8
\$\begingroup\$

The archer in our group was low on arrows, so he switched over to his poisoned ones. I told him the poison would not affect the undead, so they were essentially shot as normal arrows. After the fight however, he went to retrieve his arrows, claiming they were still poisoned. We are currently in a huge argument over wether or not the arrows are currently still effectively coated with poison. Please help us resolve this ASAP.

Does a poisoned arrow become un-poisoned as usual when it hits an enemy that isn't affected by poison?

\$\endgroup\$
16
\$\begingroup\$

From the rules:

Mundane ammunition

Generally speaking, ammunition that hits its target is destroyed or rendered useless, while ammunition that misses has a 50% chance of being destroyed or lost.

Magic ammunition

Magic Ammunition and Breakage: When a magic arrow, crossbow bolt, or sling bullet misses its target, there is a 50% chance it breaks or is otherwise rendered useless. A magic arrow, bolt, or bullet that successfully hits a target is automatically destroyed after it delivers its damage.

The poison doesn't matter, the arrow is destroyed when it hits, regardless.

Additionally, the poison rules say that the poison is consumed on a hit. The fact that the creature is immune to it doesn't matter.

One dose of poison smeared on a weapon or some other object affects just a single target. A poisoned weapon or object retains its poison until the weapon scores a hit or the object is touched (unless the poison is wiped off before a target comes in contact with it).

Applying poison to a weapon or single piece of ammunition is a standard action. Whenever you apply or ready a poison for use, there is a 5% chance that you expose yourself to the poison and must save against the poison as normal. This does not consume the dose of poison. Whenever you attack with a poisoned weapon, if the attack roll results in a natural 1, you expose yourself to the poison. This poison is consumed when the weapon strikes a creature or is touched by the wielder.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ May be worth covering how poison works in this regard anyway, as this player may react to “no, the arrows are destroyed” by using poisoned blades and continuing the argument about undead. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 14 '18 at 20:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ A good point, but doesn't really cover the core question. \$\endgroup\$ – YogoZuno May 14 '18 at 20:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree, @SevenSidedDie, but also agree with YogoZuno. I think that is a separate question and including it would dilute the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Kyle W May 14 '18 at 20:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Mm, I see it more as yet another reason for why it doesn’t work, making it additional support for this question. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie May 14 '18 at 21:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie Fair enough, let me add that in \$\endgroup\$ – Kyle W May 15 '18 at 19:54
10
\$\begingroup\$

Typical poisoned arrows are dipped in poison. The poison wipes off the arrow and enters the targets blood stream when the creature is hit. This happens regardless if the target is immune or not. If you allow him to recover arrows, there would be no poison on them.

d20pfs

Applied contact poisons and injury poisons cannot inflict more than one dose of poison per weapon at a time (because the poison on the weapon only lasts for one successful attack before it wears off).

Applying poison to a weapon or single piece of ammunition is a standard action. ... This poison is consumed when the weapon strikes a creature or is touched by the wielder.

Of course, if he has access to poison he can repoison the recovered arrows.

House ruling:
As a compromise, you could roll a d20 for each arrow recovered.
15-20 the arrow still has a full dose of poison.
10-15 the arrow has a half dose. Half poison damage rounded down.
1-10 the arrow doesn't have any poison

Note: if you use this compromise, the player may insist on it for any target hit by his poison arrows.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Have you used this house rule in your campaigns? What's been the result? \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 14 '18 at 17:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan -- the result is noted in the answer. The player may insist on this compromise every time he uses his poison arrows. \$\endgroup\$ – ravery May 14 '18 at 17:30
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ So this house rule has been used in a campaign? Please edit the the answer to say that. (Suggestions for house rules are supposed to be based on personal experience; see this Meta question for details.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 14 '18 at 17:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @thedarkwanderer - quote added, as well as a link to poison rules. \$\endgroup\$ – ravery May 14 '18 at 17:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think a slight improvement could be made to this answer by pointing out that RAW, "This poison is consumed when the weapon strikes a creature or is touched by the wielder" with emphasis, then separating your house-rule suggestion. \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso May 14 '18 at 20:22
8
\$\begingroup\$

From https://www.d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/afflictions/poison/ (emphasis mine):

One dose of poison smeared on a weapon or some other object affects just a single target. A poisoned weapon or object retains its poison until the weapon scores a hit or the object is touched (unless the poison is wiped off before a target comes in contact with it).

Applying poison to a weapon or single piece of ammunition is a standard action. Whenever you apply or ready a poison for use, there is a 5% chance that you expose yourself to the poison and must save against the poison as normal. This does not consume the dose of poison. Whenever you attack with a poisoned weapon, if the attack roll results in a natural 1, you expose yourself to the poison. This poison is consumed when the weapon strikes a creature or is touched by the wielder.

So, yes, the rules are clear that the arrows stop being poisoned when they strike a creature, regardless of whether the creature is immune to poison.

Kyle's answer, about arrows being destroyed on impact, is also relevant here.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.