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Old Yesterday, 11:45 PM   #1
kirbwarrior
 
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Default Disease in roleplaying

Working on a race recently and I noticed I put "Immunity to STIs and related" on a race which in turn made me realize I don't think I've had disease come up once ever in roleplaying, writing, or programming games as a plot or world-building element. In one setting, I just flat across the board said "disease didn't exist, the world somehow works". I just plainly don't like it and I don't recall a story that used it in a way that, to me, made it stronger.

What are your thoughts about disease in roleplaying? Have you had to deal with it or use it? Have you merely swept it aside like I have, or even intentionally state it doesn't exist? What kinds of effects might this have on a setting if disease wasn't a concern (especially before the idea of disease)?
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Old Today, 01:59 AM   #2
David Johnston2
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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Originally Posted by kirbwarrior View Post
Working on a race recently and I noticed I put "Immunity to STIs and related" on a race which in turn made me realize I don't think I've had disease come up once ever in roleplaying, writing, or programming games as a plot or world-building element. In one setting, I just flat across the board said "disease didn't exist, the world somehow works". I just plainly don't like it and I don't recall a story that used it in a way that, to me, made it stronger.

What are your thoughts about disease in roleplaying? Have you had to deal with it or use it? Have you merely swept it aside like I have, or even intentionally state it doesn't exist? What kinds of effects might this have on a setting if disease wasn't a concern (especially before the idea of disease)?
Well in "Actions Have Consequences", my World War II superhero setting I have to have disease because the characters are going to encounter real life war criminal Doctor Ishi and his fictional supervillain Poison Butterfly who attacks with anthrax on the wings of lepidoptera. In my space setting I have Summanus, a world where the taint in the atmosphere consists of fungal spores in the warmed latitudes that will infect you if you don't wear protective gear. Furthermore I have the colony of Neovirginia where at one point there will be an attempt to wipe out the highly inbred colonists with a tailored virus from a group that disapproves of their lack of incest taboos. And then of course there are the Riders. I also have an idea for an Infinity game where the players are chasing a world-jumper who is a carrier for a deadly plague.
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Old Today, 05:12 AM   #3
Dr. Beckenstein
 
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Default Re: Disease in roleplaying

In an Infinite Worlds campaign, the pc visited a newly discovered Gotha-world with a lot of "zombies". They had to keep in mind that the zombies were victims of a plague and to protect themselves from them. Hard to do in zombie-shooter.

Long time ago, the heroes of a Traveller campaign discovered a forgotten ship deep in space. Inside was a woman, in cold sleep for centuries. The pc were able to resurrect and rescue her. To bad that the sleeping beauty was infected with a mild cold. Rather harmless for her, but the pc were hit hard by fever. After reaching the next star port, their ship was put under quarantine for weeks.
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Old Today, 09:10 AM   #4
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
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What are your thoughts about disease in roleplaying? Have you had to deal with it or use it?
In a Cabal setting in Briah the Iconic Realm the PCs were on a quest that had to evoke the 4 Archangels. The East was the territory of Rafeal the Healer so they had to heal somebody or something.

So there was a small village hit by a mysterious plague (the 4 Archangels were being opposed by the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse and guess who was duking it out with Rafael).

The PCs faked up something with Alchemy. There are rules for it in Thaumatology. It was less dramatic than one could have hoped.
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Old Today, 09:11 AM   #5
johndallman
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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What are your thoughts about disease in roleplaying? Have you had to deal with it or use it? Have you merely swept it aside like I have, or even intentionally stated it doesn't exist?
For my Infinite Cabal campaign, which takes a fairly gritty approach, I did have to consider the question of why world-travellers don't spread diseases from world to world. The PCs haven't found out yet: even Infinity doesn't know exactly why it doesn't happen.

I have encountered a couple of instances of biological warfare in RPGs. One by PCs which succeeded in dealing with an invading species of humanoid plants, and one by NPC villains, a cult of disease, which was suppressed by PCs.
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