Author Topic: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook  (Read 217074 times)

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Akalsaris

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2009, 06:04:55 PM »
Thanks Cavalry :)

The Master Alchemist and Maester PrCs don't have any poison-related abilities as such, but the feats are definitely useful!  I think having ones' followers take Apprentice (Craftsman) is actually pretty thematic too, if you play your character as a sort of poisoners' guildmaster.  Knowledge (Arch & Eng.) is also useful along with Major Creation and Fabricate to make temporary towers and bridges too :)

I don't think taking the Artisan feats is worth it except on a crafting mage or artificer, but it's a nice side benefit for poison users to be sure.  One more reason those two classes rock at poisons.




Havok4

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2009, 06:20:48 PM »
Some thing I would like to see is a method of determining the craft DC of a poison if none is provided. That would make a great many very good poisons more readily available.

Akalsaris

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2009, 10:59:20 AM »
I'd also love such a method, but unfortunately it's something that hasn't been provided.  The BoVD simply describes crafting poisons as being the same as crafting anything else, except in regards to cost and time. 

So http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/craft.htm becomes the fallback resource, and it's vague.  We can see that crafting drow poison is about as difficult as alchemist's acid, or a martial weapon, or a bell, which tells us nothing at all. 

So here's some guidelines and houserules that I suggest using, based on having read about 2 dozen poison charts for this guide:

DC 12: The poison should be extremely simple and nearly ineffective.  Only 1 poison (Salvo, C. Adv.) is this easy to craft.
  • Salvo

DC 15:  If the effect is any kind of ability damage/ability damage such as 1d4 Str/1d4 Str and has a save DC under 16, it is probably DC 15 to craft.  If the effect is any kind of status effect with a save DC under 17, it will also be DC 15 to craft.  DC 15 also covers most of the poisons with a weak initial effect and a moderate secondary effect like 0/1d6 Con.
  • Carrion Crawler Brain Juice
  • Medium Spider Venom

DC 18: If the poison has a save DC of 17-19 or deals more ability damage than normal like 1d6 str/1d6 str, it's probably DC 18.  A weak contact or inhaled poison might also fit into this category if it had a low save DC. 
  • Gorgon's Hair
  • Elemental Rime

DC 20: If the poison has a save DC of 20-25, or deals more ability damage than normal like 1d8 str/1d8 str, then it's probably DC 20.  DC 20 also covers the majority of injury poisons with a weak initial effect and a strong secondary effect, such as 0/3d6 Con.  If you don't really know what the poison's DC is and it's injury and doesn't have any unique effects, it's probably DC 20.  If it has a unique effect such as slow or paralysis and the save is between DC 15-20, then it's probably a DC 20 craft check.
  • Lich Dust
  • Large Scoprion Venom (this is weak for the craft DC)
  • Purple Worm Poison (this is very good for the craft DC)

DC 25: If it's a contact or inhaled poison with a save DC between 16-20, it generally falls into here.  Also this is where you start seeing a bunch of DC 20-25 1d6/2d6 injury poisons, or DC 17-20 2d6/2d6 injury poisons.  This is also the highest point that I've seen any ingested poisons reach.  It gets really random at this point actually, but I would use this as a safe point to mark the DC of most poisons with a unique effect such as confusion or paralysis that have a save DC of over 20.
  • Deathblade
  • Terinav Root

DC 30: The poison might have a high DC for its ability damage (colossal scorpion venom), or front-load a lot of damage (Dragon Bile's 3d6 Str/0 Str), or do some unusual damage (like front-loading Int and Cha damage). 
  • Dragon's Bile
  • Colossal Centipede Venom

DC 35: The poison does ludicrous amounts of damage (Black Lotus and its 3d6/3d6 Con damage, but at the low DC of 20), or it might have a stupidly high save DC (DC 54 scorpion venom from the BoVD, I'm looking at you - though you were also updated and nerfed to DC 33 1d10/1d10 in Dungeonscape), or it might have a high DC for an inhaled or contact poison (DC 24 save 2d6 Con/2d6 Con's Vilestar, for example, or the DC 25 save inhaled 1d8 Con/1d8 Con Mist of Nourn)
  • Black Lotus
  • Colossal Scorpion Venom

Now, since we have the craft DC for colossal Scorpion venom from the BoVD, and we have it updated but without the craft DC from Dungeonscape, we can roughly assume that the poison has maintained the same craft DC - so anything better than colossal scorpion venom probably has a higher craft DC. 

DC 40: No listed poisons have a DC this high.  But we can extrapolate that a save DC 25-30 inhaled or contact poison with a 2d6/2d6 effect would fall into this range, as would a DC 40+ poison that targeted Con or Dex and dealt around 2d8/2d8 or so.  Pit Fiend venom, as an injury poison with a high save DC of 27 and a weak effect followed by death, would probably fall into here, as would Greater Svakalor venom.

