Diseases and other environnemental hazards

Hi guys,

We played DnD Next yesterday and I wanted them to be in a post-apocalyptic world. I also would like to use environnemental hazards like diseases but I seem to lack the imagination to come by any type of diseases that would affect their play beside saying "you're sick".

So I was wondering if you guys had any ideas or prepared diseases that I could throw at my players in DnD Next.

Here my basic idea for diseases in a post-apocalyptic world : all diseases give either -2 to any diplomatic checks or give disadvantage to doplomatic checks.

My first idea was a Rotting Fever : The PC feel sick and loses 1 hp until healed. This fever causes your skin get darker with some greenish spots on it which, in fact, helps the character if he tries to hide, granting him a +1 bonus to stealth checks.

Second idea was a simple Cold : The PC sometimes cough until healed and this can make it harder to hide giving -2 to stealth (or disadvantage).

Here it is. I can't think of anything else for now and I can't decide on what to give as a malus (either -X to skills or disadvantage?).

Thx for helping me (and maybe yourselves) out in this!

Here's what I did. I wanted my nasty dire rats to potentially cause disease. So I wrote up the following. It might be a bit harsh, but I like to torture my players... ;)


I added the following trait to my dire rat statblock:

Disease Carrier: Any living creature bitten by a dire rat must make a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be inflicted by rat-bite fever. Failure: The victim contracts Stage 1 of the disease and will begin experiencing symptoms in 1d4–1 days.



Rat-Bite Fever


After each long rest in which you suffered symptoms, you must make another Constitution saving throw with a DC equal to the base disease (11) + the current stage you are in, or else you progress to the next stage. Succeeding on the saving throw by 5 or more reduces the disease by 1 Stage (Stage 0 = cured).


Complete bed rest reduces the required saving throw DC by 2. Also, a heal skill check can be substituted for a saving throw in the case of active, long-term care.



  • Stage 1: You develop an infectious pus pocket on your skin, in and around the wound, which is extremely painful. You break out into a mild fever. You take a –1 penalty to attack rolls, ability checks and saving throws until the disease is cured. In addition, your maximum hit points are reduced by 1 point per HD/Level.

  • Stage 2: The infection has spread rashes all over your body and your skin is fragile, tearing easily. Your fever becomes quite severe, accompanied by strong migraines. You now take a –2 penalty to attack rolls, ability checks, saving throws and armor class. Your maximum hit points are reduced by a further 1 point per HD/Level and you benefit from only half the value of any HD expended for non-magical healing.

  • Stage 3: The white boils found at the site where the infection began have turned to necrotic tissue. The pus pockets burst occasionally, leaving a slimy residue all over your body. Your maximum hit points are reduced by a further 1 point per HD/Level you have and all HD expended for non-magical healing are minimized. The disease is actively contagious during this stage. Any creature that tends to you or is in close proximity for extended periods of time must make a saving throw every 4 hours or contract Stage 1 of the disease themselves.

  • Stage 4: On entering this stage, you lose a limb to the necrotic tissues, usually the limb originally infected (or closest to the bite). In the event of a leg, reduce your base speed by half. Losing an arm has obvious limits on the carrying or wielding of weapons, shields, etc.

  • Stage 5: You die.

Aight cool!

If anyone else have ideas, let's share them! Maybe Wizards will take some of them. ;)