Cancer (5e Disease)

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Contracting Cancer[edit]

Radiation and old age are the most common non-magic forms of contraction. Gameplay wise, certain effects such as exposure to radioactive isotopes can cause it, but a common way is for a creature 3/4 of the average lifespan of said creature to be underneath sunlight without adequate protection for hours on end(6d3 hours), at the end of the sunlight exposure session, the target must make a DC 8 Constitution save, on a fail, they get cancer.


Stage 1: A very small cancerous growth forms on the victim and they suffer a level of exhaustion at the end of every day that they don’t spend resting. This can be avoided with a DC 20 Wisdom (medicine) check and consumption of a healing potion of some sort. Additionally, they are poisoned. The medicine check can be attempted by someone other than the victim. After 1d3 weeks of this stage of cancer, the victim must make a DC 25 Constitution save, progressing to the next stage on a fail and a 20%(1-20 percentile roll) to be cured on a success, if the percentile roll is not 1-20, meaning they are not cured, they repeat the Constitution save in 1d6 days.

Stage 2: The growth grows, lymph nodes swell with cancer, and the body tissues become cancerous. You suffer the effects of stage 1, and you must succeed a DC 12 Constitution save or drop to 0 hit points every 1d3 hours.

Stage 3 The growth swells and cancerous puss seeps from it, and the lymph nodes and body tissues grow more cancerous. You suffer the effects of stage 2, and you any rolls made that help the victim are made with disadvantage, while any rolls that make the victim suffer are made with advantage.

Stage 4 Your entire body suffers with cancer. You suffer the effects of stage 3 cancer, are unconscious, and must make a death save every 4 hours. Failing 3 death saves will kill you instantly, succeeding 3 death saves will have you automatically succeed all death saves rolled because of cancer for 1d2 days.

Stage 5 Cancer overtakes your body. You die instantly.


Cancer can be cured with nothing less than mass heal or divine intervention invoked by a 20th level cleric or a god themselves. Severing/Amputating the limb in which the cancerous growth forms has a 50% chance(1-50 percentile roll) to cure the cancer, but only if it is stage 1 cancer.

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