Messing With PCs (Radiation Poisoning)

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.

Hyperborea HR

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About K-Slacker

Gamer and 5th-level magic-user.
Aside | This entry was posted in Campaign Setting, The Black City and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Messing With PCs (Radiation Poisoning)

  1. K-Slacker says:

    Here’s my current scheme for radiation poisoning:

    1. Mild radiation sickness: no effects yet; if exposure continues, automatically progress to next stage at end of 1 week.
    2. Moderate radiation sickness: -2 STR, -2 CON, -2 DEX; on continued exposure save vs. Death each week or progress to next stage.
    3. Severe radiation sickness: -4 STR, -4 CON, -4 DEX, -2 CHR; on continued exposure save vs. Death each week or progress to next stage.
    4. Terminal radiation sickness: -6 STR, -6 CON, -6 DEX, -4 CHR; on continued exposure save vs. Death each day, otherwise save vs. Death each week.

    (The time-lost Tolberts received such a huge dose that they’re assumed to suffer from “continued exposure” until they die from terminal radiation sickness.)

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