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Biowarfare Rules
by Bruce Johnson

Human Biowarfare Agent generation tables.

Agent Type	Vector Type		Lethality
Die 	Agent Type Die 	Vector	Die 	Death Rate*
1	Virus	1	Aerosol		1	Total (100%)
2	Virus	2	Aerosol		2	High (75%)
3	Virus	3	Aerosol		3	High (50 %)
4	Bacteria	4	Aerosol		4	Moderate (35%)
5	Bacteria	5	Water Supply	5	Moderate (25%)
6	Bacteria	6	Water Supply	6	Low (15%)
7	Protozoa	7	Water Supply	7	Low (10%)
8	Rickettsia8	Soil			8	Very Low (5%)
9	Prion	9	Insect		9	Very Low (1%)
10	Fungus	10	Animal	10	Non (0%)
Transmission Type	Contagiousness 	Systems Affected
Die 	Type			Die 	Chance 		Die 	System
1	Airborne		1	Very Low (1%)	1	CNS
2	Airborne		2	Low (5%)		2	CNS
3	Airborne		3	Low (10%)		3	GI Tract
4	Airborne		4	Low (15%)		4	GI Tract
5	Body Contact	5	Moderate (25%)	5	GI Tract
6	Body Contact	6	Moderate (40%)	6	Syatemic
7	Body Fluids	7	Moderate (50%)	7	Systemic
8	Body Fluids	8	High (70%)	8	Lungs
9	Insect		9	High (80%)	9	Skin
10	Insect		10	Total (100%)	10	Immune
Incubation Time	Acute Phase 	Recovery Phase 
Die 	Time			Die 	Time		Die 	Time
1	1 day		1	1 day	1	1 day
2	1 day		2	1 day	2	1 day
3	4 days		3	4 days	3	4 days
4	4 days		4	4 days	4	4 days
5	4 days		5	4 days	5	4 days
6	1 week		6	1 week	6	1 week
7	1 week		7	1 week	7	1 week
8	1 month		8	1 month	8	1 month
9	1 month		9	1 month	9	1 month
10	6 months		10	6 months	10	6 months
Morbidity (1 D10 + Lethality)		
Die Roll	Time		
2	Minor (still walking)	7	Major (Need Care)
3	Minor (need rest)		8	Major (Need Care)
4	Medium (bed rest)		9	Major (Need Care)
5	Medium (Bedridden)		10	Extreme (Hospital)
6	Medium (Bedridden)		11+	Extreme (ICU)

Agent Type: What kind of infectious agent this diseased is caused by. This will affect how these agents are encountered, transmitted, etc.

Vector Type: How the agent is delivered to the target area

Lethality: How many UNTREATED people die from the agent, randomly spaced through the Acute phase time period. This can be very important...a high lethality over a very long acute phase, you get something like AIDS, over a short acute phase you get something like Ebola.

Transmission type: Once the agent is introduced into the population via the vector above, how is the disease transmitted from person to person. This will drastically affect the countermeasures taken.

Contagiousness: the chance that someone will contract the disease...this needs to have some time value associated with it, which will depend on a lot of external factors. This, as it applies to player characters will have to be determined by the GM on an ad hoc basis.

Systems Affected: This is the major organ system affected by the agent. This will affect what physical effects, gory details, and recovery effects there will be.

Incubation Time: The time, after initial infection, the person is asymptomatic. However, for many, if not all diseases, the patient is contagious, though usually to a lesser degree than during acute phase.

Acute Phase time: The time during which the patient has the acute disease manifestation. If the patient dies, it will most likely be during this time, so this is when the patient must save vs lethality, using the percent generated above. For player characters, the GM will probably want to introduce some modification, based on CON, or medicval skill of other players or NPC's.

Recovery Phase time: This is the time which is required for full recovery from the illness, barring any optional permanent effects imposed by the GM.

Morbidity: How sick you actually get during the acute phase. This is obviously going to be affected by the lethality...a highly lethal agent is not going to make you only minorly sick, so it goes from 2-11 by adding the lethality roll. I truncated this at Extreme (ICU) because there's not really much higher you can get.

These tables are a rough draft. All are generated using one D10. The GM is left much to his/her own devices for any lingering effects during recovery, and any and all gory details. Permanent or temporary loss of STR, perhaps CON, maybe even INT (Remember those horrific 106 degree fevers burn lots of brain cells) are all possible effects. Certainly the character is affected somewhat during the recovery process.

Remember, while TL 15 medicine may be miraculous, most characters, and indeed most of the affected populations were not able to avail themselves of such care. It wouldn't take much of an pandemic to bring the US healthcare system to its knees, and what happens when your doctors are among the first to die (they are among the first to be exposed...)?

Biological Warfare, some practical points.

Biological warfare, in general, like chemical warfare, does not seek to simply kill as many people as possible. The ideal agent will not only kill, but take long enough to do so that many more people are involved in caring for the sick (and risk getting sick themselves). The object is to tie up as many enemy personell as possible for the longest possible time. An ideal agent will make people very sick for a long time, BUT with a low lethality rate, but high incapacitation rate, so you end up with a growing pool of recovering but non combat worthy personnel. This will further strain the resources of your enemy, since, if the disease is survivable with sufficient care, enemy morale will suffer greatly if the resources for that care aren't allocated.

Tactical uses of BW are also numerous. If you could cause 60-70% of the enemy to come down with a minor, but incapacitating stomach bug 24 hrs before your assault, you'll be in good shape.

BW also doesn't require nearly as high tech as nukes, even. Once the basic principles of bacteriology and virology are known (TL 4-5) BW becomes a possibility. In our history it was used even before these principles were known, but I doubt some TED is going to want to release a plague without at least being able to protect himself from it.

This system can also be used to generate natural plagues on lower tech level worlds. The PC's could land on Boondock 1, a TL-3 planet, during the Black Death, for instance, or a cholera epidemic. They could also become big heroes by `miraculously' saving locals. However, the higher the TL, the less likely that large epidemics are going to occur, due to improved medical care, understanding of the disease process, and better sanitation, so if the PC's run into something like this on a higher TL world, it will most likely be due to a BW agent, either deliberately released, or, ever so much fun for those salvage people, accidentally released agents left over from rebellion era BW munitions: "Hey Joe! Ever hear of this Model 6745BW45-5-23-9 105 mm shell? It looks funny, like this little cap here..." "...ooops!"

Introducing BW into the Trav universe is a little like the endless discussion in some circles about throwing big rocks...if it's so effective and cheap, why doesn't everyone do it? The same reason it isn't done here on Earth...fear of retaliation, and the even greater fear of not being able to control it. Biological weapons can easily turn and bite the wielder, even more so than nukes or chemical weapons. After all, nukes and nerve gas doesn't mutate and become immune to your carefully hoarded stocks of antibiotics, serums and vaccines.

It will only be used by someone desperate or fanatical enough to not care often did this happen, in the chaotic waning days of the Third Imperium?

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