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Tropical Diseases ?


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The most dangerous element in the pseudo-historical West African setting

I am currently working on should normally be the various tropical diseases,

for example malaria, sleeping sickness and dysentery (which actually killed

most of the region's explorers and colonists).

Before I begin to translate the real world diseases into game mechanics I

would like to ask whether this has perhaps already been done by some-

one else, since I would prefer to avoid to reinvent the wheel.

I am aware of Richard Gazley's very good "Diseases for RuneQuest", and I

intend to use it as the "model" for my setting's diseases, but it does not

cover for example malaria and sleeping sickness.

So, if you are aware of any already designed game mechanics for these or

other tropical diseases, please let me know - thank you. :)

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Looking at my notes, I just realized that there could be an easier,

although less realistic way to treat tropical diseases.

This would require only the probability of infection (modified by

the character's precautions), the duration of the incubation pe-

riod, the duration of the actual disease, and the probability of

a lethal outcome.

The character would roll for his probability to be infected, per-

haps once per month or more often in dangerous terrain like a

swamp. After the incubation period, determined randomly accor-

ding to the specific disease (e.g. 10 to 14 days for Malaria Tro-

pica), the disease would set in and incapacitate the character

for its again randomly determined duration. Finally the charac-

ter would roll for survival, with modifiers depending on the dis-

ease, his constitution and the medical treatment he received.

This is, if there is a chance of survival, some diseases like slee-

ping disease had a lethality of 100 % during the period ... but

in most cases the character could not know without a doctor's

diagnosis which disease he has, the symptoms of many disea-

ses were almost identical (high fever, etc.).

There would be no such things as daily CON rolls, and also no

temporary reductions of characteristics, the disease would put

the character out of business while it lasts, and afterwards he

would be considered fully recovered - or dead.

Well, do you think that this approach makes sense and could

work ?

Thank you. :)

Edited by rust

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Thank you very much. :)

It seems that DTRPG has the PDF of Black Seal 3, I will download it



A most useful article indeed, it saves me quite a lot of research time

and effort. :)

Edited by rust

"Mind like parachute, function only when open."

(Charlie Chan)

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Merrie England has Cholera and malaria - I have PMed you the relevant info.

Note that I have no medical background, so this is as accurate as the Internet and Wikipedia ...

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 


Jonstown Compendium author. Find my contributions here

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