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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Jowgen's Avatar

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    Default Chokesnake: source of Poisons effective at higher levels

    So during The Long Dark, I've been toying around with an optimisation project centered around the Chokesnake creature from Dungeon 148 p. 82.

    It's a 6 HD Evil Outsider Tanar'ri -that also happens to be an actual Fiendish Symbiont- with exactly one neat feature, i.e. its poison.

    Poison(Su) Injury, Fortitude DC 17, 1d6 Con/1d6Con. Chokesnake vemon is supernaturally potent and can evan harm creatures normally immune to poison (with the exception of constructs, oozes, plants and undead). Against all other targets normally immune to poison, the venom inflicts 1d4 Con/1d4 Con.
    So like Ravages it can bust through poison immunity, but unlike ravages it's not Evil only, with the trade off being two creature types with Con scores being excluded.

    The real advantage however is that -as a creature based poison- is both easier/cheaper to source and quite simple to upgrade.

    First, at 6 HD the Chokesnake is comfortably in range for Planar Binding. 1.650 gp for a Scroll and you can get one.

    Secondly, while DC 17 Fort is impractically low at higher levels, simply turning the Chokesnake it a suitable undead as to switch the DC to being Charisma based (Libris Mortis has numerous examples of undead with now Cha-based poison attacks) ramps up the DC to a respectable 24. Plus it takes care of having to attach it to a host so it can survive long term.

    One simple and effective template to apply would be Wight, specifically the Dragon #300 version, which lets one Wightify most things with Negative levels, not just humanoids. Wight even adds +4 Cha, getting the poison our DC up to 26. Cost is approxmiately 3 Enervations.

    Regardless of which undead template is applied, next step is to ramp up the Cha further to increase that save DC. One nice/cheap option is the Cloak of Affront, a cursed item from A&E that grants +6 Enchancement to Cha until the curse is triggered by an attempted Bluff/Diplomacy check. Cost is 1.300 gp and a means to disable the Chokesnake's ability to make Bluff/Diplomacy checks (my suggestion: bring its Int to 0 with a few doses of the Jadewater Ravage, 350 gp a pop, and then keep it there with a Bestow Curse or somesuch).


    So a Wight Chokesnake with a Cloak of Affront, lying around unconscious in a Coma-like Stupor (i.e. Int 0), would be a renewable source of DC 29 Con-damaging Injury poison that can damage anything with a Con score that isn't an Ooze, Plant or Living Construct. You can even set it up like an undead tap mounted on the wall that dispenses high grade poison.

    Total set up cost is unlikely to break the 5k gp mark. It'll work against most things, DC 29 is pretty darn respectable, and each failure makes it harder to resist.

    Could go great on any build that spams weapon attacks. Adding the Assasination property to the weapon used can amp up the DC further, if need be, and prevents accidental self poisoning. Using a tripple weapon capsule retainer can keep you going for longer, and if you want to go high end the Shroud of Venom (48.000 gp) from the same Dungeon Mag article can store up to 10 doses of the stuff to be released to your weapon as a swift action.

    So that's what I spent The Long Dark coming up with. Any comments or further improvement suggestions anyone?
    Last edited by Jowgen; 2020-02-22 at 08:48 PM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Chokesnake: source of Poisons effective at higher levels

    FC1: Molydeus.

    Not quite as accessible, but another example.
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    I feel like telling the ghost of Gary Gygax to hold your beer is a good way to suddenly stop being the GM, but I have to admit that this would probably be remarkably effective. At what, I dunno, but effective.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Chokesnake: source of Poisons effective at higher levels

    Quote Originally Posted by Falontani View Post
    FC1: Molydeus.

    Not quite as accessible, but another example.
    The fluff of the Chokesnake is actually that Demogorgon-chan makes them by cutting the snake heads of Molydeusy, hence why the poison is effectively copy-pasted.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Chokesnake: source of Poisons effective at higher levels

    Some other points for reference:

    - The Molydeus' poison is signficantly more powerful, base DC 29 inflicting 2d6 Con drain (or 1d6 for the resistant groups), and also turning creatures it kills into Manes. But since they're 19 HD outsiders, getting one bound, and prepped to serve as a poison tap requires A LOT more infestment (probably a malconvoker's help).
    - While Dragon 349 deals with harvesting poison from plants or dead creatures, the only rules for harvesting from a animate donor creature is in Drow of the Underdark. The rules presented in there are for a Handle Animal check, wherein you spend one minute to get a vermin to deposit one dose of poison into a container. It's not a lot to go on, BUT it does specify that refining raw donated venom into a usuable substance requires a DC 15 Craft (Poisonmaking) check; which as a rule should not be vermin-specific.
    - The Poison Specialisation feat from dragon 303 allows for someone to add +2 to the DC of any poison they craft. If you can get it on a minion, you can have them do the refinding of the raw venom to boost the DC.
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    Default Re: Chokesnake: source of Poisons effective at higher levels

    Shadowsmiths, unlike the usual magical poison production mechanism of Minor Creation, don't have text restricting them to vegetable matter, so they can produce shadow-poisons that mimic creature poisons, as long as they've seen the item they're imitating before. Better yet, since their shadow poisons were not in fact exuded from a creature's body, they can benefit from the Poison Master feat. So all you have to do is milk a Molydeus once, and you can replicate a superior version of its poison in perpetuity.

    Among the builds I most regret not finishing up for Iron Chef are the two here based around this idea.

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