So, most diseases in DnD are rather boring. Therefore, I think I'll just make some of my own, with slightly more interesting descriptions. Presented by one of my campaign's recurring NPCs, Findelwald Tungsten, Gnome scholar. It's mostly a fluff project anyway, resulting of excessive boredom and desire to write stuff.
Tungsten's Diseases of the Planes
During the course of my travels I have, of course, come upon many interesting parasites and sicknesses. Now, evere since reading the famous writings of the Iffrit medicus Alastor Sarazian Corasantus Narkart the Third as a child of twelve during my apprenticeship, especially his extremely fascinating treatise on Hadean Solipsist Fever, I have had the desire to write my own, infinitely less important, work on some of the rarer diseases one might find himself infected with on the outer planes. After returning to Sigil from a particularly stimulating trip to the city of chains to study Hirudophasma catenivora, the chain-eating ghost leech, I found myself with several weeks of free time before my next planned expedition, this time to Carceri. Thereofe, I have decided to sit down in a quiet corner of the lady's ward and, enjoying a good bottle of Non-conflagrant gehenna mead, start collecting my notes on the subject and prepare a manuscript.
Szhubloxic Ooze Fever
The famous, if not entirely reliable, adventurer and explorer Sanguinius Mentax first described a disease, hailing from Juiblex' layer of the Abyss, which was reported to turn it's victims into slime. While quite graphic in the description of the disease's effects, the exact nature of the disease and many important details were left out of the description, making it of small use to the unlucky victim, or, even more important, the researcher attempting to study it.
After spending a rather unpleasant two weeks in Shedaklah, I finally managed to infect myself with what I assumed was the disease. Since I carefully monitored the effects and, from time to time also applied curative magics, I can therefore say that it's incubation time must be shorter than twenty-four hours.
The effects of the disease were subtle at first, but became strikingly obvious as it progressed. On day one I noticed a pronounced limpness of the musculature of my left arm. Delighted that I had finally managed to find this illusive sickness, I stopped applying curative magics for several days to study it's course.
On the second day, the limpness has spread to my chest and other arm, while my left arm had turned a vivid, bright green colour, slowly assuming a rubbery consistency.
During the third day, I found myself unable to move my arms at all, except in clumsy, floppy motion and a weakness in my legs had left me unable to walk. By now, my left arm, now entirely green, had started oozing yellow mucus from a handful of small sores.
Day four was when I dediced to move on to the next phase of the experiment and start finding a cure. My left arm had turned translucent, showing that the radius, ulna and all of my phalanges were no longer present, while the green colour had spread over my torso and to the legs. The entire process was still almost entirely painless.
A simple application of a cure disease spell seemed to halt the progress of the disease, but, to my surprise, not cure it. Not willing to immediately turn to the strongest circles of magic and try enchantment-breaking or wish-granting magic, I instead cast various other magics on the afflicted arm, finally discovering that a flesh to stone spell both reversed the discolouration and returned my arm to it's natural consistency.
Repeated applications of the spell restored my body entirely.
Secondary effects: failing two saves in a row causes the victim to excrete a thin layer of green slime from it's skin. Contact with this slime spreads the disease. In case of ingestion of the slime or a bite attack against the victim, the attacker must make a fortitude save DC 14 or become nauseated for one round, vomiting violently. This saves the attacker from becoming infested himself.
If a victim has it's strength or dexterity reduced to 0 by the disease, it turns into a puddle of goo and can not be raised or resurrected by any spell which needs an intact body.
Cure: Ooze fever is special in that, not unlike in the more widely known mummy rot, successful saves do not end the disease, merely delay it's effects by one day. The only exception is the initial save, which stops the disease from taking hold in the first place.
A cure disease spell does the same: when cast during the incubation time, the disease is cured, but afterward, it merely prevents ability damage from the disease for one day.
A Flesh to Stone spell or any effect which would petrify it's victim instead cures 1d4 strenght and 1 dexterity damage. When all damage is restored this way, the victim is cured.
I have a handful of other ideas. Tune in later for Ethereal Vaporisation and Pandemonic Screaming Sickness!
I had this idea while eating dinner. Apparently, I'm a strange person.
