Toxic Energy (Radiation!)

There could be meteors, dimensional gates, perhaps eventually spells, all causing something we understand as radiation. Here is a brief sketch of how “toxic energy” can work in B/X.

I'm sure a rain shower will tidy up after THIS guy.


The potency of the toxic energy determines how long the character can be exposed before the character must test to resist the exposure.

Every quarter of the time interval not spent in the presence of the energy is +1 to the save.

  • Spending ¾ of the interval means the save is +1, ½ the save is +2, ¼ the save is +3, less, the save is +4.


Interval to Save



Every 10 rounds In the presence of the source of the radiant otherworldly toxic energy directly.


Every 10 minutes In the same building as the energy, keeping a distance while transporting the source of energy.


Every 10 hours Present on the other side of significant protections, like a special suit. Spending time near a major source of radiant toxic energy even not directly in its presence.


Every 10 days Corrupted soil, plant life, objects, and water in the toxic energy site. Removed objects.


Every 10 weeks Corrupted soil, plant life, objects, and water in settlements at the edge of the toxic energy site.


Every year Corrupted soil, plant life, and water in settlements in the area of the toxic energy site.

(The Potency number is not important, this is the default scale. The DM decides how often saving throws must be made, developing the scale that fits that setting best, then the rules for spending less time and magic protection apply to whatever scale the DM uses.)

Magic Protection

Items of magic protection downgrade the potency by 1 per +1 of the item.

  • Wearing a +1 ring of protection while in the presence of the energy source reduces the potency from 1 to 2, gaining time before having to save.


The range of the toxic energy is up to the DM.

Saving Throw

Once a character has been exposed, the player must test the character’s save vs. Poison.

A failed save inflicts -1d4 Constitution. If the character runs out of Constitution, the character dies.

Consequence of Failure

Each level of energy poisoning the character takes is -1 to hit, damage, and saving throws. Also, each level counts as 50 coin encumbrance.

  • 1 failure. Once per encounter with exertion (fighting, running, working, etc.) the character must save vs. poison or retch for 1d4 rounds, unable to do anything else.
  • 2 failures. Lose clumps of hair, gain blisters, extreme discomfort. Lose 1 AC.
  • 3 failures. Move reduced to half, -4 attack, -2 damage.
  • 4 failures. Coma.


Lost Constitution can be healed by a month of bed rest per point, or 1d4 per Cure Disease spell.

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