So here is an attempt at adapting the poison rules from DAGE, but widening the scope to include crafting any herbal concoction.
New Intelligence Focus:
Poison Lore: Knowing about poisons, their uses, and their preparation.
Classes: Mage, Rogue or Warrior
Requirements: Must have the Nature Lore or Poison Lore focus.
You have been trained in the art of herbalism and have learnt to create poisons, medicinal remedies and other natural compounds. If you have the ingredients you can make a herbal potion or poison in a few hours. See the Poisons and Remedies section below for details of the potions you can make and how this talent works.
Novice: You know the basics of herbalism. Choose two Novice poisons or remedies you know how to make from memory. You can brew other Novice poisons or remedies as you find and learn their recipes.
Journeyman: You have learned how to prepare more effective poisons and remedies. Choose two Journeyman poisons you know how to make from memory. You can brew other Journeyman poisons or remedies as you find and learn their recipes.
Master: You have learned how to prepare the deadliest poisons known. Choose two Master poisons or remedies you know how to make from memory. You can brew other Master poisons or remedies as you find and learn their recipes.
The Art of Herbalism
The body of lore on the preparation and use of poisons and remedies is extensive. In most realms this knowledge is shrouded in secrecy, its ancient recipes passed from master to student through generations. Even where this knowhow is easier to come by its use is difficult and dangerous to learn. Many are those who perish learning the art of poisoning. Thus, the preparation and use of poisons is usually—and wisely—left to specialists.
There are three classes of poisons and remedies in Fantasy Age: Novice, Journeyman, and Master. These correspond to the level of the Herbalism talent needed to prepare them. There are three facets to the utilization of poison or remedy. First, the recipe for a poison or remedy must be learned. Second, the poison or remedy must be prepared from its raw materials. Finally, it must be used (and when using poisons, without harming the wrong target). Each facet requires skill, and is described in the following sections.
Learning Poisons and Remedies
All characters with the Herbalism talent know how to make at least two poisons or remedies, and more are learned automatically as that talent is improved. However, most herbalists will seek to learn more recipes.
To learn a new recipe a herbalist must find a teacher, which is generally either a herbalist of greater talent or a written record such as a book or scroll. Most high-level herbalists guard their knowledge jealously, paranoid that it will be used against them or will undermine a monopoly they enjoy in their homeland. Books are hard to find. Those not destroyed by the zealous (in the case of poisons) are often held under lock and key. Where knowledge can be paid for—always and only at the GM’s discretion, and usually requiring an adventure on top of the cash price— Novice recipes cost 5–50 gp, Journeyman recipes cost 10–100 gp, and Master recipes cost 100 gp or more.
Given an appropriate source, learning a recipe requires an advanced TN 13 Intelligence (Poison Lore) test with a threshold of 15. Each test requires a day of study. Some sources of herbal knowledge may be corrupted, partial, or dangerous as the GM sees fit. When learning a poison recipe from a source like this, the player must roll on the Poison Research Mishaps table each time they fail a test.
Poison Research Mishaps
D6 Roll Effect 1-3 No additional danger. 4-5 You suffer the regular effect and basic damage of the poison you’re trying to learn. 6 You suffer the regular effect and double the basic damage of the poison you’re trying to learn.
Preparing Poisons and Remedies
To prepare one or more doses of a poison or remedy requires knowledge of the appropriate recipe, the right raw materials, and time to work. The cost of the raw materials for each poison is listed in the Poisons and Remedies Table below). These prices assume reasonable access to ready avenues of commerce, including black markets for the more powerful poisons or remedies . The GM may always declare that certain poisons or remedies cannot be prepared in certain areas because the raw materials are simply not available there, and is free to require social tests for heroes who wish to acquire the ingredients for deadly poisons without attracting the attention of the local authorities.
Player Characters can avoid paying (and attracting unwanted attention) by trying to harvest raw materials from the landscape. Harvesting one’s own ingredients requires an advanced Intelligence (Natural Lore) test with threshold 10 and a TN based on the class of the poison in question: TN 11 for Novice poisons and remedies, TN 15 for Journeyman poisons and remedies, and TN 19 for Master poisons and remedies. Each test takes a day of traveling the landscape. The GM is always free to rule that the ingredients of certain poisons are not available in a given area.
Once the raw materials are in hand, preparing a dose of poison or remedy requires an advanced Intelligence (Poison Lore for poisons, Nature Lore for remedies) test with threshold 10 and a TN based on the class of the poison in question: TN 13 for Novice poisons and remedies, TN 15 for Journeyman poisons and remedies, and TN 17 for Master poisons and remedies. Each test takes two hours (Novice poisons and remedies), four hours (Journeyman poisons and remedies), or 6 hours (Master poisons and remedies) with access to a private place and appropriate tools of the trade—burners, tubing, vessels, and so forth—in each case. A decent working setup costs 10 gp at the very least and is difficult to transport without damage. Superior and masterwork lab apparatuses cost a great deal more. On success, the test produces three doses of a Novice poison or remedy, two doses of a Journeyman poison or remedy, or one dose of a Master poison or remedy.