I came upon this infliction entirely by accident. While accompanying a caravan through the outlands, or to be more precise, Semuyana's Bog, I awoke one morning to find that my hair, which I normally keep quite short for reasons of personal hygiene, had grownat least two inches overnight. Puzzled, but not yet alarmed, I proceeded to remove the excess hair with a scissor.
It was only on very next morning that I became slightly alarmed upon noticing that, this time, my hair had grown just past my shoulders and was now forming, of it's own accord, as it seemed, thick braids. Again I cut it off with a scissor, and, just to make sure, cast a spell designed to remove curses on my head.
The third morning the disease finally revealed it's true face: out of the middle of a nest of thick braids which now hung down my back, a snake had grown. It was kind of brownish-green viper of a kind which I had never seen before. The snake seemed alive, but content to coil up on my head and enjoy the warming sun and moist air of the bog. Now curious, I did not attempt to remove the creature, but instead fed it with pieces of meat.
On the fourth day, the disease became rather unnerving as a second serpent, this one with vivid red and white stripes, had sprouted just above my left ear. This seemed to irk the first one, and soon after, the two were engaged in a heated duel, hissing and mock-biting the air in between them.
From that day on, a new snake sprouted from my skull every day, and soon I carried with me an entire small ecosystem of hissing snakes, constricting and biting each other. The effect was, to be honest, quite unnerving.
I had the extraordinary luck to come upon a friendly lizardman shaman in the bogs not too many days afterwards who was happy to tell me the cure to what he called "Medusa's disease". The snakes had to be cut off with a knife heated until it glowed red, then a cure disease spell had to be cast on the resulting wounds, a process which was, while simple, very unpleasant to experience.
Infection: Injury DC: 15 Incubation: 1d3 days Damage: Special, see below.
Every time a save against the disease is failed, a snake's head and neck grows from the patient's hair. For every head, the patient has a -1 penalty to all concentration and listen checks, as well as all dexterity-dependent skill checks.
To cure the disease, the heads have to be cut off with a heated knife one by one, a process dealing one damage per two heads, then a cure disease spell has to be cast.
I quite like these. I'd love to see a player's expression upon being informed that they have Szhubloxic Ooze Fever. Between these and those new planetouched you designed (which are awesome, by the way), I get the sense that you like plane-hopping campagins a lot.
Originally Posted by Thespianus
I fail to see how "No, that guy is too fat to be hurt by your fire" would make sense.
I have, on more than one occasion, visited the ethereal plane. The native protoplasm not only serves as an excellent raw material from which to craft my various arcane paraphernalia, the exploration of hitherto unknown always is a delightful ways to spend a few weeks.
I was, at the time, travelling with my cousin and good friend Wolfram von Schachtschabel*-Tungsten. To this day, I regret not contracting this most interesting disease myself, but Wolfram, being, as he is, a much more capable poet and writer than I am gave me a most vivid description of the sensation, which I will try to replicate in my own meagre and deficient style.
Since we were on the ethereal plane, the first stages of the disease were almost certainly lost to us. We first noticed my cousin's infliction after we had left the ethereal plane to visit a mutual acquaintance of ours, a miner dao noble whose live I had saved some years ago. It was there that we first noticed the faint trail of smoke escaping from my cousins most magnificently large nose. The vapour was of faint, turquoise colour, slowly changing to a darker indigo as we watched in surprise.
Over the next handful of days, these trails of mist increased in volume, until they were escaping from every orifice on my cousin's body, vapours in all hues of the rainbow. At the same time, he suffered from crippling fewer, which left him enfeebled, constantly coughing up clouds of many-coloured smoke.
Still, the strangest thing came after a week, when my brother's skin began itself to change into the most vivid colouration, slowly shifting from saffron-yellow to emerald green and ruby red, while trails of steam escaped from his fingernails. At the same time, my cousin told me later, he had strange hallucinations: he was not quite sure were he was and had the feeling that he was actually standing half a step besides his own body, somewhere in the misty cloud now constantly surrounding him. A tome of obscure, ancient lore our anonymous Dao benefactor was able to acquire for us held the, quite simple, answer to the problem. To cure the disease, one simply had to disperse the vapour with a strong wind, which we were easily to find on Pandemonium, and then cast a normal curing spell.
