Diseases are a debilitating affliction which can cripple, scar, and destroy an opponent. They are debilitating, doing terrible things to the body while they run their course. Unlike poisons, most diseases run longer, but are less likely to be as lethal. A disease has a Potency which determines how dangerous the disease is. When the character might contract a disease, they roll a Physical + Endurance as a Death Save with a Difficulty equal to the Potency. The Successes reduce the Potency of the disease. If this drops the Potency to 0, the character does not contract the disease.
The Frequency is how often the disease ravages the body. The shorter the period of time, the more voracious the disease is. The character makes a Death Save each time, with a Difficulty equal to the disease’s current Potency. If the character succeeds, they reduce the damage done to them until the next Frequency.
The Degrade is how much time must pass before the Potency of the disease is reduced by one. Once the Potency is reduced to 0, the disease has passed and the character can recover normally. The shorter the degrade, the quicker the disease will pass, while the higher the degrade, the more drawn out the disease is.
The Onset Time is how long it takes before the first symptoms of the disease manifest. The longer the time, the longer the incubation of the disease. Note that while it is incubating, the character is still potentially contagious.
The Vector of the disease determines how it is spread. Anyone who comes into contact via the proper vector must make a Physical + Endurance as a Death Save, with a Difficulty equal to the current Potency of the disease. The roll is made on each exposure. The Potency of the disease will be equal to the base Potency for that disease, minus the Successes rolled by the recipient.
Air: The disease is spread through the air. Anyone who approaches within a number of feet equal to the disease’s current Potency risks contracting the disease. This check is made once per minute that someone remains within the vector.
Blood: The disease is spread through the blood or body fluids. Contact with diseased blood or other fluids causes an immediate check at the current Potency to see if the individual contracts the disease. If the victim does not remove the fluid, they make a new roll at the beginning of each minute at -1 Potency. This continues with the Potency degrading each minute, until it reaches Potency 0.
Ingestion: The disease spreads through the eating of a diseased target. Consumption of diseased meat causes an immediate check at the current Potency to see if the individual contracts the disease. The victim must make a new roll at the beginning of each Scene at a cumulative -1 Potency, until the disease reaches Potency 0.
Sweat: The disease is spread through contact with the subject, either via sweat or other fluids. Contact causes an immediate check. If the character passes the check, they are safe until the next time they come into contact with the diseased target. This roll is made once per Round for continuous contact.
Sample Disease: The Pox
The Pox is a mild disease, which inflicts a -1 Physical Penalty each time the character fails a Death Save. Potency (3), Frequency (Hour), Degrade (Day), Onset (Day), Vector (Sweat)
A person who purchases a poison intends to seriously do harm to someone. A poison is either lethal or non-lethal. When someone is poisoned, once the Onset Time has passed, the character makes a Death Save with a Difficulty equal to the Potency of the poison. The Frequency is multiplied by the Successes rolled to determine how long the character can hold off the ultimate effect of the poison. If the character has enough Successes to reach the Degrade, the Potency is reduced by one. The character gains a new Death Save at the end of the Frequency, with the process repeating itself until the Poison has run its course or until the character succumbs to the poison. If the character rolls no Successes, the poison has overwhelmed the character, and works as intended.
Creating a Poison
A character can craft a poison using the Craft Skill (Alchemy or Poison), or Herbalist Skill. The character makes a Results Roll, spending a number of days equal to the Difficulty to make the poison. The Potency of the result becomes a Poison Pool that the character can spend on making a poison. The character can attempt to use the Survival Skill (Poisons) or Medicine Skill, but the Poison Pool is only half normal. If the character wishes to make more than one dose of poison, it costs 1 Pool per additional dose the character wishes to make. The Base Resource Cost is equal to twice the amount of Pool spent, reduced by the character’s Skill and any unspent Pool. This can not reduce the Cost of the poison below the minimum Cost set by the base Resource Cost.
A lethal poison kills the target if the target fails any Death Save inflicted by the poison. A non-lethal poison is usually used to cause excruciating pain to the target rather than killing them. A victim who fails their Death Save against such a poison is reduced to a helpless state until the poison has worn off, usually unable to do more than just writhe, scream, pass out, or become paralysed.
A painful poison increases the Difficulty of all die rolls by the Potency of the poison, inflicting pain, causing shortness of breath, or producing some other indicator that the poison is doing what it should. A painless poison goes completely unnoticed until the victim fails their Death Save – and by then it is usually too late.
The vector determines how the poison can enter the system and work. Note that more than one vector can be taken, adding the Pool together.
A subtle poison is one that is difficult to detect. Such poisons have a subtlety rating, and a person attempting to notice the poison must make a Passive Roll using their Mental + Awareness. If the character gains more successes than the subtlety rating, the character notices the poison and can act accordingly. The poison can be noticed by the appropriate sense (smell, touch, taste).
Sample Poison: Red Agony
This is a moderate poison, which can cause serious debilitation and death. The subject’s eyes turn red as the blood is forced to the surface, causing nosebleeds, vomiting, and other debilitating side effects.
Potency (4, Lethal), Pain (Painful), Vector (Ingested), Type (Obvious), Onset (Round), Frequency (Minute), Degrade (Hour)
- Non-Lethal: 0 (+ Rating)
- Lethal: 2 (+ Rating)
- Painful: 0
- Painless: 2
- Ingested: 0
- Blood: 1
- Touch: 2
- Inhaled: 3
- Subtle: 2 (+ Rating)
- Obvious: 0 (–1 per additional sense)
- Instant: 2
- Round: 1
- Minute: 0
- Hour: 1
- Day: 2
- Round: 3
- Minute: 2
- Hour: 1
- Day: 0
- Round: 0
- Minute: 1
- Hour: 2
- Day: 3