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Old 06-11-2021, 02:33 PM
unipus unipus is offline
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Default Mustard gas

I need someone to learn me up on mustard gas and other persistent agents. How long is it dangerous/lethal for? Does it degrade if exposed to snow and rain? Does it soak into different materials? (particularly important: COAL. What happens to coal that is coated in mustard? What if you were to burn it?)
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Old 06-11-2021, 06:37 PM
swaghauler swaghauler is offline
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Both the CDC and OSHA have EXTENSIVE information on all forms of chemical poisoning. You can just go to the CDC's website and look them up yourself or the same with OSHA. Just search HAZMAT in OSHA.

Mustard Gas is a semi-persistent agent that causes burns on the skill, blurry vision, and scarring of the lungs. It is NOT very lethal with only a 5% fatality rate on the battlefield. A gas mask and normal clothing will protect you against this threat (although clothing will need to be discarded to avoid recontamination). Exposed skin may develop burns or blisters if concentrations of the gas are high. The main danger is from scarring in the lungs. This may lead to fluid buildup in the lungs (pulmonary edema) which CAN kill. I'd say it's an *EASY Test of CON (2 X CON) to avoid death.

Mustard gas normally smelled like mustard or garlic but newer versions CAN be odorless. The toxin can persist for up to 3 days (compared to 4 to 6 hours for most modern blood and nerve agents). It CAN be confused with its identically-performing, but more lethal (*ROUTINE test of CON to survive) "cousin" CHLORINE GAS poisoning. But unlike Chlorine gas, Mustard gas NEVER occurs naturally.

There is no known antidote for either and treatment involves washing the afflicted area with water and drinking a fluid to bind the substance IF it was ingested. The most common fluid used would be MILK to help neutralize the Mustard gas's effects.

JJ Keller produces books on HAZMAT for the Trucking and Materials Handling Industries. I'd get a copy of one of their HAZMAT books (as cheap as $5 new at truckstops) for a reference. Also, note that possession of these books is MANDATORY for any Trucker hauling HAZMAT in the US.

*Under my system, you would roll a 1D10 with 10 indicating a failure. Routine Tests are 1.5 x Skil or Attribute so a Routine Con check would be 8 or less for a 5 CON.

Last edited by swaghauler; 06-11-2021 at 07:00 PM. Reason: added info
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:30 PM
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My knowledge is specific to the sulfur mustard formulations ("H," "HD," "HT") used in the U.S. Army's chemical weapons stockpile, so I may be off on some details for other formulations. Where possible, the following is double-checked against my hazard analysis training materials from 2013. All of the following is available in open sources; my work was civilian-side local .gov and I did not hold a clearance.

Mustard has low volatility and high persistence, which means it doesn't evaporate readily and it sticks around for a while. It's not as long-lived as the persistent nerve agent VX but it's not far off. It is denser than water (about 1.3x), freezes at 58F, has a flash point of 221F, and is fairly viscous. One of my instructors compared its visible physical properties to thin maple syrup.

The HD formulation is purified/distilled H; physical properties are similar. HT is a mixture of HD and a diluent; it has a lower freezing temperature and is even less volatile than H/HD. The mustard/garlic/horseradish odor of H is due to impurities which the distillation process removes from HD.

Mustard exposure may take from 2 hours to upwards of 24 hours to manifest symptoms. As Swag noted, unlike nerve agents, blister agents do not have counter-agents. Decontamination and treatment of symptoms form your medic's course of action. For exposure survivors, it's also a very potent carcinogen - beyond the scope of most campaigns, but perhaps a factor for roleplaying concerns.

Residual U.S. Army inventory as of 2013 was 105mm artillery projectiles (H and HD), 155mm artillery projectiles (H and HD), and 4.2" mortar projectiles (HD and HT). When stored, they were unfused and without propellant but did contain agent and bursting charges. It was noted in my training that in a storage fire, the projectiles would rupture from vapor pressure before the bursting charges detonated from the heat. Other delivery systems may have existed prior to my time in the program, but any such items were out of inventory before the late '80s and so not a factor for us. Likewise, our work was concerned solely with U.S. inventory, so I have no information on other nations' chemical munitions.

