Drow like poisons. This much is no secret to anyone even remotely familiar with the feared dark elves of the underworld. However, it is said that mighty killers have learned to create psychic poisons, deadly substances that bypass the body and directly target the spirit of those affected. For once, the paranoid conspiracy-mongers are correct.
When you choose this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with alchemist’s supplies and the poisoner’s kit.
Starting at 3rd level when you take this archetype, you learn to create psychic poisons. Creating a psychic poison requires more than just appropriate tools and ingredients; it also requires a formula that guides you through the complex, esoteric procedures to create it. Formulae are part ritual directions, part notes for scientific experiment and usually written on a loose sheet of paper. Formulae can be purchased from vindictive drow and on black markets, usually at 5 times the cost of the psychic poison it describes.
You are assumed to have access to or learned most such formulae, but subject to the GM’s discretion, some formulae may require adventuring to unearth.
Whenever you take a long rest, you create short-lived poisons, known in the Underworld as psychic poisons. These psychic poisons only last a single day and are partially sustained by your thought-processes and thus cannot be sold. If you take a long rest, your deep trance or sleep interrupts the connection to your psychic poisons and they spoil—you cannot stockpile them. The cost of your psychic poisons is considered to be negligible, unless otherwise determined by the GM.
You measure your capability to create your own psychic poisons in poison points.
You have a number of poison points equal to your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier.
Upon finishing a long rest, you may expend any number of poison points to create your psychic poisons.
A single psychic poison may have a maximum number of poison points equal to twice your proficiency bonus.
You may choose to not expend all poison points.
If you do, you may expend any remaining poison points during a short rest and create new psychic poisons. Poison points replenish after finishing a long rest.
The process of designing a psychic poison begins with the conceptual design stage. First, you determine the type of delivery for your psychic poison. There are 4 general types of delivery for psychic poisons; the poison point cost for the respective type of delivery is noted in their entries.
Contact. A creature that touches contact psychic poison with exposed skin suffers its effects. Contact psychic poison is also effective when consumed or injected. As an action, contact psychic poison can be applied to a single, small object like a fork, a handle, or a sword’s grip. Once applied, the contact psychic poison remains viable for a number of hours equal to your Intelligence modifier. Anyone touching the affected object where the psychic poison was applied is subjected to the psychic poison. Contact poison point cost: 2.
Inhaled (or Contact Gas). These are powders or gases that take effect when they are inhaled or they otherwise encounter living creatures. Inhaled psychic poisons do not affect creatures that do not breathe. Holding your breath helps against inhaled psychic poisons, but not against contact gas. An inhaled or contact gas psychic poison is typically contained in a glass vial. You can, as an action, throw the vial up to 20 feet, shattering it on impact. The psychic poison, unless modified, fills a 5-foot cube. Make a ranged attack against a creature, object, or point of origin, treating the vial as an improvised weapon. On a hit, a 5-foot cube of space around the target is filled with gas. On a miss, the DM determines where the vial lands and whether it shatters to release its contents.
Normally, the small cloud of gas, spores or particles persists for 1d4+1 rounds before it dissipates.
A wind of moderate or greater speed (at least 10 miles per hour) disperses the psychic poison gas harmlessly and immediately. Inhaled poison point cost: 2; Contact gas poison point cost: 4
Ingested. A creature swallowing an ingested psychic poison, or consuming food or drink laced with an ingested psychic poison, suffers its effects.
Poisoned smokeable consumables also fall into this category, provided there needs to be a sufficient amount of psychic poison ingested. You couldn’t, for example, poison a hookah with ingested poison and then blow the smoke at targets, expecting it to work—only targets that draw from the pipe would be affected by an ingested, smokeable psychic poison. As an action, an ingested psychic poison can be added to a single serving of goods that are consumed. Once applied, the consumables remain poisoned for 24 hours before the psychic poison degrades and becomes harmless. In some circumstances, the DM might decide that a victim only gets a partial dose, perhaps because an entire pot of food was poisoned with a single dose, rather than a single serving. In this case, it is suggested that the DM should grant advantage on any related saving throws and inflict only half damage from the psychic poison. Ingested poison point cost: 0
Injury. A creature whose skin or outer surface is penetrated by a weapon coated with injury psychic poison is exposed to its effects. Applying a dose of injury psychic poison to a weapon (or up to three pieces of ammunition) takes an action. Thereafter, if the weapon delivering the psychic poison causes piercing or slashing damage, the psychic poison is inflicted as well. Once applied to the weapon, the psychic poison begins to lose potency, drying and becoming harmless after one minute. Injury poison point cost: 1.
Next up, you determine the type of damage the psychic poison inflicts. There are two different types of psychic poison. You must choose one of them when designing your poison. The poison point cost for the respective types is noted in their entries.
The Shell’s Bane. These psychic poisons are close to how mundane poisons work—they represent toxic substances that attack the physical body of those affected. They inflict poison damage and are resisted by a Constitution saving throw. Resistance or immunity to poison damage applies against these psychic poisons. Poison point cost: 0.
The Mind’s Downfall. These psychic poisons are more esoteric…and feared. The drow have long known that some ideas can poison mortals and their souls. These poisons represent distilled versions of such toxic concepts and ideas. They inflict psychic damage and are resisted by a Charisma saving throw, since they undermine the subject’s personality. Resistance or immunity to psychic damage applies against these psychic poisons. Poison point cost: 4.
After determining the type of your psychic poison, you determine the focus of the psychic poison. Both types of psychic poison can affect all different foci: The Shell’s Bane can subvert the will of those it affects and The Mind’s Downfall can implant impulses of decay in a healthy body.
