When a character takes damage from a poisoned weapon, touches an item smeared with contact poison, or consumes poisoned food or drink, he must make a Fortitude saving throw. A character who fails the saving throw takes the poison's initial damage, which is usually ability score damage. Even a character who succeeds at the initial saving throw faces secondary damage 1 minute later, which can be avoided by making a separate Fortitude save.

PoisonTypeInitial DamageSecondary DamagePrice
Small centipede poisonInjury DC 111d2 Dex1d2 Dex90 gp
Greenblood oilInjury DC 131 Con1d2 Con100 gp
Medium-size spider venomInjury DC 141d4 Str1d6 Str150 gp
BloodrootInjury DC 1201d4 Con-1d3 Wis100 gp
Purple worm poisonInjury DC 241d6 Str1d6 Str700 gp
Large scorpion venomInjury DC 181d6 Str1d6 Str200 gp
Wyvern poisonInjury DC 172d6 Con2d6 Con3,000 gp
Blue whinnisInjury DC 141 ConUnconsciousness120 gp
Giant wasp poisonInjury DC 181d6 Dex1d6 Dex210 gp
Shadow essenceInjury DC 171d6 Str2d6 Str250 gp
Black adder venomInjury DC 1201d6 Str120 gp
DeathbladeInjury DC 201d6 Con2d6 Con1,800 gp
Malyss root pasteContact DC 161 Dex2d4 Dex500 gp
NitharitContact DC 1303d6 Con650 gp
Dragon bileContact DC 263d6 Str01,500 gp
Sassone leaf residueContact DC 162d12 hp1d6 Con300 gp
Terinav rootContact DC 161d6 Dex2d6 Dex750 gp
Carrion crawler brain juiceContact DC 13Paralysis0200 gp
Black lotus extractContact DC 203d6 Con3d6 Con2,500 gp
Oil of taggitIngested DC 150Unconsciousness90 gp
Id mossIngested DC 141d4 Int2d6 Int125 gp
Striped toadstoolIngested DC 111 Wis2d6 Wis + 1d4 Int180 gp
ArsenicIngested DC 131 Con1d6 Con120 gp
Lich dustIngested DC 172d6 Str1d6 Str250 gp
Dark reaver powderIngested DC 182d6 Con1d6 Con+ 1d6 Str300 gp
Ungol dustInhaled DC 151 Cha1d6 Cha+ 1 Cha*1,000 gp
Burnt othur fumesInhaled DC 181 Con*3d6 Con2,100 gp
Insanity mistInhaled DC 151d4 Wis2d6 Wis1,500 gp

Type: The poison's method of delivery-ingested, inhaled, via an injury, or contact and the DC needed to save.

Initial Damage: The damage the character takes immediately upon failing his saving throw against this type of poison. Ability score 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. Loss 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 only be obtained from specialized, less than reputable sources.

Perils of Using Poison

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

Poison Immunities

Wyverns, medusas, and other 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 creatures (such as tanar'ri) are also immune to poison, although conceivably a special poison could be concocted specifically to harm them.

Creating Poisons

The first rule for refining natural poisons, such as an animal's venom, into a generally useful poison is that simply killing the creature and wiping your character's blade on its poison gland doesn't work. Most creature's poisons are a delicate mixture of various toxins, and that delicate mix is often disrupted when the creature dies or the poison is exposed to the air. Getting the poison to persist on a blade and remain effective is a trickier task still.

Refining raw materials, such as creature venom, into an effective poison requires time, determination, and an application of craft. Craft (poisonmaking), a subcategory of the Craft skill, provides the necessary expertise. The table above provides Craft (poisonmaking) DCs for usable poisons made from centipede, scorpion, and spider venom.

Making poisons with the Craft (poisonmaking) skill follows the rules in Craft Items for making items with the Craft skill, with the following two exceptions.

Cost: The cost of raw materials for a poison varies widely depending on whether the character has access to the active ingredient - that is, the venom or plant that actually provides the poison. If a supply is readily available, the raw materials cost 1/6 of the market price, nor 1/3. Otherwise, the raw materials cost at least 3/4 of the market price - assuming that the substance in question is for sale at all.

Time: To figure our how much poison can be made in a week, the character makes a Craft (poisonmaking) check at the end of the week. If the check is successful, multiply the check result by the DC for the check. That result is how many gold pieces' worth of poison are created that week. When the total gold pieces' worth created equals or exceeds the market price of one dose of the poison, that poisonmaker has completed that dose. For a skilled poisonmaker, multiple doses in a week may be possible. If the poisonmaker fails the check, no progress is made that week. If the poisonmaker fails the check by 5 or more, the raw materials are ruined and must be reobtained.

Using the Alchemy Skill: Characters with the Alchemy skill can substitute it for Craft (poisonmaking), but doing so imposes a -4 circumstance penalty on checks related to poisonmaking.

Harvesting Venom: Because of the refinement process, raw venom from creatures doesn't command anywhere near the price of a dose of real poison. There is no open market for poison raw materials, because the use of poison is often illegal, or at least rarely admitted to. Characters who hunt creatures for their venom will have a difficult time finding buyers for corpses of poisonous creatures. If they can find a buyer, characters will typically get 1/6 of the cost of one dose of the refined version of the poison.

