Hey all, if you’ve been waiting around for a post, I’m not here to disappoint this time. This is something that I’ve mentioned in the past I needed to get done, and finally I just bit down on the last few bits of it today. What you’ll find in the link is a chart with ~150 different effects for poisons and a fairly simple method of getting to the ones you want. Go ahead and take a look at it, then come back with how you even use it in the first place.
Huge right? Each poison is broken down to the type of affliciton it’ll cause and the method of delivery, with a few options for onset times and saving throws. Some poisons will have more than a single effect, and anything optional is marked in bold. Curious on how to make it all work? Well I’ve got a handy guide written up here as well. Enjoy.
Poisons are very expensive to make and take a large amount of skill to use and dose properly so as to afflict your target appropriately while not injuring yourself. The crafting tables here are most likely more complicated than necessary for gameplay elements, and can easily be exaggerated into unattainable recipes at the lower levels. Technically this is made for a modified version of 2e, but it scales pretty high and could possibly be used for d20 variants as well, I don’t know as I haven’t tested it.
What is laid out here is a method that allows someone with Poison Lore to do research and semi-randomly create poisons. For this one would need a full laboratory as you are finding new methods and recipes. Field kits can be much smaller, but only used with tested and well known recipes.
Step 1 requires a DC25 check against Poison Lore on which the player may Take 10. This determines the delivery method, number of doses, and type of affliction the poison will end up making if properly synthesized.
Step 2 you begin to gather the modifiers for the effects the poison will have before making a check to determine if it synthesizes properly. To do this, find the affliction you rolled, and the delivery method. Each of these columns will have an mod value, add them together as you go across. Within each Delivery bracket will be 3 rows with varied mod values to reflect how potent the poison is. You can choose from any of these, one per row, excluding the mod value that follows the effect. Choose the first effect as desired and add it’s mod, then choose the second effect if available. Effects in bold are optional and can be ignored to end up with a lower total mod value. After determining the second effect, choose the Onset Time and Saving Throw if applicable. Once they’re all added up you should have something like this.
1.40 Total x DC 25 = DC 35
Where DC 35 would be the second Poison Lore check needed to save this specific recipe and finish the poison. One the recipe is saved, it would require that same DC 35 check to create it and can be done from a field kit if necessary. In 2e, additional ranks of a proficiency will increase the check value which can allow someone to specialize in Poison Lore and make more powerful poisons. 3e would use Craft: Poison (or whatever the equivalent) and would likely advance a bit faster so some of the values might need to be tweaked to make sense of it.
Step 3 determines the value of each dose of the poison using the same mod (0.40) that was used to synthesize it. I’ve already found most of the common values to give an estimate. This particular poison would require 380gp per dose (value of ingredients are 1:1) to create and is on the lower end of costs. Selling a dose of poison while normally illegal will grant you 1.5x the cost of making it, so a single potion of this type would sell for 570g in normal markets. In some areas where poison is not illegal, the profit margins are cut to 1.2x or 455gp for a dose.
Step 4 is not necessarily something that needs to be done right away, but should be noted on the poison itself when it is created. Using the same mod value again (0.40) add it to the 0.50 and multiply the result by DC 25 for the DC needed to weaponize it. This will always be quite a bit lower than the synthesize check, but some particularly deadly poisons are still very tough to handle properly. This poison in particular would require (0.40 + 0.50 = 0.90 x DC 25 = DC 23), meaning a character with a DEX of 13 would be safe to Take 10. Again, this posion is on the easier end of things to handle where others might go as high as DC 36.