Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Plague Doctor Class for Old-School RPG Shenanigans

Time for another goofy character class, because I've been reading history, and why not?

The Plague Doctor!

Plague doctors 'treated' victims of the bubonic plague in medieval Europe. Well, treat may be a strong word - more like attempt ineffective cures, and mostly keep an accurate account of the dying.... They were hired by the cities and municipal authorities, and were charged to treat everyone, regardless of their station in life.

But there's that whole mask thing... The raven-like close-fitter mask with aromatic herbs filling the "beak." Believed to protect the wearer from bad humours, and airborne "miasma," the iconic mask did little more than subdue the smell of disease and death, and give its wearer their intimidating appearance.  Exposed to disease, famine, and other maladies, plague doctors succumbed to the disease at similar rates as their "patients."

So why would you want to play one of these medical quacks? Maybe you need to shill some snake oil, move with impunity through quarantines, or even effect a real cure now and then.  Whatever the case, strap on that mask, don your coat and hat, and go cure some plague!


And, because I've been playing The Black Hack with Matt Jackson and few other miscreants - have a custom class for that grotty system (review upcoming!).

Now part of the Whack Hack collection of PC classes!
And here, have some Mono, Inc. to get you in the mood for rocking your bad Plague Doc self.

Edit: Per a couple of comments, this class could be folded into a low fantasy or 'no cleric' environment.  Using the OSR variant, perhaps lend them the healing kit from the BH version.  Or even play up the charlatan aspect, and let the player choose one thief skill. Have fun!

Edit 2: Black Hack version re-uploaded with latest version, consistent with thumbnail image.


  1. Hey! Looks nice. I started posting this comment because I couldn't figure out how to get the class file to open but it turns out I just had to click the download button instead of the image lol.

    Anyway cool class!

    1. thanks - yeah - I still can't quite figure blogger formatting out after all this time - sometimes I can get the link attached to the picture, other times not. derp.

  2. Nice read. Thanks for the write up!
    (Posted here cause I couldn't on MeWe /shrug)