Rogue's Poison Weapon feat, what's the point?


Rules Discussion

Grand Lodge

Outside of the rogue's ability to gain minor poisons that do a bit of damage, what is the mechanical benefit of taking that feat? According to the CRB:

CRB, Pg 550 wrote:

Applying alchemical poisons uses Interact actions. A

poison typically requires one hand to pour into food
or scatter in the air. Applying a poison to a weapon or
another item requires two hands, with one hand holding
the weapon or item. The Usage entry for a poison
indicates the number of hands needed for a typical means
of application, but the GM might determine that using
poisons in other ways functions differently.
...
Injury: An injury poison is activated by applying it to
a weapon, and it affects the target of the first Strike made
using the poisoned weapon. If that Strike is a success and
deals piercing or slashing damage, the target must attempt
a saving throw against the poison. On a failed Strike, the
target is unaffected, but the poison remains on the weapon
and you can try again. On a critical failure, or if the Strike
fails to deal slashing or piercing damage for some other
reason, the poison is spent but the target is unaffected.

For comparison, here's the feat in question:

Poison Weapon wrote:

Requirements: You are wielding a piercing or slashing weapon and have a free hand.

You apply a poison to the required weapon. If your next attack with that weapon before the end of your next turn hits and deals damage, it applies the effects of the poison, provided that poison can be delivered by contact or injury. If you critically fail the attack roll, the poison is wasted as normal.

Special: During your daily preparations, you can prepare a number of simple injury poisons equal to your rogue level. These poisons deal 1d4 poison damage. Only you can apply these poisons properly, and they expire the next time you prepare.

Obviously the feat gives you the 1d4 dmg poisons, and if you're a rogue and want to go for that, great. But outside of that, I see little reason to give rogues what appears to be a worse version of an ability anybody can already do, since the poison is lost if not used before the end of your next turn while applying it normally seems to last indefinitely unless you crit fail the attack roll.

Grand Lodge

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After posting this question I immediately found the answer. It's all to do with contact poisons:

CRB Pg.550 wrote:

Contact: A contact poison is activated by applying it to

an item or directly onto a living creature’s skin. The first
creature to touch the affected item must attempt a saving
throw against the poison; if the poison is applied directly,
the creature must attempt a saving throw immediately
when the poison touches its skin. Contact poisons are
infeasible to apply to a creature via a weapon attack due to
the logistics of delivering them without poisoning yourself.

Typically, the onset time of a contact poison is 1 minute.
Poison Weapon wrote:
it applies the effects of the poison, provided that poison can be delivered by contact or injury.

Keeping this question up here on the forums so others who might be confused can see.


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I'm pretty sure the point is to allow you to apply poison for one action rather than three.

Grand Lodge

That makes sense too. I forgot that a lot of poisons require multiple actions to apply.


As an additional note.

Poisons only expire at the end of the turn if you apply it via that feat. The feat specifies any poison, not specifically the poison you get from it.

So you could take the free D4 poisons from the feat and apply them normally and prepoison things. Poison up shurikens, or bolts.

Well presumably you can. The only issue with that is there isn't a listed action for normal poisoning with them. Though the standard is 3actions.
But the poison use rules do state that GMs can determine otherwise. If you're prepoisoning in the morning prep no issues with time, I doubt the action makes a difference. WHich is one reason they didin't include one and include the line about GM determination. After all, poisoning actions really only matter in battle or time crunch.

So an extra d4 on bolts or thrown is nice.

"Applying alchemical poisons uses Interact actions. A poison typically requires one hand to pour into food or scatter in the air. Applying a poison to a weapon or another item requires two hands, with one hand holding the weapon or item. The Usage entry for a poison indicates the number of hands needed for a typical means of application, but the GM might determine that using poisons in other ways functions differently."

Grand Lodge

Actually because I'm multiclassed with my main class Alchemist, I get 0 free poisons that deal 1d4, as my rogue level is 0.

