General Afflictions (skip to poisons)

From curses to poisons to diseases, there are a number of afflictions that can affect a creature. While each of these afflictions has a different effect, they all function using the same basic system. All afflictions grant a saving throw when they are contracted. If successful, the creature does not suffer from the affliction and does not need to make any further rolls. If the saving throw is a failure, the creature falls victim to the affliction and must deal with its effects.

Afflictions require a creature to make a saving throw after a period of time to avoid taking certain penalties. With most afflictions, if a number of saving throws are made consecutively, the affliction is removed and no further saves are necessary. Some afflictions, usually supernatural ones, cannot be cured through saving throws alone and require the aid of powerful magic to remove. Each affliction is presented as a short block of information to help you better adjudicate its results.

Name: This is the name of the affliction.

Type: This is the type of the affliction, such as curse, disease, or poison. It might also include the means by which it is contracted, such as contact, ingestion, inhalation, injury, spell, or trap.

Save: This gives the type of save necessary to avoid contracting the affliction, as well as the DC of that save. Unless otherwise noted, this is also the save to avoid the affliction's effects once it is contracted, as well as the DC of any caster level checks needed to end the affliction through magic, such as remove curse or neutralize poison.

Onset: Some afflictions have a variable amount of time before they set in. Creatures that come in contact with an affliction with an onset time must make a saving throw immediately. Success means that the affliction is avoided and no further saving throws must be made. Failure means that the creature has contracted the affliction and must begin making additional saves after the onset period has elapsed. The affliction's effect does not occur until after the onset period has elapsed and then only if further saving throws are failed.

Frequency: This is how often the periodic saving throw must be attempted after the affliction has been contracted (after the onset time, if the affliction has any). While some afflictions last until they are cured, others end prematurely, even if the character is not cured through other means. If an affliction ends after a set amount of time, it will be noted in the frequency. For example, a disease with a frequency of "1/day" lasts until cured, but a poison with a frequency of "1/round for 6 rounds" ends after 6 rounds have passed.

Afflictions without a frequency occur only once, immediately upon contraction (or after the onset time if one is listed).

Effect: This is the effect that the character suffers each time if he fails his saving throw against the affliction. Most afflictions cause ability damage or hit point damage. These effects are cumulative, but they can be cured normally. Other afflictions cause the creature to take penalties or other effects. These effects are sometimes cumulative, with the rest only affecting the creature if it failed its most recent save. Some afflictions have different effects after the first save is failed. These afflictions have an initial effect, which occurs when the first save is failed, and a secondary effect, when additional saves are failed, as noted in the text. Hit point and ability score damage caused by an affliction cannot be healed naturally while the affliction persists.

Cure: This tells you how the affliction is cured. Commonly, this is a number of saving throws that must be made consecutively. Even if the affliction has a limited frequency, it might be cured prematurely if enough saving throws are made. Hit point damage and ability score damage is not removed when an affliction is cured. Such damage must be healed normally. Afflictions without a cure entry can only be cured through powerful spells, such as neutralize poison and remove curse. No matter how many saving throws are made, these afflictions continue to affect the target.

Example: He failed a DC 15 Fortitude save to avoid contracting it, so after the onset period of 1d3 days has passed, he must make another DC 15 Fortitude save to avoid taking 1d6 points of Strength damage. From this point onward, he must make a DC 15 Fortitude save each day (according to the disease's frequency) to avoid further Strength damage. If, on two consecutive days, he makes his Fortitude saves, he is cured of the disease and any damage it caused begins to heal as normal.

Poison

No other affliction is so prevalent as poison. From the fangs of a viper to the ichor-stained assassin's blade, poison is a constant threat. Poisons can be cured by successful saving throws and spells such as neutralize poison.

