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Old 11-17-2023, 08:53 PM   #11
Kallatari
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Default Re: Poisons, venoms and multiple doses

Here are my houserules (and thus not official Rules As Written (RAW)) for venom and dosages of poisons.

The listed stats for a poison - including a Venom - is for 1 dose. That includes delay time, interval time for cycles, damage, and resistance roll.

Every doubling of dosages (i.e., a 2 doses, 4 doses, 8 doses, 16 doses, etc):
- cumulatively halves both the onset delay time and the interval time between cycles (i.e., 1/2 delay, 1/4 delay, 1/8 delay, 1/16 delay).
- cumulatively doubles the damage (i.e., x2 damage, x4 damage, x8 damage, x16 damage).
- gives a cumulative -2 penalty to the resistance roll (i.e., -2, -4, -6, -8).

The same applies in reverse for smaller dosages (i.e., a 1/2 dose doubles the delay time and interval time of cycles, halves the damage, and gives a +2 bonus to the resistance roll, a 1/4 dose gives x4 to time, 1/4 damage, and +4 to resistance roll, etc.)

The above is pretty much RAW for poisons. The next part is where I have made some houserules that I find merge poison attack traits (e.g., Venom) better with those existing rules.

The stats of a poison/venom assume a human-sized SM 0 victim. For each SM above 0, the dosage is effectively halved (i.e. a SM +1 target automatically divides the dosage by /2, SM +2 target automatically divides the dosage by /4, a SM +3 target divides the effective dosage by /8, etc.). The reverse applies for smaller targets... SM -1 multiplies the effective dosage by x2, SM -2 by x4, SM -3 by x8, etc. (this is a cost-neutral modifier for any poison attack; limitation against larger targets but enhancement against smaller targets, so balances out).

As for multiple doses/bite/binge drinking those mysterious vials... so long as you haven't successfully resisted the poison yet - whether you're still in the onset delay and haven't even rolled yet, or you've failed your previous rolls and are still taking cyclic damage - all further hits from a venomous attack add to the dosage.. this will shorten the time until your next roll, give you a penalty to that roll, and increase the damage if the next roll fails, all according to the final effective dosage.

As soon as you make a resistance roll, then all the poison in your body has effectively been neutralized. Any further dosages of that poison start over from scratch.

These rules make venomous creatures much more deadly if they succeed in biting or injecting their victim multiple times, as rather than multiple easier resistance rolls against multiple low damage effects, you are making a single difficult resistance roll against a single large amount of damage.

On the other hand, when creating realistic venomous creatures, they usually only have 1 dose of venom available, and it can take them a day to replenish it (i.e., Limited Use, 1/day, -40%). They do have a choice to use or not use their venom on a given bite - so not every bite will be venomous. They can also give a "partial dose", so instead of bite with the full dose of venom, a snake could bite for 1/2 dose, or 1/4 dose, giving the victim all the benefits of a smaller dosage (i.e., Variable, +5%). So against a single realistic venomous foes, you are unlikely to get high dosages... but swarms of critters that can each deliver one dose become more dangerous.

As I think Varyon has pointed out, Fantasy creatures usually do not have Limited Use on their Venom, so they can deliver as many doses as they want. With this houserule, that can make them very deadly if they can survive long enough to use their Venom multiple times on a victim.
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