A character that is diseased takes health damage per round. The amount of damage caused decreases each round that damage is dealt.
Causes of Disease
Disease can be inflicted by a number of means. The most common, and the one that most players will encounter, is upon being struck by a melee attack by certain enemies. The attack need not cause a wound, but similarly, the disease is rarely guaranteed; rather, being inflicted with a disease is often an uncommon occurance. A number of enemies are capable of inflicting diseases, but the most common are animals, from the lowly giant rat up. Addtionally, many undead are capable of inflicting diseases.
A final source of Disease is the Sorcerer spell aptly named Disease (716). It inflicts a disease based upon endroll, and can be quite virulent.
Diseases dissipates as they causes damage. For example, diseases with a rate of dissipation of 5 per round that causes 60 damage per round will cause 60 damage in the first round, then 55, then 50, until the damage per round reaches 0 or less, in which the character will no longer suffer damage from the disease. Dissipation rates of 0 have been seen, which means the disease will continue to do damage until it is cured.
While diseased, the HEALTH verb will display the following:
Cures of Disease
The spell, Undisease (113), will remove a disease, but sometimes multiple casts are required.