Symptoms of illness affect the Infected differently than regular mortals. A single symptom is both dominant and PERMANENT; the Infected can not get rid of this as long as they live and carry the virus. Even alleviating the severity of the condition is not accomplished as easily; the Infected
Symptoms is one of the two so-called "axises" of the game; when picking them, the character might consider which Strain (the Y-axis) - Symptom combination expresses the kind of character they want best. The same character can often work with a number of combinations; a Gregor character (one who is regressing into an animal) who is turning into a giant lizard may have the Symptom of Fever (representing that his body is becoming cold-blooded), Hunger (showing his different diet), Dermis (shedding his human skin in a snake-like manner or developing scales), or Insomnia (showing reptiles' inability to stay awake during the colder night hours).
Every time the character satisfies the demands of her symptom or strain, the severity of his Symptom is reduced in severity by 1. This is the ONLY way Symptoms can be alleviated.
SYMPTOMS & MORTALS:
Mortals and Infected who do not have a specific core symptom have a line of defense: their Stamina. A character can go a number of days without food or water, go a couple of hours without sleep or can regulate his own body temperature to stand a bit of climate change; an Infected can not. All of these will affect them immediately, making their condition more severe.
Below is a list of effects the Infected may suffer. The effects pile up the longer the character goes without submitting to what their Strain tells them to do.
Affected stats: Wits and Composure
Aggragation frequency: every six hours
This penalty applies to any rolls that involve the character's Composure or Wits score.Failure on those rolls doesn't mean that he can not hear or see something, but that he is distracted or reacting to sounds and voices which are but imaginary.
More important than the penalty are the psychological effects. The GM and the player should roleplay these in detail. For example: a character with a -5 penalty is frightened by a car suddenly running towards him. He jumps out of the way, Another PC who appears to the deluded character as a large two-headed insect comments on the character jumping around for no reason, leting the character deduce that he is only imagining the car crash, but unable to stop the hallucination. Six slug-like creatures climb out of the character complaining and yelling. Half-aware that they must be imaginary, the character half-heartedly apologizes and quickly walks away from the situation.
Make a Sta + Res roll every 6 hours. If it fails you do NOT fall asleep, unlike normal characters, Instead you suffer the effects of your current rating.
-1: The character does not sleep well. His dreams are often plagued by nightmares, leaving him exhausted the next day.
Effect: Lose 1 Willpower./Can not gain Willpower from daily rest.
-2: The character begins to suffer minor hallucinations. He may look away from his breakfast cereal for a moment and when he turns back he sees a bowl of worms and human ingers. When he rubs his eyes, it's back to normal. These hallucinations typically do not last longer than a few seconds (a turn or two), but they are vivid and frightening.
Effect: Gain the Shaken condition on a failed Sta + Res roll. (Made every six hours)
-3: The character becomes increasingly lethargic and unresponsive, while also starting to to act delusionally. He may begin to believe that another character hates him and secretly wants to do something to him.
Effect: Can not spend Willpower on any rolls.
-4: Hallucinations now become vivid and lifelike. It should be obvious that they are illusions, due to their disturbing nature, and because no-one else seems to react to them, but they seem almost real to the character. For example, while the player is talking to another character, a bloody corpse may be standing in the room the whole time, picking up and examining things in the room, occassionally talking to the character or commenting on the situation how only he seems to notice him.
Effect: Gain the Delusional condition.
-5: All of the enviroment around the character changes, even friends or allies seem to take on bizarre forms in the character's eyes (though they otherwise behave normally). The character is wandering through a nightmarish realm every day. Differentiating between real and make-believe is near impossible at this point; the character may chase after sounds or react to events that are real for him and him only, but he does so with complete seriousness. These hallucinations are elaborate and they do not end (unless the character sleeps); a character may believe that he is wandering along with his long dead mother who suddenly turned out to be alive, engaing in regular conversation.
Effect: Gain the Spooked condition.
Affected stats: Stamina and Resolve
Aggragation frequency: every day
Resolution (humans only): increased back by one per day as soon as the character starts eating normally
The character FEELS hungry, but they often start to develop obesity due to the food they are stuffing themselves with, unless they can be restrained. None of what they eat actually satiates their hunger, though.
Affected rolls: Stamina and Resolve
-1 The character feels a consuming hunger or thirst, regardless of how long ago he's drunk or eaten. This leads to constant over-eating.
Effect: Whether due to thinning down or becoming overweight, the character's capacity for carrying weight gets reduced by 25 lbs, as if his Strenght was one dot lower./OR Gains the Wanton condition.
-2 The characters tastes start to become peciular, making him crave The subject of their newly acquired taste is frequently fresh animal meat or blood.
Effect: Gains the Addicted condition; becomes Deprived if he can not get what he craves.
-3 The character suffers so much he begins to cunsume stuff that isn't really for human consumption, such as earth or small metal objects. This frequently leads to food poisoning. This is occassionally accompanied by the delusion that consuming something highly specific (eg. triangle-shaped objects) can mystically satiate his hunger.
-4 The character's hunger is so staggering, he becomes consuming himself. Lethal damage to your own self whenever you fail the roll.
-5 The character's craving for flesh is now uncontrollable. He may attack any living thing - pets if fortunate, but sometimes NPCs or ally characters, begging for a bite of their flesh.
Affected stats: Manipulation and Composure
Aggragation frequency: instant if touched (including both social touching and taking damage); every minute if exposed to sunlight or air (the character is essentially forced to cover every possible inch in bandages).
-1 The character develops rashes on the skin. The character develops an aversion to everything that could possibly irritate the skin, such as sunlight. This stage may also be mistaken for allergy (food, pollens etc.)
Effect: The character suffers social penalty because of their obvious condition.
- 2 The itching becomes unbearable.
Effect: The character is unable to concentrate continously on any quick action that takes more than on turn, such as Aiming in combat or mental actions like listenning to a lecture.
Effect: The character takes Bashing damage if his skin is exposed to the sun and air, 1 damage every minute.
-4 The rashes now look like oozing sores, covering the character in wounds unable to heal.
Effect: The character is unable to recover Bashing damage.
-5 The character's body is covered in pimples until he looks like Slipperman. Any damage makes these brst and explode and rain blood and chunks of flesh on anybody near.
Effect: All damage taken is increased by 1 step in severity (Bashing becomes Lethal, Lethal becomes Aggravated).
Affects: Dexterity and Strenght
Aggragation frequency: every hour as long as exposed to low temperatures (depending on season, time of the day, and location ( night, 0 to -3 depending on the location's temperature)
Resolution (humans only): resolved at
-1 The character's body begins to heat up while he himself is feeling increasingly colder. He may coat himself in multiple layers of garment and turn up the thermostat, even in the middle of summer.
-2 The character can not stop shivering, seriously affecting his hand coordination. The character's face becomes pale, ears, tongue, and fingers turn blue.
-3 The character begins to randomly dress and undress and attempts to crawl into small places, like into a cupboard or under a bed, in a desperate attempt to somehow keep warm.
Effect: 1 Bashing damage from "frostbite" or "heatstroke" per hour of exposure to abnornmal temperature.
These can be found in "The God-Machine Chronicle" and "The Strix Chronicle" books and are a part of the new (v2.1) nWoD rules update. Their use in this game is optional.