Poison (substance)

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Poisons are substances that cause death, injury or harm to organs when a creature absorbs a sufficient quantity. Poisons derive from substances that are made and in the venom of numerous animals and monsters. It's presence in D&D is a potential game breaking concern; too much poison in the hands of players or NPCs can drastically alter the structure of a campaign, which is one reason why rules for accessibility have been overlooked by game designers. Additionally, there are thousands of poison forms, so that any definitive work on the subject would be immense and unworkable as a design. Therefore, specific poisons in these rules should be seen general types, the sources of which are variable — but as a vast number of things can be distilled into a poison, the actual source for any poison can be disregarded for game purposes. If needed, however, examine this list of plants, this list of fungi and this list of animals.

It should be noted that the list of poisons included on this page have been invented for game use and are in no way intended to accurately depict poisons as they exist in the real world. In some cases, real world names have been co-opted for flavour and verisimilitude; in no way should this be seen as an attempt to simulate these real poisons. It should be understood that the words and laws surrounding poisons reflect the characteristics of Alexis' fictional game setting, and were never meant as a simulation of real poisons and their application.

Effects of Poison

These rules do not make use of the traditional saving throw against death for poisons. Specific poisons do cause effects such as sleep, coma, paralysis, nausea and death — but this is done through manipulation of the character's ability stats and hit points, not through a blanket succeed/fail roll. Poison effects are felt over time, with even the deadliest poisons requiring several rounds to kill unless the victim is exceptionally unfit or below zero in hit points.

Commonly, an animal venom has the potential to cause 2-8 h.p. of poison damage per hit die of the creature, depending upon the specific venom's toxicity. A giant centipede's venom is weak; a black mamba's venom is very strong. Again, depending on the venom, the speed with which this damage occurs differs. The giant centipede causes 1 damage every 1-4 rounds, whereas the black mamba will cause 2-8 damage every round.

[these characteristics need to be defined and collected on a single table, a work that hasn't been done yet]

Ingestive Poisons are concoctions that must be drunk. Some, intending to kill, will cause a lot of damage; others will cause moderate damage over long periods in order to promote nausea; still others will cause just enough damage to produce paralysis, sleep or coma. More sophisticated poisons that produce these some of these effects won't cause any damage at all, as damage undermines the stealthiness of their use. Some poisons will take effect immediately; many more sophisticated poisons won't take effect until minutes or hours after the poison has been imbibed.

Insinuative Poisons are substances that are applied to weapons for use in combat. They are generally intended to cause additional hit points above weapon damage, but some have been created to cause paralysis, sleep and coma. All insinuative poisons are designed to take effect within a few minutes.

Creation of Poisons

The preparation of poisons are related to sage abilities that specifically allow characters the knowledge to create poisons as amateurs, authorities, experts and sages. Some abilities can be found related to the study of alchemy; more sophisticated knowledge is available to assassins who study poisoning. The categorization of poisons is, therefore, based on these abilities that knowledgeable characters are able to create. Poison forms exist according to the imagination; if a specific poison can be conceived of, then it follows that with sufficient knowledge, the player character (or the DM) should be able to create it and add it to the list found below.

Ingestive Poisons

Main Article: Prepare Ingestive Poisons


  • Biliosus: induces nausea, vomiting, loss of strength ability and some damage.
  • Ictus: causes partial paralysis and stiffening of the right arm, until it is immobilized completely for hours.
  • Somnikus: induces sleep and helplessness, potentially causing some victims to lapse into a full coma.
  • Vexation: delivers sufficient damage to kill a 1st or 2nd level character or most monsters up to 2 hit dice. Particularly effective against common folk and vermin.

Insinuative Poisons

Main Article: Prepare Insinuative Poison
  • Carroder: produces slow, deadly and highly unpleasant consequences to victims; most useful in seeking revenge.
  • Suurbite: a classic damage-dealing poison for use in direct combat.