3.5 Poision woes?

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Hey all, Hopefully I'm still allowed to make 3.5 topics here. But I have an issue with my players who basically  end up using a poision (large viper poision ) and with another more potent one. Along with various bombs, smokes and clouds other stuff that basically will smoke  cover a large area doing a bunch of con damage even the giants they recently fought managed  to succum fairly quickly, my question short of  golems ( I'd say undead but they have a cleric and hes going on about bone paste thats poision to undead) so short of golems is there anything I can do to limit this  from killing my monsters?  They also have a skirmishing scout who can do massive physical damage but at least thats something I can deal with. This is something else entirely .
Well, IIRC, first they need to have a lot of ranks in Craft (poisonmaking).  Secondly, IIRC, they have a 5% chance to poison themselves when they apply the poison to their weapon, as well as a 5% chance of poisoning themselves when they use the weapon (barring the Poison Use class feature).
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
He definatly has the posion use thing and gets his poison from his pet snakes (hes some sort of part snake, like yuan ti but slightly different )
How does he get poison from his pet snakes?  There are no rules for that. 
How are you deriving stats for viper poison?  Are you just allowing them to use the stats for the venom as it exists when injected straight form the fangs?

You're just giving him free raw materials.  Tell him that he still has to pay for the raw materials which turn the milked venom into something that can be applied to a weapon.  Also, you shoul dlimit how much you can milk from a viper to control how much they make.

During the 3.5 era, I made a set of rules to harmonize the existing poison rules.  

Don't let players get something for nothing.  All these smoke bombs and other alchemical items should come at a cost in raw materials and time.  If they are getting overpowered, you are giving them too much money or too much time

Finally, large vipoer venom is pretty weak.  It's a DC 11 poison that does on average 3.5 Con points.  Pretty soon, the monsters they face should be making their saves against the poison all the time. 
The vipers should not be giving so much poision so easily. I am no herpetologist, but most snake venoms are meant to enter the bloodstream, so inhalation might produce other effects. There is also a chance that the snake venom will not be stable at high temperatures, and might not work with bombs. And depending on the posion, a certain amount will be needed to make the bombs effective.

The vipers are going to need care. They have to be kept at certain temperatures, or they become prone to infections. Snakes do not do well with infections in my experience. Where is he holding these They also need food, or live prey. Most snakes will not accept dead animals or meat. Also, where is he keeping these snakes? In his clothes?

The players should also keep track of how full the vipers are, as snakes produce limited amounts of venom. This is why snakes are reluctant to bite, as it takes them some time to produce another for a full dosage. Snakes can be milked for poision, but not that often. Also, does the character's race allow for him to milk the snakes without being bitten. Then, he has to handle the poison, and if he does not have blackguard and assassin levels (for the poison use feat) he might have to make constant dex checks when milking and when assembling bombs.
As well as possible mechanical fixes - which hopefully could keep the poison team together in an appropriate and playable, you could do with figuring out between you what kind of game you all really want to play.

Some thoughts:

   * How did the poison theme get chosen? Is it a theme for the party, or is it "solving the game"? Looks like the latter - they've found a win button through a combination of the rules, and your generousity as DM.

  * Winning all combats easily all the time may as well be resolved by you narrating that they just poison everything, no rolls required. Would save you all lots of time for more of the rest of the game. Now, honestly - for you and all the players - does this sound like a fun game? That's not a rhetorical question, some games are much more than combat, and some groups spend 90% of their time on things other than combat encounters. However, if the answer is "no, we want fun combats", then the whole group needs to focus on that happening because you are drifting away from that if they get too easy and predictable.

  * Tightening up the poison rules may feel like nerfing the characters to the players, now you have established a (too) high power level for the poison. Do talk through changes with them.

  * Consider leaving this game in a blaze of glory (or cloud of poison) by closing the adventure with them winning a massive victory due to the poison use. Then say "been there, done that" to poison themed heroes and start a new game.


Hey all, Hopefully I'm still allowed to make 3.5 topics here. But I have an issue with my players who basically  end up using a poision (large viper poision ) and with another more potent one. Along with various bombs, smokes and clouds other stuff that basically will smoke  cover a large area doing a bunch of con damage even the giants they recently fought managed  to succum fairly quickly, my question short of  golems ( I'd say undead but they have a cleric and hes going on about bone paste thats poision to undead) so short of golems is there anything I can do to limit this  from killing my monsters?  They also have a skirmishing scout who can do massive physical damage but at least thats something I can deal with. This is something else entirely .


I'm surprised he's actually causing an issue as the most dangerous Poison is Dragon Bile at DC 26, snakes(even large ones are a Fort DC 11.
A Hill Giant(the weakest giant) has a Fortitude +12 so only fails on a 1, even goblins have a +3 Fortitude bonus so only fail on a roll of 7. Still very easy.

