Re: [nbos] Atmospheres...Was: Fine control on random system generation?
"Mike Oliver"
Tue Jan 30th, 2007
Wow, that's a question that you'd need degrees in biochemistry, physics
and inorganic chemistry to determine.

In simplified form, Earth has an Oxygen content of around 18%. Humans
can tolerate less than this but I don't know what the lower limit might
be. Standard air pressure is 14 pounds per square inch (known as 1
atmosphere) but, if you climb high mountains, it reduces considerably.
Again, I don't know the human limitation and it will vary from
individual to individual. Also, acclimatisation helps tolerance - for
example sports carried out at great heights require the athletes to
arrive weeks early to become used to the thinner atmosphere.

I can't recall whether Traveller details more information in its
MegaTraveller form or whether the World Builders Handbook has more info.
I have both and will look it up for you.

Corrosive materials are typically such gases as Chlorine (Cl2), Sulphur
Dioxide SO2), Nitric Oxide (NO2), Hydrogen Chloride (HCl) - which
becomes hydrochloric acid when dissolved in water - and a whole host of
others. Indeed, oxygen might be considered corrosive if you think what
it does to metals like iron. Many of these will be found in a "Tainted"
atmosphere type as well; it's probably only the concentration that

When you say "noticeable", the question arises "by whom and how?" Some
corrosive materials can be detected by smell before they become harmful
to a human but are corrosive to other materials at lower concentrations
than this - it tends to be a matter of exposure time as well.

Finally, there are gaseous compounds that might not be classed as
corrosive but are harmful - some organic (carbon-based) chemicals come
into this category. Carbon Tetrachloride - a solvent - is corrosive to
human lungs but not to many inorganic materials; Ether - (CH3CH2)2O - an
old-fashioned anaesthetic, is corrosive to human lungs if used for a
protracted time but would probably be classed as an "Exotic" gas in

That seems a bit sparse and generalised but you'll get the idea from
what I've said, I guess. I'll come back to you on the MegaTraveller/WBH
data as soon as I can.



-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Dutton, Dennis L
Sent: 30 January 2007 12:29
Subject: [nbos] Atmospheres...Was: Fine control on random system

Thanks, that was what I was looking for. Now, on another subject...

In Traveller there are various different types of atmospheres (toxic,
corrosive, polluted, etc.) at various different pressures (thin, normal,
dense, etc.). The pressures I can deal with as Traveller is very
specific. As to the content, AS has specific chemical contents. Do you
know where I can find a discussion on how the chemical contents effect
humans...What chemicals are toxic? How much O2 is required for an
atmosphere to be breathable? What chemicals are corrosive and how much
can be in the air before it becomes noticeable? Etc.

Cheers, Dennis
Game Master, Morning Garden
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