Thursday, 1 May 2014

DM Diaries: Diseases

DM Diaries is the ramblings of a newbie DM running a 4e campaign.

Dire rat (source)
As a DM, I've realized I love diseases! Which sounds creepy and crazy. But seriously. Recently, my adventurers encountered some dire rats and wererats. In the first encounter with the dire rats, they managed to infect the fighter and the barbarian (both the party's strikers) with Filth Fever. Two encounters later, they encountered some wererats, where the warden and ranger were infected as well, meaning the only character to manage to not be infected was the bard (he was so proud).

My players got a little crazy with this one. The players of the fighter and warden are actually engaged. When they were planning who would stand where, the fighter asked the warden to stand in a specific place, but he didn't. The fighter (who was already infected), got pissed off and actually bit the warden, thus infecting him as well. He was pissed! I guess this may be why some people dislike running games involving couples, but that for another topic.

During their next extended rest, the fighter, barbarian and warden managed to heal themselves of the disease. The ranger, with his limited endurance, did not. He was dismayed to find that the town nearby was not large enough to have a doctor and insisted they find a city large enough for him to be healed. Luckily, they were going that way anyhow. In the 4 days it took them to walk to the city, he's condition actually worsened, so I guess it was worth it (despite the barbarian getting them throw out of the doctor's shop).

So clearly, including a disease in my game added a lot more than just making things a bit more difficult for the players. It added some roleplaying (which my table tends to lack - they like hitting stuff) and influenced their decisions on where to go and what to do next.

While I certainly don't want to overuse this mechanic, I feel like it definitely has some cool features and I will be including more diseases in future encounters/campaigns.

1 comment:

  1. My son is six and is getting into D&D, and he LOVES the diseases. He keeps giving me 2 choices and asking me which one I'd rather have.