Ninjas are wrecking my group.


Jade Regent

The Exchange

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Wow, I've never really used Poison as much as I am in this game.

The ninjas are not getting to use their sneak attacks so much be cause the PC's are very good at corner case fights and early attack detection. Having a Barbarian and Monk acting as your frontliners really helps.

But in close quarters I've dropped the party's Barbarian stone cold DEAD when 3 different poisons in his body killed him post rage. (Forcing them to use the Seal to rez him.)

And the group's Bard is currently limping through Ravenscrag with Con 5 from just the 2nd Ninja attack.

And they still have the majority of the place to get though.

Woof. Anyone else notice running the PC's against this many poison using ninjas is like a long slow meatgrinder?


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The only death in my campaign was via poison.
I blame the PCs for not investing in antitoxins, delay poison, and other such cheap defences.


I'll need to remember that for my group. While the witch/rogue is kind of a poisoner she is the only one with antitoxin.


<sigh> Of coutrse the're having problems, especially if the ninjas attack one or two at a time. They have to get into a situation where the ninjas attack them en masse

Liberty's Edge

Matthew Downie wrote:
I blame the PCs for not investing in antitoxins, delay poison, and other such cheap defences.

I was amazed, after their first encounter with poison-using ninjas, that they didn't buy anti-toxin by the gallon. (They discussed the oracle taking delay poison, but decided against it, which I don't blame them for. I suppose they still could have bought scrolls.)

I don't think I directly killed anybody with poison, but it definitely hurt them and scared the crap out of them. One character indirectly died, because his max HP were so low when they triggered a flame strike trap.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Matthew Downie has it right on the money. I'm the bard in his party in the above example and through both an error of not buying antitoxins AND me forgetting I had Timely Inspiriation (which would have actually stopped the onset of the poison), I'm at 5 Con. We actually hadn't played in about five months so I forgot about half the spells on my list. S'ok though, this was a good reminder. Just need to nut up and deal with it.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Well, the group made a good point. You might find some antitoxins further into the keep. The ninjas might have on hand so they can capture and not kill some targets.


Yeah, first time against the Ninjas, the barbarian in my group almost died from con damage too. But they wiser up pretty fast, next day had cleric preparing communal delay poison and I had to make due with using vanish and ninja tricks to get sneak attack damage on them before the party one-shotted them.

I honestly was quite pleased how debilitating the initial frontal assault can be on parties. Poisons, fire pits and swarms that can cause blindness. The party retreated moments after opening the door the first time.


I get to unleash these ninjas against my players for the first time tonight... mua ha ha ha

The Exchange

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Wik, don't do what I did by mistake. Don't focus the attacks. Spread the poison around.

Scarab Sages

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Card Game, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I didn't have extreme problems with the poisons when I ran this adventure. Maybe my players were just luckier than yours on saves. Make sure you are using poison rules correctly. The biggest mistake I've seen made is the following:

PC is hit by poison dart, DC 16 fort save or take d2 con dmg/rd.
PC fails save, takes d2 con dmg
PC is hit by a second poisoned dart, same poison.
GM asks for another saving throw, PC fails, GM starts dealing 2d2 con dmg/rd to PC.

The correct mechanism for being exposed to multiple poisons is that each additional dose increases the save DC by 2 and the duration by 2 rounds (or minutes, or hours depending on the unit used in the poison)

This CAN make a poison very hard to fight off if multiple exposures increase the DC to a high level. HOWEVER, it also means that your cleric's Heal check, that emergency antitoxin, and your sorceror's Touch of Destiny all apply to the ONE ROLL needed to fight off the poison. I found most of the PCs focused on helping eachother recover from poison quickly enough that they rarely took ability damage more than twice from one poison.


Yes, care must be made to use poisons correctly. But correctly used, Deathblade poison is still incredibly lethal.

The Exchange

I killed the party ninja with the CON poison in my group. They invested in scrolls of delay poison after that, making them effectively immune to the poison. Of course, it took them 4 forays into ravenscraeg to clear it out. plenty of reinforcements!

And deathblade poison should be lethal...its a 2000 gp expendable if memory serves.


Chernobyl wrote:


And deathblade poison should be lethal...its a 2000 gp expendable if memory serves.

1800 gp. The party was selling their loot from ravenscraeg last session, managed to grab a couple. Too scared of it to risk poisoning themselves if they tried using it.

