Radiation Exposure

People may get dosed with radiation. In general, radiation exposure is measured in mSv. For the most part, your exposure is measured in terms of a rate over time. Thus, if you’re around a large amount of radioactive isotope, you won’t immediately take in 100 mSv of radiation. You’ll instead take in some amount per minute or per hour.

Exposure functions much like a Labor, accumulating at the listed rate. This means that commonly it’s simply expressed as exposure per hour, though keep in mind that fractions of an hour will still produce exposures. (The definition of “quality” in quality-hour is up for grabs.)

If a character spends a day without accumulating mSv (save for harmless background stuff that likely won’t accumulate a full mSv in a single day), go ahead and remove any mSv that hasn’t accumulated into actual Exposures.

Bad Science Warning

Radiation dosage and exposure is an extraordinarily complicated field. This system simplifies a great deal of it, such as using Sieverts as the core unit of exposure (rather than taking Greys, computing energy effects and body exposure, and converting to Sieverts). Much of this is simplified either for playability or for simple fun value.

Distance from Source

If you’re working in an environment with a specific, localized source of harmful radiation (such as a piece of Unobtanium sitting in the middle of the room), then your distance from the source will modify your degree of exposure. This might not matter – if you’re moving around, the GM should likely just take an average distance and compute all exposures based on it. The rate of exposure is divided by (2distance from source in meters).

Radiation Shielding

There are lots of mechanisms for radiation protection, and one is radiation shielding. This puts an absorbent layer of matter between you and the end of all the future line of your family. Each material has a “halving thickness” – for every multiple of the halving thickness, the rate of dosage per hour cuts in half. Put it another way, divide it by (2thicknesses). Some materials follow.

Material Halving Thickness
Lead 1 cm
Steel 2.5 cm
Concrete 6.1 cm
Packed Soil 9.1 cm
Water 18 cm

The Point of Harmlessness

If a character takes in less than 1 mSv per hour, ignore it. If a character takes in less than (Body x 6) mSv per hour, then you might want to accumulate it. However, chances are it will never have any effect.

Effects of Exposure

The required Labor for one grade of Exposure is (Body x 150) mSv. Once that accumulates, the character gains +1 Exposure (this isn’t a scientific term). Excess mSv turn over to the next Labor for the next grade of Exposure. A character doesn’t immediately learn of this exposure, though a Geiger counter will be a useful warning.

The Exposures produce their own Labor (there’s only the two, don’t worry). This accumulates a number of quality-hours equal to the number of Exposures. The target amount is 20. Once it hits 20, the character suffers one point of Injury and one point of Trauma. Make a note that one Exposure has manifested. This continues until all points of Exposure have manifested (turn over excess quality hours to the next Labor for the next Exposure manifestation).

Once all grades of Exposure have manifested, they cease to accumulate quality-hours towards exposure manifestation. One of these points of Exposure will disappear as a form of Recovery. This is an (Exposure x 100) Labor, using Recovery. Once all points of Exposure disappear, the only remaining effects of radiation exposure is any Damage still waiting to recover.

Simplified Symptomology Warning

The symptoms of radiation exposure are horrifying. Mild radiation exposure has flu-like symptoms, but can also include headache and disorientation. More severe exposure causes more severe results, including CNS dysfunction and loss of mental coherence.

This is the reason that radiation poisoning inflicts damage on Body and Drive – its effects are so diverse and pervasive that the whole function of the person as a person is affected. The full symptomology isn’t presented here. Look it up yourself if you’d like the nightmares.

Also, these rules don’t reflect long term consequences for exposure. Welcome to adventure gaming.


Death may Die Pneumonica Pneumonica