below their Mental Break Threshold. Note that is its related to the sum of all the thoughts a pawn has, so small penalties can quickly add up to large effects on a pawn's stability.

Extreme break threshold is 1/7 of the minor break threshold, while major break threshold is 4/7 of the minor break threshold. The default mental break thresholds are:

  • Extreme break threshold: 5%
  • Major break threshold: 20%
  • Minor break threshold: 35%

Mental break thresholds are affected by various traits. The minor break threshold is capped between 1% to 50%

The severity of a mental break depends on how far below their threshold they are:

  • Below their base mental break threshold, they will have an extreme break in the mean time of 0.7 days.
  • Below their major break threshold, they will have a major break in the mean time of 3 days.
  • Below their minor break threshold, they will have a minor break in the mean time of 10 days.

Once a pawn's mental break ends, they'll usually get the 'catharsis' thought, granting a +40 mood for the next 2.5 days. This will generally prevent a pawns from entering a spiral of mental breakdowns in all but the worst scenarios.

Colonists with the Tortured Artist trait will also have a chance to receive an inspiration after a mental break ends. It is currently unknown if this applies to non-colonist pawns.

While a colonist is experiencing a mental break, you have no direct control over them, but you can draft another colonist to attempt to arrest said colonist. The broken colonist has a chance based on the arresting pawn's stats to either go berserk, or come quietly and be escorted to the nearest available prison bed - immediately ending their mental breakdown. However, this will cause the loss of his/her colony membership status, removing the pawn from your colonist bar. Releasing them will return them back to the colony, but eliminates the catharsis bonus, instead yielding a 'was imprisoned' negative thought that can lead to further mental breaks.

Another more extreme way of ending a mental break inflicting unconsciousness - such as by beating the pawn with blunt trauma until they are incapacitated by pain or inflicting brain shock. This is the only way to stop a berserk pawn. However, direct violence causes the victim to have a negative opinion of the one(s) who beat him up, and you risk killing the pawn if he is already injured. It is ineffective if the pawn feels reduced pain, like those with the Painstopper implant or high on Go-juice. This also does not grant the Catharsis mood buff unless the pawn is going berserk.

Minor break

Food binge

Food Binge

If a pawns is stressed, they may decide to pig out on whatever meals they can get their hands on. This break can only occur when the map the pawn is currently on contains more than 10 human-edible nutrition in a stockpile zone. Pawns with the Gourmand trait will experience this more often.

A binge will end as soon as the affected pawns gets back to bed, or after a certain amount of time has passed.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.166 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 25,000 ticks (6.94 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 45,000 ticks (12.5 mins)
Commonality: 0.8

Sad wander

Sad Wander

Like the dazed and wandering event, but shorter.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.166 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 40,000 ticks (11.11 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 60,000 ticks (16.67 mins)
Commonality: 0.5

Hide in room

Hide in Room

Colonists who hide in their room will wander about in their room, refusing to come out and refusing to satisfy their needs. This event is relatively short, and usually does not put the colonist in harms way. The worst that one can come off with from this sort of mental break is mild starvation and possibly exhaustion.

This break can only occur if the breaking pawn has a bed assigned to them.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.166 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 40,000 ticks (11.11 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 60,000 ticks (16.67 mins)
Commonality: 0.5

Insulting spree

The pawn becomes resentful and starts to insult others around, making moods worse for everyone.

Insults can lead to a social fight, which would then lead to the end of the break.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.166 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 25,000 ticks (6.94 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 45,000 ticks (12.5 mins)
Commonality: 0.5

Targeted insulting spree

The pawn starts to hate one person in particular, and will proceed to bombard that person with insults. This can totally ruin the victim's mood with an up to -33 mood penalty through 10 stacked insults, and can potentially trigger another mental break.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.166 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 25,000 ticks (6.94 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 45,000 ticks (12.5 mins)
Commonality: 0.5

Major break

Social drug binge

Social Drug Binge

If a pawn gets very stressed, they may drink or smoke their problems away by binging on social drugs (i.e. beer, smokeleaf joints. This can only happen if you have social drugs present in your colony.

