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5E Can a Paladin Cure Addiction?

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Anyway, strictly speaking, the Paladin can remove a disease. DPaD can detect and identify diseases. If a chemical addiction is a disease, the Paladin can detect and cure it. If it isn't, they can't. But the rules don't give us an answer, which is why it's a discussion.
 

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Urriak Uruk

Debate fuels my Fire
Your habit of dodging 95% of a post to hyper-focus on a single word or phrase in a post makes is frustrating to engage with you.
shrugs I don't like disagreeing with every single point in a long comment (because I often don't disagree with every single piece). I find the piece I want to respond to, and respond to that.

Anyway, strictly speaking, the Paladin can remove a disease. DPaD can detect and identify diseases. If a chemical addiction is a disease, the Paladin can detect and cure it. If it isn't, they can't. But the rules don't give us an answer, which is why it's a discussion.
It's important to remember there is a distinction between a chemical addiction and addiction in general. I see no issue with the lesser restoration curing the symptoms of chemical addiction, directly caused by usage of the chemical.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
shrugs I don't like disagreeing with every single point in a long comment (because I often don't disagree with every single piece). I find the piece I want to respond to, and respond to that.



It's important to remember there is a distinction between a chemical addiction and addiction in general. I see no issue with the lesser restoration curing the symptoms of chemical addiction, directly caused by usage of the chemical.
Which would include the rewriting of the user’s brain into that of an addict. 🤷‍♂️

And I don’t really care about the restoration spells, here. They aren’t the topic.
 


uzirath

Adventurer
I'd say a better angle to approach this from (as a DM) is, "Do I want cure disease to fix addiction?" If so, sure, it's a disease. If not.... then it isn't. . . . A lot of this boils down to, "Just how powerful do I want cure disease to be?" I would argue that it's a low-level effect and should be treated as such.
This is the approach I would take, too. Magic gets thorny when one tries to rationalize or mechanize it too much. I prefer to think about what I want the results to look like and then adjust the rules of magic (or the gods) accordingly. I like a world with addiction, mental illness, congenital disorders, heart disease, and lots of clerics and paladins roaming about. Therefore, cure disease doesn't normally affect such things. Even so, it is a world-changing ability (heck, that would be true even if it only cured influenza).

In most of my fantasy campaigns, illness (whether mental or physical) is the result of either spirits or divine influences. Physical illnesses, therefore, might be the result of bad spirits (who congregate in swamps, cesspools, on rusty nails, etc.) or gods of death and decay. Cure disease is one spell that can help balance things, but many afflictions might be too powerful for it or other standard spells. Plenty of mumbo-jumbo and handwaving, but it usually turns out to be pretty evocative and fun in play. No cleric would be so bold as to say that one of their spells will always work against some condition. The answer is always, something like, "let's see if I can overcome the evil spirits." If it doesn't work, a further quest might be in order, or you may be attempting to tamper with the will of the gods. This would be my answer to most congenital disorders... a person was born that way because of divine will, and that can't be undone by minor miracles.
 

Anyway, strictly speaking, the Paladin can remove a disease. DPaD can detect and identify diseases. If a chemical addiction is a disease, the Paladin can detect and cure it. If it isn't, they can't. But the rules don't give us an answer, which is why it's a discussion.
So a DM either creates a definition of disease that works for them, or they leave it as a judgement call in each case. "No official answer," pretty much makes those the options. Not much then to discuss except WHY a particular DM rules a particular way, which is going to amount to, "I don't want it to fix this/that," or, "I do want it to fix this/that, or just don't care enough to say no."

In my book, most of what real-world science/medicine would call a mental illness or disorder would be something that D&D would classify as insanity strictly for purposes of spells and effects. Disease would cover anything and everything that in the real world would stem from bacterial or viral infection as well as most other stuff not directly resulting from physical injury or inherent defect - even if real-world science and medicine would NOT necessarily lump it into that category. Mostly that's just to keep healing of hit points a separate mechanic from other "cure" spells and effects. More structure than that is simply BEYOND the normal scope of the game and anyone trying to push that envelope should be accepting that they are solidly into house-rules territory.

In short, if you feel you need a definition of disease - make one. If you want a list of what cures what (or doesn't cure it...) then make one. D&D is FAR from a medical simulation and indeed is closer to a wacky fantasy and pre-medieval superstitious idea of health and medicine. D&D uses frickin' spells to cure diseases AND mental illnesses as well as CAUSE them. Real-world sensibility went out the window with using rituals and magic potions to heal people. Don't try to force it to actually make sense.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Real-world sensibility went out the window with using rituals and magic potions to heal people. Don't try to force it to actually make sense.
This part, I will never agree with. You may not enjoy applying real world knowledge and sensibilities to dnd, but there is nothing wrong with doing so.

