I GM’d my first BW session this week. One of my characters invested skill points in Poisons and RPs in a toolkit. In session, the character created poisons using the Poisoner skill number on their sheet and the parenthetical Ob (Debilitating poison, digestible, Ob 2 to produce). The Poisons description formatting was tough to parse. Did I come up with the right number here?
The character poisoned some NPCs as part of a burglary. After making them test Stealthy, I just “said yes” to the poisons working as intended.
When they poisoned another player character, I became less confident in my interpretation of the skill description. Does the poisoned character get to make a Health or Forte test to resist the poison’s effect? How is the character effected mechanically once they succumb to poison? How long to take effect? How long should it last?
Also, is the poison a consumable item that requires a DoF roll after the first use?
Thanks in advance.
A quick and simple answer would be that BW is more about dealing with the consequences of the act of poisoning somebody, specially if he’s a king ;). The actual effects can be negotiated with the OB and figured out in case of failure (e.g. he didn’t die, but he’s in a coma, or he did die, but you are caught, etc.).
That’s the way I was approaching it with the poisoning of NPCs, but it didn’t seem like enough when one PC had poisoned another PC. For lack of a better answer, I said that the poisoned PC was completely debilitated for 24hrs which left him out of a good chunk of play and in a poor position to negotiate when he came to.
I did read the venom entries in the Monster Burner so I think I have enough to write up some appropriate house rules, but it seemed like somebody must have dealt with this before.
Debilitating poison is Ob 3 to make, actually. I would say that poison is a consumable that’s used up. Each dose counts.
I’m sure I’ve seen poison rules somewhere, but I can’t find them. I’ll keep looking.
I believe a Debilitating poison just gives the victim +2 Ob on rolls.
Cool. So a debilitating poison is an Ob3 for the poisoner to create. Once ingested, there is not a test to resist the poisons effects and the poison begins effecting the victim without much delay. While infected, the victim makes all rolls at +2Ob. If poison acts like Venom from the Monster Burner, penalties drop one per hour. So, in the second hour, the victim would make all rolls at +1Ob, and in the third hour the poisons effects would clear.
I can make this work in our fiction. Let me know if any part of this reading doesn’t make sense.
Looks good to me. I don’t think a test should apply to resisting effects…poisons can’t really be metabolized harmlessly without treatment/antidote. Once you’ve been poisoned (ingestion, poison darts, etc), you’ve been poisoned.
So it definately seems like a “Say Yes” sort of thing. The administering of the poison may result in a conflict though(VS roll to avoid a dart, for instance).
The only thing I would call into question is the recovery. Two hours to shake off a poison seems relatively short, unless it is one of the mildest of poisons (Such as Alcohol. Drug and Poison are, after all, mostly synonymous…Drugs are merely sought after while poisons are avoided). I would consider upping the duration of effect unless they get treatment.
But if it fits your fiction to have it last in increments of hours, that works too. Especially if there is rules to back it up via Venom in the Monster Burner.
I agree that it does seem too short, just comparing to my experience of food poisoning. I think I’ll avoid pinning it down and make the duration of the poison’s full obstacle increase last until the end of the scene plus whatever makes the story work best. The time to effect will probably be hand-waved in the same way. I tried reading some webpages that had descriptions of medieval poisons, but attempting any kind of historical accuracy would require narrating a lot convulsing/retching/shitting-ones-self which isn’t a story element that I think anyone in our group will be excited about.
Thanks to everyone who offered advice. This should work well for us.
I would concider the intent and task of it too.
If the intent is to kill with a poisoned weapon, then that weapon still has to hit the target, damage the target (penetrate targets armor) before it can affect the target. Even then, there are differences between fast and slow acting poisons. Not to mention the compications of treating a poisoned individual. (I don’t understand it. I stopped his bleeding, and tended his wounds, and yet he still dies.)
I know this might be more complicated than what you may be looking for. But were I playing an assassin or poisoner type, I would thrive on these types of complications (Hmmm, a slow acting contact poison that’s oderless and colorless, when absorbed through the skin causes a Forte Test vs. Poison strength (failure applies to loss of Will Dice. The poison appears to be throne polish and is applied daily to his majesty’s throne thus making his majesty and his throne polisher my willing slaves! - Court Enchanter). Of course, I do tend to over complicate things…