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Old 03-30-2021, 08:48 PM   #1
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Caught any good diseases lately?

Okay, maybe that subject line isn't great in a pandemic, but I was thinking of making ghouls a bit more of a threat. Their filthy, disease ridden buggers and any scratch from a ghoul may transmit an illness. Well, to be honest, it's not all ghouls. I just decide when setting up the adventure whether the ghouls are disease ridden or hygenic and fastidious. Some are, you know. Don't be bigoted.

Any time a character takes damage from a disease-carrying ghoul, the GM secretly rolls a 3/ST roll. On failure, the guy is infected with the blight of the day.

Here's the first one I'm playing with. In some ways, it's a bit complicated.

Heebie-Jeebies: Beginning the night after infection, the character loses ST 1. Each day thereafter, roll a 3/ST roll or 4/ST if the character is active (not bed-ridden). No wounds (including damage from Heebie-Jeebies) can be healed until the Heebie-Jeebies are in remission.
* On failure, lose 1 ST.
* If the roll was less than ST/2 or 6, whichever is more, recovery begins. The character will recover 1 ST per day (of Heebie-Jeebies loss only, not other wounds) until healed.
* Otherwise, no special effect today.
Minor Medicament will not cure the Heebie-Jeebies, but it will reduce the die roll by one die.

Obviously, I'm not using critical success/failure in this roll.

It's pretty harsh for low ST characters, especially when the transmission is by taking damage from a verminous ghoul. An ST 9 character will be ill about eleven days on average and therefore take about six or so points of damage, which may kill him if the ghoul hit was bad. But I did add a simple way to make the disease a lot easier. Get lots of bed-rest and a Minor Medicament and it won't be a big deal. After Minor Medicament, the character can expect to go into remission in two or three days.

Of course, the characters have to think about trying Minor Medicament and have a wizard handy with that spell. (One reason I was thinking of diseases is that Minor Medicament has gotten no love in my game so far.)

The complicated bit is the fast recovery, requiring the GM to segregate Heebie-Jeebies damage from other wounds. I did that just because I thought that it is already fairly nasty. If you treat wounds received by Heebie-Jeebies like any other kind of damage and heal at one point each two days, it's not that complicated to implement.

Anyway, I reckoned others must have their favorite diseases to share.

A minor variation I kinda like is a disease that is like Heebie-Jeebies Lite. Replace damage with fatigue throughout the description. A wizard who can't recover fatigue for several days will suffer a bit from this. Wound recovery during that period would be normal and anyone who takes fatigue down to -1 ST is dying in my book, though I know many think he's just tuckered.

Last edited by phiwum; 03-30-2021 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 03-30-2021, 09:14 PM   #2
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Caught any good diseases lately?

Stuff like this is fun. It creates tension and hardship, softening up the PCs in a way that adds to the story.
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Old 03-30-2021, 10:21 PM   #3
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Caught any good diseases lately?

Cool ideas; maybe merge with the disease rules in the Hexagram article a few months back?
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Old 03-31-2021, 06:28 AM   #4
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Caught any good diseases lately?

I don't have every issue of Hexagram and I don't think I've seen that article. Which issue is it in?

Thanks.
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Old 03-31-2021, 06:35 AM   #5
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Caught any good diseases lately?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
Stuff like this is fun. It creates tension and hardship, softening up the PCs in a way that adds to the story.
Yeah, the tricky part with diseases is to always have some reason the character might become ill. If it comes from nowhere, the player will feel cheated.

Obviously, if the disease is intended as a plot device, a story can always be made ahead of time, but sometimes you want it to be a matter of happenstance and not a pre-ordained outcome. I figgered nasty ghouls are one solution. A chance encounter with a person infected with an easily transmittable disease is another and this adds the problem of spreading the disease to others. (If the disease is serious, this may be too harsh, but minor illnesses would work here.)

Obviously, some illnesses would work just to create unrecoverable fatigue for a short while, a few days or so. Others may be temporarily disfiguring, like Chicken Pox, and the effect would be negative modifiers on reaction rolls.

But I'm sure someone around here will have a more interesting twist on the seasonal flu.
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Old 03-31-2021, 09:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: Caught any good diseases lately?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phiwum View Post
I don't have every issue of Hexagram and I don't think I've seen that article. Which issue is it in?

Thanks.
Hexagram 3 Easy Sneezy: rules for illness & recovery in TFT page 19
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Old 04-01-2021, 05:35 AM   #7
phiwum
 
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Default Re: Caught any good diseases lately?

Oh, heck, I do have that issue. I forgot that article entirely.

Many of the ideas I had are replicated there more or less. One difference is that the article front loads the bad effects led by recovery for most diseases and I have a slow buildup instead for the Heebie-Jeebies.

The list of suggested additional symptoms is quite good and I'm definitely using the Nostrums and Infusions section.

This was just what I was looking for. Great article.

Thanks, John Paul.

Last edited by phiwum; 04-01-2021 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 04-01-2021, 09:02 AM   #8
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Caught any good diseases lately?

I really like diseases as an occasional threat - sort of like a rare form of nuisance monster or trap. They are a great way to make a specific setting or event feel dangerous in a new and creepy way.
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Old 04-01-2021, 01:42 PM   #9
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Caught any good diseases lately?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
I really like diseases as an occasional threat - sort of like a rare form of nuisance monster or trap. They are a great way to make a specific setting or event feel dangerous in a new and creepy way.
Yeah, I'm thinking that maybe there will be a stricken Proot village some time soon. Some relatively minor but still annoying and contagious disease.
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Old 04-01-2021, 01:52 PM   #10
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Caught any good diseases lately?

Maybe Proots are actually geniuses and it is infection by some sort of intellect-devouring parasite that makes them do so many dopy things.
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