DC 45: No listed poisons have a DC this high.  But we can extrapolate that a save DC 31-35 inhaled or contact poison with a 2d6/2d6 effect would fall into this range, as would a DC 50+ poison that targeted Con or Dex and dealt around 2d8/2d8 or so.  I've put Greensickness at this range for this reason, and probably Megapede poison as well.

Rough value of damage when determining craft DC: Death > Dex/Int/Cha > Con/Status Effects > Strength.  (DC +5 for death, +2 for Dex/Int/Cha, -1 for Strength damage)
Rough value of type when determining craft DC: Inhaled > Contact > Injury > Ingested.  (DC +5 for inhaled/contact, +0 for injury, -1 for ingested)

Havok4

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2009, 05:11:03 PM »
Thanks, My DM is fairly flexible and will probably allow me to use Greensickness once I get a high enough check to make Black Lotus Extract.

telehax

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2009, 08:13:42 AM »
To add to the thread, I find Tinker Gnomes from Dragonlance Campaign Setting to be a good race for poison, they have an +2 Int Bonus *and* a +2 to all Craft checks.

Etarran

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #25 on: July 08, 2009, 06:19:59 AM »
This is a great resource. This would have made the research I did when starting my latest character a lot easier and faster. JKudos.

Forgive me if I just missed this in the handbook, but one thing you might want to mention is that poison has attracted some truly excellent third party content over the years due to its minimal official support, so a player who is looking to use poison more seriously might want to look into some of that. My own assassin is getting great value out of Poisoncraft by Blue Devil Games, for example.

In my experience, the best poisons tend to be ones with action-denial effects (stun, paralysis, etc), rather than the ability damage ones, especially at higher levels.

Prime32

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #26 on: July 08, 2009, 04:42:53 PM »
I'd like to suggest the Wild Cohort feat for getting another poisonous animal on your team.
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Akalsaris

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Re: Skills, Tricks and Tips
« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2009, 08:16:05 PM »
Argh - meant to modify a post than start a new one - but currently updating the guide.  I've got the information provided earlier by posters, and am also going to add some new poisons I've found since July.

Edit: added!  Serpent Kingdoms was a minor bonanza of nifty poisons, that's for sure!
« Last Edit: September 10, 2009, 09:46:32 PM by Akalsaris »

DetectiveJabsco

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #28 on: September 17, 2009, 04:18:00 AM »
I don't know if this applies at all however, you could use drugs like poisons, double dosing people to make them OD.
Take Luhix(sp) The OD time is 24 hours, you can only take 1 dose, and if you OD you die, no save, nothing you just die.
So, one could coat there weps in Luhix and duel wield and kill anything in one round

amirite?

Akalsaris

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #29 on: September 18, 2009, 02:16:01 AM »
Hey, very devious!  I like it! 

A lot of drugs probably won't work in a fight just because of their *ahem* delivery methods, but Luhix is injury and some others are inhaled.

Give me a day or 2, I'll work out some info and add them in =)


shalandar

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #30 on: September 22, 2009, 03:20:18 PM »
A small clarification you may want to add...

The Handle Animal skill from the DotU (p46) that says you can coax venom from vermin...it also says that you need the feat Vermin Trainer to use this ability.

This technique is beyond the capabilities of most animal handlers, and only characters with the Vermin Trainer feat (see page 53) or with access to a similar ability - such as that granted by the vermin keeper prestige class can train vermin.

the Bestow Venom ability is effectively an "animal trick".  I still like it, and if you have a permanent vermin, you can use it to make some good money by selling off the venom...unfortunately, I don't believe this will work with something like a summoned spider/scorpion.

Solo

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #31 on: September 23, 2009, 08:05:59 AM »
Quote
Poison Healer (FC I): You heal damage equal to your constitution each time you make a fortitude save against poison.  Check out the Trouserfang Dwarf link for some fun with it.
You heal damage equal to 5+ Con mod.

Also, I you may want to mention that alcohol is a poison in the A&EG. This, as you can imagine, leads to people using alcohol to heal themselves.

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JaronK

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #32 on: September 23, 2009, 08:36:20 AM »
Just a fun build concept, a poisoning Factotum:

Jungle Halfling Factotum 12 with Darkstalker, Poison Expert, Font of Inspiration X2, Poison Master, Sickening Strike, Terrifying Strike, using a Feycraft +1 Splitting Compound Longbow of Assassination.  Cast Greater Magic Weapon on your bow and go to town.  Use Inspiration Points to generate the necessary sneak attack, and Minor Creation for plenty of Black Lotus Poison.  It's DC 25, does 3d6+3 Con damage, and when you use your ambush feats the enemy is at -4 to saves, plus two attacks per turn force saves... so it's effectively DC 29 fort save on most attacks (and after one failure, the enemy won't stand a chance of succeeding).  And Splitting is of course an awesome enchantment for this as it effectively doubles your poison shots (plus you can poison your arrows in advance).  It might be advisable to take two levels of Swordsage for Assassin's Stance and other manuevers.

