Kohdok wrote:What you wrote, smoketreader, sounds more like a change in character rather than mental degradation.
With excess forced adventuring, they mostly face problems with fatigue and battle-weariness. This can show itself as despondency and irritability. When tired enough, they might lash out at others and get lost in themselves. Kinda like someone who only got three hours of sleep each night for a week; they'll be pretty grumpy.
Yeah, I guess you're right.
I translated mental degradation as 'decay in mental fortitude'(as opposed to emotional fortitude). What I was thinking is that if counselling wasn't available fast (because everyone was stuck on 3 hours sleep for a week and couldn't chat)or sleep wasn't foreseeable, these reserve fortitude systems/files would start coming out to bolster the characters overall mental stamina, but as reserve philosophies they would be different to the standard 'observed' attitude profiles of the character.
A 'mental' breakdown wouldn't necessarily happen unless the character was predisposed/pre-inclined to the method-of-venting, but an emotional destructuring and reconstruction would happen as the character settled in to acceptance of this new lifestyle, (and again when the lifestyle was over and the character went home).
Older faiths and memory-treasures require 'mental shielding' that takes up energy, which the inner will demand to reroute towards the current demands on the internal energy supply and therefore attempt to appropriate from the characters existing daily thought/musing cycle. It can lead to a battle between the person and his surroundings, or even between the body and the mind.
Therefore, a character who has identified himself as being treasured by his wife for being a pacifist, will have to double-think before he just stands up straight and starts marching like a combatant, which is an energy saving solution for the 3xdaily patrol, rather than walking like a good man.
A character who volunteers to fight to save his factory will initially let himself get lost in the platoon.When the platoon is whittled down, he'll have to fight harder, start sticking his head out more often, start forcing himself to act like a veteran in order to make sure the rookies know what he wants them to know, since his priority WAS to stay hidden amongst the platoon long enough to get back to his factory,he needs the rookies to keep platoon numbers up where he needs them.Once he gets steeped in his new 4x daily patrol lifestyle, he has to force himself to start abandoning his thoughts of home and adopting the battlefield as his new home,to focus on where he is.
Furthermore, after a good kill, he'll replay the memory and start to remember the adrenaline surge, which will serve to keep him awake in some small ways, but will also cause him to start walking away from the old him who was relying on numbers to get him back home. He becomes a battlefield native and starts thinking about the enemy. If he actually manages to know the enemy in a zen way, he becomes more confident to fight, and the hunt keeps his tired mind/body focused. Since he has found this new way to charge up, being told to wait might tire him double-fast. If he hasn't the rank or the rest of his team don't have the fortitude to stay in pace with him, he'll start to hate his job, tho he'll appreciate his new awareness of when and how his job should be done.
Anyway, I guess you're right.
Other ideas could be 'niggling injuries' eventually left to grow wild, environmental factors like hammering rain, an exposed bunch of circuitry from a previous fight, yielding a gap in the armor that needs repanelling tho there's no mechbay anywhere on the planet. Noisy or badly trained helpers. An unknown fighting style enemy who needs to be studied in order to be countered but again with no armory around, just the weapons the group has on them. Then there's the reward system as well- no reward for the hero but rewards for others could be troublesome.