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View Full Version : Venom milking ... how? (D&D 3.5)



Sarquion
2010-07-14, 01:45 PM
Hi, I've just joined a campaign and i decided to go ranger with a snake companion who uses poisons and other stuff like that. I was hoping that i would be able to "milk" my snake for it's poison but me and the DM wasn't sure how i would go about doing it, both the potential rolls i would have to take and what equipment i would need, I have a faint idea but not sure how the process is carried out in realy life and i'm guessing a handle animal check would come in handy.

So any suggestions on how to do it or how you have done it (if you have) or a link to a source book which could help would be great!

Snake-Aes
2010-07-14, 01:49 PM
Keep it simple. The companion would be willing so you just need a dex check not to sting yourself with poison(like when putting it on a weapon, so the poison feat would free you from the check). A successful check "transfers" the dose to a previously prepared container.

Amphetryon
2010-07-14, 01:51 PM
My 2cp:
That's a variation on a Handle Animal check. Since the Snake is your Companion, it seems like it'd be a reasonably easy check, somewhere between DC 15 and 20. I'd find it entirely reasonable to expect the DM to require Craft: Poison-making to understand how to apply poisons correctly and prevent you from trying to inject Insanity Mist or similar, and for it to be in your best interest to acquire some means of being immune yourself in relatively short order.

WarKitty
2010-07-14, 01:51 PM
Depending on how you're playing possibly a handle animal check followed by a poison use check. Arguably you might also need to train your companion to allow the milking (assuming you're actually following those rules).

Logician
2010-07-14, 01:55 PM
i believe IRL you trick the snake into biting the lid of a hollow container, it then pumps its venom out its fangs and into the container. Sense your familiar would do this willingly, i don't see why you would have to make any rolls at all, just set the bottle by your pet and let it do it.

Of course i could be wrong on the technique.

Sarquion
2010-07-14, 01:57 PM
thats how i thought it was done and i'll check with the DM what you guys said and see what he thinks.

Telonius
2010-07-14, 02:03 PM
I homebrewed some rules about poison harvesting awhile ago. Here's one section of it:


you can harvest 1gp*the creature's HD*survival check*the poison size modifier worth of poison from a defeated creature with the Poison ability. If harvesting poison from a plant, the amount of poison is 1gp*(survival check + 1/2 Knowledge Nature check), if you are in an environment appropriate to the plant's growth. If harvesting a mineral poison (such as arsenic), the amount of poison is 1gp*(survival check + 1/2 Knowledge Geography check).

The poison size modifier is:
{table]Creature Size | Multiplier
Fine | 1/5
Diminutive | 1/4
Tiny | 1/3
Small | 1/2
Medium | 1
Large | 2
Huge | 3
Gargantuan | 4
Colossal | 5
[/table]

Again, this is all totally homebrew, but I'd probably allow you to get half the total from a living creature as from a dead one, once per day after a 1-minute check, substituting "Handle Animal" for "Survival."

I agree that this would be a use of "Handle Animal." DC of 25 to "Push" the snake if it doesn't know the trick. The trick closest to harvesting would be "Attack," so I'd say DC 20 to teach it the trick.

Person_Man
2010-07-14, 02:04 PM
From the Poison Handbook (http://brilliantgameologists.com/boards/index.php?topic=4854.0):

According to Drow of the Underdark, it's a DC 15 Handle Animal check to convince a vermin with the Bestow Venom trick to give enough poison for a single dose, and then a DC 15 Craft check to distill that material into a usable poison. Teaching the trick requires the Vermin Trainer feat or a similar ability, such as the vermin keeper prestige class. It's reasonable to assume that animals can learn a similar trick as well if the DM is willing to create such a homebrew feat (or allow Wild Empathy to qualify). It's easier to make two DC 15 checks than it is to make most difficult poison-making checks.

