RPG Gaming

Diseases & Parasites

By Marcus Pan

One of the most usual and obvious ways for a character to die in a game is to die by the sword. To die in battle or similar circumstances happens every day.

Another form of death is more rare, yet still obvious, and it is to die a natural death due to old age. Yet there is another way to die in a game… Death by disease or parasitic infection.

If you say these forms of death have no place in an Advanced Dungeons and Dragons campaign, you have a weak mind. Sickness and diseases have been known to kill many people with outbreaks and plagues.

If you Dungeon Masters want a well-rounded campaign, utilize these forms of danger in your milieu. But do not be so ridiculous as to destroy a character's life with a terminal disease because he/she got their hands dirty, and don't go to the other extreme where a character can eat an uncooked, dead rabbit that was lying on a trail for three days without the least bit of queasiness.

You may come up with your own contraction percentages, although I find that the Dungeon Master's Guide, pages 13-14, suit me just fine. It includes contraction percentages, occurrence and severity tables, and a listing of diseases.

Also remember, death is NOT the imminent end to a disease or parasitic infection. The character could become ill and unable to adventure for a few weeks, or it could be a mild attack. Not all infections are terminal.

May good health follow you…