Poisons

Given their insidious and deadly nature, poisons are illegal in most societies but are a favorite tool among assassins, drow, and other evil creatures. Poisons come in the following four types. Contact. Contact poison can be smeared on an object and remains potent until it is touched or washed off. A creature that touches contact poison with exposed skin suffers its effects. Ingested. A creature must swallow an entire dose of ingested poison to suffer its effects. The dose can be delivered in food or a liquid. You may decide that a partial dose has a reduced effect, such as allowing advantage on the saving throw or dealing only half damage on a failed save. Inhaled. These poisons are powders or gases that take effect when inhaled. Blowing the powder or releasing the gas subjects creatures in a 5-foot cube to its effect. The resulting cloud dissipates immediately afterward. Holding one’s breath is ineffective against inhaled poisons, as they affect nasal membranes, tear ducts, and other parts of the body. Injury. Injury poison can be applied to weapons, ammunition, trap components, and other objects that deal piercing or slashing damage and remains potent until delivered through a wound or washed off. A creature that takes piercing or slashing damage from an object coated with the poison is exposed to its effects. List of Poisons Item Type Price/Dose Assassin’s blood Ingested 150 gp Burnt othur fumes Inhaled 500 gp Crawler mucus Contact 200 gp Drow poison Injury 200 gp Essence of ether Inhaled 300 gp Malice Inhaled 250 gp Midnight tears Ingested 1,500 gp Oil of taggit Contact 400 gp Pale tincture Ingested 250 gp Purple worm poison Injury 2,000 gp Serpent venom Injury 200 gp Torpor Ingested 600 gp Truth serum Ingested 150 gp Wyvern poison Injury 1,200 gp Sample Poisons Each type of poison has its own debilitating effects. Assassin’s Blood (Ingested). A creature subjected to this poison must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw. On a failed...


Madness

In a typical campaign, characters aren’t driven mad by the horrors they face and the carnage they inflict day after day, but sometimes the stress of being an adventurer can be too much to bear. If your campaign has a strong horror theme, you might want to use madness as a way to reinforce that theme, emphasizing the extraordinarily horrific nature of the threats the adventurers face. Going Mad Various magical effects can inflict madness on an otherwise stable mind. Certain spells, such as contact other plane and symbol, can cause insanity, and you can use the madness rules here instead of the spell effects of those spells. Diseases, poisons, and planar effects such as psychic wind or the howling winds of Pandemonium can all inflict madness. Some artifacts can also break the psyche of a character who uses or becomes attuned to them. Resisting a madness-inducing effect usually requires a Wisdom or Charisma saving throw. Madness Effects Madness can be short-term, long-term, or indefinite. Most relatively mundane effects impose short-term madness, which lasts for just a few minutes. More horrific effects or cumulative effects can result in long-term or indefinite madness. A character afflicted with short-term madness is subjected to an effect from the Short-Term Madness table for 1d10 minutes. A character afflicted with long-term madness is subjected to an effect from the Long-Term Madness table for 1d10 × 10 hours. A character afflicted with indefinite madness gains a new character flaw from the Indefinite Madness table that lasts until cured. Madness Short-Term Effects d100 Effect (lasts 1d10 minutes) 01-20 The character retreats into his or her mind and becomes paralyzed. The effect ends if the character takes any damage. 21-30 The character becomes incapacitated and spends the duration screaming, laughing, or weeping. 31-40 The...


Diseases

A plague ravages the kingdom, setting the adventurers on a quest to find a cure. An adventurer emerges from an ancient tomb, unopened for centuries, and soon finds herself suffering from a wasting illness. A warlock offends some dark power and contracts a strange affliction that spreads whenever he casts spells. A simple outbreak might amount to little more than a small drain on party resources, curable by a casting of lesser restoration. A more complicated outbreak can form the basis of one or more adventures as characters search for a cure, stop the spread of the disease, and deal with the consequences. A disease that does more than infect a few party members is primarily a plot device. The rules help describe the effects of the disease and how it can be cured, but the specifics of how a disease works aren’t bound by a common set of rules. Diseases can affect any creature, and a given illness might or might not pass from one race or kind of creature to another. A plague might affect only constructs or undead, or sweep through a halfling neighborhood but leave other races untouched. What matters is the story you want to tell. Sample Diseases The diseases here illustrate the variety of ways disease can work in the game. Feel free to alter the saving throw DCs, incubation times, symptoms, and other characteristics of these diseases to suit your campaign. Cackle Fever This disease targets humanoids, although gnomes are strangely immune. While in the grips of this disease, victims frequently succumb to fits of mad laughter, giving the disease its common name and its morbid nickname: “the shrieks.” Symptoms manifest 1d4 hours after infection and include...


Conditions

Conditions alter a creature’s capabilities in a variety of ways and can arise as a result of a spell, a class feature, a monster’s attack, or other effect. Most conditions, such as blinded, are impairments, but a few, such as invisible, can be advantageous. A condition lasts either until it is countered (the prone condition is countered by standing up, for example) or for a duration specified by the effect that imposed the condition. If multiple effects impose the same condition on a creature, each instance of the condition has its own duration, but the condition’s effects don’t get worse. A creature either has a condition or doesn’t. The following definitions specify what happens to a creature while it is subjected to a condition. Blinded A blinded creature can’t see and automatically fails any ability check that requires sight. Attack rolls against the creature have advantage, and the creature’s attack rolls have disadvantage. Charmed A charmed creature can’t attack the charmer or target the charmer with harmful abilities or magical effects. The charmer has advantage on any ability check to interact socially with the creature. Deafened A deafened creature can’t hear and automatically fails any ability check that requires hearing. Exhaustion Some special abilities and environmental hazards, such as starvation and the long-term effects of freezing or scorching temperatures, can lead to a special condition called exhaustion. Exhaustion is measured in six levels. An effect can give a creature one or more levels of exhaustion, as specified in the effect’s description. Exhaustion Effects Level Effect 1 Disadvantage on ability checks 2 Speed halved 3 Disadvantage on attack rolls and saving throws 4 Hit point maximum halved 5 Speed reduced to 0 6 Death If an already exhausted creature suffers another effect that causes exhaustion, its current level of exhaustion increases by the amount specified in...