The natural world is full of substances of boon and bane. This week we provide you with twenty poisons and their effects. Perhaps you wish to add one as a specialized Surge event to a Beast Encounter card, or coat the blade of another foe with it. Maybe a lock, trap, or book has a dusting of the stuff the adventurers must spot, counteract, or avoid with a skill check.
Some creatures deliver poisons or venoms by their bite or sting, but others exude the substance through their very skin or via odor. An adventurer engaging in melee attacks might be subject to an effect just by being near enough to attack. Of course, once a poisonous creature is slain, the adventurers may be able to acquire or craft an item exploiting it from the carcass. If you wish to allow your players this option, a Craft (:magic: or :melee:) or Healing skill check should be required to gain the effect. On a failure, the would-be crafter has fallen victim to the poison.
A nice touch on the quest writing side is to provide a way (choice) to counteract a poison. Perhaps pouring wine over a contact poison nullifies it, or a Knowledge or Gather Information check could provide an adventurer with the foresight to prepare an anti-venom or remedy.
As always, we've provided formatting for Quest Creators so they can copy and paste the entries easily into quests, making an instant screen of its own (you'll still need to link it to other parts of your quest through standard pathways).
- _The Scarlet Spasm_ (#Spasm) A cloud that tinges the air with faint scarlet hues, the spasm causes involuntary muscular contractions. > :Melee: and :ranged: ability users suffer the critical failure effect on ability cards if they roll a regular failure.
- _Spirit Sight Venom_ (#SVenom) Members of the Ghost tribe believe this snake venom imparts the ability to see the realms of spirit. Are the spirits real or not? > While under its influence, any ability or skill roll of 5, 10, or 15 causes a failure, as the poison's victim reacts to the appearance of a spirit (Roleplay this!).
- _Lethargy's Kiss_ (#LKiss) Secreted by a slug common to the region, this ooze induces somnolence in those it touches. > Victims don't play an ability every 4th round OR suffer -3 to a skill check.
- _The Bleeder_ (#Bleeder) A favorite of assassins everywhere, it thins the blood. > When a victim takes damage, increase :health: lost by 1 each time.
- _Numbtouch_ (#Numbtouch) Sometimes used as an anesthetic by the Fae, the Duergar delight in coating protected treasure in it. > The effect of this poison grows worse with time. Victims suffer a cumulative -1 to physical skills and all ability rolls until counteracted (Heal check 13+) or 5 rounds/screens have passed, after which it quickly dissipates.
- _Hallucination's Haze_ (#Haze) Produced by some molds, it can afflict others if breathed while being burned or when eaten. > Any skill or ability roll of 5, 10, or 15 results in the victim mistaking a fellow adventurer for a demonic villain. The victim attacks their fellow once (play an ability if this is triggered during a skill check).
- _Creeping Death_ (#CDeath) An insidious poison coating the thorns of some Fae rosebushes... > Make an Endurance (:melee:) check of 13 or above to avoid losing 1 :health:. If you fail the first check, suffer another point of health loss each round/screen until 3 rounds have passed or a Heal :magic: check of 13+ has been made.
- _Falling Darkness_ (#FDarkness) Victims behold the rapid narrowing of their vision, until sight leaves them entirely. > :Melee: and :magic: abilities suffer a cumulative -1 to rolls each round. :Ranged: abilities suffer a cumulative -2 to rolls each round.
- _The Rictus Mask_ (#RMask) Sometimes used as a paste to remove wrinkles, this salve can have horrifying effects in high doses. > All skill checks involving social interaction suffer a -5 to the :roll: .
- _Dust of Transference_ (#DTrans) This curious dust has the quality of grounding magical energy. > If an adventurer coated in the dust uses a :magic: ability or :loot: item, they suffer the full effect of the ability instead of the original target.
- _Jester's Flux_ (#JFlux) A favorite of tricksters, it has robbed many a haughty noble of dignity. > Any movement risks loss of bowel control. Vigorous motion (ie combat) ensures it. If control has been compromised, the victim automatically fails all checks to sneak by creatures and suffers -3 to social checks.
- _Crooner's Cry_ (#Crooner) A curious substance that induces singing. > During combat, a roll of 12 or below on the ability check means the victim must randomly draw a :music: ability and replace the ability initially played with the new :music: ability.
- _Heroe's Bane_ (#HBane) The spray of the scare skunk of Scarpathia, it induces an instinctual flight response. > When an adventurer or creature would attack, it must :roll: a 10+ to succeed. On 9 or below, it panics and tries to flee instead (suffer -1 damage this round).
- _BolsterBlight_ (#Bolster) Sometimes with great strength comes great pain. > Inflict +3 damage on a played :melee: ability or a creature's attack, but the user/victim suffers an additional 4 health of damage at the end of the round.
- _The Ringer_ (#Ringer) Often slipped into a drink to make a mark easier pickings later on, an oppressive ringing in the ears makes hearing impossible. > The victim cannot benefit from the next :music: or :influence: effect and fails the next check dependent on hearing.
- _Erotic Panther_ (#EPanther) Sprayed on a victim, sixty percent of the time, this scent works every time... > All characters and creatures in the vicinity must :roll: a 10 or above to avoid unnatural attraction to the victim (roleplay this).
- _Oedipal Angst_ (#Angst) Delivered by food or drink, this causes irrational rebelliousness toward anyone in rightful authority. > Victims must :roll: a 12 or above to resist opposing the next legitimate authority (a liege lord, officer, social superior, boss, etc.) they encounter. Roleplay the opposition but it must result in a failed action or outright attack (if either is an option).
- _Delusion's Dust_ (#DDust) It inspires gross overconfidence. > Victims cannot use :loot: (why would they need to?!) and must play the ability each round that has the highest required risk :roll: .
- _Insidion_ (#Insidion) This poison inspires feelings of inferiority and paranoia. > Victims must play one :loot: item each round if they possess any and always play the ability each round that has the lowest risk value.
- _The Howler_ (#Howler) Favored by tribes of imps, this goo coats their darts, ensuring they won't escape. > On a failed :roll: of 9 or below, the victim starts baying at the sky (roleplay this!). All attempts at stealth automatically fail.