The munitions were designed so that when fired, the bursting charge ruptures the case, producing aerosol/droplets. Initial exposure hazard is from skin and eye contact with this splash. There is a possibility of a secondary downwind vapor hazard from evaporation after the aerosol is deposited on surfaces; I believe this is more likely with higher surface temperatures. My training was not overly-concerned with long-distance airborne plumes of mustard due to the droplets' weight; nerve agents tend to go much farther in air than mustard. Mustard evaporation is slow, so surface contamination does linger.

Over long storage periods (i.e., decades), mustard settles and solidifies. One of the technical challenges facing the disposal teams at the last stockpile sites is that their projectiles have been stored in the same orientation for so long that the chemical agent has formed a solid "heel" in each projectile. It can't be poured out - individual rounds have to be destroyed in a blast chamber.

I can't find a reference for it in my materials, but my recollection is that mustard decays faster under direct sunlight (i.e., UV radiation) and can be fiendishly persistent if left in a dark environment without airflow. The specific example given was battlefield contamination of WWI trenches that were subsequently filled in, resulting in soil still contaminated in the modern era. This 2007 report from the UK MoD goes into some detail on the issue of mustard's persistence when buried.

I am neither a chemist nor a plume modeling expert. However, based on the above, my response to your specific question is that coal exposed to mustard would at least retain surface contamination, particularly if someone popped a mustard munition over a coal pile and the aerosolized droplets settled on the surface and then migrated into the dark center of the pile. Burning the coal would probably release some of the mustard as vapor, yielding vapor exposure in the downwind exhaust plume. In cool air or on cool surfaces, you might also see the vapor re-condense to liquid droplets and generate some level of surface contamination. Your combustion chamber is also likely to be contaminated, and if you're handling the coal with manual labor, gods help your stokers.

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Originally Posted by swaghauler View Post
JJ Keller produces books on HAZMAT for the Trucking and Materials Handling Industries. I'd get a copy of one of their HAZMAT books (as cheap as $5 new at truckstops) for a reference. Also, note that possession of these books is MANDATORY for any Trucker hauling HAZMAT in the US.
Coincidentally, I had cause to pull my ERG off the shelf today. We had a minor chlorine issue in our AO and I took the opportunity to do an airborne plume education session with my new-ish deputy.

- C.
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:37 PM
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The toxin can persist for up to 3 days (compared to 4 to 6 hours for most modern blood and nerve agents).
3 days is its persistence in the open in summer. In wooded areas in summer, its persistence was up to 7 days. Cool weather persistence is longer, up to several weeks in cold wooded areas for WWI-era HS gas. It has a relatively high freezing point of 44-45 degrees Fahrenheit (7-8 Celsius), so frozen mustard could persist until thawed (including sticking to boots and then being warmed inside, thus gassing a shelter).

Standard treatment for skin was to wash the affected area with kerosene and then with soap and water; dichlordiethyl sulphide will dissolve in kerosene, gasoline, acetone, or alcohol. The downside was that this needed to be done within a few minutes or else the mustard would already have sufficiently penetrated the skin to still cause damage.

There were also anti-gas ointments. Ointment, anti-gas, No. 1 was 50% white petroleum jelly and 50% supertropical bleaching powder (30% bleaching powder) were also issued for trench use, but since they needed to be washed off after use to avoid skin irritation, they were somewhat questionable in effectiveness. Ointment No. 2 was Chloramine-T in a vanishing cream base that didn't need to be washed off but was a mild irritant.

Lethality was only around 2% for mustard; the 5% number was the permanent casualty rate for all gases, and phosgene was easily the most lethal overall. British records of all gas victims show 3% fatality, 2% permanent invalidity, and 70% physically fit for duty within 6 weeks, with chlorine having the longest average recovery time in hospital (60 days) and phosgene and mustard being shorter (45.5 and 46 days respectively). Fatalities dropped off as protective equipment improved, going from 4.5% in 1915-17 to 2.3% in 1918.

