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During the course of an adventure, characters may have to deal with the local environment. Heat and cold, low gravity, radiation exposure and the like are all potential hazards that characters may have to face regardless of where they are and what they are doing. The potential effects of the environment on characters in the game are so numerous that they require a separate discussion; this sub-Chapter will be devoted to a discussion of environmental effects and how to deal with them when they arise.

Adverse Temperatures and Burns

Lifeforms in the Wing Commander Universe inhabit a wide array of biomes ranging from warm, tropical wetlands to scorching deserts to polar icecaps. Occasionally, a lifeform that is used to conditions in one biome may have to enter into another biome for which they are ill-suited, usually with unfortunate consequences. Sapient lifeforms in particular are frequent visitors of these less-than-optimal alternative biomes; they also have an annoying tendency to screw around with hazardous phenomena such as fire, electricity and chemical compounds that have the potential to disfigure or even kill.

Heat and Cold Damage

Most lifeforms require a set of specific chemical reactions (collectively known as metabolism) in order to maintain their life function. Like all chemical reactions, metabolism is somewhat dependent upon ambient conditions. Should the ambient conditions be too cool, a given reaction might not take place rapidly enough to sustain a vital life function. If ambient conditions are too warm, a lifeform might not be able to dissipate waste heat rapidly enough to avoid a rapid increase in their bodily temperature and prevent any resultant cellular damage. Either condition is potentially fatal.

Characters exposed to temperatures outside of their optimal environmental range can take Cold Damage from conditions like frostbite and hypothermia or Heat Damage from conditions such as heat exhaustion and sunstroke. Heat and Cold Damage both inflict a variable amount of damage depending on just how extreme the heat/cold actually is. The potential damage is determined through the use of a temperature severity level, which is determined by the GM and based on the local categorical temperature (using the temperature categories discussed in Chapter 10.2.4). If a GM knows that characters will be directly exposed to an extreme environment prior to an adventure, they should go ahead and determine the temperature severity level before it begins. To determine the temperature severity level, the GM may use the table below to select a severity level either by choosing an amount arbitrarily from the indicated range or by making the die roll and recording the result (making the die roll is recommended for situations wherein the GM has to improvise).

Temperature Severity Level Determination by Ambient Temperature and Die Roll
Ambient Temperature Category Suggested Severity Level 1d5 Roll Indicated Damage
Subarctic 8-12 7 + 1d5 Cold Damage
Arctic 3-7 2 + 1d5 Cold Damage
Temperate 0 N/A N/A
Tropical 0-1 1d2-1 Heat Damage
Searing 3-7 2 + 1d5 Heat Damage
Inferno 8-12 7 + 1d5 Heat Damage

Note that the table is optimized for creatures such as Terrans that can best withstand a Temperate to Tropical environment. For those creatures whose optimal tolerance is in another category, the "zero level" (the same rolls as for the Temperate category on the table) should be moved to correlate with it. For any new "extreme" levels created by such a move, the roll for severity is 12 + 1d10 with a potential range of 12 to 21; for each subsequent new extreme category, a value of ten should be added to the endpoints of the range of values as well as to the modifier of the 1d10 roll. For example, a character whose optimal temperature range is Subarctic will move the "zero level" to Subarctic to correlate with it. All other temperature categories will inflict Heat Damage on this character; the Tropical level moves down to Arctic, Searing moves to Temperate, and Inferno moves to Tropical. For the Searing category, the range becomes 12 to 21 (12 + 1d10) and the Inferno category becomes 22 to 31 (22 + 1d10).

Some pieces of gear (such as sweaters, heavy coats, firefighting equipment, etc.) are designed to add levels of "thermal protection" to a character. If a character is wearing such equipment, the effective temperature severity level changes for them only. If the gear is designed to protect against Cold Damage, the temperature severity level will go down by one point per level of thermal protection provided (for example, if the temperature severity level is 7 as determined by the GM, wearing a sweater and a heavy coat will reduce that level to 4 - one point for the sweater and two points for the coat). In situations where the character would be facing Heat Damage however, wearing such gear makes the temperature severity level go up instead by the same degree. The reverse is true for gear designed to protect against Heat Damage.

When a character is exposed to extreme temperatures, they must make a Survival Check once every ten minutes. The initial Check has no penalty involved; each subsequent Check has a cumulative -5 DC penalty for as long as the character remains exposed to adverse conditions (i.e. the second Check will be at -5 DC, the third at -10 DC, etc.). If the Check fails, the GM will roll a number of d5s equal to the characters' effective temperature severity level and tally them together; the final result is an amount of Non-Lethal Damage that will be immediately applied against the character. A character that fails a Survival Check must continue to make subsequent Checks at the next appropriate DC penalty; it is only when the character fails a given Check that they take Heat or Cold Damage. If the character's NHP has already been reduced to zero or less, they will continue to take any indicated Non-Lethal Damage from the extreme heat/cold and will begin taking an equal amount of Lethal Damage as well.

Fire

Fire is the rapid oxidation of a combustible material, releasing heat, light and various by-products such as carbon dioxide and water vapor in the process. Oftentimes, the heat of the reaction is sufficient to ionize gases and produce plasma. Fire is usually one of the very first weapons developed in many cultures for a very good reason: it can kill fairly easily. Even if it doesn't kill outright, fire can cause severe damage to anything it touches.

Characters exposed to a fire may catch themselves, their clothes and/or their equipment on fire. If a character is at risk of catching fire, they must successfully complete two Reflex Saves in a row to avoid catching fire for every round that they are at risk; they may not attempt this save if they have been targeted by another character wielding a Flamethrower regardless of the weapon's Class. If the character fails either Save, they are set ablaze. Once ablaze, a character will take 1d10 points of Lethal Damage as well as a burn per round; these effects can be amplified depending upon what body area is on fire as per the rules for hit locations in Chapter 9.2. If a hit location has not been determined already, one should be determined once a character is set ablaze. Burns count as two normal Wounds, the second of which will automatically scar (inflict a permanent -1 Comeliness penalty) upon healing unless the healer uses a Burn Kit (see Chapter 5.4) during the healing process or the victim is able to seek medical care at a Starfaring Age medical facility.

After being set ablaze, a character may attempt to complete two successful Reflex Saves in a row to put out the fire; if the character drops Prone before making the attempt, they receive a +15 DC bonus to both Saves. If both Saves are successful, the fire goes out and no further damage will be inflicted. If either Save attempt fails, the GM must make a d% roll; if the result of that roll is less than the higher result of the character's Reflex Save attempts, another part of their body will catch fire (characters are required to make both Reflex Save rolls even if the first roll fails specifically for the purpose of making this determination). In the event that multiple parts of a character's body are ablaze, the amount of Lethal Damage inflicted is still just 1d10 points per round but they will take burns for every affected body part. A single successful set of Reflex Saves is sufficient to smother the flames over a character's entire body.

Acid

Creatures may sometimes be exposed to substances that have a hydrogen ion activity that deviates sufficiently from that of water to the point at which chemical reactions in their exterior bodily layers are sped up, leading to their break down and resulting in potentially severe bodily injury and disfigurement. Substances with hydrogen ion activity greater than water are known as acids while those with ion activity less than water are known as bases. WCRPG treats these substances the same way; in this discussion they will collectively be called "acids".

While having nothing to do with adverse temperatures, acids are covered in this section due to their capability to cause burns in a manner similar to fire. If a character comes into direct contact with acid, they will take an amount of damage depending upon its potency and the degree of contact they have with it. If one part of a character's body comes into contact with the acid, a hit location (see Chapter 9.2) will need to be determined. Full immersion in an acid automatically counts as a hit to a character's vital Body Area, which may make immersion in even a weak acid instantly fatal.

Contact with a mild acid (such as hydrochloric acid or a base such as ammonia) will inflict one burn and 1d5 points of Lethal Damage. Contact with a more potent acid (such as sulfuric acid or a base like sodium hypochlorite) will inflict two burns and 1d10 points of Lethal Damage. Contact with strong or concentrated acids (such as nitric acid or a base like sodium hydroxide) inflicts three burns and 2d10 points of Lethal Damage. Immersion in acid doubles the amount of damage indicated and adds a number of additional Wounds equal to the result of the damage die roll no matter what the acid's strength. For example, a character falls into a vat of potent acid; they are immersed in it. 1d10 is rolled for the damage; the result is six. Since they're immersed, the damage is doubled twelve points and they take six Wounds over the two burns ordinarily indicated for a total of ten Wounds, burns counting as two wounds each. Additional damage is taken for acid exposure per round as long as a character remains in contact with it.

Even if a character is not in direct contact with an acid, there is a chance that they can take damage from an acidic substance simply by being close enough to inhale its fumes; a character that is within two meters of a large, open vat of acid (a cubic meter or larger) must make three Fortitude Saves in a row to avoid the effects of any of its fumes. If any of the Saves fail, use the rules for Smoke to determine specific effects.

Finally, any substance can be treated as an acid if it has the capability of causing burns on direct contact; substances such as liquid nitrogen, dry ice and lava fall into this category. Such substances can be treated as acids but may also subject a character to other effects, such as Cold Damage for liquid nitrogen exposure and Fire Damage for lava. GMs are welcome to add or substitute Acid Damage effects for these substances at their own discretion.

Hostile Atmospheres

There are very few creatures in the Wing Commander Universe that don't have to respire in some manner or another. Creatures that do respire have a very specific set of requirements for the process, usually including a particular mixture of substances in a specific material state and in a set range of ambient atmospheric pressures. When conditions are such that the correct mixture is not available, extremely bad things can happen to a creature very quickly.

Smoke, Ash, and Other Pollutants

Sometimes the correct mixture for respiration exists in the ambient environment but another substance is also present, one that a lifeform's respiratory system cannot process. Smoke, ash and concentrated pollutants such as ground-level ozone cannot be processed by many lifeforms and act as an irritant when they are inhaled. For purposes of game play, smoke, ash and pollutants cause the same effects in WCRPG; for purposes of this discussion they will collectively be called "smoke".

Characters may encounter smoke for a number of reasons, such as being close to a fire or erupting volcano, being exposed to poisonous gas on a battlefield, etc. Smoke can cause a level of suffocation damage; when a character is exposed to smoke, they must make a Stamina Check after one full minute's exposure. Every round afterward that the character remains exposed, a new Stamina Check must be made with the Check's DC decreasing by five points each round. Should the character fail any Check, they begin to take damage from smoke inhalation; the character begins coughing uncontrollably, taking 1d5 Non-Lethal Damage every round they remain exposed. The Stamina Checks continue after smoke inhalation effects begin, but the Check DC begins to decrease by ten points per round. Every subsequent failed Stamina Check increases the damage by an additional, cumulative 1d5 and adds five points to the amount of decrease in the DC (i.e. the second failed Check increases the damage to 2d5 and -10 DC, the third to 3d5 and -15 DC, etc.). Non-Lethal Damage and Stamina Checks must continue even after the character loses consciousness at 0 NHP. At any point, the character may leave or be carried out o) the smoky environment, at which point the need for additional Stamina Checks stops. A conscious character will stop coughing after spending an amount of time in a smoke-free environment equal to the amount they spent in the smoky environment. Non-Lethal Damage from smoke inhalation heals at the normal rate and can be treated by a physician.

Should the "smoke" in question actually be a poisonous gas (such as chlorine or mustard gas), damage from the poison will also apply (see Poisons and Pathogens later in this sub-Chapter). Anyone attacking a character in a smoky environment will take the -25 HD penalty for not having a clear line of sight (for details regarding line of sight, see Chapter 9.2).

Thin Air

Sometimes characters will have to venture into environments where the correct substance needed for respiration is present but not in a high enough concentration to sustain life processes for an extended period; such locales may include mountaintops and partially decompressed chambers in a space vehicle. Characters who enter into a so-called "thin air environment" such as these must make a Stamina Check after one minute and must make an additional Check every minute they remain in it, with the Check DC decreasing by five points for every subsequent Check (-5 DC for the second Check, -10 for the third, etc.). Upon any failed Stamina Check, the character takes 1d5 points of Non-Lethal Damage and automatically becomes fatigued. The character must continue to make Stamina Checks after losing consciousness at 0 NHP and may continue taking Non-Lethal Damage if it is indicated. The character may leave the thin air environment at any time whether under their own power or not, at which point any Non-Lethal Damage taken will begin to heal at the normal rate. The character will remain fatigued, however, until all the Non-Lethal Damage from their time spent in the thin air environment has healed.

Suffocation

If a character is in an environment where their respiratory needs are not being met at all (such as what happens when a character has been flung into space or is underwater with a non-functioning oxygen tank), there is a chance they will either suffocate or drown. For game purposes, these two phenomena have the same set of effects; for purposes of this discussion they will collectively be referred to as "suffocation".

