Venom

For once, not a topic about healing Venom. Rather, about casting it.

The rules state that special calls do not work on any enemy larger than human size, and Venom is listed among them. However, there are pages (especially fluff pages) such as Legacy of Thorns that suggest using a Venom against creatures that can regenerate is a valuable tactic. My experience is that such creatures are usually larger than human sized.

Venom currently seems like a spell of very limited use to a PC (much more useful as a monster skill); am I missing something here?

I do not know of a single Mage that has it, or at least not that who is admitting it anyway.

You certainly don’t want to be throwing your Venoms around and there are convincing arguments that it highly situational but when you want to take out an enemy general or similar hero class opponent then you will be glad you had it in your armoury. I suspect that its effect on other specific monster types is unknown mainly because offensive mages are rare and Venom wielding ones even rarer. There are some out there though.

The Undead Husks of Thule often stagger upright when felled. As such they are valid Venon targets and human sized. Whether you deem them worthy of venom use is another question.

Husks are a great example of targets that VENOM kills stone dead rather than letting them get up again.

I think regeneration will also prove to be a semi-common trait of Vallornspawn as well, many of whom are not larger than human size.

Weakness is similarly effective.

There was a battle I monstered at… E3 I think? Anyway, we had a brief of absolutely minimal respawns available - instead, we had heavy, heavy use of healing. Elite orcs had the hero skills to pop back up again, there were orc physicks running around, the mages had Heal spells and there were Spring ritualists popping the fallen back up.

It was hugely effective at keeping the force up and running. Player-used Venom in those circumstances would have been amazing to put orcs down for good.

[quote=“Andy Raff”]Husks are a great example of targets that VENOM kills stone dead rather than letting them get up again.

I think regeneration will also prove to be a semi-common trait of Vallornspawn as well, many of whom are not larger than human size.[/quote]

But who wants to spend their limited resources casting a spell that buggers you up on what are run of the mill, mindless, pretty much unlimited in number grunts? It would just feel like a waste, especially when you could just knock the fallen grunts weapons aside and wait for it to stand up to be smacked down again.

Thenas said earlier Weakness can also remove a lot of the regen abilities by denying use of hero points and spells but it comes with the added advantage of stopping other uses of hero points and spells.

[quote=“Acrozatarim”]There was a battle I monstered at… E3 I think? Anyway, we had a brief of absolutely minimal respawns available - instead, we had heavy, heavy use of healing. Elite orcs had the hero skills to pop back up again, there were orc physicks running around, the mages had Heal spells and there were Spring ritualists popping the fallen back up.

It was hugely effective at keeping the force up and running. Player-used Venom in those circumstances would have been amazing to put orcs down for good.[/quote]

I think I may have monstered that battle as well- the one versus Highguard and Urizen? That is the only time I’ve monstered an entire battle as the same orc, much of it on one hit due to use of chirugeon, occasionally back to full when I could find a physic with vervain.

What I don’t know is whether the players were aware of our limited numbers- it is only going to be a valid tactic for them to adopt when they know enemy numbers are limited and making kills is really worthwhile. Otherwise it can seem pointless to take risks or use resources to kill mooks if you think they are just going to respawn endlessly anyway.

[quote=“TimB”]

[quote=“Acrozatarim”]There was a battle I monstered at… E3 I think? Anyway, we had a brief of absolutely minimal respawns available - instead, we had heavy, heavy use of healing. Elite orcs had the hero skills to pop back up again, there were orc physicks running around, the mages had Heal spells and there were Spring ritualists popping the fallen back up.

It was hugely effective at keeping the force up and running. Player-used Venom in those circumstances would have been amazing to put orcs down for good.[/quote]

I think I may have monstered that battle as well- the one versus Highguard and Urizen? That is the only time I’ve monstered an entire battle as the same orc, much of it on one hit due to use of chirugeon, occasionally back to full when I could find a physic with vervain.

What I don’t know is whether the players were aware of our limited numbers- it is only going to be a valid tactic for them to adopt when they know enemy numbers are limited and making kills is really worthwhile. Otherwise it can seem pointless to take risks or use resources to kill mooks if you think they are just going to respawn endlessly anyway.[/quote]

Apparently they did it in two battles that event, since Acrozatarim is in Urizen. :stuck_out_tongue:

While most husks encountered to date are grunts, I think it would be a mistake to assume human-sized vallornspawn fill that role.

I’d be interested to know too - there’s a lot to learn about what we tell the generals and what they tell the warrior in the field and how effective we are or are not being at communicating “special circumstances” to the player base with that information stream in mind.