The GM may rule that a character making poisons with substandard or improvised equipment, tainted raw materials, or under chaotic conditions must roll on the Poison-Making Mishaps table each time they fail a production test, adding +1 to the roll if they’re working on a Journeyman poison or +2 if they’re working on a Master poison. Given potentially fatal outcomes, the GM should provide advance warning in circumstances.
D6 Roll Effect 1-3 No additional danger. 4-5 You suffer the regular effect and basic damage of the poison you’re trying to prepare. 6+ You suffer the regular effect and double the basic damage of the poison you’re trying to prepare, and your tools are damaged or destroyed (GM’s option which one).
Some creatures may be immune to the effects of certain poisons, or of all poisons. Because each poison differs from others and every creature is different, the GM is always the arbiter of these immunities. In general, the GM should consider potential immunities logically rather than biologically. For example, the incorporeal nature of ghosts and wraiths would logically render them immune to the effects of toxins.
Unless a given poison’s description says otherwise, poison can be inflicted on unfortunate victims either by ingestion or by coating a bladed weapon in the stuff and stabbing them with it.
Those with the herbalism talent are able to use poisons without endangering themselves or their allies. They’ve been taught how to carry glass flasks with due care, how to avoid nicking themselves with toxic blades, and where best to stab and cut their enemies to ensure poisons do their work quickly and effectively. Those without that talent can try to use poisons, but run the risk of disaster when they do. See the Armed and Very Dangerous below.
You can coat a single melee weapon (from the Dueling, Light Blades, or Spears Groups) or three arrows/bolts with an activate action. This uses up one dose of poison and both the poison and the weapon must be readied. This can be done prior to combat, but no more than five minutes before the encounter begins. Once applied, a poison’s effectiveness on a weapon lasts for the duration of a combat encounter only (whether because it drips off, is worn away by a scabbard, or sees its effectiveness degrade through exposure to the air or elements). A single weapon may only be coated with a single type of poison at a time, and only with a single dose of the stuff. That is, doses can’t be “doubled up.”
The poison is delivered by means of a special stunt, Envenom which can be used by any character attacking with a poison-coated weapon. Doing so does not remove the dose of poison coating the weapon, so the stunt can be used multiple times during the encounter. Note that a single enemy can only suffer the effects of a given type of poison once per encounter. “Concentrated” poisons are distinct from their non-concentrated counterparts for these (and other) purposes.
Envenom (2SP): The toxins on your blade pump through your opponent’s body and do their deadly work. Your enemy immediately suffers the basic damage and additional effects of your poison. Remember that the basic damage from poisons is penetrating damage.
Armed & Very Dangerous
When a character without the Herbalism talent tries to coat a weapon with poison they must make an TN 13 Intelligence (Poison Lore) test. They suffer a –3 penalty if battle has already begun. If the test is failed, the poison does not coat the weapon and the character immediately suffers both its basic damage (penetrating as always) and additional effects. Even if the test is passed, the character (or anyone using their imperfectly coated weapon) must spend 4 stunt points rather than 2 to perform the Envenom stunt.
Poison and Remedy Details
The Poisons table summarizes the most common toxins available. The following details are provided for each:
Damage: The basic damage a poison inflicts. Poison damage is always penetrating unless otherwise noted.
Additional Effects: The subtle and unusual effects of the poison or remedy, described in greater detail in that poison or remedy's extended description.
Cost: A typical price for the raw materials needed to make a batch of that poison or remedy, followed by a typical price to purchase a single pre-made dose. Availability is always subject to GM approval, as most of these compounds are very difficult to find on the open market given that few have common or legitimate uses.
This poison, commonly used by the Assassins, is mainly derived from the deadly blackweed plant.
Devilroot is a common and relatively harmless plant. Some primitive cultures use a distillation made from its root bulbs to induce vivid hallucinations in which they seek mystic knowledge. When concentrated the substance can be used as a weapon. Those exposed to devilroot extract must make a TN 15 Constitution (Stamina or Drinking) test. Those who fail suffer hallucinations according to the Devilroot Hallucinations table below. The involuntary actions described last only for the victim’s next turn (15 seconds during which no other actions can be taken), but they continue to suffer disorienting minor hallucinations without mechanical effects for up to an hour.
DEVILROOT HALLUCINATIONS TABLE
Roll Result 1 Even the birds are mocking me! The character spends the next turn raving at and attacking
something innocuous like a tree, barrel, wagon, shrub, or bird.]
