Illnesses & Disease

From radiation sickness to alien viruses, illnesses can be debilitating without a trained doctor to treat them..

Illnesses and disease all use a countdown pool, usually based on the victim's END attribute, although some are based on other attributes, including mental or psychic illneses based on WIL. Some stronger or weaker viruses and diseases may increase or decrease the start of the countdown pool. Most countdown pools require a check every day, but a few may allow for weekly checks or inflict hourly checks. This information is noted in the table below.

Unless otherwise noted, a creature infected with any disease suffers one or more conditions until cured.

Catching a Disease

To be affected by a disease, a character is subjected to an attack against DEFENSE or MENTAL DEFENSE.  This could be as a result of a creature attack, or poison, or even an attack by the environment.  If the attack is successful, the character contracts the disease.

Each disease mentions the basic method of transmission.

Treating Diseases

Treating a disease requires a LOG check. This must be done at the same interval that the disease progresses – so if a disease requires daily dice pool rolls, the LOG check must be made daily. Of course, medical skills and facilities help enormously with the LOG check.

Success: Every time the LOG check is successfully made, the dice pool is increased by 1d6. Sometimes this means that the progression will be held steady temporarily (since the dice pool is being depleted by time) but it can also mean that the pool grows in size.

Curing: If the pool exceeds its starting value (END, WIL, or other) for three intervals, the illness is cured.

Failure: If the pool is depleted to zero, the victim permanently suffers the effect noted – often death. If the victim is still alive at this stage, permanent effects can be removed with a major medical or herbalism science task.


Fantasy Diseases

Illness

Transmisison

Pool

Interval

Difficulty

During Effect

End Effect

Flesh rot

Airborne

END

Daily

Routine [10]

Debilitated

Death

White fog

Airborne

WIL

Daily

Strenuous [21]

Half-blind

Blindness

Wyrm flu

Injury

INT

Daily

Difficult [16]

Fatigued

Death

Moor plague

Injury

END

Daily

Strenuous [21]

Slowed; green skin

Death

Wailing sickness

Airborne

WIL

Daily

Difficult [16]

Confused

Psychosis

Creeping parasites

Exposure

END

Daily

Difficult [16]

Forgetful

Death

Zombie fever

Contact

END

Daily

Difficult [16]

Debilitated

Death

Salt plague

Bite

END

Daily

Strenuous [21]

Cravings

Salt vampirism

Creeping chills

Exposure

WIL

Hourly

Difficult [16]

Forgetful

Dementia

Scarlet malady

Bite

END

Hourly

Severe [25]

-

Vampirism

Devil rot

Contact

END

Daily

Strenuous [21]

SOAK 5 (fire); +1d6 fire damage

Combustion


Modern Diseases

Illness

Transmisison

Pool

Interval

Difficulty

Effect During

End Effect

Bacterial Pneumonia Airborne END Daily Difficult [13] Debilitated Death
Bubonic Plague Exposure END Daily Demanding [21] Debilitated Death
Dysentery Ingestion END Daily Difficult [16] Debilitated Death
Hookworm Exposure END Daily Demanding [21] Debilitated Death
Influenza Airborne END Daily Routine [10] Fatigued Death
Sepsis Exposure END Daily Difficult [16] Fatigued Death
Syphilis Exposure END Weekly Demanding [21] Debilitated
Mutation
Tetanus Injury END Weekly Difficult [16] Debilitated Paralysis
Tuberculosis Airborne END Daily Demanding [21] Debilitated Death

Futuristic Diseases

Illness

Transmisison

Pool

Interval

Difficulty

During Effect

End Effect

Macrovirus Airborne WIL Daily Demanding [21] Fatigued Death
Orman's Syndrome Injury LOG Daily Difficult [16] Forgetful Complete amnesia
Petrification Injury END Daily Demanding [21] Slowed; +5 SOAK each stage
Petrification
Radiation Sickness Exposure END Daily Difficult [16] Debilitated Death
Retrograde Psychosis Airborne WIL Daily Difficult [16] Confused Infantalism
Rigellian Fever Contact END Daily Difficult [16] Debilitated Death
Salt Plague Injury END Daily Demanding [21] Cravings Salt vampirism
Space Dementia Exposure WIL Hourly Difficult [16] Confused Madness
Vampiris Injury WIL Hourly Strenuous [25] Cravings Vampirism
White Disease Contact END Weekly Demanding [21] Slowed Death

Bubonic plague. This incredibly potent disease has, at times throughout history, wiped out entire thirds of populations. Any contact with an infected creature’s blood, saliva, or bodily fluid chances transmission of the disease (which, even with excellent care, has only a 50% survival rate). Victims suffer from gangrene of the extremities, chills, malaise, fever, muscle cramps, seizures, and swelling of the initial infection site, lymph glands, armpits, and groin.  Victims are sick while suffering this disease.

Creeping chills. This illness causes dementia, leaving the victim unaware of the most basic facts about himself or those he knows.  Victims are forgetful while suffering this disease.

Creeping parasites. These parasites affect the brain, its victims often displaying forgetfulness and amnesia, before eventual death.  Victims are forgetful while suffering this disease.

Devil rot. A horrible disease caused by contact with devils and demons, the vicitm's flesh becomes hotter and hotter to the touch. While victims eventually spontaneously combust, in the meantime they gain SOAK 5 (heat/fire) and their touch does an additional 1d6 heat damage.

Dysentery. One of the most common killers of soldiers throughout the 18th and 19th century, this disease is the result of poor sanitation and hygiene. Victims have drunk or eaten something with traces of feces from an already infected creature, generating cysts that travel through the digestive system before exploding in the intestines, where amoebas burrow into the organ’s walls and create abscesses or ulcers. Victims are sick while suffering this disease.

