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Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells - Hazards and Other Dangers - Part I

Artwork by Louis Glanzman
Okay, we are at the end of the Combat chapter of the book, and it's time to check out some other dangers the characters might have to face in the perilous universe of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells. Let's see some of them?

Hazards and Other Dangers


Although deadly enough, adventurers face many other dangers besides swords and firearms across the Universe. Falling from high platforms, being exposed to high levels of radiation, being burned in a incendiary attack, being electrified by a security trap. All of these and more could end the life of a player character, so we took the time to prepare a quick guide on how to handle these situations in game.


Darkness

The most common way sentients perceive the universe is through vision. When something prevents a character to fully orient himself in the environment he is in, be it utter darkness or even blindness, he will receive a Negative Die to all actions that rely on his vision. The same principle may be applied to situations regarding other senses as well.

Acid

Acid and other corrosive substances can damage not only the equipment, vehicles and objects the characters carry, but if it reaches their skin, it can cause grave wounds. Acid damage varies according to how big is the area exposed to it is, and happens every round unless the acid is removed or cleaned from the individual. Small areas would inflict only 1d3 of damage per round. Medium areas could inflict 1d6 points of damage. Large areas exposed to acid could cause 2d6 points of damage per round. And a body fully covered by acid would suffer 3d6 points of damage every round.

Falling

Most sentient species in the Universe have breakable bones, and can suffer a lot when they fall from high places. In game terms we categorize falling distances similarly to other measurements, such that falling from short heights (about 5 meters or so) causes 1d6 points of damage; falling from medium heights (about 10 to 15 meters) cause 2d6 points of damage; falling from long (somewhere between 20 to 30 meters) fall causes 5d6 points of damage; a distant fall (up to 50 meters or so) causes 10d6 points of damage. A fall higher than this is a deadly fall and will simply kill the character.

With the permission of the Overlord and a description of a daring and creative action, the character may avert his fall to the previous category (from deadly to distant, distant to long, and so on) with a Agility test and a Difficulty determined by the Overlord according to the circumstances and the action taken.

Fire

The all consuming raging fire. Player characters can face this relentless foe all the time, and when doing so, they should take all the necessary precautions. Being exposed to fire without proper protection causes an amount of damage every round according to the size of the fire. Small fires (like those from a primitive torch) cause the only 1d3 points of damage per round; medium sized fires (like from a campfire) causes 1d6 points of damage per round; large fires (such as from a small room on fire) can cause 3d6 points of damage per round; and finally, gigantic fires (such from a whole building in flames) cause 5d6 points of damage per round. Proper gear can probably mitigate this damage, usually reducing the damage as if the fire was of one or two categories smaller.

Radiation

Just like with fire, the exposure to radiation can prove deadly to characters. In game terms, each round of unprotected exposure causes an amount of damage varying according to the intensity of said radiation. Light radiation may cause 1 point of damage per round. Medium radiation would inflict 1d3 points of damage per round. Heavy radiation can inflict 1d6 points of damage each round. Finally, extreme radiation can cause 2d6 points of damage per round to unprotected creatures. As with fire, adequate gear might reduce the damage to a category lower than what it really is. The radiation damage may seem smaller than fire damage, but it permeates a much larger area.

Traps

Technology has allowed the greedy to implement a variety of deadly devices to keep their possessions secure from the masses of thieves and opportunists. In game terms, these devices are often installed in doors, safes, corridors and walls that are near a place that someone intends to keep secured. They are often hidden and are not obviously detected by interlopers, so player characters might be surprised by them if they are not diligent. When activated, the players often have a chance to avoid it, or at least mitigate its damage, with an Attribute Test (normally, Agility). Surprised characters will receive a Negative Die on these tests though. Failure means they suffer the full effects of the trap. Success might mean they completely avoid it or they suffer only half the normal damage (it’s usually the case when a large area is blasted with fire, or some other harmful effect).

Below we present some sample traps. Overlords should use these as inspirations and come up with their own devious devices to protect the vaults of the many foes that will cross paths with the adventurers.

Electrified Floor: The floor around a valuable object is trapped in a way it will electrify anyone that steps on it if it’s not deactivated properly. Normally it causes 2d6 points of damage, but there are deadlier versions that can cause up to 5d6 of damage. An Agility test may let a character jump out of the electrified floor avoiding damage completely.

Flame Breath Statues: Usually installed in highly decorated places with many statues and ornament, this trap is a favorite of the elites (they like burning their guest when not pleased). The trap can be activated by command or triggered by a pressure plate or other device. Once triggered, statues cover an area up to short range with raging flames capable of melting the flesh and carbonizing the bones. Normally, anyone in the area suffer 5d6 points of damage. An Agility test allow characters to jump away from the affected area but they still suffer half damage from the intense heat.

Laser Cage: Usually built around a valuable possession , that once taken from its rightful place without the appropriate measures activates a energy barrier which imprisons the burglars. Being made of energy, this barrier appears very quickly, requiring an Agility test with a high Difficulty value to avoid. Failure means that the character is stuck inside the cage and a failure within the Difficulty value means not only that, but he character also touched the energy barrier. The barrier inflicts 1d6 points of damage to anyone touching it, each round. Some sadistic trap makers program the energy cage to shrink a little every few minutes, and this version is popular amongst the Punishers under the service of Galactic Overlords.

Automated Laser Guns: Guns hidden in the walls and linked to automated targeting units, this trap fires laser shots at intruders not identified by the security sensors. This is usually activated when a place is entered without using the proper access codes and keys. The guns spring from their hiding places and get a surprise round of attacks if the characters fail an Intellect test to notice their presence. They make attacks as a creature of 3 HD, but more advanced targeting units do exist, allowing the trap to fire as a creature of more HD. The laser guns cause 1d6 points of damage and ignore mundane armors.

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