As to the rest, yep. That’s basically what I said in the OP and since then. I’m curious what others would do in their games if it came up, and why, and discussing the reasoning behind those things, in large because the game doesn’t actually answer the question, which I see as an opportunity.


For instance, I have absolutely no interest in treating dnd and it’s worlds as taking place in a universe where medieval ideas of biology and toxicology are objectively correct, outside of maybe a one-off or a weird setting where that’s a thing. IMO, the standard for dnd for most people is that a cold is caused by a virus, not by an evil spirit.

But other people love that stuff!
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Does 5e have a strictly defined set of parameters that determine what a disease is? I rather doubt it, given how 5e is written. Instead, I’m 99% sure the DM has to do some amount of personal decision making using their own judgement.
It doesn't define disease, but they are universally contagious in 5e. What's the DC to catch an addiction from someone?
 

Bohandas

Adventurer
in 3.5 addiction used a cross between the poison rules and the disease rules... so maybe if you can cure both
 



PsyzhranV2

Adventurer
Looking through the DMG, the three sample diseases there-- cackle fever, sewer plague, and sight rot -- are all contagious in some way.
Cackle fever: Any Humanoid creature that starts its turn within 10 feet of an infected creature in the throes of mad laughter must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or also become infected with the disease. Once a creature succeeds on this save, it is immune to the mad laughter of that particular infected creature for 24 hours.
Sewer plague: When a Humanoid creature is bitten by a creature that carries the disease, or when it comes into contact with filth or offal contaminated by the disease, the creature must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or become infected.
Sight rot: A beast or Humanoid that drinks water tainted by sight rot must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become infected.
 

Unwise

Adventurer
As an aside, questionable uses like this can make for interesting choices and drive the story forward. If in doubt about whether a divine spell will work like that, consider using it as a tool to show the tenets of the deity in question. I have actually had this question come up twice in my games.

Once the paladin was of the god of perseverance and taking on the suffering of others (forget the name). He was very judgemental about the "junkie" he was curing. He cast the spell and instantly took on the addiction of the target on to himself. He had to make con saves vs physical withdrawal and charisma saves to have the strength of will to not try and buy more drugs. He eventually succeeded, but got an appreciation of the issues and stuck to his gods tenets of taking on the suffering of others.

The second time we have a cleric of a very hardcore, distant and merciless smith god. Think Crom from Conan. He cast the restoration on the patient and all of the months of withdrawal and addiction all hit him at once. He had to make death saves and insanity saves, but luckily survived and was free of it, if traumatised from the experience. It was in keeping with the harsh survival of the fittest and tempering flames theology of the deity in question. The unworthy and weak die during such physical and spiritual 'reforging'.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Looking through the DMG, the three sample diseases there-- cackle fever, sewer plague, and sight rot -- are all contagious in some way.
Cackle fever: Any Humanoid creature that starts its turn within 10 feet of an infected creature in the throes of mad laughter must succeed on a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or also become infected with the disease. Once a creature succeeds on this save, it is immune to the mad laughter of that particular infected creature for 24 hours.
Sewer plague: When a Humanoid creature is bitten by a creature that carries the disease, or when it comes into contact with filth or offal contaminated by the disease, the creature must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or become infected.
Sight rot: A beast or Humanoid that drinks water tainted by sight rot must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become infected.
The PHB spell(s) with disease also involve a DC.
 


PsyzhranV2

Adventurer
So, nothing about what defines a disease. 👍
It doesn't define disease, but they are universally contagious in 5e. What's the DC to catch an addiction from someone?
Something something precedent something something obvious something something pedantry...

Ok, a disease is any effect that's called out as a disease. Shaped like itself, I know. Curiously, everything I found from searching on DNDBeyond that inflicts a disease whether as a result of environmental infection, a spell, or a monster's ability requires a Constitution saving throw to stave off. Kind of the point of those. Usually mental effects require Wisdom or more rarely Intelligence saving throws to resist, and typically fall under the Charm or Fear conditions or as a form of madness.

Something something precedent...
 


Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
You can ignore the overwhelming evidence that diseases have DC and/or are contagious. Nothing is stopping you. :)
And we can say the same about the real world—many, if not most, diseases are contagous. However, that doesn't preclude those (that we know to exist) that are not. :/
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
And we can say the same about the real world—many, if not most, diseases are contagous. However, that doesn't preclude those (that we know to exist) that are not. :/
The real world is irrelevant here. We are talking about 5e.
 


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