Mark Hall
2010-07-14, 03:22 PM
Person Man has a reasonable system, but I think the DCs are a little low; I'd be inclined towards 20s as the base, with animal companion bonuses negating that out to an effective 16.

Bharg
2010-07-14, 03:54 PM
I always thought using poising was evil. A handle animal check would be appropriate and the normal apply poison check. I am not sure if your companion would like getting milked, though.

The Vorpal Tribble
2010-07-14, 03:57 PM
All those ideas sound legit.

Here is a spell I made specifically for this kind of thing: Gut (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29539)

PId6
2010-07-14, 03:58 PM
I always thought using poising was evil.
If you're going by BoED rules, then yes, in which case a Good poison-user should be milking ravages from his vermin companions instead.

Bharg
2010-07-14, 04:06 PM
Even with core rules... the only people proficient with poison are assassins and they're always evil. (poison -> assassin -> evil)

Poison is ineffective and painful. Nice people always kill quick and efficient.

Yuki Akuma
2010-07-14, 04:12 PM
And then outside of core you have things like the Ninja, who are alignment: any...

Drow poison is neither painful nor even deadly. Are Good people not allowed to use that?

And Ravages are painful and inefficient. Incredibly painful, some of them...

Since when do Good people have to kill people quickly and efficiently?

hamishspence
2010-07-14, 04:18 PM
Sage Advice for the Ninja does say "nothing in core suggests poison is evil"

Plus there's an Always Good outsider (couatl) that has a poison attack.

And BoED points out drow sleep poison doesn't count as evil- because it doesn't inflict ability damage or hit point damage.

That said, I prefer to stick with "poison isn't evil- ravages only exist because they're safer to use in a situation where there's likely to be friendly fire"

Bharg
2010-07-14, 04:21 PM
I used the term nice and not good.
Drow poison isn't available at every kiosk, is it, and most Drow aren't that nice, either.

Hague
2010-07-14, 04:23 PM
Bleh, not the old poison argument...


Also, the poison that you milk from an animal cannot be used to directly coat your weapons (according to the poisonmaking rules, anyhow) However, having the poison readily available will significantly cut the cost of making the poison yourself. Presumably, you shouldn't have to pay anything, but you'll still need to make a Craft (poisonmaking) check to craft the doses.

derfenrirwolv
2010-07-15, 10:04 AM
Right, because putting a fast acting poison into someone's system is evil, but casting a spell that drains levels, imposes a con penalty, giving them a disease, having your pet tiger maul them to death or just plain shoving 3 feet of steel into their stomach is perfectly acceptable...

Milking a snake is not that hard. A DC 20 check is something that is VERY hard, like staying afloat in plate mail or doing an Olympic level jump. Anyone can pick up a snake and milk it, its not that hard.

If the snake is trained to be milked via handle animal (spend 1 of its tricks) iI would say no check, otherwise its an opposed grapple roll where the attack of opportunity can be negated with a forked stick, and you need to pin the snake.

Arbitrarity
2010-07-15, 10:09 AM
Even with core rules... the only people proficient with poison are assassins and they're always evil. (poison -> assassin -> evil)

Poison is ineffective and painful. Nice people always kill quick and efficient.

Professionals have standards. Be polite. Be efficient. Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

Needs time limitations, unless ridiculously infinite poison is OK. Once per 10 minutes, or somesuch? Nothing especially limiting, but requires time investment, and isn't as open to "I sell it for INFINITE GOLD"

Volomon
2010-07-15, 10:11 AM
Hi, I've just joined a campaign and i decided to go ranger with a snake companion who uses poisons and other stuff like that. I was hoping that i would be able to "milk" my snake for it's poison but me and the DM wasn't sure how i would go about doing it, both the potential rolls i would have to take and what equipment i would need, I have a faint idea but not sure how the process is carried out in realy life and i'm guessing a handle animal check would come in handy.

So any suggestions on how to do it or how you have done it (if you have) or a link to a source book which could help would be great!