Lethality also widely varied by means of projection. Cloud gas started at 3.6% in late 1915 using chlorine and rose to 19.6% by August 1916 as chlorine was replaced by phosgene. It then fell off as protective equipment improved, as clouds were usually easy to observe in time to don protective gear. Gas shells only had around a 2.5% fatality rate because they had difficulty achieving sufficient density. They were more of a harassing weapon and a way of reducing effectiveness by forcing defenders to mask up. More lethal were the phosgene projectors (Livens or gaswerfer). Of their casualties, 18.2% were lethal from late 1917 to mid 1918. This was because they were relatively quiet and put a high concentration of gas in a small area quickly.

For overall effect, "General Description of War Gases" summarizes nicely:
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The main features of mustard gas vapour casualties may be briefly summarized as follows:

(a) An insidious onset, with a latent period of two to 48 hours according to the concentration of the gas and the duration of exposure.

(b) Injury to the eyes, varying from simple conjunctivitis of a temporary nature to a severe keratitis and grave secondary septic complications.

(c) Laryngitis, involvement of trachea and bronchi, and possibly necrosis of the mucous membrane leading to severe bronchitis or broncho-pneumonia.

(d) Early nausea or persistent vomiting, accompanied by epigastric pain.

(e) Erythema of the skin - early in the case of exposed areas or of hot, moist surfaces-which may proceed to vesication or excoriation, and may be followed by secondary septic infection.

(f) Slow healing of the blistered, devitalized areas and pigmentation of the ensuing scar.
Neutralization of mustard was with 3% sodium sulfide (bleaching powder) in water, steam, or gaseous chlorine(!) to break down the chemical. It would be time-consuming but not impossible to clean contaminated coal.
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Old 06-12-2021, 04:49 AM
3catcircus 3catcircus is offline
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Would you *need* to decon coal when the Army has been incinerating it as a means of disposal for decades? Unless you're worried about poisoning coal workers...
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Old 06-12-2021, 06:43 AM
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Would you *need* to decon coal when the Army has been incinerating it as a means of disposal for decades?
There's a difference between the Army's disposal processes (timed, controlled, and monitored incineration with decontamination of solid waste products and exhaust filtering of gases and particulates) and just throwing contaminated material into a steam locomotive and hoping for the best.

(I'm aware of the incineration process as historical fact but it was before my time in the program. The disposal process at Pueblo and Blue Grass began with the detonation chambers I mentioned in my preceding post, which operated at around 1100F. After the bursting charge deflagrated, the resulting gases were subject to both chemical treatment and filtration, while the metal scrap underwent separate chemical decontamination. That process was adopted because of the aforementioned solidification in those stockpiles' older projectiles.)

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Unless you're worried about poisoning coal workers...
Well, if you don't have a limitless supply of coerced labor, you're going to run out of coal workers sooner or later...

- C.
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Old 06-12-2021, 08:24 AM
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There's a difference between the Army's disposal processes (timed, controlled, and monitored incineration with decontamination of solid waste products and exhaust filtering of gases and particulates) and just throwing contaminated material into a steam locomotive and hoping for the best.

(I'm aware of the incineration process as historical fact but it was before my time in the program. The disposal process at Pueblo and Blue Grass began with the detonation chambers I mentioned in my preceding post, which operated at around 1100F. After the bursting charge deflagrated, the resulting gases were subject to both chemical treatment and filtration, while the metal scrap underwent separate chemical decontamination. That process was adopted because of the aforementioned solidification in those stockpiles' older projectiles.)



Well, if you don't have a limitless supply of coerced labor, you're going to run out of coal workers sooner or later...

- C.
Yeah, I had the sick thought floating in my head that an unscrupulous army or local warlord could use POWs or any truculent locals as slave labor...

