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If a character has Delay Poison cast on them before being hit by the poison, my understanding is that both fortitude saves are delayed until the Delay Poison wears off.

If a character is hit by Drow Poison, and fails their first saving throw (which results in unconsciousness), what happens if the character has Delay Poison cast on them during the first minute after failing the first saving throw? In that case, the need to make the second saving throw is delayed until the Delay Poison wears off. But do they regain consciousness in the meantime? And if so, does that happen as soon as the Delay Poison is cast, or after the first minute has elapsed? If they don't regain consciousness, would there even be any benefit to casting Delay Poison?

The relevant portions of the SRD:

An opponent hit by a drow’s poisoned weapon must succeed on a DC 13 Fortitude save or fall unconscious. After 1 minute, the subject must succeed on another DC 13 Fortitude save or remain unconscious for 2d4 hours.

and:

Delay Poison: The subject becomes temporarily immune to poison. Any poison in its system or any poison to which it is exposed during the spell’s duration does not affect the subject until the spell’s duration has expired. Delay poison does not cure any damage that poison may have already done.

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2 Answers 2

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You would regain consciousness after 1 minute and remain conscious until after the delay poison wears off. This is because "remain unconscious for 2d4 hours" is the secondary damage of the drow poison. You don't receive the secondary damage while under the effect of the slow poison, therefore you will not remain unconscious.

If they don't regain consciousness, would there even be any benefit to casting Delay Poison?

There would be a negative benefit because delay poison would delay the moment when the second saving throw is allowed, thus effectively extending the time that you would remain unconscious. It should be treated as an offensive spell under these circumstances, creating the need for an additional saving throw.

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Second section should spell out that the spell does not work that way, and that you are answering in the hypothetical. Otherwise, good answer. –  Jack Lesnie Jun 29 at 11:50
    
Our DM ruled in agreement with your reply although we all think RAW permits either your or @HeyICanChan's interpertation. The deciding factor is that if Delay Poison does not allow the character to regain consciousness after 1 minute, casting it is worse than than doing nothing, which doesn't seem reasonable. –  PurpleVermont Jun 29 at 15:08

When a creature takes damage from a weapon coated with injury poison, it makes a saving throw. If the creature fails that saving throw, it suffers the initial damage. If, afterward but before 1 minute's elapsed, the creature's the target of the 2nd-level Clr spell delay poison [conj] (PH 217), it's immune to the secondary damage until the delay poison spell's duration expires, but the initial damage remains.

If that initial damage renders the creature unconscious, the spell delay poison doesn't remove that condition. The creature's has "in its system" the remaining secondary damage, and only that can be delayed.

Also, the Dungeon Master's Guide's drow poison (297) omits a detail from the Monster Manual's Drow entry, which says

An opponent hit by a drow’s poisoned weapon must succeed on a DC 13 Fortitude save or fall unconscious. After 1 minute, the subject must succeed on another DC 13 Fortitude save or remain unconscious for 2d4 hours. (103)

Emphasis mine, and that strongly implies that, unless the DM's ruled that the drow poison in the Dungeon Master's Guide is different from the drow poison used by actual drow, if no action's taken and if the creature succeeds on its saving throw versus the secondary damage, the creature regains consciousness in 1 minute.

That means, while the delay poison spell isn't helpful to the unconscious creature suffering from drow poison, the spell's not harmful either.

"How can an unconscious creature be made conscious?"

The unconsciousness caused by drow poison's initial (or secondary) damage can be remedied by rare effects that end unconsciousness (e.g. waking herbs (Dragon #323 103) (30 gp; 0 lbs.); a generous DM may allow either the 0th-level Drd spell dawn [abjur] (SpC 59), the 1st-level Sor/Wiz spell rouse [ench] (PH2 123), or both to do so).

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Confusing as all hell. Readability will need to improve vastly if I am going to upvote this answer. Less italics and bold text, less repetition and emphasis, put it simply. See above answer for a guideline. –  Jack Lesnie Jun 29 at 11:49
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@JackLesnie Which answer? As in space, there is no absolute "above" or "below" here. –  SevenSidedDie Jun 29 at 17:05
    
There are two answers. One is yours. The other is the one I am referring to. There are timestamps for this sort of thing. –  Jack Lesnie Jun 30 at 10:17

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