Monday, May 2, 2011

Dungeon Jabber

Delver’s Aphasia or "Dungeon Jabber" is a peculiar malady apparently caused by exposure to the saurian sapient known as the babbler (a dungeon-dweller, whatever you might have heard). Babblers suffer from a form of delver’s aphasia, as well, and are driven to a killing rage by the frustration of being unable to communicate with others and the isolation that results from it--they can only even tolerate their own kind during mating season.

How Dungeon Jabber is transmitted is unclear. It may be through the babbler’s bite--certainly most who develop it are bitten--but it has been suggested that only close proximity to a babbler is necessary.  The mechanism is likewise unclear.

Those exposed get a saving throw. Failure means development of an aphasia within 2d6 hours based on the following table:

1-3: anomia - character is unable to remember names either of people or objects (except in general terms).
4-5: fluent aphasia - character is able to speak in a normal manner except that they use the wrong words, and perhaps even nonexistent words.
6-7: receptive aphasia - as above, except the character is also unable to make sense of the speech of others.
8-9: expressive aphasia - character has difficulty producing fluent speech. Words are pronounced with difficulty, in a halting manner, or with odd intonation.
10: global aphasia - The character is either unable to produce speech, repeats single words (perhaps in echo-like manner) or either occasionally shouts a single expletive.

Cure disease or the like will remove the illness, but otherwise it is permanent. in most cases (75% of the time) ability to read and write is preserved.


Welcome to Dungeon! said...

Interesting. Maybe more monsters should be contagious.

How would you instruct a PC to play out the effects of the aphasia at the table?

Trey said...

Good question! I'm sure there's more than one way to approach it, but initally I'd the player would say what they want to say, and I'd tell the other player's what they heard. If the player wanted to get into it and "play out" the aphasia ("Guisarme purple dinosaur...Skinflake porcine!"), but would be necessary. For a global aphasia, I'd probably just have the character not speak.

Sean Robson said...

Babblers suffer from a form of delver’s aphasia, as well, and are driven to a killing rage by the frustration of being unable to communicate with others and the isolation that results from it

I think many people suffer from a variant of this, chat-room aphasia, driving them to nerd rage, frustrated by their inability to communicate coherently in English and isolation that results from spending all their time at the computer. This may be the cause of most internet flame wars.

Trey said...

lol--uh, I mean, good thoughts, Sean! ;)

Needles said...

I'm not quite getting this post trey. ;)
Ok this is a great dungeon funk idea & it has me thinking what other "alien" diseases might be lurking in the dungeon.

Trey said...

Seaofstararpg sends via email:

I have been trying to post this since yesterday, but Blooger does not want it seen!

"Are you or a loved one suffering from the curse of APHASIA? If so, DR GESCHWAETZ APHASIA ASYLUM can help. Using the most MODERN of SCIENTIFIC and THAUMATURICAL treatments we can CURE APHASIA!" -flyer found in Venturers Clubs in the City.

Dr. Geschwaetz honed his craft as in the aftermath of the War, specializing in treating veterans suffering from Spellshock. He Asylum has a staff of the best and brightest of modern medical treatment.

However, dark rumors swirl around the asylum as those aphasia victims without wealthy patrons never emerging. Some say that Geschwaetz has master "aphasiamancy", divination through mathematical analysis of the words spoken by those afflicted. Others say that the massed random words of the afflicted weaken the barriers of reality. In any case, dictaphone typists are always needed to transcribe the ravings of the mad, as they never seem to last for long on the job.

Trey said...

@Needles - Indeed. Dungeon's are awful unhygienic places.

@Seaofstarsrpg - Awesome idea. Sorry you had such trouble posting it. It's like the internet didn't want it known...

NetherWerks said...

This is great--it will probably spread like a plague across the blogosphere...

Trey said...

Ha! Let's hope not. ;)