I've always been a huge fan of +Logan KnightsLast GaspDisease Generator. It is a thing of beauty. Clearly the best way to handle disease in your games. Inspired by his great work, the following table was developed for Perdition. (Note that whatever sort of game you're playing, the table below requires nearly zero conversion for the creative.)
It's not a
clean world. Digging around in trash heaps, trudging through swamps, or being
attacked by the local wildlife run the risk of Disease. In Perdition, there are
no bacteria or viruses. Disease is an ailment of the soul. When engaged with
filth or when exposed to danger, the Agonarch may request that players roll a
saving throw versus Poison. On a failure, roll 1d8 + 1/2 your Wickedness on the
following table to determine what illness they have contracted. 4d8 hours
later, you begin to show symptoms of the illness.
stages. Each stage of the disease starts with a time. This is the frequency the
saving throw to determine if you heal or get worse. You make another saving
throw after this time elapses (taking into account penalties for Affliction
points). A successful save causes you to fall back to a previous stage, a
failed save moves you to the next stage. A successful save at the end of stage
one will cure the disease. Note that the effects of earlier stages don't cease when the disease advances unless noted. Also, traveling back to an earlier stage will retrigger whatever
effects that earlier stage had. If you gain enough affliction points during the
course of the disease to die, you experience the effects of the last stage of
your disease immediately (and die). There is no cure from the final stages of
symptoms only, unless someone can succeed at a difficulty 6 Medicine check, in
which case they can identify the disease. It takes a difficulty 8 Alchemy or
Medicine check for a character to know the cure. These are the same checks a
hired Alchemist or Chirugeon must succeed at to know the cure to the disease.
Bloom: (2 days) Your skin becomes flushed, and you feel hot. You begin to sweat
profusely. You become dehydrated, and unless you consume one gallon of water an
hour, you gain 1 affliction point. You feel dizzy and exhausted.
(1 day) Stage 2: You have a high
fever and each hour must save or pass out for 1d4 hours. During this time, you
continue to sweat and gain affliction points.
(2 days) Stage 3: A black fungus
begins to grow out from your armpits and crotch, covering your body, and your
skin begins to crack. You now pass out for 2d4 hours when you fail a saving
throw. Stage 4: The black fungus causes
your body to decompose into warm moist chunks that crumble apart when touched.
Boils: (3 days) You break out in painful pustules which look black and ooze a
golden purple pus. This causes 1d6 points of affliction damage.
(5 days) Stage 2: The pustules all
break open. You take 2d4 points of affliction damage and over 80% of your skin
is exposed and raw. Stage 3: Your skin scabs over
painfully, leaving you with hideous scars, you suffer a permanent -4 penalty to
Flux: (7 days), you begin to see things out of the corner of your eyes.
Distorted faces leap out at you, and shadowy movement plagues your vision. You
gain the Distracted condition.
(4 days) Stage 2: The visions
intensify and you become feverish. It becomes difficult to distinguish between
reality and fantasy. You must save any time you interact with anybody or
anything or gain the Panicked condition for 1d6 turns.
(4 days) Stage 3: You enter a fugue
state, in which you become comatose. You lose 1d4 affliction points a day. Stage 4: Your face distorts into a
wild grimace and your muscles seize, as you die from fright.
4. Rat Fever:
(8 hours), Your muscles and joints begin to ache. You gain 4 affliction points
from the pain. You feel nauseous.
(12 hours) Stage 2: You feel
freezing cold and you get violent shakes. You gain 1d6 affliction points during
(24 hours) Stage 3: You lose
consciousness and your skin is cold and clammy to the touch. Your scent
attracts rats in huge numbers. If your body isn't protected, they will eat your
body as you sleep. Stage 4: Your heartbeat slows, until
your lungs fill with water, and you drown in your own fluids.
5. Stone Man
Sickness: (1 week), you feel a mild soreness in your joints and muscles. During
the course of this disease, you must make an immediate save or be moved up to
the next level. Succeeding at this save doesn't drop you back down to an
(1 week), Stage 2: You feel a
definite pain when moving your joints. Gain 2d6 affliction points.
(1 week), Stage 3: Parts of your
skin have begun to harden and turn to stone. Gain 2d6 affliction points and +2
to your physical armor class. Stage 4: Your body ossifies to the
point you can no longer breath and you suffocate to death.
(1 week), You feel nauseous. You vomit up any food you attempt to keep down.
Each day you go without sustenance, you acquire 1d4 Affliction points.
hours), Stage 2: Your skin takes on a pale pallor and becomes stretched. You
continue to be have trouble eating, taking 1d4 affliction points per day that
you don't eat. You begin to crave raw meat. Any raw meat that you eat, you are
able to keep down. Stage 3: The disease reaches it's
final stage. Your nails grow out into claws, 90% of your hair falls out, and
your skin takes on a ghastly pallor. You
can make melee attacks with your hands as if they were light weapons with the
qualities: agile, close combat, and swift. You have a complete
lack of empathy for living creatures and an overwhelming hunger for raw flesh.
You transmit the disease on a successful claw attack.
7. You get
the sniffles for a bit, but it turns out it was just a fluke! You're fine!
(1 month), you experience no ill effects, unless the temperature drops below 50
degrees. If that occurs, you experience an outburst of hives and cracked skin,
granting you 1d6 affliction points per day of exposure. You have cold
vulnerability, and any cold attack also causes 1d6+1 points of affliction
(1 month) Stage 2: You become more sensitive
to the cold. The effects above are triggered anytime the temperature is below
60 degrees. If the temperature drops below 40, sores break out all over your
body, and you gain a cough as lesions develop inside your lungs. Causing 2d6
Affliction damage. Stage 3: The condition becomes
permanent. You choke to death on bile from the lesions on your lungs if you die
agony: (4 hours), You experience muscle tics and odd very short seizures.