Social drug binges will also occasionally happen for those with the chemical interest trait regardless of mood, and still gain the catharsis thought afterwards.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.133 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 40,000 ticks (11.11 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 60,000 ticks (16.67 mins)
Commonality: 1


Psychotic wandering (Daze)

Daze

Pawns who become dazed will wander around and will eventually recover on their own. Dazed colonists can also be arrested, which can be useful if they are in imminent danger.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.166 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 70,000 ticks (19.44 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 90,000 ticks (25 mins)
Commonality: 1 (See Below)


Psychotic wandering (Daze) Short

Daze

Identical to the above, but with a shorter minimum time. This effectively doubles the chance of getting a "Psychotic Wandering" break.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.166 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 2,500 ticks (41.67 secs)
Maximum time until Recovery: 90,000 ticks (25 mins)
Commonality: 1 (See Above)


Tantrum

A stressed pawn decides to vent his anger out on the structures in the colony, randomly punching at them.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.033 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 8,000 ticks (2.22 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 12,000 ticks (3.33 mins)
Commonality: 0.333

Targeted tantrum

The pawn focuses his rage on a single structure or stack of items. The tantrum redirects at another structure or stack of items if that structure or stack of items is destroyed or made inaccessible.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.166 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 40,000 ticks (11.11 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 60,000 ticks (16.67 mins)
Commonality: 0.333

Targeted tantrums can potentially ruin a colony when a colonist decides that the best way to let out their anger is to smash up the last 12 meals in the freezer during a cold snap, a stack of 47 components, or the AI persona core you got spending the lives of multiple colonists. Targeted tantrums are especially dangerous when the pawns tries to destroy a stack of mortar shells (beware the antigrain warhead), which is a certain death for the broken pawn and great danger for any pawn nearby those shells.

Bedroom tantrum

The colonist hides in his bedroom and wreaks havoc on the furniture inside.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.166 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 40,000 ticks (11.11 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 60,000 ticks (16.67 mins)
Commonality: 0.333

Sadistic rage

The pawn becomes sadistic and takes pleasure in hurting your prisoners until they are downed from pain.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.166 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 40,000 ticks (11.11 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 30,000 ticks (8.33 mins)
Commonality: 1

Corpse obsession

Corpse obsession

Pawns with a corpse obsession will go to a grave or sarcophagus, dig up a corpse and drop it on a high-traffic spot, such as a table in a dining room. The obsession will then end.

This break can only occur if you have a filled grave or sarcophagus.

While this break is somewhat quick, it can potentially bring mood debuffs to whoever sees the corpse, and also a heavy -10 debuff due to leaving a pawn unburied.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.166 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 50,000 ticks (13.89 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 70,000 ticks (19.44 mins)
Commonality: 0.4


Extreme break

Berserk

Berserk

When a pawn goes berserk, they become a danger to themselves and anyone nearby. They may use doors that are locked/forbidden. Berserkers don't close doors behind them, auto-doors included. Doors they open will remain open until another pawn passes through. They will melee attack the nearest living creature until their target is either subdued or killed. Due to the risk of death or permanent injury for both the psychotic colonist and any that happen to be nearby, a psychotic colonist is a very real threat. If the berserk colonist poses or is in direct danger, a colonist with bare fists or a blunt weapon works best to quickly subdue them with the least risk of killing them. Once a berserk pawn is subdued they do not need to be arrested, rather they can and should be rescued to recover from their injuries.

