Poisons

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House Rules

Anatomy of a Poison

All poisons have the following traits: Toxicity (TOX), Effect, Interval, Vector, and Complexity (CPX).

Toxicity is the current potency of the poison. It is a number that is flexible; it is changed by the dosage of the poison, and is the factor that decreases over time as a character fights off the poison. Every time a character succeeds on a saving throw against a poison they are suffering, it lowers the poison’s current Toxicity. When the poison’s Toxicity is 0, they are considered cured.

Effect is what the poison does to the target. Not all Effects go away when a poison’s Toxicity reaches 0, but in general they cease to be applied.

Interval is how long between Effects. In other words, how fast the poison works. Most combat poisons have an Interval of 6 seconds, or once a round.

Vector is the method by which the poison enters the target. Poisons can have multiple vectors.

Complexity is the save DC of the poison. It also impacts how difficult to poison is to create, and how difficult it is to find Antitoxins that effect it.

Applying and Resisting Poison

When a poison is applied via its particular Vector, no saving throw is made. The target remains unaware until the first Interval expires.

On a turn that a character suffers the Effect of a poison, the Effect occurs at the start of the turn. At the end of that turn, they make a saving throw against the poison’s Complexity. In other words, the first turn a character is affected by a poison, they suffer the poison’s full force before they can begin to resist it.

If they succeed at the saving throw, the Toxicity of the poison is reduced by 1. If the Toxicity is reduced to 0, then they are no longer poisoned, and the character is fine. Note that many poisons have Effects that depend on the poison’s current Toxicity.

If they fail the saving throw, the Toxicity is obviously not reduced. They also begin suffering the Poisoned condition, unless the poison states otherwise. They keep this condition until the next Interval is complete and they can make another saving throw, though this condition can be removed through magic, potions, or medicine.

Curing Poison and Preventing Poison

To end a poison early, there are a number of magics available. Any effect that states that it cures poison removes the Poisoned condition from the target, and reduces the Toxicity of all poisons they are suffering by 3. There are some exceptions to this, notably the infamous King’s Bane family of poisons.

To ward off poisons, one can consume Antitoxins or Antidotes.

Antitoxins have a rating, between 10 and 20. The user has resistance to damage from all poisons with a Complexity equal to or lower than the Antitoxin’s rating, as well as gaining Advantage to all saving throws against said poisons. Most Antitoxins last 1 hour.

Antidotes are tailored specifically to a target poison, and completely negate its effects. Most antidotes last 1 minute. Some more dangerous poisons destroy any Antidote in the process of being neutralized, requiring more Antidote for the character to remain immune.

List of All Known Poisons

Note that the following Toxicities are based on the maximum effective dose that can be applied with a practical vector (a dart, or the edge of a sword, or the amount that is undetectable in a volume of water). If an impractical vector is used (they drink an entire flagon of pure poison, or they are given a direct injection with a syringe), the Toxicity can be increased. Similarly, if less poison is available, the Toxicity is decreased.

Lethal
Name TOX Interval CPX Vector Effect
Spider Venom 2 6 seconds 10 Injury Deals (TOX d6) damage to the target.
Water Snake Venom 2 6 seconds 12 Injury, Ingestion Deals (TOX d6) damage to the target.
Black Snake Venom 3 6 seconds 13 Injury, Ingestion Deals (TOX d6) damage to the target.
Winterleaf 2 6 seconds 14 Injury Deals (TOX d6) damage to the target.
Kingkiller 5 6 seconds 16 Injury, Ingestion Deals (TOX d6) damage to the target. Doubles current Toxicity if anyone attempts to cure it magically.
Nonlethal
Name TOX Interval CPX Vector Effect
Hellweed 3 12 seconds 10 Ingestion Reduce all other poison Toxicity by 1. Gives the target 1 level of exhaustion on a failed save. Character is Incapacitated and Poisoned until Toxicity is 0.
Nighthook 2 6 seconds 13 Contact, Injury, Ingestion Stuns the target for 1 round on a failed save.
King’s Rest 3 12 seconds 15 Injury, Ingestion Gives the target 1 level of exhaustion on a failed save, maximum of 5 levels. Levels of exhaustion gained this way cannot be removed until Toxicity is 0. Doubles current Toxicity if anyone attempts to cure it magically. No Effect until first failed save.