But otherwise that is definitely really nice.


Is there any duration listed for poisoned weapons? Couldn't any character purchase some poison and put it on a dagger or some bolts and just store them for use whenever they want?

Grand Lodge

It appears that the poison will last indefinitely, until a character hits and deals damage to a target or critically fails a Strike. The rogues’ poison Weapon feat merely lasts until the end of your next turn however.

In the case of an alchemist using a free poison with Advanced Alchemy, the poison will last for 24 hours or until they next do their daily preparation, whichever comes first.


Huh.. I thought there was some sort of notation somewhere that stated dedication feats gave you an effective level for feats..

though now I'm not sure. AT least not on nethys...


Zwordsman wrote:

Huh.. I thought there was some sort of notation somewhere that stated dedication feats gave you an effective level for feats..

though now I'm not sure. AT least not on nethys...

You're probably thinking of the 6th-level multi-class feats that let you take a class feat in your secondary class as if you had a class level equal to half your proper level. I don't think it would be a bad idea to make that a general thing for multi-class feats.


Syries wrote:

After posting this question I immediately found the answer. It's all to do with contact poisons:

CRB Pg.550 wrote:

Contact: A contact poison is activated by applying it to

an item or directly onto a living creature’s skin. The first
creature to touch the affected item must attempt a saving
throw against the poison; if the poison is applied directly,
the creature must attempt a saving throw immediately
when the poison touches its skin. Contact poisons are
infeasible to apply to a creature via a weapon attack due to
the logistics of delivering them without poisoning yourself.

Typically, the onset time of a contact poison is 1 minute.
Poison Weapon wrote:
it applies the effects of the poison, provided that poison can be delivered by contact or injury.
Keeping this question up here on the forums so others who might be confused can see.

Most of the contact poisons (all?) have a pretty long onset time (1-10 minutes) so that's pretty useless.

Quote:
I'm pretty sure the point is to allow you to apply poison for one action rather than three.

If you aren't an alchemist, poison is pretty expensive and DCs don't scale with level. Even if you are an alchemist, powerful alchemy only works with quick alchemy which costs another action in addition to the action to poison the weapon if you multiclass rogue to take this feat. So 2 actions to have a DC that has any chance to succeed 50% of the time and does nothing if the opponent saves. Pretty underwhelming.

If you only take the rogue feat, one action to add 1d4 damage is extremely weak.


I mean if you snag this as a Alch-rogue (instead of a rogue alch) then you get free scaling per daay poisons. If you pay for or use invetor for, up to date poisons (same way one might up to date bombs and elixers)

So I'm not sure how often you would Quick Alchemy a low level poison (with powerful alchemy) as opposed to crafting double in the morning. In general, not many cases where I want powerful alchemy. I think I'd rather snag sticky bombs for a quick alchemy boost. Really would only be poisons, tangelfoot bag, or thunderstones no? (more in the future I'm sure)

Unless I'm misunderstanding something at 3am which is highly possible what being 3am haha.

--------
also really need to remember to look up the equivilient level thing and dedications tomorrow.


Zwordsman wrote:

So I'm not sure how often you would Quick Alchemy a low level poison (with powerful alchemy) as opposed to crafting double in the morning. In general, not many cases where I want powerful alchemy. I think I'd rather snag sticky bombs for a quick alchemy boost. Really would only be poisons, tangelfoot bag, or thunderstones no? (more in the future I'm sure)

Unless I'm misunderstanding something at 3am which is highly possible what being 3am haha.

