(in response to a discussion on whether it would be worth taking an Exaltation in the real world if the Great Curse came with it, and whether the effects would be noticeable to the Exalt)
The way the curse works is this:
You have a general commitment to a certain type of action (being a good person, accomplishing a goal, being true to yourself or being brave) and a more specific ‘trigger’ related to that (for instance if your general perception of yourself is “I am a nice person”, you might trigger when you see people, say, abusing children). Whenever you are forced to go against your broad self-image or your specific trigger, you build up invisible stress. The trigger builds up more than going against your general self-perception but both work (you also build up if you resist mind control… but not an issue here unless you try to mind whammy yourself).
At a certain point which you can’t predict, if you build up enough stress you will snap, either going insanely into your perceived self-image or abandoning it entirely. The effects can be brief or long (days long). The effect, by the way, feels wonderful. Like, the best experience you’ve ever felt wonderful. It also makes you stronger and more able to use your magic.
The trick is that the more responsibility you have, the easier it is for you to trigger. Imagine if your trigger condition was “Whenever I am unable to prevent a child from dying due to neglect or abuse.” Now…
Go type “Child neglect” into google. (Do not do this, you will be sad.)
Understand that, if you don’t do something about every single hit that comes up you will trigger. Again and again. You will be forced to act, to do something because if you try to ignore it you will constantly trigger and build up stress and snap and cycle over and over and over again.
In the modern world, resisting Limit Break will be next to impossible. You will either constantly be working to prevent your trigger condition from occurring, or constantly ignoring it, or constantly triggering. From the outside, you will appear as either obsessed or ruthless or just plain insane.
And then add in the fact that you are immortal, and this will be happening constantly. Forever. With no respite.
If you take this deal, you won’t go mad. You already are mad. Your choice is whether to embrace it or fight it.