You can use Healing to concoct poisons. Poisons have two “skills”, Potency and Subtlety, rated on the ladder. Potency is the poison’s effectiveness, opposed by the target’s Physique; Subtlety is the difficulty to detect or analyze it using Alchemy, Notice, Investigate or Healing, either to prevent exposure or determine the cause of a sudden ailment. Determine whether the poison is fast acting, or slow-acting (see below). Poisons also need a means of application, such as inhalation, ingestion, contact, or injection.

There are three categories of poison: damaging, exotic, and special. The latter is mainly the domain of the Story Teller; to make damaging or exotic poisons, roll Healing against a Mediocre (+0) difficulty, and distribute the shifts generated between the poison’s Potency and Subtlety. Fast acting poisons add a +2 to the difficulty to concoct. Difficulties may also be +1 or +2 higher if circumstances are less than ideal (ie working with inferior ingredients); the default time required is an hour. As with Crafts, you may retroactively improve the roll by +1 per additional step taken on the Time Increments Table, up to a maximum +4. A poison’s Potency and Subtlety are limited by the quality of the workspace in which it’s created.

Damaging Poisons

Covering anything from lethal concoctions to knockout drugs, damaging poisons are usually fast-acting and found on sword blades and blowgun darts. A damaging poison attacks a target’s Physique using its potency, from Mediocre (+0) for a mild poison to Superb (+5) or higher for something very potent.

Fast-acting poison attacks before the first initiative point of an exchange, and repeats every exchange until the scene ends (when the poison has run its course) or the character somehow stops the poison with stunts, magic, medical treatment, or even something as mundane as inducing vomiting if appropriate. Many damaging poisons stop if the target’s Physique roll succeeds with style.

Some damaging poisons are slow-acting, and often more appropriate for background flavor: make an attack roll for the poison once per scene against the target’s Physique. If the poison succeeds with style on its Potency roll, it causes an automatic consequence. Poison consequences don’t disappear until the poison is cured, and – alas – there are no concessions!

Exotic Poisons

Exotic poisons place aspects directly on the target, using the create advantage action (ie “Paralysis”, “Deep Sleep”). Roll the target’s Physique against the poison’s Potency: if the target wins, any symptoms are passing, but if he loses, he immediately gains the aspects described in the poison. Their duration depends on the poison.

Special Poisons

Special poisons violate the rules in some way, and tend to have plot-altering effects, such as leaving a beloved extra in a coma, needing a very exotic cure, or killing the victim in a fixed period of time and prompting a race to find the antidote before it’s too late. They serve no purpose beyond motivating the plot, and usually take effect via Story Teller fiat, bypassing Physique or Potency rolls altogether.

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