Detecting Radioactivity

Heya all

My 1st post here and I am very new to this game, but having a lot of fun. The concept, depth and hardcore elements appeal strongly to me.

I have been trying to avoid reading the wiki as much as is possible to leave as much self-discovery as possible and have been fun doing it this way (even though I’m being told “apparently you enjoy pissing upwind”), but every now and again when I feel I grasp enough of a concept I will look for the fillers from wiki or here. My suspicions were confirmed by wiki but not completely answered in this case though.

I’ve developed a pretty damn inconvenient mutation and have found that my mistake was using a local crater area as a strategic battlefield with Parkour to bow the crap out of the Z’s.

I can only imagine that I have not yet stumbled onto some nice protective gear like a hazmat suit or something, but I can see that protection will be possible through gear by the ‘environmental protection’ stat of some items. I am rater interested in the detection though.

So here’s my question: Since I received no in game warning that I was mucking about in a radioactive area and contracting radiation poisoning (yeah, I got DAMN sick while the mutation developed), is there a way of detecting these areas? By means of some intrinsic ability, or device (Geiger counter) or otherwise?

As you just said you can use a geiser counter, but you can also take a loot at a badge (wear it).
Both can be found in military/lab area & corpses. (better luck in military for me)

On scientist corpses you can find wrapped radiation badges, and I believe the way they function is you activated them and they alert you when you are in radioactive areas. In addition to that, and a far more viable option, are Geiger Counters. Like Oragepoilu said, FEMA camps have a building with them in it, labs have them in certain rooms, but one of the easier ways is to find a Waste Dump Facility, a Sewage Treatment Plant, or a Toxic Waste Sarcophagus. You can scan yourself, the area around you, or if you really need it keep it on continuous scan. Also, I’m not sure how Hazmat suits affect your character in radiation terms if at all. If your mutation was really detrimental, you can also find purifier on scientists and labs pretty commonly which removes mutations be it beneficial or not. Also, happy surviving!

Geiger counters of course, but those are heavy and eat batteries.
You need to unwrap and wear a radiation badge for it to be fully effective (don’t worry, it has no effect on encumberance)
Hazmat suits significantly cut your radiation exposure, but not to 0, so it’s still a matter of exposure time, no matter how weak the radiation area is, if you sleep there you’re going to have problems.
Craters are frequently radioactive, just FYI.
Most other places that tend to be radioactive are fairly obvious about it. Maybe we should sprinkle some small animal corpses around the craters to give you a hint about it?

For me the more obvious signs of radiation poisoning are the vomiting and such. I usually wolf down iodine tabs, though it probably doesn’t take that many and they’re one of the least common meds I’ve seen, next to antibioitics.

AFAIK the very first sign of radiation will be when your stats start dropping with no apparent reason. If you see that happening then you know for certain that you are in a radioactive area.

There’s no reason to take more than about 1 iodine pill per… er 3 hrs or so. It accelerates recovery from radiation poisoning, but ideally you notice the stat drop or similar and take one immediately while you get out of the area, then keep taking several a day for a bit to fully recover.

Perhaps your character could comment that they feel unwell when developing radiation sickness?

I admit radiation is a bit hard to know whether you have radiation sickness or whatever. Especially if you don’t know how it works, but a simple ‘I feel ill, do something about it’ prompt might be helpful.

You can see your stats dropping. And i don’t think you can feel radiation , so the “you feel ill” would only show up when you’re about to vomit.

You can see your stats dropping, yes, but your stats drop for just about every reason under the sun in this game.

So, a specific indicator that you may be getting radiation poisoning would be helpful. As it stands it’s already perfectly diagnosable if you know precisely what to look for, so why not make it more transparent?

Thanks kindly for all the advice and comments.

From a noob’s 1st time , if it will help at all, this is what happened at my first radiation experience:

  • I didn’t notice my stats dropping, I was not looking there as I didn’t realise I was doing anything that could cause me harm. Now, in hindsight after your explanations, I understand why and carrying the badge or Geiger would have warned me, so no problems there.
  • While trying to pick a lock on a door, which takes a minute a try, I suddenly noticed that I was in pain to the tune of 20+. This is where I went “WTF is going on here?” I checked my damage and I was taking damage on all body parts. This is probably where a warning of sorts could be helpful. My first thought was that maybe a change was made that I could now wear wool gear, even though I am allergic, just that it would make me sick and maybe I had developed a rash all over, but after checking every item, wool was not the issue.
  • Due to being uncertain, I left the area as a precaution but my pain levels were increasing virtually every step. I then suspected radiation, but for no real reason, other than that I was unfamiliar with how it worked and I couldn’t think of anything else. I then headed towards the evac shelter. By now I was chugging down asprin (best I had), but the pain just kept going up, I took 1 iodene just in case it was radiation.
  • I got violently ill with pain at ~40, I ate and drank clean water. I kept going and pain started subsiding to ~35 and then started shooting up at pace and when it ~60 and I vomited again I thought it was game over time. I took more asprin, ate a ton of food and drank a ton of water and kept going. I still had no idea what was going on for sure
  • Pain started dropping and hovered ~40 for quite some time and I didn’t vomit again. At this point in time I thought I might be over the worst of whatever it was and kept on heading home.
  • When I got to the evac centre I smashed more asprin on my bed, ate more food, drank more clean water, put a Nyquil back (had no sleeping tablets) and close my eyes. 3rd attempt I fell asleep. I woke up in the morning feeling fine. I checked my stats again and then saw “Light Sensitivity” and “Dexterity” was new in that column and now I was pretty certain that radiation is the guy who almost handed my ass to me.

Probably too much detail, but maybe it gives some insight of what types of warning messages etc might be useful when… if any.

The radiaton doesn’t make you feel any different irl , so the character wouldn’t notice it himself.
It’s been pretty obvious for me when i get a little radiated , my strenght goes down by 1 and it’s in red color , i always notice that and understand that i better GTFO while my ass can still drag me back home. If You see your strenght dropping , it’s almost certanly radiation because str is the first stat to go down and there aren’t many other reasons for str to go down.

Thanks for the detail, more is generally better.

I have to say, it looks like it’s working as intended. It’s supposed to be a mysterious malady that seems to come out of nowhere. With experience you know what it is and can manage it. The pain level thing is very definitely an indicator that “you feel bad”, as is the stat loss. In reality, you can miss getting sick when you’re under pressure and trying to GTD, it’s the same here.