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Created By
Leziad (talk)
Date Created: 25 November, 2009
Status: v1.0
Editing: Spelling and grammar only, please.


Radiation lacks usable rules in 3.5e. Here is my take on the mystery of SCIENCE! and the most lethal threat we can't even see. Radiation uses rather simple rules that sacrifice a bit of realism for simplicity's sake, I attempted to make it lethal (not like D&D mundane fire). If you like your game less lethal, lowering damage caused by instant exposure by 5d6 and lowering every fortitude save by 3 points might do it.


There are 6 types of dose, going from insignificant to extreme.

  • Insignificant
  • Very Mild
  • Mild
  • Average
  • Dangerous
  • Extreme

Instant Exposure[]

Being exposed to a massive dose of radiation for a few seconds can have some heavy consequences. Like face melting and a nasty cancer. Being exposed to a large dose of (dangerous) radiation deals 10d6 damages that bypasses any DR. Additionally you must make a fort save vs Radiation Sickness (DC 20).

Being exposed to a even nastier dose (extreme) deals 15d6, you are forced to make a fort save (DC 25) or die. You get radiation sickness either way.

Long-Term Exposure[]

Mild doses of radiation don't have instant effects... however they have some nasty long-term effects. Overall your face doesn't melt, and that's a good thing. For each day you spent more than 2 hours exposed to a mild dose of radiation roll a fortitude save (DC based on the dose). For each dose graver than mild, divide the required time of exposure by 2. Multiply it by 2 for each dose lighter than mild. Each day you succeed your save the DC of the next day (even with a different dose) increases by 1. The DC resets to the original after you fail a save.

Dose DC Required Time of Exposition
Insignificant 5 8 hours
Very Mild 10 4 hours
Mild 12 2 hours
Average 15 1 hour
Dangerous 20 30 minutes
Extreme 25 15 minutes

Upon failing a save you get radiation sickness and contract a radiation disease, you take both penalties without saves.

Radiation Sickness[]

Radiation sickness makes you exhausted and deals 1d6 constitution damage. Multiple radiation sickness constitution damages stack.

Radiation Disease[]

Upon contracting a radiation disease, you are required to roll a d6. Compare the result to the table below and take the associated penalties. Contracting the same disease twice causes further degradation, the effect of further degradation is described in each disease entry.

Radiation Disease
Disease Contracted
1 Nerve Degradation
2 Muscle Degradation
3 Skin Degradation
4 Vital Organ Degradation
5 Sensory Organs Degradation
6 Roll again twice (ignore any other 6)

Diseases' Descriptions[]

  • Nerve Degradation: 2d6 dexterity drain. Further Degradation: You are Confused (permanent, doesn't stack with itself). You may avoid this effect by succeeding on a DC 18 fortitude save (checked every day). You also take 1d6 dexterity damage.
  • Muscle Degradation: 2d6 strength drain. Further Degradation: Your land speed is halved (permanent, doesn't stack with itself). You also take 1d6 strength damage.
  • Skin Degradation: 1d6 Charisma drain, -2 penalty to attack rolls (permanent, doesn't stack with itself), skill checks, and ability checks. Further Degradation: 1d4 points of strength and dexterity damage.
  • Sensory Organ Degradation: 2d6 wisdom drain. Further Degradation: (roll a d6) Must make a fort save (DC 18) or be permanently blinded (1-3) or deafened (4-6).

Curing Radiation Sickness/Disease[]

A simple remove disease is enough to remove radiation sickness and repair further degradation effects. remove disease also resets long-term exposure's DC.

Ability damage and drain must be cured normally (using any spells that would normally be able to do so).

Radiation Protection[]

Wearing a simple lead-lined protection suit gives you a +4 circumstantial bonus on fort saves against the effects of radiation and makes exposure as if it were one step worse. A tailor-made suit costs as much as full plate made for your character, but only grants an armor bonus of +4. Otherwise use the same statistics as full plate.

Author Notes[]

This variant can also be used for magical radiation instead of mundane atomic radiation.

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