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Nature's Toll - Weathering and Decay
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
MoonHunter's comment on 2008-03-12 06:03 PM
Well that is the nature of the cumlative works. They are added by bunched. So that means there is more information, but usually less organiztion. You can't re-org until you get all the info. And since the information collection is forever ongoing... Go to Comment
Nature's Toll - Weathering and Decay
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
Kinslayer's comment on 2008-01-26 02:50 PM
The Process of Dying

It is commonly believed that the hair & nails of a corpse continue to grow for a time following death; this is not exactly accurate. Death is not an event, it is more of a process, with the body actually dying in stagesdifferent areas will cease functioning at different times. It is true that the visible portion of hair & nails are formed by a slow and constant action, and that this is one of the last functions of the body to actually cease. What does occur rather, is that the skin pulls away from those somewhat more dry and rigid structures; this gives the illusion that growth continues. Another example of this effect is that the gums pull away from the teeth as they dry out and rot. This is less noticeable with the recently dead, but a more obviously decaying corpse will show this. Certainly, the teeth do not continue to grow substantially following deathespecially as decay grows more evident, as one may compare how much is visible dental anatomy in a recently deceased individual (showing hair & nail "growth"), and later on that same body as the teeth seem much longer. To assume that the teeth grow in this manner far after death is absurdthis is certainly so when they have not done so in decades while alive. To make this assumption of hair & nails continuing to a great extent post-life is nearly this illogical.

The various stages of decay are affected by temperature, moisture, and other environmental effects. The following general timeline of the process of decay:

* One hour after death the muscles totally relax. All contents of the body are now voided, leaving a foul mess.
* Three hours after death rigor mortis sets in, and the body begins to stiffen.
* After the first day the body has returned to room temperature. At this point, the skin dries and contracts making it appear as though the hair and nails have grown, or are still growing.
* Within the first day or two insects will have discovered the body. Flies will lay eggs on the corpse that will rapidly hatch into maggots (within minutes to hours, depending on the species). Preferred areas for these are those with ready access to the moist flesh, such as the eyelids, lips, and open wounds.
* After about two days, the effects of rigor mortis subside, and the flesh is again pliable. Also at this time, the internal tissues begin to decay. This softens and liquefies the internal flesh; gasses begin to build within the rotting flesh.
* Within a week, the flesh has decayed sufficiently to where the flesh feels "liquid like," and the skin easily falls off if molested.
* Within two weeks, the internal gasses build up further. This causes the stomach to distend, and can force bloody dark liquid from the corpse's orifices.
* Within a month, there are extreme signs of decay. The face is discoloured (purplish green) and the tongue extends. The torso has swollen to double its size. Hair and nails easily fall out. After this point, the body becomes "soupy."
* A body interred in the ground will completely rot away to the bones after about ten years. All of the flesh will have liquefied or turned to gas and been absorbed into the surrounding soil.

An estimation of the time of death may be made by comparing the temperature with the body's rigidity. The surrounding temperature will alter this, but a general room-temperature guideline follows:

* Warm and not stiff: death occurred less than three hours ago
* Warm and stiff: death occurred between three and eight hours ago
* Cold and stiff: death occurred between eight and thirty-six hours ago
* Cold and not stiff: death occurred more than thirty-six hours ago

Reposted from Death: The Pale Horse Go to Comment
Nature's Toll - Weathering and Decay
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
Kinslayer's comment on 2008-01-26 03:32 PM

Time gets to the best of us, and even the hardest steel is no exception.

The rate at which rust forms on any ferrous substance can range from instantly--you can watch it form before your very eyes--to the seemingly-eternal rustlessness of the famous Iron Pillar of Delhi, which has withstood corrosion for 1600 years of Indian weather. The rate at which metal decays and rusts depends on several factors: temperature, moisture, oxygen levels, chemical composition of the metal, and the electrical environment.

Temperature: Hot iron rusts faster than cold. Rusting is a chemical change, and heat speeds up the reaction just as it does for nearly all chemical changes.

Moisture: This one is fairly obvious. What is not so obvious is that humidity in the air can be even worse for the iron's health than being submerged. Water acts as a solvent to degrade the metal structure, mixing the iron with oxygen in either the air or in the water.