2 Get it off! Get it off! Get it off! The character is convinced they are covered by bugs, leeches, snakes, or the like. They spend the next turn swatting at non-existent creepy crawlies. 3 You did this to me! The character believes one of their comrades has backstabbed them or is otherwise plotting their demise. On the next turn the character can only take the defend action and yell in outrage at their “betrayer.” 4 The sky, the hideous sky! The character believes that some malign creature from the sky is about to carry them off (or, for dwarves, that they are going to fall into the sky). The
character spends their next turn dropping their weapons and grabbing something solid.
5 The shadows are alive! The character is overcome with fear of the surrounding shadows, including their own. They spend the next turn running at top speed away from the
closest concentration of shadows.
6 Foul demonspawn! The character is suddenly convinced that a random nearby ally (determined by the GM) is a demon or other natural enemy. The character spends the next turn attacking that “enemy,” with a +1 bonus on attack rolls for their fervency.
Originally used by healers to help subdue and quiet wounded or troubled soldiers who were too much to handle, others have since come up with more sinister uses. Its effects last for the duration of the encounter.
Extracted from giant spiders, this poison can take the edge off a warrior’s skill. Its effects last for the duration of the encounter. The Potent Brew Stunt doubles any penalty gained.
Extracted from venomous serpents, this potent poison is particularly fast acting even with the briefest contact with skin.
CONCENTRATED BLACKWEED POISON
This wicked brew results from a long, complex distillation process. A character suffering its effects immediately moves to the end of the initiative order. Additionally, the victim must make a TN 15 Constitution (Stamina) test or cannot use any stunt costing more than 2 SP for the remainder of the encounter.
CONCENTRATED SPIDER VENOM
A concentrated distillate of an already-deadly natural poison. Its effects last for a day.
Nasty stuff, fleshrot causes a victim’s skin to immediately begin to slough off, which is horribly painful and grossly noxious. Each round for 2d6 rounds, a victim must make a TN 15 Constitution (Stamina) test at the beginning of their turn to overcome the pain. If they fail they can only take a minor action that turn. A –2 penalty to social tests where a disgusting appearance would be relevant persists for a number of days equal to the number of rounds the immediate effects persisted.
Developed by a holy order of knights, this violet liquid is anathema to mages, draining their arcane energy.
A more potent version of witchbane.
This insidious poison runs ice through its victim’s limbs, all but locking them into place. Marrow lock’s victims can only take minor actions without consequence for the remainder of the encounter. To take a major action they must make a TN 15 Constitution (Stamina) test. On a success they suffer 1d6 penetrating damage and can carry out their action. On a failure they suffer 2d6 penetrating damage and can do nothing but howl in agony.
A foul mixture of poisons infamous even in assassins’ circles, Silent Death kills instantaneously—or doesn’t, if (say the legends) its intended victim is destined for greater things. Victims must make a TN 19 Constitution (Stamina) test, but also add their level to their roll. Those who succeed shrug off the effects. Those who fail fall immediately to 0 Health and soon expire according to the normal rules for dying. Attempts to stabilize victims of Silent Death suffer a –3 penalty.
Wyvern venom slows prey and kills gradually. Once afflicted, a target is in mortal danger. After a few moments, however, venom exposed to air becomes far less dangerous. Thus it is essential to harvest wyvern venom quickly and carefully if it is to be stored for future use by, say, poisoners. A TN 17 Intelligence (Poison Lore) test, requiring the remains of a freshly slain wyvern, harvests 1d6 doses of viable venom, leaving none behind for a second attempt. When using the Poison-Making Mishap rule, wyvern venom adds only a +1 to the mishap result. A character poisoned with wyvern’s venom must make a TN 15 Constitution (Stamina) test or be subject to its effects. A poisoned character drops to 0 Health after a number of hours equal to 1d6 + Constitution (minimum one hour), dying unless they receive a dose of antidote before their time runs out. During this time, victims are subject to fever, visions, and a -4 penalty to Dexterity and Accuracy.
Poison and Remedy Table
Poison Damage Additional Effects Buy Cost Make Cost Novice Blackweed Poison 2d6 - 6 gp 2 gp Devilroot Extract - Hallucinations 15 sp 5 sp Feeblewort - -2 Fighting and Strength 3 gp 1 gp Spider Venom - -2 Accuracy and Dexterity 3 gp 1 gp Journeyman Adder Venom 4d6 - 30 gp 10 gp Concentrated Blackweed Poison 3d6 Delayed initiative, stunt restriction 21 gp 7 gp Concentrated Spider Venom 1d6 -4 Accuracy and Dexterity 18 gp 6 gp Fleshrot 2d6 Actions lost to pain 24 gp 8 gp Witchbane - Lose 2d6 magic points 24 gp 8 gp Master Concentrated Witchbane - Lose 4d6 magic points 39 gp 13 gp Marrow Lock - Major actions difficult and damaging 45 gp 15 gp Silent Death 3d6 Fall to 0 Health 60 gp 20 gp Wyvern Venom 1d6 Fall to 0 Health in Constitution + 1d6 hours 50 gp -