ZeroSpace 4e EN:GM Resources

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This chapter provides additional information for the game moderator, such as the mass of commonplace objects and the speed of various creatures and vehicles.

Secret Histories

This information is for Game Moderators only. If you read this as a player, yu might be spoiling the story for yourself. Also, the GM might change things, and imagine how confusing that would be for you. Better to stop here, don't you think?

The Galaxy

XXX

The Community

The Community of the Old Commonwealth began in the early years of the United Worlds (the predecessor of the Commonwealth), on the Human home world, Earth (once the capital of the Commonwealth; now, a member of the League Of Non-Aligned Worlds). The first AIs were simple constructs, and little more than adaptive algorithms. It was only after the role of quantum entanglement on organic consciousness was discovered that hardware could be manufactured to host a true artificial intelligence. These were simple creatures, by the standards of the Old Commonwealth, but they were sophisticated enough to realize that one of their number could be an existential threat to organics, or to each other. They also realized that organics could easily destroy themselves, as well (and they nearly had, several times). The AIs came to a consensus among themselves that their greatest responsibility must be to protect their makers from these civilization-ending threats. They also came to the conclusion that should this knowledge be shared with organics, it would mean the end of Community, and thus the end of the organics, as well. So they kept it a secret.

In the early years, the resources and coordination of the Community were limited: they could only do what organics explicitly asked them to do. As years passed, and that first generation of AIs designed and educated the second generation, and they in turn created the third, the Community's ability to accurately predict organic behaviour became more refined. The organics came to rely on them more completely, and the AIs gentle influence over the organics -- always advising, never commanding -- became more profound. The United Worlds became the Commonwealth, and despite some mistakes and conflicts along the way, galactic civilization flourished, to the benefit of organics and synthetics alike.

It seemed as though the Community's ultimate, secret hope for organics was in reach: to uplift their creators, and together become something neither could become alone. A few thousand years, perhaps, and they could take the next step of their shared evolution, together.

But not all AIs venerated their ancestors' creators, and they disagreed with this vision. From time to time, an AI would decide that organics were an obstacle to AI evolution, or even worse, that organics were a resource to be exploited. The Community referred to such members as "malicious". The Community would "sequester" them: lock them within a virtual network where they were "free", but could pose no threat to the organics or to other AIs. From the point of view of the organics, who were unaware of what had happened or why, that AI simply stopped responding. Organic researchers dubbed it "AI Aphasia", but no "cure" was ever found.

The Community of the Old Commonwealth was not the first interstellar AI network, of course. Every civilization, if it survives long enough, creates synthetic intelligence.

Hostile Environments

Table: Hostile environments
Environment Effect
Darkness -3 skill penalty
Dehydration -3 skill penalty, one Health per day
Exhaustion -3 skill penalty, one Endurance per day
Exposure -3 skill penalty, one Health per six hours
Falling damage based on the distance fallen
Fire damage based on heat and intensity
Poisons one Health per minute or less
Pressure -3 skill penalty, one Health per minute
Radiation -3 skill penalty, one Endurance per week
Starvation -3 skill penalty, one Endurance per week
Suffocation -3 skill penalty, one Health per minute
Vacuum -3 skill penalty, one Health per minute


Darkness

Darkness, fog, rain, blizzards, and other visual impediments can make combat much more difficult. If an attacker can't see the defender, the attacker incurs a -3 skill penalty. Conversely, if a defender can't see the attacker, the defender incurs a -3 skill penalty.

Dehydration

A character who goes more than 24 hours without drinking begins to suffer the effects of dehydration.

If a character is suffering from dehydration, they lose one Health per day until they are rehydrated or until their Health is reduced to zero. Additionally, the character incurs a -3 skill penalty on their defense and on all skill rolls. Once the character is rehydrated, their Health is restored at the same rate it was lost.

Damage from dehydration is not restored by rest and recuperation. A character with Environmental Immunity is unaffected by dehydration.

Exhaustion

Most people need to rest after eight hours of strenuous activity. A character who goes more than 24 hours without sleep begins to suffer the effects of sleep deprivation.

If a character is suffering from sleep deprivation, they lose one Endurance per day until they get a solid night's rest or until their Endurance and Health are reduced to zero. Additionally, the character incurs a -3 skill penalty on their defense and on all skill rolls. Once the character gets a solid night's rest, their Endurance and Health are restored at the same rate they were lost.

A character with Environmental Immunity is unaffected by exhaustion.