Oxygen levels: Without oxygen, there is no rust. Oil or grease, or a good quality paint, can help reduce the rate of rust by blocking water & air from coming into contact with the metal surface.

Chemical composition: Stainless steel is made by adding chromium & nickel. High phosphorous content iron also decays more slowly than high carbon iron. The purer the iron, the faster it can rust, but ironically iron that is very nearly completely pure decays more slowly (the rust reaction tends to catalyse around impurities).

Electrical Environment: How electricity flows through and around the metal can affect the rate of rusting. Other metal in contact with the iron, especially when surrounded by an electrolyte such as seawater, will decay first, leaving the iron unaffected. This is why placing a US penny (or other bronze or zinc coin) on a car battery reduces corrosion of the terminals--the rust forms on the coin first.

Steel, in case you didn't know, is mostly iron. It rusts. The thickness of the metal does not affect the rate of decay at all. All rust forms on the exposed surface. The interior of the iron does not rust until the metal above has decayed down to that level. This means that thick metal will survive corrosion longer than thin, and objects with a large comparative surface area, such as steel wool, will decay very rapidly. Go to Comment
Nature's Toll - Weathering and Decay
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
Pariah's comment on 2007-03-18 01:25 PM
Human Body

The time taken for a body to decompose depends on climatic conditions, like temperature and moisture, as well as the accessibility to insects. In summer, a human body in an exposed location can be reduced to bones alone in just nine days.

Day 1 - State of decay

Although the body shortly after death appears fresh from the outside, the bacteria that before death were feeding on the contents of the intestine begin to digest the intestine itself. They eventually break out of the intestine and start digesting the surrounding internal organs. The body's own digestive enzymes (normally in the intestine) also spread through the body, contributing to its decomposition.

On an even smaller scale, enzymes inside individual cells are released when the cell dies. These enzymes break down the cell and its connections with other cells.
Insect activity

From the moment of death flies are attracted to bodies. Without the normal defences of a living animal, blowflies and house flies are able to lay eggs around wounds and natural body openings (mouth, nose, eyes, anus, genitalia). These eggs hatch and move into the body, often within 24 hours. The life cycle of a fly from egg to maggot to fly takes from two to three weeks. It can take considerably longer at low temperatures.
Day 7 (1 Week) - Stage 3: Putrefaction - 4 to 10 days after death

State of decay

Bacteria break down tissues and cells, releasing fluids into body cavities. They often respire in the absence of oxygen (anaerobically) and produce various gases including hydrogen sulphide, methane, cadaverine and putrescine as by-products. People might find these gases foul smelling, but they are very attractive to a variety of insects.

The build up of gas resulting from the intense activity of the multiplying bacteria, creates pressure within the body. This pressure inflates the body and forces fluids out of cells and blood vessels and into the body cavity.
Insect activity

The young maggots move throughout the body, spreading bacteria, secreting digestive enzymes and tearing tissues with their mouth hooks. They move as a maggot mass benefiting from communal heat and shared digestive secretions.

The rate of decay increases, and the smells and body fluids that begin to eminate from the body attract more blowflies, flesh flies, beetles and mites. The later-arriving flies and beetles are predators, feeding on maggots as well as the decaying flesh. They are joined by parasitoid wasps that lay their eggs inside maggots and later, inside pupae.

Day 14 (1 Fortnight) - Stage 4: Black putrefaction - 10 to 20 days after death
State of decay

The bloated body eventually collapses, leaving a flattened body whose flesh has a creamy consistency. The exposed parts of the body are black in colour and there is a very strong smell of decay.

A large volume of body fluids drain from the body at this stage and seep into the surrounding soil. Other insects and mites feed on this material.

The insects consume the bulk of the flesh and the body temperature increases with their activity. Bacterial decay is still very important, and bacteria will eventually consume the body if insects are excluded.
Insect activity

By this stage, several generations of maggots are present on the body and some have become fully grown. They migrate from the body and bury themselves in the soil where they become pupae. Predatory maggots are much more abundant at this stage, and the pioneer flies cease to be attracted to the corpse. Predatory beetles lay their eggs in the corpse and their larvae then hatch out and feed on the decaying flesh. Parasitoid wasps are much more common, laying their eggs inside maggots and pupae.

Day 30 (1 Month) - Stage 5: Butyric fermentation - 20 to 50 days after death

State of decay

All the remaining flesh is removed over this period and the body dries out. It has a cheesy smell, caused by butyric acid, and this smell attracts a new suite of corpse organisms.

