Antidotes

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The party I am DMing acquired a hand crossbow bolt covered in drow poison. They took it to an alchemist in a town where their reputation is growing in a positive direction. They requested an antidote be made for the poison. Obviously there is probably not enough poison for the alchemist to study but in the next several game sessions the party will likely defeat a few drow with unused bottles of poison. Those supplies will likely give an alchemist a reasonable supply to study.

Are there rules in one of the books that covers creating an antidote for poisons? If so, which book? The easiest way is for the cleric to cast delay or neutralize poison, but they want something that can render immunity from the poison before going into battle and they want it in potion form. They are actually aiding in a war so they want to provide the antidote to as many soldiers as possible.

If there are no rules in a book, has anyone created homebrew methods for creating antidotes? I found one online that provided 1 hour of total immunity and then an initial +5 bonus to resist the poison with the bonus reducing by 1 each hour. The cost is the same as the poison and the antidote is specific to one poison.  I know most bonuses are even numbered but this one seemed decent, except for the price. It seems to me that antidotes might cost a lot more than the poison and there are many real world examples of such costs (CroFab for envenomation, for example).

I would also think there are bound to be some poisons for which there are simply no antidotes.

I considered making a Craft: Alchemy check, but I am not sure should set the DC for it. I would also imagine that if drow knew it was easy to create an antidote, they would craft more potent poisons. That might make for an interesting surprise someday for my players but I also want to avoid getting bogged down into a poison arms race everytime they meet a drow.

Thoughts?
3.5

The "rules in the book" are short and sweet, and not specific.


Antitoxin

If you drink antitoxin, you get a +5 alchemical bonus on Fortitude saving throws against poison for 1 hour.

Now, I don't own some of the books that some of the other forum regulars here own, I've heard them mention a Complete Scoundrel and some others, so there is prolly much more out there over the years.

To house rule it, I'd give some alchemist specialist a DC to create the antitoxin to a specific poison the same as it takes to create the poison, but NOT TO BE ROLLED (for success) until the moment of truth. When it is "field tested". Same as like you don't know the result of your Slight of Hand Check to conceal a weapon or your Forgery check until it COUNTS.

That's how I'd wing it. 


 
Thanks.

I had looked at antitoxin and just calling it good. However, the party really wants something stronger and specific to drow poison. Since they are willing to pay, I was curious what else was out there for antidotes or preventatives. I skimmed Complete Scoundrel but nothing jumped out at me. I will read it more closely in the next few days to see if something is mentioned in it.

I do like your plan for how to manage it and if I end up house ruling something, I will definitely not let them know in advance whether he was successful or not. However, it will not surprise me if the party tries some of it out on themselves or pays some peasants to sample it, ingest or inject the poison, and having the cleric there to fix it if it goes wrong.
I'm not sure if there was a specific function for it in 3.0 (I for the most part have played exclusively in 3.5 but have a decent enough understanding of most of the old mechanics to know how to update them) but I always thought there should be an actual tangible use for profession herbalist/craft herb-lore. Heal covers a use for both treating a diseased and/or poisoned individual with bed side care, so I always thought it would make sense if you could use craft herb-lore to make medicinal concoctions to help stave off specific ailments, I.E. something like a "white lotus extract" to help counter black lotus poison or something to that effect, or an "essence of unicorn horn" to treat a particular disease. You could set the craft DC for "antidotes" at the craft DC of the particular poison your designing it to treat, and disease based remedies can have a craft DC set at the fortitude save of the ailment your trying to fight off with the treatment.

Administering an antidote can negate any follow up damage from a poison and cut the healing time in half to restore any ability damage (passably reduce ability drain to simply ability damage that heals at a normal rate) or just remove whatever status effect it inflicted in a few rounds (so as to not completely out shadow poisons and also to realistically portray the antidote taking effect) and remedies must be taken every day at a certain time to help counter the needed fortitude saves to fight off the disease. Antidotes should probably be fairly expensive (equal in cost, if not more expensive than their poison counter parts well using the same crafting rules poisons do so they can be manufactured in a timely fashion) well remedies should be relatively cheep since common people will probably be making use of them (probably something in the realm of 1-5 silver per dose depending on how common the diseases is and how abundant the ingredients are for the treatment).

These are just some rough ideas mind you, they could probably stand to use some refinement. Hope that helps a little.
Ah, my brother Lash...

Again, the lapses in the games have let us down...

But I've seen books in AD&D and Dragon mag articles that spoke of just this.

Assassins once could take just such a study in poison use at some higher level.

And druids take such a study in poison making and cures too.

I cannot qoute sources or even versions, but IT WAS TALKED ABOUT in places. Not forums, but in books and mags.

As far as you BloodBAT:  The roll should be every time the cure is attempted, testing on subjects should be unthethical and pointless, it should be "on the spot" each time. That's why there are dice. This is a GAME OF CHANCE.

Otherwise, I'd research a spell of Fireball that does 60 points of damage every time.

Don't think me condescending. Your question and premise is a great forum topic. 
Hmmm

Really bad example, cuz I forgot that metamagic does just that with maximize

I suppose I should have said (made up) something like...  (I just ran out of any ideas)

Basically, you are the DM? Look at the poison charts and the prices and create-DC, and charge them that much, and if they are smart enough to know to have it, take it just before the encounter, give them that reward of "good role playing" or "basic intelligence" or whatever earns you them buying the pizza at your table that night.

Neue 
What's your hook here?
Did the party decide on their own that they want an antidote, or did you (via role-play) hint to them that they're GOING TO NEED an antidote? (IE that the next adventure is going to have plenty of drow poison.)

If the second point is true, I would suggest an ad-hoc rule. 1 week to develop the antidote, 4x the cost of antitoxin to do so, and 2x the cost of antitoxin for each dose. Gives +10 alchemic bonus to resist ONLY the poison at hand, lasts as long as antitoxin. Can be administered to neutralize the poison if used before secondary effect, but in that case, it provides no further resistance (PC would need another dosage to get that +10 bonus, although if they had one in effect, failed the save, and used an antidote, the original duration still remains.)

If the first is true, consdier adopting that or something else as a house rule, because if they want it for one poison, they'll want it for every poison.
Neue, I get what you're saying and that is pretty much how I will do it. They will do "quality control" and I will let them determine with some sense of comfort how well a particular batch will work. However, the true effectiveness of the antidote will not be determined until it is needed.

As for the pizza comment, that is a fantasy world for me. These players finished off my bottle of Captain Morgan 6 months ago and never replaced it! I buy my own food and drinks. They're pretty good with sharing candy or junk food - most of which I decline - but they're not keen on buying dinner.

The party came up with the antidote idea on their own. In fact, it took me by complete surprise. Several of my PCs have mostly played in linear games with A LOT of DM intervention. I do not run my game this way. Thus, they do not always anticipate problems. So, this antidote effort is not their normal approach. Thus, I want to reinforce their creative thinking.

I provided almost no information on the poison. Honestly, I suspect they knew the bolt was poisoned because the players have met drow in different games. However, there were a few hints that drow use poison in this game. Still, the idea for an antidote was entirely theirs.

I'll figure out a process to create antidotes. It will cost more than the poison since I think poisons are easier to create than antidotes. It is also winter, which means many possible herbal components will be limited. There will also be a limit to the amount they can create in the 10 days they have before the war begins, although the war begins with a siege so the alchemist will have more than 10 days to craft the preventative antidote. They still needs to get more poison since they have only 1 bolt with poison on it.
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