If the berserker is not in danger and can be safely avoided, it's best to leave them to rampage by themselves until their berserk rage wears off to avoid injuries and the associated pain mood debuff.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.166 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 40,000 ticks (11.11 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 60,000 ticks (16.67 mins)
Commonality: 1


Fire starting spree

Fire Starting Spree

Pawns with the pyromaniac trait can go on a fire starting spree, targeting flammable materials. Their mental breaks occur regardless of mood (though will happen less frequently as mood increases). As of Beta 18, pyromaniacs no longer gain the Catharsis thought after fire starting sprees. Fire-starting sprees are very short and can easily be dealt with by having somebody else 'babysit' the pyromaniac, putting out fires as the pyromaniac pawn starts them.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.033 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 6,000 ticks (1.67 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 10,000 ticks (2.78 mins)
Commonality: 1

Hard drug binge

Hard Drug Binge

Pawns on a hard binge will binge on hard drugs (i.e. flake, yayo, go-juice and wake-up). Hard drug binges are considerably more dangerous for the affected colonist's health than soft drug binges, as hard drugs contribute towards overdoses which are potentially lethal, and can easily lead to an addiction. As with soft binges, hard binges will either end when the affected colonist goes back to bed, or after a certain amount of time has passed. Colonists taking penoxycyline and luciferium have nothing to do with the drug binge they are on.

Pawns with the chemical fascination trait will occasionally have a hard drug binge regardless of mood, and still gain the catharsis mood afterwards (if they don't die from an overdose).

Mean time between Recovery: 0.133 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 40,000 ticks (11.11 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 60,000 ticks (16.67 mins)
Commonality: 1


Catatonia

When colonists enters a catatonic break, they become incapacitated and need to be rescued.

This is one of the least harmful of the extreme breaks as it does not result in injury or damage to both the colonist and others. However, since the affected colonist will be down for quite a long time, you will need to find a way around that. This is especially if the colonist performs a vital task in the colony.

Since catatonia is technically a health condition, usage of the healer mech serum can instantly bring the affected colonist out of the mental break.

Only colonists i.e. the player's pawns specifically, can experience this mental break. Pawns from other factions will not. It is currently unknown if this includes pawns that are temporarily part of the colony, such as those provided by quests or from permits Content added by the Royalty DLC.

Minimum time until Recovery: 100,000 ticks (27.78 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 300,000 ticks (83.33 mins)
Commonality: 1

Jailbreaker

Jailbreaker

A colonist has a mental break down and is going to induce prisoners to escape. When the colonist reaches a prisoner, a prison break event will be triggered. Afterwards, the mental break will be changed to something else.

The pawn can be stopped before reaching the cell.

Minimum time until Recovery: 60,000 ticks (16.67 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 60,000 ticks (16.67 mins)
Commonality: 1


Slaughterer

A colonist becomes maddened, and will start to slaughter animals at random. If you have a lot of tamed animals this usually won't cause major losses, but there's a chance the maddened colonist may decide to butcher a bonded animal or your favorite tamed thrumbo.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.033 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 8,000 ticks (2.22 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 12,000 ticks (3.33 mins)
Commonality: 0.75


Murderous rage

Murderous rage

A colonist becomes maddened, and will attack a randomly chosen colonist or prisoner with melee until they are dead. Once the target is killed the pawn exits its rage.

This requires intervention from other colonists if the life of the victim is to be saved.

  1. This can be interrupted by attempting arrest. If it is successful, the colonist will quietly submit and go to prison along with the warden. Otherwise, the colonist will instead go berserk and will lash out at nearby colonists instead, which may be easier to deal with as the colonist is no longer hellbent on killing one colonist.
  2. Immediately rescuing the downed pawn causes the murderous pawn to instead redirect his anger at someone else.

Minimum time until Recovery: 100,000 ticks (27.78 mins)
Maximum time until Recovery: 100,000 ticks (27.78 mins)
Commonality: 1

Run wild

The colonist runs into the wild and starts to act like an animal. While acting like an animal, the colonist will subsist on wild sources of food, usually berry bushes or agave in arid biomes. They may wander across spike traps and randomly trigger them.

Unlike other breaks, this one lasts indefinitely without intervention. The only way to end it is to have a colonist tame the broken colonist and convince them to act like a human again. Taming a wild man is equivalent to taming an animal of 75% wildness, equivalent to an elephant or fox, and requiring an Animals skill of 7 or greater.

Damaging them until they are downed isn't an advisable option; since they don't belong to your faction anymore, they will most likely die upon receiving enough damage to incapacitate.