The surface of the body that is in contact with the ground becomes covered with mould as the body ferments.
Insect activity

The reduction in soft food makes the body less palatable to the mouth-hooks of maggots, and more suitable for the chewing mouthparts of beetles. Beetles feed on the skin and ligaments. Many of these beetles are larvae. They hatch from eggs, laid by adults, which fed on the body in earlier stages of decay.

The cheese fly consumes any remaining moist flesh at this stage, even though it is uncommon earlier in decay.

Predators and parasitoids are still present at this stage including numerous wasps and beetle larvae.
1 Year -
1 Decade - Go to Comment
Nature's Toll - Weathering and Decay
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
Pariah's comment on 2008-06-26 02:06 PM
I tend to agree with Val on this, and have been neglengent in my duties toward this submission. Unfortunatly, my current class load is a bit prohibative towards my actively maintaining or researching for posts. Go to Comment
Nature's Toll - Weathering and Decay
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
Dozus's comment on 2011-05-06 10:44 AM

This is an interesting compilation of material, and something I'd love to see processed and polished. Might also be interesting to note the potential for impact in a game world. For example, say a you have a time-traveling wizard or whatnot. Would any of these effects be experienced by him or outside of his spell? How might magic that ages or prevents aging react to some of the particulars of weathering and decay? Really interesting stuff here, Pariah, can't wait to see more added to it.

Go to Comment
Nature's Toll - Weathering and Decay
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
Murometz's comment on 2007-07-11 06:48 PM
Keep going Pariah! Looking forward to the completion of this fascinating concept! Go to Comment
Nature's Toll - Weathering and Decay
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
valadaar's comment on 2008-03-11 06:56 PM
An excellent resource that could use some reorg and polish to make it exceptional! Go to Comment
Nature's Toll - Weathering and Decay
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
valadaar's comment on 2008-03-12 08:26 PM
I disagree - for example, one can have the main sub at the top be up-to-date with the information gleaned from the attached scrolls as a summary, amending it as more scrolls are added. A pile of notes is okay, but organization can make it exceptional. Go to Comment
Nature's Toll - Weathering and Decay
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
valadaar's comment on 2014-01-24 11:20 AM
Hmm. Ideas. This is a great sub! Go to Comment
Akratek's 40mm Pistol Launcher
Items  (Ranged Weapons)   (Combat)
Scrasamax's comment on 2007-05-04 11:11 PM
I once had a picture on the computer of a WWII German Tiger tank that had been hiding in a horse pasture. Most of the horses in the pasture were killed when the tank started firing it's gun.

Also tinkered with the tags on the link you had since it didn't work and it turned all of your comment text into a dead-end hotlink. Go to Comment
Akratek's 40mm Pistol Launcher
Items  (Ranged Weapons)   (Combat)
Cheka Man's comment on 2007-05-04 07:20 PM
Only voted Go to Comment
Akratek's 40mm Pistol Launcher
Items  (Ranged Weapons)   (Combat)
Pariah's comment on 2007-05-04 10:59 AM
Rather, but the recoil on the Tommygun was rather bad too. One could only assume, the vaguely cyberpunk-ness of most near-future settings, that advances had been made in artifical limbs and the like to allow more tolerance in the human arm for getting kicked by a mule some ten times in half a second. Go to Comment
Akratek's 40mm Pistol Launcher
Items  (Ranged Weapons)   (Combat)
valadaar's comment on 2007-05-04 09:53 AM

How does one control a full-auto 40mm gernade launching pistol? Wouldn't the recoil be unmanageable? Go to Comment
Akratek's 40mm Pistol Launcher
Items  (Ranged Weapons)   (Combat)
valadaar's comment on 2007-05-04 01:07 PM
Did a quick lookup. There is a pretty cool link on the subject:

One cites the launching charge as being a standard .38 cal blank, so if this is true, the muzzle energy from firing would not be much worse then the cited Tommygun - in fact perhaps better.
(I don't know the difference in muzzle energy between .45 ACP and .38 cal - I'd assume that .45 would have more....)

