Radiation and toxin effects

umungus's picture
umungus
May 28, 2008 - 7:34am

Have you guys used radiated areas in your games? How do you handle the effects? I haven't found anything in the rules about it.

At least I got to scare an alien rabbit thingy......

Comments:

umungus's picture
umungus
June 2, 2008 - 2:37pm
Don't think you could get enough cobalt and gold to sprinkle all over a country. Doesn't sound practical.

At least I got to scare an alien rabbit thingy......


Will's picture
Will
June 2, 2008 - 2:51pm
If you incorporate cobalt into a hydrogen bomb, it would only take (I believe)something like 437 such devices to render the Earth uninhabitable.

You wouldn't need much cobalt either, as the resulting air/groundburst would disperse the material across a wide enough area for it to have effect.

The actual idea orginiated with General Curtis LeMay, the man who orchestrated the nightly firebombings of Japanese cities during World War II and served as General of the Air Force for much of the 1950s and 60s.

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

Will's picture
Will
June 2, 2008 - 2:53pm
Gergmaster wrote:
The heavy metals like gold and cobalt hold radition on the ground. With this nothing can grow. Humans can't survive. It was meant to say that if the US and it's allies cant have what they want Russia and it's allies couldnt either. This actually is also called Scortched Earth (dates back to the bible).


Ironically enough, it was a tactic used both by the United States and Russia throughout their military histories.

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

umungus's picture
umungus
June 4, 2008 - 7:36am

So, what are you guys waiting for? Come up with some perameters for radiation effects and submit them to Starfrontiersman.

At least I got to scare an alien rabbit thingy......


aramis's picture
aramis
June 14, 2008 - 5:03pm
A simple and relatively easy solution, ruleswise:

measure radiation in "Military Rads". When exposure hits Stm, character falls ill. Reduce all stats by 1d10 for days equal to difference. Each further exposure of more than 1/10 Stm triggers this as well, for days equal to the excess amount. Stat losses heal 1 point per day after the illness ends

At accumulated rads equal to double your Stm, damage to stats is 2d10, and illness is double the difference between 1/10 STM and exposed rads, and 2 days per point to heal stat damage. At triple, 3d10, 3 days per point. etc.

If a stat is reduced below 0, the character takes permanent reductions in that stat.

Hit points are treated as a stat for this purpose.


Solar flares can hit a hundred rads per hour or more.

Changing a drive canister on an atomic drive is likely to be 2d10 rads per hour. A Maser likely does 0.1 Rads to the target in addition to damage..

Being in system space is about 3d10/25 rads per hour.

Treat exposures of less than 6 min as 6 min (0.1 hours), and
Radiation suits of a light kind reduce exposure by 2 rads per hour.
Vacc Suits provide about 5 rads per hour protection. (or about half a rad for short duration shots)

Comments?



umungus's picture
umungus
June 16, 2008 - 9:36am
Sounds good Aramis.

So, let me see if a get this. My character is EVA trying to scavenge a derelict Scout ship that got nuked. It has a Rad value of 8. So, his vac suit reduces the effect by 5. S0, he takes 3 rads per hour.

His Stamaina is 50. (Sta 50 / 3= 16.6) So, he should be able to hang for about 16 hours before getting sick? (assuming air holds out) Or does he take the 3 rads against his Sta each hour?

At least I got to scare an alien rabbit thingy......


Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 16, 2008 - 9:53am
I think Aramis's system is good, but I think there should be some better protection available.

Likewise, there should be a medical treatment for the sickness.

Radiation should be something that is a factor only if it takes the PCs by surprise.  If the PCs are adequately warned, and therefore adequately equipped, it should be no problem at all.

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 16, 2008 - 10:39am
I agree with Imperial Lord.  I think that given over 300 years of space travel, the Frontier races would have some pretty good protection against radiation for the beings that are prepared.
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aramis's picture
aramis
June 16, 2008 - 11:24pm
I agree, better protection should be available. I disagree that it would be normative. Shielding against radiation is heavy or inflexible, sometimes both. And if it is readily available, that makes the whole poin pretty moot.

I do think most ships would have somewhere on the order of 50 rads/hour hull protection and more in the emergency areas (like nearly 100).

As to vacc suits... the 3d10/25 puts the range at .12 rads/hour to 1.2 rads per hour, averaging 0.6 an hour, and a base suit will stop  5 an hour... near indefinite.

And Umungus, yes, that's pretty much how it works, but remember that accumulated rads don't go away without expensive treatments... so you don't want to be out there any more than you have to.

Once you hit that point, you're bent EVERY time you get an exposure.

