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Are the CofD Poison Rules Really This Bat**** Insane?

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  • Are the CofD Poison Rules Really This Bat**** Insane?

    I'm praying that someone out there can prove me wrong here.

    "Poison
    Outside of combat, a character who is the victim of a
    poison or toxin suffers lethal damage over a period of time
    equal to the poison’s Toxicity. Some substances deal this
    damage only once. Others deal this damage once per turn
    or once per hour until purged, or until the poison has run
    its course. To resist the damage, make a reflexive Stamina
    + Resolve – Toxicity roll. Each success reduces the damage
    taken by one. This roll must be made every time the poison
    deals damage, unless the character stops fighting and gives in."

    Also, the only examples given:
    "Characters who overdose on drugs treat the drug like a
    poison, with a Toxicity somewhere between 3 and 7. The
    overdose deals damage once per hour until the drug has run
    its course — if a character’s spent eight hours drinking, then
    the poison takes another eight hours to fade, with a Toxicity
    between 3 (beer or wine) to 5 (rubbing alcohol). A character
    who injects stronger heroin than expected takes damage for
    (eight minus Stamina) hours, with a Toxicity of 7."

    According to these rules, a "normal" person with 2-dot stats and who blows all 4 of their Willpower resisting an 8-hour beer-drinking binge makes 8 rolls of 2 Stam + 2 Resistance - 3 Toxicity with +12 from Will for an Expected Value of 6 to reduce 8 x 3 = 24 damage for an average damage of 18. It's presumably Lethal damage, but even if it's just Bashing... that's still enough to bring that "normal" person to 3 boxes from death. Surviving a hard liquor or heroin overdose is practically impossible. There are also apparently no rules for sympathetic medical treatment. Even a Toxicity 2 poison over 8 intervals will net that average person 7.6 damage - enough to fill all their health boxes.

    Am I missing something here?

  • Mr.F.I.X.
    replied
    There is a Google doc with animals in it that was written by onyx path writers and released for free but that just has "snake" and then lists toxicity as ranging from 3 to 10 depending on the snake.

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  • LadyLens
    replied
    I was looking for stats for poisons and venoms, and found three threads on the subject. I didn't check the date on this one. One of the the others pointed to what seemed to be official or semi-official write-ups for a variety of diseases, poisons, venoms, etc, including cobra venom.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    Necromancy!

    And... which 2e book says that cobra venom is Toxicity 6 with an interval of 10 minutes?

    Also Toxicity doesn't matter in combat. There's a Tilt for that, and it's 1B or 1L a turn depending on the severity of the poison, which reverts to Toxicity after combat.

    If you try to apply 1e write-ups to the 2e rules without any modifications for the 2e changes... it could certainly get insane.

    Snake venoms are tricky because there's a lot that goes into them. You should be more afraid of a black mamba than a king cobra not because of which has a stronger venom per volume, but the aggression differences between the two and their ability to control how much venom they deliver. Mambas (probably) can't really control how much venom they deliver with a successful bite, and are highly aggressive even with larger animals, meaning there's a high mortality rate from mamba strikes. King cobras can control their venom, and frequently dry bite or low venom bite when biting defensively, on top of being fairly low aggression snakes when it comes to people.

    Modelling snake venom in 2e should probably be relatively high Toxicity (humans have little natural resistance to snake venom), but no repetition interval (or minimal ones over fairly long intervals like 30 minutes or 1 hour), with only the deadliest venom having faster intervals and/or more of them. Instantly taking one 6 Toxicity hit fits things like the rattlesnakes: rarely kills anyone that's not at increased risk (low Stamina, small size like kids), but you're going to be laid up pretty fast and for awhile.


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  • Satchel
    replied
    Originally posted by LadyLens View Post
    I just crossed-referenced king cobra venom stats, research into the effect of actual king cobra venom, and the 2E rules, and the writeup is completely insane. An average person will be dead in twenty minutes, but cobra venom almost never kills in less than half an hour, and usually takes longer. Toxicity 6 is so high that only very exceptional individuals get to roll anything, so effectively, it's 6 lethal damage every ten minutes.
    I have a relatively complete library and the only 2e books the word "cobra" shows up in are Mage 2e, Mortal Remains, and the Dark Eras Companion; of those three, only the first has any mechanical context attached to it, and then without anything resembling an interval.

