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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Plagues and the World

    Ok, so I have been running my first campaign ever, and am basically trying to come up with a way to make it a bit darker, while reading the book I Am Legend from the 50's, when the thought hits me. A plague is dark, vile, terrifying, and most of all, nameless. It is an entity that cannot be hit with swords or spells, but there are a couple problems I foresee in the use of said plagues. Firstly, on the d&d wiki there is a homebrew for the bubonic plague, however there really isn't much information on how these things work, and this isn't what I am looking for really. Secondly, couldn't most diseases be cured by clerics spread throughout the world? What I am going for is true despair. Everywhere the players look they see death, fear, and agony, with no seeming end in sight. Any clue on how to establish this properly? Has anyone effected a similar rotting sickness in their own campaigns, and, if so, did the players respond in an expected manner? It is not to be the focal point (at least not at first) of the campaign. Basically, I am just looking for any helpful suggestions.
    Tl;Dr: Need help figure out a system for plagues and their effect on the worlds of D&D.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Orc in the Playground
    Marriclay's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Re: Plagues and the World

    essentially you need this thing to strike at a low populated area, so that the clerics don't have time to respond before everybody there gets it. it kills the first village withing a couple of weeks, then a guy passing through contracts it, but makes it to a big city before he gets really bad. because he's in the city it'll start spreading to everybody and just go and go from there. if it's fast acting and highly contagious, then clerics might not have enough time to stop it. or, if it isn't fast acting, perhaps it has some natural resistance to remove disease spells, or an all out immunity to magic? it's your world, you can figure out what happens
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground

    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Re: Plagues and the World

    A friend of mine ran a game our party was trapped in a city that was infected with a fatal plague. Magic could not heal it. We watched the NPCs we interacted with catch it and slowly start to whither away as they tried to help us, the somehow-immune outsiders, find the cure to the plague and save the city and ourselves.

    Eventually, we found the source of the plague, a festering organ of Tiamat that our (chaotic evil) paladin destroyed, which resulted in the plague losing its divine power and finally being able to cured by healing magics.

    It was awesome.
    "We speak for the dead. We are all they have when the wicked steal their voice. But we do not owe them our lives."

    Roy Montgomery, NYPD Sgt., Castle

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Plagues and the World

    Excellent, I also am wanting this to show a powerful rift between the upper and lower classes, death and disease where they walk, and a care-free attitude of the isolated nobility who pay them for their heroic deeds. Very much a commentary on the social status as much as anything else, which makes an immunity a difficult thing to perpetrate. However, it is, indeed, my world. Now, what should the plague do? Kill off people? Make them ravenous animals, intent on the devouring of flesh? Ah the possibilities. Is there a good already developed template for this kind of thing, after all, I am not the most familiar DM with the mechanics of the game.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: Plagues and the World

    OK, I think I have figured it out.
    Infection DC: 16 (fort)
    Depending on the initial fort save (and daily retry) Days 1-4:
    Failed: Nausea, 1d6 str damage. Failed by 5-9: Add fatigue.
    Failed by 10+: Replace fatigue with exhaustion.
    Day 5: feeblemind, regardless of save. Also, Nauseated and exhausted.
    Day 6: insanity, 1d4 con damage
    If they survive the con damage, on the seventh day they become a zombie-like creature, however they are not undead. Those who die do not rise. This creature is as base creature was, with the initial 1d6 str damaged now replinished and a ravenous hunger for those who have not contracted said disease. Move speed decreased to 20ft. Most of them won't be very strong, but they cannot be turned as they are not undead, and everyone knows a zombie's strength is in its relentless numbers.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Wonton's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Plagues and the World

    Remove Disease is a 3rd level Clr/Drd/Rgr spell. So the average 5th level Cleric will get one, maybe two of these per day. A 6th level Paladin gets it once a week. It's entirely possible that as soon as news of the disease breaks out, all the clerics are quickly snatched up by noblemen, royalty, and rich merchants. The poor are then left to suffer, resenting the upper classes. This could be a good way to lead the campaign into some "Viva la revolucion!"-type territory.

    To make it even worse, it could be that when a messenger that comes to the king with news of the plague, the first thing he does is to isolate himself in his castle with all the clerics in the city, therefore damning his population.
    Last edited by Wonton; 2010-06-14 at 11:41 AM.
    Rules that supersede Rule 0:

    Rule -1: You're all there to have fun. The GM and the players should never do anything that would limit people's fun, for any in-game or real-life reason.

    Rule -0.5 (corollary): That means that if someone's fun is getting in the way of other people's fun, that person needs to change how they're playing.

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