I could see some of the former pact entities doing this, but moreso in China, Africa/Middle East, and even Latin America.
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Old 06-12-2021, 08:40 PM
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Thanks guys -- great food for thought here. Seems mustard doesn't last as long as I'd imagined... may need to find a new culprit here. Even VX may not have the persistence I imagined. Hm.

Risk to coal workers is exactly what I'm working on here. Poland is coal country and the powers that be are going to want to get that coal back to being useful as soon as possible. But someone's gotta actually do the work...
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Old 06-13-2021, 03:35 AM
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Highly persistent chemical warfare agents are not really what a military usually looks for. If something sticks to surfaces for a long time, you endanger your own soldiers, either when reclaiming lost territory or passing through newly conquered. Using long persistence chemical agents is a lot like salting the land, except also contaminating buildings, wells etc. one might want to use.

There is some debate about the persistence of Novichok agents, which could last several months. Also, Soman (GD) is pretty stable to temperature, but that's not the same as persistence in general. You could look into these more obscure agents, though, and make your mind up for your game. Literature is hard to come by, especially for the Soviet Novichoks.
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Old 06-13-2021, 08:14 AM
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Highly persistent chemical warfare agents are not really what a military usually looks for. If something sticks to surfaces for a long time, you endanger your own soldiers, either when reclaiming lost territory or passing through newly conquered. Using long persistence chemical agents is a lot like salting the land, except also contaminating buildings, wells etc. one might want to use.
For short and maybe medium range I can see the above. But for longer distance strikes there are quite a few cases where area denial with difficult to remove contaminants would be very desirable. Airfields, Naval Bases, Logistical Hubs, POMCUS sites and Ports all come to mind. Long term it makes sense not to salt the Earth but sometimes the short term gains would be worth it.
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Old 06-13-2021, 09:39 AM
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There is some validity to that, yes. Hence the large reserves on both sides of the Cold War, but the limited availability: Usually these weapons were only available on corps or maybe division level. Clearance from the political level was also needed, since it would have meant a sizeable escalation.

All in all these weapons would probably not have been used against these kind of strategic locations, since they were out of reach of most delivery systems. A POMCUS site is far removed from the front line. And equipemt hardly cares for chemical warfare. Yes, it might take a few days to decontaminate these sites, but those are targets you want to eliminate early in the war and permanently, if possible.

If you're already in range of POMCUS sites with your 203 mm artillery, the war is over. If you deliver chemical weapons early in the war by short range ballistic missiles, its an immediate escalation and the war could go nuclear to early. Also, German WHNS support commandos would have decontaminated the sites, before US personnel arrives. It might add 2-3 days to the schedule to activate the gear, but that's not the same as physically destroying the equipment.

Additionally, long range delivery systems for chemical weapons are very rare. Ballistic missiles are not very exact weapons until the arrival of NAVSTAR/GPS and chemical weapons need a high level of saturation to be efficient in actually killing enemy personnel, even before we're talking about the effect mostly wearing off due to limited persistence.

If you want to salt the earth, that's what nukes are for, but they work both ways of course and using them is the endgame. But actually salting larger areas of the opponent's territory was not a highly sought after strategy in the Cold War. Both sides, especially the Soviets, knew a Cold War gone hot had to be over in a week to 10 days, a month at the latest. This is how long strategic reserves were planned to last, but actually they would have lasted much less. So, whoever reaches the limit of his fuel and ammunition first, is likely to escalate first, i. e. go nuclear.

This meant that the USSR would have actually had to make true on the ambition of "Seven Days to the Rhine", because after that NATO would either have had more troops, prolonging the conflict, or NATO would have escalated and went nuclear. Completing the blitz through Germany within seven days, would have had the chance to overpower NATO's reaction time, allowing the Soviets to enjoy a fait accompli.

Salting territory takes time to implement, escalates the conflict unnecessarily and slows down your troops. That's three no-gos to Cold War maneuver warfare.
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Old 06-15-2021, 04:23 PM
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Lots of good points there. One issue is that the Twilight war backstory has always been largely incompatible with these truths we know about the actual plans, ie "seven days to the Rhine." The backstories rely on a form of prolonged war that doesn't really match the technology or doctrine anyone is using. But, that's neither here nor there.

