Sickness is a status effect that prevents characters from naturally healing HP until it wears off. Sick characters may also occasionally suffer a single point of temporary stat damage ("Your disease is taking its toll").
The colour of the word "Sick" gives some indication of how long it will take to wear off (red -> pink -> yellow), at which point it will go away on its own. Sickness heals slower if hungry.
Sources of Sickness
- Being within line of sight of an ancient zyme.
- Casting the Haunt spell.
- Drinking a potion of blood without being a vampire or having the Carnivore mutation may occasionally cause sickness.
Dealing With Sickness
- Quaffing a potion of curing cures sickness.
- Regeneration will make sickness pass more quickly.
- The sustain abilities intrinsic will prevent all attribute loss during sickness.
- Rotting resistance also confers resistance to sickness. All undead species and monsters have rotting resistance, as do nonliving, insubstantial, demonic, and holy creatures. Certain demonspawn may get rotting resistance as one of their demonspawn mutations.
Prior to 0.10, eating contaminated chunks would occasionally cause you to become sick. Saprovores were partially protected from this. In 0.13, nausea was introduced as an intermediate step between health and sick. Eating food while nauseous would occasionally induce sickness, but had few downsides on its own.