Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms
Perilous Gateways
The Trail of Tears
By Eric L. Boyd
Delve into the mysteries of all four nodes of The Trail of Tears:
12/26 Death Before Dishonor
12/19 The Scourge of Pestilence
12/12 A River of Blood
12/05 The Fog of War
Statistics and supplemental information:
Swordwraiths, ghosts of mercenaries who cannot rest
Malik yn Memnon adh Shoon, undead mameluk commander
Bloodstained creatures, legacies of a blood-soaked land
Plague Bearers, contagious carriers of pestilence
The Darkcrypt, ancient Mulhorandi dungeon
Kethoth Uuthrakt of Delhumide, spectral Red Wizard
Ramathanhur, incarnation of Anhur
Recent Gateways
Portals of the Moonstars
Bandit Lord Portals
Portals of the Harvest Gods
Moon Portals
Dwarven Portals
(ARCHIVE)


Perilous Gateways
The Trail of Tears
By Eric L. Boyd

Plague Carrier (Template)

Diseases often incubate in a host before the victim manifests outward symptoms of the disease, if any. Many diseases are contagious during the incubation period and can be spread by touch, spores in the air, or an open wound. Other diseases are borne by members of one species without ill effect but can be quite dangerous to members of other species. Even creatures immune to the effects of disease, such as undead, might be contagious to other types of creatures. Likewise, even diseases supernatural in origin can sometimes be spread by other species.

Plague carriers appear similar to how they did before they took on the template, although many appear fatigued, irritable, or listless. Most do not even realize that they are infected or that they are endangering those persons that they come into contact with.

Creating a Plague Carrier

Plague Carrier is a template that can be added temporarily to any creature except constructs and incorporeal undead (referred to hereafter as the "base creature"). Note that corporeal undead can acquire this template only if they were infected in life, whether or not they died of the disease in question. The creature's type remains unchanged. It uses all of the base creature's statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Hit Dice: As the base creature.

Speed: As the base creature.

AC: Same as the base creature.

Special Attacks: A plague carrier retains all of the special attacks of the base creature and also gains one or more of the following three attacks or the special quality listed below (DM's choice):

Fetid Breath (Ex): Inhaled diseases can be passed on simply by occupying a 5 ft. by 5 ft. square adjacent to the plague carrier. The creature is infected with a contagious disease spread in this manner, requiring a Fortitude saving throw (DC varies based on disease, see the Dungeon Master's Guide, page 74) to avoid infection. This is an extraordinary ability.

Scabrous Touch (Ex): All manner of touch attacks can pass on infections conveyed through contact. The creature is infected with a contagious disease spread in this manner, requiring a Fortitude saving throw (DC varies based on disease, see the Dungeon Master's Guide, page 74) to avoid infection. This is normally an extraordinary ability, although it can be a supernatural ability in the case of diseases such as mummy rot.

Septic Claw (Ex): Claw and bite attacks can pass on infections conveyed through injury. The creature is infected with a contagious disease spread in this manner, requiring a Fortitude saving throw (DC varies based on disease, see the Dungeon Master's Guide, page 74) to avoid infection. This is normally an extraordinary ability, although it can be a supernatural ability in the case of diseases such as such as demon fever and devil chills.

Special Qualities: A plague carrier retains all of the special qualities of the base creature and also gains the following special quality and/or one or more of the special attacks listed above:

Rotten Corpse (Ex): Consuming part or all of the corpse of a creature can pass on a disease conveyed through ingestion, injury, or contact. The creature is infected with a contagious disease spread in this manner, requiring a Fortitude saving throw (DC varies based on disease, see the Dungeon Master's Guide, page 74) to avoid infection. This is normally an extraordinary ability, although it can be a supernatural ability.

Saves: Same as the base creature.

Abilities: Same as the base creature.

Skills: Same as the base creature.

Feats: Same as the base creature.

Climate/Terrain: Any except cold.

Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +1.

Treasure: Same as the base creature.

Alignment: Same as the base creature.

Advancement: Same as the base creature.

In the Realms

Great plagues, whether of arcane, divine, or natural origin, have periodically ravaged the Realms, although they are far more common in times of war, famine, or deprivation. Disease is particularly feared in areas of concentrated population, such as overburdened cities, and in close proximity to breeding grounds such as marshes, swamps, and portals to the nether planes. Plague carriers can be found in most such conditions, as well as in areas targeted by the church of Talona for the wrath of the Mistress of Disease. Perhaps the greatest concentration of plague bearers is in areas where powerful necromantic magic was used to spread plagues, such as the Fields of Nun in eastern Chondath.

Plague Carrier Ghoul: CR 2; Medium-size undead; HD 2d12; hp 13; Init +2; Spd 30 ft.; AC 14 (touch 12, flat-footed 12); Atk +3 melee (1d6+1 plus fetid breath plus septic claw, bite) and +0 melee (1d4 plus septic claw, 2 claws); SA Create spawn, fetid breath (cackle fever), paralysis, septic claw (red ache); SQ Turn resistance +2, undead traits; AL CE; SV Fort +0, Ref +2, Will +5; Str 13, Dex 15, Con -, Int 13, Wis 14, Cha 16.

Skills and Feats: Climb +6, Escape Artist +7, Hide +7, Intuit Direction +3, Jump +6, Listen +7, Move Silently +7, Search +6, Spot +7; Multiattack, Weapon Finesse (bite).

Create Spawn: If a ghoul does not devour its victim, the body rises as a ghoul in 1d4 days. Casting protection from evil on a body before the end of that time averts the transformation.

Fetid Breath (Ex): Inhaled diseases can be passed on simply by occupying a 5 ft. by 5 ft. square adjacent to the plague carrier ghoul. The creature is infected with cackle fever, which is spread in this manner, requiring a Fortitude saving throw (DC 16) to avoid infection.

Paralysis (Ex): Those hit by a ghoul's bite or claw attack must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC 14) or be paralyzed for 1d6+2 minutes. Elves are immune to this paralysis.

Septic Claw (Ex): Claw and bite attacks from the plague carrier ghoul can pass on red ache through injury. The target must make a successful a Fortitude saving throw (DC 15) to avoid infection.

Turn Resistance (Ex): The ghoul is less easily affected by clerics or paladins. When resolving a turn, rebuke, command, or bolster attempt, the creature receives a bonus of +4.

Undead Traits: Immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, disease, death, effects, necromantic effects, mind-influencing effects, and any effect requiring a Fortitude save unless it also works on objects; not subject to critical hits, subdual damage, ability damage, ability drain, or energy drain; cannot heal damage if there is no Intelligence score, (though fast healing and regeneration work normally); negative energy heals; not at risk of death from massive damage, but destroyed at 0 hit points or less; darkvision 60 ft.; cannot be raised; resurrection works only if creature is willing.

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