The problem with this is that the DC doesn't really scale up. With the Potent Poisoner feat, you add +4 to the poison DC. The best injury poison you can create is the Purple Worm Venom (item 13):

Purple Worm Venom wrote:
Saving Throw DC 32 Fortitude; Maximum Duration 6 rounds; Stage 1 5d6 poison damage and enfeebled 2 (1 round); Stage 2 6d6 poison damage and enfeebled 2 (1 round); Stage 3 8d6 poison and enfeebled 2 (1 round)

So the DC with Potent Poisoner is 36. An Adult Bronze Dragon (CR 13) Fortitude save is +24 so saves on a 12+ (40%) which is ok but not great. An Ancient Brass Dragon Fort save is +30 so saves on a 6+ (70%) which is pretty crappy. An Ancient Gold Dragon Fort save is +37 so is only poisoned on a 1 (95%). With Powerful Alchemy, it would use your alchemy DC so at level 20, the DC would be 10 + 20 (level) + 6 (Int) + 6 (Master) + 4 (Potent Poisoner) = 46 instead of 36 but it took you one more action to do it. The Ancient Gold Dragon would save on a 9+ (55%). Given the poison damage doesn't scale either, it's probably not worth spending 2 actions to use poison.

So basically, if you build a character to use poison, you will fall behind at higher levels as you will have spent several feats and take dedications for suboptimal results i.e. it's a trap, and poor game design.


I think it is to soon to judge poison alchemists before we get the poisoner alchemist subclass.


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Well as published so far, it's pretty bad. If you need to buy another book to make it viable, that doesn't make it better game design.


Faenor wrote:
Zwordsman wrote:

So I'm not sure how often you would Quick Alchemy a low level poison (with powerful alchemy) as opposed to crafting double in the morning. In general, not many cases where I want powerful alchemy. I think I'd rather snag sticky bombs for a quick alchemy boost. Really would only be poisons, tangelfoot bag, or thunderstones no? (more in the future I'm sure)

Unless I'm misunderstanding something at 3am which is highly possible what being 3am haha.

The problem with this is that the DC doesn't really scale up. With the Potent Poisoner feat, you add +4 to the poison DC. The best injury poison you can create is the Purple Worm Venom (item 13):

Purple Worm Venom wrote:
Saving Throw DC 32 Fortitude; Maximum Duration 6 rounds; Stage 1 5d6 poison damage and enfeebled 2 (1 round); Stage 2 6d6 poison damage and enfeebled 2 (1 round); Stage 3 8d6 poison and enfeebled 2 (1 round)

So the DC with Potent Poisoner is 36. An Adult Bronze Dragon (CR 13) Fortitude save is +24 so saves on a 12+ (40%) which is ok but not great. An Ancient Brass Dragon Fort save is +30 so saves on a 6+ (70%) which is pretty crappy. An Ancient Gold Dragon Fort save is +37 so is only poisoned on a 1 (95%). With Powerful Alchemy, it would use your alchemy DC so at level 20, the DC would be 10 + 20 (level) + 6 (Int) + 6 (Master) + 4 (Potent Poisoner) = 46 instead of 36 but it took you one more action to do it. The Ancient Gold Dragon would save on a 9+ (55%). Given the poison damage doesn't scale either, it's probably not worth spending 2 actions to use poison.

So basically, if you build a character to use poison, you will fall behind at higher levels as you will have spent several feats and take dedications for suboptimal results i.e. it's a trap, and poor game design.

it's actually WAY worse than that:

you only add the +4 UP TO your class DC. Not on TOP of your class DC.

so, as an example, at level 20, your class DC caps out, even with apex Int item, at 10+20+6+7= 43.

Your poisons will NEVER have a DC higher than that.

At level 13, you don't even add the +4 because the poison DC is already at the same DC as your class DC.

And etc.

In short: since Powerful Alchemy doens't interact AT ALL with Potent poisoner: One brings your DC up to your Class DC, the other brings your DC up by 4 but no more than your Class DC.

So, it's EITHER Powerful alchemy for Class dc OR Potent Poisons for +4 on base DC but no more than class DC.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I feel like poisons are still ok, but, nothing you should focus on sadly.