Well even if it is willing it's relatively easy to milk all you need to do is pull the "fang" away from it's retracted position this automatically makes the venom flow. Potentially you can do it with your finger and a cup but I wouldn't recommend it. Just take a piece of cloth and place it over a bottle/cup of some kind and tie it around with a piece of string.

However depending on how strong or week the venom is it can take from a day to a month, it's like any other substance say human milk (its not an infinite supply) and the problem is the snake is only injecting it via fang and rubbing what is potentially a small droplet from a snake on an entire dagger or sword would take weeks. So I'm not sure it's viable in the long run, even a companion is willing for only so long I would think.

If I was DM, I would rule it as taking 1-3 weeks determined by roll (Handle Animal) and the following 3-7 days leaves the snake without poison or lower quality poison I would also have to rule the sword a lower quality poison after the first day.

Prodan
2010-07-15, 10:12 AM
Poison is ineffective and painful. Nice people always kill quick and efficient.

What about fast acting neurotoxins?

Volomon
2010-07-15, 10:14 AM
What about fast acting neurotoxins?

If you mean will the sensation of not being able to breath not bother someone, not sure. Hold your breath and find out, oh and crap yourself. :smallbiggrin:

By the way neurotoxins means it acts directly on your nerves (in other words EXTREMELY painful).

Prodan
2010-07-15, 10:17 AM
If you mean will the sensation of not being able to breath not bother someone, not sure. Hold your breath and find out, oh and crap yourself. :smallbiggrin:

By the way neurotoxins means it acts directly on your nerves (in other words EXTREMELY painful).

And that is worse than setting people on fire, choking them to death in a grapple, or stabbing them through the gut?

Volomon
2010-07-15, 10:20 AM
And that is worse than setting people on fire, choking them to death in a grapple, or stabbing them through the gut?

Actually yes in all cases except the fire. Even the fire is less painful, technically, would you have some of your nerves on fire or your entire body? A neurotoxin is more powerful than a fire in comparisons to pain. Because the neurotoxin works on the entire nervous system the fire just burns away flesh and eventually the nerves so it actually STOPS hurting at one point or another. Just to fill out the other two examples, as your oxygen supply runs out when your being choked you'll actually experience a euphoria sensation (a good feeling) this is why some women liked to be choked during intimate acts, as for being stabbed if your adrenaline is pumping high enough you won't even know you were stabbed. That's just to give you an idea of where those lay next to a feeling of your entire body dieing.

I know your trying to use a moral argument and trying to say is killing someone different than killing someone. Potentially yes, there is a difference.

Another_Poet
2010-07-15, 10:21 AM
Here is a thought.

Look at what it would cost to make the snake's poison with a Craft (Poisons) check.

Multiply by 50.

That is how much the equipment you need should cost, since it is an item that lets you get unlimited doses of that poison.

However... that is a bit overpriced. After all, this isn't an item with unlimited poison in it, it's just an item that lets you get (slowly, over time) unlimited poison.

Take that price and divide by 2, or if you're really optimistic, divide by 4. The result is the price you should propose to your DM for a balanced poison-harvesting item.

You still need to make a handle animal check even on your animal companion (thems the rules). I assume that "extrude poison" is not a trick your animal knows, so you are "pushing" the animal. Doing this will take a DC 25 Handle Animal check and a move action.

If you fail, you don't get poisoned; you just fail to collect poison that day. I would rule you can only try this trick once per day.

However, like handling poison to put it on a blade, I would rule that there is a flat 5% chance of poisoning yourself every time you use this trick. If you gain Poison Use somehow, then you no longer risk poisoning yourself.

Volomon
2010-07-15, 10:25 AM
I just want to point out that merely producing the poison from the animal probably isn't enough which is why only EVIL alignments know how to properly do such an activity. The poison has to be mixed with other chemicals known of which I could tell you because I'm not evil and/or plotting to kill anyone.