JaronK
« Last Edit: September 23, 2009, 04:38:17 PM by JaronK »

cru

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2009, 09:06:38 PM »
I am not sure about the mechanics of extracting poison from e.g. animal companions, but assuming the rule about poison DC of creatures being 10+half HD+Con - could these help before harvesting for poison?
* bard 9 - inspire greatness: +2 HD
* bear's endurance
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 09:09:23 PM by cru »

Negative Zero

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2009, 09:35:53 PM »
I am not sure about the mechanics of extracting poison from e.g. animal companions, but assuming the rule about poison DC of creatures being 10+half HD+Con - could these help before harvesting for poison?
* bard 9 - inspire greatness: +2 HD
* bear's endurance

Bite of the X is better for getting Enhancement boni to Con.

JaronK

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2009, 11:58:18 PM »
I am not sure about the mechanics of extracting poison from e.g. animal companions, but assuming the rule about poison DC of creatures being 10+half HD+Con - could these help before harvesting for poison?
* bard 9 - inspire greatness: +2 HD
* bear's endurance

That's actually a really clever idea.  Nice!

JaronK

Akalsaris

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #36 on: October 14, 2009, 04:12:58 AM »
Edited to add the following:
-Shalandar's clarifications
-JaronK's factotum build
-Drugs added to the list of poisons post - thanks DetectiveJabasco!
-cru's ideas for increasing poison DC from milked creatures
-a new poison I found in Waterdeep: City of Splendors
-a new device I noted in C. Adv, the alchemical capsule retainer!
-a new build I came up with for the GITP forum

Ed-Zero

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #37 on: October 15, 2009, 01:50:25 AM »
So I found this handbook and I must say that I enjoy it quite a bit and think it's very well made.   :)

Here's some things I found:

Poison Specialization - Dragon 303 pg69
Prereq: Craft (poisonmaking) 5+ ranks
Benefit: Whenever you create a poison of the chosen type, the Fortitude DC to resist the poison's effects increases by +2. This adjustment applies to both the inital and secondary saving throws.

Devil Blood - BoVD
When used to coat a blade, this black ichor acts as a poison the next thirteen times the weapon strikes.
The poison (Fort DC 20) deals 1d6 points of Strength damage as initial damage and 2d6 points of Strength Damage as secondary damage.

Chuk's Fungus - Book of Challenges (3.0)
Chuk makes his potions with a twist: each contains a fungus that heightens mental actuity, giving a +2 alchemical bonus on Will saves if the imbiber is a bugbear.
They're poisonous to anyone else (Fort DC 17, 1 Str/1d6+1 Str), though each one still has its normal magical effects.
Note: I guess you can extrapolate the fungus out of this description.
Cast Level: 20th; Weight: 1 lb. (including the flask).
Note: No price is listed because it's a minor artifact. (it should cost 1,800g to make seeing as it's exactly the same as Deathblade poison)

Edit ~ I found a bunch more stuff that you might like.

Quote
even

Also, I think you should re-evaluate the Black Dog class in Dragonmarked, the 4th level ability Empower Poison is (to me) what the whole class is about.. the poisons variable number effects increase 50% for 1 min/level! Insane!
« Last Edit: October 15, 2009, 05:25:05 PM by Ed-Zero »

JaronK

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2009, 07:24:27 AM »
Sinmaker's Surprise sounds quite nice, as the DC is higher than Black Lotus (though the effect isn't as nasty) and it can be made with Major Creation.  Good stuff if you need higher DCs.

JaronK

Ed-Zero

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Re: Arsenic & Old Lace - the Poison Handbook
« Reply #39 on: October 15, 2009, 06:03:59 PM »
Looking through the Drow of the Underdark book closer I found this:

Quote
Darklight Ore
Darklight ore is a rare and dangerous substance found in the Underdark. It occurs only in formations of heavy metal ore. A darklight lode's inherent properties cause it to give off a milky, purple glow that is equal to a torch for the purpose of illumination. However, this radiation is poisonous. Of all the Underdark races, only the drow have been known to mine the ore and harness its power, using lead-shielded equipment.
Anyone who comes within 60 feet of a darklight lode without appropriate armor or shielding (such as that provided by a stone wall) is immediately exposed to darklight poisoning.
For all purposes, darklight poisoning functions as regular poison. The Fortitude save to resist darklight poisoning is DC 18. The initial effect is 1d6 points of Constitution damage. The secondary effect is a disease that is similar to mummy rot. However, this disease is not magical, so a paladin's divine health and a monk's purity of body allow those characters to resist its effect. Furthermore, a victim who dies of darklight
poisoning does not shrivel into dust. A caster level check is required for a healing spell to work on a victim of darklight poisoning, but this limitation is overcome by a neutralize poison spell rather than break enchantment or remove curse.

This seems like it can come in handy espescially if you & the rest of your party is immune to poison, although it can lead to trouble if you walk in town...