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  • On the subject of radiation

    Recently I got to thinking "If they ever made a VTM fighting game, one of the arenas should be the remains of cyrnobil or some other iradiated wasteland" but then I though that might not be possible. My question: does radiation cause agrivated damage to Kindred?

  • #2
    As far as RAW there aren't any rules for Kindred and radiation interaction.

    For my two cents on it, ionizing radiation is harmless to kindred. They are not dependent on cell functions or DNA integrity, thus they can't get radiation sickness or produce loads of tumors. With that being said there is a big problem for kindred regarding radiation, namely that they can be irradiated and thus become radioactive. This means a vampire could become an immortal walking Chernobyl if they soaked up enough radiation.

    The side affects of this level of absorption is that most kine near them will sicken and die, as will a lot of plants and wild life. Most first world countries have radiation detectors at their airports, dock yards, and other entry points so trying to travel will be very difficult. Depending on the level and type of radiation the kindred could be tracked by satellite. Though that means a radioactive bullet is one hell of a tracking device for kindred.

    Considering the half life of some isotopes, you could use irradiation as a form of imprisonment for kindred. Dose them with a few thousands rads and then they can't leave the Chernobyl exclusion zone for a millennia without tripping all sorts of government alarms. Alternatively there probably are some Gangrel Mariners who got too close to the pacific nuclear test locations and thus can't make landfall for the same radioactive reasons.

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    • #3
      Radiation isn't a problem. Now, it might be a problem for the kindred to be intensly radioactive and have others around them or partake their blood, but the vampire's radiation poisoning would go away when they have a chance to heal (or rise at sunset)


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      • #4
        Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
        Radiation isn't a problem. Now, it might be a problem for the kindred to be intensly radioactive and have others around them or partake their blood, but the vampire's radiation poisoning would go away when they have a chance to heal (or rise at sunset)
        Radiation isn't like a wound or tattoo ink, there is nothing to heal or expel from the body. If the vampire body worked like that, they would change temperature when they rise at sunset, rather than consistently being room temperature.

        Also even if the body was able to expel radiation at sunset, their surroundings would have been soaking up radiation the entire day up until that point, which means the vampire is re-irradiated by those same surroundings when they wake up radiation free. There is a reason why radiation contamination is such a pain to clean up.

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        • #5
          Vampires can "heal" tattoo ink. As some would say, it's probably best to describe them as 'mending' back to how they looked shortly after the embrace. If they weren't charged with radiation on embrace, they won't be charged with radiation after they heal.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
            Vampires can "heal" tattoo ink.
            Actually the rules regarding tattoo ink make radiation worse off. According to RAW the ink is pushed out of the skin at sunset. This suggests that all the radiation the vampire soaked up is pushed out into the room where they are sleeping, which then bounces right back onto the vampire. Its the radioactive equivalent of "pissing into the wind", in that you are expelling and getting splattered by the same thing at the same time.

            Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
            As some would say, it's probably best to describe them as 'mending' back to how they looked shortly after the embrace. If they weren't charged with radiation on embrace, they won't be charged with radiation after they heal.
            Except at the levels we are talking about, they would be re-irradiated by their surroundings, so it's kind of a moot point. I agree that there is some potential for the magic of vampiric unlife to change some of the rules, like each sunset essentially being a half life, but its not like all the attached problems of having an open radiation source wandering about just go away because the vampire slept it off.

            To be fair if the sunset reset function was all encompassing then things like plague dogs wouldn't be a problem for cainites. Unless they had been feeding from multiple people in a single night, there would be no way for them to harbor disease and spread it if was wiped out at the reset point.

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            • #7
              Acute dosage can harm the body directly; see, radiation burns. That's a factor of electromagnetic waves and high-energy particles depositing their energy into the matter that composes the body, converting it to thermal energy, yadda yadda. Same phenomenon as getting hit with microwaves or getting stupid near a powerful radio emitter. That'd be a potential source of damage, but let's face it, if we're talking about an emission of ionizing radiation powerful enough to cause aggravated to a vampire, that vampire's gonna have way bigger problems than the radiation since we're talking "standing in eyesight of an exposed reactor core" levels of radiation -- the thermal radiation put off by the source is gonna deal a hell of a lot more aggravated than some piddly-ass particles.

              Beyond that, yeah as others said, vampires don't have metabolisms. Genetic and physical damage to the cell structure that would lead to cell death just isn't a concern.

