Rules Index


Chapter 11: Crafting & Treasure / Alchemical Items

Alchemical Poisons

Source Core Rulebook pg. 550
Alchemical poisons are potent toxins distilled or extracted from natural sources and made either stronger or easier to administer. Each poison’s stat block includes the Price and features for a single dose. Poison doses are typically kept in a vial or some other type of safe and secure container.

Applying alchemical poisons uses Interact actions. A poison typically requires one hand to pour into food or scatter in the air. Applying a poison to a weapon or another item requires two hands, with one hand holding the weapon or item. The Usage entry for a poison indicates the number of hands needed for a typical means of application, but the GM might determine that using poisons in other ways functions differently.

The full rules for how poisons and other afflictions work begin on page 457. A creature attempts the listed saving throw as soon as it’s exposed to the poison; on a failed save, the creature advances to stage 1 of the poison after any listed onset time elapses.

Some poisons have the virulent trait. This means the poison is harder to remove once it has taken effect; see Virulent Afflictions on page 458.

Method of Exposure

Source Core Rulebook pg. 550
Each alchemical poison has one of the following traits, which define how a creature can be exposed to that poison.

Contact: A contact poison is activated by applying it to an item or directly onto a living creature’s skin. The first creature to touch the affected item must attempt a saving throw against the poison; if the poison is applied directly, the creature must attempt a saving throw immediately when the poison touches its skin. Contact poisons are infeasible to apply to a creature via a weapon attack due to the logistics of delivering them without poisoning yourself. Typically, the onset time of a contact poison is 1 minute.

Ingested: An ingested poison is activated by applying it to food or drink to be consumed by a living creature, or by placing it directly into a living creature’s mouth. A creature attempts a saving throw against such a poison when it consumes the poison or the food or drink treated with the poison. The onset time of ingested poisons typically ranges anywhere from 1 minute to 1 day.

Inhaled: An inhaled poison is activated by unleashing it from its container. Once unleashed, the poison creates a cloud filling a 10-foot cube lasting for 1 minute or until a strong wind dissipates the cloud. Every creature entering this cloud is exposed to the poison and must attempt a saving throw against it; a creature aware of the poison before entering the cloud can use a single action to hold its breath and gain a +2 circumstance bonus to the saving throw for 1 round.

Injury: An injury poison is activated by applying it to a weapon or ammunition, and it affects the target of the first Strike made using the poisoned item. If that Strike is a success and deals piercing or slashing damage, the target must attempt a saving throw against the poison. On a failed Strike, the target is unaffected, but the poison remains on the weapon and you can try again. On a critical failure, or if the Strike fails to deal slashing or piercing damage for some other reason, the poison is spent but the target is unaffected.