Now, given the value of the credit, it probably should cost about 100,000 and 2 weeks for a chelation session reducing your rads by 10%.

Anarad drugs provide some resistance... say 1 point an hour for inexpensive (100Cr/dose, 1rad/hour, 1d10 hours per dose, extra doses per 24 hours do 1d10 points damage), to 20 rads/hour (10KCr, 20 rads, 2d10+10 hours per dose, same damage as before)...

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 17, 2008 - 7:08am
Aramis -

Probably still a little too deadly...  Are you saying that a solar flare (100 rads) could zap a ship (only 50 rads protection) and kill or injure the whole crew without them even being outside?  Sounds harsh.

I appreciate your desire for realism, but I think that most players, if they are going to die at all, want to be taken out in a hail of laser fire, not by turning into a pile of tumors.

Radiation is a plot device.  It forces precautions, adds fear and suspense, and wounds/kills the stupid.  But, as Terlobar said, there should be some ability to mitigate the effects and effective cures if damage is taken.

umungus's picture
umungus
June 17, 2008 - 9:37am
I guess what we need to do is list some common rad outputs as a guideline.

At least I got to scare an alien rabbit thingy......


aramis's picture
aramis
June 17, 2008 - 6:35pm
Yes, solar flares can kill. But given that solar flares seldom last more than a few minutes, you'd use 1/10th the resultant rate. One won't kill you. But 5-6 will render you QUITE ill. An hour long flare would be a HUGE plot device.

Note also, most solar flares are not that high. (Read what I actually wrote: "can hit" not "usually are."

If one is going to add it, one may as well add it correctly and then let the GM handwave it.

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 18, 2008 - 10:33am
Ok then...

How about a better cure?

aramis's picture
aramis
June 19, 2008 - 5:29pm
There is NO cure at the moment for radiation exposure. Only symptomatic treatment.

It is lethal, and it is long term.

The needed cure for radiation damage involves editing DNA to remove damaged cells.

Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
June 19, 2008 - 6:35pm

Rad Away is a chem in Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics.

A chemical solution that bonds with radiation particles and passes them through your system. Takes time to work.
Rad Away IV
Effects:
Immediate
:
-25 Radiation Count
After 2 Hours:
-50 Radiation Count
After 4 Hours:
-75 Radiation Count

Note that Rad Away is a potent diarrhetic.
Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

SmootRK's picture
SmootRK
June 19, 2008 - 8:34pm
I would propose there be more to the treatments...

1. Radioactive Particle Removal (Rad-Away above sounds cool). 
2. Cells with basic structural damage need to be repaired if possible or allow natural healing to replace the dying cells (either natural healing speed or via a speed healing process).  A nanite style tech could possibly do this sort of cell repair in a futuristic setting. 
3. Cells with actual genetic damage (ie DNA/RNA strands are damaged or altered) need be eliminated before any cancerous growth patterns begin... or if one is heading in the gamma world direction with effects, before any mutational effects begin to propagate through the body.

<insert witty comment here>

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 20, 2008 - 6:30am

If we have Freeze Fields and Staydoses, we should have some "Rad-Away" similar to the stuff that Rum referred to from the Fallout games.


If SF can beat death, then it can beat radiation...


Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
June 20, 2008 - 6:42am

Rad-X is a chem in Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics.

Description: Anti-radiation chems to be taken before exposure. No known side effects
Rad-X
Effects:
Immediate
:
+50 Radiation Resistance
After 24 Hours:
-25 Radiation Resistance
After 48 Hours:
-25 Radiation Resistance

Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
June 20, 2008 - 6:57am
Perhaps this calls for a new Skill as part of Medical?

"Repair Radiation" or "Heal Radiation"?

Or maybe the procedure could fall under the "Minor Surgery" category?

Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
June 20, 2008 - 7:25am
Imperial Lord wrote:
Perhaps this calls for a new Skill as part of Medical?

"Repair Radiation" or "Heal Radiation"?

Or maybe the procedure could fall under the "Minor Surgery" category?


Zebs Guide has a Medical Treatment: Radiation skill.

I like the Rad Away and the Rad-X, but if I were to use them in SF, I would definatley want some good radiation exposure guidlines.
Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

Oghma's picture
Oghma
June 20, 2008 - 6:44pm
I don't know if any of you guys remember the game Twilight 2000.  Everything about that game was super detailed including it's rules about the effects of radiation poisoning.  I don't have my old copy laying around any more, but if anybody else does, it would probably be a great reference.

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 21, 2008 - 6:11pm
I've got mine sitting on the shelf here in my office.  I'll take a look.
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Will's picture
Will
June 22, 2008 - 12:13pm
Cool, Terl, cos my copy of the(decidedly inferior) 2e rules is back in Georgia.... 