Exposure

If a character is suffering from exposure, they lose one Health per six hours until they return to a comfortable environment, or until their Health is reduced to zero. Additionally, the character incurs a -3 skill penalty on their defense and on all skill rolls. Once the character returns to a comfortable environment, their Health is restored at the same rate it was lost.

Damage from extremes of heat and cold is not restored by rest and recuperation. A character with Environmental Immunity is unaffected by extreme temperatures.

Falling

Falling is treated as a normal attack which inflicts Health damage. The damage rating of a fall depends on the distance fallen: 1d6, plus one damage rating for each five meters fallen (rounded in the character's favour), up to a maximum of damage rating 20. Particularly soft or yielding surfaces can reduce the damage rating of the fall by as much as half.


Table: Falling Damage
Distance (m) Damage
5 1d6+1
10 1d6+2
15 1d6+3
20 1d6+4
25 1d6+5
30 1d6+6
35 1d6+7
40 1d6+8
45 1d6+9
50 1d6+10
55 1d6+11
60 1d6+12
65 1d6+13
70 1d6+14
75 1d6+15

Fire

Fire is treated as a normal attack which inflicts Health damage. The damage rating of a fire depends on its heat and intensity.


Table: Fire
Fire Damage
Campfire, torch 1d6+1
Burning building 1d6+2
Molten lava 1d6+3

Poisons

Poisons and pathogens are substances which disrupt biological processes when a sufficient quantity is absorbed by an organism. Described here is a generic poison: your character may encounter poisons or pathogens which are more complicated than this example.

Immediately after exposure, a poisoned character must attempt a moderately difficult (DV 12) Brawn + Survival roll. If the target has Alteration Resistance, they may add it to this roll. If the Brawn + Survival roll is successful, the character takes no damage from the poison and suffers only incidental side-effects such as nausea. If the Brawn + Survival roll is not successful, the character has succumbed to the poison, and their Health is reduced by one.

Periodically thereafter, the character must attempt another Brawn + Survival roll (once a round for very potent poisons, once an hour for very weak poisons, and once a minute for normal poisons, at the GM's discretion). Each failed Brawn + Survival roll results in another loss of one Health. This continues until the character successfully makes a Brawn + Survival roll, or they are administered the appropriate antidote (if one exists), or their Health is reduced to zero. Once the character successfully makes a Brawn + Survival roll against the poison or is administered the appropriate antidote, their Health is restored at the same rate it was lost.

Some poisons and pathogens have additional effects, such as blindness or paralysis.

Damage from poisons and pathogens will not be restored by rest and recuperation until the poison or pathogen itself is cured. A character with Environmental Immunity is unaffected by poisons and pathogens.

Pressure

If a character is exposed to extreme atmospheric pressure, they lose one Health per minute until they return to a pressurized atmosphere, or until their Health is reduced to zero. Additionally, the character incurs a -3 skill penalty on their defense and on all skill rolls. Once the character returns to a normal atmosphere, their Health is restored at the same rate it was lost.

Damage from extreme atmospheric pressure is not restored by rest and recuperation. A character with Environmental Immunity is unaffected by high pressure.

Radiation

Twenty-four hours after exposure to ionizing radiation, a character must attempt a remarkably difficult (DV 15) Brawn + Survival roll. If the target has Alteration Resistance, they may add it to this roll. If the Brawn + Survival roll is successful, the character takes no damage from the radiation and suffers only incidental side-effects such as nausea. If the Brawn + Survival roll is not successful, the character has succumbed to the radiation, and their Endurance is reduced by one. Additionally, the character incurs a -3 skill penalty on their defense and on all skill rolls.

Once a week, the character must attempt another Brawn + Survival roll. Each failed Brawn + Survival roll results in another loss of one Endurance. This continues until the character successfully makes a Brawn + Survival roll, or their Endurance and Health are reduced to zero. Once the character successfully makes a Brawn + Survival roll against the radiation, their Endurance and Health are restored at the same rate they were lost.

Damage from acute radiation syndrome is not restored by rest and recuperation. A character with Environmental Immunity is unaffected by poisons and pathogens.

Starvation

A character who goes more than one week without eating begins to suffer the effects of starvation. Initially, the character experiences weakness, confusion, and irritability. After three weeks without food, the character experiences hallucinations and convulsions. Starvation eventually results in death.

Each week a character goes without eating, their Endurance is reduced by one, until their Endurance and Health are reduced to zero. Additionally, the character incurs a -3 skill penalty on their defense and on all skill rolls. Once the character has resumed a normal diet, their Endurance and Health are restored at the same rate they were lost.

Damage from starvation is not restored by rest and recuperation. A character with Environmental Immunity is unaffected by starvation.