Flesh rot.  Victims of this unpleasant disease resemble zombies more than they do living people. Over a period of times, flesh turns rotten, and is slowly eaten away.  The stench is incredible, and the disease is incredibly painful. This disease is all the more dangerous because it is airborne.  Victims are sick while suffering this disease.

Influenza. The common flu is deceptively dangerous despite the effectiveness of vaccinations. Victims are fatigued while suffering this disease.

Bacterial pneumonia. This sickness causes fever, rigors, coughing of blood, dyspnea, chest pains, and teeth chattering as fluid continually fills the victim’s lungs. Victims are sick while suffering this disease.

Hookworm. Always take care to make sure that whatever water you find in the jungle, you clean it carefully—otherwise you may soon find yourself with a hookworm living in your intestines. There is no obvious immediate means to determine this infection has taken root aside from anemia and iron/protein-deficiency, and once the victim starts coughing, feeling chest pain, wheezing, and becomes feverish, they are suffering more from the hookworm’s larva than anything else. Victims are sick while suffering this disease.

Macrovirus. This airborne illness is particularly dangerous because it reduces the victim's desire to actually do anything about it.  The illness causes extreme lethargy, worsening to the point where the victim will not eat, and simply wastes away. Victims are fatigued while suffering this disease.

Moor plague.  An unplesant illness caused by scratches and cuts in foul swamps, this illness slowly turns the victim's skin green; additionally, the victim begins to emit the most unpleasant stench. Victims are slowed while suffering this disease.

Orman's Syndrome. This illness attacks the neural structures of the brain, gradually causing memory loss. By the time it reaches its conclusion, the victim loses all sense of identity and all long-term memories.  The victim will not recognize close friends or family members, or recall his own name, career, or skills. Victims are forgetful while suffering this disease.

Petrification. A rare disease, this bacteria hardens the victim's skin and organs until he or she reaches the consistency of stone. While suffering from the illness, the victim gains an additional SOAK 5 (all) for each dice removed from the dice pool, although he dies when the pool reaches zero. Victims are slowed while suffering this disease.

Radiation sickness. Radiation sickness is a painful, debilitating condition which ends in the victim’s death. Symptoms include vomiting, intestinal pain, bleeding, hair loss, and fever. Victims are debilitated while suffering this disease.

Retrograde psychosis. This is a severe condition of the mind which reduces the victim's mental age, eventually turning him into the equivalent of an infant. Victims are confused while suffering this disease.

Rigellian fever. This powerful virus causes extreme fever, sweating, and nausea, eventually resulting in the victim's death. Victims are sick while suffering this disease.

Salt plague. This unpleasant disease feeds on the victim's salt levels.  The victim eventually loses her humanity as her salt cravings become so intense that she becomes violent, seeking the salty blood of other victims.

Sepsis. Exposure to infections and toxins through injury can have horrible effects on the body, greatly weakening creatures that have fallen ill to it. Victims are fatigued while suffering this disease.

Space dementia. Space dementia affects a small number of space travelers when they first encounter FTL speeds. It can be treated, but left alone it will result in memory loss, hallucinations, and madness. Victims are confused while suffering this disease.

Syphilis. Though it is becoming less common in the developed world, this debilitating disease often makes its way to developed country from wayward port cities. Initially the disease causes lesions to appear on the contact areas of infection, but after four to ten weeks later this creates a rash that spreads to extremities causing wart-like growths that harbor more infectious bacteria as the victim begins to experience fever, sore throat, malaise, weight loss, hair loss, headaches, and inflammation of the joints, optic nerves, or organs. Later stages take hold 3 to 15 years after the initial sickness begins, causing tumor-like balls of inflammation that mutate and warp a victim’s features, giving them a -1d6 to all social checks. Victims are debilitated while suffering this disease.

Tetanus. This disease comes from infections borne on untreated wounds that can take only days or several months to take hold. The first sign is lockjaw, followed by facial spasms, stiffness of the neck, difficulty in swallowing, elevated blood pressure, and spasms for as long as four weeks. Recovery after this stage can take months and victims rarely recover fully. Victims are debilitated while suffering this disease.

Tuberculosis. Most commonly found in the lungs, this disease causes fever, chills, night sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss, and fatigue. Typically a person with TB never sees the slow-replicating bacteria proliferate across their body, but when the sickness stops being dormant it can quickly lay a victim low for months and months of recovery via antibiotic treatments. Victims are debilitated while suffering this disease.

Vampiris/scarlet malady. This bacteria forces the victim to drink blood in order to survive. It also causes photo-sensitivity and lengthening of the canine teeth. An infected person needs to drink at least a pint of fresh blood every day, and loses 1 END attribute point for each day that the blood is not consumed. This illness is known both as Vampiris and Scarlet Malady.

Wailing sickness. An horrific disease which leaves its victims psychotic and insane, this illness is characterized by emotional outbursts, tempers, and, eventually, violence.  Victims are confused while suffering this disease.

White disease. This illness is a form of leprosy.  It only affects those in their middle age or older, and results in the victim's painful death. Victims are slowed while suffering this disease.

White fog.  This illness attacks the eyes of the patient, slowly eroding his vision.  Patients tend to see an increasingly opaque white fog obscuring their vision. Victims are blind while suffering this disease.

Wyrm flu. Supposedly an illness originally suffered by great dragons, this injury-transmitted disease is often suffered by those who survive attacks by wyrms and similar creatures. Victims are fatigued while suffering this disease.

Zombie fever.  As suggested by its name, this disease turns its victim into one of the undead, a mindless zombie hungry for living flesh. In the meantime, however, victims are sickd while suffering this disease.