After a great deal of work, Poisonous Plants is nearly finished. One reason I choose to do this project was I thought I could get it done quickly. It has since turned into a bottomless can of worms! Nevertheless, this project must come to a conclusion. After researching and developing rules for nearly 70 poisonous plants, I think this material is thorough enough for any fantasy or pseudo-realistic setting you might play.
So what’s in it? Here is a brief summary:
Like most of my other material, this content is heavily researched. I built a spreadsheet to compare and track the toxicity of different poisons. Those with low LD50 ratings or are otherwise known to be highly toxic have saving throws around 20 and inflict 40 poison damage or more. Quite a few poisonous plants contain multiple toxins and cannot be completely neutralized with protection from poison. Some dangerous plants are easily mistaken for other plants. These factors affected the Challenge of each plant, which range from 0 to 2.
Note that these plants can do much more than just poison creatures. They can be used to create alchemical substances (insecticides, tonics, and oil), herbal medications (salves, ointments, and poultices), and spell enhancements (fly, protection from energy, commune, and more). Quite a few can be used to create weapon poisons.
Types of Damage
Plants can inflict a lot more than poison damage. Some contain acid. Others contain substances that cause psychic damage. Some have phototoxins that cause the exposed creature to take radiant damage from sunlight. A few cause permanent ability damage. One even has explosive fruit.
Besides the damage, these plants also cause a conditions ranging from exhaustion to unconsciousness, and include a few new ones such as Pained, Weakened, and Visually Impaired. Perhaps the worst plants are those that cause terrifying hallucinations.
Types of Poison
All four types of poison are represented in the plant kingdom.
While most of these plants are dangerous if ingested, some also have toxic pollen or fumes. Many emit toxic smoke if burned. Quite a few are dangerous to touch. Several can be used to poison weapons.
Almost a third of these plants can be used to create weapon poisons. Each includes DCs for extracting or crafting the poison, which is usually not difficult.
Each plant comes with a stat-block similar to the way monsters are presented. Each stat-block includes the plant’s size, type, habitat, frequency, Nature DC to identify, poison type and saving throw DC, efficacy of protection from poison spells, a summary of the plant’s traits and uses, and an estimated challenge rating.
Characters with alchemy kits and Arcana skill can create insecticides, herbicides, ooze-icides, spell enhancements, mood-altering drugs, and other concoctions from these plants.
Characters proficient with cook’s utensils can craft safe meals from many of these plants (no check necessary). If they also have proficiency in Nature, they can use their skills to create tonics, brews, and poisons.
Characters proficient with herbalism kits and Medicine can use their skills to create dozens of medications, poultices, decoctions, salves, and elixirs from these plants.
High Level Characters
Poisonous Plants includes a discussion on challenging high level parties. In play-testing we found that even 10th level parties find these plants challenging. Obviously, DCs and damage can be adjusted. But DMs can also consider mass poisoning, such as entire communities armies.
No solid date for release is set yet. Some screenshots are currently available on my Patreon, Twitter and FB. I’ll be adding some PDF previews soon. The final manuscript still needs editing and I am considering doing a small kickstarter. As it stands right now, it is probably at least a month from release. If I decide to do a kickstarter, it will probably be longer than that before it is available. We will l have to see how things go. In the meantime, here are some new screen shots from the most recent version.