So I take back my concern about recoil, but the accuracy as Wulf says may be an issue... :)

Oh, and the main site that contains the link has a wealth of modern weapon information:

"The overpressure from the 120mm cannon can kill a dismounted infantryman within a 90° arc extending from the muzzle of the gun tube out to 200 meters. "

Yeeks! Go to Comment
Akratek's 40mm Pistol Launcher
Items  (Ranged Weapons)   (Combat)
Wulfhere's comment on 2007-05-04 11:03 AM
The recoil on such a grenade launcher would be lower than what you see from more common firearms, as the muzzle velocity of the grenades is a small fraction of a bullet's muzzle velocity: Much less kinetic energy is involved. Despite this, a fully automatic grenade launcher doesn't seem like a very practical weapon.

In the hands of security contractors, a small grenade launcher would be a very versatile weapon. Loaded with sublethal munitions like gas grenades, "Muzzle blast" gas charges, "Knee Knocker" rubber projectiles, "flashbang" grenades and the like, such a weapon could effectively shut down entire crowds of disaffected proles. Of course, high explosive grenades or other lethal munitions could be used as easily, but with a weapon as clumsy as this, lethal munitions could involve a great deal of unwanted collateral damage.

I would be dubious about the concealability of any weapon that utilizing a clip capable of holding ten 40 mm munitions. (Lets see... perhaps 42 cm x 4.3 cm x 12 cm? Obviously the magazine would need to be placed in front of the hand grip.) Go to Comment
Akratek's 40mm Pistol Launcher
Items  (Ranged Weapons)   (Combat)
dark_dragon's comment on 2007-05-04 09:31 AM
Short, sweet, I like it. (like the merc talk too!) looking forward to more Akratek goodies! Go to Comment
Wyvernsbane Bog
Plots  (Mystical)   (Side-Quest)
Pariah's comment on 2007-02-04 10:32 PM
major players
BBG's Henchmen Go to Comment
Wyvernsbane Bog
Plots  (Mystical)   (Side-Quest)
Pariah's comment on 2007-02-04 10:33 PM
Various areas of note Go to Comment
Wyvernsbane Bog
Plots  (Mystical)   (Side-Quest)
Pariah's comment on 2007-02-04 10:35 PM
Various Critters and Encounters


A vaguely humanoid shape of moxious green rises up from the water before you, seeming to pull the algae and slime from the surface to sonstitue its form. As the head forms, it turns toward you, the jellified jaws opning to spill forth a false tounge of ooze and putrid flesh.

Formed from bodies left to putrefy within muddy graves and stagant waters, skuz number among the most disgusting of all undead. Consisting of equal parts stagnant water, rotting vegetation, and liquefied corpse, skuz are consumed by a blind need for vengeance, seekin to inflict their horrible demise upon all living creatures. Making their home amid swamps, sewers, and stagnant areas of ronds and rivers, they awair live prey to drag into their revolting pools. Preferring solitary existences, multiple skuz rarely linger together, with newly created spawn oozing away to pollute their own territories.

In the Forgotten Realms, skuz are most common in the Swamp of Akhlaur, the Wast Swamp, the Farsea Marshes, the River Umber, and a few locations along the coast of the Easting Reach. Rumor has it that, several times a year, the remains of the dead god Moandr exudes one or more powerful skuz, pssibly the forms of long-dead victims slowly excreted by the profane corpse's decay.

Crocs on mainstreet

Or any other large semi-aquatic animal swimming in the flooded roads.


Dozus 11:07 pm: Here's a subplot: the expansion of the bog is invading the local temple's cemetary. The priests ask you to move the remains to a safer location, wherein they uncover...


A local fungus explodes if hit or fallen upon. If any conflict takes place between intelligent foes, both sides will use it to their advantage.

Talking bamboo

"Quite near there happened to be a mound of earth, at the highest part of which were gowing thickets of cornel and a dense cluster of spiky myrtle-stems. I went up there and tried to wrench the green growth from the ground to provide a leafy covering for our altar. There I was confronted by a horrible and astonishing miracle. For, from the first bush which I tried to break off... blood oozed in dark drops, fouling the earth with its spots... A piteous moan came from the base of the mound and I heard a human voice answering me: 'Why, Aeneas, must you rend a poor sufferer? I am buried here... for I am Polydorus. Here death overpowered me in a crop of piercing iron pointed spears. And so a crop of resembling javelins has grown over me..." Go to Comment
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