"You're everything that's base in humanity," Cochrane continued. "Drawing up strict, senseless rules for the sole reason of putting you at the top and excluding anyone you say doesn't belong or fit in, for no other reason than just because you say so."


—Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stephens, Federation

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 23, 2008 - 5:58pm
Okay, here it is, straight from the TW2K rules (first edition). The first part is a bit of TW2K background in information on nuclear strikes but starting with the Effects of radiation section it is pretty good


Radiation

Nature has a way of repairing itself, and two years after a major nuclear exchange most of the severe radiation hazards will be gene. The most dangerous areas are the actual blast craters ff warheads that, by accident or design, detonated following a ground strike. Since most weapons achieve their best destructive effects from air burst, ground strikes would be rare if not for the sheer volume of warheads exchanged.

A major city has a 50% chance of containing 1D6 impact craters. A city has a 25% chance of containing 1 impact crater. Occasionally, craters are found in the countryside, the site of a tactical strike against an army unit, and the crater may have derelict {and radioactive) vehicles and equipment nearby. Most craters are due to tactical and small strategic nuclear weapons, although an occasional crater, usually in a major city, is due to a larger strategic nuclear weapon.

For tactical and small strategic weapons with yields ranging from 100 to 75O kilotons, the apparent impact crater is about 100 to 400 meters in diameter and is 20 to 70 meters deep. For larger strategic devices with yields ranging from 1 to 10 megatons, the apparent crater is from 200 to 800 meters in diameter and from 50 to 150 meters in depth. The term “apparent” is used deliberately; it refers to the diameter of the apparent (visible) crater. An area of about twice the visible diameter has been completely shifted and disrupted and is as radioactively dangerous as the visible crater itself.

In the two years following the strikes, erosion has reduced apparent diameter to some extent and has reduced the depth considerably. Many smaller craters are shallow depressions in the ground, but the lack of vegetation should alert characters to the potential danger if they do not have Geiger counters or other radiation monitoring equipment.

Every impact crater had an initial radiation level of about 6,000 rads, an immediately fatal dosage. However, most radioactive contamination quickly falls off over time, and the main danger from the impact crater will be from heavily irradiated metal remaining in the crater area. A character in a crater area suffers 1D6 rads per minute. If riding in an open vehicle, this is reduced by half, and if riding in an enclosed armored vehicle it is reduced by a factor of ten. If traveling in a radiologically shielded vehicle, it is reduced by a factor of 100. The referee may choose to ignore the accumulation of fractional rads.

Effects of Exposure: Exposure to lower levels of radiation will produce temporary illness, white higher levels can kill, All exposure is cumulative. When a character's accumulated rads reach or surpass 50, he must be checked for radiation illness. Thereafter, each time the character accumulates one or more rads he must be checked for radiation illness. However, the character is checked for radiation illness only once per day, on each day that he accumulates additional rads.

The radiation illness chart gives the multipliers used to determine the chances of illness and death from exposure to radiation. The character uses the rad level on the chart that is closest to without exceeding his accumulated rad level. For example, characters with rad levels of 75 and 99 use the 50 line, while a character at 802 uses the 800 line. Possible effects are checked for in the following order: death, serious illness, slight illness. There is no need to roll for a lesser effect if a more serious effect is achieved. A dash (-) on the chart means the effect does not apply at that rad level.

Multiply the character's CON by the multiplier to determine his percentage chance of avoiding the effect. Roll D100. If the number rolled is equal to or less than the percentage chance the character avoids the effect. Otherwise, he is affected. For example, a character (CON of 10) has a rad level of 75 and must check for radiation illness. The 50 rads line is used, and there is no chance for death or serious illness at this level. However, slight illness is possible, and the character has a (9.5x 10 = 95% chance of avoiding it.

The referee checks for radiation illness for the character but does not inform the player of the result. Instead, the referee informs the player of his character's symptoms as they occur.

Slight illness: The character suffers nausea, vomiting, and headaches. Onset is 1D6 hours after exposure. Character has strength, agility, and intelligence halved for duration of illness. Symptoms will last for one day at lower exposure levels, two days if exposure is 600 rads or higher.

Serious Illness: The character first suffers slight radiation illness as described above. Then the character suffers serious radiation illness and is incapacitated, with severe vomiting and diarrhea, spotting on the body caused by bleeding under the skin, and blood in stool and vomit. Onset of serious illness is 2D6 days after exposure levels of 300 rads or less, 1d6 days at levels above that. (Note that the character usually will recover from slight radiation illness before suffering from serious radiation illness.) Incapacitation lasts for 1D6 weeks, plus one day for every two days spent without bed rest and medical care. (The amount of medical care required is the same as for characters with a serious wound.) General illness approximating the effects of slight illness listed above will persist for 1D6 months.

