For instance I want to kill an NPC via mixing poison in a soup and giving it to the NPC, assuming that the they will drink all the soup. But my poison's damage isn't enough to kill them. If I put more than one dose of poison could I make the soup kill the NPC or is one dose same as five doses of poison?


1 Answer 1


The following is a direct quote of Purple Monkey's answer to the following question:

Game effects, not just magical effects, of the same name don't stack. See the DMG errata:

Combining Game effects (p.252) This is a new subsection at the end of the “Combat” section:

Different game features can affect a target at the same time. But when two or more game features have the same name, only the effects of one of them—the most potent one—apply while the durations of the effects overlap...

So only one dose (1d4 damage) of the poison would apply.

The same applies to the soup, because multiple poisons of the same name would be effecting the soup, only one can actually apply.

However, if you were mixing together different poisons then they would all stack because they do not share a name.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does that actually apply if the "duration of the effect" is instantaneous? Clearly, if the poison imparts the Poisoned condition, the target get's this condition only once. However, if the poison deals Poison Damage upon ingestion, this is an instantaneous effect, and therefore it has no duration to overlap. This would be like being shot by two arrows simultaneously - you don't ignore damage from one because the other hit at the same time. Alternatively, you could say that you take damage from one dose once half the soup is consumed, and damage from the other upon completion. \$\endgroup\$
    – zeel
    Jan 8, 2020 at 18:46
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @zeel You're correct that it doesn't apply if the effect is instantaneous however the effect does have a duration, which is however long the soup remains poisoned. Since there is one soup, and it has multiple poisons, their durations must be overlapping. If you wanted to get into how much soup needs to be ingested to activate a poison that would be entirely houserule territory. Or rather, as far as the soup is concerned there is only one poison \$\endgroup\$ Jan 8, 2020 at 18:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @zeel Overall I don't think there really are any rules on poisoning soup, so very technically I don't think scenario is even possible \$\endgroup\$ Jan 8, 2020 at 18:59

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