              Though, making a snack of someone suffering from ARS probably wouldn't be a good idea.

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              • #8
                So there's that Ritual, Purity of the Flesh, that expels foreign contaminants from the vampire's body (along with things like worn jewelry or clothes). It does specify "physical" materials, though. Is radiation "physical" for the purposes of this Ritual? It's made of particles, but I'm no physicist.

                Moreover, as Thoth pointed out, there's the ever-present threat of re-irradiation. If you expel radioactive particles from the body, they may simply bounce back onto the vampire. In addition to irradiating the surroundings.


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                • #9
                  Much of the harm of radiation burns are the body's inflammatory response to cell damage, right? I'd think for a vampire that wouldn't be a problem, so you'd have to get enough radiation to actually cook the vampire's flesh to be directly harmful to them to any significant degree. Though you'd run into the aforementioned radioactivity problems at much lower exposures.

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                  • #10
                    As other have posted, in the rules as written vampires take no damage from radiation. However, while no specifically a part of established rules, a vampire might become radioactive. My own take is that sufficient levels of radiation should destroy the blood in a vampires system. Such as the radiation stripping the blood of, for lack of a better term, nutritional value for the vampire.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Matt the Bruins fan View Post
                      Much of the harm of radiation burns are the body's inflammatory response to cell damage, right?
                      Um, "yes, no, maybe, and of course it depends" is the answer. Because science is awesome and annoying all at the same time.

                      In the case of a nuclear explosion, you have enough x-rays to incinerate a vampire regardless of the radioactivity. Radiation burns can be either from a radioactive heat source or it can describe the cell damage that occurs when radioactivity kills the cells, hence why a radiation burn, a thermal burn, and freezer burn all have similar results on a cellular level. The affected cells are dead or massively damaged, the inflammatory response kicks in, but depending out how much radiation was absorbed, the immune systems are cooked as well. Then the internal organs start to break down, and suffice it to say it only gets worse from there assuming the individual lives long enough to get to endure it.

                      Now something like a "dirty bomb" or nuclear waste is just a constant source of ionizing radiation, it can be warm to the touch, but it can't cause fire damage. Considering all the toxic dumps we have seen in real life, does that mean that in the WoD the Nosferatu would also be a major at risk clan for radiation exposure from the waste put into the sewers and garbage dumps?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                        As other have posted, in the rules as written vampires take no damage from radiation. However, while no specifically a part of established rules, a vampire might become radioactive. My own take is that sufficient levels of radiation should destroy the blood in a vampires system. Such as the radiation stripping the blood of, for lack of a better term, nutritional value for the vampire.
                        You are more right than you know. With all this talk about radiation and vampires it jogged my memory of something that could give us at least a hint at some rules. It took me a while to dig through the books to find it.

                        The Kindred of the East splats included a faction called The Scorpion Eaters, essentially they were betting on everything going to hell in a hand basket and adapted themselves to survive off of tainted chi sources, including chi tainted by radiation, in fact they have a Radiation Shintai (discipline).

                        In their write up tainted chi has no nutritional value for a vampire and has to be purged and replaced with chi from a clean source. Even trying to consume tainted chi requires a roll, complete with a chart with what happens. While the KotE stuff doesn't always translate to main line vampire it could be a good guide in this case. This can be found in Heresies of the Way page 121.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
                          So there's that Ritual...
                          I mean you wanna start talking thaumaturgy, Path of Conjuring 3 would allow a vampire to conjure a sword made of plutonium (at least that's how I'd rule it, Pu being a radioactive element). The danger there to vampires not being the radiation, but plutonium being so radioactive it heats itself glowing-hot, and a fast oxidizer that creates highly-flammable oxides.

                          You know, if you really want a melee weapon of mass destruction.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Thoth View Post
                            You are more right than you know.
                            Thanks. I didn't know about that KotE bit of business, but it works for me. Part of my thinking was influenced by the HBO series Chernobyl - which is great and harrowing to watch - and thinking about vampires in that situation. To simply say radiation doesn't do anything to them seemed to easy.

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                            • #15
                              you need to also consider that vampires, even without fortitude, are supernaturally resistant to damage. with enough stamina they can shrug off blunt force trauma, sword cuts , high voltages or boiling water. With that in mind, I dont think the minute changes brought about by radiation would really pose all that much of a threat, especially when we do factor in Fortitude.


                              Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
                              There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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