Realistically the player should not be able to do it at all. Without the proper mixture the substance will just begin to degrade as soon as you apply it and eventually within minutes to hours will no longer be a strength potential to do anything.

When they harvest it in a lab it goes in a cold storage unit.

Mark Hall
2010-07-15, 10:31 AM
Milking a snake is not that hard. A DC 20 check is something that is VERY hard, like staying afloat in plate mail or doing an Olympic level jump. Anyone can pick up a snake and milk it, its not that hard.

If the snake is trained to be milked via handle animal (spend 1 of its tricks) iI would say no check, otherwise its an opposed grapple roll where the attack of opportunity can be negated with a forked stick, and you need to pin the snake.

You're right; 20 is a bit high in normal circumstances. I'd probably make it 15 to teach it to milk, 10 to milk it ("Handle an Animal"), and 25 to milk a snake that hasn't been trained ("Push an Animal")

Prodan
2010-07-15, 10:35 AM
I know your trying to use a moral argument and trying to say is killing someone different than killing someone. Potentially yes, there is a difference.

You would die faster with the toxin than by the other means, though, which might cut down on the total pain experienced.

Volomon
2010-07-15, 10:36 AM
Just to reiterate my previous point:

To the Indian tribes these little frogs are most useful. They catch a number and put them close to a fire. As soon as the frogs start to become hot they exude a kind of slime from their bodies, which the Indians scrape off and collect. This slime prepared in special way, is a most potent poison, and the Indians use it to dip the tips of their arrows in. Thus, when the arrow strikes an animal - even a quite powerful one, like a wild pig - the poison works very rapidly and kills the beast. So, for the Indians, each of these little tree frogs is a miniature poison factory in itself, and whenever they need fresh material fo their arrows they go off into the forest and collect a number of the frogs from which to manufacture it."

http://www.shoarns.com/Frogs.html

Prodan
2010-07-15, 10:38 AM
Good thing Rangers can put ranks into Craft: Alchemy.

Volomon
2010-07-15, 10:43 AM
You would die faster with the toxin than by the other means, though, which might cut down on the total pain experienced.

No you can POTENTIALLY die faster (and I'm not sure counting down minutes up to and over 10 minutes is fast, as compared to just cutting a jugular which is in the realm of a couple of minutes or under, so no what you said is not true at all), depending on the poison this is not the case with neurotoxin. Neurotoxin can be as simple as slowing your speech and thoughts. The kind we're talking about though is a vemon from a snake which isn't JUST a neurotoxin, the neurotoxin is just what messes up your system so you can't escape.

A snake bite is the worst pain you can experience (depending on the snake of course, were not talking a gardener snake) because it plays directly on your nerves, and this is why it is also a key research component in PAIN KILLERS.

However, some venoms are more powerful.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p31K9gfBev8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM9EXxB8S6g&feature=channel
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM9EXxB8S6g&feature=channel)


This guys talking about pain from just his thumb, check it out. Also notice he is not dead, and had the potential to not die, yet lives the rest of his life in pain from a THUMB BITE.

On the second one notice how hard it is for a snake to make and keep venom.

Can you potentially use venom to instantly kill someone, YES (If you count 10 minutes or so to be instant), would I trust some amateur to do it, NO.

Akal Saris
2010-07-15, 02:48 PM
As mentioned already (thanks Person_Man!), the only time the rules have weighed in on this is with vermin, and it is a pair of DC 15 checks (one handle animal and one craft (poisonmaking). I think that's pretty reasonable, and it's up to the DM to decide the specifics.

How often: As a DM, I'd say 1/day probably, given that D&D is abstract enough and we're talking about a 6-foot viper here.

How expensive: 1/6th of the normal cost, probably around 30g/dose. Not limitless free poison - only wizards and psions get that, silly!

Is poison evil: I don't think it is evil by itself, but its main purpose is assassination, which is difficult to morally justify. D&D 3.5 says it's evil, yet there are also good creatures that have poisons, as well as neutral creatures (snakes, spiders, etc). In other words, poison use by itself is not necessarily evil even within D&D's strict moral rules.