On top of that there is the 5% chance of poisoning yourself EACH time you apply the poison.

How is he carrying the poison? If he's carrying in something like a jar, he can't carry that much of it to last a whole adventure then get back home to replenish his supplies.

Just a few things to consider.

If there is a Paladin in the group or a good cleric, i'd be upset to see him constantly using poison as well. 

In 3.5 poisons (even the dreaded drow poison) is woefully inadequate and has little useful effect normally and by 5th level becomes useless. As for the smoke bombs and the like the same applies, if its alchemical then it should cost a lot (find magical items that create a similar effect and set the creation to cost the same) then if its still worth doing he can carry on.

3.5 Rogues are a nightmare at higher levels and easily outfight the fighters with their damage output, sadly that a mechanics issue and has never been resolved. Itook my 3.5 campaign and the rogues abilities were horrendous but he was very fragile, low AC and few HP's. At that level every creature had ridiculous HP's though (858 Terrasque) and all Epic critters are all like that HP's wise.

Hope this helps.
Hey again all, I don't know all the details of this since I admit my friend knows the rules better and i wouldnt be surprised if thats how he's  doing this but when i questioned him he says that his weapon enchant (assassination) and has three different feats for raising the dc, he's also apparently been "milking himself" as well which is because he is a  yaun-ti pureblood  (something i take his word for?) Anyway there are some suggestions  here that I like, but keep going. Theres also the fact though that hes immune ot his own poision and his snakes (which he hasn't been giving live prey I didn't realize snakes didn't like dead ones :P)
Ah Yuan-Ti purebloods suffer a +2 level difference so he's two levels lower than the rest of the party (a 7th level yuan-ti counts as a 9th level character)and whilst he can detect poison, he has no poison resistance as far as i can see unless more educated DM's out there can say different.
The yuan-ti abomonation is the only yuan-ti with poison in fact and even the abomination doesn't have poison resistence from what i am reading.
I'd be very curious to hear what feats he's using to boost a natural poison ability( especially one he doesn't have).
As for the weapon, the nearest thing to an assination power weapon is the assassins dagger which helps the assassins death attack DC and does nothing for poison effects. There is a Dagger Of Venom but that has weak poison in it (DC 14) but that is a once per day power. There probably are other weapons of this type in other books but i'd be interested to hear what book the weapon is in!

Sadly i fear you have a player making up his own rules, or mis-understanding the rules( i say this very sarcastically).

The level difference cannot be adjusted unless you say different but it would mean when the party are 10th level for example, he will be 12th level.



I agree with therion666.  I fear your friend is taking advantage of your lack of rules knowledge.  If true, that's not cool. 

I'd very much like to know what feats he thinks he has that allows him to boost the DCs of poisons he harvests.  I'm guess he made it up or is taking it from some third-party publisher.
I agree with therion666.  I fear your friend is taking advantage of your lack of rules knowledge.  If true, that's not cool. 

I'd very much like to know what feats he thinks he has that allows him to boost the DCs of poisons he harvests.  I'm guess he made it up or is taking it from some third-party publisher.

Thing is, one of my players tried to go down the assassin poisoner route and mechanically the poisoner was really naff. I even made up some rules to make it a bit more viable but it was still rubbish without breaking the whole system.
Poison is an all or nothing effect in the game.

Hey again all, I don't know all the details of this since I admit my friend knows the rules better and i wouldnt be surprised if thats how he's  doing this but when i questioned him he says that his weapon enchant (assassination) and has three different feats for raising the dc, he's also apparently been "milking himself" as well which is because he is a  yaun-ti pureblood  (something i take his word for?) Anyway there are some suggestions  here that I like, but keep going. Theres also the fact though that hes immune ot his own poision and his snakes (which he hasn't been giving live prey I didn't realize snakes didn't like dead ones :P)



Any chance you'd want to take more control of the game and rules in use? For instance, have you reviewed the character sheet?

It's relatively easy to review a character sheet for the rules that apply. Just look up the description of each race, class and feat.

To me, it reads like control resides too heavily with this Yuan-Ti's player, who is making up his own power fantasy and stomping all over any prep work for the encounters that you could reasonably do . . .

 . . . so I hereby suggest you scrap the current game (perhaps after giving the players a little of what they want - a big end battle that they win easily thanks to the poison), and run a new game to that part of the rules that you best understand. Start by running a game from books you have read only, no special options, and at a relatively low level where you have a complete handle on the rules. Anything you don't understand, get this experienced player to help you with, and ask that he:

a) build a PC where you fully understand the rules that apply to it

b) co-DM in some way, helping to resolve rules questions (perhaps he already does this? If so, he shouldn't abuse this position to stomp over the encounters, he should be playing something that balances the game out, so it's fun for everyone)

from www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/we/200... - about half to 2/3rds down

In addition, the weapon seems to eagerly drink in poison. The wielder never risks poisoning herself when applying poison to an assassination weapon, and the save DC of any poison applied to the weapon increases by an amount equal to the weapon's enhancement bonus. (Thus, a +1 assassination dagger increases the DC of any applied poison by 1, while a +3 assassination dagger increases the DC by 3.)

as for the feats he has are  quote "



Poison Specialization Dragon 303


+2 to the Dc of a SPECIFIC crafted poison



 



Poison Expert complete scoundrel


Does the same thing


but only


+1


 


Also


Ability Focus Poison


which is +2 to the save Dc of my natural poison "




he gets his posion through milking him self a s a pureblood has the ability to turn into a viper at will,  Though I'd like to mention I was hoping this thread wouldn't turn into lets see if my player is cheating more so What are some suggestions now that theres a green fog arround my campaign ^_^. (Which poison or no is the best one i've run )
Like I mentioned the Yuan-ti pureblood doesn't get poison, he's also got to spend time crafting his special poison.
If you want to save the game then i'd suggest taking things back to comparative magical items and offering these options to the player as this sounds like its got out of hand (by your own first statement).
Look at necklass of fireballs as one example.

The other better suggestion IMO is that his poison use is more like 4th Ed, does an ongoing poison damage that must be saves against. He must spend an action in the round to apply his poison (move equivalent maybe).

Sorry but thats the best i can think of as it sounds to me like you've allowed every rule to be used and created a monster in your campaign. I think you do need to chat with the player and reach a compromise that you as the DM are happy with.
How...Does a viper milk itself? I could see certain ways, but I think it might look highly silly. Also, I don't think it could work, for the alternate form is like alter self, and that spell has the line "Any part of the body or piece of equipment that is separated from the whole reverts to its true form." I would say that this rule applies to any bodily fluids as well.
@ I_roll_ones: Both the Alter Self and Change Shape abilities state: "A creature using [power] reverts to its natural form when killed, but separated body parts retain their shape."  I think this means milked poison remains milked poison.

@ yamilonewolf: You need to talk with this player.  He's optimized a poisoner and it's breaking the game.  You need to bring things in line and he's going to be unhappy because he invested a lot of resources, and took a serious +2 level adjustment, in order to break the game.  (I'm still not certain what rules he uses to harvest his own venom.)

My advice is to rules that effects that increase poison DCs do not stack.  Let him retrain the feats if he decides to keep the assassination weapon.  Tell him that milking his own venom will not reduce the costs of Craft (poisonmaking). 
Here is something that you should do, regardless of if the player is cheating or not:

1. Get a copy of each player's character sheet, with everything they've used to build their character. Demand references if it's not in a common source for feats, items and spells.

2. Learn the rules that apply to all those things. Learn them better than the players know them. Make flashcards if you have to.

3. Make your enemies and encounters accordingly. Give the players a chance to shine, but also make sure you throw in some challenges.

4. Update your copies of the player's sheets as you go along. If you notice one player starting to hog too much spotlight in combat/whatever, consider giving other players items that will help their competence so that it remains on a fairly even level.

yamilonewolf, a DM must be strong with the rules being used. You should not allow anything into your campaign that you aren't knowledgable about. If a player asks if they can do something with their character your response should be "Let me read up about it" before you say yes or no. I will not take a player's word for it, unless they are reading out of a book. I don't let my players be ignorant of the rules either. They need to be able to explicitly tell me where they are getting their bonuses from, how often they can use something, etc. etc. If they can't tell me, then they can't use it.

As a DM, I know the character mechanics better than the players who play them. I look at them as I make enemies and plan out sessions. I track their resources and their capabilites. Because I do this, I can make my players work for it and I can prevent imbalances like yours before they become too great or entrenched.
Give your players awesome loot: Loot by Type
By the way, a yuan-ti pureblood not only has a LA of +2 but also 4 racial hit dice, so he should effectively be 6 character levels behind the rest of the group, not just 2.
How...Does a viper milk itself?


While the player is a Yaunti, stretch and secure a thin stretch of leather over the opening of a flask/vial/pot/whatever. Change into viper form. Bite leather.
  You could use elementals,mephits,oozes and the like. Creatures that aren't affected by poison willlevel the playing field and possibly shine a light on your players overdependence on his 'favorite method'.3.5 has some challenging creature that fit the bill.Lantern archons in large numbers would make for a nasty fight or magmin in a dusty chamber full of old tapestries and drapes.'I'll put out the inferno with my never ending supply of venom'

 'Guys?...GUYS!!?'

  And then you could talk about your nexy adventure over a nice,hot cup of venom.


  P.S. venom can be converted to serum,can't remember how.But I heard it on an old t.v. show.

  Hope this helps
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