If a creature is naturally poisonous, like an aranea (MM 15-6) or a couatl (MM 37-8), can the creature freely use the feat Poison Spell (Und 51) to poison all its spells that require a melee touch attack? According to the feat, "The dose of poison used as the component [necessary to employ the feat] is expended when you cast the [now-poisoned] spell, whether or not the spell or poison successfully affects the target." Is there something that makes the aranea or couatl care that it's just expended a dose of poison, given that it has, essentially, limitless doses of poison?

From a game balance perspective, unlimited poisoning of such a creature's spells seems reasonable--such a creature's spellcasting is usually below a comparable PC's spellcasting, so adding its poison to all its melee touch attack spells isn't nearly so horrifying as it might first appear (and it forces a spellcaster into melee, which is rarely pleasant)--but I was wondering if there were a limit that I might've missed or if the definition of a dose of poison somehow prevents a creature from using, or limits a creature's ability to use, the feat Poison Spell.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't give a proper answer to this but imho it would certainly make for some interesting encounters through some minor rules-lawyering. I'd only allow it for creatures that deliver poison through melee though; the two you cited deliver poison through a bite. So unless they're delivering touch spells with their mouth I'd rule they can't utilize the feat. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o Mar 22 '14 at 10:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Jason_c_o I understand you're proposing a house rule--that's cool, and you should totally answer the question; I didn't tag this RAW--, but bites are already melee; while reality differentiates between poisoned swords and poisonous fangs, the game concerns itself only with a poison's delivery method (e.g. contact, inhaled, ingested, injury). Further, I'm pretty sure nothing prevents a creature with a bite attack from holding a touch spell's charge in its mouth. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 22 '14 at 16:53

I don’t think so; I’m reasonably sure you have to prepare doses of your venom ahead of time. Drow of the Underdark has this rule under Handle Animal on page 46:

Bestow Venom (DC 15): By succeeding on a DC 15 Handle Animal check to handle a vermin that has a poison special attack, you can compel the vermin to give up some of its venom. The creature deposits its poison into a container you indicate, providing a single dose. A Handle Animal check to extract venom takes 1 minute. You can then attempt a DC 15 Craft (poisonmaking) check to refine this venom into a poison you can use.

So you don’t need to handle yourself, and can just dump a dose of venom into a suitable container, but it still needs to be refined using Craft (poisonmaking). Still, a minute’s preparation isn’t bad, and it costs you nothing to keep pumping these things out, so it’s not exactly hard to use Poison Spell as a venomous creature.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This makes sense if someone else wants to acquire venom from a vermin but doesn't really answer the question. If anything the craft(poisonmaking) to make it useful is because poisons and venoms work differently and it reflects the conversion so that anyone but the original creature may use it effectively. (Venom is injected into the bloodstream. Poisons may be ingested, inhaled, or may poison on contact). While this is a rule governing poison, I don't think it applies to the circumstance OP is inquiring about. \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o Mar 22 '14 at 10:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Jason_c_o It’s the only rule, so far as I know, that so much as touches on using creature-poison as a weapon-poison. In absence of this rule, the two are separate and creature-poison cannot be used as weapon-poison at all. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Mar 22 '14 at 13:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm.. If only it had a limit on how many times you could do it before the creature ran out of poison... \$\endgroup\$ – Jason_c_o Mar 22 '14 at 16:43

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