Contact poisons are contracted the moment someone touches the poison with his bare skin. Such poisons can be used as injury poisons. Contact poisons usually have an onset time of 1 minute and a frequency of 1 minute. Ingested poisons are contracted when a creature eats or drinks the poison. Ingested poisons usually have an onset time of 10 minutes and a frequency of 1 minute. Injury poisons are primarily contracted through the attacks of certain creatures and through weapons coated in the toxin. Injury poisons do not usually have an onset time and have a frequency of 1 round. Inhaled poisons are contracted the moment a creature enters an area containing such poisons. Most inhaled poisons fill a volume equal to a 10-foot cube per dose. Creatures can attempt to hold their breaths while inside to avoid inhaling the toxin. Creatures holding their breaths receive a 50% chance of not having to make a Fortitude save each round. See the rules for holding your breath and suffocation in Environment. Note that a character that would normally suffocate while attempting to hold its breath instead begins to breathe normally again.

Unlike other afflictions, multiple doses of the same poison stack. Poisons delivered by injury and contact cannot inflict more than one dose of poison at a time, but inhaled and ingested poisons can inflict multiple doses at once. Each additional dose extends the total duration of the poison (as noted under frequency) by half its total duration. In addition, each dose of poison increases the DC to resist the poison by +2. This increase is cumulative. Multiple doses do not alter the cure conditions of the poison, and meeting these conditions ends the affliction for all the doses. For example, a character is bit three times in the same round by a trio of Medium monstrous spiders, injecting him with three doses of Medium spider venom. The unfortunate character must make a DC 18 Fortitude save for the next 8 rounds. Fortunately, just one successful save cures the character of all three doses of the poison.

Applying poison to a weapon or single piece of ammunition is a standard action. Whenever a character applies or readies a poison for use there is a 5% chance that he exposes himself to the poison and must save against the poison as normal. This does not consume the dose of poison. Whenever a character attacks with a poisoned weapon, if the attack roll results in a natural 1, he exposes himself to the poison. This consumes the poison on the weapon. Characters with the poison use class feature do not risk accidentally poisoning themselves.

Poisons can be made using Craft (alchemy). The DC to make a poison is equal to its Fortitude save DC. Rolling a natural 1 on a Craft skill check while making a poison exposes the crafter to the poison. Crafters with the poison use class feature do not risk poisoning themselves when using Craft to make poison.

The following samples represent just some of the possibilities when creating poisons.

