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Poisons can be divided into four basic types according to the method by which their effect is delivered, as follows.

Contact: Merely touching this type of poison necessitates a saving throw. It can be actively delivered via a weapon or a touch attack. Even if a creature has sufficient damage reduction to avoid taking any damage from the attack, the poison can still affect it. A chest or other object can be smeared with contact poison as part of a trap.

Ingested: Ingested poisons are virtually impossible to utilize in a combat situation. A poisoner could administer a potion to an unconscious creature or attempt to dupe someone into drinking or eating something poisoned. Assassins and other characters tend to use ingested poisons outside of combat.

Inhaled: Inhaled poisons are usually contained in fragile vials or eggshells. They can be thrown as a ranged attack with a range increment of 10 feet. When it strikes a hard surface (or is struck hard), the container releases its poison. One dose spreads to fill the volume of a 10-foot cube. Each creature within the area must make a saving throw. (Holding one’s breath is ineffective against inhaled poisons; they affect the nasal membranes, tear ducts, and other parts of the body.)

Injury: This poison must be delivered through a wound. If a creature has sufficient damage reduction to avoid taking any damage from the attack, the poison does not affect it. Traps that cause damage from weapons, needles, and the like sometimes contain injury poisons.

The characteristics of poisons are summarized on Table: Poisons. Terms on the table are defined below.

Type: The poison’s method of delivery (contact, ingested, inhaled, or via an injury) and the Fortitude save DC to avoid the poison’s damage.

Initial Damage: The damage the character takes immediately upon failing his saving throw against this poison. Ability damage is temporary unless marked with an asterisk (*), in which case the loss is a permanent drain. Paralysis lasts for 2d6 minutes.

Secondary Damage: The amount of damage the character takes 1 minute after exposure as a result of the poisoning, if he fails a second saving throw. Unconsciousness lasts for 1d3 hours. Ability damage marked with an asterisk is permanent drain instead of temporary damage.

Price: The cost of one dose (one vial) of the poison. It is not possible to use or apply poison in any quantity smaller than one dose. The purchase and possession of poison is always illegal, and even in big cities it can be obtained only from specialized, less than reputable sources.

Perils of Using Poison

A character has a 5% chance of exposing himself to a poison whenever he applies it to a weapon or otherwise readies it for use. Additionally, a character who rolls a natural 1 on an attack roll with a poisoned weapon must make a DC 15 Reflex save or accidentally poison himself with the weapon.

Poison Immunities

Creatures with natural poison attacks are immune to their own poison. Nonliving creatures (constructs and undead) and creatures without metabolisms (such as elementals) are always immune to poison. Oozes, plants, and certain kinds of outsiders are also immune to poison, although conceivably special poisons could be concocted specifically to harm them.

Table: Common Poisons

Poison

Type

Initial Damage

Secondary Damage

Price

Nitharit

Contact DC 13

0

3d6 Con

650 gp

Sassone leaf residue

Contact DC 16

2d12 hp

1d6 Con

300 gp

Malyss root paste

Contact DC 16

1 Dex

2d4 Dex

500 gp

Terinav root

Contact DC 16

1d6 Dex

2d6 Dex

750 gp

Black lotus extract

Contact DC 20

3d6 Con

3d6 Con

4,500 gp

Dragon bile

Contact DC 26

3d6 Str

0

1,500 gp

Striped toadstool

Ingested DC 11

1 Wis

2d6 Wis + 1d4 Int

180 gp

Arsenic

Ingested DC 13

1 Con

1d8 Con

120 gp

Id moss

Ingested DC 14

1d4 Int

2d6 Int

125 gp

Oil of taggit

Ingested DC 15

0

Unconsciousness

90 gp

Lich dust

Ingested DC 17

2d6 Str

1d6 Str

250 gp

Dark reaver powder

Ingested DC 18

2d6 Con

1d6 Con + 1d6 Str

300 gp

Ungol dust

Inhaled DC 15

1 Cha

1d6 Cha + 1 Cha*

1,000 gp

Insanity mist

Inhaled DC 15

1d4 Wis

2d6 Wis

1,500 gp

Burnt othur fumes

Inhaled DC 18

1 Con*

3d6 Con

2,100 gp

Black adder venom

Injury DC 11

1d6 Con

1d6 Con

120 gp

Small centipede poison

Injury DC 11

1d2 Dex

1d2 Dex

90 gp

Bloodroot

Injury DC 12

0

1d4 Con + 1d3 Wis

100 gp

Drow poison

Injury DC 13

Unconsciousness

Unconsciousness for 2d4 hours

75gp

Greenblood oil

Injury DC 13

1 Con

1d2 Con

100 gp

Blue whinnis

Injury DC 14

1 Con

Unconsciousness

120 gp

Medium spider venom

Injury DC 14

1d4 Str

1d4 Str

150 gp

Shadow essence

Injury DC 17

1 Str*

2d6 Str

250 gp

Wyvern poison

Injury DC 17

2d6 Con

2d6 Con

3,000 gp

Large scorpion venom

Injury DC 18

1d6 Str

1d6 Str

200 gp

Giant wasp poison

Injury DC 18

1d6 Dex

1d6 Dex

210 gp

Deathblade

Injury DC 20

1d6 Con

2d6 Con

1,800 gp

Purple worm poison

Injury DC 24

1d6 Str

2d6 Str

700 gp

*Permanent drain, not temporary damage.

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