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Poisons

Given their insidious and deadly nature, poisons are illegal in most societies but are a favorite tool among assassins, drow, and other evil creatures.

Poisons come in the following four types.

Contact: Contact poison can be smeared on an object and remains potent until it is touched or washed off. A creature that touches contact poison with exposed skin suffers its effects.

Ingested: A creature must swallow an entire dose of ingested poison to suffer its effects. The dose can be delivered in food or a liquid. You may decide that a partial dose has a reduced effect, such as allowing advantage on the saving throw or dealing only half damage on a failed save.

Inhaled: These poisons are powders or gases that take effect when inhaled. Blowing the powder or releasing the gas subjects creatures in a 5-foot cube to its effect. The resulting cloud dissipates immediately afterward. Holding one’s breath is ineffective against inhaled poisons, as they affect nasal membranes, tear ducts, and other parts of the body.

Injury: Injury poison can be applied to weapons, ammunition, trap components, and other objects that deal piercing or slashing damage and remains potent until delivered through a wound or washed off. A creature that takes piercing or slashing damage from an object coated with the poison is exposed to its effects.

Table: Poisons (Core)
Poison Type Price per Dose
Assassin’s blood Ingested 150 gp
Burnt othur fumes Inhaled 500 gp
Crawler mucus Contact 200 gp
Drow poison Injury 200 gp
Essence of ether Inhaled 300 gp
Malice Inhaled 250 gp
Midnight tears Ingested 1,500 gp
Oil of taggit Contact 400 gp
Pale tincture Ingested 250 gp
Purple worm poison Injury 2,000 gp
Serpent venom Injury 200 gp
Torpor Ingested 600 gp
Truth serum Ingested 150 gp
Wyvern poison Injury 1,200 gp

Sample Poisons

Each type of poison has its own debilitating effects.

Assassin’s Blood (Ingested)

A creature subjected to this poison must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, it takes 6 (1d12) poison damage and is poisoned for 24 hours. On a successful save, the creature takes half damage and isn’t poisoned.

Burnt Othur Fumes (Inhaled)

A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or take 10 (3d6) poison damage, and must repeat the saving throw at the start of each of its turns. On each successive failed save, the character takes 3 (1d6) poison damage. After three successful saves, the poison ends.

Crawler Mucus (Contact)

This poison must be harvested from a dead or incapacitated crawler. A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute. The poisoned creature is paralyzed. The creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Drow Poison (Injury)

This poison is typically made only by the drow, and only in a place far removed from sunlight. A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 hour. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the creature is also unconscious while poisoned in this way. The creature wakes up if it takes damage or if another creature takes an action to shake it awake.

Essence of Ether (Inhaled)

A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 8 hours. The poisoned creature is unconscious. The creature wakes up if it takes damage or if another creature takes an action to shake it awake.

Malice (Inhaled)

A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 hour. The poisoned creature is blinded.

Midnight Tears (Ingested)

A creature that ingests this poison suffers no effect until the stroke of midnight. If the poison has not been neutralized before then, the creature must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw, taking 31 (9d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Oil of Taggit (Contact)

A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 24 hours. The poisoned creature is unconscious. The creature wakes up if it takes damage.

Pale Tincture (Ingested)

A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or take 3 (1d6) poison damage and become poisoned. The poisoned creature must repeat the saving throw every 24 hours, taking 3 (1d6) poison damage on a failed save. Until this poison ends, the damage the poison deals can’t be healed by any means. After seven successful saving throws, the effect ends and the creature can heal normally.

Purple Worm Poison (Injury)

This poison must be harvested from a dead or incapacitated purple worm. A creature subjected to this poison must make a DC 19 Constitution saving throw, taking 42 (12d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Serpent Venom (Injury)

This poison must be harvested from a dead or incapacitated giant poisonous snake. A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw, taking 10 (3d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Torpor (Ingested)

A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 4d6 hours. The poisoned creature is incapacitated.

