Poisons/Venoms etc

Good Morning,

I’ve new to the Empire system looking at attending E3 for my first event and I’m really excited to see how great this event will be (my brother has been to 3/4 events and can’t speak highly enough of the whole Empire community).

My question is in reference to poison use in the system. I’m really interested in playing an herbalist who specialises in anti-venoms and poison healing and I have therefore decided to take extra recipes that allow me to heal even the most deadly poisons known.

However, speaking to a few members they have advised me that there are not really used and they feel I may be wasting my abilities somewhat.

Do you agree with this? I’m trying to make a character with a concept/story rather than just stack the best abilities together but I’m concerned that the abilities I have may never be used.

In terms on concept, if someone is poisoned - send him to me. However is it just the common “poison” that is used all the time?


PVP poisoning is very rare. It does happen, but it’s extremely uncommon.

That’s not to say taking the skills is a bad thing - it’s a nice character choice etc - but I’d be surprised if there’s even one poisoning per event on average.

That’s what’s concerning me a little. Although I was unaware if enemies ever poisoned characters with something a little stronger.

It’s a difficult choice, pick the concept I like and have minimal chances to use my abilities or pick something a little more commonplace and become a face in the crowd.

A genuine pickle…

Enemies, as in PD run NPCs, will typically not use mechanical poisons like the VENOM call or the ingestive poisons.

We tend to represent the effect of their use of various toxins with “Traumatic Wound: Poison” cards, handed out by battle-refs when appropriate. These have less horrendously lethal effects than calls like VENOM, but are still pretty nasty. Curing them generally requires either a way to cure VENOM - so Roseweald, the Purify spell, etc, or treatment by a physick.

OK, so. The one maker of poisons I know on the field has got use out of their skills, but was so happy at the prospect that I’m relatively sure it isn’t a common occurrence. (I’m sure there are more out there.)

The one unconventional poisoning that I saw was solved by a physick, but it wasn’t as serious as the deadly deadly assassination poisons.

I think I will bite the bullet and go for it anyway.
Hopefully there will be that 1 time where I’m the only person who can heal someone and that will be worth it.

Obviously knowing the actual poisons recipes is worthless as I am a good boy :wink: :wink: :wink:

I wouldn’t build the character with the expectation that the advanced poisons are going to have to come up for you to have fun.

On the other hand I think in my first two events the only skill I ever used was the spell, heal from an 8 point build and I had plenty of fun. There is a Physik in Dawn who has a similar build and she doesn’t seem to be regretting it despite not having used any of those skills to my knowledge.

Chirgeon is the kind of skill you will use, and it still leaves you with 3 exp for picking up something actually useful. The two obvious suggestions would be Physik or Magician + Day 1 for Ascetic star (Since there is one poison that requires that ritual.) – Although I’d advise that Physik will probably get you more game.

There’s almost certainly interesting directions you can take the character in terms of roleplaying, the lack of demand means the skill set is relatively rare and it wouldn’t be difficult to set yourself as an IC expert. The field hospital has lectures, and if you put in a bit of OOC research you could make an IC aim to give one of these. If you go for Physik, using carefully selected venoms to numb surgical areas means the concept follows through. Plus if you have some spare tent space some suitably old fashioned drawings of the anatomy of venomous creatures (snakes, frogs, chimera, plaugewulves.) Possibly a IC box with a snake in, jars with extracts of poisonous plants.

Alternatively the build Day 1, Purify, and Physik with a herb garden could be roleplayed in a similar manner probably focusing more on natural venoms than the potential horrors in the poisons section.


Thanks for taking the time to comment and your words are appreciated.

I’m looking at having an IC stall for me and my two sons to operate during the day which will offer potion bottles for IC money.
Couple this with the 4/5 recipes I will have I hope to also sell some different potions to those that may require them.

The main reason for the still is too give my boys an allocated area within the setting that will offer them some roleplaying opportunities of their own. They can then use some of the IC money raised to travel around the regions looking at what they can trade for.

I’ve trade to stay away from any ritual/magic roleplaying for my first character as my kids have never seen the types of roleplaying it includes and I’d like to be able to keep that for others to explain and demonstrate, just to afford any OOC problems really.
Once they’ve been a few times then it’ll be more appropriate really.

What I might impart, as an apothecary of some minor note, is that poisons are rather rare. Certainly I have seen about 5 uses of the assassin level poisons in 6 events, and a handful of venom on at Anvil from players. Mileage will always vary.