More Poisons

The poisons below augment those described above. Some are obviously derived from poisonous monsters in the Monster Manual, while others are the creation of evil poisonmakers.

PoisonTypeDCInitial DamageSecondary DamagePriceDC to Create
Tiny centipede poisonInjury111 Dex1 Dex40 gp15
Small centipede poisonInjury111d2 Dex1d2 Dex90 gp15
Medium-size centipede poisonInjury131d3 Dex1d3 Dex110 gp15
Large centipede poisonInjury161d4 Dex1d4 Dex150 gp18
Huge centipede poisonInjury181d6 Dex1d6 Dex210 gp20
Gargantuan centipede poisonInjury261d8 Dex1d8 Dex 950 gp20
Colossal centipede poisonInjury362d6 Dex2d6 Dex2,900 gp30
Tiny scorpion poisonInjury111d2 Str1d2 Str90 gp15
Small scorpion poisonInjury111d3 Str1d3 Str100 gp15
Medium-size scorpion poisonInjury151d4 Str1d4 Str175 gp18
Large scorpion poisonInjury181d6 Str1d6 Str200 gp20
Huge scorpion poisonInjury261d8 Str1d8 Str1,200 gp25
Gargantuan scorpion poisonInjury362d6 Str2d6 Str3,000 gp32
Colossal scorpion poisonInjury542d8 Str2d8 Str9,000 gp35
Tiny spider venomInjury111d2 Str1d2 Str90 gp15
Small spider venomInjury111d3 Str1d3 Str100 gp15
Medium-size spider venomInjury131d4 Str1d4 Str150 gp18
Large spider venomInjury161d6 Str1d6 Str175 gp18
Huge spider venomInjury221d8 Str1d8 Str1000 gp20
Gargantuan spider venomInjury312d6 Str2d6 Str2,500 gp26
Colossal spider venomInjury352d8 Str2d8 Str3,000 gp28
Bebilith venomInjury201d6 Con2d6 Con900 gp20
DevilseyeInjury21*1 point of SR1d3 points of SR1,000 gp22
LifebaneInjury20**1d6 Con1d6 Con2,000 gp25
EyeblastInjury22BlindnessBlindness500 gp23
Balor bileContact251d6 Str1d6 Str1,000 gp25
VilestarContact24**2d6 Str2d6 Str6,000 gp34
Sasson juiceContact181d4 Dex1d4 Dex500 gp22
SufferfumeInhaled201 all scores1 all scores1,200 gp21
UrthanykInhaled191d6 Str1d6 Str2,000 gp26
Mist of NournInhaled251d8 Con1d8 Con7,000 gp35
IshentavInhaled131d6 Str1d6 Str500 gp25
Burning angel wing fumesInhaled181d6 Cha2d6 Cha2,800 gp27
Basilisk breathInhaled17*1d6 Con1d6 Con2,500 gp26
* Affects outsiders otherwise immune to poison.
** Damage is vile damage.
*** Damage to SR returns at the same rate as ability score damage.

Underdark Poisons

The drow are widely acknowledged as masters of the dark art of poisoning, but many other Underdark folk also make use of the deadly poisons that are so common in the deep places.

Cave Terror: Distilled from cave creeper fungus, this poison can be made with a DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check.

Drow Knockout Poison: The dark elves are renowned for their use of unconsciousness-inducing poison. They carefully guard the secret of their venom, and it is difficult to find outside of drow realms and outposts.

Sickstone Unguent: This paste is made of powdered sickstone and other virulent poisons. It is usually applied to weapons.

Stun Gas: The svirfneblin brew this gas from the spores of rare mushrooms. It can be stored in airtight containers in liquid form, but when such a container is broken, the poison is released as a 15-foot puff of gas. The deep gnomes create special, glass-headed darts to hold it and throw them at specific enemies or at the walls of caverns to disable large groups.

Virile Madness: An admixture of rare earths and magical rocks, virile madness is a dangerous, tempting poison. It grants the imbiber a temporary enhancement bonus to Strength and Constitution, while degrading her mental powers via penalties to Intelligence and Wisdom. It can be made with a DC 25 Craft (alchemy) check.

Shadow Essence Poison (Fort DC 17, initial damage 1 point of Strength drain, secondary damage 2d6 points of Strength damage)

Underdark Poisons
PoisonTypeInitial DamageSecondary DamagePrice
Cave terrorIngested DC 20Confusion1d4 Int damage200 gp
Drow knockout poisonInjury DC 13Unconsciousness (1 minute)Unconsciousness (2d4 hours)75 gp
Sickstone unguentInjury DC 191d4 Con damage1d4 Con drain1,500 gp
Stun gasInhaled DC 12Stunning (1 round)Stunning (1d4 rounds)40 gp
Virile madnessIngested DC 20+1d2 bonus to Str, +1d2 bonus to Con, 1d4 Int damage, 1d4 Wis damage+1d2 bonus to Str, 1d4 Int damage, 1d4 Wis damage1,200 gp

More Drow Poisons

Darklight Brew: Darklight ore (see page 154, Drow of the Underdark) is powdered and cut with a mild acid to create this poison. The radiation of the ore is diminished greatly in this process, but its effect becomes acute when it is introduced into the bloodstream. This poison can be made with a DC 28 Craft (poisonmaking) check.
The blindness from the poison lasts for 1 hour.