Oddly enough, I think it took my party four days too. They were a bit angry with me when they realized that the keep was getting reinforcements, and a few makeshift traps I had set up in the mean time.

Grand Lodge

Odraude wrote:
Matthew Downie has it right on the money. I'm the bard in his party in the above example and through both an error of not buying antitoxins AND me forgetting I had Timely Inspiriation (which would have actually stopped the onset of the poison), I'm at 5 Con. We actually hadn't played in about five months so I forgot about half the spells on my list. S'ok though, this was a good reminder. Just need to nut up and deal with it.

Not to be a downer, but it was pointed out to me that Timely Inspiration does not work for Saving Throws. The spell description says, "attack rolls and skill checks." :p I was the bard with that spell, and I was eternally using it to save the party, until the GM looked at the spell closely and informed me that it was only the two circumstances...

Grand Lodge

Matthew Downie wrote:

The only death in my campaign was via poison.

I blame the PCs for not investing in antitoxins, delay poison, and other such cheap defences.

Bear in mind that antitoxin is not generic. In the description it says "a specific poison." Many PCs may not have the avenue to identify a specific poison. Also, it may not always be the same poison, unless these ninja are famous for using a specific venom or something, so antitoxin may not be as easy as you think.

Of course, delay poison or some such may not be so bad... though usually by the time combat is over, it might be too late for delay poison... ;p

Grand Lodge

Aeshuura wrote:


Bear in mind that antitoxin is not generic. In the description it says "a specific poison."

Hmmm... not in the PRD. Just a flat +5 alchemical bonus.

Grand Lodge

I was checking Ultimate Equipment.


Heh, yeah, one of my groups was quite aghast at how much money was being hurled at them. One of them died to Deathblade.

The other just made their saves and shrugged their shoulders. So it goes.


Antitoxin in UE:
"This substance counteracts a specific
toxin. If you drink a vial of antitoxin,
you gain a +5 alchemical bonus on
Fortitude saving throws against
poison for 1 hour."
The two sentences are somewhat contradictory. I'm going to treat the first sentence as irrelevant flavor text and the second one as the actual rule.


Rules overrule flavor, that is true.

Grand Lodge

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In your games maybe. In my games, flavor overrules rules. ;p


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I always though the point of the rules was to support the flavor.

After all, the flavor is the story. The rules are a tool we use to tell the story, right?

Grand Lodge

Well said, Huston... well said! ^_^


Sorry, but if the flavor text of a spell/equipment flat out states things which the rules then contradict, then the rules win out. Especially when it is like in this case, where the flavor text makes the item almost useless and is highly unfavorable to the players.

But, hey, if screwing over your players is what makes you happy... :)

Grand Lodge

It's the same as how antitoxin works in the real world... They have to be tailor made, unless I am mistaken.

It's not about screwing over the players. But then, I do not abuse poison as a GM. I still want poison to be feared. To invalidate that would be to remove a valid tool of a GM.

Of course, because it is a big part of Jade Regent, I would make it available. I would even have Koya or one of the other NPCs suggest it after the first major encounter with poison. I would even have it be a mini quest item. (I.E. - collect 10 blades/doses to help the alchemist develop an antitoxin.)

I would even allow a PC with a good Fort save to pull a Dread Pirate Roberts and begin building an immunity to the poisons commonly used by the ninja.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

So, we killed some more ninjas... and some trolls!

Liberty's Edge

I never really use poisons as a GM or a player, usually the concept of keeping it preserved, transporting it without breaking its container (as some poisons and chemicals would reacti with a metal container but not a glass one) They are pretty rare for me, though when used it does trigger the pucker factor.

within the regards to the debate of Rules as written or Flavor, I would support the flavor or story telling but as in baseball tie goes to the runner/ player. So it never screws over the player, just how I do it. As a GM you never need to look for resources if you really want to screw with a player, your the story teller. I very rarely have killed players, usually they die for doing something stupid. I.e. thinking they can take on the dragon themselves even when I have gone out of my describing it and what it has done to a army and at the behest of the other players the one person runs to fight it... I fudge dice rolls, but only on the players behalf.... like with exploding dice rules and what not, when you realize that through a horrible twist of fate/ critical you would have just done 226 damage to a 4th level character. I fudge the roll, the character usually gets messed up and the party has to deal with a man down, but he is not gone, unless the player thinks that the character perhaps is ineffective and may want to try a new one. Like when I had someone build a druid and he though it would be similar to his WOW druid that killed everything and nothing could touch.

Needless to say as Homebrew we often make rules to fit the flavor as a whole group, like I or a player will see something happen, think its strange and then we just talk about it over pizza and some beer with the rest of the group. We decide a better way for it to work and just carry on. We are fortunate enough to be older and fairly mature with a long time of play experience ( i have played D&D and AD&D for 20+ years)

Grand Lodge

I usually run tailor made campaigns, with the philosophy that the PCs are the heroes of my story. It is my job to give them adversity for them to overcome, and challenge them with villains of varying sorts.

It is not my job to baby them, nor is it my job to put them up against the Kobayashi Naru... I just want to tell a good story that will entertain my players, and occasionally give them the "holy @#$@" moment!

There are times when character deaths will occur, and I try to make sure that whatever deaths occur, they are dramatically appropriate... for example, it could give the rest of the party a morale bonus similar to inspire courage or heroism.

Of course this is all predicated on them not being antagonistic towards each other (which happens more than I would like to admit). ^_^


Aeshuura wrote:

It's the same as how antitoxin works in the real world... They have to be tailor made, unless I am mistaken.

It's not about screwing over the players. But then, I do not abuse poison as a GM. I still want poison to be feared. To invalidate that would be to remove a valid tool of a GM.

Of course, because it is a big part of Jade Regent, I would make it available. I would even have Koya or one of the other NPCs suggest it after the first major encounter with poison. I would even have it be a mini quest item. (I.E. - collect 10 blades/doses to help the alchemist develop an antitoxin.)

I would even allow a PC with a good Fort save to pull a Dread Pirate Roberts and begin building an immunity to the poisons commonly used by the ninja.

Sounds like an incredible waste of playtime, to be honest. I'd rather have the players experience the actual story, instead of sending them off to do pointless chores so I can chortle "Flavor!".

Silver Crusade

Why not incorporate the two for this one? Make it be a direct counter to a specific poison, and gives a +5 to resist poison in general. Just a thought. Rules and flavor don't have to exclude each other.

Grand Lodge

magnuskn wrote:
Aeshuura wrote:

It's the same as how antitoxin works in the real world... They have to be tailor made, unless I am mistaken.

It's not about screwing over the players. But then, I do not abuse poison as a GM. I still want poison to be feared. To invalidate that would be to remove a valid tool of a GM.

Of course, because it is a big part of Jade Regent, I would make it available. I would even have Koya or one of the other NPCs suggest it after the first major encounter with poison. I would even have it be a mini quest item. (I.E. - collect 10 blades/doses to help the alchemist develop an antitoxin.)

I would even allow a PC with a good Fort save to pull a Dread Pirate Roberts and begin building an immunity to the poisons commonly used by the ninja.

Sounds like an incredible waste of playtime, to be honest. I'd rather have the players experience the actual story, instead of sending them off to do pointless chores so I can chortle "Flavor!".

Make no mistake, I do not try to "waste" time, but I want my players to slow down, and I am trying to give them a feeling that things they do can have consequences beyond only what is given in the RAW. Instead of having them think, "Oh, I only get ability score raises at every 4th level, so I don't need to worry about 'practicing' or 'improving' myself," I want them to think more like, "My fighter is constantly striving to get stronger, so he will always try to fill up his backpack, and load himself down, and find master swordsmen to teach him new techniques!"

My players are always pushing and pushing to gain the next level, and I am trying to get them to slow down a little, enjoy 4th lvl for a while, then 5th, then 6th... I want them to be more interested in the story than they are in hitting the next level.

It's an uphill battle, to be sure, and not everybody will like it, but my players seem to like it, so I must be doing something right.

It's all about rewarding them for good roleplaying, and for thinking outside the RAW box.

That's all I am going to say about it... I already feel bad for de-railing this thread... if you want to continue, PM me or start a new thread. I would gladly continue the discussion there. ^_^

The Exchange

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Dropped the groups Kitsune Witch with Wyvern poison, and a cone of cold.

And the party after 8+ levels FINALLY found out she wasn't human.

Most hilarious scene when she woke up in Kitsune form and the group was screaming in horror.

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