Monday, January 24, 2011

Random Disease Generator

Sometimes it is necessary to simulate diseases in RPGs. For GMs who desire either an element of randomness instead of assigning diseases with known symptoms, or who wish to create a truly exotic illness (extraterrestrial, magical, etc), consult the following tables. You will need at least one 12-sided die and one 30-sided.

Type of Disease
1-4       Minor Illness. Roll once on the Minor Symptom Table.
5-6       Advanced Minor Illness. Roll twice on the Minor Symptom Table.
7-9       Major. Roll once on the Major Symptom Table and three times on the Minor Symptom Table.
10-11   Advanced Major. Roll twice on the Major Symptom Table and four times on the Minor.
12        Life-threatening. Roll three times on Major Symptom and

1-3     Not contagious.
4-7     Mildly contagious (example: fluid exchange). Basic sanitary procedures (wearing gloves, no open wounds, scrubbing after interaction) will prevent infection.
8-11   Fully contagious (example: aerosol from sneezing and coughing inhaled or lands on mucous membranes). Masks and eyeshields are needed in addition to basic sanitary procedures.
12      Massively contagious (example: just breathing the same air). HAZMAT gear necessary to avoid infection.

Minor Symptoms
1     Runny Nose
    Clogged Sinuses ("stuffed-up head")
    Mild fever (99-101 degrees)
4     Nausea/upset stomach
5     Chills
6     Sweats
7     Body aches
10   Coughing
11   Sneezing 
12   Roll twice on this table

Major Symptoms
1     Vomiting (results in malnutrition)
2     Diarrhea (results in dehydration)
3     Massive Fever (102-107 degrees)
4     Crippling body/joint pain  (may result in hit point loss)
5     Weakness/Inability to stand or move
6     Incoherence/Delusions
7     Spasmodic Coughing
8     Fluid/mucous buildup in lungs
9     Muscle spasms (example: tetanus)
10   Uncontrollable trembling (neurological damage)
11   Blood coming out of places it shouldn't
12   Coma

Method of Cure (all results are cumulative)
1-3   Bed rest
4-6   Plenty of clear fluids
7-8   Antibiotics
9      Intensive care ward (conventional medicine)
10    Experimental drugs/retrovirus/DNA therapy (unconventional medicine)
11    Pray to whatever gods there may be
12    You have no chance to survive make your time

Name Generation
(note: if in a Sci-Fi RPG, the PC doctor who discovers the disease may name it himself)

The structure is: Noun ('s) Adjective Symptom.

Clearly there are too many to list. Examples include: Name of discovering doctor; name of first patient; name of location where disease first manifested; name of people with whom the disease is endemic. If stuck, name generators may be of use. 

Adjective (pick one or roll randomly)
  1. Aching
  2. Agonizing
  3. Awful
  4. Bloody
  5. Burning
  6. Bursting
  7. Dripping
  8. Excruciating
  9. Gooey
  10. Horrendous
  11. Horrid
  12. Ichorous
  13. Insufferable
  14. Intolerable
  15. Liquid
  16. Mucosal
  17. Painful
  18. Painful
  19. Raw
  20. Rugose
  21. Scabrous
  22. Severe
  23. Slimy
  24. Squamous
  25. Throbbing
  26. Thunderous
  27. Unbearable
  28. Worse Than Death
  29. Wracking
  30. Wrenching

Take the most life-threatening symptom (or in the case of minor ailments, most inconvenient) and use it or a synonym.

Example of use:
An intrepid space-explorer who contracted an intestinal bug that results in fever, cramps, spasms and diarrhea has a case of the Glorflaxian Thunder-Shits.


  1. I think I might like to inflict the Paddington Worse-Than-Death Shivers on someone at some point...

  2. Oh, that's splendid! Now I have a mental image of it being vectored through British teddybears and whose treatment involves marmalade. :)


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