Fish Glue: The body oil of captured kuo-toas is used to create this poison, which is named for the rigidity it causes in the joints of the victim and its characteristic fishy smell. It can be crafted with a DC 18 Craft (poisonmaking) check.
The sickness from the poison lasts for 1 hour.

Illithid Mindscorch: The brain matter of recently slain illithids can be distilled, capturing some of its psionic potential and creating this extremely rare poison. Though it is a liquid in its basic form, it is ineffective unless reduced to an aerosol and absorbed through the nasal passages of the victim. It can be created with a DC 27 (poisonmaking) check, though the DC is reduced by 5 if the creator has ranks in Knowledge (psionics) or Psicraft or has levels in a psionic character class (see Expanded Psionics Handbook).
Illithids immediately try to devour the brains of anyone they catch with this substance.

Psychotropic Rot: Distilled violet fungus and other chemicals can be mixed together to create this insidious toxin. It can be created with a DC 17 Craft (poisonmaking) check.

Roach Paste: This brown paste is made from the crushed bodies of the carrion-eating giant roaches found in the Underdark. It is known for its horrendous smell. It can be created with a DC 15 Craft (poisonmaking) check.
The nausea from the poison lasts for 1 round.
The disease it transmits is filth fever.

Underdark Blight: Running a chemical solution over certain rare ores and minerals found in the Underdark creates this poison; it is effective at removing spell resistance. Lost spell resistance returns at the same rate and by the same means as ability score damage. Underdark blight can be created with a DC 20 Craft (poisonmaking) check.

PoisonTypeInitial DamageSecondary DamagePrice
Darklight brewInjury (DC 23)2d6 Con
+ 1d6 Str
Blinded1,500 gp
Fish glueInjury (DC 14)1d4 DexSickened100 gp
Illithid mindscorchInhaled (DC 22)1d6 Int1d6 Int1,000 gp
Psychotropic rotIngested (DC 15)1d4 Wis3d18 hp125 gp
Roach pasteInjury (DC 12)NauseaDisease50 gp
Underdark blightContact (DC 20)1 SR1 SR300 gp

Magic-Infused Poisons

As masters of their craft and natural manipulators of magical energies, cruel drow alchemists have discovered ways to infuse spell effects into the venoms they concoct. Immunity to mundane poisons provides no resistance to these new substances, nor does spell resistance; however, neutralize poison and slow poison are still effective. A successful dispel magic against a caster level equal to 1/2 the poison's Fortitude save DC likewise removes its effects.

These poisons are created not only with the Craft (poisonmaking) skill, but also with an appropriate spell (which must be cast by the creator).

The Calling: This lumpy black paste is magically infused with spider eggs and can be hidden in a dish of food, in which it is detectable only with a successful DC 20 Profession (cook) check. If it is consumed, and if the victim fails the initial save, a swarm of spiders hatches within the victim's stomach, dealing the initial damage. The swarm is then digested and destroyed without further harm, unless the second save is failed. In that case, it bursts forth from the victim's nose and mouth, dealing the secondary damage and coalescing as a spider swarm, attacking everyone in the area. This poison can be created with a DC 28 Craft (poisonmaking) check and a summon swarm spell.

Creeping Nullscourge: Used during bouts of drow infighting, on failed save this poison drains 5 points of the target's spell resistance. The secondary damage also drains 5 points of spell resistance. Lost spell resistance returns at the same rate and by the same means as ability score damage. This poison can be created with a DC 25 Craft (poisonmaking) check and an assay spell resistance spell.

Slowswarming: Unlike swarming spiderbite below, this poison is for those drow caught in acts of treachery or blasphemy. It is usually administered to a prisoner over several days; each dose creates a slower and more agonizing biting sensation similar to that caused by swarming spiderbite, but also disfigures the body with horrific red boils. It can be created with a DC 21 Craft (poisonmaking) check and a poison spell.

Slow Taint: This poison reduces the target's speed by 10 feet on a failed save. The secondary damage reduces speed by another 10 feet. The target's speed cannot be reduced below 5 feet. The poison can be created with a DC 18 Craft (poisonmaking) check and a slow spell. Its effect has a duration of 1 hour.

Swarming Spiderbite: Usually taken to ensure an honorable death (or to avoid torture) by drow defeated in battle, the effect of this poison is like the biting mouths of venomous spiders starting from the extremities and advancing throughout the body. It can be created with a DC 26 Craft (poison making) check and a poison spell.

PoisonTypeInitial DamageSecondary DamagePrice
The callingIngested
DC 20
2d6 Con2d6 Con2,000 gp
Creeping nullscourgeInjury
DC 20
5 SR5 SR1,000 gp
DC 25
1d2 Con
+1d6 Cha
1d2 Con1,200 gp
Slow taintContact
DC 15
10 ft.10 ft.300 gp
Swarming spiderbiteIngested
DC 22
1d6 Con2d6 Con1,800 gp

Psychic Poison

Psychic poisons are a particular sort of intentional curse bestowed upon a creature, object, or area, almost always the result of the psychic poison spell. Psychic poisons are used as traps in the same way that a contact poison might be used on a chest full of valuables. A psychic poison is a magical toxin that affects those who cast certain types of spells on the creature, object, or area.

