The Dungeon Master's Guide says on pages 292-3 that diseases can typically infect folks 4 ways:
- consumed from eating or drinking tainted matter,
- contact from touching an item smeared with tainted matter,
- inhaled which goes undefined, and
- injury from a contaminated attack (e.g. the slam attack of a mummy)
The 1st-level Sor/Wiz spell suspend disease [abjur] (Book of Vile Darkness 106) for 24 hours prevents 1 touched creature's
disease [that's] already infecting the subject from harming him for that day. The disease is in no way cured, and the subject cannot make a save to throw off the disease.1
Combined, this means a creature infected with a disease spread via the contact or consumed methods can ignore these diseases' effects yet spread these diseases with relative ease (e.g. the creature infected with the contact-infection disease the shakes (DMG 292) could smear his own tainted matter on his weapons2—maybe, as a house rule, in much the same manner as a poison—so a foe struck by the weapon risks contracting the disease, the creature could get a job in the elf cafeteria and infect the elves with the ingested-infection disease blinding sickness by spitting in the twig soup or cooshee pudding3). In other words, these diseases pretty much weaponize themselves.
But I'm still struggling to weaponize diseases with the inhaled and injury infection methods.
- Were rules ever provided for what, exactly, that inhaled infection method means? A radius, perhaps? A counter beyond divine health or other disease immunity, like an air mask or something?
When a creature's infected with an injury disease, can the creature also spread that disease by injuring a foe? By injuring a foe with a natural weapon? By injuring a foe with the same kind of natural weapon that delivered the disease? At all?
Al's contracted ghoul fever and can and does cast the spell suspend disease so he won't ghoul out… ghoul up… ghoulify… become a ghoul. As a pretty evil dude, he wants to start the ghoulpocalypse by giving those thorp-dwelling commoners ghoul fever. To do so, must Al stab folks with his dagger to force commoners to make Fortitude saving throws to avoid being infected with ghoul fever? Can he cast the 1st-level Drd spell beast claws [trans] (SpC 25) and infect commoners with ghoul fever by using his claw attack?4 As ghoul fever's delivered via a bite must Al cast the 1st-level Drd spell aspect of the wolf [trans] (SpC 16) to infect commoners with ghoul fever via the wolf's bite attack? Or is poor Al stuck with his ghoul fever infection, unable to spread it until he succumbs to it and himself becomes a ghoul?
(What I'd really like for diseases is an official spell like the 5th-level Clr spell spit poison [trans] (Dragon #304 37-38) which permits the caster to make a ranged touch attack that, if successful, poisons the foe with all the poisons coursing through the caster, but I've not found such a spell.)
1 The similar 1st-level Clr spell delay disease [conj] (SpC 63) doesn't supersede the spell suspend disease according to the section Renamed Spells (5-6), making suspend, if available, the superior choice as suspend affects supernatural diseases.
2 I was thinking he'd spit on his weapon. You might be thinking something else. Ew.
3 Relax! It's only shaped like a cooshee.
4 Yeah, Al's a druid. He helped the thorp with their planting, and now it's time to preserve the balance!