Allergies (5e Variant Rule)

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Some people want to spice up their character by making them have an allergy. Here are some sample allergies you can afflict on your player.

Allergy Symtpoms[edit]

Sneezing / Itching (Cause-- Pollen, Dust)

A fairly simple syndrome. If your character is having fits of sneezing, it will rarely affect gameplay, thus not much will be written about this syndrome. While suffering from a sneezing fit, your character must make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 15 to avoid sneezing. If the effect of the sneeze would have no effect on gameplay whatsoever (i.e you're not actively engaged in stealth), do not bother making a roll, consider it an automatic failure. Sneezing lasts until the source of the allergy is removed.

Hives (Cause-- Various foods, Insect Bites)

When your character breaks out into hives, the pain is distracting, and the increased sensitivity can cause harm in battle. Whenever your character would take damage while suffering from hives, increase the damage by 1. In addition, your character has disadvantage on Intelligence and Wisdom skill saves. Every hour, make a Constitution save with a DC of 18, ending the effect on a success. Every subsequent failure reduces the DC by 2. When you take a long rest, this ends the effect. A medicine check with a DC of 12 can be used to make an ointment that causes the hives to fade during a short rest.

Anaphylaxis (Cause-- Insect bites, Nuts, Fish)

The most extreme and dangerous allergy symptom. While suffering from an anaphylaxis attack, you begin suffocating. Each round, make a constitution save with a DC of 20. After 4 successes, the effect ends. After 4 failures, your character drops to 0 HP, but is automatically stabilized without having to make a Death saving throw. Realistically, Anaphylaxis can be fatal, but nobody actually wants their epic level barbarian to die from a peanut allergy.

Treating an Allergy

Casting greater restoration can treat an allergy, and render the target immune to the allergy for one hour. wish can remove an allergy completely.

Sample Allergy Shenanigans[edit]

What would be the point of giving your character an allergy if it never comes up or gets used in a constructive manner? Here are some ideas for GMs to take advantage of their PC having an allergy, both as obstacles, plot hooks, or even benefits for the player:

  • A character allergic to flowers wakes up suffering from hayfever; a precursor to their camp being attacked by plant monsters.
  • A character who didn't disclose their peanut allergy to their party goes into anaphylactic shock at an inn, causing the other party members to be suspicious of poisoning
  • An NPC out to kill the players takes advantage of a severe allergy a player has, which begs the question; how did this NPC know about the PC's allergy?
  • A mysterious vial sets off a player's allergy, tipping them off to its potential ingredients
  • A player who is left behind after everyone else sets off into a bee-infested woods is tipped off to a plot hook, and even has a solo adventure, that would otherwise be missed.
  • A rogue sneaking through an enemy castle panics when she enters an indoor garden, and feels the telltale sniffles of a sneeze... while guards lurk around every hedge.
  • A character's motivation is simply to find a wish, to cure their fish allergy.

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