Truth Serum (Ingested)

A creature subjected to this poison must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned for 1 hour. The poisoned creature can’t knowingly speak a lie, as if under the effect of a zone of truth spell.

Wyvern Poison (Injury)

This poison must be harvested from a dead or incapacitated wyvern. A creature subjected to this poison must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 24 (7d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

3rd Party Poison Descriptions

Table: Poisons (3pp)
Poison Type Price per Dose
Black Vein Ingested or Injury 500 gp
Blood Fire Injury 150 gp
Concoction of the Pallid Serpent Ingested 400 gp
Dust of the Desert Winds Inhaled or Ingested 200 gp
Ghost Blossom Extract Ingested or Injury 200 gp
Jade Frog Poison Ingested or Injury 125 gp
Mother’s Worry Ingested 150 gp
Tears of the Infernal Injury 250 gp
Tyrants Mercy Contact 150 gp
Witchbane Injury 750 gp

Black Vein Poison

ACoP

Extracted from the seeds of a dark colored flower that grows from rotting organic matter, the poison has a highly noticeable visual effect upon the victim. The veins closest to the surface of the skin become visibly black, giving the toxin it’s disturbing name, as the poison begins working it’s way through a victim’s bloodstream, turning the blood and the vessels into a rotten black ichor.

Knowledge Check: DC 12

Category: Ingested or Injury

Saving Throw: DC 12 Constitution

Frequency: one Day

Primary Effect: 2 (1d3) Constitution damage

Secondary Effect: 6 (2d4) necrotic damage

Cost: 500 gold pieces

Blood Fire

ACoP

A reddish-brown sticky paste, this poison has seen a fair amount of use. Once injured, the poison begins igniting the blood, causing a creature to quickly burn from within. Often the toxin burns through the victim so quickly and intensely that the remains are little more than charred bones.

There are several methods of creating Blood Fire poison, although the most common involves the fruit of a desert cactus soaked in the saliva of giant lizards mixed with distilled alcohols.

After several days of soaking the fruit is removed from the mixture and ground into a paste.

Knowledge Check: DC 12

Category: Injury

Saving Throw: Constitution DC 12

Frequency: one Round

Primary Effect: 5 (1d6+1) fire damage

Secondary Effect: 5 (1d6+1) fire damage

Cost: 150 gold pieces

Concoction of the Pallid Serpent

ACoP

Created from the paste made by grinding up leaves of the Cat’s Breath plant, and combined with the pungent juice made from King’s Pear seeds, this milky substance has a rather intoxicating aroma that often is mistaken for cooked meat. The poison has a slightly bitter taste, yet it often goes unnoticed.

Upon ingestion, the victim begins experiencing terrible headaches and visual hallucinations. They often see things twisting and warping, with vile and hideous creatures seeking to cause them harm. Those in the throes of the poison often lash out at those around them, believing that they have suddenly been surrounded by monstrosities. A few unfortunate souls have survived the experience, and the mark of paranoia often follows them until the end of their days.

Knowledge Check: DC 14

Category: Ingested

Saving Throw: DC 15 Constitution

Frequency: one Minute

Primary Effect: 7 (2d6) psychic damage

Secondary Effect: 1 point of Wisdom damage

Cost: 400 gold pieces

Dust of the Desert Winds

ACoP

This insidious powder has long been the favored poison of assassins that dwell in the harsher climates of the world. Created from grinding up a mushroom that only grows in a small cave system, the toxin begins immediately leaching all of the moisture from a victim’s body after it has entered through the mucous membranes. Once dead, the victim is little more than a dessicated husk.

Knowledge Check: DC 16

Category: Inhaled or Ingested

Saving Throw: Constitution DC 15

Frequency: one Round

Primary Effect: 4 (1d6) poison damage

Secondary Effect: 4 (1d6) poison damage

Cost: 200 gold pieces

Ghost Blossom Extract

ACoP

Created from the juice of a pale white flower that only blossoms at night, the poison elicits violent muscle contractions, often causing broken bones and shattered teeth.

