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How the heck do diseases work now?


Rules Questions

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The Disease rules appear to be missing a few details on how they work exactly. For example, for this disease (which is a real disease from Starfinder but was adjusted for spoiler reasons):

SAMPLE DISEASE (don't want to use its real name for spoilers)
Type disease (injury); Save Fortitude DC 10
Track physical; Frequency 1/day
Effect No latent/carrier state; an infected creature that dies
rises as a Space Ghoul 2d4 hours later.
Cure 2 consecutive saves

Here is the Physical disease track that deals with the the Physical Disease Track:

Physical Disease Track
Healthy — Latent — Weakened — Impaired — Debilitated — Bedridden — Comatose — Dead

So ... how does this work? If there is no "Latent/carrier" state does it go right to Weakened?

Or I have seen other people say that the disease does nothing and only turns them into Space Ghoul after they die and have the Disease.

Which is it? There is a huge difference between having the "Weakened" state vs. no damage at all (unless they die). Thanks.


Skip Latent and start at Weakened, otherwise the 1/day and 2 consecutive saves parts make no sense


the people implying the ghoulification is the only effect are just straight-up ignoring the part where it sais it follows the physical disease track, wich seems pretty flat-out wrong. I'm assuming Andy here seems to have the right awnser.


Yes it follows the normal physical disease track skip the latent state so first stage is weakened and progresses as normal. If infected person dies from it then the ghoul stage kicks in.

Paizo Employee Designer

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If you have a disease, you have to be somewhere on the track other than Healthy. So if Latent doesn't exist for that disease and you aren't thinking you're at Weakened, where else would you be? A disease that has a uniquely named stage would need to specify it.


Unless the disease has text saying otherwise, the first day the carrier is diseased is not much of an issue. Target PC misses the first save, becomes Latent. Jumping this step makes the disease too powerful.
Each day thereafter, the trouble starts, but there is that day for medical checks to aid the PC's save. In some ways diseases are more like environmental flavor than outright threat. Now if you're thinking that makes poisons so much worse than disease, you're right.


In the case of the sample sickness, if you fail the save that can cause this disease to manifest, you start at Weakened. All physical diseases follow the disease tract, unless stated otherwise, and the manual states some especially deadly diseases can start you off somewhere later down the tract, and that's what happens if a disease doesn't have a latent state.

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