If you are on the battle themselves, you will see far more chances to cure poison, especially if it is vs the Druj. However, Physicks can cure poison on hand with just one herb, where as your cure poison takes two; you will find that generally there are mages and Physicks on hand to deal with poison.

If you search for The Anvil Hospital online/on the wiki, you will find that there is a group of healers who offer a lot of services which they can afford as a group and with some Senatorial funding, to provide things that make the individual hard pressed to match.

By virtue of being an apothecary and getting involved, I find a fair amount of call for helping people or selling minor potions, but I’ve become a combat character after 4 events of non-com, so see far more involvement now. There is plenty of roleplay options, but not really much for a business due to the above comments and how Physicks are usually on hand and far more efficient than a potion (a bleeding man cannot drink a potion himself, after all!) From a mechanical standpoint, my character is horrifically weak and gets very little use out of his 7 points toward Apothecary, but even with that every much in mind, I have a brilliant time and love the character himself~ Always aim to enjoy yourself rather than care about the mechanics of it. Best lesson to teach your kids too; play for the role~

To talk about game:
You are after roleplay opportunity, go for it without question. 100% each time~ Just enjoy the concept don’t mind the results. The most important thing is bringing something with character to the field, and even if you end up faced with people who refuse to pay more than the herbs are worth for a potion; giving them a chance to haggle or know you as “them potion traders” will give you reputation, game, and fun for the both of you. I never care if my herbs sell for more than my potions, because the fact is those herbs have still been turned into money =D The only problem I have ever faced is, quite simply, that if a group has an apothecary or knows a friendly nationer with one of my recipies, I can’t get anything done there unless it is an emergency.

Your kids get the Apprentice skill; so they can use any skill that someone is willing to supervise and teach them on. So sure, they can just sell and trade and get to know people/get known, but if they are explicitly interested in anything in the game, there’s always people who can show them aspects of it. Perhaps you might consider picking up a recipe that increases the power of a Night Ritualist, and in return for producing them your kids get to assist in a ritual. If I have Rank 1 in Night, I can actually roleplay training one of your kids to do the spell and they can be treated as Rank 1 Night and cast the spell on my behalf; or if an Artificer was bonding someone to a Weapon, they could show one of the kids how to do it, and have them do the actual Bonding by virtue of the Apprentice skill. There’s always a chance to explore other aspects of the game, even if you spend all 8 of your points only on Apothecary (without even touching Physick!)

Or you know… start a spate of poisoning, or discredit the hospital, or any other number of things that might improve your business prospects~

I agree that allowing children the apprentice skill is absolutely brilliant. I love the fact they can experience a range of skills and characters but knowing they must always be with someone who is allowed to “supervise” as such.

In terms of my character, although its a shame that I probably will never use the abilities, the character himself will always be ready on standby. I don’t want to play a certain character just for mechanic reasons. Plus it will make things a lot more difficult combat wise as I love getting stuck in.

I’m also positive that the roleplaying opportunities will be a lot more varied. “Excuse me young sir, but why not carry my anti-venom with you into battle? why wait for a medic to heal your poisoned friend when you can do it quicker?”
And also “I have no idea how he got poisoned, must of eaten something bad”

Just keep me in mind when you need any anti-venoms because I can cleanse them all.

I am glad you maintain such a positive outlook on roleplay options, and low opinion of the marketing skills of your competition :wink:

I look forward to doing business against you~ What Nation will you hail from?

You will find me with the Bjornholt from Wintermark.
Please take the time to come visit my sons and I if you are ever close by. I will note your name and endeavour to find you at some point too.

Excellent Nation choice! I’ll be in the area anyway~

As a note, I’d agree with alot of people’s points that it’s a rarely used skill.

… HOWEVER I also believe that the game is definitely heating up and I suspect player vs player assassinations will start becoming a more common occurance as people find their feet with the game.
Still rare enough for it to be a Big Deal.

It’s incredibly easy to kill most people in anvil if you surprise them when they’re alone and in the dark, most people don’t have any weapons or armour, and even if they do they go down to a couple of people getting the jump on them.
Then it takes a mere five seconds to execute them. Or hit them with a VENOM effect.
However throughout all of this they can scream for help or retribution, because there is no way of silencing someone by the rules. (and I believe deliberately so)
And then there is a spell that lets you speak to the recently dead.

So committing murder is easy, getting away with it is difficult.
So poisons.
You just need to also find out who can make the same poisons as you (and hence the andidote… I love that detail) and… make sure they can’t.