Infection: Inhaled DC: 15 Incubation: 1d6 days Damage: 1d3 constitution
Secondary effects: Whenever two saving throws in a row are failed, the victim also suffers a point of charisma burn, which can't be healed until the disease is cured. At the same time, a cloud of vapour constantly surrounds a body. This functions as a obscuring mist spell with a radius of five feet, which increases by an additional five feet every time charisma burn is suffered.
Cure: To cure the disease, the vapours have to be dispersed by a gust of wind spell or other strong wind, then a cure disease spell hast to be cast.
*You may not believe it, but I recently discovered that this is a real german name. I was delighted as I saw that book by that man in the library, and naturally my first thought was to name a gnome after him.
Hmm, this reminds me, you might want to watch Mushi-shi, if you're into anime. The main premise is a man who wanders around and solves paranormal/mystical mysteries, and a good part of them entails curing people of strange and interesting diseases which are created by some weird supernatural critters, to put it as short and blunt as possible. You might get a good idea or two from some of them, perhaps.
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(Updated 19.07.13) Games Joined: 53 Games Dead: 50 Games Successfully Finished: 0 Partially Finished/TPK'd: 1
This disease, known in various languages and cultures as "Silver fever", "Psionic Addiction", "The Craving", "Psion's Doom" and others, is, in the classical sense, not a disease, but, as it's title implies, an addiction. I am sure that many of my readers have heard of the famous magic addiction one can be overcome by on the astral plane. Astral Addiction is by many to be thought to be merely a variant of that disease, but several observations have lead me to believe that it is in fact it's own unique affliction.
I was, at the time, traveling the silver sea, not by conduit, as one normally does, but mapping out colour pools to test Seth-Krava's theory of logarithmic rainbow-sequence interference when I came upon a group of Githyanki currently engaged in the act of chaining one of the members of their warband, obviously a young female as could be easily recognized by the dark maroon colour of the temple markings and the shape of the lower ribcage.
Disguising myself magically as an errant illithid hunter of their race, I approached the group, employing my limited telepathic magics to find the nature of this curious incident, which I first assumed to be ritual sacrifice or execution.
After careful interrogation, one of the group's gishes explained to me the nature of Astral Addiction: manifesting both magical and psionic powers on the astral plane is fraught with danger, as anyone who has ever tried to manifest these in this space between spaces can confirm. One's magical strength seems to increase to unprecedented amounts while in this place, and, together with the actual fact of a general quickening of magical spells by the fabric of the plane, one also experiences a strong rush of general elation, which, all too often, overwhelms the magician and throws him into magic addiction.
Psionicists experience similar sensations here: any manifestation is accompanied with an overwhelming feeling of limitless power. One feels, quite literally, as if the entire multiverse was only waiting for one's mind to bend it. Therefore, one immediately tries to manifest more, and more power, until one feels drained and depressed.
The cure for this addiction, which the githyanki explained to me most often manifests during puberty when the victims experience their first manifestations, is quite simple for psionicists: the victim must be immobilized as soon as they have spent their mental reserves on meaningless displays of power, and kept from resting and thereby restoring their strength for at least three days, after which they can once again be allowed to carefully manifest under supervision. It must be added that the Githyanki tend to be quite creative in their choice of methods to assure wakefulness in the affected, seeing the affliction as a lack of discipline in the victim.
Infection: By manifesting a psionic power while on the astral plane.
Save: Will save, DC 10+amount of power points spent on the power. Success makes the manifester immune to the effects of the power for 24 hours (this means that experienced psionicists often start their trip to the astral by manifesting 1PP powers.)
Damage: On a failed save, the manifester immediately takes one point of wisdom damage. If they fail the save by five or more points, they must immediately manifest another power of at least half the strength of the last one, including a new save. If they have spent all their power points, they take 1d4 points of charisma damage instead and have to take another save as soon as they have regained their PP.
Cure: To be cured, the victim must first spend all it's daily power points and then be gagged and held immobile and awake for 72 hours. In this entire time, the victim must not manifest a power, psi-like ability or use a psionic item, or the process fails.
During my years as an apprentice under the late Zul-Khan Thrakash, the ogre archmage of Qualondra Keep, I was traveling the elemental plane of radiance, searching, at my master's direction, for a civilization of hyper intelligent shades of the colour blue.