Upon taming, they will have their usual Catharsis moodlet, and will have their Beauty and Comfort needs set to 50%, while their Outdoors needs is set to 100%.

Additionally, it appears that this mental break does not trigger the Inspired Creativity mental inspiration from the Tortured artist trait, however more testing is needed.

Commonality: 0.5

Given up and leaving

A colonist decide they've had enough with the colony, and leaves entirely.

This can be countered either by arresting the said colonist, or incapacitating them by force.

Commonality: 1

Special

These mental states aren't mood-related, and have certain circumstances required to trigger them.

Confusion

Confused and wandering

Similar to the 'Sad Wandering' mental state, except confused wandering only occurs on a pawn with Alzheimer's or Dementia, as well as those still woozy or recovering from anesthesia.

This mental state bears a similarity to psychotic wandering in the respect that confused pawns are prone to wandering into dangerous situations, they do not strip off their equipment. This mental state ends after a certain period of time, or when the affected pawn is downed or killed. All normal thoughts are blocked during this time frame.

It can also occur in animals after their bonded master dies.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.2 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 3,500 ticks (58.33 secs)

Social fighting

Traders social fighting

Social fighting is triggered when one pawn slights, insults another (significantly more likely with insulting than slighting), and the affected pawn gets angered. While very brief and usually only resulting in minor-moderate injury, social fighting can also end up with much worse results including a pawn getting downed, disfigured, or uncommonly even outright killed. Social fighting ends after a very short time, or when one of the fighting pawns gets downed or killed.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.02 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 420 ticks (7 secs)

Fleeing in panic

Fleeing in panic

This sort of mental break happens when half (rounded up) of a group of non-colonist humanlikes are killed; whether it be hostiles, traders, or the likes. Pawns affected by this mental state will attempt to leave the map by any means possible as soon as they realize that they're not going to win whatever battle they got caught up in.

This mental state will end once the affected pawn leaves the map, or when they're killed.

Pawns in this state will run indiscriminately towards the closest edge of the map, completely disregarding any hostiles in the way (such as your colonists firing at them), trying to smash down doors even when there is a clear path out next to them.

Manhunter

Animals may suffer a manhunter mental break, similar to berserk. A manhunter animal will seek out and attack any humans on the map it can reach. The mental break can be triggered by the death of their bonded master (only applies to tamed animals), via a random event (mad animal or psychic wave), being injured by any humanlike pawn or a failed taming attempt angering the animal. A player should take care about what animals they hunt, because although some species rarely turn manhunter, others have no tolerance. If one animal in a herd is angered, the entire herd may turn manhunter. Manhunter animals will attempt to break down doors if they see a colonist hide behind them, so they are not completely safe against them.

An animal's manhunting rampage will end after a certain amount of time, or once forcibly subdued.

Mean time between Recovery: 0.3 days
Minimum time until Recovery: 10,000 ticks (2.78 mins)

Manhunter Permanent

Permanent manhunter is randomly applied to animals that are part of a manhunter pack. Affected animals will never snap out of this mental state under normal circumstances, and completely neglect their own needs. Animals in this state will generally leave the area within a few days.

Some manhunter animals, such as boomrats, will typically starve to death due to their hunger rate combined with the typical manhunter animal duration.

Minimum time until Recovery: 99,999,999 ticks (27,777.78 mins)

Version History

  • 0.9.722 - Binge metal break added
  • 0.12.906 - Dazed broken pawns will now randomly strip off clothes and drop things.
  • Beta 18 - large number of new mental breaks were added.
  • 1.1 - the way the different mental break thresholds were calculated was changed. Previously the major break thresholds and minor break thresholds were locked to base threshold + 15% and +30% respectively, with the base threshold at 5% for normal pawns; as a result, the mental break thresholds could be reduced by a maximum of 4% only, leading to the Iron-willed and Steadfast traits being weaker than expected.
  • 1.2.2753 - Disable corpse obsession break for prisoners, as it's very unlikely to happen and is not implemented around this possibility.