Swords may not pierce your ridiculously high armor class and arrows may not penetrate your off the chart damage reduction, but rest assured, Arcane Outbreak, by LJP Design, has a potent enough disease that can take your character out, or at least halt him a bit.
Arcane Break is a collection of unique diseases that are more elaborate than the diseases found in the DMG. Each of the ten gets at least a page of description and horrifying consequences as the disease progresses. Each of the diseases have a diverse origin that distinguishes it from the others in the book. The writers go outside the box of the norm by including methods of getting the disease such as watching a suicide and healing someone. There is even an STD in the book, handled very tastefully, for those riskier campaigns.
The book also contains a collection of feats that give potent powers to those whom have contracted diseases. You might take some ability loss, but gain a disabling breath weapon in return.
For the Player
Towards the back of the book, is a prestige class, the Phage Touched, that turns you into a walking plague victim. I enjoyed this class as similar classes usually require the PC to be evil or chaotic. This one has no alignment requirement which makes it far more versatile. The class gets some cool abilities such as making frightening visages and disease infection. The feats are all useful, but the consequences for taking them may not sit well with too many players. Take the Insomnia disease which permanently fatigues the character, though prevents you from being tired.
For the Dungeon Master
I like that many of the diseases in this book can be snuck into a campaign in random events and have a great impact on an adventure. A pc can go to investigate a murder and catch the suicide causing Dirge or go to heal an individual and later find out they have the Black Touch.
The Iron Word
The ironic thing is that the biggest negative to this book is not in the book itself but in the rules of 3.5. There are some great diseases in Arcane Outbreak but I doubt that the average PC will have anything less than the first onslaught of symptoms do the easy cure disease rules in the rules. Unless a PC is secluded in a far off dungeon, they would likely be able to visit a church or a paladin and be cured rather quickly. That is why I suggest using some alternative disease rules to give diseases more or a lasting or lingering effect. Then pick up Arcane Outbreak and watch your PCs think twice about curing that random NPC.
<b>LIKED</b>: - 10 diseases all of which have different descriptions that make each sound horrible enough to stay away from
- the feats are nice, but it feels like the players take to much consequence
- Great price for what you get. 10 feats, 10 diseases and a prestige class. <br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: - Some parts are well written but some feel as if the writer is talking to me as opposed to writing a book.
- No artwork to demonstrate those horrid consequences from the disease.
<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>
[4 of 5 Stars!]