As is customary and advisable when traveling the plane, I was blindfolded, wearing tinted goggles and additionally under the influence of blindness magic the entire time, to protect my eyes from the brightest of hues. Therefore, the exact time at which I was infected with this very rare disease evades me.
When I returned, by way of a previously prepared scroll of planeshift, to the lovely outland settlement of Goreclaw Castle, to meet with my master as we had previously agreed, I was in a rather aggrieved mood, as I had been unable to find the aforementioned creatures.
At this time I noticed, after my tired eyes had adjusted to the dim twilight of the Goreclaw Mountains, that the skin on my hands and, apparently, my entire body, had assumed a deep indigo colour and were, in fact, glowing faintly, but noticeably.
I gasped in surprise, as in the days of my youth I was much easier to shock. Immediately, my skin colour changed to a strong orange, and the brightness of the glow increased to that of a small candle.
Meeting my master and explaining my situation in terms of most exorbitant exaggeration, I was even more surprised as he just grinned at my, now yellow, skin and explained to me that catching this particular disease, and not finding the elusive civilization he had sent me to find, had been the reason behind my expedition.
I must admit that I was more than a little angry at this confession, and my skin immediately assumed a fiery red, which only earned me more grins from my master, who assured me that he would cure me of the affliction as soon as I returned from my next assignment, which involved sneaking into a cave inhabited by a species of particularly light-sensitive and aggressive intelligent fungi, where the disease would pose an additional challenge.
Over the course of the days during which I completed this quest, I came to know the particular effects of this disease rather well: the colour of my skin, which, at the end, tended to glow brighter than a torch, changed with my emotional state.
Finally, by placing me under a series of spells, my master removed the disease without any further problems.
Incubation Time: 1d6 days.
Damage: None (but see special, below.)
Special: After the end of the incubation time, and the first failed save, the victim's skin begins to shed light like a candle. Every failed save increases the radius of the light by 5 feet, to a maximum of 50 feet. Every successful save decreases it by 5 feet, automatically curing the disease at 0 feet. This light gives the creature a -4 penalty on all hide checks per failed save.
The colour correlates to the victim's emotional state, giving all creatures a +5 circumstance bonus to sense motive checks against the victim, but the victim also has a +2 circumstance bonus to all intimidate checks.
Cure: A calm emotions spell suppresses the effect of the disease for it's duration. To cure it entirely, a darkness and cure disease spell have to be cast on the victim as well.
I applaud your history behind each disease. They were a joy to read.
The only problem, is that you refer to a "cure disease" spell, a left-over from earlier editions because the spell's name is "remove disease." It is a bit confusing when you refer to "cure" spells, which heal hit points, as a remove disease spell.
Also, if you put in full paragraph breaks, it is a lot easier to read.
P.E.A.C.H. Please Evaluate And Critique Honestly. Being nicer and kinder doesn't hurt either.
Please, please, please when using non-core material, cite to the books. There are too many books to wade through to find the one with the feat, special ability or spell you use.
Well, since you don't mind us posting diseases, I guess I'll skip the PM part... Don't have any fluff on these, but that's why i wanted to post 'em.
Salzig Haut (backwards? language confuses me)
Incubation Time: 2d4 days
Damage: none (see special, below)
Special: The infected's skin forms a crusty shell. on each failed save, this provides a -1 penelty to all Dex-based saves and checks. for every two failed saves, this provides a +1 bonus to AC. after 6 failed saves, contact with water will dissolve the contacted areas away, completly, dealing apropriate damage.
Cure: bathing in water before failing 6 saves and then casting a remove disease or simmilar spell will remove the infliction. after 6 saves, an aplication of a stone to mud spell will cancel the effects of one save, down to 5 saves failed total. after that, bath and cast as normal. If no spell is cast after bathing, the crust reforms after 2d10 hours.
DC: 16 (special: 22)
Incubation: 1d6 days (special: 5d10 days)
Damage: none (see special, below)
Special: The morning when the incubation finnishes, the subject wakes up with distorted vision, giving a -3 penelty to accuracy checks. The apearence of the subject is that his eyes have turned into perfect glass beads, with dark circles around them. each day, these circles will get darker, and spread. after a certain amount of time (see Incubation, Special), the circles will have consumed the subject's entire being. at this point, the subject will become perfectly flat, and be harmed by light, as a vampire. He will gain a +5 bonus to dodge checks. he will have a +5 racial bonus to hide and stealth checks, and automaticly succeed on Move silently checks. he will not be able to speak, but by vibrating, he can emulate his own voice. however, he will have only a quarter maximum hit-points, and will be unable to gain experiance points. he will not be able to see normaly, but will have dark-vision of 15 feet. as well, his CON, DEX, and STR scores will be reduced by 4 each.
