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

Well, this is the last preview of the combat chapter of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells. Next we will start to see some previews of the setting toolbox chapter, and then some starship and vehicles rules!

Poison

Old as time, the use of poison is still quite populated in the Universe of Solar Blades & Cosmic Spells, especially among the petty servants of the Galactic Overlords vying for their favors. Poisons vary greatly, but for ease of use, they all have an intensity score (which determines the Difficulty in an Attribute Test to resist its effects) and an effect. Most common poisons inflict a d6 of damage per intensity point, but some rarer substances can make the victim fall asleep for a number of hours equal to the intensity value, paralyze the victim for a number of turns equal to its intensity, and so on. Overlords can exercise their cruel imaginations and come up with a varying array of poison with strange and sadistic effects. Below we provide a few exemplary poisons:

Dying Star Dust: A dust that can be added to food or drink without leaving any taste or smell. It will make its victims to die slow deaths as a dying star, losing 1 point of Vitality per week. The damage suffered from this poison cannot be healed, and only a special antidote can stop further loss of Vitality and allow the recovery of the lost points. This a a very popular poison among crime lords, as they use it to poison those who owe them money and then send the poor bastards on a mission in exchange for the antidote.

Worm’s Saliva: Taken from the gigantic worms of Jahkar, this liquid once injected on a victim will make them see things that are not there, while also making them very susceptible to questions and suggestions. A victim poisoned must succeed on a Difficulty 5 Willpower test to lie when a question is asked of them, and need to succeed on a normal Willpower test to avoid doing what is suggested for them.

Petrifying Serum: This serum is obtained draining the fluids on the sentient frogs of the bog world of Gargus. If bladed weapon is covered in it and some of it make to the victim's skin, he will need to make a Physique test to avoid becoming paralyzed for 1d6 turns after 1d6 rounds have passed.

Disease

Everywhere you go in the Universe, you will see danger on every planet, moon and asteroid. But there is also the dangers you cannot see. Diseases that should be native to certain planets and systems have spread throughout the stars, thanks to interstellar travellers and adventurers. In game terms, when a character has contacted a vector of those diseases, he needs to make a Physique test with a Difficulty based on how contagious the disease is. A failure means the character is infected and after the incubation period he will start suffering the effects of it. A character can be cured of a disease with rest and appropriate care, as well as another Physique test (he can try one every 1d6 days after the effects begin). As with poisons, the Overlord is encouraged to come up with a varying array of different and strange diseases to reflect the many illnesses that exist in the universe. Below we give just a few possible examples.

Burning Fever of Gargus: Originally, this disease was contained on the Gargus system, but it has since spread to almost all hot, humid and jungle covered planets. Mosquitoes are the main vector of this illness, and if characters are traveling through such planets without proper gear to protect them again these pests, they need to make a Luck Roll to avoid being bitten by an infected insect. Failure means the victim will need to make a Difficulty 3 Physique test or contract the disease. It manifests 1d6 days later with a burning fever and red dots all over the host’s body. He will lose 1d3 Physique points per day, or only 1 point if he stays in bed. Proper care allows for another Physique test to fight off the virus.

White Rotting: This terrible disease is rumored to have been fabricated by the Galactic Overlords during the Cleansing Wars but it has run out of their control. Infected individuals begin to rot on the places they have touched other hosts, and the rotting area grows each day. Whenever a character touches or is touched by someone with the disease, he needs to make a Physique test to avoid being infected. Failure means he will start losing 1 point of Physique everyday, until he dies. There is no known cure for the disease, but some manage to survive by immediately severing the infected limb as soon as the disease is diagnosed. Anyone who is seen carrying the disease is usually immediately killed, preferable by burning, to prevent further infections. It’s rumored that if the disease runs its course, the host becomes a zombie under the control of the Void.

Mind Worms: These parasites are actually sentient beings, and once they infect a host, they control the host’s mind and body. They infect their victims through spores that are released by a host’s sneezes. A character in contact with a host must make a Luck Roll to see if the host sneezes or not. Failure means he is sneezed at and needs to make a Physique test to avoid being infect. If infected the new host has 1d6 weeks to find a cure before the worms grow and burrow into his brain, dominating his mind.

Vacuum

A terrible and cruel way to die, commonly seen through the stars, as space pirates condemn their victims and traitors to die in the cold space outside their starships. Unprotected characters exposed to the vacuum of space suffer 1d6 points of damage per round. Appropriate gear, such as a space suit, allows characters to operate in the vacuum as long as their gear Durability score lasts.

Extreme Temperatures

Planets to close to a star, covered with lava and dotted with volcanoes, or those that don’t receive warmth from anywhere, covered in a thick layer of ice and snow. Both extremely hot or cold planets can be deadly for space explorers, especially ill prepared ones. In game terms, the Overlord may ask for a Physique test every day, or even every hour or turn spent in such environments, to avoid accruing 1d3 points of damage. The hotter or colder the place, the more frequent the tests. Thermal clothing, temperature regulated locations and other details might make the test less frequently, from turns to hours, hours to days and so on.

Starvation

Almost all sentient species across the universe need to ingest nutrients to maintain their health in a daily basis. In game terms, characters can withstand 3 days without food, but everyday after that initial period he needs to make a Physique test with a Difficulty equal to the number of days he hasn’t eaten. Failure means he suffers 1d3 points of damage. Once the character eats again, the loss of Vitality points cease, and he can start to regain his Vitality points again following the normal rules described at Healing and Resting above.

Dehydration

As with the necessity of food, living beings usually need to keep hydrated. In game terms, characters can go 1 day without drinking liquids, but will start to suffer on the next day, having to make Physique tests with a Difficulty equal to double the amount of days without hydration. Failure means 1d6 points of damage. As with starvation, the consumptive of liquids will cease further Vitality loss, and will allow the healing process to begin normally.

Drowning

If the lack of liquids can kill someone, so can the excess, or at least, so much that it floods the person’s lungs. To thread calm waters, no Attribute Test is usually necessary, but if the waters are agitated, or there are other dangers involved in the situation, a Physique or Agility test may be necessary to stay afloat and cover ground. A failure within the Difficulty only means the character hasn’t been able to move at all. However, a failure above the character’s Attribute mean the character has gone under the waves and may start to drown. Characters can hold they breath for a number of rounds equal to their Physique score if they know they will need to do that. In combat or in a stressful situation, they can only hold their breath for half that amount of rounds. After that, they will need to make Physique test with a Difficulty equal to the number of rounds they've lost their breath or suffer 1d3 points of damage. Whenever to character spends a full round above the water regaining his breath, he stops suffering further damage. If the character rests for a full turn, he regains 1d6 Vitality points, and an additional 1d6 points for each additional turn rested.

Suffocation

Gas chambers, dense smoke, lack of oxygen, all of this, in addition to hands strangling someone’s neck, can cause suffocation damage. In game terms, this functions very similarly as drowning. If unable to breathe, characters can hold they breath for a number of rounds equal to their Physique score if they know they will need to do that. In combat or in a stressful situation, they can only hold their breath for half that amount of rounds. After that, they will need to make Physique tests, with a Difficulty equal to the number of rounds they've lost their breath, or suffer 1d3 points of damage. Whenever to character spends a full round regaining his breath, he stops suffering further damage. If the character rests for a full turn, he regains 1d6 Vitality points, and an additional 1d6 points for each additional turn rested.

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