Non-evil non-assasin use of poisons?

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Big Mac
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Non-evil non-assasin use of poisons?

Post by Big Mac » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:11 pm

Are there any rules for thieves who are not assassins to use non-leathal poisons?

I'm thinking of darts that can knock people out, things that could be put into the food of NPC guards in order to make them too sick to fight or things that could be used to make NPCs feel ill enough to call for a healer.
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Re: Non-evil non-assasin use of poisons?

Post by Yaztromo » Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:12 pm

Insecticides? ;)
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Re: Non-evil non-assasin use of poisons?

Post by Boneguard » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:46 pm

I do believe there's a chart somewhere that described that, but can't recall where it was.

Worse case you could apply the same chart as 1st edition
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Re: Non-evil non-assasin use of poisons?

Post by Big Mac » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:33 pm

Yaztromo wrote:Insecticides? ;)
I'm sure they could have a place in the world.

If you had dangerous insects near to a village, there would probably be someone who could use insecticides and maybe insect repellent to get those insects to stay away.

But I was thinking more of the non-leathal stuff. Imagine for example that the players come up against a bear. The bear could kill the players. They players might kill the bear to defend themselves. But what if someone with a blowpipe could knock out the bear. The bear would be defeated and the PCs could move on, but the bear would still be alive and would wake up later.
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Re: Non-evil non-assasin use of poisons?

Post by Big Mac » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:34 pm

Boneguard wrote:I do believe there's a chart somewhere that described that, but can't recall where it was.

Worse case you could apply the same chart as 1st edition
Ack. I should get this topic moved from the 2e forum to the 1e forum. :oops:

Where is the 1e poison chart? How much information does it have on non-leathal poisons?
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Re: Non-evil non-assasin use of poisons?

Post by Boneguard » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:22 am

Big Mac wrote:
Boneguard wrote:I do believe there's a chart somewhere that described that, but can't recall where it was.

Worse case you could apply the same chart as 1st edition
Ack. I should get this topic moved from the 2e forum to the 1e forum. :oops:

Where is the 1e poison chart? How much information does it have on non-leathal poisons?

2nd Edition DMG, gives Poison's detail on page 73 and following.

1st edtion PHB gives a chart on p. 19 (or Unearthed Arcana on p. 13) That details, by class, which armor is permit, which weapon is permit, whether shield is permited or whether oil or poison is permitted to be used in Conbat
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Re: Non-evil non-assasin use of poisons?

Post by Lord Sheriff Takari » Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:28 am

my Chaotic Good Wood Elf often uses non-lethal toxins to take down opponents without killing them outright

in many cases, this has resulted in acquiring information not typically available from the dead even via Speak with Dead Spells

such toxins as fast acting paralytics or sleep inducers are delivered via Arrow or Blow dart from distance and full cover
I then track the fleeing target until the toxin has taken hold and secure them to bring back to camp

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Re: Non-evil non-assasin use of poisons?

Post by Big Mac » Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:20 am

Lord Sheriff Takari wrote:my Chaotic Good Wood Elf often uses non-lethal toxins to take down opponents without killing them outright

in many cases, this has resulted in acquiring information not typically available from the dead even via Speak with Dead Spells

such toxins as fast acting paralytics or sleep inducers are delivered via Arrow or Blow dart from distance and full cover
I then track the fleeing target until the toxin has taken hold and secure them to bring back to camp
That sounds well thought out.

And I think this could probably be used as a plot hook to get PCs to interact with non-evil forest people NPCs who they might be suspicious about.

Tim Emrick pointed me at a Wikipedia article called Curare. That has people using blowgun darts dipped in the toxin to hunt animals for food. Some of the toxins cause prey to stop breathing, if they are shot, but are harmless if eaten (so there is no risk of death from eating animals hunted this way).

The article even suggested that animals that have absorbed curare could be revived using artificial respiration, until the paralysis wears off. I'm not sure that people want to be doing mouth-to-mouth for 30 minutes to 8 hours in their D&D games, but it does look like this sort of poison can be cured by antidote too.
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Re: Non-evil non-assasin use of poisons?

Post by Yaztromo » Thu Dec 28, 2017 6:53 pm

How about herbicides against Vampire Roses or similar herbal enemies? Is it evil killing a dangerous plant?
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Re: Non-evil non-assasin use of poisons?

Post by Man in the Funny Hat » Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:55 pm

Big Mac wrote:Are there any rules for thieves who are not assassins to use non-leathal poisons?
The table on PH p.19 lists which classes are outright prohibited, for the rest it's up to the DM to decide - but that's really concerned almost entirely with lethal poison use. Short answer - it's up to the DM.

Note that the DM specifies that assassins are supposed to be 9th level before they can assassinate with poison, and that's only after spending time and money on poison study. Use of intentionally non-lethal poisons by anyone is entirely a DM's call. The rules just don't address the idea. It's a safe assumption, however, that Gygax was against the idea of players ever manipulating permission to use poison into having an "I win!" button to push. If it's being used as a creative solution in isolated incidents, it's fine. If there is any danger of it ever becoming a standard tactic that players will want to use then it needs to be forbidden.

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Re: Non-evil non-assasin use of poisons?

Post by willpell » Sun Mar 25, 2018 4:14 am

3E's Book of Exalted Deeds introduced the idea of "Ravages", which are effectively poisons that only affect Evil creatures. Personally, I would still call them poisons, but unless your god specifically required an oath not to use poison, I wouldn't regard it as being any more Evil than stabbing someone with a sword.

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