Cure: Before becoming flat, a Light spell or simmilar followed by a remove disease spell will cure the subject. at the moment the subject becomes flat, the Special DC save will negate the effects and remove the infliction. afterwards, a [i]darkness[/] and light spell symutaniously, as well as a remove disease spell will regress the disease to the point were the subject has glass eyes with rings, but isn't flat, at which point Light and remove disease may be recast to cure the disease.
__________________ Demilich avatar by Smuchmuch. Thank you VERY much!
Well, as long as you don't mind if I give the disease's names in fake latin/english instead of pseudo-german. I've also changed a few mechanical details, but not too much.
Salt crystal Skin
That, in a list of the most unpleasant places known to sigilian scholars,, the quasielemental plane would only appear in the middle of the list is a most telling statement about the general condition of the multiverse. Nevertheless, without proper protection, the razor-sharp ridges hidden in the lose soil, the needle-like crystals constantly borne aloft by the stinging winds and the slow draining of all moisture from one's body as he wanders the anathema of water make the experience an unforgettable one.
Nevertheless I have visited this plane on more than one occasion in my career, and it was during my second visit to the Great Salt Tree of Yssh, I was at the time hoping to visit an old friend, the mineral genasi scholar Tzexral Scatterlight, that I first came into contact with this disease.
The Great Salt Tree of Yssh from afar.
While on the plane of salt, every visitor with a at least remotely mammalian physiology will make the uncomfortable experience of crusts of salt growing on all exposed body parts, held together by the traveler's own sweat and the moisture slowly being drawn away by the salt.
Only after I had reached the Great Tree, three days later and severely dehydrated, I noticed that I had been infected with the disease. It was when I was standing in one of the many gently glowing Spell Bubbles hanging in the branches of the great tree like lanterns, this one a dark emerald in colour, opaque and half filled with water. When I lowered myself into the water and began scrubbing off the salt, it occurred to me that my skin began to bleed and peel off when the thick layer of crystals was removed, and that the crystals seemed to have partially fused with my skin.
Perplexed, I bandaged myself and asked Tzexral about the disease over an exquisite dinner of grilled salt flounder. He was as much as a loss as I was, but, luckily, a group of doomguard pilgrims, traveling at the time from the nearby Citadel Sealt to the Crumbling Towers was sharing our bubble and eating their dinner at a nearby table.
One of them, a green-skinned and horned tiefling wielding no less than three greensteel scimitars and a set of spiked bucklers, explained to me that the disease was quite common in the areas of Salt bordering the Plane of Negative Energy, and that the Doomguard Priests knew how to cure it. They rarely did so, of course, the curing off diseases being so against their philosophy, as evidenced by the abundance of salt pillars and statues surrounding Sealt.
The cure was relatively simple in this early stage of the disease, and involved only vigorous bathing, disease removal magic and careful bandaging and salving of the infected areas.
Salt Crystal Skin
Incubation Time: 2d4 days
Damage: 1d2 dex
Special: The skin of the infected individual forms a crusty shell of salt crystals. After three failed saves, this shell provides a +1 natural armor bonus to AC, which increases to +2 after six failed saves.
Victims who have their dexterity reduced to 0 by the disease are transformed into lifeless salt statues. However, they can still be reanimated by a Stone to Flesh spell.
Cure: Contact with water dissolves the salt crystals. Any number of points of dexterity damage can be cured this way, dealing one point of hit point damage per point of ability damage cured. After all ability damage has been removed, a remove disease spell cures the disease.
If six or more saves have been failed, a Flesh to Stone spell must be applied just before the remove disease spell, to reverse the effect of crystallization of deeper layers of tissue.
Ok, yah, that's a good write up. I praise you for your creative pen, and for fixingDrasticly Improving the sketchy parts of the mechanics I put down.