However, using dragons as your target is a bit excessive. It would be a better point if you used a average fighter and wizard DC's for those levels. As dragons are to this day, still not common enemies in AP's. (How I wish they would make a dragon oriented AP where you fought multiple per AP) Humanoids are still by far the most common enemies you will fight. So, a fighter 20 with legendary fort and 18 con would be a 32 ish. And a wizard with expert fort and say 14 con would be around 26. Those numbers are fluid but not every enemy runs around with runes that increase saves so its a fair number. A potent poisoner is only 1 feat and would give you a decent chance at optimal enemies for poisons. Wizards, Clerics, any other then fighters and champions really have a decent chance with only 1 feat expenditure. Not bad.


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Alenvire wrote:

I feel like poisons are still ok, but, nothing you should focus on sadly.

However, using dragons as your target is a bit excessive. It would be a better point if you used a average fighter and wizard DC's for those levels. As dragons are to this day, still not common enemies in AP's. (How I wish they would make a dragon oriented AP where you fought multiple per AP) Humanoids are still by far the most common enemies you will fight. So, a fighter 20 with legendary fort and 18 con would be a 32 ish. And a wizard with expert fort and say 14 con would be around 26. Those numbers are fluid but not every enemy runs around with runes that increase saves so its a fair number. A potent poisoner is only 1 feat and would give you a decent chance at optimal enemies for poisons. Wizards, Clerics, any other then fighters and champions really have a decent chance with only 1 feat expenditure. Not bad.

actually... they do.

actually every enemy DOES run with "runes that add to saves". If they don't, you add the equivalent bonus to their stats because it IS assumed that "everybody is expected to have +x to saves" by the tight maths of PF2.

potent poisoner is actually 2 feats AND the game math ASSUMES equivalent +item bonus to saves for every single enemy at that level. Also, everyone on level 20, even wizards, should have 18 Con.

Fort in general is the toughest save to beat by FAR.

Poisons are the ONLY fort save that actually does absolutely nothing if one passes the initial save.

Those 2 combine result in:

Average chance to succeed at level 13 using the level 13 poison is only 30% actually if you take the whole level 13 bestiary in account.

In short:

poisons are pretty terrible at this point.

(p.s. dragons are actually not that high in Fort saves, there are around average for their respective CR)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I assumed potent poison on its own assuming you would get powerful alchemy for some other reason then to up your poisons, but your right.

As to saves runes, where does it say any of that? Have you seen anything that proves it? or is it a assumption?

Assuming 18 con is power gaming. Wizards at 20 do NOT need to take 18. That is a personal choice. There will always be people who put those points in INT or decide they want more dex, or to go something altogether different and take wisdom or charisma. Can't assume everyone will min max the way you think they should.

I for one have never had a wizard above 12 con, and don't plan to start now. I build for theme not min maxing HP's. Something like the bookish wizard who focuses on blasting through enemy defenses (DC's/Resistances) To mind control or hamper them to make everything easier for the group to finish up, after which I sit back to control the battle field.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I will add that party treasure by level would be completely thrown off if every NPC Humanoid comes at the group with the same gear they should have. It will follow the same path as PF1 with enemy loot. We will know for sure after the 2nd AP comes out. Even the first AP leads one to believe this as a level 5 NPC does not have the gear expected of a level 5.

Liberty's Edge

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A level 5 NPC built as an NPC does not have PC level gear. One built as a PC, however, does and should.

NPCs built as PCs should thus be relatively rare so as not to throw off WBL stuff.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Deadmanwalking wrote:

A level 5 NPC built as an NPC does not have PC level gear. One built as a PC, however, does and should.

NPCs built as PCs should thus be relatively rare so as not to throw off WBL stuff.

Agreed, to be fair to shroudb though, the NPC's in the first book saves don't appear to follow normal rules, but, that could just be because of the fact they are weird races who may have racial bonuses of their own.

Which is probably it, because it appears the monsters sometimes have expert training in saves when it appears it should only be trained From the class they have.


