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Malady (Pathfinder)

From DivNull RPG

The Malady is an ancient necromantic disease that, until recently, was locked up in the Banewarrens. Now that it has been released, it threatens to consume the world. When infected with the Malady, a victim becomes nearly mindless, with a constant need to feed on the flesh of the living. Though this doesn’t technically kill the victim (it is closer to a form of possession), mechanically the infected are treated as undead in every way. Each of them can also easily spread the disease to others, quickly creating massive hordes of infected.

There are two vectors for the disease, one of which works faster than the other:

  • The Malady disease, injury; save DC 20; onset 1d4 rounds; frequency 1/hour; effect 1d4 Con, this damage may be healed while the creature is infected, but this does not cure the infection; cure 3 consecutive saving throws. Anyone whose Constitution reaches zero while infected immediately gains the templates listed below.
  • The Malady disease, fluid contact; save DC 15; onset 1d4 minutes; frequency 1/hour; effect 1d3 Con, this damage may be healed while the creature is infected, but this does not cure the infection; cure 3 consecutive saving throws. Anyone whose Constitution reaches zero while infected immediately gains the templates listed below.

Color fades from the skin over the first day of infection, taking on a slight bluish tinge, while the whites of the eyes and fingernails yellow.

Oddly enough, a detect poison spell cast on someone will accurately determine if that person is infected with the Malady.

Infected templates[edit]

Victims of the desease gain one or more templates while they are fully infected. Some victims may also gain special templates, based on their traits in life. The infected gains all templates that apply to the base creature.

Malady Infected[edit]

All infected gain this template, which is exactly the same as the zombie template, except for the following:

Abilities: As the zombie template, but Malady infected retain some degree of intelligence, retaining an Int of 4.

Attacks: As the zombie template, but adding a bite attack that deals damage based on the infected’s size, but as if it were one size category larger than its actual size (see Natural Attacks).

Skills: Malady infected retain their skill ranks, but take a flat -20 penalty to all skill checks except Perception. They can understand language, but cannot speak.

Defensive Abilities: Infected lose their defensive abilities and gain all of the qualities and immunities granted by the undead type. Infected of medium size or smaller gain DR 5/good. Large infected gain DR 10/good. Huge and larger creatures gain DR 15/good.

Special Qualities: Malady infected do not have the staggered special quality of zombies. They do have these:

Sunlight Aversion (Ex) When in direct sunlight, the Malady infected have poor reflexes and can only perform a single move action or standard action each round. In this state, an infected can move up to its speed and attack in the same round as a charge action.

Death Burst (Ex) When a Malady infected dies, it explodes in a burst of decay. All creatures adjacent to the infected are exposed to its plague and must make a Fortitude save or contract the Malady. This is transmission through fluid exchange, so the DC is 15.

Disease (Su) A successful bite from the Malady infected transmits the Malady to the target. Other natural attacks do not.

Vulnerability to Positive Energy (Su) . Malady infected take half again as much damage (+50%) from a positive energy, even if they cut the base damage in half with a saving throw. Further, if they reach zero hit points from such an attack, they explode more violently than usual. This deals 1d6 piercing damage to all creatures adjacent to the infected. Creatures who take damage from this must resist the Malady (injury transmitted). Adjacent creatures who avoid the damage (through damage reduction, for example) and all other creatures within two squares away from the infected, are splashed as if by the Death Burst quality.

Satiation (Ex) Once an infected has filled its stomach with human flesh, it will seek shelter in order to digest unless threatened. Once reasonably safe, it will huddle motionless for 1d6 hours before rising to feed again. While digesting, the infected takes a -10 penalty on all Perception checks. Exposure to full daylight has a 75% chance of triggering the shelter instinct, even if the infected is not totally full.

Energetic Infection[edit]

If the base creature had the ability to cast arcane spells, the infected visibly crackles with arcane energy. They gain this template:

Challenge Rating: +1

Feats: Improved Critical (Natural Attacks)

Special Qualities: In addition to other Malady related qualities, gains:

Bursting With Energy: Natural attacks deal 1d6 additional energy damage (type determined randomly for each attack). On a critical hit, add an additional 1d10 of the same kind of damage.

Energy Feedback: When hit in melee, the attacker is dealt 1d6 energy damage (type determined randomly for each attack).

