Disease & Parasites

We all know that liches and red dragons are good at killing characters. We also know that Goblins and Trolls are excellent for harassing them, but these encounters, while fun and exciting (sometimes) are not the only dangers that threaten the adventurer. Many DMs simply forget about the smaller dangers, a species of monster that plagues mankind even to this day! Microscopic little critters that get inside of us and just make general havoc! Yes friends, I’m talking about disease, and other parasitic nasties that can make an adventurer afraid to lace up his armor!

There are two ways to go about this, the hard way, or the easy way, and I don’t know about you, but easy sounds pretty god damned good to me! We won’t be messing around with specific types, we aren’t Doctors here, we just want to have a good time ruining a PC’s day. We’ll be focusing more on general terms, then on any real accuracy. We’ll look at general maladies, and how they effect the game, not to mention the players chances of getting to enjoy one!

Contracting a Disease

Remember that cool calendar we were suppose to be using? You’ll need it for this, because we are going to want to check to see if our PCs have caught a disease once a week. You really have to realize just how filthy and scummy everything was back in the day. Outdoor markets, no garbage pickups, horse shit everywhere, people dumping their piss right out of the window and into the street, running water was unheard of, clean water was even more rare, Arid Extra Dry won’t be invented for hundreds of years!!! Our past was very very stinky. And with stink come germs and vermin. We’ll be checking for disease once a month, but if the conditions are perfect, if the weather is good and hot, the air is moist, and/or you're in a filthy crowded area, we’ll be checking for disease every week.

We also need to check whenever a character has been exposed to a carrier in a way that would allow the disease to travel into him. Carriers can be human, animal, bugs, food, drinks, vermin, dirt, filth, anything that you think could contract an illness!

Contracting Parasites

We’ll be checking for Parasites each month, too. This is a separate roll, because, honestly, we want to share the love! And what better way to show somebody that you care, then by infesting them with parasites? Again, if the conditions for parasites are good, living in filthy conditions that are warm or hot and moist, we’ll up the parasitic ante up to once per week. We’ll also check it each and every time that they unwittingly expose themselves to a source, such as swamp water, manure, raw meat, or my drunk uncle Phil.

Chance of Contracting a Disease

Base Chance...................................................................2%
Modifiers


Currently diseased or infested with parasites.................+1%
Crowded.................................................................+1%
Filth.......................................................................+1%
Character is old........................................................+2%
Environment.............................................................+2%
Hot & Moist Climate...................................................+2%
Character is venerable...............................................+5%
Exposure to carrier of communicable disease..................+10%
Cool weather or climate............................................. -1%
Cold weather, high mountains..................................... -1%
Shipboard after being at sea 2 weeks............................-2%


Chance of Parasitic Infestation

Base Chance.....................................................................3%
Modifiers

Filth........................................................................+1%
Improperly cooked meat..............................................+2%
Polluted water...........................................................+5%
Swamp/Jungle environment..........................................+5%
Cool weather, or desert climate.....................................-1%
Cold weather, high mountains, cool desert climate............-1%


*All of these tables were stolen from created by Gerry Gygax

I don’t know why TSR left these pretties out of the 2nd Edition, I’ve spent lots of times waist-deep in swamp muck, all covered in scratches and lacerations with my only real concern that my map wasn’t getting wet. I suspect that the 2e format, which had bigger, clearer fonts, and much easier to read, had to do a ton of cutting; especially to fit all of that awesome art in there. If you ever get a chance to pick up a copy of the original 1st edition DMG, GRAB IT!!! I kid you not, it took around 14 2e books to include most of the data in the original DMG. Not all of it is perfect, but most of it can easily be married into your game without so much as having to convert it over!

Diseases

So, you finally rolled somebody a little present! Well, it’s time to see if it is truly a gift that keeps on giving.

01-03 Blood: Lose 1 point of STR and CON per week until totally cured. 1d12 weeks
04 Bones: Same as blood. Fatal in 1d12 weeks
05 Brain: Lose 1 INT and DEX per occurrence until cured. Fatal in 2d6 hrs
06-07 Cardiovascular-renal: Same as blood, but fatal in 1d12 days
08-09 Connective tissue: Permanent loss of 1 point of STR, DEX, CON, and CHA for each month of the affliction.
10-12 Ear: Deaf in one or both ears (50%) until cured
13-18 Eye: Blind in one or both eyes (50%) until cured
19-40 Gastro-intestinal: Lose 1 STR and CON per occurrence until cured. 1d12 weeks
41-42 Generative organ: No particular problems except for of spread, terminal 1d12 months
43-48 Joints: Lose 1 DEX until cured
49-50 Mucous membrane: Lose 1 CON until cured
51-52 Muscle: Lose 1 STR and DEX until cured, fatal in 1d12 months
53-65 Nose-Throat: 10% chance of losing 1 CON until cured
66-85 Respiratory: 10% chance of losing 1 STR and CON, check separately, 1d12 months
86-96 Skin: 10% chance of losing 1 CHA permanently per week until cured, 1d12 months
97-00 Urinary System: 20% chance of losing 1 DEX and CON check separately, 1d12 weeks

Of course, this stuff doesn’t have to be rolled, especially if an epidemic is going on, for instance, if leprosy is running rampant, or if the PC’s must venture into a lepers camp, then failure should always be Connective tissue.

Parasitic Infestation

01-10 cardiovascular system:
11-35 intestines:
36-40 muscles:
41-45 respiratory system:
46-75 skin/hair: (note: this one is never fatal)
76-00 stomach:

Parasites do exactly the same thing as disease. If it’s just lice you got off lucky, but bug infestations would keep a wizard or priest up at night, so they couldn’t get a good nights rest. The only cure for lice in the past was to shave all of your body hair off and have a doctor/barber scrub you down with a really abrasive soap.

Curing Standard Disease and Parasites

Of course, one can always go to a cleric, but if you died from the disease or parasite, then when you get brought back to life, you’ll still have the problem so it is just like poison. A priest must cast Cure Disease or else the character dies again. Also, if the problem is a parasite, the parasite itself needs to be removed, so the DM needs to figure out exactly what kind of creature is inside. Worms are popular, creepy insects, and some tiny fish. Looking up and researching parasites and how people deal with them is entertaining reading!

If one doesn’t have access to a cleric who is willing or capable of curing disease, then you can try to rest, depending on the disease 1d3 weeks of bed-rest with no actions taken may, at the DMs option, entitle the rested to a saving throw. Most of the time, however, this won’t matter. The only none-magical way to get cured is by seeking the aid of a leech. It will the be up to the DM if the leech will prescribe medicine, or if he must operate. FUN STUFF!!!!

0 comments:

Post a Comment

Statcounter

Contact me at Ripx187@gmail.com

My photo

Advanced Gaming & Theory is my Blog

I use AD&D that has been modified over they years.


Search This Blog

Blog Archive