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In Daggerfall, hostile creatures (mostly animals and the undead) may carry various diseases. As in real life, you will not recognize instantly if you have contracted a disease, but must wait until an incubation time has passed for you to notice you are unwell, which may take several hours. Once the incubation time has passed, which is determined by your Medical skill, the disease from which you suffer will be visible on the status screen. All diseases left untreated will eventually lead to the death of your character.
Diseases primarily affect your character's attributes, diminishing your ability in skills governed by attributes affected by your illness. Furthermore, lower attributes may decrease your health, spell points, and fatigue, as well as hurt your ability to hit opponents, resist magic, and sneak effectively. If any attribute reaches 0, your character dies.
Entering fast-travel while diseased is very dangerous, and you will get a warning if you attempt, stating that you will most likely not survive the journey. Note that this only occurs if you have received the first "you feel bad" warning. If you're unlucky enough to contract cholera and more-or-less immediately fast travel, you can die without any indication that anything was wrong. As soon as you know that you suffer from a disease, you should cure yourself as soon as possible using a potion or a spell. In many cases, it will already be too late to seek out a temple healer. If you are lucky enough to survive the journey to a temple, its healer will cure you of all diseases, provided you have the sufficient amount of gold for the cure. The costs of such a cure depend on how many and which diseases you have contracted.
A list of all known diseases and their symptoms can be seen below. The descriptions were taken from the TEXT.RSC file in the ARENA2 directory. Vampirism and Lycanthropy are not listed; more information about them can be found on their respective articles.
|Blood Rot||Drains willpower and personality||You have contracted Blood Rot, which will adversely affect your health, personality, and willpower over the next several days or weeks unless you cure it. Some have not found a cure and died of this disease.|
|Brain Fever||Drains willpower and personality||You have contracted Brain Fever. It is a slow death, as your willpower, your health, even your personality trickle away, day by day. You must either get a cure or face oblivion.|
|Caliron's Curse||Drains strength, speed and agility||You have contracted Caliron's Curse. Some people have recovered by themselves in a week or two, but their strength, speed, and agility remain stunted. It is best to cure the disease quickly.|
|Cholera||Drains all attributes rapidly||You have contracted Cholera, one of the deadliest diseases in Tamriel and always fatal unless help is given very, very quickly.|
|Chrondiasis||Drains intelligence||You have contracted Chrondiasis, a magical disease, which will consume your intelligence and innate magicka, day by day. The disease must be cured, or it will eventually kill you.|
|Consumption||Drains willpower, agility and strength||You have contracted Consumption. Your willpower, agility, and strength will slowly leave you, until you are cured or you die.|
|Dementia||Drains intelligence, willpower and personality||You have contracted Dementia, a hideous disease which slowly robs a victim of his or her intelligence, willpower, and even personality, until he or she is dead or a cure has been applied.|
|Leprosy||Drains all attributes rapidly||You have contracted Leprosy and will slowly waste away, a little bit every day, unless you are cured.|
|Plague||Drains all attributes except intelligence rapidly||You have contracted the Plague, a very serious, often fatal disease. Very quickly it will spread through your system. Few who contracted it live for more than a few days unless they are cured quickly.|
|Red Death||Drains endurance and personality||You have contracted Red Death, a very serious disease which can quickly decimate a victim's endurance and even destroy personality until a cure is given or the victim dies.|
|Stomach Rot||Results in a slight decrease of health over time; otherwise harmless||You have contracted Stomach Rot. It is a permanent condition, unless you are cured, characterized by a slight daily drop in health.|
|Swamp Rot||Drains willpower, agility and strength||You have contracted Swamp Rot. Every day your willpower, agility, and strength will fall, until you waste away or are cured.|
|Typhoid Fever||Drains intelligence and endurance||You have contracted Typhoid Fever, a deadly disease affecting a victim's intelligence, endurance, and health. The condition is permanent, barring a cure or death.|
|Witches' Pox||Drains strength and endurance||You have contracted Witches' Pox. It will slowly deteriorate your strength, endurance, and health until you are cured or dead.|
|Wizard Fever||Drains intelligence||You have contracted Wizard Fever, a sometimes merely irritating, sometimes devastating magical disease. Some have suffered this and barely noticed it before the fever broke on its own and some have been left feebleminded. Your innate magicka and intelligence will trickle away, day by day, for as long as three weeks.|
|Wound Rot||Drains strength and endurance||You have contracted Wound Rot, which will very slowly erode your strength, endurance, and health until you cure yourself.|
|Yellow Fever||Drains endurance, willpower and personality||You have contracted Yellow Fever. Your endurance, willpower, and health will decline every day until you find a cure or die.|
- In character creation, there exist special advantages and special disadvantages that affect your resistance to disease
- Having a high Medical skill decreases the amount of time required to diagnose an illness
- Being a Vampire or a Lycanthrope render the player immune to disease
- On some holidays, temple healers will cure diseases for free or for a lesser amount of gold