Knowledge Check: DC 12

Category: Ingested or Injury

Saving Throw: DC 12 Constitution

Frequency: one Minute

Primary Effect: 6 (2d4) poison damage

Secondary Effect: 6 (2d4) bludgeoning damage

Cost: 200 gold pieces

Jade Frog Poison

ACoP

The vibrantly colored tree frog that dwells high in the treetops of a jungle spends it’s life eating insects and drinking nectar, and secreting a toxin from it’s skin to keep from being easy prey for the many serpents that also slither through the canopy overhead. Local tribes climb the trees in search for the creature so that they may coat their darts and arrows in the secreted poison.

Once the poison has entered the victim’s system, the victim begins suffering from itching, and weeping lesions begin to form upon their flesh. The toxin continues to break down the skin and internal organs until the victim perishes, leaking blood from their orifices.

Knowledge Check: DC 14

Category: Ingested or Injury

Saving Throw: Constitution DC 14

Frequency: one Round

Primary Effect: 3 (1d4) poison damage

Secondary Effect: 3 (1d4) poison damage

Cost: 125 gold pieces

Mother’s Worry

ACoP

This toxin most visibly resembles milk, and comes from the stems of a plant that grows high on the side of hills. While local goats have learned to avoid eating the plants, people have learned that by harvesting the liquid and distilling it, they can create a mild toxin that can cause unconsciousness and even death. Those affected by the toxin begin breathing shallowly as their airways are slowly constricted.

Knowledge Check: DC 10

Category: Ingested

Saving Throw: Constitution DC 10

Frequency: one Minute

Primary Effect: 1 (1d2) Constitution damage

Secondary Effect: 1 (1d2) Constitution damage

Cost: 150 gold pieces

Tears of the Infernal

ACoP

Harvested and distilled from the oozing sap of the Weeping Cactus that dwells in the most desolate deserts in the world, this oily poison dissolves organic material upon contact. Assassins often utilize the poison on their blades as it has a high enough viscosity not to drip onto their own exposed flesh, plus the rarity often causes medical aid to be less than effective, as healers are unaware of a cure.

Knowledge Check: DC 20

Category: Injury

Saving Throw: DC 16 Constitution

Frequency: one Minute

Primary Effect: 5 (1d6+1) acid damage

Secondary Effect: 5 (1d6+1) acid damage

Cost: 250 gold pieces

Tyrants Mercy

ACoP

Well known and suspected as the cause of several nobles to slowly lose their minds and slip into throes of insanity, this salve often carries a death sentence for those caught with possession of such a toxin. Those suspected in dealing in this poison are often executed, as nobles fear that such horrid concoctions would be turned upon them. When utilized, the white paste is often applied to locations that the victim’s flesh would have repeated contact with, to ensure that the toxin took hold of the victim’s mind. Tales of drawer handles, undersides of chair arms, the interior of crowns and hats, and even the lip of privies have been told about the nefarious poison.

Knowledge Check: DC 10

Category: Contact

Saving Throw: Constitution DC 12

Frequency: one Day

Primary Effect: 2 (1d3) Wisdom damage

Secondary Effect: 2 (1d3) Wisdom damage

Cost: 150 gold pieces

Witchbane

ACoP

A creation that seems to have been specially devised just to hamper arcane spellcasters, this poison is often reviled and feared by the magically enlightened. The blue jelly is often smeared upon blades wielded by assassins seeking to end the life of a wizard or sorcerer, and is quite easily identified by those familiar with the effects.

Once injured by a weapon slathered in the poison, the toxin goes to work by first destroying the knowledge of the highest level spell slots remaining in the caster’s repertoire. After stripping away the most potent spells from their mind, the poison then begins to inflict damage upon the victim’s psyche.

Knowledge Check: DC 12

Category: Injury

Saving Throw: DC 15 Wisdom

Frequency: one Round

Primary Effect: Lose highest 1d4 Spell Slots

Secondary Effect: 4 (1d6) psychic damage

Cost: 750 gold pieces