Monday, March 30, 2020

Plagues and Poxes

Content warning: This is a list of fantasy diseases. If you're stressed about the current real-life (decidedly un-fantastic) epidemic sweeping the earth, it might be best to skip this one. Take care of yourself.
My friend has maladies, rickets, and allergies
That she dates back to the 17th century
Somehow she manages, in her misery...

Some people have been posting diseases lately, so I decided to join in.

Anyway, here's wonderwallthe list of diseases (and one deadly poison) for the fantasy game i'm writing

Disease and Poison

Disease and poison are an ever-present threat on the wild shores of the Mountain, and in truth even in the civilized world. Unliving things such as undead, constructs, and immortals are immune to poison and disease.

Poisons and Venoms

Poison deals damage and/or a secondary effect. When a character is first exposed to the poison they roll Strength. If they fail, the poison has entered their system and they take its damage or effects, then repeat the roll the next round or take it again—repeating each round until they succeed.

A typical poison is Grandmother’s Tongue, a black, viscous liquid that can be processed out of the teeth of humanoids that have devoured their children. It can be delivered through ingestion or injury, deals 3d6 damage per round, and costs 3,000 sp per dose.

Diseases and Maladies

When a character is first exposed to a disease or malady they roll a stat according to the disease. On a failure, they have contracted the disease in its incubation stage, and reroll the next day or suffer the effects. Any hit point or ability score damage caused by a disease cannot be healed until the disease is cured.

Stages of Disease

  • Incubation/Remission. When a disease is in its incubation or remission stage its effects on a character are lessened, but they still do not recover from any damage caused by it and roll against the disease each day. On a success, the character fights off the disease and is cured. On a failure, the disease progresses/returns to the advanced stage and applies its effects to the character again.
  • Advanced. When a disease is in its advanced stage the character rolls against the disease every day or suffers its effects. On a success, the disease goes into remission and does not affect the character that day—though any lasting effects and damage persist.

Disease and Malady List

Brewer’s Buboes
Save: Strength
Effects: 1d3 Wisdom damage. Your flesh is slowly eaten away by yeast, processing the sugars in your blood directly into alcohol. Swollen buboes on the soft parts of your body produce strong, clear liquor when pierced. Drinking the liquor causes brewer’s buboes.

Caver’s Curse
Save: Wisdom
Effects: Reverses the effects of gravity on you and anything you’re personally carrying. Can be contracted by surviving at least 10d6 falling damage.

Save: Strength
Effects: Your eyes turn into burning coals, causing you to go blind. Anything you look at takes 1d6 natural fire damage per round as it curls and blackens, burning without flame. Your eyelids burn off immediately. It’s real hard to look at stuff when you’re blind—you can roll Wisdom opposed by AC to hit a specific thing, but only if you have some other way of knowing where it is. Alternatively, someone else could just aim your head like a cannon with a DEX Attack roll. This can be contracted from inhaling the ashes of an unconsecrated fire, and is deeply stigmatized as a sign that one handles natural flame.

Save: Strength
Effects: Blood, blood, you have too much blood. You have to let the blood out by taking at least 6 points of hit point damage per day from sources that cause bleeding (points and edges) or take 1 Strength damage as your blood is diluted and your organs are overwhelmed. On the upside, you can’t bleed out and can roll twice on the death & dismemberment table and take the most fortuitous result. You can catch this by ingesting the blood of dogs or dogmen.

Fish Cysts
Save: Strength
Effects: White, pink, orange, or green-black cyst-eggs form all across your skin. They rapidly mature and hatch, spawning horrible toothed fish like leaping piranhas. Whenever you start your turn within 5 feet of another creature, one fish spawns for each creature within 5 feet of you and launches itself at them, making a ranged attack with DEX Attack 11 and dealing 1 damage plus attaching itself if it hits. You take 1 damage for every fish-cyst that spawns a fish.
Attached fish deal 1 damage each round at the end of the creature they’re attached to’s turn. A fish can be pulled off and crushed with an attack action, or can be attacked. Attached fish have 1 hit point and 0 AC. A “missed” attack roll against the fish still kills it, but also deals damage to the creature it was attached to.

Save: Dexterity
Effects: Tiny invisible creatures are ruining your life. Nobody else can see them, but they dog your every move, getting in the way and fucking up everything you try to do. Whenever you roll a natural 20, it counts as a natural 1—meaning you not only can’t critically succeed at anything, you critically fail twice as often. These can be contracted by looking at someone who has them while you’re able to see invisible creatures—they see you back and run at you, the Dexterity roll is to dodge them or shake them off.

The Leaks
Save: Strength
Effects: Your stomach turns, and thin, corrosive goo leaks out of your mouth, eyes, ears, nose, and every other orifice. The goo deals 1 acid damage to anything it touches and carries the leaks, but your body chemistry is altered enough to prevent 1 point of acid damage from every source or attack. Whenever you take a full-round or attack action in combat, you must roll an additional save against the disease or puke up a load of acidic phlegm, interrupting your action and covering one adjacent target of your choice in corrosive mucus.
This is a common ailment in the wet season, much like a flu. It is traditionally treated by stripping the patient naked and burying them in dirt in the middle of a field or village commons, feeding them plenty of thin broth and tea until they recover. Once the patient is cured, the dirt mound is burned.

Save: Strength
Effects: 1d4 Strength damage, and reduces natural AC by 1 each day to a minimum of 0. Your flesh turns soft and spongy, like loamy soil, and smells of rotting wood and decay like a forest floor. Flowers, mushrooms, and moss sprout from your skin. Heals you 1d8 hit points per day and produces enough vegetation to keep three medium-sized creatures well fed as long as you drink enough water. The food carries loamflesh.