If the environment is such that a character cannot respire, they may attempt to "hold their breath" to prevent the effects of suffocation. A character can hold their breath for a number of rounds equal to one-tenth their Stamina Skill score (rounded down). After that time period has passed, they must make a Stamina Check and they must make an additional Stamina Check for every additional round they remain in the environment, with the Check DC decreasing by a cumulative ten points each subsequent round (-10 DC on the second round, -20 on the third, etc.). In any round, they may stop making Stamina Checks if they return to an environment in which they can respire. Should the character fail any Stamina Check, they begin to suffocate. The suffocation sequence lasts three rounds, beginning with the next round after the character begins to suffocate. On the first round, the character's NHP falls to zero and they become Unconscious. On the second round, the character takes 3d10 Wounds to their Body Area (vital). Clinical death occurs on the third round (0 HP) if the character hasn't already entered a state of clinical death from the damage inflicted during the second round. Should a character be pulled into an area where they may respire after the suffocation sequence begins, they will require time to heal as with any other form of damage or Wound; for details on healing damage, see Chapter 9.2.

Strangulation

Finally, a character may attempt to strangle another character during the course of combat if they are in a mutual Grappling action (for information on Grappling, see Chapter 9.2). To make an attempt at strangulation, the character must have succeeded in their latest Grapple Check by ten or more points and have used the Grapple action to pin their opponent. If these conditions are met, the character may declare the pin to be an attempt at strangulation. Strangulation works in the same way as suffocation as long as the character can maintain the pin; if the opponent breaks the pin, they are no longer at risk for suffocation (and are probably quite pissed at that point).

Gravitational Effects

Gravity is something that most beings take for granted; it's a familiar tug that keeps everything firmly attached to whatever body generates the majority of it locally. Of course, gravity rarely works the way sapient beings would like it to, particularly in those instances when it's possible for gravity (or rather the influence it has on all things including people and sharp, pointy objects) to cause substantial bodily harm.

High and Low Gravity

Sometimes characters will wind up in an environment where the local gravity is either higher or lower than what their bodies are used to; there are even a few situations wherein characters may experience an apparent change in the local gravity (such as when they are walking across a spinning platform, riding in a centrifuge or are underwater). GMs may use whatever information is available to determine the standard gravity for individual characters or they may just assume all characters are used to a standard gravity of one gee. All races are usually tolerant of gravity within 0.2 gees of their standard.

When outside the gravitational tolerance range for their species, a character takes penalties to some of their actions. For each 0.1 gee over or under the tolerance range, the character takes a -1 penalty to the DC of all of their Power and Finesse Skill Checks. If the character happens to be in a zero gee environment, the character takes an additional -10 DC penalty to these same Checks provided that zero gees is not within their standard gravity range. Should a character be located in an environment substantially different from what they are used to, if is possible that the penalties inflicted will reduce the involved DCs to zero or less; in that case, the character automatically fails all of those Checks. These penalties end immediately when the character returns to an environment with a local gravity in their tolerance range.

Falling

While falling in and of itself will not harm a character, the sudden stop at the end might. The amount of damage a character suffers in a fall is largely dependent upon the total distance covered and the local gravity; a fall greater than two meters in distance with one gee of ambient gravity is sufficient to cause damage upon landing. A character takes 1d5 points of Lethal Damage for each whole meter that they fall over the first two meters multiplied by the local ambient gravity, rounding down. For example, a character that falls 6.4 meters on a world with 2.3 gees of gravity will roll 7d5 for falling damage and multiply the result by 2.3 (6.4 meters rounds up to 7); if the result of the roll is 22, the character suffers fifty points of Lethal Damage (22 * 2.3 = 50.6, rounds down to fifty). Characters that take damage from a fall must roll for a hit location (see Chapter 9.2) to determine if any additional damage effects occur. Characters may attempt to successfully complete two Reflex Saves upon impact in an attempt to mitigate the resultant amount of damage by 1d10 points; this represents an attempt at "tumbling" - both saves must succeed in order for the character to tumble. A character who successfully employs a parachute or other apparatus designed to slow down their fall only takes 1d10 points of Non-Lethal Damage upon impact regardless of the local gravity or the distance traversed.

Falling Objects

Characters can also take damage from objects falling on top of them, something a character may want to consider in instances such as when they are standing directly underneath a hovercopter they want to shoot down with a shoulder-mounted missile. The amount of damage a character takes from such an incident is dependent upon the Size Class of the falling object, the distance the object drops and the local gravitational pull. An object that falls on a character causes 1d5 points of Lethal Damage for each meter (rounded up) that the object falls over the first two meters multiplied by the local ambient gravity, rounding down. Another 1d5 points of Lethal Damage occurs for each Size Class that the object is over the Size Class of the character. Characters that take damage from a falling object must roll for a hit location (see Chapter 9.2) to determine if any additional damage effects take place. If the object is at least two Size Classes larger than the character, they may attempt to successfully complete two Reflex Saves upon impact in an attempt to avoid being pinned (using the rules for Grappling in Chapter 9.2); even if the Saves are successful, the character will still be knocked Prone by the impact. The falling object gets a +5 bonus to its Grapple Check for each Size Class that it is larger than the character upon which it falls. A Lifting Check with a DC penalty equal to five times the object's Size Class may be made in an attempt to break any resultant pin.

Landslides

When a large amount of snow, rock or land comes loose and begins sliding down a slope, the result is an avalanche or a landslide (since these phenomena are caused by similar mechanics, the general term "landslide" will be used to refer to them in this discussion). Landslides are extremely dangerous and can easily kill a character. If targeted by a landslide but close to the "edge" of it, characters can attempt to successfully complete three Reflex Saves in a row to avoid being caught in it. Characters caught in a landslide are carried along at the same rate as the slide. Characters may be subjected to a number of possible effects during the course of the slide at the GM's discretion; characters in a rockslide might be at risk of taking falling object damage from boulders thundering past, they might be subject to suffocation effects during a mudslide, they could be subjected to Cold Damage during an avalanche and so forth. A good way to determine if a character will be subjected to these effects is to make a Dexterous Maneuvers Check; if the Check fails, they are subject to these additional effects. The GM will roll d% and multiply the result by fifty; the result is the final distance the slide travels. Characters will be buried in the material in which they were carried; GMs should assume a burial of one meter for every 200 meters that the slide traveled. A character can attempt to dig themselves out using a Dexterous Maneuvers Check with a -25 DC penalty at a rate of one Check per minute; success moves the character upwards by one meter. While buried, the character will be subject to the potential for suffocation effects as normal.

Poisons and Pathogens

The chemical processes upon which most lifeforms depend to carry out life functions must use the correct substances and oftentimes must occur in a very specific order. If any of the required substances are missing or substituted or if something causes them to get "out of sync", it could prove fatal. Naturally, there are other lifeforms that take advantage of these facts in order to find sustenance for themselves (either directly or by breaking their victim's structure down into a more easily digestible form) and/or as a means of creating a friendly environment in which to propagate their species. There are also some species out there that, although they cannot produce such disruptive processes naturally, are more than capable of manufacturing them artificially and deliberately deploying them on other beings. When a lifeform's internal chemistry is disrupted by a substance, that substance is called a poison and when it's disrupted by another organism, that organism is called a pathogen.

WCRPG handles the potential effects of poisons and pathogens similarly. Both phenomena have a mode of contraction (also known as a transmission vector), multiple stages of effects, a requirement of one or more Fortitude Saves to avoid stages, an incubation period before initial stage effects present themselves, a duration period for each stage, and conditions for the treatment, mitigation or avoidance of further stages. Typical effects from poisons and pathogens include loss of HP up to and including death, loss of Skill points and taking Complications; these effects can either be temporary or permanent.

Pathogens

Characters may be exposed to pathogens throughout the course of their adventures through contact with diseased individuals, by delving into areas where pathogens are abundant or by being deliberately targeted by individuals using pathogens as weapons. Pathogens can cause diseases that range in effect from being relatively mild to life-threatening. When a character comes into contact with a pathogen in the manner required by its transmission vector (through ingestion, inhalation, injury, etc.), they must make an immediate series of Fortitude Saves; the exact number of Saves required is dependent upon the pathogen involved. The character proceeds to Stage One of the disease at the conclusion of the listed incubation period if any of these Saves fail. Once a character has contracted a disease, they can only recover from it if they fulfill the listed recovery conditions; this may or may not involve further Fortitude Saves. Recovery from any loss of HP caused by a pathogen may not occur until the victim has recovered from the disease.

Other characters can treat diseased patients under their care using Specialized Medicine Checks; a Specialized Medicine Check may be attempted once per day and there is usually a DC penalty involved depending upon the pathogen in question. If the Specialized Medicine Check is successful, the patient will automatically experience the most favorable result for the current stage of their disease, though they still must endure the symptoms listed for the amount of time remaining for that stage. Alternatively, a caretaker can give the patient a shot of Antibiotics; this requires the caretaker to make a Treatment Check instead. The DC of a Treatment Check is modified by the same amount as a Specialized Medicine Check. If this Check is successful, the patient will begin recovery from the disease upon completion of its current stage; no further stages will be experienced by the patient. Caretakers are forewarned that they may be exposed to a pathogen simply by treating a patient infected with it. Placing a patient in stasis will not cure a disease but it will effectively "stop the clock", delaying its further progression until they are brought out of stasis; this will perhaps buy the patient sufficient time to have a fighting chance at survival.

Characters can be given inoculations; this usually involves injecting them with a substantially weakened form of a specific disease. This requires a Specialized Medicine Check; the DC is only adjusted by half (round down) of the disease's normal penalty. Success will give the character the disease but they will only suffer the Stage I effects and automatically recover at the conclusion of Stage I; if they are exposed to the same disease while the inoculation is still effective, they are automatically immune to it. Failure of the Check still offers protection but the character takes one Wound in the process (from the medic botching a simple injection). This Check has critical potential; on a critical failure, the character suffers the full blown disease (i.e. they do not recover automatically at the conclusion of Stage I) as well as the Wound. Unless Starfaring Age medicine is involved, a disease may not be inoculated against if it requires five or more initial Fortitude Saves. Inoculations are effective for 2d10 years.

Given such a broad definition of what constitutes a pathogen and given the large number of species in the Wing Commander Universe, it should be obvious that there are countless species of microorganisms that qualify as pathogens; creating a comprehensive list of them and the potential maladies they inflict is impossible. Rather than attempting to create such a list, a short sampling of diseases follows; GMs may decide for themselves which species in their adventures are susceptible to these diseases and are free to create their own maladies as they wish, using the following list as a guide to their design.

Flu

The flu is an infectious disease caused by RNA viruses of the family Orthomyxoviridae. While it typically affects avian and mammalian species more than others, almost all forms of life have their own version of this particular disease. It becomes particularly problematic when one version jumps over to another species and has been known to cause epidemics among dense populations.

  • Transmission Vector: Inhalation
    • Incubation Period: 1d5 days
    • Treatment/Specialized Medicine DC Penalty: 10
    • Stage I Fortitude Saves: Four.
  • Stage I Effects:
    • Symptoms: Cough (-1d5 to Hiding and Seeking Check DC), Headache (-1d2 to Concentration Check DC), Weakness (-1d5 to all Power Check DCs). Character is contagious.
    • Stage I Duration: 1d5 days
    • Stage II Fortitude Saves: Four (Stage I symptoms end and recovery begins in 2+1d10 hours if successful).
  • Stage II Effects:
    • Symptoms: Cough (-1d10 to Hiding and Seeking Check DC), Headache and Sore Throat (-1d5 to Concentration Check DC), Weakness (-1d5 to all Power Check DCs), Fever (-1d5 to Stamina Check DC). Character is fatigued, contagious and cannot move faster than twice their normal rate.
    • Stage II Duration: 1d5 days
    • Stage III Fortitude Saves: Four (Stage II symptoms end and recovery begins in 2+1d10 hours if successful).
  • Stage III Effects:
    • Symptoms: Cough (-1d10 to Hiding and Seeking Check DC), Headache and Sore Throat (-1d5 to Concentration Check DC), Weakness (-1d5 to all Power Check DCs), Fever (-1d5 to Stamina Check DCs). Character temporarily loses one-tenth of their maximum number of Hit Points (both Lethal and Non-Lethal). Character is fatigued, contagious and cannot move faster than twice their normal rate.
    • Stage III Duration: 5d5 hours
    • Stage IV Fortitude Saves: Five (Stage III symptoms end and recovery begins in 2+1d10 hours if successful).
  • Stage IV Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: Character has Pneumonia; proceed immediately to Stage I.

