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Old 02-21-2023, 07:01 AM   #31
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Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

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Originally Posted by benz72 View Post
Sure. I had assumed for context that at GURPS resolution it would be the lowest possible injury, 1 HP. Do we have an actual rule on this? Is "Scratch" defined somewhere?
A Scratch arguably should be less than 1 HP, but capable of transmitting a Blood Agent (possibly with a bonus to resist) - a No Wounding effect. But unless you specifically design a No Wounding attack, GURPS doesn't allow for that - indeed, any cutting, impaling, or (IIRC) piercing attack deals at least 1 HP of Injury if it gets past DR (or there's no DR to start with), implying that, yes, a Scratch would be 1 HP.

I think the only case where Scratch is actually defined is in the Conditional Injury optional rules, where I believe it is indeed less than 10% of the target's HP, working out to around either 5% or 7% (away from my files, and it's obfuscated by the Severity system, but it works out to roughly one of those).
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Old 02-21-2023, 09:33 AM   #32
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Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

By contrast, if you wanted, for example, to dab a sponge of something in DMSO onto your target, that might not need damage but you might need to take a penalty to get skin contact. Or not, dependent on circumstances.
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Old 02-21-2023, 10:17 AM   #33
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Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

There are no historical poisons that are useful in a tactical situation. The two most effective are fugu and curare and both take at least twenty minutes for symptoms to be debilitating.
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Old 02-21-2023, 10:22 AM   #34
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Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

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Dung was used as a poison historically (because tetanus), but again, really needs a certain depth to actually be effective.
It also has an incubation period of 3 to 21 days (average is 10 days) so it has no influence on the outcome of a battle.
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Old 02-21-2023, 10:47 AM   #35
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Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

Horrible synthetic nerve toxins could do it, but then you don't even need a scratch. Supposedly toxins orders of magnitude more lethal thsn VX have been identified, never made, and the data scrubbed.
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Old 02-21-2023, 11:29 AM   #36
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Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

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Horrible synthetic nerve toxins could do it, but then you don't even need a scratch. Supposedly toxins orders of magnitude more lethal thsn VX have been identified, never made, and the data scrubbed.
There's toxins orders of magnitude more lethal than VX that are well known; botulinum toxin, for example, is several thousand times more lethal. The general problem is that poisons only affect the tissue they come in contact with, so something needs to move the poison to the target tissue. Usually that means entering the bloodstream.
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Old 02-21-2023, 12:58 PM   #37
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Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

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There's toxins orders of magnitude more lethal than VX that are well known; botulinum toxin, for example, is several thousand times more lethal. The general problem is that poisons only affect the tissue they come in contact with, so something needs to move the poison to the target tissue. Usually that means entering the bloodstream.
V series synthetic nerve agents are absorbed through the skin.
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Old 02-21-2023, 02:08 PM   #38
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Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

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V series synthetic nerve agents are absorbed through the skin.
Eventually. If you look at Time Course on https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ershdb/eme..._29750001.html, inhalation or contact with eyes produces effects in 'seconds to minutes', skin contact produces effects in 'minutes', which is too slow to be particularly useful in close combat.

On reflection, if this is an assassination situation, minutes is fine, but you have the problem that it's going to be really hard to not kill yourself with a skin agent unless you're wearing (not terribly subtle) protective gear.
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Old 02-21-2023, 02:12 PM   #39
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Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Horrible synthetic nerve toxins could do it, but then you don't even need a scratch. Supposedly toxins orders of magnitude more lethal thsn VX have been identified, never made, and the data scrubbed.
The webcomic Genocide Man suggested Sarin-M (the M standing for Munitions), a variant of the G-series of nerve agents that, in GURPS terms, was an Injury/Follow-up Poison. It caused body paralysis in around 3 seconds, leaving the victim to suffocate (as it also paralyzed the lungs). I suspect that's unrealistically quick, however.
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Old 02-21-2023, 02:17 PM   #40
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Default Re: Scratching with a poisoned needle

Stipulating that when we are discussing 'relevant in combat' I understand us to be limiting that idea to small groups in second-by-second tactical combat I would like to point out that many forms of combat in warfare take significantly longer. Chemical weapons are definitely poisonous (at least in GURPS terms) and are forbidden from use for their indiscriminate and cruel method of killing rather than because 'they just wouldn't work'. Even something like tear gas has considerable tactical use.
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