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Made rules for a disease, could use feedback.

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  • Made rules for a disease, could use feedback.

    Hello everyone, I just wrote the rules for the Sleeping Sickness disease and, as the title said, I'd like to have some feedback. I can't get if the mechanics work as they should, whether it's too slow, too fast and stuff like that. Never played much with the disease mechanics and this is the first time I write one, so I'd rather post it here and get some criticism. Also, I've made this for a work that involves Beasts and added special rules for them and other supernaturals below; could use feedback on that as well.


    I post the entire thing for context and quick informations on the disease, feel free to skip that part and go straight to the mechanics if you prefer.

    Thanks in advance!



    The Sleeping Sickness is a parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of tsetse fly. The sickness and its vectors existed in Africa for thousands of years but the lack of fast communication on large scale never allowed it to propagate over wide areas, something that changes during the colonial era. It’s a nasty disease: it’s slow, painful and, if not treated in time, inevitably lethal. Those who contract show no signs of the contagion at first but, after a couple of weeks, the symptoms manifest. Headaches, muscular pains and intermittent peaks of high fever are the universal ones, along with others, like confusion, tremors and uncontrolled spasms. As the parasites invade the circulatory system, the whole body weakens and suffers of all kinds of disfunctions. This is merely the first phase of the disease.


    The second phase begins when the parasites reaches the central nervous system. The time for this to happen vary, with the average being about a month since the initial infection. The victim loses control of her sleep cycle, as the brain becomes completely unable to manage it. The infected have no power whatsoever over their sleep, alternating between hours of lethargic sleep and episodes of rabid wakefulness. Trying to interfere with their slumber bears few results, as in later stages the victims can only gather enough strength to move for few minutes before going asleep again. This, combined with the other neurological symptoms such as an unpredictable mixture of irritability and apathy that often leads to psychotic reactions, it’s evidence of the progressive deterioration of the entire neurological system that eventually leads to a true coma followed by a systemic organ failure that culminates with death, something that can take months of agony.


    Mechanics
    Exposure to the Sleeping Sickness usually happens because of the bite of the tsetse fly. Infection through the exchange of blood can theoretically happen, but is way much rare. Any character bitten by the tsetse fly risks infection. If a character is exposed to the Sleeping Sickness, his player rolls Stamina + Resolve to resist infection. Due to the aggressive nature of the disease, human characters suffer a -2 penalty to this roll. The Storyteller may impose penalties or bonuses based on the duration and severity of exposure at her discretion. The player should only roll once per every 24 hours of non-supernatural infection exposure. In modern times, the disease can be cured if diagnosticated during the first stages, granting appropriate bonuses to the roll and the chance to heal and eliminate the infection from the body with a successful roll. During the events of the Dark Era, though, a cure had yet to be discovered and the correlation between the flies and the Sleeping Sickness will be discovered only in 1903.

    Roll Results
    Dramatic Failure: The character contracts a particularly virulent form of the infection, which manifest for two days as fever, headaches and widespread pain. After three days, the character already enters the second stage of the disease (see below), but the damage for failing a roll is 3L.

    Failure: The character contracts the Sleeping Sickness. For eight to twelve days, he exhibits no symptoms. Six hours after symptoms start, the player must roll Stamina + Resolve (again at the -2 penalty) or the character takes 1B damage. After three or four weeks of symptoms, the Sleeping Sickness reaches its second stage. At that point, the damage for failing a roll becomes 2L. The disease does not stop until the character is dead.
    Success:The character successfully resists infection for this round of exposure.
    Exceptional Success:The character successfully resists all attempts of infection for the next month.
    In combat, characters are considered to have the “grave” version of the Sick Tilt during the first phase of the Sleeping Sickness. During the second phase characters are also subjected to the Insensate Tilt.



    The Sleeping Sickness is not a disease of supernatural origin; it’s dramatically mundane. That said, it has repercussion on supernatural as well. Vampires do not suffer from any symptoms but can become carriers for a week if they feed on infected people. Werewolves subtract their Primal Urge from the damage as usual and, by virtue of their constitution, can heal completely from the disease. Mages have no special immunity but they sure have the means to deal with the disease before it’s too late. Changelings, Beasts and Sin-Eaters all add their Supernatural Tolerance rating to the roll and are able to heal on their own as well. Prometheans and Mummies are completely immune.

    The Sleeping Sickness interferes with the human sleeping cycle so much that those who suffer from it are more vulnerable to the powers of the Begotten. The people that are in the second phase of the disease suffer a -3 penalty on all rolls to resist the influence of a Beast’s power outside of combat. Forced to sleep for the greatest part of the day and utterly defenseless against the influence of the Primordial Dream, there’s few these unfortunate people can do the fight against Beasts and wake from their feverish nightmares. Situations that would cause a Hero to sense a Beast (like rolls of Under the Bed or exceptional successes that happen when a starving Horror goes hunting through the area) still apply though, meaning that those Begotten who exploit the disease for their own personal gain have to be careful with their actions or face the consequences.
    Last edited by Cinder; 04-20-2017, 11:19 AM.


    Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
    Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps". When not busy writing homebrew, I also try to write CoD fiction. (All paused until August)

    Waiting feverishly as instructed

  • #2
    Why not just use Conditions to represent diseases?

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jeremysbrain View Post
      Why not just use Conditions to represent diseases?
      Well, I do use Tilts, at least when it comes to combat.

      Since we have rules for the plague though, and the Sleeping Sickness is another disease which calls for some rule tweaking, I wrote this. But yeah, Tilts are supposed to represent the disease during direct conflict, as usual


      Cinder's Comprehensive Collection of Creations - Homebrew Hub
      Currently writing: "Dark Era: The Forest That Weeps". When not busy writing homebrew, I also try to write CoD fiction. (All paused until August)

      Waiting feverishly as instructed

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