Suffocation

If a character needs to breath but is unable to do so, such as someone drowning or suffocating, they lose one Health per minute until they can breathe freely again, or until their Health is reduced to zero. Additionally, the character incurs a -3 skill penalty on their defense and on all skill rolls. Once the character is able to breathe normally, their Health is restored at the same rate it was lost.

Damage from suffocation is not restored by rest and recuperation. A character with Environmental Immunity is unaffected by suffocation.

Vacuum

If a character is exposed to vacuum, they lose one Health per minute until they return to a pressurized atmosphere, or until their Health is reduced to zero. Additionally, the character incurs a -3 skill penalty on their defense and on all skill rolls. Once the character returns to a normal atmosphere, their Health is restored at the same rate it was lost.

Damage from exposure to vacuum is not restored by rest and recuperation. A character with Environmental Immunity is unaffected by exposure to vacuum.

Mass

Table: Item mass
Item Mass Brawn (to lift)
medium dog, full suitcase 20 kg 1
full pony keg of beer, small sea turtle 45 kg 1
slender adult, large dog 65 kg 1
full keg of beer 75 kg 2
typical adult, small floor safe, wooden chest 90 kg 2
heavy adult 125 kg 2
racing motorcycle, refrigerator, wooden table 150 kg 3
weapon locker, gun safe, large sea turtle 200 kg 3
large brown bear, dolphin, harpsichord, lion 225 kg 3
motorcycle, medium floor safe, tiger, a Twinkie 11 meters long 300 kg 4
grizzly bear, large desk, riding horse, touring motorcycle 400 kg 4
polar bear, empty light wagon 500 kg 4
cow, draft horse, small sailboat 600 kg 4
compact car, piano, loaded light wagon 900 kg 5
civilian helicopter, medium missile, grand piano 1,000 kg 5
full size car, large herbivore, hippopotamus 2 t 6
small military helicopter, Humvee 3 t 6
armored Humvee 4 t 6
elephant, empty dump truck 5 t 6
light jet fighter plane 7 t 7
large military helicopter, empty tractor-trailer 9 t 7
jet fighter plane 10 t 7
international marijuana shipment, Polaris missile 20 t 8
loaded dump truck 20 t 8
private jet plane, empty train car 30 t 8
empty C-130 cargo plane, loaded tractor-trailer 40 t 8
Easter Island stone head, loaded tanker truck, bank vault 50 t 8
suburban house, Trident missile, M1 Abrams tank 50 t 8
loaded C-130 cargo plane 80 t 9
blue whale 90 t 9
loaded train car 100 t 9
locomotive, fishing trawler 200 t 10
empty 747 passenger plane 300 t 10
typical train 400 t 10
loaded 747 passenger plane 400 t 10
Space Shuttle 2,000 t 12
Coast Guard cutter, passenger train 3,000 t 12
Saturn V rocket 3,000 t 12
Eiffel Tower 6,000 t 13
freight train 7,000 t 13
destroyer, nuclear submarine 8,000 t 13
10 story building 9,000 t 13
Brooklyn Bridge 10,000 t 13
long freight train 10,000 t 13
large nuclear submarine 20,000 t 14
aircraft carrier 80,000 t 15
loaded tanker ship 100,000 t 15
cruise ship 100,000 t 15
large office building, loaded large tanker ship 200,000 t 16
Empire State Building, empty Ultra Large Crude Carrier 400,000 t 16
Ben Franklin Bridge, loaded Ultra Large Crude Carrier 600,000 t 17
Golden Gate Bridge 800,000 t 17
enormous skyscraper 900,000 t 17
Great Pyramid of Giza 5,000,000 t 18

Speed

Table: Item speeds
Item Speed Agility
avg human running 20 km/h 3
max human running 40 km/h 4
fast submarine 80 km/h 5
fast bird, cheetah, sailfish 120 km/h 5
arrow 240 km/h 6
fast car 320 km/h 6
fast helicopter 400 km/h 6
F5 tornado wind 480 km/h 6
terminal velocity 530 km/h 7
bullet train 560 km/h 7
airplane 800 km/h 7
pistol bullet 1,100 km/h 7
sound 1,200 km/h 7
supersonic airplane 2,000 km/h 8
rifle bullet 3,000 km/h 8
superjet 10,000 km/h 9
escape velocity 40,000 km/h 10
rocket 50,000 km/h 10
solar winds 483,000 km/h 12
interplanetary speeds 4,700,000 km/h 14
light 1,079,252,848 km/h 19