Rubeola

Rubeola is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus of the genus Morbillivirus. It is a highly contagious airborne pathogen, infecting and replicating in the lymphatic system, urinary tract, conjunctivae, blood vessels and central nervous system of its host. Though quite virulent, it is only occasionally fatal and is easily prevented altogether through inoculation. Once they suffer from this disease, a character becomes completely immune to re-infection for the rest of their life regardless of far it progressed.

  • Transmission Vector: Inhalation / Ingestion
    • Incubation Period: 7+1d5 days
    • Treatment/Specialized Medicine DC Penalty: 10
    • Stage I Fortitude Saves: Four.
  • Stage I Effects:
    • Symptoms: Runny Nose (-1d5 to Senses (Smell)), Cough (-1d10 to Hiding and Seeking Check DC), Fever (-1d2 to Stamina Check DC). Character is contagious.
    • Stage I Duration: 5+1d2 days
    • Stage II Fortitude Saves: N/A (Character automatically proceeds to Stage II after Stage I is complete).
  • Stage II Effects:
    • Symptoms: Fever (-1d5 to Stamina Check DCs), Full Body Rash (-1d5 to Comeliness; -1d2 to Reflexes). Character is contagious and takes a -10 penalty to all other Check DCs.
    • Stage II Duration: 5+1d2 days
    • Stage III Fortitude Saves: Five (Stage II symptoms end and recovery begins in 4+4d5 hours if successful).
  • Stage III Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: Variable. Roll d% and use the following list of results:
      • 00: Character loses one point from their Physique Score per minute until clinical death occurs.
      • 01-13: Character has Pneumonia; proceed immediately to Stage I.
      • 14-99: Stage II symptoms end and recovery begins after 4+4d5 hours pass.

Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an inflammatory illness of the respiratory organs resulting from a variety of causes, including infection with bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites and chemical or physical injury; its cause may also be officially described as idiopathic (unknown) when infectious causes have been excluded. Pneumonia is a common illness which occurs in all age groups. In pre-Starfaring Age societies, it is a leading cause of death among the young, the elderly and people who are chronically and terminally ill. Vaccines to prevent certain types of pneumonia are usually available by the time a society reaches their Industrial Age. The prognosis and chances of survival usually depend on the type of pneumonia, whether the patient receives appropriate treatment or not, any complications and the patient's underlying health.

  • Transmission Vector: Ingestion
    • Incubation Period: 1d5 days (N/A if triggered by another ailment)
    • Treatment/Specialized Medicine DC Penalty: 5
    • Stage I Fortitude Saves: Three.
  • Stage I Effects:
    • Symptoms: Variable. Roll d% and use the following list of results; if triggered by another ailment, use the form that matches it most closely:
      • 00-19: Character has idiopathic pneumonia. Cough (-1d5 to Hiding and Seeking Check DC), Fever (-1d5 to Stamina Check DC), Headache (-1d2 to Concentration Check DC). Character is fatigued, cannot move faster than three times their normal movement rate and takes a -5 DC penalty to all other Checks.
      • 20-69: Character has bacterial pneumonia. Cough with Mucus (-3d5 to Hiding and Seeking Check DC), Fever with Chill (-1d10 to Stamina Check DC), Chest Pain (-2d5 to all Power Check DCs), Shakes (-1d5 to Dexterous Maneuvers Check DC), Sweating (-1 day to dehydration). Character cannot move faster than twice their normal movement rate.
      • 70-99: Character has viral pneumonia (cannot be treated with Antibiotics prior to Starfaring Age). Cough (-1d5 to Hiding and Seeking Check DC; -1 NHP when making any physical Check), Muscle Pain (-1d5 to all Power Check DCs), Fever (-1d5 to Stamina Check DC), Headache (-1d2 to Concentration Check DC). Character is fatigued, takes a -15 DC penalty to all other Checks and cannot move faster than twice their normal movement rate.
    • Stage I Duration:
      • Idiopathic: 10+4d5 days
      • Bacterial/Viral: 7+1d5 days
    • Stage II Fortitude Saves:
      • Idiopathic: N/A (Stage I effects end and recovery begins 2+1d5 days after completion of Stage I.)
      • Bacterial/Viral: Four (Stage I effects end and recovery begins in 2+1d5 days if successful.)
  • Stage II Effects:
    • Symptoms: Stage I symptoms continue, with Difficulty Breathing (-2d10 to Stamina DC), Nausea (-1d10 NHP/-1d5 HP), Mental Confusion (-2d10 to all mental Check DCs).
    • Stage II Duration: 2+1d5 days
    • Stage III Fortitude Saves: Five (Stage I and II effects end and recovery begins in 2+1d5 days if successful).
  • Stage III Effects:
    • Symptoms: Stage I and II symptoms continue. Character loses one-quarter of their maximum HP/NHP.
    • Stage III Duration: 2+1d5 days
    • Stage IV Fortitude Saves: Five (Stage I, II and III effects end and recovery begins in 2+1d5 days if successful).
  • Stage IV Effects:
    • Symptoms: Stage I, II and III symptoms continue.
    • Stage IV Duration: 1d5 weeks
    • Stage V Fortitude Saves: N/A.
  • Stage V Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: Stage I, II and III symptoms continue. Character loses one point from their Physique Score per minute until clinical death.
    • Stage V Duration: Until clinical death.

Bronchitis

Bronchitis is the inflammation of the passageways in the respiratory system, usually caused either through infection or prolonged exposure to particulates such as smoke. Though more annoying than deadly, it is possible for a character to contact chronic bronchitis and suffer from its effects for the remainder of their life.

  • Transmission Vector: Inhalation
    • Incubation Period: 1d5 days
    • Treatment/Specialized Medicine DC Penalty: 0
    • Stage I Fortitude Saves: Three.
  • Stage I Effects:
    • Symptoms: Sore Throat (-1d2 to Concentration DC), Fever with Chill (-1d5 to Stamina Check DC), Back/Muscle Pain (-1d10 to all Power Check DCs), Runny Nose (-1d5 to Senses (Smell)). Character is fatigued and cannot move faster than twice their normal rate.
    • Stage I Duration: 1+1d2 days
    • Stage II Fortitude Saves: N/A (Character automatically proceeds to Stage II after Stage I is complete).
  • Stage II Effects:
    • Symptoms: Cough (-1d10 to Hiding and Seeking Check DC), Sore Throat (-1d2 to Concentration Check DC), Fever with Chill (-1d5 to Stamina Check DC), Back/Muscle Pain (-1d10 to all Power Check DCs), Runny Nose (-1d5 to Senses (Smell)). Character is fatigued, cannot move faster than twice their normal rate, requires two additional hours of sleep per day and takes a -10 DC penalty to all other Checks.
    • Stage II Duration: 1+1d2 days
    • Stage III Fortitude Saves: N/A (Character automatically proceeds to Stage III after Stage II is complete).
  • Stage III Effects:
    • Symptoms: Cough (-1d10 to Hiding and Seeking Check DC). Character loses one-quarter (round down) of their maximum HP/NHP.
    • Stage III Duration: 1d5 weeks
    • Stage IV Fortitude Saves: Five (Stage III symptoms end and recovery begins immediately if successful).
  • Stage IV Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: Character has developed chronic bronchitis. Cough (-1d10 to Hiding and Seeking Check DC) remains for 1d5 months, then subsides for 2+2d5 months; any HP/NHP loss caused by the disease may begin recovery when the Cough subsides. This is followed by Stage I symptoms for 1d5 months which then subside every 2+2d5 months and return every 1d5 months for the remainder of the character's life. The GM should go ahead and calculate the character's Maximum Lifespan at this point whether they have reached Venerable Age or not and remove 3d5 years (or months for short-lived species) from that amount.
    • Stage IV Duration: Until brain death.

Mind Fever

Mind fever is a medical condition where a part of an organism's cognitive organ becomes inflamed and causes symptoms that initially present as a high fever. Mind fever can refer to several different maladies; the one presented here is caused by a specific bacterium of the genus Salmonella transmitted by the ingestion of food or water that has been contaminated with the feces of an infected person.

  • Transmission Vector: Ingestion
    • Incubation Period: 9+1d5 days
    • Treatment/Specialized Medicine DC Penalty: 10
    • Stage I Fortitude Saves: Five.
  • Stage I Effects:
    • Symptoms: Fever (-1d5 to Stamina Check DC), Weakness (-1d5 to all Power Check DCs), Pain and Headache (-1d5 to Concentration Check DC), Loss of Appetite (successful Willpower Save required to eat), Rose-Colored Spots on the Body Area (-2 to Comeliness). Character is contagious, cannot move faster than twice their normal rate and may not make any Lifting Checks.
    • Stage I Duration: 5+1d2 days
    • Stage II Fortitude Saves: N/A (Character automatically proceeds to Stage II after Stage I is complete).
  • Stage II Effects:
    • Symptoms: Fever (-1d5 to Stamina Check DC), Weakness with Bone Ache (-2d5 to all Power Check DCs), Pain with Headache (-1d10 to Concentration Check DC), Loss of Appetite with Inflamed Gustatory Organ (two successful Willpower Saves needed in order to eat), Full Body Rash (-1d5 to Comeliness; -1d2 to Reflexes). Character is contagious, cannot move faster than twice their normal rate, may not make any Lifting Checks and takes a -20 DC penalty to all other Checks.
    • Stage II Duration: 5+1d2 days
    • Stage III Fortitude Saves: Six (Stage II symptoms end and recovery begins in 1d5 days if successful).
  • Stage III Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: Variable. Roll d% and use the following list of results:
      • 00-19: Character loses one point from their Physique Score per minute until clinical death.
      • 20-99: Variable. Roll d% and use the following list of results:
        • 00-04: Character is permanently contagious (-10 to Reputation after 2d5 months). Stage II symptoms end and recovery begins after another 2+1d5 days.
        • 05-99: Stage II symptoms end and recovery begins after another 2+1d5 days.

Phthisis

Phthisis is an often lethal infectious disease caused by fungal microorganisms of the family Mycobacteriaceae. It usually attacks the respiratory system but can also affect the central nervous system, the lymphatic system, the circulatory system, the genitourinary system, the gastrointestinal system, the musculo-skeletal system and even the epidermis. Once a character has it, they will have it for the rest of their life. Those who develop chronic phthisis rarely live with the condition for very long; even with medical assistance and a non-chronic condition, those who contract phthisis will be lucky to survive it.

  • Transmission Vector: Ingested
    • Incubation Period: N/A
    • Treatment/Specialized Medicine DC Penalty: 15
    • Stage I Fortitude Saves: Four.
  • Stage I Effects:
    • Symptoms: None.
    • Stage I Duration: 2+1d5 weeks
    • Stage II Fortitude Saves: Five (Disease becomes latent if successful. For the remainder of the character's life, the GM must roll d% any time they contract another disease; on a result of 19 or more, the character must proceed immediately to Stage II Phthisis, which occurs concurrently with the effects of the other disease).
  • Stage II Effects:
    • Symptoms: Weight Loss (-2 to Health, -1d5 kg Mass), Fever (-1d5 to Stamina Check DC), Loss of Appetite (successful Willpower Save needed in order to eat), Night Sweats (add 1d5 hours of sleep needed per day). Character is fatigued, contagious, cannot move faster than three times their normal rate and loses one-quarter of their maximum HP/NHP.
    • Stage II Duration: 2+2d5 weeks
    • Stage III Fortitude Saves: Five (Stage II effects end, but Stage III immediately begins if successful. On failure, Character loses one point from their Physique Score per minute until clinical death.)
  • Stage III Effects:
    • Symptoms: Cough (-2d10 to Hiding and Seeking Check DC), Difficulty Breathing (-2d10 to Stamina Check DC). Character's maximum HP/NHP is reduced to one-half their normal levels and character cannot move faster than twice their normal movement rate.
    • Stage III Duration: 1d5 weeks.
    • Stage IV Fortitude Saves: Five (Stage III effects end and recovery begins immediately if successful. Disease becomes latent; any HP/NHP lost may begin recovery).
  • Stage IV Effects:
    • Symptoms: Character has Chronic Phthisis. Bloody Cough (-2d10 to Hiding and Seeking Check DC; inflicts one point of Lethal Damage when any physical Check is made), Severe Weight Loss (-2d5 to Health; -2d10 kg Mass), Wheezing with Shortness of Breath (-3d10 to Stamina Check DC). Character is permanently fatigued and permanently loses one-tenth of their maximum HP/NHP. Character cannot move faster than twice their normal movement speed and cannot move faster than normal for more than two rounds; exceeding either of these limits inflicts 1d5 Lethal Damage per round.
    • Stage IV Duration: Variable. Roll d% and use the following list of results:
      • 00-49: 3+3d5 months.
      • 50-79: 1d5 years.
      • 80-99: 5+3d5 years.
    • Stage V Fortitude Saves: N/A (Character automatically proceeds to Stage V after Stage IV is complete).
  • Stage V Effects:
    • Symptoms: Character loses one point from their Physique Score per minute until clinical death.
    • Stage V Duration: Until brain death.