Buying and Creating Antitoxins

Antitoxins can be both purchased and created. The following table has their costs, and the kit proficiency used to create it. H = herbalism kit, a = alchemist’s supplies, p = poisoner’s kit.

The cost is listed in Units, which cost 1 GP each (usually).

CPX Cost 3/4 2/4 1/4 Kit
10 50 37 25 12 H
11 100 75 50 25 H
12 200 150 100 50 H
13 400 300 200 100 H, A, P
14 800 600 400 200 H, A, P
15 1,600 1,200 800 400 A + P
16 3,200 2,400 1,600 800 A + P
17 6,400 4,800 3,200 1,600 A + P
18 12,800 9,600 6,400 3,200 A + P

Buying antitoxins is generally at the price provided, though one must find a suitably skilled apothecary or alchemist to purchase them. If one is not careful, those prices can be inflated. Very occasionally, these prices can be reduced.

Making antitoxins is usually cheaper. To make an antitoxin, one must purchase the materials required, and then roll an Intelligence + Tool Proficiency test, with a DC equal to the Complexity (CPX) of the antitoxin. If they succeed, then they create the Antitoxin at the cost specified above. If they fail, then they fail to create the antitoxin, but manage to preserve the materials and can try again.

The degree to which one succeeds or fails is important, and can have the following effects:

If the result is 5 under the DC, the antitoxin is useless, and the materials are wasted.
If the result is 5 over the DC, the character preserves 25% of the materials. (Subtract 3/4 of the Units required from the character’s inventory.)
If the result is 10 over the DC, the character preserves 50% of the materials. (Subtract 1/2 of the Units required from the character’s inventory.)
If the result is 15 or more over the DC, the character preserves 75% of the materials.
(Subtract 1/4 of the Units required from the character’s inventory.)

Cost 3/4 2/4 1/4
50 37 25 12
100 75 50 25
200 150 100 50
400 300 200 100
800 600 400 200
1,600 1,200 800 400
3,200 2,400 1,600 800
6,400 4,800 3,200 1,600
12,800 9,600 6,400 3,200

Regardless of success or failure, creating the antitoxin takes 1 day. It doesn’t require much attention after the beginning, though, so a character can create up to 5 doses at once. If they have more sophisticated equipment than the bare necessities, then they can dramatically increase the number of antitoxins in production simultaneously, and even shorten the time it takes to create them.

Creating Poisons

Making poisons is not much harder than making broad-spectrum antitoxins, however it is much more dangerous, and its illicit nature makes it much more expensive.

CPX Cost 3/4 2/4 1/4 Kit
10 200 150 100 50 P
11 400 300 200 100 P
12 800 600 400 200 P
13 1,600 1,200 800 400 P
14 3,200 2,400 1,600 800 A + P
15 6,400 4,800 3,200 1,600 A + P
16 12,800 9,600 6,400 3,200 A + P

Using Survival to Find Poison/Antitoxin/Antidote Materials

If a character is proficient in the Survival skill, they can use it to try and find some of the required materials on their own. This takes time, but is otherwise free. Some basic materials can’t be found in the wild (for example, the bottles in which the results are kept) and must be purchased regardless, but these materials are both less suspicious and much cheaper than the core components.

In general, while in a region likely to contain desired materials, one can roll a Survival test to obtain some GP in raw materials. These plants can be turned directly 1-to-1 into poisons or antitoxins, or they can be prepared and sold at some percentage of their value; usually half.

Identifying Poisons (and other liquids)

When a liquid is encountered, one can use a battery of tests to determine what it is: appearance, smell, texture, flavor. Some of these are more dangerous than others, if the liquid in question might be a poison; after all, smelling an aerosol poison is tantamount to applying it, and tasting an ingested poison has similar issues.

To identify a liquid, roll an Intelligence + Herbalism/Poisoner/Alchemist test, with a DC equal to the CPX of the liquid + 5. If the liquid in question can be produced by a kit you are proficient with, you may be able to successfully identify it.
This is assuming you use all your senses to examine it.

Poisons

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