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Alenvire wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

A level 5 NPC built as an NPC does not have PC level gear. One built as a PC, however, does and should.

NPCs built as PCs should thus be relatively rare so as not to throw off WBL stuff.

Agreed, to be fair to shroudb though, the NPC's in the first book saves don't appear to follow normal rules, but, that could just be because of the fact they are weird races who may have racial bonuses of their own.

going by bestiary, you can see that the saves of the monsters are actually more or less assuming equivalent saves as with "+item bonus to saves"

going by that, it's fair to assume that you do add those as expected to npcs.

if you don't add +item bonuses to stuff, you will soon reach the point where people will stop hitting the party (no +item to attack), their saves will be pretty much terrible, their skills will be equally bad, and etc.

The bestiary already assumes such bonuses for the humanoids in it, same thing you should expect for npcs as well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I disagree. However, until we get some higher level NPC examples we can't really prove it. Monsters have always been a bit tougher at the later levels then the same CR npc. More hps, ac, saves, and attack. When a NPC was added into PF1 they had the correct stats for what they had. They did not just add bonus stats without a explanation usually in the form of a spell buff, feat, area magic aura of great evil blah blah blah, or a mutation.

There is no reason to assume PF2 will be different. And the monsters are sitting exactly where I would expect them to be based on PF1. They are more narrow in tactics than a humanoid NPC generally can be. Generally.

Liberty's Edge

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They have specifically said that monsters and NPCs are made with the exact same system (except for those made as PCs, of course). There is no mechanical distinction between the two.


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NPCs will have attack/damage/saves at their level that are equivalent to PCs with the expected PC gear at that level. Whether or not the NPCs actually have the equivalent gear for you to loot or are just extra well trained to boost their attack/damage/saves (at the expense of other cool feats that your PCs have and the NPCs don't) is up to your GM.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Xenocrat wrote:
NPCs will have attack/damage/saves at their level that are equivalent to PCs with the expected PC gear at that level. Whether or not the NPCs actually have the equivalent gear for you to loot or are just extra well trained to boost their attack/damage/saves (at the expense of other cool feats that your PCs have and the NPCs don't) is up to your GM.

Where was this written. If that is so... Then PF2 is running off a flawed concept.

Why would a player not get frustrated when a rogue with bad gear just flat out rogue's them in every way with no gear? Its basically saying a level 20 rogue NPC vs 20 rogue PC, the PC always only on par even if he has appropriate gold in gear vs the NPC who has a padded armor and shoddy dagger.

Why would us GM's think that's not total BS and just a bad system?

PF1 always gave reasons as I have said before. And often it was just a NPC character that was made so narrowly defined no PC would actually want to play it. Or wasted a finite resource just on the off chance this was the fight of their life. I can understand and accept that. But, just bonus stats for arbitrary reasons is Lazy developing.

You can get away with that with monsters. People expect it. But not NPC's.


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Alenvire wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
NPCs will have attack/damage/saves at their level that are equivalent to PCs with the expected PC gear at that level. Whether or not the NPCs actually have the equivalent gear for you to loot or are just extra well trained to boost their attack/damage/saves (at the expense of other cool feats that your PCs have and the NPCs don't) is up to your GM.

Where was this written. If that is so... Then PF2 is running off a flawed concept.

Why would a player not get frustrated when a rogue with bad gear just flat out rogue's them in every way with no gear? Its basically saying a level 20 rogue NPC vs 20 rogue PC, the PC always only on par even if he has appropriate gold in gear vs the NPC who has a padded armor and shoddy dagger.

Why would us GM's think that's not total BS and just a bad system?

PF1 always gave reasons as I have said before. And often it was just a NPC character that was made so narrowly defined no PC would actually want to play it. Or wasted a finite resource just on the off chance this was the fight of their life. I can understand and accept that. But, just bonus stats for arbitrary reasons is Lazy developing.

