6.5 Disease

If a character is exposed to a minor disease, such as a bad cold or mild flu, they should make a Stamina roll (CON×5) to see if the disease is contracted. Success means that it is avoided, while failure means that the character catches the disease. For a minor disease, the extent of the illness should merely cost 1 or 2 hit points over a few days. On the morning of the second day the character suffers from a minor disease, roll CON×2. If the roll is successful, the character recovers. If the roll fails, the disease persists for another day. On the morning of the third day, roll CON×3, continuing by increasing the multiplier by the roll until the disease is finally overcome.

The character must rest and be cared for while recuperating from a disease. Less-than-ideal conditions (adventuring, combat, rough environment, etc.) reduces this characteristic roll by one multiple per outstanding condition, at the gamemaster’s discretion. As a general guide, if the recovery roll would normally be CON×5, reduce it to CON×4 if the character is not at home in bed, reduce it to CON×3 if hiking in the wilderness, reduce it to CON×2 if engaged in strenuous activity, and reduce it to CON×1 if already suffering from other injuries.

Medical attention may be of use, but the character must recover naturally by succeeding in a CON roll as described above. At the gamemaster’s discretion, successful use of the Medicine skill may increase the CON multiple by one or more steps. Other powers and/or equipment may help against disease, to a degree determined by the gamemaster.

A major disease such as plague might attack any characteristic, but most diseases will attack CON or hit points. Immensely powerful diseases could even inflict 1 or 1D3 hit points per hour, enough to kill an average human in eight hours. Symptoms vary greatly. Lesser diseases might inflict 1 hit point per day, or per week, coupled with loss of characteristic points.

Cross-index the number of times the character has failed the CON roll on the Illness Severity table below.

Illness Severity

Failures Degree of Illness
0 None
1 Mild: Lose 1 characteristic point per week
2 Acute: Lose 1 characteristic point per day
3 Severe: Lose 1 characteristic point per hour
4+ Terminal: Lose 1 characteristic point per minute

The first characteristic point is lost when the character initially contracts the disease (failing the first roll). Each successive loss is added to the total whenever a CON roll is being made to shake the disease.

The type of disease dictates what characteristic points are lost. When a character reaches 0 in a characteristic, they die. At the gamemaster’s discretion, some diseases may affect multiple characteristics, and have other effects as well.

Natural healing, medical treatment, rest, counseling, rehabilitation, etc. can restore these lost characteristic points at the rate of 1 per week once the character is free from the disease.


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