    What I'm saying is I have no idea where you found this breaking news that prompted you to raise a thread from sixteen months ago, but it seems out of keeping with the actually available information considering the base Poison rules also state outright that some poisons only deal their damage once and that the damage is dealt over time.

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  • LadyLens
    replied
    I just crossed-referenced king cobra venom stats, research into the effect of actual king cobra venom, and the 2E rules, and the writeup is completely insane. An average person will be dead in twenty minutes, but cobra venom almost never kills in less than half an hour, and usually takes longer. Toxicity 6 is so high that only very exceptional individuals get to roll anything, so effectively, it's 6 lethal damage every ten minutes. Or every round in combat. So even if the rules aren't nuts, which I won't comment on, some of the write-ups are.

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  • Charlaquin
    replied
    Originally posted by bonerstorm View Post
    That's actually the errata for 1E, not 2E (which is funny: the original 1E rules were apparently the same as the 2E rules, but errata'ed).
    No, the 1e rules originally had resisting poisons as a contested action. You rolled Resolve + Stamina vs. Toxicity and if the poison got more successes you took [Toxicity] damage, or if you hit more successes than the poison you took no damage. The errata changed it to a resisted action. You rolled Resolve + Stamina - Toxicity and if you got one or more successes you didn't take any damage, if you failed you took Toxicity damafe. 2e kept it as a resisted action but made the number of successes matter. You roll Resolve + Stamina - Toxicity and take [Toxicity - successes] damage. This is consistent with 2e's approach to standardizing when rolls are resisted and when they are contested (If the number of successes matters, it's resisted, if one success is all you need, it's contested). Of course, 2e hasn't really succeeded in standardizing that, but it tried, and I hope if there's ever a 3e that it finally does get standardized.

    Originally posted by bonerstorm View Post
    I'm going to just ignore the "successes reduce damage" rules from 2E and bolt on stuff from Hurt Locker.
    Cool, glad you've found an approach that'll work for you.

    Leave a comment:


  • bonerstorm
    replied
    That's actually the errata for 1E, not 2E (which is funny: the original 1E rules were apparently the same as the 2E rules, but errata'ed). Also there are no teamwork rules in either edition for doctors giving a teamwork bonus to resistance, though the Armory listings for various chemical weapons say that sympathetic/supportive treatments give +1 to the roll. Also also medical treatment can only downgrade one wound per day. Also also also Hurt Locker lists ailments with "successes needed" rules from Armory without context, despite them being in different editions. Also also also also there are no rules in 2E for exposure vs resistance to toxins.

    I'm going to just ignore the "successes reduce damage" rules from 2E and bolt on stuff from Hurt Locker.

    Leave a comment:


  • lnodiv
    replied
    Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
    I don't think we were trying to be condescending. We were replying to what looked like, "8 intervals of Toxicity 3 is really deadly," with, "well the example of what would provoke a check against a Toxicity 3 toxin with 8 intervals is really deadly in reality." That is a fact based counter-point. "The system says this would kill most people, because in reality this would kill most people." Basically, to most of us the rules are accomplishing exactly what they're supposed to be accomplishing.
    This.

    Generally speaking, equipment that provides bonuses against toxins and poisons is much, much more beneficial on rolls to avoid contracting the condition than it is to help you resist once you have. When assigning Toxicity ratings to substance, keep in mind that Toxicity 3 is very likely to kill the target without medical attention, and Toxicity above 3 is almost certain to do so.

    With medical care, the odds of success rise dramatically, assuming proper medical facilities and a skilled medical staff performing a teamwork action to downgrade damage, it won't be unusual to downgrade 2 lethal per hour to bashing (using an exceptional success to reduce required successes by skill value, assuming a value of 3 in medicine for the primary actor).

    Toxicity near 5-7 requires special care, as it is effectively a death sentence, even with medical care. Medical attention is an absolute requirement, as are strong rolls by the poisoned individual and the staff caring for him.
    Last edited by lnodiv; 01-30-2017, 03:27 AM.