Designer’s Note: Injury Poisons
This archetype operates under the assumption that each strike of a poisoned weapon delivers the injury poison until the 1-minute duration has elapsed.
|Delivery Type||Point Cost||Type||Point Cost||Focus||Point Cost|
|Contact||2||The Shell’s Bane||0||Strength||1|
|Ingested||0||The Mind’s Downfall||4||Intelligence||1|
|Damage||Point Cost||Duration||Point Cost (+ Optional Damage per Interval Cost)||Onset||Point Cost|
|2d6 (Min. lvl 9)||1||Rounds||1 (+7)||–||–|
|3d6 (Min lvl 13)||3||Minutes||4 (+4)||Delayed||2|
|Sneak Attack (Min lvl 17)||10||Hours||6 (+2)||Triggered||6|
Choose one attribute: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma. If the target fails its saving throw against your psychic poison, the target suffers from disadvantage regarding all ability and skill checks as well as on all attack rolls and saving throws associated with the attribute chosen as the psychic poison’s focus. This lasts for as long as the duration of your psychic poison, as determined below. Poison point cost for Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence or Wisdom: 1. Poison point cost for Constitution and Charisma: 2.
You may choose to have as many foci in your psychic poison as you can afford. You add together the poison point costs of all your foci. A psychic poison that affects both Charisma and Dexterity would, for example, cost 3 poison points. Immunity to the poisoned condition renders the target immune against the focus of psychic poisons with the type The Shell’s Bane. Immunity to psychic damage renders the target immune against the focus of psychic poisons with the type The Mind’s Downfall and having resistance to psychic damage grants advantage on saving throws against psychic poisons with the type The Mind’s Downfall.
For the next step, you determine the amount of damage your psychic poison inflicts. When you take this archetype at 3rd level, your psychic poisons inflict 1d6 damage of the chosen type. This does not cost poison points. At higher levels, you learn to increase the base damage of your psychic poisons. See the respective class features or the Psychic Poison Design Table.
You also have to determine the duration of your psychic poison.
None. Your psychic poison inflicts damage and then abates at the end of your turn. Poison point cost: 0.
Rounds. Choose any number between 1 and your Intelligence modifier. The penalties chosen for your psychic poison’s focus lasts for this many rounds. Poison point cost: 1.
Minutes. Choose any number between 1 and your Intelligence modifier. The penalties chosen for your psychic poison’s focus lasts for this many minutes. Poison point cost: 4
Hours. Choose any number between 1 and your Intelligence modifier. The penalties chosen for your psychic poison’s focus lasts for this many hours. Poison point cost: 6.
You may choose to have your psychic poison’s damage also apply on subsequent units of time chosen for its duration, provided you did not choose a duration of “none.”
For example, if you choose minutes, the target potentially takes damage every minute. The target receives a new saving throw against your psychic poison save DC on each unit of time that it may take damage. On a success, the damage ends, but not the duration of the focus.
Damage per Round. Your target risks taking damage every round, until it makes its saving throw. Poison point cost: 7.
Damage per Minute. Your target risks taking damage every minute, until it makes its saving throw. Poison point cost: 4.
Damage per Hour. Your target risks taking damage every hour, until it makes its saving throw. Poison point cost: 2.
Finally, you determine the onset of your psychic poison.
Instantaneous. Your psychic poison’s full effects immediately take place. Poison point cost: 0.
Delayed. Choose a unit of time, either rounds, minutes or hours, as well as a number that ranges from 1, up to a maximum of your Intelligence modifier. Your psychic poison’s full effects kick in after the chosen number units of time have elapsed. The target makes its saving throw when the effects of the psychic poison manifest. Poison point cost: 2.
Triggered. The most perfidious of tricks in your arsenal. The psychic poison goes dormant in your target for up to your Intelligence modifier days. While it is dormant, it cannot be healed, dispelled or otherwise detected. During that time, you may use a bonus action, or your reaction in response to ANY type of action the poisoned creature takes, to trigger the psychic poison, whereupon its full effects take place, as determined by you. Once triggered, the psychic poison becomes susceptible to being healed, etc. You have to see the creature you poisoned with the triggered psychic poison to do so. Poison point cost: 6. Your psychic poison save DC is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier.
Psychic Poison Adept
At 9th level, prolonged exposure to toxic ideas and substances has changed your body and mind.
Additionally, you increase your poison points to twice your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier. Finally, you may spend 1 poison point when crafting a psychic poison to increase the base damage it inflicts to 2d6.
Psychic Poison Master
At 13th level you increase the resistance chosen at 9th level with the Psychic Poison Adept feature to immunity. You also gain resistance to the damage type you did not choose at 9th level. Additionally, you increase your poison points to thrice your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier.
Finally, you may spend 3 poison points when crafting a psychic poison to increase the base damage it inflicts to 3d6.
Psychic Poison Grandmaster
Beginning at 17th level, you gain immunity to the damage type you gained resistance to with your Psychic Poison Master class feature. You add your Intelligence modifier to determine the maximum poison points one of your psychic poisons can have. You also learn to craft the apex of psychic poisons. You may spend 10 poison points when crafting psychic poisons to make your psychic poison pernicious. Pernicious psychic poisons inflict your Sneak Attack extra damage.
Underworld Races and Classes Copyright 2017 AAW Games, LLC; Thilo Graf, Mike Myler, and Jonathan G. Nelson Occult Secrets of the Underworld Copyright 2018, AAW Games, LLC; Thilo Graf and Jonathan G. Nelson.