The person who is DMing our Tyranny of Dragons campaign (HotDQ->RoT) is considering allowing my evil character to track down a Wyvern nest and find an egg to obtain a tamed mount using a significant chunk of my accumulated downtime. I made the case that this was fair, because in exchange I'm giving up a scarce resource that potentially allows you to craft powerful magic items (downtime days). Thanks to the DMG that just came out, there are now more extensive poison rules detailing the effects of Wyvern poison applied to a weapon and which may even allow me to harvest said poison from my mount.

The problem is, as written, the rules require the poisonous creature in question (in this case, my potential future Wyvern) to be either dead or incapacitated for up to six minutes as per DMG 258. I would like to be able to harvest poison without harming the creature (i.e., without doing any damage to it). Can this be accomplished? I am playing a Dragonborn Warlock with the Fiend patron and the Blade pact. Is there a Warlock spell capable of harmlessly incapacitating a target? I'm pretty sure Incapacitated is a very distinct condition, so not necessarily the same as Charmed or Paralyzed; therefore I'm unsure if Charm Monster or Hold Monster and their ilk are sufficient.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The rule you’re citing looks like it’s intended for hostile (or at least unwilling) creatures, so it’s not clear to me that it’s actually binding here. Is there a particular reason you need to follow the rule? (To avoid asking the DM to make a judgment call, perhaps?) Please be more explicit about why you want to follow the rule even though you’re talking about a relatively tame animal. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 18, 2014 at 23:14

3 Answers 3


As far as I am aware, there is no way to give a creature the incapacitated condition directly. However, there are 4 conditions that give a creature the incapacitated condition as part of their effects. These are:

  • Paralysed
  • Petrified
  • Stunned
  • Unconscious

There are a number of ways to apply these conditions without damaging your beloved pet. Within the Warlock spell list, the ones I could find are:

  • Hypnotic Pattern
  • Hold Monster
  • Eyebite
  • Flesh to Stone
  • Power Word Stun
  • Imprisonment

However, only Flesh to Stone, Imprisonment and Power Word Stun last longer than 1 minute. Flesh to Stone is severely not recommended, since you really shouldn't be able to harvest posion from a statue. Imprisonment is expensive, but will work well for this task. Power Word Stun is probably the best option, since your creature can choose to fail its saving throws till you're finished.

On the other hand, if you have an allied Bard, Cleric, or Wizard, the 3rd-level spell Feign Death suits your needs perfectly. It will give a willing creature the incapacitated condition for an hour. A Cleric wouldn't even need to waste a spell learning it, since Clerics know all their spells automatically. Since it's a ritual, he wouldn't even need to waste a spell slot on casting it! All you have to do is talk him into preparing it.

Of course, all this is moot if your DM is willing to allow you to extract poison simply on the basis that your wyvern is tame and willing to allow you to do what you want to it. Given that he's giving you a CR 6 creature for a mount, a little bit of poison is really not a big deal.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I would personally recommend talking to the DM about the wyvern being tame, rather than trying to solve this with spells, as I have a much easier time believing you can milk a tame creature, than believing that a creature would remain tame after regularly being rendered unconscious via spell attacks. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 18, 2014 at 23:23

It isn't a Warlock Special Ability or anything but...

The Unconcious condition confers the Incapacitated condition. As indicated by the Sleep spell description, sleeping creatures have the unconscious condition. Sleeping creatures are therefore incapacitated. Wyverns sleep more more than 1 minute on a regular basis, ergo Wyverns are regularly incapacitated, ergo you can regularly milk them for poison provided doing so does not disturb their sleep. This is also true of any other venomous creature that sleeps and any other character wishing to gather poison. Rogues and other sneaky-types are best at this due to being less likely to disturb a creature's natural slumber, which is kind of cool since they are also thematically the most expected to use poison.

  • \$\begingroup\$ While I did up-vote this answer for its novelty, I have a hard time believing that you can milk a predatory creature like a Wyvern that has Perception bonuses and a violent temperament without waking it unless you have some means to keep it asleep. In the real world, most venomous creatures (especially those that don't deliver their venom through fangs) are milked after having sleep induced via anesthesia. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 5, 2015 at 0:51

You can milk a stinger if an animal is safely immobilized or sufficiently docile. Complete incapacitation is one way to accomplish that, but you could also could train your wyvern to “sting” a milking vial, thus collecting the poison. This would require the use of Wisdom (Animal Handling) for training the creature to do this. I recommend at least 3 weeks and a successful check; talk with your DM about the exact timing and necessary DC.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to rpg.se! Please take a look at the tour and the help center; they're a useful introduction to the site. As Stack Exchange is a Q&A site rather than a forum, answers like this one need to justify challenging the frame of the question. (And homebrew suggestions on any question need to have experience in play backing them up, to keep the site from being cluttered by untested ideas.) \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Dec 18, 2014 at 0:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ To clarify: Since the querent's talking about how to use written mechanics to modify/combine/replace another written mechanic, it seems odd to invent a new rule without explaining why that's preferable to using existing rules. It's more important for SE, though, that a houserule answer be supported with table experience. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Dec 18, 2014 at 4:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Edited the answer for style and to add a little evidence to back it up, but it could still use more support and solid guidance on application of the rules. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 18, 2014 at 4:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would like answers to my question to be limited to the poison extraction rules present in the DMG, which requires death or incapacitation on the part of the poisonous creature. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 18, 2014 at 11:28

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