If a spellcaster casts a mind-affecting or divination spell at an object or area affected by psychic poison, or at a creature within a poisoned area, the caster must make an immediate Will saving throw (DC determined by the psychic poison spell). Casters who fail their saves are affected by the psychic poison, taking the initial damage given below. Whether the saving throw was successful or not, the caster must succeed at another saving throw 1 minute later to avoid secondary damage (much like a mundane poison).

Each psychic poison has a minimum level associated with it. A caster or item creator must be at least that level to utilize that particular psychic poison when making an item or casting the psychic poison spell.

Psychic Poisons
PoisonInitial TargetSecondary DamageMinimum DamageLevel
Darin-tasithCreature1d6 Int1d6 Int7th
KaradrachCreature1d6 Wis1d6 Wis7th
EstadrachCreature1d8 Wis2d8 Wis9th
StraddaCreature or object1d6 Cha1d6 Cha8th
NishitaObject1d6 Int1d6 Int7th
VashitaObject1d6 Wis1d6 Wis7th
LanshitaObject2d6 Cha2d6 Cha11th
Blue unlynArea1d6 Int1d6 Int8th
Red unlynArea1d6 Wis1d6 Wis8th
Amber unlynArea1d6 Cha1d6 Cha8th
Violet unlynArea1d6 Int2d6 Int10th
Black unlynArea1d6 Int
1d6 Wis
1d6 Cha
1d6 Int
1d6 Wis
1d6 Cha

Magic Poisons - (Dragon #322)

Shadows of Undrentide presents a new adventure featuring magic poisons. This article takes the idea presented there and expands it, presenting a small list of magic qualities that can enhance any poison.

Brewing Magic Poison

Creating a magic poison is similar to creating a potion. However, their magic enhancements more closely resemble magic weapon enhancements in that they give the venom additional abilities that usually can stack with one another. The person attempting to create the magic poison must have the Brew Potion feat and know all the spells listed as requirements for the properties he wishes to add.

The formula for calculating the cost of brewing a potion is 25 gp x spell level x caster level. Use this formula for determining the cost for brewing a magic poison, but replace the 25 gp figure with the cost of one dose of the type of poison to be enhanced. For example, brewing a dose of gripping ungol dust costs 1,000 gp (cost of one dose of ungol dust) x 2 (gripping equals a 2nd-level spell) x 3 (its 3rd-level caster), or 6,000 gp.

Poison Qualities

You can add the following qualities to any mundane poison.

Concentrated: A poison with this enhancement is considerably more lethal than normal poison. Using special distilling processes, the brewer intensifies the poison repeatedly, guaranteeing the venom has maximum possible effect.
Concentrated poison deals maximum damage each time it inflicts damage. Concentrated poisons that cause paralyzation or unconsciousness instead have their durations maximized.
Faint necromancy; CL 5th; Brew Potion, Maximize Spell, bestow curse; Price 15 x poison cost per dose.

Contagious: Contagious poison seeps into the skin of the victim in addition to wherever else in the body it attacks. By inundating itself in the host body this way, the poison turns the victim's sweat and touch into a weaker version of itself.
Once contagious poison affects a victim, whether by its initial exposure or the secondary effects, the venom seeps into his body. While it deals no further damage and does not prevent recovery, it taints the victim and effectively turns his touch into a contact poison. The poison affects the next creature the victim touches with bare flesh. The contagious poison can only affect one additional creature in this way. The poison transmitted does not have the contagious quality, but it has any other magic qualities of the original poison.
Faint necromancy; CL 3rd; Brew Potion, ghoul touch; Price 6 x poison cost per dose.

Destructive: This property can only be added to poison already enhanced with the repeating property. Destructive poison is among the most vicious kinds of poison available. This lingering attack kills its victims slowly and leaves many survivors crippled.
Treat destructive venom as normal repeating venom. However, should the poison manage to reduce an ability score to 0 (and that doesn't kill the victim), the poison begins to convert the ability damage into permanent ability drain at its normal damage rate. For example, a dose of gripping repeating destructive insanity mist that has reduced its victim to 0 Wisdom through ability damage begins to convert that damage to permanent ability drain at a rate of 2d6 points of Wisdom per day. Victims surviving this poison still regain any temporary damage at the normal rate.
Moderate necromancy; CL 5th; Brew Potion, inflict serious wounds; Price 15 x poison cost per dose.

Gripping: Gripping poison seizes a victim and refuses to let go. Once ingested, this poison works ever deeper into the body, making it harder to purge.
Poisons with this quality deal no additional damage, but the time required to recover from them is significantly longer. Victims exposed to this variety of poison must make a Fortitude save and another save 1 minute later. However, if either of these saves fail, the poison works its way into the victim's body. Once embedded, the victim cannot recover from the damage the poison dealt until purged of the venom.
Gripping poison differs from most other qualities in that it has degrees. The number of successful Fortitude saves the victim must make in order to overcome a gripping poison equals the number of degrees a poison has in gripping. The victim makes one Fortitude save per day, and once he makes a number of successful Fortitude saves equal to the poison's gripping degree, he is free of the effect and can begin to heal normally.
A poison may not have more than five degrees in this quality. To determine the cost of enhancing a poison with multiple degrees of this quality, simply multiply the cost of the gripping poison by the number of degrees desired.
Neutralize poison does not automatically remove a gripping poison from the victim, but it does count as one successful Fortitude save.
Faint transmutation; CL 3rd; Brew Potion, bear's endurance; Price 6 x poison cost per dose x number of degrees.

Mounting: Only a poison already enhanced with the gripping property can have the mounting property added to it. Mounting poison inundates the host body just like gripping poison, but it digs much deeper, seeping into the body more thoroughly.
Treat mounting poison as normal gripping poison, except that each failed Fortitude save adds +2 to the DC for future saves, to a maximum of double the normal DC.
Faint necromancy; CL 3rd; Brew Potion, inflict moderate wounds; Price 6 x poison cost per dose.

Potent: Concentrated poison is brewed for optimal effectiveness, but its performance is still limited by its base toxicity. Potent poison, magically treated to exceed its normal limitations, expands on its potential to do harm. A potent poison deals half again as much damage as normal. Poisons that only cause unconsciousness or paralyzation have the duration of their effects increased by 50%.
Faint necromancy; CL 3rd; Brew Potion, death knell, Price 8 x poison cost per dose.

Repeating: This property can only be added to poison already enhanced with the gripping property. Repeating poison doesn't just rest in the body and refuse to leave; it continues its assault for as long as it manages to hold onto the victim.
Treat repeating poison as normal gripping poison, except that repeating poison deals its secondary damage each day the victim fails his Fortitude saving throw to overcome the poison.
Faint necromancy; CL 5th; Brew Potion, inflict serious wounds; Price 15 x poison cost per dose.

Spell Resistant: This dangerous poison resists magic manipulation. It rebuffs magic attempts to neutralize or slow it.
Spell resistant poison has a spell resistance score against all spells that attempt to slow or neutralize it. The poison's spell resistance is equal to the poison's base Fortitude save DC. For example, a dose of spell resistant shadow essence has spell resistance 17.
Spellcasters hoping to aid the poison victim with magic must first beat the poison's spell resistance with a caster level check, just as if the poison were a creature.
Faint abjuration; CL 5th; Brew Potion, dispel magic; Price 15 x poison cost per dose.


As with any large city, Waterdeep's populace makes periodic use of poisons against their enemies. Such means of warfare are particularly common among merchants and nobles.

Sleep-Smoke: Used primarily by agents of the Xanathar Thieves' Guild for kidnapping, sleep-smoke is a dark-gray, smoky gas that rapidly dissipates when released into the air. One dose affects a globe 10 feet in diameter on the first round, expanding outward to a globe 20 feet in diameter on the second round, and being harmless thereafter. A strong wind can move the globe of sleep-smoke.
Type: Inhaled DC 15; Initial damage unconsciousness for 1 minute; Secondary damage unconsciousness for 1d3 minutes; Price 25 gp; DC to create 15; CR modifier +1.

Poisons of the Serpent Kingdoms

Almost all the serpentfolk and lizardkin use poisons from time to time. These substances vary widely in origin, use, and effect. Many have no effect at all on Scaled Ones, and some (such as osssra oils) even have beneficial effects on members of those races. All, however, are baneful to Scaleless Ones.

PoisonTypeInitial DamageSecondary DamagePrice
Lizardfolk Poisons
Blue frog pasteContact DC 191d4 DexParalysis 2d6 minutes500 gp
Sleep poisonContact DC 17Unconsciousness
1d3 rounds
1d3 hours
390 gp
Yuan-ti Poisons
SssartisssInjury DC 20Paralysis
2d6 minutes
Unconsciousness400 gp
Ts'ousInjury DC 204d4 points of damage2d4 points of damage460 gp
Osssra Smoke¹
Mixed flaming osssra oilsInhaled DC 221d4 DexUnconsciousness
4d4 minutes
Amasstarte smokeInhaled DC 13Hold person 1d4 roundsSlow 1d6 rounds750 gp
Battasss smokeInhaled DC 151d4 WisSleep 1d4+2 rounds1,000 gp
Duthlah'hass smokeInhaled DC 16Feeblemind 2d6 minutes2d4 Dex2,000 gp
Ektharisss smokeInhaled DC-111d6 Str1d4 Str1,210 gp
Faele smokeInhaled DC 172d6 Con1d6 Con2,500 gp
Hooloond smokeInhaled DC 161d6 points of damageUnconsciousness
2d6 minutes
1,500 gp
Jalasss smokeInhaled DC 161d4 Int1d6 Int1,000 gp
Laerisss smoke Inhaled DC 142d4 points of acid damage2d6 points of damage300 gp
Ruusstantar smoke Inhaled DC 182d4 points of damage3d4 points of damage750 gp
Ulathlasss smokeInhaled DC 203d6 StrParalysis 2d6 minutes1,500 gp
¹ Only poisonous to Scaleless Ones.

Lizardfolk Poisons

Though not as brilliant at crafting subtle means of death as the yuan-ti, the lizardfolk have developed the skill to extract various poisons from their environment and render them into forms stable enough to use against foes.

Blue Frog Paste: The otherwise harmless bright blue frogs of the Serpent Hills secrete a unique poison that the lizardfolk of Kalran have learned to harvest. Mixing it with other natural substances produces a highly toxic oil suitable for applying to weapons.