Examples of good aligned creatures in core D&D 3.5 with poisons:
-The Coatl ("Legendary for its unwavering virtue", CG)
- the Pseudodragon ("Tiny, playful members of the dragon family...its main weapon is its sting-equipped tail", NG)
-Guardian Naga ("Wise and good...if the warning is ignored, they may begin a spell assault or spit poison", LG)
- Pixie (CG, use sleep and memory loss arrows - does this count as poison?)
- Any creature with the Half-Celestial template (Any good)
- The homonculus of a good-aligned wizard (Any good)

2xMachina
2010-07-15, 02:52 PM
Playing Mardek 3 recently.

lol to milking your snake.

Scarey Nerd
2010-07-15, 02:54 PM
I recall that the most painful thing in existance is the sting of a wasp somewhere that, after stinging you, causes such excrutiating agony that for the next 48 hours you can't even think about anything except the pain, you can't sleep, you can't eat, you can't drink, all you can do is scream...

They would be cool as a animal companion :smallcool: Throw the sting like a throwing dart...

Anyway, slightly off track - Vermin poison rules would be the best bet.

Sarquion
2010-07-15, 03:02 PM
At least the sting isn't as bad as two rangers in your party

DanReiv
2010-07-15, 03:36 PM
Person Man has a reasonable system, but I think the DCs are a little low; I'd be inclined towards 20s as the base, with animal companion bonuses negating that out to an effective 16.

The animal/vermin (animal companion only) must know the trick, which are a pain to train in a middle of a campaign.

A low level trainer might not even succed on his first weeks. It's reasonnable to assume a high level one would easily milk them.

IRL, a lot of snakes are milked for research/medical without a single bite, the procedure guarentee the safety of the handler.

And that would be an NPC Expert with a couple level and tools in DnD, nothin' fancy, especially in a magic world where it's easy to detect/avoid/cure/be immune to.

So the rules from DotU seems fine to me. Why bother create a set ?

Especially when we're speaking companion/familiar who share a special bond with their owner.

Just my 2 cents.

Mark Hall
2010-07-15, 03:50 PM
So the rules from DotU seems fine to me. Why bother create a set ?

Check a bit later; I went with something a bit closer to RAW.

Bharg
2010-07-15, 04:28 PM
Right, because putting a fast acting poison into someone's system is evil, but casting a spell that drains levels, imposes a con penalty, giving them a disease, having your pet tiger maul them to death or just plain shoving 3 feet of steel into their stomach is perfectly acceptable...


Needless to say most necromancy spells are evil as well as a lot of illusions, enchantments, transmutations, conjurations and the list goes on...

Having a tiger mauling someone is just natural...

Jothki
2010-07-15, 04:45 PM
Poison is evil because it allows the weak to defeat the strong, rather than accepting their place as inferiors.

Snake-Aes
2010-07-15, 05:01 PM
Poison is evil because it allows the weak to defeat the strong, rather than accepting their place as inferiors.

You would do well in the church of Tauron.

dgnslyr
2010-07-15, 06:59 PM
Easiest way? Have the snake bite a dwarf, and filter the venom out of the pee.

PId6
2010-07-15, 11:54 PM
Poison is evil because it allows the weak to defeat the strong, rather than accepting their place as inferiors.
Huh? I thought druids were immune to poison...

Mark Hall
2010-07-16, 11:17 AM
Huh? I thought druids were immune to poison...

So are Monks. :smallwink:

Saurus33
2010-07-17, 08:03 PM
Has anyone here actually milked a snake? It is simpler than milking cows. I'd say that milking a snake would be a DC:5 Knowledge(Nature) operation at most, and if the animal is willing (ie, not trying to bite you instead, as a wild snake might) that no check is needed at all to actually milk it.

Making effective weapon poison from it is an entirely different operation.