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.

“The only time you look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don't look in your neighbor's bowl to see if you have as much as them.” - Louis C.K.
Aight cool!

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