Page 747 - Extreme Proaction

5th May 2016, 6:00 AM
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Extreme Proaction
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)
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Author Notes:

Newbiespud 5th May 2016, 6:00 AM edit delete
Newbiespud
If you want to inspire dread and maybe even panic in a group of players, just suggest the barest possibility that they're in the presence of a supernatural sickness or disease. It's ire well-deserved; diseases in tabletop games are rough.

They don't see a lot of extended use in most games. A few one-shots or isolated locations, maybe, but rarely across a larger campaign. Those are only trotted out when the setting or the DM want to drive the point home of how dangerous a place is... by subjecting you to a debilitating, long-lasting status effect that you can do almost nothing to avoid, suppress, or otherwise deal with. It's not exactly fun.

56 Comments:

Digo Dragon 5th May 2016, 6:08 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
One of my early D&D 3.5 campaigns had the PCs visit a town that was under a magical disease. The players noticed that the town's church seemed to have protective properties against the disease, pointing to a supernatural source.

So the players took over the church and kicked out anyone ill from there. The church became their "CDC headquarters" so they could figure out the source of the disease. Pretty hilarious to watch them all quarantine themselves like that. The party eventually found the magical source in a cave outside town and destroyed the offending altar that was conjuring the illness. People then recovered slowly.

Never did anything with the disease again... but you know, a campaign focused on a supernatural disease might be interesting. Like the Corprus disease plot of Morrowind.
Pablo360 5th May 2016, 10:38 AM edit delete reply
Pablo360
I haven't technically played a single session of any RPG ever yet, but I do have a plan for when I start hosting sessions to make some sort of digression (at least) that deals with a strange disease killing people who go to a small town, but not the people in that town.

Since none of the people I'll likely GM this for will probably ever read this comic, I'll just spell it out: Basically, there's poison in the potatoes, which are a staple of the village's diet. The local farm has something in the soil that makes the potatoes poisonous; it produces enough potatoes to be a staple of the town's diet, but not enough that potatoes are being exported. The people who live in that town were brought up on potatoes, so they basically have immunity, but people who visit will likely die very quickly if they eat the potatoes (or drink the poitín (read: 80-180 proof potato liquor developed IRL by, surprise surprise, the Irish)).

It's not exactly supposed to be a main plot, but I hope that at least one party member gets the idea to use the potatoes to poison the BBEG in an attempt to "subvert the DM's plans". Which, of course, means that I'll have a spud-based TPK on my hands instead.

Wait... spud...
Digo Dragon 5th May 2016, 11:48 AM edit delete reply
Digo Dragon
*Snerk* Nice.
Dragonflight 5th May 2016, 12:38 PM edit delete reply
I ran a heavily modified 3.5 D&D game set in the Calandia game setting (tossed out the city-state trash, and built up the whole world instead.) The PC's began dealing with an army of kobolds, goblins, gnolls and trolls, all training under the influence of a Gnoll leader with a magical mace given to him by the dark god of tyranny.
Basically the mace would raise any of his physical stats by +1 for each creature he killed, up to a maximum of 25. BUT... For every day he *didn't* kill someone, he LOST a randomly determined physical stat, all the way down to 0, at which point he would die. So he was well-motivated. He had recruited mercs from the Imperial Legion to teach his demihuman army how to function like an actual *army*, and they were getting pretty scary.

The PC's had encountered a plague in a nearby city, and over the course of a few days, managed to find and cleanse an old church in the poor quarter. They got a bunch of clerics together and consecrated the place, imbuing it with a Cure Disease effect. Saving the town got easier. But the plague had spread farther. So they also went on a quest to discover a magical curative candle which would also cure the disease. While obtaining ingredients, they stumbled across this demihuman army, and realized the disease had been set specifically to weaken the human forces before the assault.

Not willing to let bygones be bygones, the saurial member of the PC party convinced the enemy army that he wanted to join up, and in the dead of night, he spread contaminated clothing around the demihuman army. They got sick, and started to die off. This made the gnoll leader understandably worried. Not only was his army dying off, but if he didn't have a large number of people to kill regularly, he'd die too. So he committed to the assault. But with his forces also weakened, neither had a clear advantage, and the PC's were able to lead the Imperials to a win.
Evilbob 5th May 2016, 5:09 PM edit delete reply
Evilbob
A campaign focused on diseases and stuff that the CDC does DOES sound fun! Although, let's be honest here... it doesn't have to be supernatural to be interesting. Real diseases are pretty scarily interesting enough.