Pox

Pox is a particularly nasty infection caused by viruses of the family Poxviridae. It is characterized by the formation of crater-shaped scars over a victim's entire body, disfiguring even the most comely of people even with medical help); those who have contract pox have to live long enough to get to the point where they are disfigured. In populations where pox has been all but wiped out, immunities to it are often underdeveloped - a fact that makes this particular disease a favorite among those who practice biological warfare.

  • Transmission Vector: Inhalation
    • Incubation Period: 7+1d10 days
    • Treatment/Specialized Medicine DC Penalty: 15
    • Stage I Fortitude Save DC: Four.
  • Stage I Effects:
    • Symptoms: Fever (-1d5 to Stamina Check DC), Headache (-1d2 to Concentration Check DC), Body Ache (-1d5 to all Power Check DC), Red Spots on Mouth/Tongue (-1 to Comeliness). Character is fatigued, contagious, loses one-quarter of their maximum HP/NHP and cannot move faster than their normal movement rate.
    • Stage I Duration: 10+3d5 hrs
    • Stage II Fortitude Saves: N/A (Character automatically proceeds to Stage II after Stage I is complete).
  • Stage II Effects:
    • Symptoms: Fever (-1d5 to Stamina Check DC), Headache (-1d5 to Concentration Check DC), Body Ache (-1d5 to all Power Check DC), Full Body Rash (-1d5 to Comeliness; -1d2 to Reflexes). Character is fatigued, contagious, is reduced to one-half of their maximum HP/NHP and cannot move faster than their normal movement rate.
    • Stage II Duration: 10+3d5 hrs
    • Stage III Fortitude Saves: N/A (Character automatically proceeds to Stage III after Stage II is complete).
  • Stage III Effects:
    • Symptoms: Headache (-1d5 to Concentration Check DC), Body Ache (-1d5 to all Power Check DCs), Full Body Rash (-1d10 to Comeliness; -1d5 to Reflexes). Character is fatigued, contagious and is reduced to one-quarter of their maximum HP/NHP.
    • Stage III Duration: 1d5 days
    • Stage IV Fortitude Save DC: Six (If successful, proceed immediately to Stage V).
  • Stage IV Effects:
    • Symptoms: Variable. Roll d% and use the following list of results:
      • 00-29: Character loses one point from their Physique Score until clinical death.
      • 30-64: Character is blinded (is inflicted with -25 Senses (Sight)). Proceed immediately to Stage V.
      • 65-99: Character takes a permanent -5 DC penalty to each of their Power and Physique Skill scores. Proceed immediately to Stage V.
    • Stage IV Duration: N/A
    • Stage V Fortitude Saves: N/A (Character automatically proceeds to Stage V after Stage IV is complete).
  • Stage V Effects:
    • Symptoms: Headache (-1d5 to Concentration Check DC), Body Ache (-1d5 to all Power Check DCs), Rash Begins Scabbing (-2d5 to Comeliness; -1d5 to Reflexes). Character is fatigued, contagious and is reduced to one-quarter of their remaining HP/NHP.
    • Stage V Duration: 2+1d5 days
    • Stage VI Fortitude Saves: N/A (Character automatically proceeds to Stage VI after Stage V is complete).
  • Stage VI Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: Headache (-1d5 to Concentration Check DC), Body Ache (-1d5 to all Power Check DCs), Rash Leaves Scars (-1d10 to Comeliness (permanent)). Character is fatigued, contagious and loses one-tenth of their maximum HP/NHP (round up) permanently.
    • Stage VI Duration: 2+1d5 days. (After this duration, Stage VI effects end and recovery begins).

Immunodeficiency Virus

Immunodeficiency virus is an example of a lentivirus, a retrovirus (a virus that turns the host's own cells into reproductive factories) with a long incubation period. The fact that the host's own cells produce more of the virus makes it particularly difficult to treat or even to control. This particular virus utilizes the host's immune system to replicate itself, ultimately destroying it and leaving the door open to death by some other infection. Though the virus's transmission vectors aren't necessarily all that numerous, it is guaranteed to cause a chronic condition once it has infected a host; if they haven't got access to advanced medicine, death from a secondary infection is inevitable.

Immunodeficiency virus cannot be treated in Stone Age and Metal Age societies. Industrial Age societies can only prolong the inevitable; if successfully treated with Antibiotics, progression towards Stage III stops for 1d5 weeks (the duration of the stage continues but the amount of time that has passed effectively stops). Subsequent Antibiotic treatments may be given after the effects of the last Antibiotic treatment end; at least one day's progression in the Stage is required before the next treatment. Only one attempt at applying Antibiotics may be made per day. Treatment in the Industrial Age is only effective in Stage II; once Stage III is reached, Antibiotics will have no further effect. Treatment of the disease becomes possible if the character has access to Starfaring Age medicine; successful treatment will lead to the end of the current stage symptoms and full recovery after 1d5 weeks.

  • Transmission Vector: Injection
    • Incubation Period: 15+3d5 days
    • Treatment/Specialized Medicine DC Penalty: 20
    • Stage I Fortitude Saves: Five.
  • Stage I Effects:
    • Symptoms: Variable. Roll d% and use the following list of results:
      • 00-49: Fever (-1d2 to Stamina Check DC), Sore Throat (-1d2 to Concentration Check DC), Muscle Pain (-1d5 to all Power Check DCs), Rash (-1d2 to Comeliness), Sores in Gustatory Organ (Willpower Save is required to avoid vomiting when attempting to eat). Character is contagious and loses one-tenth of their maximum HP (round down).
      • 50-99: Fever (-1d2 to Stamina Check DC), Headache and Sore Throat (-1d5 to Concentration Check DC), Nausea (-1d5 HP/NHP), Weight Loss (-2 to Health, -1d5 kg Mass), Muscle Pain (-1d10 to all Power Check DCs), Rash (-1d2 to Comeliness), Sores in Gustatory Organ (Willpower Save is required to avoid vomiting when attempting to eat), Mental Confusion (-2d10 to all mental Check DCs). Character is contagious and permanently loses one-tenth of their maximum HP (round down).
    • Stage I Duration: 1+1d5 weeks
    • Stage II Fortitude Save DC: N/A (Character automatically proceeds to Stage II after Stage I is complete).
  • Stage II Effects:
    • Symptoms: Character has Chronic Immunodeficiency Virus. Fever (-1d5 to Stamina Check DC), Sore Throat (-1d2 to Concentration Check DC) and Muscle Pain (-1d5 to all Power Check DCs) continue for 1d5 months, which then subside for 1d10 months. Stage II symptoms then return for 1d5 months and subside for 1d10 months until the onset of Stage III. During the entire period, the character is contagious and their Recuperation Skill score drops by one point per month until the onset of Stage III, with a permanent -1 drop to Health for every five points of Recuperation lost.
    • Stage II Duration: Variable. Roll d% and use the following list of results:
      • 00-19: 1d10 weeks
      • 20-39: 2+1d10 months
      • 40-59: 1d5 years
      • 60-79: 5+1d10 years
      • 80-99: 3d10 years
    • Stage III Fortitude Saves: N/A (Character automatically proceeds to Stage III after Stage II is complete).
  • Stage III Effects:
    • Symptoms: Conditional. See below.
      • If the character's Recuperation Skill score is below -50: Proceed directly to Stage IV.
      • Otherwise: Character is contagious and loses one point of Recuperation per day; when their Recuperation score is below -50, they proceed to Stage IV.
    • Stage III Duration: N/A
    • Stage IV Fortitude Saves: N/A (Character automatically proceeds to Stage IV after Stage III is complete).
  • Stage IV Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: Variable (Character is contagious regardless of the specifics). Roll d% and use the following list of results:
      • 00-32: Character has Flu. Proceed directly to Stage I Flu. If the character would recover from the flu, reduce Recuperation by five points and return to Stage I Flu instead.
      • 33-66: Character has Pneumonia. Proceed directly to Stage I Pneumonia. If the character would recover from Pneumonia, reduce Recuperation by five points and return to Stage I Pneumonia instead.
      • 67-99: Character has Phthisis. Proceed directly to Stage II. If the character would recover from Phthisis, reduce Recuperation by five points and return to Stage II Phthisis instead.
    • Stage IV Duration: Until brain death occurs.

Poisons

Even the strongest of characters can be brought down by poisons. Poisons come in many different shapes and forms, from the poisonous bite of a snake to a formula deliberately placed in a character’s drink. While handled similarly in WCRPG, there are a few key differences between poisons and pathogens. Antibiotics will not help in the treatment of poisons and a Treatment Check cannot be made to treat them. A successful Specialized Medicine Check cancels the poison and allows recovery to begin immediately; a practitioner may apply a shot of Anti-Toxin to boost their chances of successful treatment. Poisons can cause many different types of damage. A disabling poison will likely cause Non-Lethal Damage only and it might even stop doing damage once the poisoned character has been rendered Unconscious. Some may cause a loss of Skill Points (which can either be temporary or permanent). Most poisons cause direct Lethal Damage. Because it's not uncommon for simple poisons to repeat the effects of a single Stage while it is still in effect, they are sometimes listed in a format of vector-damage/period-saves (for example, (Sting, 4 HP/min, One Save)); this simply lists how a character is inflicted with the poison, how much damage it does, how often it causes the indicated amount of damage and how many subsequent successful Fortitude Saves are required in order to prevent the poison from causing further damage.

Characters exposed to poisons must make a series of successful Fortitude Saves in a row, with the exact number of required Saves dependent upon the specific poison. If all of the Saves are successful, either the poison was too diluted to take effect or the intended victim's system has managed to shrug it off; either way the poison will be ineffective. If any of the Saves fail, the character suffers the indicated effects from the poison; after the poison's duration has elapsed another series of Fortitude Saves is required. Once a character has suffered any effects from a poison, they must continue to make series Save attempts every successive period to avoid further effects. A successful Fortitude Save series prevents additional effects; two successful Fortitude Save series in a row prevents all further effects and allows the recovery process to begin.

The following is a short list of more complex poisons that characters might encounter during the course of their adventures. As with pathogens, GMs may choose for themselves which species are susceptible to these poisons and are free to create their own toxins and venoms as needed using the list as a guide.

In addition to the poisons listed in this section, wounded characters are susceptible to suffering from overdoses if they are given too much medicine in situations wherein a medic is attempting to revive them or put them into chemically-induced stasis (see Chapter 9.2 for details). Overdoses are simple poisons causing five points of Lethal Damage each minute, requiring three Fortitude Saves in a row.

Finally, characters can suffer from infections in Wounds in the event of a critical failure while attempting to heal them. Wound infections have the same effects as necrotoxins, except that that any healing of the Wound ceases until the dead tissue is removed surgery; the Wound automatically inflicts a permanent 1d5 loss of Comeliness after it is healed. For the effects of necrotoxins, see below.

Sedative

Sedatives are any substance designed to reduce irritability or excitement in a subject, usually in an effort to safely capture them with a minimal amount of actual bodily harm. Small doses may knock the subject out for a period of time, while larger doses may induce unconsciousness; death may occur if the dosage is too high. Tranquilizers (see Chapter 5.4) are a special form of sedative that cause Non-Lethal Damage until the intended subject is Unconscious (0 NHP) and prevent healing of that damage for 1d5 hours.

  • Vector: Injection (or Inhalation if in gaseous form)
  • Fortitude Saves: Two
  • Effects: -10 NHP per round
  • Notes: Once the sedative begins to take effect, it will repeat its effects for 1d10 rounds (zero counting as ten) or until the subject successfully completes two Fortitude Save series in a row. After reaching 0 NHP, the sedative will inflict 1d5 points of Lethal Damage per round while it is still in effect unless the Unconscious subject successfully completes two Fortitude Save series in a row.

Intoxication

This is a form of poisoning that most beings have to deal with once their culture first invents intoxicating beverages (which historically are considered safer than drinking the water) and one that reaches epidemic levels once it creates co-ed university campuses. Simply put, a being's system can only handle so much of a substance before it starts to have an adverse effect on their physiology (alcohol and cannabis are two good Terran examples; ak'rah leaves are a good Kilrathi example). While more often than not a very mild form of poisoning, it is possible to consume so much of a substance that it causes an acute, life-threatening condition.

