OK - seems an odd thing to discuss this time of year, but something got me thinking on poison. You know how most guys who protect their wealth by using poisonous traps die? By poison malfunctions. You know how most poison using knife fighters die? By cutting themselves with poisoned blades.
So why use it? Well, many of them use it because their game masters don’t make it dangerous enough to use. GMs should (and I don’t always, so I’m not really preaching here, unless I’m preaching to me) force a roll every time someone handles poison. Fumble and you get hurt. If you have poison laying around the house, either protecting your belongings or on all your weapons, then maybe one fumble chance per day. What’s that mean? Well it typically means that once a month the poisoner is going to get poisoned. Maybe your rules have some skill by which the person can handle the poison more efficiently (Chemistry or Alchemy in LQ). Maybe if your level is high enough, you might reduce your chances of fumbling.
OK - taking the rules aside for a minute - It should take a certain kind of person to use poison. Normal people don’t like having something that dangerous around them all the time. Personally, I’ve poisoned my fair share of mice, but I’m OCD about washing my hands and not touching anything while I’m laying the bait. Imagine having to be like that all the time. Also, at their core, most people don’t like killing others, not even people who do it professionally. Given an option, they’d probably prefer to drive off or capture an enemy, depending on the circumstances. But not a poisoner. Frequently a poisoned enemy ill stumble away from combat only to die later. That takes a certain kind of mean to inflict on someone.
Is there a point to this? No, but that’s what a blog is for - sharing ideas that don’t necessarily have any deep meaning.