Sleeping Sickness (5e Disease)

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Sleeping Sickness[edit]

Contracting Sleeping Sickness[edit]

Sleeping Sickness is found naturally in the Estes flower. The Estes flower has 2 iridescent black petals and 1 iridescent white one. As a response to predators, the Estes flower evolved to produce a virus that induces Sleeping Sickness in anyone who eats the flower (CON save DC 20). One can create distilled Sleeping Sickness by simply grinding the flower in a mortar and pestle, then bottling the extracted liquid. Sleeping sickness is also contracted from contact with an infected person (CON save DC 18 if living or 15 if dead) or the extracted liquid (CON save DC 20). NOTE: Boiling or freezing the flower, the extract, or the infected destroys the protein, rendering it harmless. However, this won't work like a vaccine- people who come in contact with it will be affected as though they were in contact with water. Succeeding on any of these CON saves will grant permanent immunity.


Stage 1: The next 1d4 long rests have no effect on the infected, and induce short-term madness when they awaken. After these long rests are complete, proceed to stage 2.

Stage 2: The infected becomes deathly afraid of sleep, with the constant premonition that they won't wake up if they fall asleep. These premonitions last for 2d6 days. Making a long rest or falling unconscious for more than 2 hours during this time will expunge the disease, but the infected suffers 1d2+1d4 levels of exhaustion. (Doing this removes contagion and grants immunity) If the disease is not expunged this way, proceed to stage 3.

Stage 3: The disease enters its final hours, inflicting 3 levels of exhaustion for 1d4 hours. Once the exhaustion completes, roll a DC 8 CON save. Failing the save puts the infected in a coma for 1d8 hours, after which they begin death saving throws. NPCs die automatically. Succeeding the save or the death saving throws causes the infected to take a long rest and expunge the disease.


Sleeping Sickness can be ended early with greater restoration or heal, or with lesser restoration cast with a 3rd level spell slot or higher.

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