Sunday, January 17, 2021

From Fever Dream to Initial Thoughts on New Disease


From Fever Dream to Initial Thoughts on New Disease
[I'm recovering from what I assume is a bad cold/light flu....NOT COVID....doubt I'll even get tested at this point, and last night I didn't have much of a temperature, but I did have one.....and this post comes straight out of my dreams last night.]

Rarely do I dream about gaming, and even then it's a pretty one-sided affair, like I'm dreaming about being in a game (as a player slinging dice) or I'm dreaming in-character. Last night I had the same dream over & over, but from different viewpoints. The result was an odd stream-of-consciousness that I think was about a HackMaster game, but the reasons for that should be apparent.

Starting from a player perspective there was one player at the table that had the hots for the woman playing a female druid at the table. He wanted to force her PC to fall in love with him, er his Sorcerer PC (yes, it was as creepy as that sound like) and created some magical potion that would do the trick. At this point another female Druid, this was the in-character mother of the would-be victim, discovered the ruse and was all, "Over her dead body". That phrase was a bit off, but I remember it clearly. So this older Druid performs some ritual that twists the magic of the potion so it doesn't work, but it has an unexpected side affect.

The younger Druid drinks the potion and appears to get rather sick, looking a little gaunt. The symptoms fade quickly enough and the Sorcerer, and player, leaves the group before his plans get out.....evidently the older Druid did not just out the guy, which would have made more sense to me. What isn't discovered is that the potion has a nasty side affect that remains hidden until the Druid changes into an animal form. Instead of changing into an expected form the Druid becomes an undead abomination that is an amalgamation of undead and lycanthrope. What's worse is that this state is transmittable through bite or claw attacks. The Druid is able to shape-shift back to human form, but her victims......they're stuck in this undead state.

This new disease, commonly referred to as Zycanthropy, starts off slowly at first and is confined to a single game world. Soon though PCs start getting affected and these PCs are taken to tournaments (why I think this is a HackMaster game) and the infection spread through the greater gaming community. Some game worlds the infection is recognized early and eradicated, but in just takes over. One issue is that Zycanthropy creates these pseudo-undead, but in doing so it usually severs the connection Clerics have with their Gawds, so higher-level Cure Disease spells are just about non-existent.

Zycanthropy is just decimating the gaming industry as game world after game world falls to this plague. Patient Zero and her home group hops from game table to game table trying to find the Sorcerer that created the original potion. They do end up getting to the right game table/game world, but this world is one the verge of being completely overrun by Zycanthropes. The Sorcerer is unrecognizable as he's some sort of Vampire now, but he's been working on a cure ever since he got infected. The cure is finished, and it works, but there is a big drawback in that it turns you fully Human (even of you were another race before infection) and if you get re-infected that infection is fatal. Doesn't sound terrible, but if you're the under 1% of humanity of a world of're pretty fucked.

My dream kind of ends there. Actually it generally restarts and shows things from another perspective, or just re-hashes aspects already covered.

Zycanthrophy: A disease in which the affected become an racial-undead hybrid which is based on their level. For example a 1st level Elf affected by Zycanthrophy would appear extremely gaunt and skeletal, where upon approaching 2nd level their appearance becomes much more ghoul-like. Infection sets in if a creature loses 1/2 of their hit points to a Zycanthropes natural attacks (claw/claw/bite for 1d2/1d2/1d3).

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