A plague ravages the kingdom, setting the adventurers on a quest to find a cure. An adventurer emerges from an ancient tomb, unopened for centuries, and soon finds herself suffering from a wasting illness. A warlock offends some dark power and contracts a strange affliction that spreads whenever he casts spells.
A simple outbreak might amount to little more than a small drain on party resources, curable by a casting of lesser restoration. A more complicated outbreak can form the basis of one or more adventures as characters search for a cure, stop the spread of the disease, and deal with the consequences.
A disease that does more than infect a few party members is primarily a plot device. The rules help describe the effects of the disease and how it can be cured, but the specifics of how a disease works aren’t bound by a common set of rules. Diseases can affect any creature, and a given illness might or might not pass from one race or kind of creature to another. A plague might affect only constructs or undead, or sweep through a halfling neighborhood but leave other races untouched. What matters is the story you want to tell.
List of Diseases
|Disease||Targets||Incubation||Primary Effects||Secondary Effects||Damage Type||Carriers||Deadly||Sources||Canon||Pointer||User Creation|
|Blinding Sickness||Target of spell||Immediate||pain, reduced Wis checks and saves||blindness||No||SRD-OGL v5.1||Yes||No||No|
|Bluerot||Humanoids||1-4 hours||boils, Con and Cha loss||fever, tingling extremities, water breathing||necrotic||undead||Yes||Ghosts of Saltmarsh||Yes||Yes||No|
|Burrowing Worms||Humanoids||1 turn||Necrotic damage||death and rise as the undead||necrotic||Spawns of Kyuss||Yes||Volo's Guide to Monsters||Yes||Yes||No|
|Cackle Fever||Humanoids||1-4 hours||fever, aches, exhaustion||laughter, incapacitation||psychic||Humanoids||Yes||SRD-OGL v5.1||Yes||No||No|
|Chaos Phage||Humanoids||None||Healing prevention, Hit Point Damage reduction, Death||Transformation into a Slaad||Blue Slaad||Yes||Monster Manual (5e)||Yes||Yes||No|
|Filth Fever||Target of spell||Immediate||fever||reduced Str checks, saves, and attack rolls||No||SRD-OGL v5.1||Yes||No||No|
|Flesh Rot||Target of spell||Immediate||flesh decay||decreased Cha checks, vulnerable to damage||No||SRD-OGL v5.1||Yes||No||No|
|Mindfire||Target of spell||Immediate||fever of the mind||decreased Int checks and saves, confusion||No||SRD-OGL v5.1||Yes||No||No|
|Seizure||Target of spell||Immediate||shaking||decreased Dex checks, saves, and attack rolls||No||SRD-OGL v5.1||Yes||No||No|
|Sewer Plague||Humanoids||1-4 days||fatigue, cramps, exhaustion||rats, vermin, otyughs||Yes||SRD-OGL v5.1||Yes||No||No|
|Sight Rot||beast, humanoid||1-4 days||reduced vision||blindness||No||SRD-OGL v5.1||Yes||No||No|
|Slaad Egg||Humanoids||3 Months||Maturing into a Slaad Tadpole||Death||Red Slaad||Yes||Monster Manual (5e)||Yes||Yes||No|
|Slimy Doom||Target of spell||Immediate||bleeding||decreased Con checks and saves, stunned||No||SRD-OGL v5.1||Yes||No||No|