Milk Heart
Save: Strength
Effects: 1d4 Dexterity damage, and gain +1 Strength to a maximum of 18. You grow fat, swollen and pale, your muscles hypertrophying even as you lose mobility. You can contract this by becoming used to a life of luxury, then leaving it cold turkey.

Moon Rash
Save: Wisdom
Effects: 1d6 Wisdom damage, but you only suffer the effects of this damage while in moonlight. Your skin becomes covered with an itchy red rash that only appears under the light of the moon. If you are reduced to 0 or lower Wisdom in this manner, you melt into a silver shadow and flow upwards into the moon like a river of airborne milk. You can see as well in moonlight as you can at noon on a clear day.

Phantom Limb
Save: Wisdom
Effects: 1d2 Strength damage. A ghost limb or other extremity, created when a part of a creature is amputated and the creature dies before that part, has attached itself to your soul. Can be immediately cured by abjuration effects or being captured in a ghost-bottle. If you drop to 0 or lower Strength while so afflicted, whichever extremity is a mirror of the phantom limb fully withers away and is permanently replaced by the ghost, which exists only partially on the material plane and won’t always listen to you. This “cures” the malady and allows the ability damage to begin healing.

Purple Delusion
Save: Wisdom
Effects: 1d3 Wisdom damage. You become absolutely egotistical and self-enamoured, plagued by visions of grandeur, and become able to see ghosts and other invisible creatures. Your soul is condemned to hell, and ghosts will tell you this. You can catch this by drinking ghosts that were afflicted with it.

Save: Strength
Effects: Must roll Wisdom to not kill people for their shinies or food, if there’s a likelihood that you could get away with it. Take 1 difficulty to all actions in bright light, but can see just as well in dim light as most people can during the day. Your eyes turn black and beady, and you hyperfocus on precious metals and gems.

Salt Shakes
Save: Wisdom
Effects: 1d4 Strength damage, and you need to eat and drink twice as much as normal to gain the same effects. You become dehydrated and weakened, but the salt consumes other diseases and maladies, magical or otherwise—each day, roll randomly to determine a random other disease or malady that is cured by the salt shakes. Named because of the incidental shaking and twitching that patients get due to dehydration. Can be contracted by putting salt on your wounds while afflicted with any other disease or malady of a magical nature, which is most of them.

Save: Wisdom
Effects: Whenever affected by magic, you are stunned for 1 round. This can trigger only once per magical effect. You get a tickle in your nose and throat, and are afflicted by fits of sneezing and dry coughs, like a bad case of hay fever. It’s pronounced like and rhymes with “noose”. You can catch this though overexposure to magic.

Save: Strength
Effects: Touching iron, steel, or other ferrous metals deals you 1 point of damage per round. Deep indigo shows around your mouth and eyes like bruises, traces your surface veins, might appear in blotches on other parts of your skin. Only actually causes you to spit sparks if you have metal tooth fillings. You can catch this by doing too much moth dust. Moth elves are immune.

Save: Wisdom
Effects: 1 Strength damage. Dark, perfectly circular spots with faded edges show on your skin, slowly growing with exposure to sunlight. Your bones are burned away from the inside, slowly turning them brittle and hollow. You can catch this by letting sunlight touch your exposed bones.

Sword Sickness
Save: Strength
Effects: Iron and steel rot away at your touch, gaining 1 notch or taking 1d6 damage for every round you are in contact with them. Taking damage from a weapon isn’t enough contact to rot it. You can catch this by taking damage from a sword that was used to kill its own creator. If you have sword sickness, swords won’t talk to you.

Toothsome Hunger
Save: Wisdom
Effects: You develop an uncontrollable urge to consume teeth. Any teeth. All teeth. Your teeth are going to fall out, so you need to store up more of them inside you so that you don’t run out. You need them. Whenever there are teeth around that you could eat—in a corpse, on the ground, in the mouth of a living thing that it seems likely you could take them from without severe consequences—roll Wisdom or ignore everything else until you have taken and eaten the teeth. Add 5 difficulty if there is no immediate threat to your person that could prevent you from eating the teeth. You can get this by suffering from poor dental hygiene for an extended period, losing teeth, or eating teeth.

Save: Strength
Effects: Take 1 hit point damage whenever you move more than 30 feet in a single round. Your skin forms miniature, razor-sharp crystalling growths that refract light like tiny prisms and chafe horribly when you move in any fashion other than very slowly and carefully. Creatures in a grapple with you take 1 damage for every grapple check that they make. This is a common childhood illness, like chicken pox.

Witching Plague
Save: Strength
Effects: 1d6 Strength damage. You develop swollen buboes that leak black pus, and rapidly succumb to fever, weakness, and death. Commonly spread by fleas and infected vermin, witching plague has been a constant threat throughout most of history in the civilized world and folk remedies for it abound. Eating a large quantity of raw garlic actually has some efficacy (roll Strength twice, take highest result) in treating the disease. It’s not actually related to witches in the slightest.

Save: Dexterity
Effects: Add 2 difficulty to social interaction rolls, and when you roll an odd number for initiative you are stunned for the first round of combat. You’re afflicted by twitches, spasm, microseizures, and brain zaps. Whenever you take electricity damage, you can roll Dexterity to cause any target adjacent to you to also take damage as if targeted by the same effect. You can catch this from being struck by lightning, or taking a great deal (more than 10) of magical electricity damage.

No comments:

Post a Comment