(1 hour) Stage 2: Without warning, your
muscles seize in a bizarre spiral pattern, breaking bones. Roll 3d6 to
determine the number of affliction points gained. Stage 3: Your muscles seize around
vital organs, breaking your bones, and breaking your skin open like a grape. If
you are lucky, you pass out from the pain, before dying of organ failure.
10. Polysidious Zyrosphore: (72 hours) Over the course of the first stage, your skin
bulges with strange cysts. The bulges are less than one inch high and have a
radius of no more than 4 inches.
(24 hours) Stage 2: Each of the
cysts develops a disturbing looking sphincter. Stage 3: You feel an overwhelming
compulsion to travel to the center of the nearest population center of over 30
people as quickly as possible. You have a single minded devotion to this task.
Once there, you begin to attract attention by singing and dancing. Surrounded
by a crowd of people, the sphincters burst open, spraying oozy pus-covered
sores out to a distance of over 100 feet. This does 2d12 points of affliction
damage to you. If you survive, you are cured.
hemmorage (12 hours) Your eyes and ears become uncontrollably itchy, causing
all your saves and attacks to become penalized.
(24 hours) Stage 2: You begin
bleeding from your ears, eyes and nose. The amount is small, but you still take
1 affliction point per hour. Stage 3: A final hemorrhage causes
blood to violently shoot out in gouts from every orifice in your body, as your
organs liquify, until your skin and bones fall to the floor like an empty sack.
Arachoxysm: (3 days) Your skin becomes covered in hundreds of irritating pimple
(5 days) Stage 2: The pimple like
growths sprout small translucent orbs. This make wearing armor difficult and
painful. Any attempt to wear armor causes 1d6 affliction damage and
incapacitates the user with pain.
(2 hours) Stage 3: The translucent
orbs sprout 8 eyes and legs and mandibles and grow hair. The newly hatched
spiders begin to eat the flesh of their victim, attempting to free their
abdomens trapped under the skin. This causes 4d4 affliction points per hour
from poison and damage as the spiders consume their host. Stage 4: Your body falls apart as
thousands of spiders burst from it.
Cachexia: (2 days), you begin to sweat and get a terrible fever. You gain the
(4 days) Stage 2: your skin turns
translucent and you become feverish, dropping in and out of consciousness. You
gain 1d4 affliction points per day.
days) Stage 3: Your skin turns translucent and your entire body radiates a
hellish red. Stage 4: Your skin blackens over and
your eyes turn red as your soul is consumed from within. Your body becomes a
vessel for a fiend to wreak havoc.
Fume: (1 month) Parts of your body bulge and distend. Over the course of the
month, limbs and joints will swell, cysts and large pockets of fluid will form,
distending your body. You gain the Distracted condition and can no longer wear
(1 week) Stage 2: The cysts and
pockets of fluid begin weeping tiny white worms. This causes 1d4 Affliction
point a day, but are otherwise harmless. Stage 3: You get feverish, until a
giant white worm eats your brain from the inside, gaining all your memories and
knowledge. It then bursts from your skull and uses your body to commit
atrocities until stopped.
Rout: (1 week) Your skin takes on a yellow shade, and your blood turns a deep
purple. Your eyes appear as dark streaked marbles. You have a nasty cough. This
stage of the disease grants 1d4 affliction points, and you suffer a permanent
-2 penalty to your Physique.
(24 hours) Stage 2: Your eyes swell
and bulge almost comically. Your sweat stings and is darkly discolored. Your
skin becomes even more yellow. Stage 3: You have a terrible
headache, until your eyes burst. You are permanently blind. The disease ravages
your body and mind, causing a permanent -2 penalty to all your statistics.
Dysentery: (2 days) You exhibit painful stomach cramps and violent diarrhea,
with occasionally vomiting. The pain causes 1d6 affliction points, and if you
do not remain hydrated, you must make a saving throw versus Death at the end of
this period or die from heart failure.
(2 weeks) Stage 2: You are in severe
pain. You gain the Fatigued condition. Any continuous activity such as walking,
fighting, etc. for a period of 30 minutes or more causes 1d4 Affliction points. Stage 3: Your body shudders and your
heart stops, but you still live. All knowledge and wisdom is stripped from you,
as you become a feral beast, running off into the wilds, but gaining a hirsute
appearance and a +4 to physique.
Melancholic Delirium: (1 month) Your joints ache and you go through a powerful
depression. For every day not spent in bed rest, gain 1d4 Affliction.
(2 weeks) Stage 2: It becomes
painful and difficult to speak. Your skin grows pale and you become extremely
sensitive to sunlight. Your muscles feel week. You gain 1d4 affliction points a
day, unless you consume something high in iron (liver, human blood, etc.)
(24 hours) Stage 3: A small voice
inside your head, whispers the effects of the next stage of the disease. You
take a Critical Ruin: Mental Damage and Illness critical. Stage 4: Over the course of 72
hours, you get a high fever and experience paralysis. You feel a hot wet liquid
drain from your ears as parts of your brain melt and you begin to lose control
over your body. You retain awareness of this for several excruciating days,
until death finally and painfully comes over the course of several hours.
Flesh: (3 days) Your flesh becomes covered in small bumps.
(3 days) Stage 2: The small bumps
painfully begin moving around underneath your skin, causing you to itch
uncontrollably. Stage 3: You collapse in pain, as
thousands of small biting bugs begin eating your body and bursting from your
skin. It takes several days to actually die from this, many commit suicide
before the bugs actually cause death.