by Jeffrey W. Evans
11 Feb 1997

Last updated 13 Sept. 1997
(These disease rules have been ported from GDWs Twilight 2000, which is mechanically similar to 2020.)

Please take a moment to read the Copyright Notice for this material.

There are three main ways to contract disease: by contact with humans, by contaminated water, or diseased animals.

  1. Humans - Largely transmitted through contaiminated food or close contact with a carrier that may or may not appear healthy.
  2. Animals - Aquired through hunting, draft animals, or bites.
  3. Water - Covers water consumed away from a civilized environment. This covers rivers, streams lakes, abandoned wells. Water-borne diseases can usually be avoided by boiling water or through purification, but this is not always availible or possible.


If the presence of disease is determined, checks should be made to see if the disease should be contracted. The check should be an easy BODY roll (DIFF 10), modified by the disease's infection number. Also, apply +1 mods if the pc's have an inadequate diet, decent shelter, or good sanitation, all at the discretion of the GM.


This is a specialized skill found on page 49 of the basic 2020 rules. For people with this skill and in a medical facility, the diagnose illness roll should be made at DIFF 15 during Phase I of the illness, and at DIFF 10 during Phase II of the illness. For people without diagnose illness, raise the difficulty by +15.


To recover, pc's neat to beat the diseases base recovery number, as modified by:

  1. BOD of the sick person.
  2. The care providers MedTech skill or 1/2 first aid skill.
  3. The treatment given.
  4. Plus d10.

If the person begins treatment during phase I, then roll for recovery at the end of phase I. If they fail, roll again after phase II. If the treatment fails to start in phase I, or no treatment is made, the only recovery roll possible is at the conclusion of phase II. Treatment started in phase II is only 50% as effective, half both a & b in the above equation. If a sick person fails the second recovery roll, then make a death save check minus the failed recovery death probability number. If they avoid dying, then they suffer the described disability, no matter if they were treated or not. If they recover, thrn they only suffer the treated post-recovery disability.


Transmission: Contaiminated food or water.
Infection Number: +3.
Symptoms: abdominal pain, diarrhea.
Misdiagnosed as: cholera, or minor disease.
Treatment: replace fluids +3, relieve pain+1
Course of the disease:

Transmission: Contaiminated food or water.
Infection Number: +5.
Symptoms: abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea
Misdiagnosed as: Dysentery.
Treatment: Intervenous fluids +3, antibiotic negative +2, relieve pain and fever +2 broad spectrum antibiotic +1.
Course of the disease:

Transmission: Contact, or contaiminated food or water.
Infection Number: +4
Symptoms: general body pains, fever, and malaise.
Misdiagnosed as: minor disease.
Treatment: relieve pain and fever +2
Course of the disease:

Food Poisoning
Transmission: Improperly cooked or contaiminated food.
Infection Number: +4.
Symptoms: severe abdominal pain, cramps, fever.
Misdiagnosed as: minor disease
Treatment: relieve symptoms +2. To determine furthur treatment, roll 1d10:

Course of the disease:

Transmission: contact, airborne particulates (coughing and sneezing)
Infection Number: +4
Symptoms: cough, fluid filled lungs, fever, chest pains, general discomfort.
Misdiagnosed: minor disease or plague
Treatment: pain and fever relief +2. To determine further treatment, roll 1d10:

Course of the Disease:

Typhoid Fever
Transmission: contact, contaiminated food or water.
Infection Number: 4
Symptoms: severe pain, fever, pain, cough, apathy.
Misdiagnosed as: pneumonia, plague.
Treatment: antibiotic negative +4 or broad spectrum antibiotic +2
Course of the disease:

Transmission: Carried by body lice
Symptoms: fever, headache, rash
Misdiagnosed as: minor disease.
Treatment: any antibiotic +3
Course of the disease:

Transmission: contact with infected blood or saliva, usually through animal bite.
Infection Number: 3
Symptoms: Phase I, fever, malaise, sore throat. Phase II, severe pain, excessive salivation, sweating and fluid loss.
Misdiagnosed as: minor disease.
Treatment: vaccine injections+8 during phase I, +1 in phase II.
Note:pre-exposure vaccination will prevent infection but must be repeated every two years.
Course of the disease:

Plague (bubonic & pneumonic)
Transmission: bubonic is spread by ratbourne fleas, pneumonic by contact or airborne particles.
Symptoms: bubonic, swollen lymph nodes, severe abdominal pain. Pneumonic adds severe coughs and chills.
Misdiagnosed as: pneumonia or minor disease
Treatment: bubonic, antibiotic negative +4 in phase I, +2 in phase 2, relieve pain and fever+1. Pneumonic, antibiotic negative +3 in phase I, +1 in phase II, relieve pain and fever +1, broad spectrum antibiotics +3 in phase I, +1 in phase II.
Course of the disease:

Minor disease
Transmission: This is the catch-all for a number of minor, debiltating minor illnesses other than those listed. Usually no more than a head cold or bad case of the flu. Symptoms are widely varying and are the discretion of the GM. Infection Numbers vary from 1 to 4, depending on how virulent.
Symptoms: usually, fever, general pain, vomiting, headaches, etc.
Misdiagnosed as: usually another minor disease, as the docs figure on the incorrect flu bug. Sometimes pneumonia.
Treatment: GM's choice, usually relief of symptoms +2, antibiotics (any from +1 to +4) or specific antitoxin +6.
Course of the disease:

This is by no means complete, but ought to get people off to a start. Was anyone interested in this, or interested in longterm radiation exposure rules?


Jeffrey W Evans
3-143 Infantry 5th Infantry Div(M)
somewhere in Poland

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