The (P)erception.(I)deology.(S)tability.(S)ystem, to be precise, and to be more exacting. The mental disposition (flaws, and perks of mental traits) model that is to be found in the Decayed Laurels manual. Spun off the likes of the Moral(ity) Cube with its thought processes, and establishments. The P.I.S.S, was built off the same 3x3x3 (3 axis) principles of the Moral Cube. Except in the case of the P.I.S.S., the axis are labeled Perception, Ideology, and Stability….just like it says on the “can” (acronym title).
Perception is broken down into Fiction (F), Balance (B), and Reality (R). Ideology into Despair (D), Realistic (L), and Hope (H). Finally, Stability consists of the following; Irresolution (I), Moderation (M), and Conviction (C).
To begin to describe the P.I.S.S. in more detail. I shall start with Perception. Perception is how a character sees the world in the game. They may see it through a lens of Fiction where they believe in the “made-up stuff” almost immediately. Ex; consider a child with a disposition towards believe in Santa Claus, Easter Bunny…etc. The opposite of this Fiction domain is Reality which is when a character only believes what they can actually witness through their own senses. Ex; a cynic who’d have no belief in anything supernatural, or paranormal. This may sound good, but it also denounces the belief in anything that one can’t readily integrate into their mental schema. Ex; trying to convince a person of a theory like Evolution, or Gravity…that there are small little particles that make up the universe. Returning to the “middle ground” is the Balance domain of Perception. This domain allows a character to witness either/or. To realize that it is better to be realistic in certain contexts, but that it is also beneficial to escape from reality. To have flights of fancy, and those unfounded beliefs.
Continuing on into the notion of Ideology, there is the notion of Despair. This state of despair is to be understood as seeing everything bleakly. That there is no hope to be found in Life. Hope is it’s opposite, that there are moments to be found that inspire, and uplift a person to stay motivated in Life. Realistic, is again the balancing point between those two forces of despair and hope.
Finally, Stability is how strong a character is in maintaining their mental fortitude. Irresolution means that they are half-hearted, and unwilling to follow through with their emotions. Conviction implies that they will follow through regardless of the cost, and moderation is fairly self-explanatory.
Coupling these three axis together, one arrives at a three code schema like with the Morality Cube. Normality is B.L.M, and it implies that a character is fairly normal to those within their species/psychological group. The thing with the P.I.S.S. is that it generates 27 different codes for mental dispositions, but each code has three ratings itself. Thus the Normality of B.L.M. would lead to a disposition level 1 of being just “plain”, or “average”. A disposition of level 2 in normality would express the urge to always flock together, and maintain relations with those that are similar. A fear of the Unknown. A disposition of level 3 would imply that they actively squelch those who are deemed “abnormal”. This delineation into three different levels for each code/schema presents a total of 81 “different mental characteristics” for players to witness with their characters.
To provide a further contrast of different schema. There is Depression R.D.I, and Nihilistic F.D.C.. The differences between these two can be understood via their components. Depression is “realistic”, and therefore it means that they can’t see through the present doom and gloom of reality. They hurt, and are sad. Whereas Nihilistic implies that they have a “fiction” perspective. That there is no such thing as “value”, and “meaning”. That their version of despair is more existential, and that there is no future to be had. At least one not worth having. Both share the same Despair category, but the final difference is the Stability. Depression is irresolute, and Nihilistic is conviction. Depression a person finds it hard to do something, or anything. Nihilistic they may often resort to tearing down “constructs” or “edifices”.
This entire system is used whenever a character in the game suffers, and fails a Sanity Check. It also may be roleplayed by the players, or ignored entirely due to the sensitivity that may occur when dealing with mental health.