When a character is injured by a contaminated attack touches an item smeared with diseased matter, or consumes disease-tainted food or drink, he must make an immediate Fortitude saving throw
. If he succeeds, the disease has no effect-his immune system fought off the infection. If he fails, he takes damage
after an incubation period. Once per day afterward, he must make a successful Fortitude saving throw
to avoid repeated damage
. Two successful saving throws
in a row indicate that he has fought off the disease and recovers, taking no more damage
These Fortitude saving throws
can be rolled secretly so that the player doesn't know whether the disease has taken hold.
Diseases have various symptoms and are spread through a number of vectors. The characteristics of several typical diseases are summarized on Table: Diseases
and defined below.
Disease: Diseases whose names are printed in italic in the table are supernatural in nature. The others are extraordinary.
The disease's method of delivery-ingested
, via injury, or contact. Keep in mind that some injury diseases may be transmitted by as small an injury as a flea bite and that most inhaled
diseases can also be ingested
(and vice versa).
The Difficulty Class for the Fortitude saving throws
to prevent infection (if the character has been infected), to prevent each instance of repeated damage
, and to recover from the disease.
The time before damage
Types of Diseases:
Typical diseases include the following:
Blinding Sickness: Spread in tainted water.
Cackle Fever: Symptoms include high fever, disorientation, and frequent bouts of hideous laughter. Also known as "the shrieks."
Demon Fever: Night hags spread it. Can cause permanent ability drain.
Devil Chills: Barbazu and pit fiends spread it. It takes three, not two, successful saves in a row to recover from devil chills.
Filth Fever: Dire rats and otyughs spread it. Those injured while in filthy surroundings might also catch it.
Mindfire: Feels like your brain is burning. Causes stupor.
Spread by mummies. Successful saving throws
do not allow the character to recover (though they do prevent damage
Red Ache: Skin turns red, bloated, and warm to the touch.
The Shakes: Causes involuntary twitches, tremors, and fits.
Slimy Doom: Victim turns into infectious goo from the inside out. Can cause permanent ability drain.
||1d3 Dex, 1d3 Con
|1 Each time the victim takes 2 or more damage from the disease, he must make another Fortitude save or be permanently blinded.
|2 When damaged, character must succeed on another saving throw or 1 point of damage is permanent drain instead.
|3 The victim must make three successful Fortitude saving throws in a row to recover from devil chills.
|4 Successful saves do not allow the character to recover. Only magical healing can save the character.
Use of the Heal
skill can help a diseased character. Every time a diseased character makes a saving throw
against disease effects, the healer makes a check. The diseased character can use the healer's result in place of his saving throw
if the Heal
check result is higher. The diseased character must be in the healer's care and must have spent the previous 8 hours resting.
Characters recover points lost to ability score damage
at a rate of 1 per day per ability damaged, and this rule applies even while a disease is in progress. That means that a character with a minor disease might be able to withstand it without accumulating any damage
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