Radiation is one of the most horrifying realities of the post-nuclear world. There will always be a certain degree of background radiation because of the bombs. Radiation has encouraged mutations in animals, leading to some of the successful mega fauna that prowls the wasteland.
Humans, however, cannot handle high amounts of radiation. Not every source of radiation poisoning is immediately obvious; a character could just as easily accumulate rads camping in a highly radiated area for a few nights as they could walking through a blast crater.
Radiation levels are measured in “Rads,” a standard unit that measures how many radioactive particles enter the bloodstream.
Around 1000 rads is considered lethal.
Radiation sources, however, can put out hundreds of Rads per day. A few Rads won’t hurt you – in fact, household smoke detectors contain Americanium, a radioactive isotope.
A person can take about 4 or 5 Rads a day without feeling the side effects.
A character doesn’t necessarily know how many Rads he or she has accumulated, unless they own a Geiger counter. Radiation resistance measures how much radiation doesn’t enter the bloodstream (in a percentage of total rads).
In a radioactive free area, the body will lose a total of 5 Rads a day.
Radiation is treatable only with qualified medical personal and with certain kinds of drugs.
A successful doctor roll (at a -75 to the skill) will remove a number of rads equal to the level of success
This table is unpleasant, but so are the results of nuclear war. 24 hours after each level of radiation poisoning, the following effects occur:
Radiation Poisoning Effects
50 - Character feels abnormally tired.
100 - Character begins to feel weak and achy. Skin itches slightly. A sunburn like rash appears.
200 - Stats at -1 EN. First Radiation Poisoning.
400 - Stats at -2 EN, -1 AG. Character feels weaker. Muscles and joints hurt. The skin itches and small, open sores begin to develop. Some hair begins to fall out. Normal humans generally cannot reproduce(or have very mutated children) at about this level of radiation poisoning.
600 - Stats at -3 EN, -2 AG, -1 ST. Character begins to vomit and experience diarrhea. Joints and muscles still hurt, but that’s the least of their problems at this point. Open sores cover the skin, and hair falls out in large clumps. They develop a nice glow at night.
800 - Stats at -3 EN, -2 AG, -2 ST. Character vomits blood, as well as experiences bloody diarrhea. Hair is gone at this point. The skin begins to get soft, and hangs off in places. Death will occur in 72 hours after experiencing this amount of radiation poisoning, unless treated.
1000 - Forget the 24 hour time limit; this level of radiation poisoning causes unconsciousness a few minutes after exposure. a few minutes after that, the character’s Body begins to shut down. One only experiences this level of radiation after long untreated poisoning and continued adventuring, or if they decide to prowl around ground-zero without some protection.
At 900 Rads something interesting may occur for human characters. Make a Luck roll. On a critical failure, a human character will transform into a Ghoul. The Racial Base for the character and their statistics are transferred to that of a Ghoul.
Ghouls cannot die from radiation poisoning.
After absorbing 1500 rads or more, a ghoul receives the Trait Glowing One and all that entails.