Spell Resistance: Gains SR 15.

Necrotic Infection[edit]

If the base creature had the ability to cast divine spells, then infected is covered with a wispy, necrotic energy. They also gain this template:

Challenge Rating: +1

Special Qualities: In addition to other Malady related qualities, gains:

Necrotic Feedback: When hit in melee, the attacker is dealt 1d6 cold damage.

Death Blast: When killed, in addition to any other effects of the infection, negative energy explodes out of the infected. For every two full hit dice the creature possesses, this blast does 1d6 damage to living creatures in its 30’ radius. Undead within the blast are healed for the same amount.

Spell Resistance: Gains SR 15.

Profane Infection[edit]

If the base creature’s alignment was evil, the infected retains more of its intelligence and its skin gains a greenish tinge. It also gains this template:

Challenge Rating: +1

Abilities: In addition to other adjustments from infection, the creature gains +4 Str, +4 Dex and +2 Int.

Armor Class: A profane infected gains a +4 profane bonus to Armor Class.

Special Attacks

Quick Strikes (Ex) Whenever the infected makes a full attack, it can make one additional slam attack at its highest base attack bonus.

Special Qualities

Regeneration (Ex): The infected has regeneration 3. It takes normal damage from good-aligned weapons, and spells or effects with the good descriptor.

Immunity to Fire (Ex): The infected is immune to fire.

Curing the Malady[edit]

Thus far, the only certain way to fully contain the Malady is by using the malady lock. It remains a disease, however, so particular cases are treatable individually. A succesfully cast remove disease spell will eliminate the disease from the target, as will any other disease curing magic.

Since the victims of the Malady are not truly undead, curing the disease removes any templates it placed on the victim. Cured victims are considered alive and normal (presuming they were when infected) and regain a Constitution score with a current value of 1. This is considered ability damage that will heal over time to its normal level. The victim may also still have injuries or be under other effects from when they are infected, which remain and must be healed or removed by other means. Most victims will remember most of their actions while infected. Some may also have stomach contents which are no longer safe for human consumption.

PCGen data[edit]

Add to *_templates.lst, replacing the † with tabs:

# Malady Infected
Malady Infected†TEMPLATE:Undead†TEMPLATE:CHOOSE:Malady Infected ~ Tiny|Malady Infected ~ Small|Malady Infected ~ Medium|Malady Infected ~ Large|Malady Infected ~ Huge|Malady Infected ~ Gargantuan|Malady Infected ~ Colossal†SOURCEPAGE:p.288†DEFINE:NoTypeTraits|1†DEFINE:LOCK.INT|4†BONUS:STAT|STR|2†BONUS:STAT|DEX|-2†BONUS:CHECKS|ALL|-20|PREAPPLY:ANYPC†ABILITY:Special Ability|AUTOMATIC|Undead Traits|Death Burst ~ Malady|Disease ~ Malady|Vulnerability to Positive Energy ~ Malady|Sunlight Aversion ~ Malady|Satiation ~ Malady†AUTO:FEAT|Toughness†KIT:1|NE†SUBRACE:YES
Malady Infected (Energetic)†PREABILITY:1,CATEGORY=Special Ability,Death Burst ~ Malady†ABILITY:Special Ability|AUTOMATIC|Bursting With Energy ~ Malady|Energy Feedback ~ Malady†AUTO:FEAT|Improved Critical (Slam)†SR:15
Malady Infected (Necrotic)†PREABILITY:1,CATEGORY=Special Ability,Death Burst ~ Malady†ABILITY:Special Ability|AUTOMATIC|Necrotic Feedback ~ Malady|Death Blast ~ Malady†SR:15
Malady Infected (Profane)†PREABILITY:1,CATEGORY=Special Ability,Death Burst ~ Malady†BONUS:STAT|STR,DEX|4†BONUS:STAT|INT|2†BONUS:COMBAT|AC|4|TYPE=Profane†BONUS:VAR|RegenerationRate|3†ABILITY:Special Ability|AUTOMATIC|Quick Strikes ~ Malady|Regeneration ~ Good|Immunity to Fire


Add to *_abilities.lst, replacing the † with tabs:

# Malady
Death Burst†KEY:Death Burst ~ Malady†CATEGORY:Special Ability†TYPE:SpecialAttack.Extraordinary†DEFINE:MaladyIndirectDC|15†DESC:When a Malady infected dies, it explodes in a burst of decay. All creatures adjacent to the infected are exposed to the Malady and must make a Fortitude save (indirect contact, so DC %1) or contract the disease.|MaladyIndirectDC†SOURCEPAGE:p.289
Disease†KEY:Disease ~ Malady†CATEGORY:Special Ability†TYPE:SpecialAttack.Supernatural†DEFINE:MaladyDirectDC|20†DESC:The bite of the infected carries the Malady.†SOURCEPAGE:p.289†ASPECT:Ability Benefit|(Malady: bite; save Fort DC %1; onset 1d4 days; frequency 1/day; effect 1d2 Con)|PlagueZombieDiseaseDC†BENEFIT:The slam attack—as well as any other natural attacks—of a plague zombie carries the zombie rot disease. Zombie rot: slam; save Fort DC %1; onset 1d4 rounds; frequency 1/hour; effect 1d4 Con, this damage may be healed while the creature is infected, but this does not cure the infection; cure 3 consecutive saving throws. Anyone whose Constitution reaches zero while infected immediately gains infected templates.|MaladyDirectDC
Vulnerability to Positive Energy†KEY:Vulnerability to Positive Energy ~ Malady†CATEGORY:Special Ability†TYPE:SpecialAttack.Extraordinary†DESC:Malady infected take half again as much damage (+50%%) from a positive energy, even if they cut the base damage in half with a saving throw. Further, if they reach zero hit points from such an attack, they explode more violently than usual. This deals 1d6 piercing damage to all creatures adjacent to the infected. Creatures who take damage from this must resist the Malady (injury transmitted). Adjacent creatures who avoid the damage (through damage reduction, for example) and all other creatures within two squares away from the infected, are splashed as if by the Death Burst quality.†SOURCEPAGE:p.289
Bursting With Energy†KEY:Bursting With Energy ~ Malady†CATEGORY:Special Ability†TYPE:SpecialAttack.Extraordinary†DESC:Natural attacks deal 1d6 additional energy damage (type determined randomly for each attack). On a critical hit, add an additional 1d10 of the same kind of damage.†SOURCEPAGE:p.289
Energy Feedback†KEY:Energy Feedback ~ Malady†CATEGORY:Special Ability†TYPE:SpecialAttack.Extraordinary†DESC:When the infected is hit with a melee attack, the attacker is dealt 1d6 energy damage (type determined randomly for each attack).†SOURCEPAGE:p.289
Necrotic Feedback†KEY:Necrotic Feedback ~ Malady†CATEGORY:Special Ability†TYPE:SpecialAttack.Extraordinary†DESC:When the infected is hit with a melee attack, the attacker is dealt 1d6 cold damage.†SOURCEPAGE:p.289
Death Blast†KEY:Death Blast ~ Malady†CATEGORY:Special Ability†TYPE:SpecialAttack.Extraordinary†DESC:When killed, in addition to any other effects of the infection, negative energy explodes out of the infected, dealing %1d6 damage to living creatures in its 30’ radius. Undead within the blast are healed for the same amount.|(HD/2)
Quick Strikes†KEY:Quick Strikes ~ Malady†CATEGORY:Special Ability†TYPE:SpecialQuality.Extraordinary†DESC:Whenever an infected takes a full attack action, it can make one additional slam attack at its highest base attack bonus.†SOURCEPAGE:p.289
Sunlight Aversion†KEY:Sunlight Aversion ~ Malady†CATEGORY:Special Ability†TYPE:SpecialQuality.Extraordinary†DESC:A Malady infected caught in natural sunlight is staggered (taking only a single move action or standard action each round, but not both). In this state, an infected can move up to its speed and attack in the same round as a charge action.†SOURCEPAGE:p.289
Satiation†KEY:Satiation ~ Malady†CATEGORY:Special Ability†TYPE:SpecialQuality.Extraordinary†DESC:Once an infected has filled its stomach with human flesh, it will seek shelter in order to digest unless threatened. Once reasonably safe, it will huddle motionless for 1d6 hours before rising to feed again. While digesting, the infected takes a -10 penalty on all Perception checks. Exposure to full daylight has a 75%% chance of triggering the shelter instinct, even if the infected is not totally full.†SOURCEPAGE:p.289