Table: Sample Poisons
Name Type Fort DC Onset Frequency Effect Cure Cost
Arsenic ingested 13 10 min. 1/min. for 4 min. 1d2 Con 1 save 120 gp
Belladonna ingested 14 10 min. 1/min. for 6 min. 1d2 Str, see text 1 save 100 gp
Black adder venom injury 11 1/rd. for 6 rds. 1d2 Con 1 save 120 gp
Black lotus extract contact 20 1 min. 1/rd. for 6 rds. 1d6 Con 2 saves 4,500 gp
Bloodroot injury 12 1 rd. 1/rd. for 4 rds. 1 Con and 1 Wis 1 save 100 gp
Blue whinnis injury 14 1/rd. for 2 rds 1 Con/unconscious 1d3 hours 1 save 120 gp
Burnt othur fumes inhaled 18 1/rd. for 6 rds. 1 Con drain/1d3 Con 2 saves 2,100 gp
Dark reaver power ingested 18 10 min. 1/min. for 6 min. 1d3 Con and 1 Str 2 saves 800 gp
Deathblade injury 20 1/rd. for 6 rds. 1d3 Con 2 saves 1,800 gp
Dragon bile contact 26 1/rd. for 6 rds. 1d3 Str 1,500 gp
Drow poison injury 13 1/min. for 2 min. unconscious 1 min./2d4 hours 1 save 75 gp
Giant wasp poison injury 18 1/rd. for 6 rds. 1d2 Dex 1 save 210 gp
Greenblood oil injury 13 1/rd. for 4 rds. 1 Con 1 save 100 gp
Green prismatic poison spell varies 1/rd. for 6 rds. Death/1 Con 2 saves
Hemlock ingested 18 10 min. 1/min. for 6 min. 1d6 Dex, see text 2 saves 2,500 gp
Id moss ingested 14 10 min. 1/min. for 6 min. 1d3 Int 1 save 125 gp
Insanity mist inhaled 15 1/rd. for 6 rds. 1d3 Wis 1 save 1,500 gp
King's sleep ingested 19 1 day 1/day 1 Con drain 2 saves 5,000 gp
Large scorpion venom injury 17 1/rd. for 6 rds. 1d2 Str 1 save 200 gp
Lich dust ingested 17 10 min. 1/min. for 6 min. 1d3 Str 2 saves 400 gp
Malyass root paste contact 16 1 min. 1/min. for 6 min. 1d2 Dex 1 save 250 gp
Medium spider venom injury 14 1/rd. for 4 rds. 1d2 Str 1 save 150 gp
Nightmare vapor inhaled 20 1/rd. for 6 rds. 1 Wis and confused 1 round 2 saves 1,800 gp
Nitharit contact 13 1 min. 1/min. for 6 min. 1d3 Con 1 save 650 gp
Oil of taggit ingested 15 min. unconscious 1d3 hours 1 save 90 gp
Purple worm poison injury 24 1/rd. for 6 rds. 1d3 Str 2 saves 700 gp
Sassone leaf residue contact 16 1 min. 1/min. for 6 min. 2d12 hp/1 Con 1 save 300 gp
Shadow essence injury 17 1/rd. for 6 rds. 1 Str drain/1d2 Str 1 save 250 gp
Small centipede poison injury 11 1/rd. for 4 rds. 1 Dex save 90 gp
Striped toadstool ingested 11 10 min. 1/min. for 4 min. 1d3 Wis and 1 Int 1 save 180 gp
Tears of death contact 22 1 min. 1/min. for 6 min. 1d6 Con and paralyzed 1 min. 6,500 gp
Terinav root contact 16 1 min. 1/min. for 6 min. 1d3 Dex 1 save 400 gp
Ungol dust inhaled 15 1/rd. for 4 rds. 1 Cha drain/1d2 Cha 1 save 1,000 gp
Wolfsbane ingested 16 10 min. 1/min. for 6 min. 1d3 Con 1 save 500 gp
Wyvern poison injury 17 1/rd. for 6 rds. 1d4 Con 2 saves 3,000 gp
Arsenic
Type poison, ingested; Save Fortitude DC 13
Onset 10 minutes.; Frequency 1/minute for 4 minutes
Effect 1d2 Con damage; Cure 1 save
Belladonna
Type poison, ingested; Save Fortitude DC 14
Onset 10 minutes; Frequency 1/minute for 6 minutes
Effect 1d2 Str damage, target can attempt one save to cure a lycanthropy affliction contracted in the past hour; Cure 1 save
Black Adder Venom
Type poison, injury; Save Fortitude DC 11
Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds
Effect 1d2 Con damage; Cure 1 save
Black Lotus Extract
Type poison, contact; Save Fortitude DC 20
Onset 1 minute; Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds
Effect 1d6 Con damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves
Bloodroot
Type poison, injury; Save Fortitude DC 12
Onset 1 round; Frequency 1/round for 4 rounds
Effect 1 Con damage and 1 Wis damage; Cure 1 save
Blue Whinnis
Type poison, injury; Save Fortitude DC 14
Frequency 1/round for 2 rounds
Initial Effect 1 Con damage; Secondary Effect unconsciousness for 1d3 hours; Cure 1 save
Burnt Othur Fumes
Type poison, inhaled; Save Fortitude DC 18
Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds
Initial Effect 1 Con drain; Secondary Effect 1d3 Con damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves
Dark Reaver Powder
Type poison, ingested; Save Fortitude DC 18
Onset 10 minutes; Frequency 1/minute for 6 minutes
Effect 1d3 Con damage and 1 Str damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves
Deathblade
Type poison, injury; Save Fortitude DC 20
Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds
Effect 1d3 Con damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves
Dragon Bile
Type poison, contact; Save Fortitude DC 26
Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds
Effect 1d3 Str damage
Drow Poison
Type poison, injury; Save Fortitude DC 13
Frequency 1/minute for 2 minutes
Initial Effect unconsciousness for 1 minute; Secondary Effect unconsciousness for 2d4 hours; Cure 1 save
Giant Wasp Poison
Type poison, injury; Save Fortitude DC 18
Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds
Effect 1d2 Dex damage; Cure 1 save
Greenblood Oil
Type poison, injury; Save Fortitude DC 13
Frequency 1/round for 4 rounds
Effect 1 Con damage; Cure 1 save
Green Prismatic Poison
Type poison, spell; Save Fort DC varies by spell
Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds
Initial Effect death; Secondary Effect 1 Con damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves. See prismatic sphere, prismatic spray, or prismatic wall for more details.
Hemlock
Type poison, ingested; Save Fortitude DC 18
Onset 10 minutes; Frequency 1/minute for 6 minutes
Effect 1d6 Dex damage, creatures reduced to 0 Dexterity suffocate; Cure 2 consecutive saves
Id Moss
Type poison, ingested; Save Fortitude DC 14
Onset 10 minutes; Frequency 1/minute for 6 minutes
Effect 1d3 Int damage; Cure 1 save
Insanity Mist
Type poison, inhaled; Save Fortitude DC 15
Frequency 1/rounds for 6 rounds
Effect 1d3 Wis damage; Cure 1 save
King's Sleep
Type poison, ingested; Save Fortitude DC 19
Onset 1 day; Frequency 1/day
Effect 1 Con drain; Cure 2 consecutive saves
Large Scorpion Venom
Type poison, injury; Save Fortitude DC 17
Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds
Effect 1d2 Str damage; Cure 1 save
Lich Dust
Type poison, ingested; Save Fortitude DC 17
Onset 10 minutes; Frequency 1/minute for 6 minutes
Effect 1d3 Str damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves
Malyass Root Paste
Type poison, contact; Save Fortitude DC 16
Onset 1 minute; Frequency 1/minute for 6 minutes
Effect 1d2 Dex damage; Cure 1 save
Medium Spider Venom
Type poison, injury; Save Fortitude DC 14
Frequency 1/round for 4 rounds
Effect 1d2 Str damage; Cure 1 save
Nightmare Vapor
Type poison, inhaled; Save Fortitude DC 20
Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds
Effect 1 Wis damage and confused for 1 round; Cure 2 consecutive saves
Nitharit
Type poison, contact; Save Fortitude DC 13
Onset 1 minute; Frequency 1/minute for 6 minutes
Effect 1d3 Con damage; Cure 1 save
Oil of Taggit
Type poison, ingested; Save Fortitude DC 15
Onset 1 minute
Effect unconsciousness for 1d3 hours; Cure 1 save
Purple Worm Poison
Type poison, injury; Save Fortitude DC 24
Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds
Effect 1d3 Str damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves
Sassone Leaf Residue
Type poison, contact; Save Fortitude DC 16
Onset 1 minute; Frequency 1/minute for 6 minutes
Initial Effect 2d12 hit point damage; Secondary Effect 1 Con damage; Cure 1 save
Shadow Essence
Type poison, injury; Save Fortitude DC 17
Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds
Initial Effect 1 Str drain; Secondary Effect 1d2 Str damage; Cure 1 save
Small Centipede Poison
Type poison, injury; Save Fortitude DC 11
Frequency 1/round for 4 rounds
Effect 1 Dex damage; Cure 1 save
Striped Toadstool
Type poison, ingested; Save Fortitude DC 11
Onset 10 minutes; Frequency 1/minute for 4 minutes
Effect 1d3 Wis damage and 1 Int damage; Cure 1 save
Tears of Death
Type poison, contact; Save Fortitude DC 22
Onset 1 minute; Frequency 1/minute for 6 minutes
Effect 1d6 Con damage and paralyzed for 1 minute
Terinav Root
Type poison, contact; Save Fortitude DC 16
Onset 1 minute; Frequency 1/minute for 6 minutes
Effect 1d3 Dex damage; Cure 1 save
Ungol Dust
Type poison, inhaled; Save Fortitude DC 15
Frequency 1/round for 4 rounds
Initial Effect 1 Cha drain; Secondary Effect 1d2 Cha damage; Cure 1 save
Wolfsbane
Type poison, ingested; Save Fortitude DC 16
Onset 10 minute; Frequency 1/minute for 6 minutes
Effect 1d3 Con damage; Cure 1 save
Wyvern Poison
Type poison, injury; Save Fortitude DC 17
Frequency 1/round for 6 rounds
Effect 1d4 Con damage; Cure 2 consecutive saves