Death: The character first suffers from slight radiation illness and the from serious radiation illness (both as described above). During the incapacitation period (and usually withing thirty days of exposure) the character dies.

Radiation Illness Chart

Rads Slight Illness
Serious Illness
Death
50
9.5 --
100 7.5 9.5 -
300 2.5 7.5 9.5
400
0 2.5 7.5
600 0 0 2.5
800 0 0 0


TW2K is based on characteristics that range from 0 to 20 with an average of 10. So if we divided the multipliers by 5 you could then just multiply by STA or maybe current STA to get the percent chance to resist the effect.

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Oghma's picture
Oghma
June 28, 2008 - 3:51am
Cool, thanks for digging those out.  Did you type all of that or scan it some how?

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
June 28, 2008 - 7:49am
No problem.  It was a little of both.  My scanner is dying (it's so old I can't even get Windows XP drivers, I run it under Xsane in Linux) so I couldn't really get a good scan so it didn't OCR very well and in the end it was easier to just type it rather than edit all the mistakes.  the first 2/3rds were scanned and edited and the last 1/3 was just typed.
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AZ_GAMER's picture
AZ_GAMER
July 15, 2008 - 10:46am
twilight 2000 was another fun game. There were so many good things that came out of the eighties, things just don't seem to have the same heart and soul of that time. Not that I would want to give up any of our modern luxuries but to have a little of that old fashioned know how and creativity back would certainly go a long way. A sales person at a cell fone kiosk kept buging me during my last trip to the mall about wantint to sell me in to his co plan. Finally fed up with his insistance, I reminded him that I was a child of the eighties, where we didnt have cell phones or gps navigation, we used pay fones and were able to read maps. I reminded the man politely that while I had a cell fone and enjoyed its use, if it stopped working tomorrow I wouldn't loose a wink of sleep over it. He didnt get it.

I think games were a lot more creative in the eighties because people actually had time to think. I  sit down to work on a project and I am constantly bombared by tons of useless information. What does this have to do with radiation, probably not much but it was fun to share Foot in mouth

Imperial Lord's picture
Imperial Lord
July 15, 2008 - 8:24am
I don't mean to distract the thread, but briefly...

AZ -

Another point is the money scam that these games are now.  Instead of the old TSR strategy of creating incredibly high-quality modules in great numbers, we have the new Wizards of the Crap strategy that involves re-hashes of rules and mediocre sourcebooks.  Very few modules, and of a general poor quality.

Look at the re-vamping of the rules - D&D has gone from 3.0 to 3.5 to 4.0 in 8 years - more adjustments than in the first 20 years of AD&D. 

Wizards' Formula:
New rules = new books = new money

Lame.

But necessary, since they have no creativity.

aramis's picture
aramis
July 16, 2008 - 10:48am
IL:

Let's see. 1984 or so, they edited the 1979 books in about 82, they added Unearthed Arcana, and people WANTED a consolidated rulebook. (Which we never got.) GHA, DLA and FRA all had major rules variations.
They rereleased another whole edition in 1992.

Meanwhile, the basic/expert etc:
1974: little white books/little brown books
1976: de-Tolkeinized little books.
1978: blue cover basic
1979: Red cover basic.
1980: Blue expert
1984 or so: revised red/blue.
1986 or so: Companion (teal) and master (black
1987 or so: Immortals (Gold)
1988 or so: Black basic (board gameish edition in the big box)
1991: D&D Cyclopedia (combines basic, expert, companion, and master sets into one big box
1992 or so: Wrath of the Immortals (replaces Gold set)

TSR kept revising. Kept selling old product with new covers.
1979 AD&D had wrap around illos.
1982 or so had gold spines added.
1984 or so went to new covers

TSR did the exact same thing, just not as obvious 30 years later, and just a little slower pace.

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
July 16, 2008 - 11:27am
But I think Imperial Lord's point is that they weren't changing the rules system, just the packaging.  If you had the older one you didn't need the newer one with the flashier cover, the content inside was the same.  They even did it with Star Frontiers.  With the release of Knight Hawks, they cropped the picture on the new box (which I have) and added the purple area around it to match the KH cover style.  The original SF box (which I also have - was my original set) has a full version of the picture that apperars on the Expanded Rules book and the the individual books both have full cover images as well instead of the cropped versions in the Alpha Dawn rule books (The original version was not called Alpha Dawn, just Star Frontiers).  Inside however, it was still the same set of rules.
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