Sleep Poison: The lizardfolk have developed a technique for distilling the extract of several jungle plants to produce a poison that renders enemies unconscious.

Yuan-ti poisons

The yuan-ti normally coat their weapons with either their own poison or that of the vipers they keep as pets and guardians, but a few have also experimented with distilling and combining poisons. Since snake venoms are notoriously unstable when mixed, the result is usually a milky fluid that has no harmful effects beyond mild acidity. Nevertheless, at least two successes have been achieved: sssartisss and ts'ous.

Both of these substances are clear, sticky fluids that develop a hard surface when in contact with air but remain viscous beneath this outer sheen. Thus, they can retain their virulence for decades. Scaled Ones are immune to the effects of both poisons. Those familiar with both can tell them apart by odor when "wet" and by sheen when "dry."

Sssartisss: A distillate of the venoms of several kinds of poisonous serpents, sssartisss has a bitter tang when wet and a scaled or furrowed texture when dry.

Ts'ous: This substance is a mixture of cobra venom and the extracts of several poisonous plants. It smells like overripe fruit when wet and dries clear.


The creations of yuan-ti spellcasters, osssra oils are mixtures of substances that produce pungent, colorful smoke when burned. Osssra smoke confers benefits on all Scaled Ones but functions as an inhaled poison for all other creatures. In some cases, direct contact with the oil in either ignited or un-ignited form is necessary to receive the benefit.

Yuan-ti typically immerse small pieces of firewood in osssra oil for 1d4 days and then burn them to create the smoke. A single vial of oil can treat enough wood to fill a 50-foot-square room with smoke for at least 4 hours. If ignited directly, the smoke fills the same area but lasts only 5 rounds. Once ignited by either method, osssra oil emits a cloud of colored smoke that moves outward from its source as a spread at the rate of 1 foot per round, to a maximum diameter of 60 feet. Osssra smoke is heavily scented, but it does not cause coughing, choking, or any other effect associated with tainted or insufficient air.

Yuan-ti avoid combining different kinds of osssra smoke because their effects negate each other wherever they overlap. Pools of undignified osssra oil don't affect osssra smoke with which they come into contact. Mixing two un-ignited osssra oils ruins both, resulting in a flammable mixed oil that has no special effects on either reptiles or non-reptiles.

If two different osssra oils are poured together while flaming, the result is a thick, strong-smelling smoke that is toxic to any creature inhaling it. In addition to its poisonous effects (see above), this smoke has the effect of a fog cloud spell (caster level 10th). -

The secrets of making osssra oils are guarded by yuan-ti tribal elders, and most humans know too little about them to distinguish one from another. In large cities or pirate ports where there is little scrutiny from authorities, merchants often sell osssra oils as "cooking oils" or "scents." Some sellers arrange small demonstrations, using slaves or aging pack-beasts as models on which to demonstrate the precise effects of their wares.

Although some osssra effects closely resemble those of spells, they are not magical effects. Thus, they cannot be dispelled or prevented by spell resistance.

Amasstartae: The green smoke produced by this oil is shot through with twinkling silvery metallic flecks that resemble sparks. Its smell is often described as "prickle-nose spicy." Amasstartae oil is produced by combining sap from the leaves of the silverthorn weed with a distillate of crushed and boiled scales from any salt-water fish.

Amasstarte oil grants the benefit of a cure light wounds spell to any Scaled One who pours a vial of it into a bath and soaks in the resulting mixture for at least 1 hour. The effects are cumulative for multiple hours.

Battasss: The ruby-red smoke emitted by this oil flickers with random darker "threads" and smells like scorching milk. Battasss oil is made from palm oil and the petals of the tiny white wildflower known as fallen snow.

When inhaled by a Scaled One, battasss smoke produces extreme clarity of mind. During this time, the Scaled One requires no Concentration check to perform any action, regardless of distractions or combinations of effects that might ordinarily impair spellcasting or performance. Furthermore, the affected reptile gains a +5 bonus on Will saves. These effects persist for as long as the Scaled One inhales the smoke and for 3d6 minutes thereafter.

Duthlah'hass: This oil produces a bright amber smoke with a smell similar to that of sizzling seaweed or burnt moss. Humanoids sometimes describe the scent as "fiery" or "nose-clearing." Duthlah'hass oil is prepared from mint, the bark of certain tropical trees, and the sap of the greater jungle clingvine. In Scaled Ones, duthlah'hass smoke induces dreamsleep - a deep, relaxed slumber in which they receive visions from their own subconscious minds and occasionally their deities. The effects of dream or suggestion spells cast upon them by other beings may also manifest during such a sleep. Dreamsleeping Yuan-ti can retrieve memories (such as where or how they hid something long ago, or snatches of overheard conversation) with crystal clarity. A dreamsleeper awakens immediately upon taking damage; otherwise the sleep lasts for 2d4 hours after the initial duthlah'hass contact (regardless of whether or not the smoke is gone).

Ektharisss: The dark purple smoke generated by this oil is highlighted by occasional puffs of a slightly lighter blue color. Its smell is reminiscent of fresh-cut lemons or limes. Ektharisss oil is distilled from the sap of the nightshadow jungle plant, which can be easily recognized by its shield-sized, brilliant purple leaves.