  • Vector: Ingestion/Injection
  • Fortitude Saves: Variable; the number of Saves depends on the substance. Use the following list:
    • Intoxicating Beverage: Two, plus one for every three drinks over the first in a three-hour period.
    • Recreational Pharmaceutical: Five per dose; ten drinks equivalency.
  • Effects: Variable. Compare the equivalent number of drinks the character has consumed to their Physique bonus.
    • Less than one-half (round up) times their Physique bonus: Impaired balance (-5 to Dexterous Maneuvers Check DC) and Reduced Judgment (victim takes 1 point in Crude, Lecherous and Impulsive).
    • Equal to or greater than one-half their Physique bonus but less than one times: Ataxia (-10 to Dexterous Maneuvers Check DC) and Poor Judgment (victim takes 1d2 points in Crude, Lecherous and Impulsive).
    • Equal to or greater than their Physique bonus but less than one and one-half times: Ataxia (-20 to Dexterous Maneuvers Check DC), Poor Judgment (victim takes 1d5 points in Crude, Lecherous and Impulsive), Slurred Speech (-5 to all Communications Check DCs), Reddened Eyes (-2 to Comeliness) and Nausea (-1d10 HP/NHP).
    • Equal to or greater than one and one-half times their Physique bonus score but less than two times: Ataxia (-30 to Dexterous Maneuvers Check DCs), Poor Judgment (victim takes 1d10 points in Crude, Lecherous and Impulsive), Slurred Speech (-10 to all Communications Check DCs), Reddened Eyes (-2 to Comeliness) and Nausea (-1d10 HP/NHP). Character is anesthetized (automatically succeeds on all Fortitude Saves required to avoid pain) and experiences memory lapse (-1d10 to Memory unless already at -25). Roll d%; on a result of 50 or more, the character becomes Unconscious and is reduced to 0 NHP for 1d2 hours.
    • Equal to or greater than two times Physique bonus: Ataxia (-50 to all Dexterous Maneuvers Check DCs), Poor Judgment (victim takes 2d10 points in Crude, Lecherous and Impulsive), Slurred Speech (-20 to all Communications Check DCs), Reddened Eyes (-2 to Comeliness) and Nausea (-1d10 HP/NHP). Character is anesthetized (automatically succeeds on all Fortitude Saves required to avoid pain) and experiences memory lapse (-2d10 to Memory unless already at -25). The character becomes Unconscious and is reduced to 0 NHP after 1d2 hours, which lasts for 1d5 hours. Roll d%; on a result of 50 or more, the character becomes Comatose (-200 NHP) and risks suffocation effects until they are no longer Comatose.
  • Notes: Every hour after becoming intoxicated, the victim may make a series of Fortitude Saves to fight off its effects. The number of Saves required is the same as that required for the first hour, decreasing by one Save after three hours. If this series is successful, the intoxication effects end but hangover effects begin. These include Nausea (-1d10 NHP/-1d5 HP), Headache (-1d10 to Concentration Check DC), Sensitivity to Light and Sound (-1d5 to Senses) and lethargy (victim is fatigued). Hangover effects last for a number of hours equal to the total equivalent number of drinks that the victim consumed. The equivalent number of drinks a character has consumed does not reset until their hangover ends. 

Hemotoxin

Hemotoxins are poisons that destroy erythrocytes (red blood cells), disrupt blood clotting and/or cause organ degeneration and generalized tissue damage. Damage from a hemotoxin is usually quite painful and there are cases where permanent damage results. This type of poison is favored by many different types of creatures - reptilians such as pit vipers in particular - as it can begin the process of digesting prey prior to ingestion. Loss of any limb affected by hemotoxin is possible even with prompt treatment.

  • Vector: Injection
  • Fortitude Saves: Three.
  • Effects: Variable. Roll d% and use the following list of results:
    • 00-25: Victim takes 1 point of Lethal Damage.
    • 26-60: Victim takes 2 points of Lethal Damage. Causes Pain (Fortitude Save required to avoid becoming Unconscious). If injected into a Propulsive or Motor Appendage, the toxin causes swelling (+1 Wounds to the appendage).
    • 61-85: Victim takes 3 points of Lethal Damage. Causes Pain (Fortitude Save required to avoid becoming Unconscious and Nausea (-1d10 NHP/-1d5 HP). The victim is inflicted with a -1d5 Bleeder Complication (unless already at -25) and becomes fatigued. If injected into a Propulsive or Motor Appendage, the toxin causes swelling (+1d5 Wounds to the appendage).
    • 86-99: Victim must immediately make five successful Fortitude Saves in a row. If the Save series succeeds, the same effects as a roll of 61-85 apply. If any of the Saves fail, the victim suffers cardiac arrest and loses ten points from their Physique Score per minute.
  • Notes: Hemotoxin does not begin to affect its victim until 1d% minutes have passed. Once it begins to take effect, any Lethal Damage and Wounds inflicted will repeat every ten minutes for up to 1d5 hours unless the victim successfully completes two Fortitude Saves series in a row.

Necrotoxin

Necrotoxins cause cellular death as they spread throughout a victim's circulatory system. Though capable of destroying all types of tissues, epidural and muscular tissues tend to be more sensitive to necrotoxins than other types of tissue. Should the victim survive an encounter with necrotoxin, they'll still have to contend with an ugly-looking patch of dead tissue that ultimately will leave a scar. This kind of poison is commonly used by very small creatures to kill prey; it is a particular favorite of arachnoid lifeforms.

  • Vector: Injection
  • Fortitude Save DC: Three.
  • Effects: Variable. Roll d% and use the following list of results:
    • 00-25: The victim takes 1 point of Lethal Damage. Causes Mild Pain (Fortitude Save required to avoid becoming Unconscious).
    • 26-60: The victim takes 2 points of Lethal Damage. Causes Pain (Fortitude Save required to avoid becoming Unconscious). Roll d%; on a result of 49 or less, the victim suffers from Fever (-1d5 to Stamina Check DC) and Nausea (-1d10 NHP/-1d5 HP) as well.
    • 61-85: The victim takes 3 points of Lethal Damage. Causes Pain (Fortitude Save required to avoid becoming Unconscious), Fever (-1d10 to Stamina Check DC) and Nausea (-1d10 NHP/-1d5 HP). The victim is inflicted with a -1d5 Bleeder Complication (unless already at -25) and becomes fatigued. If injected into a Propulsive or Motor Appendage, the toxin causes swelling (+1d5 Wounds to the appendage). Roll d%; on a result of 49 or less, the victim has Difficulty Breathing (additional -2d10 penalty to Stamina Check DC) and takes a -5 DC penalty to all Dexterous Maneuvers Checks as well.
    • 86-99: The victim must immediately make five successful Fortitude Saves in a row. If the Save series succeeds, all of the effects of a 61-85 result apply; count the result of the d% roll as zero. If any of the Saves fail, the victim immediately stops breathing (reduce HP to zero).
  • Notes: Necrotoxin does not begin to affect its victim until 2+1d5 hours have passed. Once it begins to take effect, any Lethal Damage and Wounds inflicted will repeat every hour for up to 1d5 days unless the victim successfully completes two Fortitude Save series in a row. Additionally, cells die off at the site of the injection forming a dark patch which sloughs off after 1d4 weeks; this counts as a Wound but the victim does not lose any HP from it. This Wound cannot be healed until another 1+1d5 months have passed once the patch sloughs off. The presence of the patch lowers the victim's Comeliness by 1d5; after it sloughs off, the GM must make a d% roll. On a result of 09 or less, the indicated loss of Comeliness is permanent; otherwise the victim permanently loses just one point of Comeliness.

Arsenic Poisoning

Arsenic is a metalloid element generally used in industrial applications. While notorious, it's actually fairly weak as a poison unless a massive dose is administered; even then it's slow to have a lethal effect. Death from arsenic poisoning eventually occurs due to multiple organ failure. Lower doses may not kill the intended target but can still have adverse health effects.

  • Vector: Injection
  • Fortitude Saves: Four.
  • Effects: Variable. Roll d% and use the following list of results:
    • 00-35: The poison causes a Headache (-1d5 to Concentration Check DC); the victim is fatigued. These symptoms last for one hour before subsiding.
    • 36-70: The victim takes 5 points of Lethal Damage; the poison causes Headache (-1d2 to Concentration Check DC) and Dizziness (-10 to Dexterous Maneuvers Check DC). The victim's Body Area also takes 1 Wound.
    • 71-99: The victim takes 10 points of Lethal Damage; the poison causes Headache (-1d5 to Concentration Check DC) and Dizziness (-20 to Dexterous Maneuvers Check DC). The victim's Body Area also takes 1d2 Wounds.
  • Notes: Once arsenic poisoning begins to take effect, any Lethal Damage and Wounds will repeat every hour unless the victim successfully completes two Fortitude Save series in a row. Regardless of the final outcome of the poisoning, the victim's maximum HP and NHP are permanently reduced by five points.

Strychnine

Strychnine is an extremely bitter, colorless and highly toxic crystalline alkaloid. It's primarily used as a pesticide and for killing small vertebrates such as birds and rodents. Strychnine causes muscular convulsions and death through asphyxia or sheer exhaustion, producing some of the most dramatic and painful symptoms of any known toxic reaction.

  • Vector: Ingestion
  • Fortitude Saves: Five.
  • Effects: Victim takes 1 point of Lethal Damage, loses 1 point of their Recuperation Skill score, takes a -5 DC penalty to all Dexterous Maneuvers Checks and is fatigued.
  • Notes: Strychnine does not begin to affect its victim until 4d5 minutes have passed. Once strychnine poisoning begins to take effect, all of it effects will repeat and accumulate every three minutes unless the victim successfully completes two Fortitude Save series in a row.

Cyanide

Cyanide (more properly hydrogen cyanide) is a colorless, highly volatile liquid, which has a faint, bitter, almond-like odor that some beings are unable to detect. Used as a chemical precursor for mining and industrial applications, cyanide is extremely poisonous; it can completely disrupt all cellular respiration in its victim. Cyanide gas is a highly effective way of killing large numbers of persons simultaneously; it is considered a chemical weapon and is a popular choice among those that utilize such weaponry. It can also be delivered to a victim via injection or swallowed in a capsule; in all cases, it has the same set of effects.

  • Vector: Inhalation/Injection/Ingestion
  • Fortitude Saves: Five.
  • Stage I Effects: Victim takes 5 points of Lethal Damage and has Difficulty Breathing (-2d10 to Stamina Check DC), Mental Confusion (-2d10 to all mental Check DCs), Dizziness (-10 to Dexterous Maneuvers Check DC), Headache (-1d5 to Concentration Check DC) and Weakness (-1d5 to all Power Check DCs).
  • Stage II Effects: The victim is reduced to -200 NHP and takes 5 points of Lethal Damage. After five minutes, the victim begins losing five points of Physique per minute.
  • Notes: Once cyanide poisoning begins to take effect, all Lethal Damage will repeat every minute unless the victim successfully completes two Fortitude Save series in a row. Stage II Effects begin and repeat concurrently with Stage I effects after five minutes have passed since the initial poisoning.

Nerve Agent

Nerve agents are a class of organophosphates that disrupt the mechanism by which nerve ganglia transfer messages to organs, which has the effect of cutting off the victim's cognitive organ from the rest of their body. The loss of ganglia transfer ultimately causes asphyxia from loss of control over respiratory muscles. Like cyanide, nerve agents are classified as chemical weapons and are usually effective no matter how they are delivered to their intended victims.

  • Vector: Inhalation/Injection/Ingestion
  • Fortitude Saves: Five
  • Stage I Effects: Runny Nose (-1d5 to Senses (Smell)), Dilated Pupils (-1d5 to Senses (Sight)).
  • Stage II Effects: Nausea (-1d10 HP/NHP). The victim takes a -20 DC penalty to all Dexterous Maneuvers Checks.
  • Stage III Effects: Blisters and Burning of the eyes (1d10 Wounds on Visual Organs; -5 to Senses (Sight))
  • Stage IV Effects: Victim loses control of all bodily functions (cannot make any voluntary actions).
  • Stage V Effects: Victim's NHP is reduced to -200 and they begin to suffocate.
  • Notes: Once they begin, a nerve agent’s effects proceed to the next Stage after a pre-determined period has passed. For a mild nerve agent, this ranges from thirty minutes to an hour. For a moderate strength agent, this is from five to ten minutes. Strong nerve agents such as ricin progress each minute and even stronger agents might progress each round. Victims may only attempt Fortitude Save series when the poison is ready to progress to the next Stage. Effects end if the victim successfully completes two Fortitude Save series in a row; even if they recover, they take a permanent -10 DC penalty to all mental Checks for the rest of their life.