My targets are Polish coal plants/mines. I'm assuming a reticence to nuke them because they're not high priority military targets, but they are critical strategic infrastructure. If you assume you can deny them to the enemy for a few weeks/months and then reclaim them, that seems like a good use case? Especially if the war has already reached limited-strategic. The Soviets certainly had tactical aircraft capable of delivering chemical weapons; I'm sure several NATO nations must have as well.

Lewisite seems like it might be a better fit. I can't find reliable hard info on it but what I have found suggests that (a) there were larger stockpiles of it around than mustard and (b) it remains liquid in a larger temp range.
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Old 06-15-2021, 05:40 PM
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My targets are Polish coal plants/mines. I'm assuming a reticence to nuke them because they're not high priority military targets, but they are critical strategic infrastructure. If you assume you can deny them to the enemy for a few weeks/months and then reclaim them, that seems like a good use case? Especially if the war has already reached limited-strategic. The Soviets certainly had tactical aircraft capable of delivering chemical weapons; I'm sure several NATO nations must have as well.
This use make a lot of sense to me. Area denial is a major objective of chemical warfare doctrine. Usually that applies to military targets (like airfields, for example) but I don't see why it couldn't apply to economic targets as well. Total war is total war. Out of an abundance of caution, I can't see anyone willingly burning coal that was ever doused with mustard, until such time as there was really no other option. Why chance it otherwise?

I could be wrong but, IIRC, most Soviet tactical missiles (like Frog and Scud) could carry chemical warheads (I remember this was a lot of fear surrounding Iraq's potential use of said in the Gulf War). I don't know if mustard was one of the payloads.

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Old 06-15-2021, 09:27 PM
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Lots of good points there. One issue is that the Twilight war backstory has always been largely incompatible with these truths we know about the actual plans, ie "seven days to the Rhine." The backstories rely on a form of prolonged war that doesn't really match the technology or doctrine anyone is using. But, that's neither here nor there.

My targets are Polish coal plants/mines. I'm assuming a reticence to nuke them because they're not high priority military targets, but they are critical strategic infrastructure. If you assume you can deny them to the enemy for a few weeks/months and then reclaim them, that seems like a good use case? Especially if the war has already reached limited-strategic. The Soviets certainly had tactical aircraft capable of delivering chemical weapons; I'm sure several NATO nations must have as well.

Lewisite seems like it might be a better fit. I can't find reliable hard info on it but what I have found suggests that (a) there were larger stockpiles of it around than mustard and (b) it remains liquid in a larger temp range.
Lewisite is less persistent than mustard because of its higher vapor pressure and hydrolysis in the presence of moisture (the WHO states it's seven times less persistent in Annex One of "Public health response to biological and chemical weapons"), but it can be mixed with HD to depress the freezing point without any other significant effect, making HD more effective in the cold (which is part of why it was kept around). Mixtures range from minimal amounts of Lewisite to a eutectic mix, which is Agent Yellow. Lewisite's effectiveness was also questioned because it's immediately painful on exposure, so people will get out of it before absorbing a high dose, as opposed to mustard potentially going unnoticed by a masked target and seeping through the skin.

One possibility that hasn't been mentioned yet is nitrogen mustard. Best known now for HN-2's use as the first chemotherapy drug, they were originally designed as chemical weapons. HN-3 in particular has similar vesicant qualities to sulfur mustard, is relatively easy to produce, and appears to be more stable than sulfur mustard (its boiling point is 257C to sulfur mustard's 217C).
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Old 06-15-2021, 09:41 PM
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This use make a lot of sense to me. Area denial is a major objective of chemical warfare doctrine. Usually that applies to military targets (like airfields, for example) but I don't see why it couldn't apply to economic targets as well. Total war is total war. Out of an abundance of caution, I can't see anyone willingly burning coal that was ever doused with mustard, until such time as there was really no other option. Why chance it otherwise?

