7
\$\begingroup\$

I am in a game where my DM just gave me the Venomous Bow. This bow is similar to the Dagger of Venom, such that it automatically applies poison to any arrows that are that touch it. This bow also gave my character proficiency with a poisoner's kit.

I was excited about this and made some Basic Poison. I wanted to be able to coat an arrow in Basic Poison and then shoot it using my Venomous Bow. I was thinking that this should work since the Venomous Bow adds poison magically and therefore probably doesn't have any physical form.

My DM said that I would have to create some sort of arrow that has like slits in the tip or something so that I am able to add more than one poison. So my questions are:

  1. Are there any rules about adding multiple poisons to a weapon?
  2. How would I go about making the arrow that my DM said to make?
  3. When an arrow has poison added to it, is there anything done to the arrow before hand?
\$\endgroup\$
1

2 Answers 2

11
\$\begingroup\$

So, you want to use poison with your poison so they can die while they die:

RAW, it works. The only rule regarding poisons is their typing, and effects. In this case, based on the name and description, we're going to assume the Venomous Bow is making injury or contact poison.

Contact: Contact poison can be smeared on an object and remains potent until it is Touched or washed off. A creature that touches contact poison with exposed skin suffers its Effects.

Injury: Injury poison can be applied to Weapons, Ammunition, trap Components, and other Objects that deal piercing or slashing damage and remains potent until delivered through a wound or washed off. A creature that takes piercing or slashing damage from an object coated with the poison is exposed to its Effects.

From these two descriptions, as poisons remain potent until used or washed off, it stands to reason multiple poisons would stack on a single piece of ammunition without modification;

HOWEVER,

There's more than just RAW to consider. The first thing that comes to mind is your DM doesn't want you to for balance reasons; however, with the amount of poison immune/resistant enemies and the fact he simply wants you to expend more resources in order to accomplish it, this seems unlikely.

Secondly, logically speaking, applying double poison might dilute both leading to an effect somewhere in the middle of the two without the extra surface area; again, this isn't how the rules work, so again, DM discussion is in order.

Final Notes

Last thing to keep in mind is how effects stack, or rather, how they don't.

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. For example, if a target is ignited by a fire elemental’s Fire Form trait, the ongoing fire damage doesn’t increase if the burning target is subjected to that trait again. Game features include spells, class features, feats, racial traits, monster abilities, and magic items.

This means that stacking the same poison will have no effect regardless, which makes the whole dilution point a little more moot, because if increased dosage doesn't change anything, dilution shouldn't either.

It's also worth noting that part of the Dagger of Venom's balance is poison application is an action like normal--it doesn't just auto-apply every attack, and the dagger's venom even disappears if unused within a minute. Since the bow doesn't have this feature--it even goes out of its way to make it difficult to stop poisoning things--balancing it becomes a bit more questionable, especially since with its RAW, you could pre-poison arrows by repeatedly just shooting them softly into the ground.

EDIT: I missed the part where the bow's poison is inert after an hour, however, this still means if you have a safe place to be before the fight, one shot without Extra Attack is 6 seconds, so assuming the fight isn't going to last longer than 10min, you have 50min to poison your allies arrows for them, for a total of 500 poisoned arrows before the fight begins until 6th level, at which point, by the bow's RAW your any fighter, paladin, monk, or barbarian or anyone else with extra attack can double it.

\$\endgroup\$
3
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps of note, mathematically, using the exact same poison twice doesn't actually increase the concentration at all \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 13, 2022 at 13:16
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Exempt-Medic I understand what you're saying, I meant the concentration in the blood. Would editing to say dosage would make it clearer? \$\endgroup\$
    – Korpse
    Commented Feb 13, 2022 at 17:51
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Oh, that makes sense! It's probably fine left as-in then \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 13, 2022 at 18:27
6
\$\begingroup\$

I found one reference to having dual poisons

Initially, I thought they could not overlap. Per the DMG

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. For example, if a target is ignited by a fire elemental’s Fire Form trait, the ongoing fire damage doesn’t increase if the burning target is subjected to that trait again. Game features include spells, class features, feats, racial traits, monster abilities, and magic items.

Although fire damage from a Fire Elemental attack doesn't stack, because poison isn't a "feature", this doesn't apply.

However, I did find a reference in the protection from poison spell:

You touch a creature. If it is poisoned, you neutralize the poison. If more than one poison afflicts the target, you neutralize one poison that you know is present, or you neutralize one at random.

So there is a precedence of having two types of poison in a single victim. It does not mention getting both poisons at once, and they must be of different "types". So work with the DM to make sure the poison that comes from the bow is not the same "type" of poison as one you create.

Note: as a DM, I would say initially they are the same since the bow is what gave you proficiency in the poisoners' kit. But you could quest to learn new poisons and make them different. See Crafting and Harvesting Poison.

As for design, you'll have to work that out with the DM. The basic poison you mentioned is just "applied". Nothing special about it. Most likely just dunk the tip into some poison.

\$\endgroup\$
1
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ So, it's worth noting that the overlap rule only applies to Game Effects that share a name. For poisons and their addition effects, 2 different poisons are poisons with different names, making them different game effects. If you're poisoned twice, one causing sleep, the other paralysis, both while under the poisoned condition time tracked separately for the 2 different poisons, you're Unconscious, Paralyzed, and have disadvantage on most rolls. The only overlap is the Poisoned effect of the the two separate instances of the poisoned condition. Compare to the Diseased condition, which varies. \$\endgroup\$
    – Korpse
    Commented Feb 13, 2022 at 20:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .