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Old 10-17-2013, 07:08 AM   #1
vicky_molokh
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Default [Basic] [High-Tech] Somewhat confused about Poisons and Resistant: Poison . . .

Greetings, all!

I'm somewhat confused about the way some of the poisons work, and the way they interact with other stuff.

Curare and Cycles: A poison that has cyclic effects stops in its cycles upon a successful HT roll. Okay, so we have Curare. We get four 30-minute cycles. But we take damage regardless of HT roll, and paralysis on a failed HT roll. This sounds like an extremely convoluted way of saying 'cyclic, but breaking the cycle still does 2d tox once'. Or did I miss some bit of reasoning?

Resistant: Also, this seems to make it so that being Resistant or even Immune to Poison does not prevent risking death after roughly 3 doses of Curare: you get a +3, +8 or even auto-succeed the resistance roll, but you still take 3×2d ~= 21 damage. Same effect with Ricin, which afflicts nausea and vomiting regardless of HT rolls.

Botulin Toxins: The cycles are 12 hours long, and cause a HT-n roll to resist paralysis, with n getting worse each cycle. What's the point? If you fail the roll, you get paralysis. If you succeed, you aren't going to need any more rolls, since you shook it off.
Also: healing the paralysis requires being on ventilation - why? It causes paralysis, not choking.
Also: what is the number of cycles?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 10-17-2013, 08:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: [Basic] [High-Tech] Somewhat confused about Poisons and Resistant: Poison . . .

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post
Greetings, all!

I'm somewhat confused about the way some of the poisons work, and the way they interact with other stuff.

Curare and Cycles:
Botulin Toxins: !
You might be right about Curare. It does use the "roll to resist" phraseology, though the whole "Resist and poison ends" thing seems to depend on one rather casual mention. It's not nearly as prominent as the "Save v. Poison" seen in other games.

Botulin does not seem to have a general "Resist". Doesn't mention resisting the poison, just the paralysis. Botulin is probably one of those poisons that does not give a roll to resist.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:02 AM   #3
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Default Re: [Basic] [High-Tech] Somewhat confused about Poisons and Resistant: Poison . . .

Immunity means "I am totally unaffected," not merely "I don't roll" – that is, it does what it says on the tin. This explains the "and" in "You are totally immune to all noxious effects, and never have to make resistance rolls" (boldface added). In the Basic Set, "totally" is emphasized and immunity is listed first for a reason. This explains why it costs twice as much to be immune as to have +8, even though +8 is functionally immune in many cases and far better than +3: Many nasty things do not allow a roll to resist, or specify bad effects even on a successful roll, and Immunity protects fully against these.

Resistant does just mean "If there's a roll, I get a bonus." If there's no roll, too bad . . . you should've bought Immunity. If there are bad effects even on a successful roll, too bad . . . you should've bought Immunity. Again, that's why even the highest level of Resistant costs half as much as Immunity.

As for ongoing rolls, some toxins implicitly have a more severe form of Cyclic wherein success doesn't prevent future rolls. Add +50% for Cosmic to give a character ability this enhancement.

Finally, ventilation is required if you're paralyzed by botulin toxins because paralyzed lungs are rather fatal. The write-up explains this: "The neurological damage the paralysis represents heals as if a lasting crippling injury (p. B422) of the lungs and spine." This isn't the paralysis affliction on p. B429, but something far more severe, closer to a mortal condition causing respiratory arrest. The word "paralysis" here is used in its plain-English sense.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: [Basic] [High-Tech] Somewhat confused about Poisons and Resistant: Poison . . .

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Immunity means "I am totally unaffected," not merely "I don't roll" – that is, it does what it says on the tin. This explains the "and" in "You are totally immune to all noxious effects, and never have to make resistance rolls" (boldface added). In the Basic Set, "totally" is emphasized and immunity is listed first for a reason. This explains why it costs twice as much to be immune as to have +8, even though +8 is functionally immune in many cases and far better than +3: Many nasty things do not allow a roll to resist or specify bad effects even on a successful roll, and Immunity protects fully against these.
That seems weird: if I take Immunity (Heat), I don't get to ignore heat-based Burn attacks that lack a Resistance Roll, yet you seem to be saying that Immunity (Poison) does help against non-Resisted poisons. I wonder about Resistant/Immunity (Radiation Rolls) too.

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As for ongoing rolls, some toxins implicitly have a more severe form of Cyclic wherein success doesn't prevent future rolls. Add +50% for Cosmic to give a character ability this enhancement.
That's actually a nice way to write it up. The problem is that poisons seem to be written up in extremely unclear language. It was really nice to see many items written up using the Traits format, but poisons are, alas, not one of them.

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Finally, ventilation is required if you're paralyzed by botulin toxins because paralyzed lungs are rather fatal. The write-up explains this: "The neurological damage the paralysis represents heals as if a lasting crippling injury (p. B422) of the lungs and spine." This isn't the paralysis affliction on p. B429, but something far more severe, closer to a mortal condition causing respiratory arrest. The word "paralysis" here is used in its plain-English sense.
Paralysed lungs would seem to imply a choking or equivalent condition (or maybe heart attack, though the name doesn't seem to fit), which is conspicuously absent. It is also unclear how many cycles of effect there are.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: [Basic] [High-Tech] Somewhat confused about Poisons and Resistant: Poison . . .

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As for ongoing rolls, some toxins implicitly have a more severe form of Cyclic wherein success doesn't prevent future rolls. Add +50% for Cosmic to give a character ability this enhancement.
It would also make sense to pay full price for the Cyclic enhancement, rather than half price that you get for typical Resistable - the half price seems to be because a lot of the cycles are going to be wasted when the target makes a resistance check. In fact, if you do this, do you even need to charge for Cosmic?

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Old 10-17-2013, 11:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: [Basic] [High-Tech] Somewhat confused about Poisons and Resistant: Poison . . .

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Originally Posted by vicky_molokh View Post

That seems weird: if I take Immunity (Heat), I don't get to ignore heat-based Burn attacks that lack a Resistance Roll, yet you seem to be saying that Immunity (Poison) does help against non-Resisted poisons. I wonder about Resistant/Immunity (Radiation Rolls) too.
You're missing the other important rule for Resistant and Immunity, which is that if DR prevents the damage, Resistant/Immunity doesn't help; see the third paragraph on p. B80. Immunity to Heat protects against being overheated because that's not an attack against which DR helps. Burning attacks are a whole separate beast; see paragraph 2 for how to distinguish.
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Old 10-17-2013, 11:34 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Basic] [High-Tech] Somewhat confused about Poisons and Resistant: Poison . . .

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It would also make sense to pay full price for the Cyclic enhancement, rather than half price that you get for typical Resistable - the half price seems to be because a lot of the cycles are going to be wasted when the target makes a resistance check. In fact, if you do this, do you even need to charge for Cosmic?
That seems eminently fair and logical to me.
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