I could be wrong but, IIRC, most Soviet tactical missiles (like Frog and Scud) could carry chemical warheads (I remember this was a lot of fear surrounding Iraq's potential use of said in the Gulf War). I don't know if mustard was one of the payloads.

-
As far as I know, Scud and FROG both had VX warheads as their only chemical payload in the Soviet Union (what other countries may have done with them is beyond my knowledge, particularly North Korea). The Soviets went big on nerve agents once they were developed, and had a relatively paltry mustard stockpile - somewhere around 1,000 tons out of the 40,000 tons they declared in 1997 were mustard (2% mustard and 1% mustard/Lewisite mix, with the exact mix unknown to me). About 7,000 tons were Lewisite, and the remaining 32,000 tons were nerve agents (VX, Sarin, and Soman).
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Old 06-15-2021, 10:10 PM
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Highly persistent chemical warfare agents are not really what a military usually looks for. If something sticks to surfaces for a long time, you endanger your own soldiers, either when reclaiming lost territory or passing through newly conquered. Using long persistence chemical agents is a lot like salting the land, except also contaminating buildings, wells etc. one might want to use.
Early on (I'm talking WW1 to the mid-1920s), a mixture of persistence levels was sought for chemical weapons. The longer-lasting vesicants would be used for multi-day area denial for regions the using military didn't plan to traverse. Areas that were to be occupied would use short-duration gases like phosgene or Vitrite (70% cyanogen chloride + 30% arsenic trichloride).

Later, the Soviets were very interested in persistent chemical weapons as a way of denying their flanks during a push into enemy territory. In their view, it was more important to maintain speed and be able to ignore their flanks than it was to preserve infrastructure they didn't have time to occupy.
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:35 AM
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Don't the BYBs have a decent write up on various gasses?
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Old 06-16-2021, 03:14 PM
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Don't the BYBs have a decent write up on various gasses?
V2.2 has two columns of text about chemical weapons. As basic rules, they're adequate, although they're very simplified and use only a few broad categories.

Irritant gases: cause no damage, but make a panic roll or flee and an AVG:CON roll or be incapacitated for 10 minutes (unless wearing a gas mask).

Blood agents: if not wearing a gas mask, take 2d6 to the chest each combat turn. This category includes asphyxiating agents.

Blister agent: if not wearing a mask, same damage as blood agent. If not wearing a chemical defense suit, treat like an irritant agent without a mask.

Nerve gas: deals 1d6 to head and 1d6 to chest every 3 combat turns. No head damage if masked and no chest damage if masked and suited. If a serious wound level is reached, damage continues even after removal of the gas until dead or injected with atropine.

Blister, blood, or nerve gas will contaminate ground for several hours and vehicles for several days.


As a simple set of rules it's not terrible. My thoughts on where additional complexity might be called for:
1. Blood and asphyxiating agents should probably be split apart. Their non-lethal symptoms can be very different.
2. Blister agents do not cause as much damage as blood/asphyxiating agents.
3. Not all blister agents have an immediate irritant effect (Lewisite does; sulfur mustard doesn't). Likewise, not all gases cause immediate damage (phosgene poisoning symptoms can appear hours after exposure).
4. There are no long-term effects of gas exposure to blood or blister agents, when in reality secondary infections were a major factor in casualty rates.
5. I don't think nerve gas should be as significantly less damaging than blood/blister agents. It does 1/3 the total damage, split between two locations.
6. Blood agents, blister agents, and nerve gases all have their clouds last the same amount of time. This should probably vary by agent and delivery method.
7. Contamination is also the same regardless of chemical type, at several hours for the ground and several days for vehicles. This should vary by agent.

If I was to rewrite the rules for chemical weapons, I'd be tempted to treat chemical agents as diseases with very high Infection Number, very low Recovery and Failed Recovery Death Probability numbers, and heavy Postrecovery Debility penalties. Most of them are unlikely to kill you, but they leave you extremely fatigued and susceptible to other diseases.
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Vespers War View Post
V2.2 has two columns of text about chemical weapons. As basic rules, they're adequate, although they're very simplified and use only a few broad categories.

