The Poisoner’s Kit

Demon's Dance © Fantasy Flight Games

Demon’s Dance © Fantasy Flight Games

The rogue assassin in my regular game has mentioned on more than one occasion that they are proficient with the Poisoner’s Kit. I’m not sure it they’re telling me that they want to craft poison, or if they want to literally poison me. I’ll assume the former, since they’ve had ample opportunities to do the latter. The problem is, how does one actually use a poisoner’s kit in 5e Dungeons and Dragons?

In the Player’s Handbook, the description for the Poisoner’s Kit reads:

Poisoner’s Kit. A poisoner’s kit includes the vials, chemicals, and other equipment necessary for the creation of poisons. Proficiency with this kit lets you add your proficiency bonus to any ability checks you make to craft or use poisons. (Players Handbook 154)

No help there. But when you
check the Dungeon Master’s Guide section on poison, it tells you:

During downtime between adventures, a character can use the crafting rules in the Player’s Handbook to create basic poison if the character has proficiency wita poisoner’s kit. (Dungeon Master’s Guide 258)

With those guidelines, if you were to use the RAW, crafting a single dose of basic poison would take 20 days of downtime at a value of 5 gp per day.

For every day of downtime you spend crafting, you can craft one or m ore items with a total market value not exceeding 5 gp, and you must expend raw materials worth half the total market value. If something you want to craft has a market value greater than 5 gp, you make progress every day in 5-gp increments until you reach the market value of the item. (PH 187)

I’m no assassin, but I can probably make a basic poison using household items before I went to bed at night. I think an assassin could probably do better than that. And the DMG section on poison goes a little further, saying that at the DM’s discretion, proficiency with a poisoner’s kit can allow you to make other poisons as well. Using the crafting rules, it would take you quite a while to craft a poison that has minimal effect, let alone something that can do some real damage.

So, since I needed to placate my assassin before they poisoned me, I came up with my own homebrew rules for using the poisoner’s kit.

I spelled out things in simple terms. The Kit. The Poisoner. The Poisons. I settled on some prices for ingredients (about half of buying them outright, give or take), their rarity, the DC of crafting each and the maximum number of doses that could be made in one crafting. I made the crafting times really short. We’re not making a sword, or carving a totem pole. We’re mixing some bad shit in a pot and using what comes out to make people sorry they crossed us. In game, anyway.

I had a bit of fun working on it (though I did finish it up in a fever delerium. The same one I’m writing this in. You can find the supplement over at the DM’s Guild. It’s Pay What You Want, so you know… pay what you want. And please, rate and review!

I’m thinking of supplementing the supplement with additional poisons and ingredients, as well as putting together some supplements for other tool kits in 5e. What would you like to see? Let me know in the comments below, or over on twitter, where you can find me @dharmabob.

DM Mondo

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