Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Catastrophe of the Day: Plague Survivor

Today's Catastrophe.  Catastrophes are obligatory character choices that involve rolling on tables like the one below.  I'm looking for critiques or brilliance that's evaded me before I subject them upon my test subjects, er, players.  This one is tentatively "balanced" to have roughly a 30% chance of a good, bad or mixed result.  I've got spreadsheet formulas to compute odds of different results for tables, because that's how I roll.  (get it?)



Here is what you could get as a

Plague Survivor:



 

D100
Plague Survivor Effects
01-16
Your constitution saves vs disease are at +2.
17-26
You have the scars of a plague survivor.  -2 to charisma checks for Performance or Persuasion and +2 to Intimidation checks.  You have advantage on constitution saves against disease.
27-32
You are immune to the plague but still have a dormant infection.  Anyone within 50’ of you during a long rest has a 1% chance of acquiring the plague.  You must complete a pilgrimage before Cure Disease will fix this condition, as the plague is divine vengeance against the world.
33-45
You have the scars of a plague survivor, -1 to charisma checks for Performance and Persuasion, +1 to Intimidation checks.  You learned the Medicine skill during your ordeal.
46-51
You have an aversion to uncleanliness and corruption.  Not only must you attempt to bathe every long rest or be at -1 cumulative to ability checks until you bathe, but you have disadvantage to constitution saves vs nausea, odors, or corruption (Prestidigitation comes in really handy as a cantrip here).
52-64
You have advantage to any perception, insight or investigation checks to detect the presence of disease or corruption. 
65-70
Your immune system is weakened and you are at disadvantage to constitution saves vs disease until you complete a pilgrimage, gaining you XXX Exp.
71-76
You gain an enemy who blames you for spreading the plague.
77-82
You are haunted by an abandoned friend or loved one.  Every Long Rest you must make a DC 10 charisma check against fright or not gain the benefits of that rest.  You must atone to your companion’s spirit or complete a pilgrimage to overcome this and gain XXX Exp.
83-88
While you no longer carry the plague, you still look like you do with all the superficial but non-debilitating symptoms.   You can use spells or the disguise proficiency to try to hide your symptoms.  You must succeed on a DC 15 persuasion or deception check in order to calm anyone who realizes your appearance matches that of a plague victim.  You can overcome this condition if you complete a pilgrimage, gaining you XXX Exp.
89-100
Roll twice, disregarding conflicting results.
wow, cutting and pasting tables from Word actually works ok. 


Medieval accounts of the plague are interesting.  The spiritual aspects are in the forefront of their minds, as is sense that the plague was a divine retribution.  Certainly a cleric couldn't use Cure Disease against something their god had intended, correct?

You read accounts like this: 

"When this plague was passing from one land to another, many people saw shapes of bronze boats and (figures) sitting in them resembling people with their heads cut off.  Holding staves, also of bronze, they moved along on the sea and could be seen going whithersoever they headed.  These figures were seen everywhere in a frightening fashion, especially at night.  Like flashing bronze and like fire did they appear, black people without heads sitting in a glistening boat and traveling swiftly on the sea, so that this sight almost caused the souls of the people who saw it to expire."

John, Bishop of Ephesus, as quoted in Justinian's Flea. 

So, assuming you'd be a player in my campaign and would have to choose one of these catastrophes, would you pick plague?