Disease

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Slimcreeper
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Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2016 11:44 pm

Disease

Post by Slimcreeper » Thu Jan 02, 2020 11:32 pm

Again, because I have a problem with making unnecessary rule changes, I've reworked the diseases. This reduces some of the pressure to make sure diseases are historically accurate and also makes them less permanently disabling. Which isn't historically accurate either, but I tend to lean a bit more pulp. Not too much, because this makes it so that I wouldn't feel (too) bad about infecting a character.

Edited, updating the wounds and a bit in the Disease section -

Types of Wounds & Infection

While it’s not necessary to track exactly what kind of damage caused each wound, a character will take on one of several conditions when Wounded. It’s possible to have more than one condition, for example, Bloody and Internal Injuries, but not to have the same condition twice, for example Bloody and Bloody. The GM decides what conditions are imposed.

Bloody
- Caused by edged weapons, or as determined by the GM.
- Each day the Character is Bloody and not treated, the character is exposed to a Bacterial Severe Disease (i.e. sepsis, see below).
- Dusting a Wound with powdered penicillin and changing the bandage stops exposure to sepsis, effectively ending The Bloody Condition.
- Using a Physician’s kit to treat any wound removes the Bloody Condition. Healing all wounds through any method removes the Bloody Condition.

Internal Bleeding
- Caused by blunt weapons, falling, or magical attacks, etc.
- Each morning, prior to the first Recovery test, the character takes Step Damage equal to the number of wounds. This makes it very difficult to heal wounds
- Internal Bleeding is stopped by using any magical healing. It can also be stopped by using rolling Physician (8) and taking a day of bedrest.

Burned
- Burns are caused by fire, electrical or chemical attacks, etc.
- Each day the Character is Burned and not treated with powdered penicillin, the character is exposed to a Bacterial Severe Disease (i.e. sepsis, see below).
- The Burned condition can be removed by rolling Physician (8) and taking a day of bedrest.
- Lionel’s Decoction, most widely available in the Gruv, also removes the Burned Condition.

Disease & Minor Injuries

Disease is a squirrely thing in RPGs, because no one wants to play-pretend being sick. On the other hand, medicine was going through some heroic changes in the Victorian era, and that’s interesting.

Player Characters Getting Sick or Injured - Not Damaged

PCs will only get sick in the context of an adventure. Situations that occur to me:
- Disease-ridden city. Use Physician like Wilderness Survival, TN (7) each day to protect the group. You can take the step on this test. Each Success protects 1 character; each test takes 2 hours. The characters are protected for a week. If there isn’t enough protection for everyone, the PC exposed is chosen at random. The GM will have decided what type of diseases are in the city, moderate or severe.
- Wilderness travel. Use Wilderness Survival to find Shelter protects each person from Injury and disease. These can be made weekly. In civilization, preparing for an expedition, the character can take the step for this test. If there isn’t enough protection for everyone, the PC exposed is chosen at random.
-- Exposure to a Moderate Disease on a Rule of 1.
-- Injuries & accidents: Fatigue, Sunburn, Strains & Sprains, Blisters, Venomous Vermin, Minor Illness.

Disease Effects

The rules in the book are probably very well-researched but a smidge complicated. Instead, each Disease fits neatly into Debilitating and/or Damage. They may have additional features: Death, Attribute Loss, or Fever.

- Deadly Diseases work slightly different than poisons. If the Debilitation drops a character’s Toughness Step to 0 at any point, the character will die once the disease runs its course. At this point, the only thing that can save the character is a Resist Disease potion. If the character makes a Resistance test against the Disease’s Effect Step, the character will survive.
- Attribute Loss: Diseases that cause Attribute Loss don’t cause wounds. Instead, each Wound that would be caused by a Disease causes an Attribute Point lost. The Attribute is chosen at random. When a character increases their Professional Rank, all lost Attribute Points are restored
- Fever works just like in the book.
- Damage occurs every day, regardless of whether it is a Moderate or Severe Disease. If the character is on bedrest, it can be assumed that all Recovery Tests recover all damage, but you should still roll them in case of wounds.

Diseases are divided into Minor, Moderate and Severe.
- Minor illnesses are treated as described on p. 233.

- Moderate Diseases
-- Onset time: 1-2 days, duration effect test days.
-- Choose 2: Debilitating, Damage, Fever.
-- 50% are bacterial and can be treated with penicillin.

- Severe Diseases
-- Onset time: 1-2 days, duration effect test weeks.
-- Always Debilitating and Damage
-- Choose 2: Damage, Fever, Attribute Loss, Death.
-- 50% are bacterial and can be treated with penicillin.

Recovering from Disease

Treating Symptoms
Aspirin, Laudanum, and Chlorodyne can be used to treat the symptoms of disease. Laudanum and Chlorodyne only force the user to make a Toughness test to remain awake if the character uses a recovery test during the duration.

