• Justin Handlin

The Malady Codex: The Guide to Diseases

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Dean Lawson

What kind of evil forces would prey upon a village of normal people trapped in a sleeping spell?

Main Topic: The Malady Codex: The Guide to Diseases

Crit Academy covers the best-selling Dungeons and Dragons supplement, The Malady Codex: The Guide to Diseases. This supplement is written by medical students with a love for tabletop roleplaying games. Inspired by the vast array of diseases, and the medieval myths that once surrounded them, we embarked on a mission; to enrich other worlds with fantastical diseases.

Deep in each civilization’s roots, there are myths, remedies, and folklore, all revolving around the ailments that affect its people. When each Dungeon Master wants to expand on the details of the societies that unfold before their very eyes, tools that spice up the process become a vital weapon. This supplement will hopefully become one of them, as DMs become inspired by the grim, epic, or mundane conditions of the human body and mind.

Do not underestimate diseases. Part of the Dungeon Master’s art is to be able to stir feelings up in their players, and few human conditions could accomplish that better. Used as a way to advance a storyline, to expand a character arc, or to create conflict, the following stories can serve you well!

In this book, you'll find 11 fully detailed diseases, including:

  • The Druid's Curse, The Mad Mage's Virus, the Mindflayer Network, Talona's Curse and the infamous ISTD.

  • Details on the origins, symptoms, and cures for all these maladies.

  • Tips on how to implement each one in your games, making your life just a bit easier.

  • New NPCs, monsters and items to challenge and reward your players with.

  • A useful table to consult when deciding what specific spells affect what disease.

  • A visual representation chart of the progression of the Mad Mage's Virus.

All we can say is wow! As DMs, we love diseases and poison effects. Searching for food and roll a low survival check? Those nice-looking mushrooms you were certain were safe...well now half the caravan is vomiting, and even some of the old ones passing away. This amazing tool just enhanced my love for the spread of these diseases. The supplement is well written, and far more thought out than anything I've planned out in my games. Thank you so much for this amazing 5-star product. Check out the show for our full thoughts as we review a few of the diseases and have great fun doing so!

Unearthed Tips and Tricks! We bring you new and creative content for you to bring with you on your next adventure.

Character Concept:

A Touch of poison

This character has a pension for more subtle combat. Less about blades and steal, and more about a kiss that could pass on crawler mucus. Or filling your mead with a bit of assassin’s blood or maybe their strong-smelling perfume has a bit of essence of ether. In any case, their approach to dealing with foes is designed to keep their involvement secret and catch their prey unawares.

The dwarf race would be a perfect match for this as they are resistant to poisons.

Being proficient in a poisoner's kit is a must.

Ensure that you have some way to protect yourself in case you somehow get poisoned.(lesser restoration, lay on hands, antitoxin potion, etc)

Monster Variant:

Lock Jaw!

A massive crocodile like beast with its damaged jaws being reinforced with rusty metal jaws and a metal spiked ball forcefully attached to the end of its tail.

Origin: Manticore

Replace flying speed with swim speed.

New Features:

Hold Breath. The lockjaw can hold its breath for 15 minutes.

Its bite gains the following feature:

When a creature is hit by lockjaws bite attack, the creature must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw, or become infected with the lockjaw disease.

Lockjaw Disease:

The disease manifests 2 hours after being infected. It takes 24 hours for your body to fully paralyze, and the paralysis spreads from the infected area towards the rest of the body slowly, leaving behind small marks like rust on the body. Use this as a time counter, because with every hour that comes to pass, the infected creature loses more and more mobility. Any arm that is paralyzed cannot be used to wield a weapon and if both arms are paralyzed you may also not perform somatic spell components. One affected leg reduces your speed by 10 feet and your speed is 0 if both your legs are paralyzed. When your whole body is infected, you gain the Paralyzed condition. If left untreated for 48 hours, violent seizures overtake the infected creature, and they soon die.


The Lady Nobles Malady! (based on kings evil)

The noble has been affected by a disease that is causing her skin to develop pale or pinkish patches of skin, each of which are far more sensitive to pain. As her infection spreads however, the skin of the individual becomes so pale, that it almost becomes clear, revealing the most horrifying sight, the noble appears to be made out of sickly muscle tissue, with most facial features missing. (Consider how others will react to this person during the encounter)

The party must first identify the effect. Some deep research at a large library can help the party discover what it is.(great skill challenge)

They learn that a special lineage is known as Kurari’s hand.

You can approach this a few ways, they are enemies of the kingdom, require a substantial payout, or maybe the Kurari is a dying lineage and you have to seek out its last survivor.(what type of ppl are they?)

Magic Item:

Dome of Constitution (From: The Malady Codex)

Wondrous Item, rare

This magical copper disc, 1 foot in diameter, is engraved with Ilmater’s symbol. It may be activated to create a permanent 20 foot glass dome. Any character resting under the dome for at least 8 hours straight, may add a d8 to a Constitution Saving Throw in the next 24 hours. The dome may be deactivated as a free action and activated once per day. The dome lasts until it is deactivated and may house up to 4 creatures at once.

Dungeon Master Tip:

Spellcasting Services

Every Adventure’s League document comes with a short spellcasting services list.

Any settlement the size of a town or larger can provide some spellcasting services.

Spell services generally available include healing and recovery spells, as well as information-gathering spells. Other spell services might be available as specified in the adventure.

The number of spell services available is often limited to 3 a day.

Spell Cost

  • Cure wounds (1st level) 10 gp

  • Identify 20 gp

  • Lesser restoration 40 gp

  • Prayer of healing (2nd level) 40 gp

  • Remove curse 90 gp

  • Speak with dead 90 gp

  • Divination 210 gp

  • Greater restoration 450 gp

  • Raise dead 1,250 gp

  • Resurrection* 3,000 gp

  • True Resurrection* 50,000 gp

The more powerful spells require an additional expenditure of downtime days (150 for resurrection and 350 for true resurrection). This cost can be reduced by 50 days for each faction rank above 1 that the character possesses. This downtime is spent in community service for the church that provided the spell in question.

Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

Don’t be afraid to leave your shit at your DMs place. As adults, we can find ourselves extremely busy. Let's be honest, this can easily lead to us forgetting things. When traveling to a friend's house for a night of D&D we often have to tug loads of stuff around from place to place. If the DM or Host is cool with it. Consider leaving simple things like your character sheets and a set of dice on the premises in case you ever forget yours. This makes even the most forgetful player ready when game time comes.

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