Sulfur Mustard

Sulfur mustards are a class of related chemical agents that have the ability to form large blisters on exposed skin. While colorless and odorless in pure form, they are most commonly used in an impure form in order to detect any accidental releases; these impure forms are most often a yellowish-brown in color and have an odor resembling mustard plants, garlic or horseradish. Sulfur mustards have no use other than chemical warfare; they are usually deployed as part of an effort to incapacitate hostile forces. Exposure to a sulfur mustard is painful at a minimum and can be fatal if enough of the body is exposed to the chemical agent.

  • Vector: Contact
  • Fortitude Save DC: Four.
  • Effects: All body parts directly exposed to the sulfur mustard take a burn (two Wounds; see the discussion on Fire effects earlier in this sub-Chapter). If the visual organs are exposed, the victim takes -5 to Senses (Sight).
  • Notes: Sulfur mustards do not begin to affect their victim until 5+4d5 hours have passed. Once the agent begins to take effect, all effects will repeat every hour for up to 1d5 weeks unless the victim successfully completes two Fortitude Save series in a row. The GM should go ahead and calculate the victim's Maximum Lifespan at this point whether they have reached Venerable Age or not and remove 3d5 years from that amount. The removal of any loss of Senses (Sight) may commence after the 1d5 week period has elapsed; permanent healing of the Wounds may begin after an additional 1d10 months have passed.

Radiation Exposure

Radiation describes any process in which energy emitted by one body travels through a medium or through space and is ultimately absorbed by another body; when the process is energetic enough to detach electrons from atoms, it's called ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is a hazard to which adventurers may be exposed from time to time, whether they are caught in a solar storm, have to repair a reactor leak, are on the edge of a nuclear blast or just taking an x-ray. Radiation exposure is somewhat unique in WCRPG in that though it is considered a poison, it causes a range of symptoms and effects similar to those of pathogens. There is a sufficient mixing of the properties of poison and pathogen to warrant a separate discussion specifically to discuss what happen when radiation exposure occurs. For purposes of this discussion, the term "radiation" specifically refers to ionizing radiation.

The effects of radiation exposure depend upon the dose a character receives; WCRPG uses ten exposure levels, each associated with a range of absorbed radiation doses in grays (Gy). There are up to four Stages involved with each level of radiation poisoning. First stage effects usually involve nausea and temporary loss of HP followed by a period of latency (wherein the character suffers no symptoms) in the second stage. The most severe symptoms usually occur in the third Stage and include an array of highly debilitating effects. At higher radiation levels, the effects of the third Stage can be permanent. The fourth Stage of radiation poisoning always includes a risk of death and occurs while Stage III is ongoing. Healing from radiation poisoning cannot begin until after the duration of Stage III effects has elapsed, as with pathogens. As with poisons, the character can avoid the effects of radiation poisoning by successfully completing a series of Fortitude Saves, with the exact number of required Saves equal to the level of radiation exposure (Level One requires one Save, Level Two requires two Saves, and so on). These Saves must be made immediately upon exposure to radiation and again every ten minutes the character remains exposed, with the Save DC decreasing by five each time a Save series is successful until they either leave the area or are poisoned. Once a character has radiation poisoning, they are in it for the duration; no more Fortitude Saves may be attempted to avoid later Stage effects. Any loss of hit points due to radiation exposure cannot heal until after the recovery process begins unless otherwise indicated. The mode of contraction for all levels of radiation poisoning is direct contact, though in most cases it is the radiation that is "contacting" the character.

Treatment of radiation poisoning is impossible using Stone Age or Metal Age medicine. Likewise, Industrial Age medicines cannot actual treat the poisoning though they can be used to mitigate its effects; if Antibiotics are successfully administered to a patient during Stage I or II (with a successful Treatment Check), the Stage III and IV effects that apply will be those from the next lowest exposure level. If administered during Stage III, any HP loss stops and any Recuperation penalties are removed for a number of hours equal to the degree of success. Treatment of radiation poisoning is not possible unless Starfaring Age medicine is available; it specifically requires a dose of Starfaring Age Anti-Toxin. If a shot of Anti-Toxin is successfully applied prior to the onset of Stage I symptoms after poisoning occurs (using a Specialized Medicine Check at a -10 DC penalty), the patient will suffer no ill effects. If it is successfully administered during Stage I or Stage II, any Stage III effects will be those from 1d5 exposure levels below the actual level; additionally, the patient will not experience any Stage IV effects. If administered during Stage III, any HP loss ends; any Recuperation penalties are removed for a number of days equal to the degree of success and the patient will not experience any Stage IV effects. Note that for the highest radiation levels, not experiencing Stage IV effects will leave a victim of radiation exposure alive but still in an exceptionally weakened condition for the remainder of their life - there is no convalescence at those levels.

A final caveat: the potential for radiation exposure should be used with extreme caution. Simply put, radiation has the potential to inflict irreversible negative effects on a character, ending their adventuring days even if they don't die outright. If a GM wants to include radiation as a hazard in an adventure, it is strongly recommended that they select a specific exposure level prior to the beginning of the adventure and be ready to deal with any consequences. A GM could roll 1d10 (with zero counting as ten) during the course of an adventure and use the result to give them their exposure level if absolutely necessary but this method is strongly discouraged, particularly when PCs are exposed.

The following sub-section lists the ten radiation exposure levels and their various effects:

Level I (Minimal)

0.05-0.2 Gy equivalent.

  • Incubation Period: N/A.
  • Stage I Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: The victim takes a 1d5 DC penalty to their Recuperation score.
    • Stage I Duration: 1d5 weeks.

Level II (Extremely Light)

0.2-0.5 Gy equivalent.

  • Incubation Period: N/A.
  • Stage I Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: The victim takes a 1d5 DC penalty to their Recuperation score. They also lose one point from their Health Trait (unless already at -25) for a concurrent period of 1d2 weeks.
  • Stage I Duration: 1d5 weeks.

Level III (Mild)

0.5-1 Gy equivalent.

  • Incubation Period: N/A.
  • Stage I Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: Causes a Headache (-1d2 to Concentration Check DC). The victim takes a 1d5 penalty to their Recuperation score and loses one point from their Health Trait (unless already at -25) for a concurrent period of 1d2 weeks. If the victim is male, roll d%; on a result of 49 or less, they are infertile for the same period that their Health is reduced.
  • Stage I Duration: 1d5 weeks.

Level IV (Light)

1-2 Gy equivalent.

  • Incubation Period: 4+1d2 hours.
  • Stage I Effects:
    • Symptoms: Nausea (-1d10 NHP/-1d5 HP).
    • Stage I Duration: 4d5 hours.
  • Stage II Effects:
    • Symptoms: None.
    • Stage III Duration: 9+1d5 days.
  • Stage III Effects:
    • Symptoms: Headache (-1d5 to Concentration Check DC). The victim is fatigued and takes a 1d5 penalty to their Recuperation score for a period of 2d5 weeks. They also loses two points from their Health Trait (unless already at -25) for a concurrent period of 1d5 weeks. If the victim is male, roll d%; on a result of 74 or less, they are infertile until the Stage effects wear off completely. If the victim is a pregnant female, roll d%; on a result of 49 or less, a miscarriage will occur.
    • Stage II Duration: 8+1d10 days. (Stage III effects continue for the designated period after the beginning of Stage IV).
  • Stage IV Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: Variable. Roll d% and use the following list of results:
      • 00-09: Character loses one point of Physique per minute until brain death.
      • 10-99: No further effects.

Level V (Moderate)

2-3 Gy equivalent.

  • Incubation Period: 1+1d5 hours.
  • Stage I Effects:
    • Symptoms: Nausea (-1d10 HP/NHP).
    • Stage I Duration: 1d2 days.
  • Stage II Effects:
    • Symptoms: None.
    • Stage II Duration: 9+1d5 days.
  • Stage III Effects:
    • Symptoms: Hair Loss (-1d5 to Comeliness) and Headache (-1d5 to Concentration Check DC). The victim is fatigued, takes a -2d5 DC penalty to their Recuperation Skill and takes a -3 penalty to their Health Trait (unless already at -25). All Stage symptoms last for a period of 1+1d10 months. Victims are automatically infertile for a period of 4d5 weeks. Pregnant females automatically miscarry. Roll d% regardless of gender; on a result of 49 or less, the infertility is permanent.
    • Stage III Duration: 8+1d10 days. (Stage III effects continue for the designated period after the beginning of Stage IV).
  • Stage IV Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: Variable. Roll d% and use the following list of results:
      • 00-34: Character loses one point of Physique per minute until brain death.
      • 35-99: No further effects.

Level VI (Heavy)

3-4 Gy equivalent.

  • Incubation Period: 1+1d5 hours.
  • Stage I Effects:
    • Symptoms: Nausea (-1d10 HP/NHP).
    • Stage I Duration: 1d2 days.
  • Stage II Effects:
    • Symptoms: None.
    • Stage II Duration: 9+1d5 days.
  • Stage III Effects:
    • Symptoms: Hair Loss (-1d5 to Comeliness) and Headache (-1d5 to Concentration Check DC). The victim is fatigued, takes a -3d5 DC penalty to their Recuperation Skill and takes a -4 penalty to their Health Trait (unless already at -25). They also suffer near uncontrollable bleeding; they take 1d2 Lethal Damage per day to a minimum of 1d10 HP and are permanently afflicted with a -1d5 Bleeder Complication (unless already at -25). All Stage symptoms last for a period of 1+1d10 months. Male victims are automatically permanently infertile. Pregnant females automatically miscarry and are permanently infertile on a d% roll of 74 or less.
    • Stage III Duration: 8+1d10 days. (Stage III effects continue for the designated period after the beginning of Stage IV).
  • Stage IV Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: Variable. Roll d% and use the following list of results:
      • 00-49: Character loses one point of Physique per minute until brain death.
      • 50-99: No further effects.

Level VII (Very Heavy)

4-6 Gy equivalent.

  • Incubation Period: 20+1d% minutes.
  • Stage I Effects:
    • Symptoms: Nausea (-2d10 HP/NHP).
    • Stage I Duration: 1d2 days.
  • Stage II Effects:
    • Symptoms: None.
    • Stage II Duration: 9+1d5 days.
  • Stage III Effects:
    • Symptoms: Hair Loss (-2d5 to Comeliness) and Headache (-1d10 to Concentration Check DC). The victim is fatigued, takes a -4d5 DC penalty to their Recuperation Skill and takes a -5 penalty to their Health Trait (unless already at -25). They also suffer near uncontrollable bleeding; they take 1d5 Lethal Damage per day to a minimum of 1d5 HP and are permanently afflicted with a -1d5 Bleeder Complication (unless already at -25). All Stage symptoms last for a period of 7+1d5 months. Victims are automatically permanently infertile; pregnant females automatically miscarry.
    • Stage III Duration: 8+1d10 days. (Stage III effects continue for the designated period after the beginning of Stage IV).
  • Stage IV Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: Variable. Roll d% and use the following list of results:
      • 00-59: The character loses one point of Physique per minute until brain death.
      • 60-89: All Stage III effects become permanent.
      • 90-99: No further effects.

Level VIII (Severe)

6-10 Gy equivalent.

  • Incubation Period: 20+1d% minutes.
  • Stage I Effects:
    • Symptoms: Nausea (-3d10 HP/NHP).
    • Stage I Duration: 1d2 days.
  • Stage II Effects:
    • Symptoms: None.
    • Stage II Duration: 1d2 days.
  • Stage III Effects:
    • Symptoms: Hair Loss (-2d5 to Comeliness (permanent)) and Headache (-2d10 to Concentration Check DC). The victim is fatigued and takes a permanent -10 penalty to their Health Trait (unless already at -25). Their Recuperation Skill score drops to zero and they also suffers from uncontrollable bleeding; they take 1d5 Lethal Damage per day to a minimum of 1d2 HP and are permanently afflicted with a -(5+1d5) Bleeder Complication (unless already at -25). All Stage symptoms last for a period of 1d10 years. Victims are automatically permanently infertile; pregnant females automatically miscarry.
    • Stage III Duration: 5+1d5 days. (Stage III effects continue for the designated period after the beginning of Stage IV).
  • Stage IV Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: Variable. Roll d% and use the following list of results:
      • 00-98: The character loses one point of Physique per minute until brain death.
      • 99: No further effects.

Level IX (Acute)

10-50 Gy equivalent.

