Afflictions

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Afflictions

Afflictions, such as diseases and poisons, are all defined by the following characteristics, which detail how they affect a creature which fails a saving throw against them: Name, Vector, Intensity, Save, Frequency, Effect, and Fruition.
Name: This is the name of the disease or poison.
Vector: This is the means by which the disease or poison must be introduced to a subject: contact, ingested, inhaled, injury.
  • Contact: delivered the moment a creature touches them with their bare skin.
  • Ingested: delivered when a creature eats or drinks them.
  • Inhaled: delivered the moment a creature enters an area containing them. A creature can hold its breath while inside the area, by voluntarily gaining the Gagging condition, to avoid inhaling the toxin. If a creature is voluntarily asphyxiating and fails its save, rather than dying, it begins to breathe normally again (and is affected by the inhaled affliction if it is still present).
  • Injury: These poisons are primarily delivered through the attacks of certain creatures and through weapons coated in the toxin. Injury poisons do not usually have an onset time and have a frequency of 1 round.
Note that vectors are not interchangeable — a disease or poison with an injury vector won't harm a target that ingests it, unless it also has an ingest vector listed.
Intensity: The intensity of a disease or poison states which status condition it inflicts. Disease intensities are: Infected, Diseased, or Plagued. Poison intensities are Tainted, Poisoned, and Blighted. The intensity of the disease or poison determines how easily the effects can be cured.
Save: This is the saving throw type (Fort, Refl, Will) and DC for the disease or poison. A creature subjected to a disease or poison makes a saving throw immediately upon its introduction to their system, and one saving throw for the second and third intervals of the disease or poison's frequency. The save DC is always the same for all of these saves. A creature which fails a saving throw against the disease or poison will always take one interval worth of effects from it as a result. If the saving throw is successful, the disease or poison is shrugged off, and deals no further effects to the target.
Frequency: Many poisons act immediately upon their introduction to a target, but some poisons are designed to be slower to act. By contrast, most diseases take a day to cause effects on the target. The frequency determines how often the disease or poison will attempt to inflict its effects on the victim, and when its first effects are felt. There are three frequencies: "1/round for 3 rounds", "1/hour for 3 hours", and "1/day for 3 days". Diseases and poisons never have more than 3 intervals of their frequency. The first interval's effects are triggered by the failure of the initial saving throw, but may not occur until the first interval has passed, as detailed below:
  • "1/round for 3 rounds": Diseases and poisons with a frequency of "rounds" inflict their first interval of effects as soon as it is introduced into the system of its victim. (E.g. a drow blademaster stabs the fighter, inflicting melee damage, and forcing the fighter to save against the drow's languishroot poison. If the save is failed, the fighter immediately takes the first interval of effects of the poison.) The target of a disease or poison with a frequency of "rounds" takes the second interval of effects at the start of their next turn, if they fail a second save. The round after that, at the start of the target's second turn after being diseased or poisoned, they make their third (and final) save. If this save is also failed, the third interval of effects are inflicted, as is the disease's or poison's fruition (if it has one). The strongest diseases and poisons only allow a saving throw when it is first inflicted, and no saving throws for the second or third intervals. In this case, the effects of the second and third intervals just occur as though their respective saving throws were failed.
  • "1/hour for 3 hours": Slower diseases or poisons, such as ingested poisons or fast-acting diseases, may act with a frequency of "1/hour for 3 hours". In this case, the target creature makes their first saving throw as soon as the disease or poison is introduced, but they take no effect until the first interval (1 hour later) occurs. The victim doesn't get a second saving throw until the second interval (2 hours after the disease or poison's introduction). If they fail the second save, they take a second interval of effects. At the start of the 3rd hour, the third (and final) save is made. If this save is also failed, the third interval of effects are inflicted, and the disease or poison's fruition is inflicted (if it has one). The strongest diseases and poisons only allow a saving throw when it is first inflicted, and no saving throws for the second or third intervals. In this case, the effects of the second and third intervals just occur as though their respective saving throws were failed.
  • "1/day for 3 days": This frequency is extremely rare for poisons, but extremely common for diseases. Much like a disease or poison with a frequency of "hours", the target creature makes their first saving throw as soon as it is introduced, but they take no effect from it until the first interval occurs, at the beginning of the next day. The victim doesn't get a second saving throw until the second interval (2 days after the disease or poison's introduction). If they fail the second save, they take a second interval of effects. At the start of the 3rd day, the third (and final) save is made. If this save is also failed, the third interval of effects are inflicted, and the disease or poison's fruition is inflicted (if it has one). The strongest diseases and poisons only allow a saving throw when it is first inflicted, and no saving throws for the second or third intervals. In this case, the effects of the second and third intervals just occur as though their respective saving throws were failed.
Effect: This is what the disease or poison does to the target creature at each interval of its frequency, if the saving throw was unsuccessful. Poisons typically inflict a combination of ability damage (or ability drain) and Non-Lethal Damage, although poison effects can vary wildly. Diseases usually inflict just ability damage to one or more ability scores, though status conditions are also possible. Note that lethal and non-lethal damage inflicted by the effect (or fruition) of a disease or a poison is considered bludgeoning damage, but it cannot be mitigated with DR, unless the DR explicitly states it can be used to mitigate damage caused by disease or poison (such as the Endurance (Feat)).
Fruition: This is the effect inflicted if the disease or poison's third tick of its frequency is allowed to occur before a successful saving throw is made. Fruitions always list a duration after which the effect(s) expire on their own. This can be some number of hours, days, or even permanent. Note that a fruition can only occur after 3 failed saving throws.


Multiple Doses: If a creature is subjected to multiple doses of a disease or poison with a frequency of "rounds", the most recent disease or poison overwrites the older one, though any effects already inflicted by the older disease or poison linger and must be cured as described below. Of course, if a creature is subjected to different kinds of diseases or poisons, their effects stack.