Curing a Disease
Left alone, most diseases run their course over the course of their duration. Each successful Resistance test reduces the duration by one day (for Moderate Illnesses) or one week (for Severe Illnesses) per success. Characters only get Resistance tests under certain conditions.

- Charity hospital care grants one test per week. However, conditions are less than sanitary, so patients are also exposed to 1 Moderate disease each time they check into the hospital. In Victorian London, at least, the hospitals are mostly free.
- Private Care with a physician costs £1/10 per day for Moderate Diseases or £7 per week for Severe Diseases. If the physician makes their test, it grants one Resistance test, adding the rank of the Physician to the roll. The TN for a Moderate Disease is 6; for a Severe Disease it is 15. For PC physicians, they must spend at least half the fee on supplies, and the supplies may be difficult to locate outside of major cities.
- Resist Disease potions grant an immediate Resistance test, with the bonus described.
- Injections of penicillin grant the bonuses described in the book (+4, then +2 and +2 cumulative) against bacterial diseases. A course of penicillin can only be given once per disease.

Example:
Gerald has a acquired a Severe Disease in a cholera-ridden city on the continent. His twin sister, Geraldine, will be treating him. Decided randomly, the disease is Debilitating, effect 7, Onset 2 Days, Duration 3 weeks, with Fever, Attribute Loss, and Death, Bacterial.
She’s offering private care and tries to come up with a personalized care routine, rolling a 31 the first week, granting her rank (3) as a bonus to his Resistance test.

- The damage rolls for the first week: 15, 7, 4, 2, 10, 1, 11. That beats his Wound Threshold 4 times, causing no actual wounds but reducing Dex, Strength, Toughness, and Perception each by 1. Because he’s on bedrest, the damage itself is ignored.
Gerald makes a Resistance test. His Toughness is 4, her Physician skill is 3, she’s given him penicillin for +8. His final step is 15, on which he rolled a 9, reducing the Duration by 1 week. The fever she controls with asprin.
- The second week: 3, 14, 10, 10, 9, 4. That beats his Wound Threshold 4 more times, reducing his Perception by 2, Strength by 1, and Charisma by 1. At this point the disease has run its course. The fever she controls with asprin.

It was brutal, reducing his Dexterity to 18, Strength to 6, Toughness to 7, Perception to 15, and charisma to 13. If his Toughness had been reduced by one more, he probably would have died. Until he’s able to increase his professional rank, the deck is stacked against him. Characters with a Toughness Attribute of 8 should avoid getting sick.
Last edited by Slimcreeper on Sat Jan 04, 2020 4:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

ChrisDDickey
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Re: Disease

Post by ChrisDDickey » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:58 am

My first initial comment is that nothing usually ever effects anybody to the level of attribute points. It is usually always attribute steps, not attribute points. Steps are, of course, 3 times more powerful than points, but, usually those are what is effected.

Slimcreeper
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Re: Disease

Post by Slimcreeper » Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:28 am

TB and Typhoid in the book attack Attribute points, and the effect is permanent. I figured most diseases will just hit you with the penalties from being Debilitating - which is nasty.

*edit* but this is still all very preliminary

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Andrew1879
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Re: Disease

Post by Andrew1879 » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:02 pm

I went with Attribute points for TB and Typhoid to slow the progression. If you lose an Attribute point, you might not lose a Step. Trying to keep the diseases historically and medically accurate and yet make the RAW a little less brutal.

Slimcreeper
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Re: Disease

Post by Slimcreeper » Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:10 pm

I like the attribute loss because I imagine the player’s anxiety at watching a carefully balanced stat array melt away.

Surprised there’s not more grumbling about the wound Conditions.

I’m changing the Burned condition so it prevents wounds from healing.

I wish Internal Bleeding was nastier. Right now it’s just annoying and unlikely to come up. What about Step Damage each morning just before the morning recovery test? There would need to be another way to get rid of it.

Obviously Bloody is by far the most common Condition.

avensis
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Re: Disease

Post by avensis » Thu Feb 27, 2020 2:50 pm

I do the same thing also by modifying the burn state in order to prevent the wounds from healing.

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Last edited by avensis on Fri Mar 27, 2020 7:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Andrew1879
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Re: Disease

Post by Andrew1879 » Thu Feb 27, 2020 6:39 pm

Everybody hates the RAW for Disease and Infection because they're brutal. I keep saying, welcome to 1880. This isn't Earthdawn - it's meant to be a much more lethal environment.

Slimcreeper
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Re: Disease

Post by Slimcreeper » Thu Feb 27, 2020 10:12 pm

I don't mind them; I just have a rules-tinkering problem. I wanted to make disease more of a mini-game I could plan for using in game.

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