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Discuss Quests, Cards, Monsters etc from the Kellar's Keep Quest Pack.

Re: Poison?

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Friday February 11th, 2022 2:12pm

My initial thoughts on poisons

What is the effect of poison?

“I’ve been poisoned AND…” in my opinion there needs to be an impact of being poisoned over and above the physical damage that may result from the actual attack, i.e. if I get stabbed by a Goblin armed with a spear that has been tipped with a blade venom then I would expect at least the chance that I would be worse off than if I had just got stabbed by a Goblin armed with a spear that hasn’t been tipped with a blade venom.

It needs to be an ongoing effect that can be ended by the poison being neutralised so that things that neutralise poisons have a purpose.

If we are using lost BP due to poison attacks differently from other lost BP, then we need a way of easily tracking BP lost due to poison as opposed to other BP loss. A simple method of doing this has been suggested elsewhere on this forum, use the Monster Skull Counters as “Poison Counters”, and just place one or more as appropriate on the Hero’s character sheet to indicate the number of body points lost due to poisonous attacks

Every Body Point lost in a poisonous attack results in a poison counter being placed on the Hero’s character sheet (if the attack fails to cause at least one lost Body Point then the poison isn’t relevant)

Ongoing Effect, Healing & Recovery

If “standard” healing spells, potions, artefacts etc can be used to neutralise poison effects then that undermines the utility of specific anti-poison spells, potions, or items. I’m not saying that it renders them pointless but it weakens them so I would say that effects caused by poisons can only be countered by anti-poison items (but poison effects would still be cured between Quests)

This property also neatly covers the ongoing effect of poisons, poison counters can only be removed by anti-poison items and not healing items, and lost body points can only be restored by healing items and not anti-poison items.

For me something that cancels the effect of a poison wouldn’t immediately restore you to full health, it would just stop the poison effects, you would then need time (between Quests) or other healing to restore yourself to full health so I would suggest anti-poison items would just remove, 1 or more or all poison counters (this also saves the question of “my anti-poison thing says it restores 2 body points, can I use it now to restore 2 BP even though I haven’t been poisoned?” if the description states that it can be used to remove 2 poison counters then that is self-explanatory)

For the purposes of healing, items that restore x number of lost Body Points but up to a maximum of your starting value, would have to deduct the number of poison counters from your starting BP total.

E.g., Barbarian on 4BP with 2 poison counters could otherwise using a Healing Potion to restore himself to full 8BP but due to the ongoing poison effects he can either use it now but only restore to 6BP (losing a potential restoration of 2BP) or would have to wait until he dropped to 2BP to get the full 4BP restoration (the effect here would be the risk of delay)


The blade venoms of the Natchga Goblins in Rogar’s Hall could be reworked so that they roll 2 attack dice as standard, and any BP loss caused would add one or two poison counters to the Hero’s character sheet

Attacks from small venomous creatures (spider, snake, scorpion) may work the same with one or two attack dice, same for poison dart traps.

Attacks from monstrous venomous creatures (Spider/Snake/Scorpion) think “Shelob” would work the same but with more attack dice so wouldn’t be a gradual accumulation but potentially a single bite causing ongoing problems

You could also, as I have in my house rules, modify some existing traps rules, for example a pit trap would be as follows.
• Standard Pit Trap (which contain stakes) – roll 2 Attack Dice for Damage, each skull = 1BP lost, no defend dice (I prefer the option of it causing 0-2 damage rather than the standard guaranteed 1BP only)
• Poisoned Pit Trap (the stakes are poisoned) - roll 2 Attack Dice for Damage, each skull = 1BP lost and one poison counter placed, no defend dice

This would mean that the effects of minor poisonous attacks, goblin blade venom, small creature attacks, minor poisonous traps wouldn’t be so bad in and of itself but the effects if not carrying anti-venom of some kind would accumulate as these type of encounters are generally likely to reoccur during a quest, you tend not to get just one goblin with a poisoned weapon, you get loads of the little buggers, and could cause increasingly serious effects even death as time goes by, due to the fact that your ability to heal / restore BP would become increasing hard – imagine trying to struggle through the second half of a dungeon as an Elf when you have 4 poison counters so can only bounce your BP between 0-2.

Equally, potent poisonous attacks like an attack from a monstrous spider or snake or a large powerful poison cloud trap might get you to that state in a single hit.

Converting the “revised” effects of anti-poisons

Venom Antidote
Cost: 150 Gold Coins
This bubbling brew tastes foul but neutralises a single dose of poison. Remove a single Poison Counter only.
May only be used once.

Note: Have corrected “fowl” to “foul” but then I suppose everything tastes like chicken.

Anti-poison Quill
Neutralises the effects of a single poison attack. Must be used immediately following the attack, on the same turn and remove all poison counters caused by a single attack/event.
May only be used once.

The Anti-Poison Quill is therefore limited in that it relates to a single attack and is time-limited (i.e. you jab it into the affected area immediately) but isn’t limited in terms of its effects, whereas the Venom Antidote is not time limited and the effects are general but it is limited in terms of it only being able to remove a single counter – I reduce it from two to one and halved the cost as that makes more sense to me, otherwise you’ll be wandering around hoping for a second poison attack to make the most of your antidote and it also makes a clearer separation between the utility of the antidote – low level poison traps and bites – annoying but unlikely to be fatal and high level monstrous bites and poison gas attacks that are potentially fatal in and of themselves.

And introducing a new item...

Potion of Snake Oil
This thick sticky pink liquid instantly neutralises all traces of poison from your system. Remove all potion counters from your Hero’s sheet.
May only be used once.
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