Play Your Next 5E D&D Game as a Centaur of Disease Control
Over at Nerdarchy the YouTube channel Nerdarchists Dave and Ted lean into a meme to create a truly groan worthy fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Centaur of Disease Control character. With their hooves planted firmly on the ground they charge forward to create a 5E D&D character who infects a campaign with a deviation from the normal structural or functional state. As one commenter put it this centaur character’s mastery of disease — both spreading it and curing it — turned out to be “very well thought out for just a pun.” So let’s get into it.
Behind the CBG — Centaur of Disease Control
Every CBG we create considers the journey as much as the final outcome. We aim to present a guide suitable for any level of 5E D&D play whether you’re pursuing an epic campaign from start to finish, starting beyond 1st level or choosing a character for a one shot. Then we take those concepts and develop an NPC or creature version of the character build for DMs to incorporate into their games. All of this gets packaged up and laid out in a PDF you can find over at Dungeon Master’s Guild. We’ve got dozens of pay what you want products at DMG, many of them best sellers so if you want to check those out start with the Centaur of Disease Control here.
All about the character story
Each CBG starts with a character concept sticking to a particular schtick, from the Mind Breaker’s psyche crushing smites to the Centaur of Disease Control’s expertise in the realm of disease. Sometimes puns and pop culture references instigate the creation of a CBG too. This one came about due to a very funny meme Ted came across about centaurs in 5E D&D. As always we find a narrative thread to follow through the level progression. The character version for the Centaur of Disease Control continues their intense studies of pathology as a scientist into the adventuring world. With unmatched practical knowledge on how to both cure disease but also manipulate and infect others they develop deep belief in the divine enabling them to pursue their goals to a miraculous degree.
For us it’s important to consider who these characters are as individuals and why they follow these particular paths. One special thing to note with this CBG is while we always aim to make the journey to 20th level as practical as possible — none of these characters “come online” after an awkward slog through many levels — the Centaur of Disease Control includes several benchmarks well before that point. By 3rd level this character becomes a true expert in dealing with disease and by 7th level they become a solid character with superior healing capabilities. At 14th level they can truly claim the mantle of disease control master through cleric magic. While this character thematically focuses on diseases they nevertheless offer incredible support to whatever party of adventures of which they become a part.
I always enjoy comments on videos from enthusiastic viewers whose imaginations get captured by these conversations between Dave and Ted and since there’s some particularly earnest ones related to this CBG I’ll share some of my favorites here:
- No wiggle room on the race? What about five kobolds in a caparison? There’s always wiggle room for kobolds
- Could be cool to have 2 NPCs, each a different side of the coin. A good doctor being followed from town to town by a disease spreading one (sullying his good work). Or a good doctor trying to chase the other one down, and maybe they get accused of being the bad guy.
- I wouldn’t mind playing this character. How ever I want this as a full subclass.
- This reminds me of someone saying they’d make a graviturgist centaur, the centaur of gravity if you will.
- This pun hit me 4 hours later, and it also seems hilarious to have anybody have a ton of letters after their name. Like wait, you’re a doctor? -And certified in gnomish and dwarvish construction safety standards.
- Let the puns FLOOOOW!!! Rent-a-Centaur, Centaur-al Intelligence Agency, Grand Centaur Station
Chironic Centaur NPC for 5E D&D
Full disclosure — the NPCs and creatures we make in CBGs are some of my favorite bits of 5E D&D content to create. We step back and look at the character build to find the standout features that feel like signature abilities. The juice! From there we consider what sort of person or people would possess or gain these abilities and build a stat block around them. More often than not the section of a CBG For Dungeon Masters presents a generic creature.
Oddly enough it wasn’t until after completing the CBG when I looked up the original meme and seeing the reference to Chiron I couldn’t have been more pleased. In Greek mythology Chiron was a centaur physician and I came across this bit of myth while putting together the NPC version, which is a Chironic Centaur to reflect the origins. If I’m honest this was one of the wonkier creatures we’ve created for a CBG because disease is an unusual thing. But there’s some terrific creatures to check out for inspiration. This CBG also marks a first for us in these guides — there’s a new magic item included! Spoiler alert: it’s not exactly the kind of magic item an adventurer would be happy to acquire.
Reset the World. A Chironic Centaur who takes their philosophy to the extreme may seek to renew the world or a region by culling the existing life through spreading infectious disease.
“Shortbow. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 80/320 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) piercing damage and the target must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw against disease or become poisoned until the disease is cured. Every 24 hours that elapse, the creature must repeat the saving throw, reducing its hit point maximum by 5 (1d10) on a failure. This reduction lasts until the disease is cured. The creature dies if the disease reduces its hit point maximum to 0.“
If your next 5E D&D game needs a character who can cure disease and by turns spread such infections — whether you’re the DM or a player — check out the Centaur of Disease Control Character Build Guide here.
*Featured image — The learned centaur Chiron instructs the boy Achilles in the playing of the lyre. He rests upon his equine haunch and wears an animal-skin cloak and wreath of laurel. [Augusteum Herculaneum (cd. Basilica)]