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Old February 3rd, 2018, 04:54 AM
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Question Rules: Suffocation and Vacuum

Hello,

In the Core Rulebook for NewTraveller, there on pages 77 and 78 you describe the suffocation- and the vacuum-rules.

Is my understanding correct that these rules are applied in addition to each other? Example: A Traveller drops into outa space for whatever reason. In round 1 he suffocates receiving 1d damage, also vacuum has its impact on him adding another 1d damage. In round 2: 1d suffocation plus 2d vacuum damage. Round 3 ...

And how do you react if a gamer is aware that his character is going to drop into space, so the character holds his breath - would you apply the suffocation rule as well? Or would you wait for a random number of rounds (like 2d to 4d rounds or depending in END checks), because the charater does not suffocate for as long as he holds his breath?

Best wishes,
Liam
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 11:05 PM
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I seem to recall vacuum being stronger, so to speak, than one's ability to hold in pressure. In other words, the same second you're in vacuum, your lungs empty forcibly out your mouth -- whoosh! Because that's what a difference in pressure does. I don't think you can hold it in, and in fact the expulsion may be so explosive you're better off emptying your lungs before decompression!

Don't trust the web, but I found this:

Quote:
The decompression event itself can have disasterous effects if the person being decompressed makes the mistake of trying to hold his or her breath. This will result in rupturing of the lungs, with almost certainly fatal results. There is a good reason that it is called "explosive" decompression.
and

Quote:
Because of the relatively large volume of air normally contained in the lungs, the delicate nature of the pulmonary tissue, and the intricate system of alveolar airways for ventilation, it is recognized that the lungs are potentially the most vulnerable part of the body during a rapid decompression. Whenever a rapid decompression is faster than the inherent capability of the lungs to decompress (vent), a transient positive pressure will temporarily build up in the lungs. If the escape of air from the lungs is blocked or seriously impeded during a sudden drop in the cabin pressure, it is possible for a dangerously high pressure to build up and to overdistend the lungs and thorax. No serious injuries have resulted from rapid decompressions with open airways, even while wearing an oxygen mask, but disastrous, or fatal, consequences can result if the pulmonary passages are blocked, such as forceful breath-holding with the lungs full of air. Under this condition, when none of the air in the lungs can escape during a decompression, the lungs and thorax becomes over-expanded by the excessively high intrapulmonic pressure, causing actual tearing and rupture of the lung tissues and capillaries. The trapped air is forced through the lungs into the thoracic cage, and air can be injected directly into the general circulation by way of the ruptured blood vessels, with massive air bubbles moving throughout the body and lodging in vital organs such as the heart and brain.
The movement of these air bubbles is similar to the air embolism that can occur in SCUBA diving and submarine escape when an individual ascends from underwater to the surface with breath-holding. Because of lung construction, momentary breath-holding, such as swallowing or yawning, will not cause sufficient pressure in the lungs to exceed their tensile strength.
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Old February 5th, 2018, 12:53 PM
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Where'd you source that, Rob? It doesn't match what I remember reading of the NASA data.
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Old February 5th, 2018, 03:11 PM
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Old February 5th, 2018, 04:57 PM
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Hello.

Thanks for the reactions so far. But I wonder, how this helps answering my questions. As interesting as real science certainly is, my questions address the rules of the New Traveller roleplaying game.

Thank you and best wishes,
Liam
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Old February 5th, 2018, 10:32 PM
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I just let players describe what happens when their characters get blasted into space, as they are applying the rules each round. I layer on all the environ effects that apply to a character. I don't count slow suffocation (oxygen in a pressured room being replaced with something else) as explosive decompression. It's either one or the other that's being applied.
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