VENOM is a scary but relatively simply cured call that you sometimes hear on the battlefield. I’ve been hit by it whilst enthusiastically laying into a big poisonous dragony thingy.

please note the militia do catch people and the magistrates do use the death sentence with out hesitation unless you have a decent plea for clemency and as shown on the last game. it won’t work most the time.

if your caught with certain venoms or weapons that use this effect it is still classed as an arrestable offense. PD have in my belief made it serious enough that they don’t want the random muggings or murders so I believe they have put something in place to deter it as much as possible. Though there will always be those who try.

[quote=“michael barley”]please note the militia do catch people and the magistrates do use the death sentence with out hesitation unless you have a decent plea for clemency and as shown on the last game. it won’t work most the time.

if your caught with certain venoms or weapons that use this effect it is still classed as an arrestable offense. PD have in my belief made it serious enough that they don’t want the random muggings or murders so I believe they have put something in place to deter it as much as possible. Though there will always be those who try.[/quote]

I’d be careful with that phrasing, plenty of random muggings in LARP aren’t they’re assassinations that are made to look random. Nor have PD specifically told players they’re “not meant to assassinate people”.

To quote the FAQ on this very subject: profounddecisions.co.uk/empi … allowed.3F

[quote]** Is PvP murder allowed?**
We are quite explicitly setting out to make assassination as difficult to achieve as possible. The Empire has a legal system, run by NPCs, and it will make all possible effort to identify and execute assassins. Our intention is for the majority of conflict between players to be political and social in nature rather than combat based.

Assassination of characters is still acceptable out-of-character behaviour; what we are doing with the campaign is deliberately making that as difficult as possible for the assassins to get away with, so that it becomes a tool of last resort rather than the simplest way to deal with political enemies. [/quote]

Also note the rules for poisons: (see: profounddecisions.co.uk/empi … on#Poisons )
They become inert after 15 minutes of being made. The idea isn’t that you carry poisons around with you, you brew them at the event using the five standard herbs that are used for healing and happy potions.
But when you want to poison someone you must first get a ref, tell them you’re making the poison, then they follow you around subtly for that time to keep an eye on the whole thing and make sure it happens properly.

… so really it’s the knowledge and concealing that fact. Otherwise you’re a perfectly respectable healer who is obviously carrying the herbs to heal people. Yes. Magistrate.

Which is also amusing since both sets of nasty poisons (Assassin’s Gate and Wintermoon) are only cured by an antidote that is known to the same people who know it. (same skill set). The antidote simiarly has a very short lifespan, and if taken without being poisioned is pretty nasty itself.
So anyone who knows how to cure the complex poisons is also a prime suspect…

Do be aware that PD rather do want you to have a Ref on hand even when you ARE jobbing other players.

On a side note the kids will also get a chance to try out pretty much all the game mechanics if they go to the academy, including last event fighting in the orc pit, casting magic, making and taking potions, creating wards, trading resources and going on adventures. Not to mention that that most of the kids I’ve met seem to be far richer than me…

The concept for my character is not particularly to be be able to poison/kill people but instead be able to administer the antidote should the situation arise.

As a herbalist, I want to specialise in a certain area of potions rather than just focus on the more popular potions for the sake of the mechanics.

I like the fact that they become ineffective after 15 minutes because it really limits the amount floating about. Otherwise every other character could have a secret stash and it takes away some of the fun of knowing that you can brew them.

Thanks for explaining everything to me.

TBH, the poison/antidote sets are the only ones I would put as “mechanically advantageous” because they are the only ones that are an active skill. The rest of them you can just brew up 10 min after time in and then you’re done with Apothecary. Or just find a seller at a convenient time.

If I’d make a suggestion, it would be taking Magician, Day 1, 1 spare XP and Distillation of Diverse Parts. Although it’s generally rather a crappy ritual, where it shines at is poison disposal/proof. You can use it to prove a drink is poisoned if you saw someone spike it, because you can pull out the herbs. You could use it to dispose of any Gutwrench or blade venoms you get your hands on, and rather efficiently once you get up to Lore 2 and can do 3 potions for 3 mana. Poisons cost a lot of herbs. For your other ritual, take Ascetic Star of Atun and you can magically unvenom 5 people at the Regio. After E1, you can jump up to 2 Day Lore, and unvenom 5 people in the field. Buy Horizon’s Razor Edge too and you have a nice pre-battle buff for people, and then leave the last slot open and find a coven.