You poison yourself to make yourself stronger in battle somehow.
You drink a special potion to give you the might of ten men. Oh, it also happens to be highly poisonous and toxic though. So there's a chance it'll just kill you. And don't expect to live longer than 40.
>>45291296 Swords are tools used for killing other people and they're considered a symbol of honor and heroism across the world If you use a sword coated in poison to kill someone, does the honor balance out?
>>45291296 >>45291376 >>45291406 As far as I'm aware poison is "dishonorable" because some of them do some fucking nasty things to you before they kill you. That said, getting hacked to bits with a poleaxe or burned alive by a fireball is pretty nasty too, so take it as you will.
I had a Paladin once whose idea of fairness was basically "as long as both parties expect it and agree to it, it's fair." So in war you're expecting to be ambushed, which makes it a fair tactic. Stabbing someone in the back at the mall however is underhanded since it goes against the expectations of the situation.
If someone with that outlook found themselves in Drow society, where backstabbing and poisoning are basically the primary methods of conflict resolution, then it's no different than a sword and can of course be considered heroic if the cause is just.
>>45292039 That's a good point, standards of heroism vis a vis honor are often significantly relaxed if that's, like, your thing. Like if you're a thief or a pirate or whatever and cast as a hero you can do stuff a traditional knight couldn't.
>>45291213 Frankly it depends on who you are, what the poison does, how it is administered, who the target is, and the cultures involved. Socrates, for example, has been widely hailed as heroic in part for having killed himself with hemlock. See also Romeo and Juliet or the Dread Pirate Roberts from fiction.
>>45292295 Shit man, I was Mercutio the last time I performed Romeo and Juliet. From what I saw, poisoning yourself for the sake of a lover is respectable, if not awesome. But honorable? No, it's not honorable to die because of young love, especially since Romeo didn't know that his death would stop a gang war.
>>45291240 >But I say that you could use Poison heroically, unless it's D&D, in which case it is explicitly non-good.
I've toyed with the idea of a Talona worshiper with a very liberal interpretation of her scripture, who believes that since her domain is poison and disease, that the treatment thereof should fall under her purview.
Since her shtick is life and death being a matter of balance, this could cause him to believe poisoning a keep's grain supply to kill an enemy's forces is no less noble than tending to the sick and wounded.
Never found a campaign in which I felt it was appropriate to pitch it to the DM, unfortunately.
>>45291213 >Can poison ever be used in a heroic way? It's not "dishonorable" it's strategic. >>45291240 >unless it's D&D, in which case it is explicitly non-good. In the Nyambe Setting book, it states that adding poison to weapons is such a normal thing in those cultures that even Paladins can Use poisoned weapons without it conflicting with their alignment.
seems like in that setting the very idea of poisoning your weapons being inherently "craven" or "evil" would be an utterly alien concept to them.
>>45291341 Pathfinder added a new spell that liquefies any object temporarily and has rules for the damage you take if you drink it and it reforms inside you. Not very good ones, but at least it's possible.
Mechanically speaking it's bonkers. It's either so slow that it does nothing, or so fast that it will instantly down them in one dose. And I'm fairly certain we didn't have shit like Cyanide back in the day.
Introducing it is symmetric though, and the bad guys are going to have a lot less reason to not poison the heroes. So, if you want to give the players the ability to one-shot the enemies, well they better only prepare their food themselves because next town over, half the beggars will have a poison dropper and promises of full bellies.
And on top of that, it's narratively bad. Fights should be clashes of ideas, and poisoning someone is very hard to accomplish that.
Of course, there's the age old favorite. A man has just drunk a glass of poison and is sitting across from his poisoner. What do they talk about now?
Poison is something to get people into situations, not the solution.
>>45293887 I don't know when the idea of fast acting but slow working poison came around. The idea that you could get poked with a needle and then spend the next three days getting progressively sleepier in equal increments is a bit daft. Even sillier is the idea that something can do poison damage, as if poison is something that melts your skin. Acid is one thing, but poison?
The real problem with poison is that people tend to use it like a sword in other ways too. Bad guy needs you dead? Poison the food! But what kind of poison? Would he just go to the local library and check out a book on dangerous plants? Is he spending hours in his lab refining lethal doses of common toxic substances just to hand to a peasant in the hopes he goes through with some hairbrained scheme to drop a few tablespoons into the soup at the inn that night? There aren't a lot of really lethal poisons, most of them just make you shit yourself or break out in a rash. Furthermore, an adventurer roaming the land in a world where there are readily available death flowers should know the basics of such things. If you grow up in a region, you know that certain things are dangerous.
In the end, poison is a cool concept but is rarely done well. By anyone.
>>45291371 Witchers aren't human anyway. Most of the alchemical mixtures they drink would KILL a human, but their physiology and biochemistry is sufficiently altered that they can consume it and not die, unless they consume too much, the wrong combination, et cetera.
>>45291213 Being heroic isn't about what you do, it's about why you're doing it. If anything, an instance where a group of adventurers is poisoning the water supply of a group of bandits to make them sickly weak and easy to capture would be smarter and more socially acceptable than murdering them all in a sneak attack like your average adventuring party would usually do.