You can get away with that with monsters. People expect it. But not NPC's.

they have talked in depth about how the whole point is "ease of design" in that be it a monster, an npc, or whatever, everything is built the same: like a monster with you using the expected numbers for that level.

npc's do NOT compare with PCs. you just stat them as you would expect them to be stated for their level.

obviously, we don't yet have the npc/monster building forumlas yet, they are said to be in the coming books, but we do have the beastiary that backs this up (as an example, goblins ARE a pc race, yet they are built like monsters)


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Alenvire wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
NPCs will have attack/damage/saves at their level that are equivalent to PCs with the expected PC gear at that level. Whether or not the NPCs actually have the equivalent gear for you to loot or are just extra well trained to boost their attack/damage/saves (at the expense of other cool feats that your PCs have and the NPCs don't) is up to your GM.

Where was this written. If that is so... Then PF2 is running off a flawed concept.

Why would a player not get frustrated when a rogue with bad gear just flat out rogue's them in every way with no gear? Its basically saying a level 20 rogue NPC vs 20 rogue PC, the PC always only on par even if he has appropriate gold in gear vs the NPC who has a padded armor and shoddy dagger.

Why would us GM's think that's not total BS and just a bad system?

PF1 always gave reasons as I have said before. And often it was just a NPC character that was made so narrowly defined no PC would actually want to play it. Or wasted a finite resource just on the off chance this was the fight of their life. I can understand and accept that. But, just bonus stats for arbitrary reasons is Lazy developing.

You can get away with that with monsters. People expect it. But not NPC's.

They shouldn't do it with every NPC enemy, but they have to manage and limit wealth some way. And letting NPCs match PC numbers without PC gear isn't unbalanced if they don't have all the PC feats and abilities, and they won't.

What matters to the game is whether you overall have the right amount of gear and whether specific enemies are the right challenge, not whether they're carrying particular gear to justify their challenge.

Liberty's Edge

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In PF1, if you needed a CR 5 enemy you could make a level 6 Rogue with NPC wealth, or a level 5 Rogue with PC WBL.

In PF2, for ease of use, level has replaced CR, but a Level 5 'Rogue' made with the NPC rules is the equivalent of the Level 6 Rogue in PF1, rather than a 'level 5' one per se. The one made with the PC rules (and the PC treasure to go with it), is the equivalent of the level 5 one with PC WBL in PF1.

The Rogue made with the NPC Rules is also not a real Rogue by PC standards, likely having only a fraction of the Feats (or equivalents) a PC Rogue has, gaining no Skill Feats, and just generally being inferior to the utility and options of a PC Rogue in almost every way (even if their raw combat numbers are better...which in practice they won't be, more of them is just from non-item sources).


Yeah I think they are adopting the same kind of systems they have in Starfinder, and Pathfinder Unchained before it, and I think other systems like D&D 4E before that, and having NPCs run off of different rules than PCs.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I already had a player complain when I told him that NPC's use stat blocks that don't represent their actual equipment. lol. Oh well, I guess I get to use the same answer as everyone else. Because challenges can't be adequately created in PF2 without cheating in favor of the NPC's vs quality builds that don't rely on PC equivalent gear.

Liberty's Edge

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Alenvire wrote:
I already had a player complain when I told him that NPC's use stat blocks that don't represent their actual equipment. lol.

That's incorrect. Their weapon damage is correct for their weapon, and if you take gear off them it has the normal effects. They don't have as much of it as PCs, but what they do have effects them normally.

NPC level in PF2 is just more like PF1 CR and based on hitting certain benchmarks rather than what level they would be if they were a PC and had all the right gear.

Alenvire wrote:
Oh well, I guess I get to use the same answer as everyone else. Because challenges can't be adequately created in PF2 without cheating in favor of the NPC's vs quality builds that don't rely on PC equivalent gear.

This has always been true. A 5th level Rogue with NPC gear was never a CR 5 threat in PF1. You needed PC gear for that.

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