Irritant gases: cause no damage, but make a panic roll or flee and an AVG:CON roll or be incapacitated for 10 minutes (unless wearing a gas mask).

Blood agents: if not wearing a gas mask, take 2d6 to the chest each combat turn. This category includes asphyxiating agents.

Blister agent: if not wearing a mask, same damage as blood agent. If not wearing a chemical defense suit, treat like an irritant agent without a mask.

Nerve gas: deals 1d6 to head and 1d6 to chest every 3 combat turns. No head damage if masked and no chest damage if masked and suited. If a serious wound level is reached, damage continues even after removal of the gas until dead or injected with atropine.

Blister, blood, or nerve gas will contaminate ground for several hours and vehicles for several days.


As a simple set of rules it's not terrible. My thoughts on where additional complexity might be called for:
1. Blood and asphyxiating agents should probably be split apart. Their non-lethal symptoms can be very different.
2. Blister agents do not cause as much damage as blood/asphyxiating agents.
3. Not all blister agents have an immediate irritant effect (Lewisite does; sulfur mustard doesn't). Likewise, not all gases cause immediate damage (phosgene poisoning symptoms can appear hours after exposure).
4. There are no long-term effects of gas exposure to blood or blister agents, when in reality secondary infections were a major factor in casualty rates.
5. I don't think nerve gas should be as significantly less damaging than blood/blister agents. It does 1/3 the total damage, split between two locations.
6. Blood agents, blister agents, and nerve gases all have their clouds last the same amount of time. This should probably vary by agent and delivery method.
7. Contamination is also the same regardless of chemical type, at several hours for the ground and several days for vehicles. This should vary by agent.

If I was to rewrite the rules for chemical weapons, I'd be tempted to treat chemical agents as diseases with very high Infection Number, very low Recovery and Failed Recovery Death Probability numbers, and heavy Postrecovery Debility penalties. Most of them are unlikely to kill you, but they leave you extremely fatigued and susceptible to other diseases.
I couldn't agree more with your assessment.

One other thing I do for Diseases, Contamination (chemical and nuclear), and even Critical wounds is to have the PC make a "Save" against one or more relevant ATTRIBUTES (CON, STR, AGL, etc...) just like the AGING SAVE in character generation. Roll OVER your current score or lose a point of that Characteristic.

To balance the potential loss of Attributes out, I give the PCs ONE EXPERIENCE POINT per adventure session to apply to the Attribute of their choice. Once they have accrued a number of EXPERIENCE POINTS GREATER THAN their current score, they may roll a D10 to raise that score. IF they roll OVER their CURRENT STAT, the Attribute increases 1 point and a number of EXP equal to the NEW SCORE is deducted from the Attribute's EXP total.
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Old 06-24-2021, 12:14 AM
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ChalkLine ChalkLine is offline
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My great grandad was a gunner in The Great War and was hospitalised for gas injuries (gas was a favourite for counter-battery use). He was considered healthy enough to serve in The Second World War later so its long term effects might vary.
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Old 06-25-2021, 12:10 PM
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Default Personal Connections & Famous Mustard Gas Recipients

Were you ever able to speak to your great grandad about his war experiences, Chalk?

When I was in high school in the early 1990s, I had to do community service as an I.B. diploma requirement. My class of four volunteered at the nursing home in the British Hospital in Montevideo, Uruguay. One of the gentlemen residing there at the time was a gunner on Vickers F.B.5 "Gunbus" two-seat pusher plane during the Great War. He wasn't reticent about talking about his experiences in the war- unfortunately, however, he couldn't remember many details.

Back on topic, Adolf Hitler was temporarily blinded by a British gas attack during WWI. Several sources specify that it was mustard. Unfortunately, he suffered no serious long long-term physical effects from the exposure. Psychological effects, on the other hand...


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