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In relation to This Question, I want to continue on the poison train of thought.

Many D&D games have absolutely horrible poisons and rules to the effect that around level 11 poisoning is almost never going to be effective and especially not cost effective. Based on the answer to the last question, I feel more confident that you can make poisons be a little more effective for a ridiculous cost. Now, let's try and see if we can properly optimize them.


The requirements for optimization:

  1. Poison should work at least 50% of the time against an average CR13 monster (assume base save between 13-16).
  2. Little chance of accidentally poisoning yourself at any point in the preparation or use. (It's obvious, but worth mentioning).
  3. You can safely ignore poison immunity because there is nothing we can do about that existing.
  4. Poison preparation should take the least amount of time possible <1hr is preferred.
  5. Poisons should be deadly (=>40% chance of either killing or long term incapacitate)
  6. [optional] Poisons should be reusable (the more effects you can get out of a single dose the better).
  7. In the event multiple paths fulfill all the requirements, the one with the lowest cost per effect will be the accepted answer (crafting/buying cost of a dose/number of uses per dose)
  8. You only have to pick one poison with your build and show it meets the criteria, it needn't be done with all poisons.

You have up to a level 13 character to work with (mostly because I don't think you can continue to optimize for encounters above this). Any material is allowed. For obvious reasons Alchemist is preferred, but use whatever you have.

The ultimate goal here is to see if you can honestly create a character who can effectively use poisons without feeling like you just wasted feats and such later on. To that extent, it's also blatantly obvious that you don't want the character having to spend all their wealth just buying poisons without being able to also deal with gear.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you happy for these rules to also apply to player characters? Personally, I'd be intensely annoyed if monsters hit my PC with something that worked 50% of the time and was deadly. \$\endgroup\$ – Greenstone Walker Feb 18 '16 at 19:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GreenstoneWalker Why not? That is the point of magic like neutralize poison. Frankly, if the equivalent of a CR13 enemy was geared toward poison use at the expense of everything else I would expect it to work half the time. I'm not asking for instant death either, just that the duration or ability damage should bring the enemy (or even PC) to 0 in that score a significant fraction of the time assuming he doesn't have someone remove it. \$\endgroup\$ – Naryna Feb 18 '16 at 19:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GreenstoneWalker: Monsters have this kind of tricks actually. See something like a Linnorm: it's poison is an horror, can easily kill you by itself, and it's only one of its features. \$\endgroup\$ – Anne Aunyme Sep 22 '16 at 13:30
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The Eldritch Poisoner

The Eldritch Poisoner archetype (from Black Markets) replaces the Alchemist's bomb ability with the ability to create a unique poison, arcanotoxin. This toxin can be created as a standard action and applied to a weapon as a move action (at level 1). It's also free.

At every even-numbered level, you can upgrade your arcanotoxin. Here's an example for a level 13 - Eldritch Poisoner:

Type: Injury; Save DC: 20; Frequency: 1/round for 6 rounds; Effect: 1d6 Dexterity damage; Cure: 2 succesful saves

Discoveries

Normal alchemist discoveries don't alter arcanotoxin. Thankfully, the archetype has some other discoveries you might be interested in:

  • Envenom: Allows you to both create your arcanotoxin and apply it to a weapon as a move action.
  • Sickening Toxin: At level 12, your arcanotoxin also inflicts nausea on its target.
  • Lethal Toxin: Your arcanotoxin now deals Constitution damage.

Other Stuff

  • The Potent Concoctions trait can give your arcanotoxin and one other poison a +1 to their save DC.
  • The Concentrate Poison discovery is invaluable for creating other poisons, as noted in your previous question.
  • The Eldritch Poisoner at this level would have 4d6 sneak attack damage. You can choose to forego the additional damage to increase the DC of your arcanotoxin, for a maximum benefit of +4 to the DC.

Finished Result

After taking these into account, a level 13 Eldritch Poisoner with 20 Intelligence can create an arcanotoxin like this:

Type: Injury; Save DC: 25; Frequency: 1/round for 6 rounds; Effect: 1d6 Constitution damage and nausea; Cure: 2 saves

Results

Poison should work at least 50% of the time against an average CR13 monster (assume base save between 13-16)

With saves between 13-16, a creature would succumb to arcanotoxin 40%-55% of the time. This barely squeaks by your conditions.

Little chance of accidentally poisoning yourself at any point in the preparation or use. (It's obvious, but worth mentioning).

This build is immune to poison, from the level 10 alchemist poison immunity ability.

Poison preparation should take the least amount of time possible <1hr is preferred.

Arcanotoxin can be created and applied to a weapon as a single move action (thanks to the Envenom discovery available to this archetype). Additional mundane poisons can be created using half of the normal time (from the Toxicologist archetype feature).

Poisons should be deadly (=>40% chance of either killing or long term incapacitate)

If the creature's save is 13, on average it will be poisoned for 3 rounds. During this time the poison can deal 3 - 18 Constitution damage. This may not be lethal, but it will do considerable harm. Nausea will prevent the creature from doing much besides moving.

[optional] Poisons should be reusable (the more effects you can get out of a single dose the better).

A single usage of arcanotoxin is only a single dose, but you can prepare additional doses as a move action. At level 13, you could do this 18 times per day.

In the event multiple paths fulfill all the requirements, the one with the lowest cost per effect will be the accepted answer

And the best part - arcanotoxin is free! Monetarily anyway.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Potent Concoctions does not work on arcanotoxin, only poisons from the core rulebook. The pfsrd is notoriously inaccurate as far as religious traits go. - Concentrate poisons is irrelevant for an eldritch poisoner. You have arcanotoxin, and normal poison discoveries can't effect it. - You can get a much higher poison DC by choosing the feat accomplished sneak attacker and converting that to poison DC. - CON is a red herring. You should instead target INT. \$\endgroup\$ – user31510 Sep 21 '16 at 19:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nennafir - I did note in the answer than Concentrate Poison is not useful for arcanotoxin. The latter part of your comment is likely better as a new answer, rather than a comment. \$\endgroup\$ – indigochild Sep 24 '16 at 2:17

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