Sadly, disease is a constant problem in the World of Nightwick; however, the diseases of that strange realm do not function like those of our Earth. They are caused by miasmas - malignant smells and bad air that erupt from the earth to torment mortals. While normally the result of strange natural events such as earthquakes or bizarre stirrings in marsh or river waters, they can occasionally be the result of supernatural events such as curses or the arrival of some demon or malicious form of undead.
Whenever a character enters an area currently possessing a miasma - either due to natural or supernatural occurrences - they must make a saving throw or contract the disease. Bonuses against poison and death effects apply to this save. Wearing some form of protection, typically a face mask filled with pleasant smells such as incense or flowers, may afford a character a +2 bonus to the save.
Bishop’s Evil affects the flesh, causing it to wither and decay as though the sufferer were dead.
Stage 1: The character feels no pain, but also can no longer regain hit points through natural healing. Make a saving throw each month or advance to stage 2.
Stage 2: The character’s flesh begins to rot on the bone. Character may no longer receive magical healing, with the exception of the Cure Disease spell. Character also gains a permanent -1 penalty to reaction rolls. Make a saving throw each month or advance to stage 3.
Stage 3: Any hits now made against the character now immediately go to the Death & Dismemberment table as though they had 0HP. Character gains a permanent -2 penalty to reaction rolls. Characters must make an additional save each month. Failure indicates that they may no longer be cured by the Cure Disease spell.
Devil’s Fire causes fever, sweating, foamy saliva, and eventually homicidal madness in its victims.
Stage 1: Character’s thoughts become cloudy and delusional. -1 to all d6 based rolls and -2 to all d20 based rolls. Make a saving throw each day or advance to stage 2.
Stage 2: Character becomes horrifyingly violent, and will react to all situations with uncheck aggression, though, strangely, not against other sufferers of the disease. Character may also possess other delusions. Must check every two days or advance to stage 3.
Stage 3: Save or die. A successful save means that the character has slipped into a coma. Must make a new save every day.
The Flux is an awful disease that affects the bowels. It is particularly common in crowded cities, and those conditions give a -2 to the initial save to catch the illness.
Stage 1: Must make a save each hour or have to spend a turn “resting.” -1 to all d20 rolls. Must make a save every week or advance to stage 2.
Stage 2: Character can barely move and do little else other than either sleep or defecate. If somehow stirred to action, -2 to all d6 rolls and -5 to all d20 rolls. Must make a save each week or advance to Stage 3.
Stage 3: Save or die. Success indicates that the character is still alive, but must make a fresh save every day until some form of relief can be provided.
The Red Death is the most terrible disease known to the Dark Country. It is carried by a malevolent creature whose precise nature is unknown, but it is said that he appears as a monk dressed in a blood red habit. This disease has been known to depopulate entire villages.
Stage 1: Character gains strange, red blisters across entire body. These are immensely painful and incur a -2 to all d6 rolls and a -5 to all d20 rolls. Must make a new check each day or advance to stage 2.
Stage 2: Character begins to sweat blood. Pain is all encompassing and the character may do little other than lie down and shriek. Must make a save every day or advance to stage 3.
Stage 3: Save or die. If save is failed, character not only dies but also has all of their blisters burst in a horrible spray of blood. This creates a new miasma centered around the deceased. Success indicates that the character is still alive, but their sores have begun to weep, causing contraction of the disease for anyone touching them. This save is made each hour.
St. Gax’s Itch is a comparatively minor disease that causes skin inflammation, welts, and terrible itching.
Stage 1: Character suffers from mild itching, causing a -1 to all d20 based rolls. Make a save once a week or advance to stage 2.
Stage 2: Character is covered in itchy welts and shingles. -1 to all d6 rolls and -2 to all d20 rolls. Make a save once a week or advance to stage 3.
Stage 3: Character is now permanently scarred - gaining a -1 penalty on reaction rolls - but otherwise acts as stage 2.
Witch’s Dance is a strange disease that causes those afflicted to twitch and contort.
Stage 1: Character has mild difficulty with motor skills. -1 to all d6 rolls and -2 to all d20 rolls. Make a save each week or advance to stage 2.
Stage 2: Character now has extreme difficulty with motor skills. Must make a save in every new situation or fall down and convulse. Make a save each day or advance to stage 3.
Stage 3: Character now has no control over their own body. Constantly shift into new, more bizarre and awkward positions. Must make a save every hour or take 1 damage from the extreme nature of these positions. If restrained, character must make a new save each day or break through the restraints.