I really should give you an internet, but I don't have any to give to you... yet. I do have a link as to the inspiration for the other disease....
Edit: failed at linking. Gunnerkrigg Court links, for the interested.
If anyone could find the one were Coyote specifically talks about the test, cudo's to you.
Another idea, fixing/improving likely required (sorry if i'm hijacking...):
Incubation time: 1d2 days
Damage: 1d2 Wis, negative 1d2 Cha
Special: The subject's skin forms golden beads on each failed save. on the 3rd failed save, a complex pattern pleasing to the eye forms, and the skin forms blue and purple patches. After 6 failed saves, these patches will have spread, and formed a background to the pattern formed by the golden beads.
The subject may not be reduced below 3 Wis, and when this cap is met, so does the subject's Cha score stop increasing.
Subject gains a -2 penelty on discuise, intimidate, and hide checks, and +1 on diplomacy and seduce checks. Subject will feel constrained when clothed, and will feel itchyness until unclothed.
Cure: by removing ALL the golden beads from the subject's skin, which takes 1 hour/failed save, and boiling them in salted flamable oil, followed by forcing the subject to drink the resulting mixture and casting empowered remove disease, the disease may be cured.
__________________ Demilich avatar by Smuchmuch. Thank you VERY much!
Despite the heartening obituary my esteemed colleague Reginald Magnafatuus wrote in the Sigil Observer, rumours of my death were greatly exaggerated and the multiverse is not yet rid of Findelwald Tungsten. Though I did have a rather stimulating experience involving a necromantic curse.
I should, perhaps, begin at the very beginning, as one so often does. After the great Professor Wojcik wrote a fascinating report on a new form of necromantic disease on the dustward reaches of the negative energy plane, I found myself quite compelled to ward myself against the more common negative energy effects and make my way to the Bleachwoods to experience the disease firsthand.
After a short fever attack, lasting only a few hours, the disease seemed to quiet down for nearly three days, after which I noticed an incessant tremor of my left hand, which seemed to spread first up my arm, before beginning at the tops of all my other limbs, steadily increasing in strength over the next few days.
These tremors got steadily worse over the next week, making most activities even as basic as the taking of notes almost impossible. Then, after a week, the tremors abruptly stopped and I began to instead hear a voice which seemed to come from inside my skull. It spoke, to my shame, in a rather low-class idiom, demanding, in no uncertain and certainly quite rude, terms to "be let out".
Only after an hour of conversation and several highly unpleasant experiments did I finally acertain that Wojcik's - and, later, my own - suspicious were correct: the disease had, in fact, animated my own skeleton into a - now - intelligent creature inside my own body.
Having confirmed the nature of the disease, I returned to Sigil - telekinetically forcing my own bones to submit to my will - where I managed to convinced a rather puzzled priest to channel enough positive energy to force my bones into submission. Since then, I've come to a pleasant arrangement with my body's osseous subtenant, allowing it control over my body in the hours of my sleep and otherwise suppressing it with various divine magics.
Incubation Time for Phase I: 1d4 days
Fortitude DC: 15
Damage Phase I: 1d4 dexterity per day
Special: can only infect living creatures with bones.
In Phase I of the disease, the patient takes 1d4 points of dexterity damage per day as their skeleton becomes animated by necromantic energies and fights against the patient's control.
In this phase, the disease can be cured by either drinking a flask of holy water or having a friendly cleric use a turn undead attempt on the patient, either of which must then be followed by a cure disease spell within 1 minute.
If the patient's dexterity is reduced to 0, they immedately die as their skeleton rips its way of their body. The skeleton has the statistics of the skeleton template applied to the patient's base creature.
If the patient survives the disease for more than a week, the disease enters phase two. At this point, they no longer take any dexterity damage, as the skeleton is fully formed and becomes self aware. It gains intelligence 1, which grows by one point every day until it reaches 10 or the patient's intelligence, whichever is lower. The skeleton can further fight the patient: they must win opposed strength checks against their skeleton in order to perform any physical action. Diplomacy can be attempted to turn the skeleton friendly from its initial hostility, at which point it no longer fights back.
In stage two, any effect that turns, scares, commands or controls undead suppresses the disease, including the dexterity damage, for its full duration. Ending the disease requires a Break Enchantment or Undeath to Death effect cast on the patient.