One of the “science-fantasy” elements in the Black City campaign has been radiation. This began in our very first prelude session – where Tolbert experienced lethal radiation poisoning. I’ve adapted some radiation sickness rules from my old play-by-post post-apocalyptic game, and have been doling out “irradiated” items and secretly dosing the PCs with radiation.
I’ve also used a major plot element / NPC / campaign location from Dreams in the Lich House, which is itself inspired by a 1935 film. Below the Black City, in the great underground cavern of Kihago, the PCs encountered the immortal Hyperborean Priestess-Queen known as “She Who Must Be Obeyed” (SWMBO). SWMBO derives her power from a blazing blue fire called the Eternal Flame. What the PCs haven’t figured out yet is that this an exposed nuclear core.
Anyhow, the reason I’m posting this now is that several of the characters are suffering from radiation poisoning. SWMBO can temporarily “heal” the PCs using the Eternal Flame, but the characters will become increasingly dependent on its powers. Eventually – depending on circumstances – they’ll either degenerate into “radiation wights”, or gain a kind of “atomic immortality” as long as they remain close to the Eternal Flame.
And if the PCs reject the Eternal Flame (and their irradiated gear), they’ll still suffer the effects of contamination until they recover or find some other source of Restoration.