  • Incubation Period: 5+5d5 minutes.
  • Stage I Effects:
    • Symptoms: Nausea (-4d10 HP/NHP).
    • Stage I Duration: 1d10 hours.
  • Stage II Effects:
    • Symptoms: None.
    • Stage II Duration: 1 day.
  • Stage III Effects:
    • Symptoms: Hair Loss (-2d5 to Comeliness) and Headache (-3d10 to Concentration Check DC). The victim is fatigued and takes a -15 penalty to their Health Trait (unless already at -25). Their Recuperation Skill score drops to zero and they suffer from uncontrollable bleeding; they take 1d5 Lethal Damage per day to a minimum of 1 HP and are afflicted with a -(10+1d5) Bleeder Complication (unless already at -25). Victims are automatically permanently infertile; pregnant females automatically miscarry. All Stage effects are permanent.
    • Stage III Duration: 2+1d5 days.
  • Stage IV Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: The character loses one point of Physique per minute until brain death.

Level X (Extreme)

50+ Gy equivalent.

  • Incubation Period: 3d5 minutes.
  • Stage I Effects:
    • Symptoms: Nausea (-5d10 HP/NHP).
    • Stage I Duration: 1d5 hours.
  • Stage II Effects:
    • Symptoms: None.
    • Stage II Duration: 1 day.
  • Stage III Effects:
    • Symptoms: Hair Loss (-2d5 to Comeliness) and Headache (-3d10 to Concentration Check DC). The victim is fatigued, their Recuperation Skill score drops to zero and their Health Trait drops to -25 (unless already at -25). They also suffer from uncontrollable bleeding; they take 1d5 Lethal Damage per day to a minimum of 1 HP and are afflicted with a -(10+1d5) Bleeder Complication (unless already at -25). Victims are automatically permanently infertile; pregnant females automatically miscarry. All Stage effects are permanent.
    • Stage III Duration: 25+5d5 hours.
  • Stage IV Effects (Final Stage):
    • Symptoms: The character loses one point of Physique per minute until brain death.

Psionics

Psionics is defined as the study and/or practice of using the mind to induce phenomena without necessarily having any means of explaining the results. Psionics will not be discussed in depth in WCRPG for two reasons. First, psionic abilities are like general equipment; any action that can be conducted normally has a psionic counterpart (e.g. a character with pyrokinesis could set a fire using either matches or their mind). Secondly, psychic abilities inherently unbalance an adventure; a single person could conceivably defeat an entire army if they had a powerful enough ability (such as making themselves the hypocenter of a mentally-generated thermonuclear blast while being able to survive it themselves). A full discussion of the topic would require its own Chapter and even then there could be some aspects of the topic that would not be discussed. That said, there's nothing that expressly forbids psionic abilities in the Wing Commander Universe and it doesn't seem fair to not at least briefly go over psionics and how they might be used during the course of an adventure.

There are four major disciplines of psionics. The first of these is telepathy, the awareness of the thoughts of another being without communication through normal sensory channels. The second is clairvoyance, the knowledge of an object or event without perceiving it through normal sensory channels. The third is precognition, which is knowledge of future events or what another being will think in the future. The fourth is psychokinesis, the ability to hold influence over an object or event mentally. All psionic abilities fall into one of these four general categories regardless of their specific effects.

GMs may want to use psionics in their adventures; to do this, it will be necessary for characters to have a seventh Attribute called Esper Potential (ESP). Esper Potential is a mental Attribute with Telepathy (TEL), Clairvoyance and Precognition (C&P) and Psychokinesis (PSK) as its Skills. There is no rapid generation routine for psionic characters; players utilizing psionics will have to assign their psionic characters Skill Points at their own discretion. Esper Potential behaves just like any other Attribute; its Skills may be used in place of a normal Skill if so desired (for example, a character may decide to use Psychokinesis instead of Lifting to pick up a heavy box or may choose to use Telepathy over Intimidation to instill fear in another character). When the target of a psionic ability is another creature, the target may attempt to counter the psionic Check with a Willpower Save. Should the character using the psionic ability be using it against a non-psionic target, the target receives a +10 penalty to the result of their Save.

Clairvoyance and Precognition may be used by a character to gather information "from the future" (e.g. to determine just exactly how far a trader is willing to go on a deal, whether or not an opponent's weapon is actually loaded, etc.). The Skill may even be used to see the results of a GM's concealed roll or to "pre-roll" the final outcome of an event (information the character can then use to take another course of action if they wish); the DC to perform these actions is always at a -15 penalty and a character may only make one such Check per day plus an additional Check for every five points they have in their Empathic Sense Talent.

Characters run the risk of taking damage on any Esper Potential Check; in the event of any failed Check, they take Non-Lethal Damage equal to the degree of failure and may not attempt any more psionic Checks until that damage has fully healed. Should the character be reduced to zero NHP, any excess damage will be inflicted as Lethal Damage instead. Characters may only make a number of psionic Checks per day equal to one plus one-tenth their Esper Potential score (rounded down); an attempt to use psionics after that will be at a -10 DC penalty, increasing by another -10 DC for each subsequent attempt.

GMs can allow characters to have the ability to inflict a disease upon a target using the Psychokinesis Skill; it is because of this very tenuous connection that this whole discussion is included under Poisons and Pathogens. Pathogens passed to a target in this manner are known as mental diseases. There are a few special rules required for mental diseases. First, contraction of the disease requires an opposed roll of the character's Psychokinesis Check versus the target's Fortitude Save; should the target succeed, it counts as a failure of the Psychokinesis Check. This roll has critical potential; should the Psychokinesis Check meet with critical success, the target will automatically fail all Stage DCs for the disease inflicted upon them. In the event of critical failure, the psionic character manages to inflict the disease upon themselves instead of the target. Mental diseases can only be treated with the Psychology Skill; medics may attempt Treatment and Specialized Medicine Checks as normal but they will automatically fail. Mental diseases may emulate any normal disease except for Immunodeficiency Virus; GMs are encouraged to limit the general effects of a psionically inflicted disease.

Basic Biological Needs

Most stories in general tend to gloss over some of the more basic biological needs of their characters; activities such as eating, sleeping, making excretions and procreating are left out completely unless they directly relate to the story or are used as a scene setting (space operas are notoriously guilty of this). Wing Commander itself does this as well though probably not intentionally; how a pilot relieves themselves during a particularly long flight is a topic never discussed...

GMs may decide to continue this tendency (if it won't help out their story) or they can elect to include some basic biological needs as part of an adventure or ongoing campaign. The following is a discussion of two of the more common biological needs, eating/drinking and sleeping. No discussion regarding excretion or procreation will be presented in these rules, though GMs who have a mind to include these activities may make up whatever rules they'd like regarding them; there is even an existing reference guide available that covers the topic of procreation in tabletop role-playing games, though that guide is unofficial, rare and designed for a different RPG system.

Hunger/Thirst

Chemically, all lifeforms are essentially nothing more than converters of chemical compounds. Their metabolic processes function by converting one substance into another; their body uses the energy created in the process to sustain itself. This means that a lifeform is not a closed system; they must occasionally take in new reactants to keep the metabolic processes going. Most lifeforms can survive for a relatively short period without the intake of new reactants or catalysts but almost all of them must take in something eventually or face a slow and usually painful death. The gustatory requirements of a species should be listed in its race profile; if the requirements are not listed, GMs may assume that they have the same requirements as Terrans (i.e. they can go up to two weeks without food and four days without water) or that the species is among those rare few that do not require food or water.

Characters must feed once every few hours (five to seven is the norm) and must drink every few hours (one to two hours is the norm) unless specified otherwise in their racial description. If the character doesn’t eat or drink in the specified time frame, they will become hungry or thirsty and must complete a Fortitude Save, the DC of which decreases by 5 points after every hour until the character consumes what they need or the Save fails. If the Save fails, the character becomes fatigued and takes 5 points of Non-Lethal Damage if they are hungry or 10 points if they are thirsty. For each additional day the character goes without sustenance, the same amount of damage is applied. If the character reaches the maximum amount of time listed for their species and still has not consumed what they need, they begin starving; in this event, the indicated amount of damage is inflicted hourly and is also applied as Lethal Damage. The starvation process continues until the character either takes in what they need or reaches clinical death. Any damage inflicted due to hunger or thirst will not begin to heal until after the character has consumed what they need, after which they will heal at the normal rates. Characters can be given nutrients intravenously if another character successfully administers an IV sack on them; this is the only way for an Unconscious character to recover from starvation effects.

Sleep Deprivation

Most species require occasional periods of reduced cognitive activity; the reasons for this vary from species to species but most of the time it has to do with giving vital internal organs the opportunity to regenerate and thereby prolong their usable lifetime. During these periods, the being usually enters a sub-conscious state; their perception of their external environment is minimized and their bodily activities are reduced to the absolute minimum levels necessary to maintain their life functions. If for whatever reason a being cannot or does not rest for the entire period required by their physiology, their physical and mental capacities will suffer.

If their species requires sleep, a character must spend the number of hours indicated per day sleeping; if they fail to do this, they will enter into a state of sleep deprivation, which has several negative effects. The degree of sleep deprivation to which a character is subjected is measured via sleep debt, which is simply the cumulative number of hours of rest the character has missed. For each point of sleep debt a character accumulates, they take a -1 DC penalty on all Checks and Saves as well as a point of Non-Lethal Damage; this damage does not heal while the character still has a sleep debt. Characters with any sleep debt whatsoever are automatically fatigued and will remain that way until they pay off their sleep debt. To pay off sleep debt, a character must remain asleep after finishing their daily required amount of sleep; they pay off one point for every extra hour they remain asleep and the associated penalties are reduced accordingly. If a character reaches 0 NHP as a result of sleep debt, they become Unconscious as normal; regaining consciousness in this case requires the character to remain Unconscious long enough to pay off at least one hour of their sleep debt. 

If a character fails any Check while they have a sleep debt, the GM may elect to see if they experience a microsleep, a condition where the character falls asleep for a brief period (usually without realizing it). To check for microsleeps, the GM compares the degree of failure of the Check to the character's current sleep debt; if the degree of failure is less than the sleep debt, the character experiences a microsleep. Microsleeps last one round for every five points of sleep debt the character has accumulated. During a microsleep, a character is Unconscious and experiences all the associated penalties.

Composite Environmental Effects

All of the environmental effects listed in this sub-Chapter so far have had a relatively small number of game effects. Some phenomena are not as simple; they can cause a simultaneous, wide-ranging array of environmental effects. This last section of this discussion will go over a few phenomena that generate these composite effects and under what circumstances they may apply. GMs should only use composite effects with more experienced gamers due to their complexity and should always consider them completely optional.

Wind and Currents

Wind is generally defined as the flow of gases in an atmosphere caused by the equalization of pressure between two or more localized areas. It is a specific case of a current, which is simply the free flow of any fluid within another fluid; whether that fluid is liquid or gaseous is irrelevant. As with all substances, atmospheric gases have mass; this means that they can exert force upon objects such as living creatures. If the forces they apply are significant enough, they can make biological functions such as movement difficult or even impossible. Wind will be used to describe the phenomena discussed in this section, though the same general rules apply to currents such as those found in oceans, rivers and other aquatic environments.

The wind can have several different adverse effects on adventurers depending upon its strength, which is measured by its velocity in kilometers per hour. The biggest effect it can have is on movement; creatures can only move if and only if the winds are below a certain threshold, which is dependent upon their Size Class. For running and swimming creatures, if the wind speed is at least ten times the creature's Size Class, the creature must exert themselves in order to move in the direction from which the wind is blowing (a Run action must be made in order to move in that direction and the creature may only move at their base speed). If the wind is at least ten kph over that amount, they may not move in that direction at all. If the wind is at least fifteen times the creature's Size Class, it is strong enough to automatically knock them Prone. Should the winds be at least twenty times the creature's Size Class, it is strong enough to blow them away and scrape them across the ground; each round a creature is involuntarily carried by the wind, they take 1d5 points of Non-Lethal Damage. For example, Terrans are Creature Size Class Five creatures. Winds of 50 kph are strong enough to impede their progress, 60 kph is enough to prevent all progress, 75 kph winds are strong enough to knock them over and 100 kph winds are sufficient to blow them away.

Flying creatures suffer their own set of penalties for wind. Should the wind be ten times their Size Class, they are blown "backwards" (opposite to the direction the wind is coming from) a distance of 1d5*2 meters after completing a move action. At fifteen times their Size Class, that amount increases to 2d5*2 meters. At twenty times their Size Class, the amount increases to 4d5*2 meters and the flier suffers Non-Lethal Damage from buffeting; the amount of Non-Lethal Damage inflicted is equal to the result of the 4d5 roll.