Ektharisss alters the body density of Scaled Ones in contact with its smoke, enabling them to use levitate as a spell-like ability at will for as long as they are in contact with the vapors (maximum weight 200 lbs.). Yuan-ti often use this ability to reach high ledges, doors, or openings leading to treasure storage areas. Some also use it to rest, study, or work above the reach of distractions or hostile beings. Extreme care is required, however, since normal weight returns the instant contact with ektharisss smoke is lost, making falls quite likely. As with the spell, the affected creature must be willing to rise, and objects can be lifted only by a Scaled One in contact with the smoke.

Faele: This oil produces a deep blue smoke laced with occasional streamers of bright emerald hue. Its reek is similar to the sickly-sweet "death smell" of rotting human or elf flesh. Faele oil consists of human or elf blood mixed with a distillate of boiled boar brain.

Faele smoke grants a Scaled One a +4 circumstance bonus on all Fortitude saving throws. Furthermore, any hit point damage taken by a Scaled One under its effects is reduced by 1 point per die, or by 1 point per attack if no die roll is involved. These benefits persist for 1d4 hours from initial contact with faele smoke. Continued contact after that period does not extend the effect, nor does any new contact with it renew the benefits until 24 hours have elapsed from the expiration of the previous effect.

Hooloond: This oil generates a yellow-green smoke shot - through with momentary jets of red smoke that resemble licks of flame. The scent of hooloond smoke is often likened to the minty smell of fresh-cut jungle vines or melons, though it is much stronger. Hooloond oil contains the blood of a constrictor snake and the venom of a viper.

At least 3 minutes of continuous contact with hooloond smoke heals a Scaled One of 1d4+2 points of damage. An individual can gain this benefit twelve times in swift succession if opportunity permits, but the smoke won't affect that particular reptile again for a full 24 hours after its last healing. Yuan-ti often plan their battles so that they can fight in continuous contact with hooloond smoke (for example, inside a smoke cloud or smoke-filled room). Doing so allows them to receive this healing automatically every 3 minutes.

Jalasss: This oil produces white smoke shot through with short-lived, rainbowlike bands of iridescence. Its smell is like that of burning paint or strongly dyed fabric. Jalasss oil is a distillate of crushed snails and the sap of the launteene - an edible plant native to the wild floral hotlands.

Jalasss smoke instantly and permanently banishes the effects of all enchantment spells from the minds of Scaled Ones in contact with it and makes them immune to such effects for 1d4 hours after contact ceases. Contact with ignited jalasss oil for 1 round maximizes this extension but deals damage as burning oil.

Laerisss: The brown smoke generated by this oil smells like burning olives. Laerisss oil contains certain crushed insects and the roots of several floating swamp plants.

Laerisss smoke causes a quickening of reactions in a Scaled One that manifests as a +2 bonus on all Reflex saves. This effect lasts for 3d6 minutes from initial contact. The same individual cannot be affected again for 1d4 hours; even if it remains in contact with the smoke.

Ruusstantar: The green smoke produced by this oil is shot through with ribbons of purple vapor, and its scent is like that of freshly crushed grapes. Ruusstantar oil contains a distillate of snakeskin and crushed dragon bone.

Any Scaled One in contact with ruusstantar smoke gains 1d12 temporary hit points that last for 1d4 hours. A Scaled One that pours the ignited oil over her body instead gains 2d12 temporary hit points and take no damage from the burning oil. These effects do not stack. Once affected by ruusstantar, a Scaled One can't gain the benefits from either the smoke or the oil again until 2d4 full days have elapsed.

Ulathlasss: The dull, heavy, green smoke generated by this oil flows over floors and then up walls and furnishings as though it were a lazy serpent. Its smell is similar to that of roasting boar. Ulathlasss oil is made from the internal juices of both carrion crawlers and centipedes.

Ulathlasss smoke renders Scaled Ones immune to all effects related to extremes of heat and cold (including natural torpor and natural or magical damage), but not the effects of natural or magical fire and ice, which deal half damage. This benefit lasts for as long as the Scaled One is in contact with the smoke and for 2d6 minutes thereafter.

Contact with ignited ulathlasss oil has the same effects on reptiles as contact with the smoke, except that the user also becomes immune to damage from natural and magical fire and ice, and all benefits persist for 3d6 minutes after contact with the oil ceases. Ulathlasss confers no protection against lightning or any other electricity-based effect in any of its forms.

More - (Dragon #355)

Specifically crafted against the yuan-ti, these are less risky to use than standard poisons

Skinshredder: Painfully strips portions of the victim's skin, causing flesh to blister as though burnt. Price 2,000 gp.

Scalerot: A vile infestation between scales that erupts in ugly sores that sicken the yuan-ti. This poison only affects yuan-ti. Price 600 gp.

Scalepox: Causes scales to drop off, lowering the natural armor bonus of the snakefolk. This poison only affects yuan-ti. Price 950 gp.

Skinvice: Hardens skin or scales to cause paralysis. Price 700 gp.

More New Poisons
PoisonTypeInitial DamageSecondaryCraft DC
SkinshredderInjury DC 161d6 Con2d6 Con30
ScalerotInjury DC 161d6 DexSickened*20
ScalepoxInjury DC 16Scaledrop**025
SkinviceInjury DC 18Paralysis025
*A yuan-ti failing the save against this poison is sickened for 2d6 rounds.
**The round after a failed save, a significant portion of the yuan-ti's scales slough away, reducing the creature's natural armor bonus by 1d4. The scales grow back over a period od 24 hours. The process of shedding does not otherwise harm the yuan-ti.

