View Full Version : On the fair use of poisons

2011-01-06, 04:54 PM
Hello Playgrounders!

I have a question for all of you, I am pondering the use of poison for a few encounters to come, but I have come to a problem in which i have to decide wether to make the encounter almost deadly or almost cripling... yeah, not good choices... but, anyways

So I am running a campaig with high level characters [16th level] and well optimized builds, succeding on their saves is like a 75% chance on their part

now... my real problem is, what should be my target?
Constitution is out of the picture for me... it's way too deadly and it seems like i'm cheating on my players, so i should target some other stat, in that case i have Str and Dex. But there's the problem, most of my players have put priority on high dex builds while almost dmping str...

If I target their Str score a couple luckys shots on the dice may get them fully paralyzed and dead really son

on the other hand if I target Dex they might be so crippled that the encounter may prove too dangerous for them.

What is the fair-est option?

Target Dex or Str?

Note: I am aware that there are psychic venoms I can use, but that seems like a "screw you spellcaster" approach and i don't want to take that route.

2011-01-06, 05:08 PM
A common rule for DM'ing High-level games: Throw everything you have at them, don't pull your punches. If they're making 3/4 of their saves, feel free to use CON damaging poisons. Remember, they can use them as well against the NPC's your players will fight.

2011-01-06, 06:09 PM
They can cope. Stat damage can be treated as early as third level (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/restorationLesser.htm), and at this point they should have a wand of lesser resto. Even if they do not, they have sufficient abilities to overcome challenges. So challenge them.

2011-01-06, 08:18 PM
Do not underastimate the abilities of your PC's.

Toss a venomous monster in the midst of the encounter that attacks like 10 times a round, each attack filled with powerful, hard to save Con venom and watch the good times roll.

Plus, chances are, at that level, that your PC's will try to partake in a Hero's feast every day and gain immunity to it, or start the practice after you see favor venom as a means of killing them all.

Gamer Girl
2011-01-06, 08:31 PM
At 16th level, they will likely have more then enough stuff to heal, fix and/or ignore the effects of poison.

The fighter gets a -2 to strength, sigh, he drinks one of his ten potions of Bull's Strength. Any cleric type can get rid of poison no problem. And so on.

I always like Dexterity damage myself. Anything to slow the charter's down is great.

Best of all with poison: the average high level character with like a +6 bonus in dexterity just freaks out if they take a couple points of dex damage and act like they might die. Even better is when they have to do something simple, like walk on a rope(DC 20) and they whine and don't even want to 'risk it' with their dex damage(even when they have like a +25 to balance).