I accept that there are different types of husks out there and some will be more than just grunts, but that does not stop Venom feeling like a corner case ability. It is really effective in a limited scenario but pointless elsewhere, where as a lot of othe abilities in game are really effective in many situations but pointless in a few scenarios. I would rather take the abilities that have many uses and just muscle through the few times that they have no use than take something that may be useful once in a blue moon and struggle through the many scenarios it wont be useful.

As to communication I dont think I’ve ever been aware of how many enemy to expect and things like that but have at least known who I’m fighting and what the goal is.

I can see the whole thing being a big game of Chinese Whispers. The battle is planned out, then the story crew turn parts of it into in game descriptions, the generals then have to interpret what is said, then they tell us and we try to interpret what they say. There is a lot of steps in that where details and understanding can differ and change.

Don’t forget that Venom & Weakness also come as poisons,
which as far as I’m aware don’t come with the downside of also being affected by it when used!

Come and buy them from your friendly Navarr and their lovely Legacy Of Thorns skilled apothecaries :slight_smile:

The potion versions do not have the downside of the spells. You do however have to spend 5 seconds doing nothing but applying it to a weapon and then only have 10 seconds to hit someone so it is not really ideal on a battlefield.

Taken on an xp-for-xp basis, weakness is probably useful in more circumstances than Venom. But Venom is more Deadly… weakness helps you win (assuming that you beat the enemy when both of your powers are down), but Venom means that whoever loses Dies. That’s a pretty big deal.

All in all, I don’t think Venom is supposed to be common. Possible, feasible, dangerous… but not common. And I’m okay with that.

Whereas Spells require you to do nothing but cast for 5 seconds and then give you only 10 seconds to hit someone? :wink:

My last words as an orc in that battle went something along the lines of “Hey, you’re not one of ours!”, so I’m pretty sure it was the one with Imperial Orcs in it.

Being on the receiving end in the Urizen/Highguard fight was painful in retrospect… we were in hostile territory and (at the ground level) didn’t have much reason to think we could deplete enemy numbers, so concentrated on the mission. How much less painful could it have been if we had taken the time to strike out and kill (and keep down) a whole bunch of enemies early on? Damn.

My elderly-LARPer instincts are telling me that the resolve of the respawn refs would eventually crumble and send in a new wave after too many monsters complained that they weren’t doing anything - and a wave of fresh combatants (with rested phys-reps) can really break a disrupted formation.

I guess it’s going to take a while before cynics like me expect a dead orc to be better than a limping 1hp orc.
But those two battles were a good start.

The blade venoms are quite expensive but have the other advantage of being a much better reserve of power. The VENOM spell costs 1 XP and the loss of Heavy/Medium armour to prevent you from getting one-shotted to death by CLEAVE or IMPALE. Oil of Blackthorn can be given to someone with a spear and Heavy Armour who is then pointed at the human-sized flangebeast to make sure it dies.

There’s also the Barbed Spear (Polearm weapon), which looks like a tremendous way to kill husks/vallornspawn. Calling VENOM by Heroic Blow means that you don’t have to worry about the 5 second charge-up time and you can potentially go VENOM! VENOM! VENOM! across several enemies then take your cure. Plus of course you can wear armour with it. It’s cheaper than the Wyvernsting Spaulders, which are the other way to reduce VENOM risk (They let you ignore the VENOM on yourself once a day when casting it).

I think we’ve read that line a little differently on how a blade venom works,

I’ve read that as = You hit them with the poisoned blade, and within ten seconds of that hit you need to say “Venom”

If I’ve got that wrong and the poison spoils after ten seconds of being smeared on your blade then poisons would be next to useless…

Paul_Cat: you have read that wrong. You will note the the setup and usage window of the blade venom is the same as that of the venom spell.

Really???

[quote]Blade Venoms
Two of these preparations are intended to be applied to melee weapons. They cannot be used with arrows or quarrels, and are ineffective when applied to thrown weapons.

It takes five seconds of appropriate roleplaying to apply a blade venom to a melee weapon, after which you must make the appropriate call the next time you hit a target.

If ten seconds pass without making the call, the venom is wasted.[/quote]

Wow, I read that very differently… considering the marked increase in cost (one personal mana vs 5 herbs, a third of a gardens seasonal allowance) I’d have thought that the poison version would have had a longer use time than that.

[quote=“Paul_Cat”]

Wow, I read that very differently… considering the marked increase in cost (one personal mana vs 5 herbs, a third of a gardens seasonal allowance) I’d have thought that the poison version would have had a longer use time than that.[/quote]

Can be done while wearing armour, does not envenom the user, does not require a three build point commitment.