Wind can also have an adverse effect on vehicles; in particular, high winds will affect terrain difficulty. For land and sea vehicles, every 15 kph of wind speed increases the terrain difficulty by one level after taking all other factors into account. Air vehicles suffer a similar effect to terrain difficulty, though it is incremented for every 20 kph instead. Additionally, the GM should divide the wind speed by 15; if the resultant amount is greater than or equal to a vehicle's Size Class, there is a chance that it will be "blown over" (land vehicles are rolled and sea vehicles are capsized). Roll d10; on a roll of zero, the vehicle is blown over. Submarines are immune to being blown over in this manner while submerged. Hovercopters are particularly susceptible to wind effects; for every twenty kph of wind speed, a hovercopter automatically moves involuntarily one range increment away from the direction in which the wind is coming. Finally, all vehicles can have their progress inhibited by the wind similarly to creatures; GMs should keep in mind the scale difference between vehicles and creatures (exactly ten levels). A vehicle's forward progress is prevented when the wind is ten times the vehicle's character-scale equivalent Size Class and it is blown away when the wind reaches fifteen times the equivalent Size Class; any indicated damage for being blown away still applies to vehicles and is counted on the vehicle-scale. For example, a Size Class One Vehicle is the same size as a Creature Size Class Eleven creature. Therefore, its progress is prevented at winds of 110 kph and it is blown away when the winds reach 165 kph.

Wind causes a variety of other environmental effects, as outlined below:

  • Putting Out Fires: Wind has a nasty tendency to feed flames, particularly ones that some characters may prefer to put out quickly (such as when they're the ones who have been set on fire). For each kph of wind speed, the DC required to put out a fire is decreased by one point.
  • Aiming: Wind has the ability to throw off a character's aim; its effect is largely dependent upon how primitive the weapon involved is. For each kph of wind speed, a -1 HD penalty is inflicted on all weapon attack rolls involving Flamethrowers, Bows and Arrows, all Spray weapons and any thrown weapons such as Grenades or a thrown Blade. For every five kph of wind speed, a -1 HD penalty is inflicted on all weapon attack rolls involving Slugthrowers, Missiles and Railguns.
  • Howling: Wind can provide enough pressure on whatever auditory organs a creature uses in order to jam them with its own sound, making it difficult or even impossible to distinguish other sounds. For each kph of wind speed, a -1 DC penalty is inflicted on any Perception Check a creature makes in order to listen for sounds in their surrounding environment.
  • Wind Chill: In cold environments, wind has the ability to produce an "apparent temperature" on any lifeform, making things feel cooler than they actually are; for every ten kph of wind speed, an additional temperature severity level favoring Cold Damage may be added provided the local environment is either at a temperature category of Subarctic or Arctic.
  • Blast Furnace: Just as wind has the ability to make things feel cooler in cold environments, it can make things feel hotter in hot environments. For every ten kph of wind speed, an additional temperature severity level favoring Heat Damage may be added provided the local environment is either at a temperature category of Searing or Inferno.

Other Weather Effects on Characters

WCRPG's weather effects as described in Chapter 8.2 work in situations where adventurers are using vehicles to go fairly substantial distances; it doesn't handle short jaunts on foot as well. GMs may want to inflict penalties from the weather on characters without actually inflicting the damage indicated by the planetary transit rules on them, particularly since the damage indicated in those rules is on the vehicle-scale. The following list of weather effects on characters is included to handle such situations; GMs may choose to use these effects at their own discretion.

  • Haze: Haze is an atmospheric phenomenon where dust, smoke and other dry particles obscure the clarity of the sky. It does little more than make things a little harder to see at a distance; the presence of haze inflicts a -1d5 DC penalty on any Perception or Hiding and Seeking Check made as an attempt to spot an object in the environment at a distance beyond 100 meters.
  • Fog and Mist: Mist consists of small liquid droplets suspended in air, which is common in areas of cold air above a warmer liquid source. Water mist is fairly common but mist can be made out of other, less ecologically-friendly materials such as lava. Mist behaves in the same manner as Haze in WCRPG. Fog is essentially mist; the only real difference between the two is that fog is dense enough to seriously impact visibility. The presence of fog will inflict a -2d10 DC penalty on any Perception or Hiding and Seeking Check made as an attempt to spot a particular object at any distance in the environment. It also grants a +2d10 DC bonus to any Hiding and Seeking Check made in an attempt to remain hidden within the environment.
  • Precipitation: Precipitation is a general term that describes any product of atmospheric condensation deposited on a planet's surface; rain, drizzle, sleet and snow all fall within this category. Characters may encounter precipitation in Light, Heavy or Severe Weather. Precip adds one severity level of Cold Damage or removes one severity level of Heat Damage and inflicts a -5 HD penalty to all ranged attack rolls. Additionally, the presence of precipitation reduces the range and damage of laser-based weapons by ten percent.
  • Hail: Hail is a special form of precipitation; it forms due to vertical cycling in convective weather systems such as thunderstorms, eventually falling to the ground either in a spherical or irregular solid clump when the force of gravity is finally greater than the force applied to the hail by the storm's updraft. Hail is more dangerous than other forms of precipitation largely due to its comparatively large size and mass; given that it usually starts falling from a height sufficient for it to reach terminal velocity, it generates a tremendous amount of force when it finally impacts the surface. Hail can cause structural damage and can easily kill most un-sheltered creatures. In WCRPG, hail may be encountered by characters in Severe Weather only. Creatures exposed to a hailstorm cannot help but be bludgeoned by hail; the amount of damage caused by hail is dependent upon the specific weather phenomenon encountered and a d10 roll. For thunderstorms and hailstorms, a result of 4 or less indicates 5d5 points of Lethal Damage per round. On a result of five or more, the hail causes 10d5 points of Lethal Damage per round instead. The same amount of damage occurs if the weather indicated is either an electrical storm or a windstorm and the d10 result is four or less. On a result of five or more on the d10 with an electrical storm or windstorm in progress, hail causes 15d5 points of Lethal Damage per round.
  • Lightning: Lightning is a massive static electrical discharge generated due to electrical charge differentials in a convective cloud, which are themselves generated due to small solid particles colliding with one another in the cloud's updrafts and downdrafts. Lightning produces an electric current of 30,000 amps, travels at speeds of 60 kps in atmosphere and can reach internal temperatures approaching 30,000 °C (hotter than the surface of the sun; enough to fuse silicate sand into glass). In WCRPG, lightning can be encountered in Severe Weather only. To determine if a character will be struck by lightning, the GM must make an attack roll against their HD at a +25 penalty. Factors that can affect the HD include whether or not the character is the tallest object around (+25 HD), if they are wearing any metal objects (+25 HD) or if they are lying Prone (-25 HD). If a hit is indicated, the character is struck by lightning. For groups of characters, only one character should be eligible to take a strike at a time; the character against whom the attack roll has the highest degree of success is the unlucky victim, provided the attack roll succeeds against their HD. Lightning inflicts 15d5 points of Lethal Damage and also causes 1d10 burns (with zero counting as ten in this case). The frequency of lightning strikes is dependent upon the specific weather phenomenon encountered and a d10 roll. For thunderstorms and hailstorms, a result of 4 or less indicates a lightning strike every 1d10 rounds. On a result of five or more, lightning strikes every 1d5 rounds. The same frequency occurs if the weather indicated is either an electrical storm or windstorm and the d10 result is four or less. On a result of five or more on the d10 with an electrical storm or windstorm in progress, lightning strikes every 1d2 rounds.
  • Tornado: Tornadoes are violent, dangerous, rapidly rotating columns of air that are in contact with the base of a cloud and a planet's surface simultaneously; they are essentially low atmospheric pressure centers on an exceptionally small temporal and spatial scale. On terrestrial worlds, these phenomena usually produce the strongest overall winds observed on its surface. Though the amount of devastation they cause on their own is small when compared to their parent thunderstorm, tornadoes are unquestionably deadly. In WCRPG, tornadoes can be encountered in Severe Weather only. If Severe Weather is indicated, the GM may make a roll of 1d10; on a result of zero, a tornado is produced. Creatures, vehicles and buildings within 250 meters of a tornado take 1d5 damage points per minute from flying debris, increasing to 5d5 damage points at 100 meters. If a creature, vehicle or building takes a direct hit from a tornado, it causes 10d5 points of damage for each minute they remain in contact. Creatures will be sucked up into the funnel and will ultimately be dropped from a height of 3d10 meters, with counting zero as ten (falling damage applies). GMs must be extremely careful and use their discretion to determine if characters will be sucked up by a tornado; this may be one of those instances where it's allowed if the players are being exceptionally stupid or unlucky. The strength and size of a tornado is dependent upon the specific weather phenomenon encountered and a d10 roll. For thunderstorms and hailstorms, a result of 4 or less indicates a tornado that is 0.25 + (1d5*0.1) kilometers in width and inflicts its damage in character-scale hit points. On a result of five or more, the tornado is 0.75 + (1d5*0.1) kilometers in width and inflicts its damage in character-scale hit points, though the amount of damage indicated must be multiplied by five before it's applied to any unfortunate victims. The same size and strength is used if the weather indicated is either an electrical storm or windstorm and the d10 result is four or less. On a result of five or more on the d10 with an electrical storm or windstorm in progress, the tornado will be 1.25 + (1d5*0.1) kilometers in width and will inflict its damage in vehicle-scale hit points.

Life-Support Failure

Life-support system failure occurs aboard a space vehicle whenever the system malfunctions; this usually but not always happens as a result of combat damage. As mentioned in both Chapters 9.3 and 9.4, life support failure may also inflict a number of ongoing environmental effects on the craft's occupants. Life support failure is never instantaneously fatal but unless an attempt to restore the system swiftly, death for all aboard is inevitable. The amount of time the occupants of a vehicle have before seeing negative effects of life-support failure is solely dependent upon its Size Class (in real life, it would also be dependent upon the number of occupants and their physiology; WCRPG takes a shortcut here in the interest of simplicity). Once life support failure effects have set in, they may only be reversed by restoring life-support; restoration removes any accumulated effects after one hour and resets the amount of time needed before a given effect comes back into play after any subsequent failure.

Life-support failure causes a variety of negative in-game environmental effects as outlined below:

  • Gravity Control Failure: Craft equipped with artificial gravity generation systems usually include it as part of their life-support system package; a failure of the life-support system results in the loss of gravity control. GMs can handle loss of gravity in one of two ways, either instantaneously or residually. Instantaneous loss is not quite as it sounds; after life-support has been down for a period of one hour, all gravity is lost and all of the vehicle's occupants will be in a zero-gee environment. A residual loss gives the occupants more time; 0.1 gees are lost each hour that life-support systems are out, up until x hours (where x is the craft's Size Class). After that time, gravity fails and the occupants will be in a zero-gee environment.
  • Extreme Cold Damage: Without temperature regulation, a craft's interior will eventually cool to the same bitter cold ambient temperature as space. If life-support has been down for x hours (where x is the craft's Size Class), the craft's ambient temperature drops low enough to inflict all its occupants with one severity level of Cold Damage. Another severity level is added for each additional hour that life-support remains offline; there is no limit on how high the temperature severity level may reach in this case.
  • Radiation: A space vehicle's hull may or may not be designed to keep out large doses of cosmic radiation. Occupants of Industrial Age craft are vulnerable to the effects of radiation poisoning if an intense enough field of radiation is encountered even if the craft's hull is intact. Occupants of Starfaring Age are usually safe unless there is a sufficient level of hull damage (50% or more) or if their craft happens to be located in an area of space with extremely intense levels of ambient radiation (such as in the vicinity of an anomalous brown dwarf). Unless otherwise noted, any radiation poisoning that occurs in space should be considered Level X exposure with all the associated and exceptionally nasty effects.
  • Air Generation and Recycling Failure: When most sci-fi universes talk about life-support failure, this is the effect to which most of them are referring; in the event of a total failure of a spacecraft's life-support systems, the lack of breathable air is probably the least likely thing to ultimately kill off its occupants. Creating and cleaning the substance necessary for respiration is certainly a top priority of any life-support system on a spacecraft since it is impossible to sustain life without it; even after the system fails, however, it is likely to have prepared a usable volume of the substance that will not be depleted for some time (i.e. losing air production is not immediately fatal). After a life-support system failure, normal respiration is possible for x hours, where x is the Size Class of the craft. After that time has passed, the useable amount of the substance begins to be depleted (Thin Air environmental effects apply). If twice the amount of time indicated passes without life-support system restoration, hazardous metabolic waste substances will have reached a toxic concentration within the spacecraft's volume (Smoke effects begin to apply as well). It is only after three times the indicated amount of time passes that the air runs out (Suffocation effects begin), provided life-support has not been restored at any point within that time frame.

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