Bard's Poisons - How many?

Howdy folks, I’ve been wondering about this detail in the original 2e Bard rules, and this looked like the best place to ask the experts. So hello to you all.

The 2e original book states that the Bard can make one dose of poison “for free” each day with readily available materials. So far so good.

But… is there a limit to how many doses the bard can stack up?

The book doesn’t state if this “free dose” must be used in the same day or lost (sort of like a “daily spell” in the sense that you get to use one poison free per day), or if it’s just like a regular crafting, in that the bard could spend 60 days of downtime in town and then just have 60 doses of poison available to use.

Does anyone know if this is mentioned somewhere in some book? Or if not, how have you handled it in your games? Any limitations at all?

On a side note… is there a 2e book for Dark Sun bards?
Like those are for Gladiators, Priests and such.

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Great question. I know of no rule that limits the number of poison doses a bard may carry. I’ve never had the need to limit it, because I keep my players busy. If they take a lot of downtime, not only will they lose a lot of money making opportunities, but adventures will go uncompleted. Heck, their allies will need their help at least a dozen times in 60 days.

Sadly, there is no Dark Sun Bard book that I know of for any edition. Something else to work on, I suppose.

Fantastic! I’m inclined myself to allow bards to stack as much poison as they want. Maybe just rule that if one is carrying too much around the cities it may arouse the suspicion of the authorities.


Any amount of poison is illegal. More is just easier to find. Also, it would suck to be carrying a vast quantity of contact poison and trip on a rock.


I make my players consciously buy the containers the poison goes in. And there is precedent for some poisons to have a time frame for potency. I remember looking at the Mountain Spider entry recently and I think that once the weapons were coated the player’s had about a week before the effects were nullified.

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I guess nobody knows of a source for AD&D 2nd Edition Dark Sun poisons. There are soe netbooks on poisons here, but they aren’t usable outright.

The thing is, if we had a list of poisons and venoms by poison classes, say two ot three poisons by class we choose from randomly when the bard manufactures a new poison, we could detrmine how long the poison last, or whether it can be detected by the authorities on sight.

For example, Mastyrial venom may be a class C poison, which causes 25/2-8 points damage when injected in 2-5 minutes, less potent when applied on a weapon than the instant 30/15 points damage done when the beast stings. It may be stored indefinitely inside the poison sac if it can be retrieved intact, but after it is applied to a weapon or otherwise in contact with air, it loses its potency in 1d3 days. It is easily identified if it is stored in the sac, and not very hard to differentiate even when it is stored otherwise because of its distinctive green color. The sacs can also be retrieved by those who have considerable skills in animal anathomy, but the poison can only be treated and applied to a weapon by a bard.

Blossomkiller poison is a class O poison, which paralyses the victim for 2-24 minutes when distilled by a Bard according to his success, rather than the fixed 20 minutes effect of the plant. It is hard to detect since it is odorless and looks like any other plant-based salve. The doenside is, it can only be stored for a day after it is extracted from the plant. The extraction must be carried out by a person with Herbalism NWP.


I came up with this list when my bards and traders wanted names for the caustics, venoms and tinctures they were brewing.

Named Poison Chart

A - Barbed Scorpion Venom, Spider Cactus Powder Slurry - Injected 10-30 minutes 15/0 Value: 10 Ceramics a dose

B - Assassin Bug, Silt Spider Venoms, Burnt Umber Jelly - Injected 2-12 minutes 20/1-3 Value: 20 Ceramics a dose

C - Boneclaw Venom, Halfling Black Tar - Injected 2-5 minutes 25/2-8 Value: 30 Ceramics a dose

D - Black Mastrial Venom - Injected 1-2 minutes 30/2-12 Value: 50 Ceramics a dose

E - Scarlet Warden - Injected Immediate Death/20 Value: 100 Ceramics a dose

F - Bard’s Distillate - Injected Immediate Death/0 Value: 75 Ceramics a dose

G - Bleached Inix Paste - Ingested 2-12 hours 20/10 Value: 10 Ceramics a dose

H - Kivit Squeezings - Ingested 1-4 hours 20/10 Value: 15 Ceramics a dose

I - Purple Grass Extract, Methelinoc - Ingested 2-12 minutes 30/15 Value: 25 Ceramics a dose

J - Tree of Death Fruit, Greep Bile Toxin - Ingested 1-4 minutes Death/20 Value: 85 Ceramics a dose

K - Mulworm Poison - Contact 2-8 minutes 5/0 Value: 5 Ceramics a dose

L - Id Fiend Essence - Contact 2-8 minutes 10/0 Value: 10 Ceramics a dose

M - Antloid Soldier Venom - Contact 1-4 minutes 20/5 Value: 35 Ceramics a dose

N - Tincture of Dragon Beetle - Contact 1 minute Death/25 Value: 115 Ceramics a dose

0 - Distilled Kank Soldier Venom, Blight, or Floater Poison - Injected 2-24 minutes Paralytic Value: 25 Ceramics a dose

P - Dark or Mountain Spider Venoms - Injected 1-3 hours Debilitative Value: 40 ceramics a dose


That’s the kind of list I wanted to make, so as a first step I tried to list venomous and poisonous DS monsters and some of such monsters from other settings that are common in Athas. It took much longer than I thought, seems that creatures in Athas really love poison :slight_smile: You can find the table containing the table via this [link].(
You may write here if you notice an error or missing monster in the list.

Some monster entries specifically list the class of poison according to the 2e classification, and some are easy to determine from the method and the damage. I think some poisons can be used to brew different poisons with different classes or similar effects. For example, Mastyrial venom which according to the Monstrous Compendium Appendix II causes 30/15 damage may be utilized to make a class A, B, C or D poison.

By the way, since most of the poison types have a long onset time which renders them virtually ineffective in combat. We use 10-15 second rounds from the Players Option Combat and Tactics, so we use the onset times as rounds instead of minutes, but I am considering to give all of the injected poisons a chance to hit the arteries and affect the target immediately.

Paralyzing poisons are tremendously popular among the monsters, but only three of them are specifically listed as Class O, probably because of long onset. The poisons that affect immediately, namely Class E and F, have many examples in the books. There are no ingested poisons except Mulworm’s, so those will have to be sourced from plants. Contact poisons class L and N are also missing, as well as the debilitative class P. Some of the poison listed in the books according to their classes are as folllows:

A (Injected, 10-30 minutes, 15/0): Cha’thrang, Mulworm (splash), Scorpion (Huge, Large), Spider (Huge, Large),
B (Injected, 2-12 minutes, 20/1-3): Megapede
C (Injected, 2-5 minutes, 25/2-8): Barbed Scorpion
D (Injected, 1-2 minutes, 30/2-12): Antloid Soldier, Gold Scorpion
E (Injected, Immediate, Death/20): Crystal Spider, Dark Spider Queen, Silt Serpent
F (Injected, Immediate, Death/0): Dark Spider, Goldbug, Scorpion (Giant), Spider (Giant), Phase Spider, Wyern
G (Ingested, 2-12 hours, 20/10):
H (Ingested, 1-4 hours, 20/10):
I (Ingested, 2-12 minutes, 30/15):
J (Ingested, 1-4 minutes, Death/20): Mulworm (ingested or injected)
K (Contact, 2-8 minutes, 5/0): Basilisk (claw)
L (Contact, 2-8 minutes, 10/0):
M (Contact, 1-4 minutes, 20/5): So-ut (Rampager)
N (Contact, 1 minute, Death/25):
O (Injected, 2-24 minutes, Paralytic): Soldier Kank, Wild Kank, Mountain Spider
P (Injected, 1-3 hours, Debilitative):

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