Well in AD&D and BECMI, it drops you in about a minute.
I ran an entire 2e campaign from start to finish, which at about level 8 or so they fought huge quantities of enemies with poison on everything (drider vagina juice and paralyzes you), and one of the PCs got in on it. It had only a little effect, most of the fights were still decided by hasted sword grandmasters.
>half the beggars will have a poison dropper and promises of full bellies.
Sounds like a good way to get the beggar population obliterated.
>Fights should be clashes of ideas, and poisoning someone is very hard to accomplish that.
On the contrary, the conflict between chivalry and treachery is an EXCELLENT way of representing the clash of ideals.
'ideals' sounds better than 'ideas' and an ideal is an ideal
The way I like to figure it in my games, injected poisons are 'honorable', whereas ingested poisons are not. Here's the reasoning. Injecting poisons takes some skill, whereas anyone can put rat poison in your breakfast burrito. Throughout history, shit's only 'honorable' when it benefits those in power, who have better training, nutrition, and equipment, and D&D is a world wherein assassins can have actual class levels.
>>45292659 played a ninja/ranger. Poison was acceptable for some cases (particularly dangerous / out of control animals that needed to be put down), but mostly not used in actual fights. Was not used in hunting, unless under the most dire of circumstances (hunting for survival).
Party druid didn't give a shit about poison at all. Encouraged its use against aberrations.
Party summoner worshiped a gigantic extra-dimensional cone-snail that bordered on some cthulu shit. Poison was entirely fine by her.
No one else had a really solid opinion, as it depended upon the poison and fortunately never came up as we never got involved in most human intrigue and certainly didn't assassinate people.
As for OP poison is considered dishonorable because often its entire purpose is a method of killing another person without them even being aware of the dangers of it. If it's not an outright killing poison it may be something that weakens them. Often it can be used to look like something else so that you don't get labeled as 'that guy that killed his wives in favor of chasing younger tail' (instead you're 'that guy whose wives died tragically due to illness and you were consoled by [sweet young maiden]'), or labeled as that guy who used deceit and underhanded tactics to beat an opponent he shouldn't have stood a chance against.
>>45297920 >Party druid didn't give a shit about poison at all. why would a druid, of all characters, actually give two shits about poison to begin with? There's nothing unnatural about poison after all.
Remember the Alladin story? At the end Jafar or whatever the name of the original dark wizard was, got bested because the princess switched poisoned cups or something similar, no?
It all depends on context, really. Poison is probably going to be seen as dishonorable if you are in a combat heavy setting and then you simply skip on the combat altogether to slip a poison into someone's drink. Poisoned weapons would most likely be fine in this case.
If you are a bunch of non fighters and need to bring down someone like an evil wizard, then it becomes a matter of wit and smarts, so it is not technically dishonorable.
>>45291213 I don't really know. Evil is easy since spiders and snakes are go-to evil animals, mostly because they're evil by definition of being poisonous.
Neutral would also be easy to make up, Druids considering them part of nature innate to it. Healers that know you have to kill the rot before it spreads to healthy parts of body and applying it to rots on society. Lawful Dick inquisitors torturing prisoners.
Can't honestly find anything for good alignments. There is this problem mentioned earlier where poison means evil and it's deeply rooted in animalistic subconsciousness.
>>45291213 Spies often carry a secret poison capsule so that they can kill themselves if captured rather than reveal secrets under torture. If they're spying for the good guys, this is usually treated as heroic.
>>45291213 Honor duels in which the blade is poisoned with a frequently-but-not-always fatal poison.
Duels are to first blood, since the poison is active as soon as it breaks skin.
If the wounded survives, the matter is considered resolved, since his virtue is clearly so great that death turned aside.
A rare few daredevils are known for collecting the deep blue cicatrice the poison leaves behind as a sign of bravery in the style of German dueling scars, but obviously most of them don't last long. It's a known problem among the aristocracy that has killed more than a few second or third sons, leading some in the nobility to call for a ban on the practice.
>>45291213 No, but heroics are secondary if you only want results. Heroics, by it's nature, are theatrical deeds of good and sometimes it's what the guy knows best, but sometimes you don't want a knight in shining armor to storm the castle gates alone because it would take too long and people would die in throngs. Sometimes you want a sleazy rogue who poisons the wine storage and watches as the BBEG chokes on their own vomit. It's not pretty, and as such not heroic, but effective nonetheless.
>>45291213 Heroism is often a matter of perspective. If you slip someone a painful Poison in preparation for a duel against them, that's sorta bad. On the other hand, if it is what is required to stop a mad Tyrant or some rampaging horror, then it may be for the best. Also, if non lethal knock out drops or the like are used to render one insensate for surgery, or while they are mind controled or otherwise in a wretched state... well, sedatives are a kindness.
>>45302110 >Honor requires forthrightness and courage. Poison cannot include these two qualities. Why not? It might require great courage to sneak into a heavily-defended camp and poison the leader's food.
As for forthrightness, what if you had a city under siege and warned them explicitly that you'd poison the river that is their water supply?
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