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  • Diggs
    replied
    No condescension intended. I saw a focus on alcohol so I stuck with it. I have no response if a rule addressing lethal situations is too lethal for individual taste. Not sure where the NBC suit is from, but a 2e gas mask gives a person immunity to minor toxins and the bonus only applies to more powerful stuff when necessary. Maybe that works for you, and you would set the point the suit isn't enough for complete protection and only provides a bonus to rolls.

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  • Heavy Arms
    replied
    I think it's worth remembering that most of the responses were not aware that you meant to compare 1e to 2e.

    I don't think we were trying to be condescending. We were replying to what looked like, "8 intervals of Toxicity 3 is really deadly," with, "well the example of what would provoke a check against a Toxicity 3 toxin with 8 intervals is really deadly in reality." That is a fact based counter-point. "The system says this would kill most people, because in reality this would kill most people." Basically, to most of us the rules are accomplishing exactly what they're supposed to be accomplishing.

    If you want to compare 1e to 2e, it's worth specifying which of the three different1e rules you're using (pre-errata, post-errata, Armory expanded), because that matters a lot to such a comparison.

    I haven't had an issues with the 2e poisons rules, but most of the time it's players using poisons on others (so their effectiveness isn't really an issue) or moments of drama (like an alcoholic relapsing after a bad run of Integrity rolls) where them ending up in the hospital from all the damage the rules (barely survived it) only added to the impact of the event.

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  • HelmsDerp
    replied
    Whether the rules are good or not depends on what you're trying to model, so it's difficult to decouple questions of whether they're a good fit from the given example. When I'm messing around with rules hacks I try to always think about how things play out in a low, middle, and high example.

    Like I said, I think the grave poisoned tilt is much better suited to my needs, and the only thing that needs to change for out of combat is the interval time.

    If you want a more in-depth hack here's one I've been using as a bit of a midpoint between toxicity and the tilt. Poison deals one lethal per turn. Success on a stamina roll downgrades to bashing for that turn, and once you have total successes equal to toxicity you stop taking damage. All the ST needs to do is adjust the toxicity based on the type and amount of poison.

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  • nofather
    replied
    You also didn't look at the errata.

    World of Darkness rulebook, pp. 176-177: The system for drugs is incorrect.

    Like resisting disease, resisting the effects of drugs is not a contested action.
    Typically, only a single success is required on the Stamina + Resolve roll, and this roll is modified by the potency of the drug in question.
    In some cases, resisting the effects of a drug might be an extended action, such as a prolonged exposure to low levels of arsenic. In cases like these, the Storyteller still sets the benchmark for how many successes are necessary, and the subject's pool might still be penalized by the drug's potency.

    World of Darkness rulebook, pp. 180-181: The system for poisons and toxins is incorrect.

    Like resisting disease, resisting the effects of poisons and toxins is not a contested action.
    Typically, only a single success is required on the Stamina + Resolve roll, and this roll is modified by the toxicity of the poison in question.
    In some cases, resisting the effects of a drug might be an extended action, such as drug or alcohol abuse. In cases like these, the Storyteller still sets the benchmark for how many successes are necessary, and the subject's pool might still be penalized by the poison's toxicity.

    Making one success is enough to withstand damage for those turns.

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  • bonerstorm
    replied
    Originally posted by Bunyip View Post

    If you're going to interpret people disagreeing with your opinion of the rules as mocking, maybe don't start a thread with:
    Touche! I was a little annoyed that the response was a reflexive (mostly condescending) defense of the rules based on my alcohol poisoning example rather than fact-based counterpoints or examples of ST's successfully using the new poison rules + liking them. I often feel there's a dearth of objective rules criticism or welcoming of alternate viewpoints on this forum when I visit. I totally did start things with my brainsplode hyperbole, though.

    Trying to be a little less douchey:
    Has anybody here used the new poison rules with minimally augmented players and found them workable? How do y'all usually manage numbers of intervals etc? Considering the high lethality of Toxicity 3 poisons, what kinds do you think are valid? Which real-life poisons translate to which Toxicity levels or intervals?

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  • Bunyip
    replied
    Originally posted by bonerstorm View Post
    Please, continue to mock me for pointing out flaws in your sacred texts.
    If you're going to interpret people disagreeing with your opinion of the rules as mocking, maybe don't start a thread with:

    Originally posted by bonerstorm View Post
    I'm praying that someone out there can prove me wrong

    Leave a comment:

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