Ophiotoxins: A dose of ophiotoxin weighs 1/10th lb. It comes in a small glass vial with a label indicating its specific type. The following ophiotoxins represent the most common oils.

Bane: The ochre-colored smoke created by this oil has the scent of camphor. This toxin neutralizes the effects of osssra in an area, rendering it useless to yuan-ti and negating effects of the poison upon others. A dose costs 400 gp.

Hissing Choker: This thick, acrid smoke smells of tar. When burned, the oil counteracts the effects of osssra and reverses the effects, causing them to become harmful to yuan-ti and affecting the snakefolk as though they were humans. Yuan-ti in the area must save against the poison effects of osssra as if they were humans and take the damage indicated by the particular type. All nonyuan-ti are unaffected by the reversed osssra's poison effect. A dose costs 750 gp.

Osssra Blight: The deep violet smoke of this oil has thick bands of yellow dancing through it and gives off the scent of damp earth and oil. The oil has a mutating effect on any osssra, reversing the effects of the oil to yuan-ti. Oils that would otherwise offer bonuses instead offer penalties, while those that heal damage deal damage to yuan-ti instead. A dose costs 1,200 gp.

Epic Poisons

Book of Vile Darkness Epic Enhancement

By Andy Collins

While most high-level characters largely ignore the threat of deadly toxins, some particularly devious villains have devised variant poisons that bypass common defenses. These poisons, often referred to as antimagic poisons, are effectively an antimagic field in toxic liquid (or gel) form. As such, they are totally unaffected by any magical effects that might protect against their effects, including spells such as delay poison or neutralize poison, supernatural resistances or immunities to poison, or even magical bonuses on saves against poison (such as from a cloak of resistance or periapt of proof against poison). Even nonpermanent enhancements to the victim's ability scores do not apply to saves to resist antimagic poisons.

Furthermore, magical means are useless in restoring ability damage inflicted by these toxins. Only rest can restore such losses.

Heal checks made to tend wounds poisoned by such toxins work normally, and antitoxin's alchemical bonus to saves still applies.

Perhaps thankfully, only a few such toxins exist, and the secret of their making -- indeed, of their very existence -- is not widely known. Only those who have selected the Epic Poison Crafter feat can attempt to create such poisons. Characters without this feat cannot even assist in the creation of epic poisons. Below is a list of these poisons.

Much like epic magic items, crafting epic poisons uses slightly altered rules from crafting standard poisons. First, the character must spend one-third of the market price in raw materials. If the Craft (poisonmaking) or Craft (alchemy) check is successful, multiply the check result by the DC for the check. That result indicates how many tens of gold pieces' worth of poison are created that week. For example, an assassin crafting lyzeum begins by spending 110,000 gp in raw materials. On his first Craft (poisonmaking) skill check, he rolls a 71. Multiplying this result by the DC of 59 results in a total of 4,189, which means that he has created 41,890 gp worth of poison -- roughly 1/8 of a dose. Assuming similar success, the task will be complete in another seven weeks or so.

Antimagic Poisons
PriceDC to
Chaos ichorContact DC 221d4 Str,
1d4 Dex*
2d6 Str,
2d6 Dex
330,000 gp53
LyzeumInjury DC 251d6 Dex3d6 Dex390,000 gp59
Illis thyrInjury DC 282d4 Con4d4 Con450,000 gp65
Milk of AtroposInjury DC 322d8 Str4d8 Str590,000 gp79
GodsbloodInjury DC 401d6 Int,
Wis, Cha
3d6 Int,
Wis, Cha
820,000 gp102
*There is a 25% chance that the initial damage is permanent ability drain.

For Your Campaign

A plethora of poisons exist in D&D, and while they all have different effects, they all work the same way. Imagine your players' fright when they face a poison that doesn't respond to magic and doesn't go away on its own. Any enemy packing such a weapon instantly becomes a memorable threat.

You can build entire organizations around one particularly potent form of venom. This potent extract is a guild secret given only to those who prove skillful enough to be worthy of using it. The poison could even serve as the guild's calling card, allowing you to build up both the organization's - and the poison's - reputation before confronting your party with either.

Another option is to grant these poison enhancements to creatures. For example. a group of wyverns that live on a small mountain surrounded by a swamp possess a particularly virulent poison that not only prevents its victims from recovering from the poison, but also resist any magic attempts at slowing or neutralizing it. A reward might exist for the destruction of these beasts, but the rumors of their potent poisons keeps many would-be adventurers at bay.

For Your Character

If your character opposes the use of poisons, he has little use for these enhanced poisons. However, that doesn't mean you can't put them to use in creating your character.

Much like in Shadows of Undrentide, magically enhanced poisons can serve as the impetus for adventure. Perhaps your master suffered the same fate as Dragan, and you hunt for a cure before his time runs out. Maybe your mother suffers from a lingering poison that resists all magic and mundane neutralizing effects. In a frightening twist, perhaps you suffer from the effects of a poison whose effects you cannot overcome, and you must venture forth in a weakened condition to find a cure.

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