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Most Wonderful Diseases

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#1 Shade



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Posted 12 January 2011 - 08:51 PM

My friends have been designing a setting for a campaign. The system hasn't been decided yet but it will most likely be D20.
During our dawn of the worlds pre-game set up, i set a catastrophe upon a city, a disease, to be specific. We all agreed that we should write about what we created. So I wrote up the disease and not quite sure if its too overpowered as it has no known cure at this time.

The city was cursed with a disease that couldn't be cured by their means. It is resistant to any magical means of curing the disease, and known healing herbs do nothing to cure it. To ID the disease is rather simple, make a spot/perception dc 12. Notice roll success to discover it.
The disease spreads through contact. Visible signs include open sores, puss, wheezing, coughing, blood shot eyes, and jaundiced skin.

Game mechanics: D20 Contact Extraordinary disease DC 14 Str and Con 1d4 damage, if on a 2 or higher the diseased must make a fort save or get 1 point of permanent drain instead. Also because of visible signs, you will also take a -4 to charisma based skills because of the disease. Also the starting attitude will be hostile toward you.

Cough: For spell casting characters roll percent dice on a result of 15 or lower have the caster roll a con check to hold back the cough until the spell is cast. For non-spell casting characters if they fail their con check they get a -2 to damage they deal.
This disease has no known cure as of yet.
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#2 Lockhart


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Posted 13 January 2011 - 01:58 AM

First thing, you are missing an incubation period.

Second thing, There is no DC for the Con check for the coughing, (and why a Con check instead of a Fort save?)

Third, While this might be what you intended, I don't think I can stress the fatality of this enough. For the average person they'd be lucky if they survive longer than a week, high level PCs might be able to make the save easy enough though. That being said, if they fail, a chance of permanent ability damage is pricey to fix.

Fourth, I'm not crazy about the coughing thing. One, you don't define what coughing mid-spell means, (is it a concentration check, or does it lose the spell, what about a spell with no verbal or somatic components?). Secondly, why should it affect a warrior's damage instead of their accuracy? What about someone who's hanging onto a wall by their finger tips, are they just fine? I think that the disease, especially having no cure and doing permanent stat drain is worrisome enough without this effect. It also doesn't feel like it fits well, the disease is already easting your flesh and killing your kidneys, why should it effect your breathing as well?

If you insist on the cough however, it is also cumbersome to roll percentiles at the start of your turn FOREVER. It also doesn't feel right that it doesn't scale as you get closer to death from the disease. Maybe there's a five percent chance per Con point permanently drained by the disease (this way, if it annoys the player they can pay to have it restored), and a coughing fit just makes a player lose a move action or a standard action (depending on how debilitating you want it to be) on their turn.

Anyway, my thoughts. All I can add, is I wouldn't expose the party to something like this if they couldn't very reasonably get the cure within five days or so. I would also think this is somewhere in the level of a 8-12ish range. Higher levels, the Fort characters will just always make the save, and they'll be enough magic and money to let them heal most of the effects of the other party members. Maybe in that case you could let them find the cure after a longer period, but after too long it might just feel like an annoyance/punishment/gold drain instead of a fun, interesting and dangerous adventure.
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