Herbs, Drugs and Poisons
Herbs are gathered by characters with the Woodsman ability from the Survival Skill and used by Apothecaries to produce effects, both helpful and harmful to the human body, from the saps, unguents, seeds, juice, and other pulps and parts of various herbs. The skills of woodsmen and apothecaries are looked upon with some level of suspicion by common people because woods witches and druids are known to use these techniques as well, though they are able to produce effects that common apothecaries cannot begin to reproduce. Most woodsmen and apothecaries are benign people simply seeking to benefit from nature, but their association with heresy, witchcraft, poison, and their refusal to rely only on the sacred medicine of the Hospitalier Order are all grounds to keep them at arm’s length.
All herbs have 3 traits. When a character with the Woodsman ability locates an herb in game, they may pick up the herb and bring it to the Basillica to learn its effects or learn by heart the effects of the specific combinations.
Drugs and poisons are prepared by the Apothecary to be either Fast-Acting or Slow-Acting.
Fast acting effects are usually through inhalants or forced directly into the bloodstream by a poisoned blade. Those effects work as a Combat Condition with the Poison Quality, such as Poison Stun. Slow-Acting drugs may have more complicated effects, and their effects take place over several hours. These effects are given to the player via item card, so that they know how the drug affects them over time. Both kinds of effects may only be resisted with Toughness.
Drugs begin with 3 traits, and that number can be increased or decreased using the Refinement ability of the Apothecary Skill. Additional Traits have additional effectiveness.
Fast-Acting Combat Poisons give a sharp, quick effect, and are made with Attribute affecting drug traits, using the following schema:
1 Trait: Tier 1 Condition
2 Traits: Tier 2 Condition
3 Traits: Tier 3 Condition
4 Traits: Tier 1 Condition, Power
5 Traits, Tier 2 Condition, Power
6 Traits, Tier 3 Condition, Power
For instance, a Poison made with using only Steroids or Relaxants with 3 Traits between them would allow the user to call Poison Strike when the poison found its mark, inducing a heart-attack in its victim. An additional Trait of the same would prepare the poison as Poison Bleed 2, causing it to be a very difficult to resist Bleeding poison.
If a Fast-Acting poison has more than one kind of Attribute Trait attached, it deals both of the affects as appropriate to the chart, like Poison Stun, Poison Bleed. As they happen together in the same Beat, one Toughness stops both effects.
Slow-Acting Poisons can in some ways be more dangerous. These drugs, prepared for ingestion or contact poison, affect the target around 30 minutes after the poison entered their system, and are given to the affected person as an item card.
Once the drug kicks in all of the unique drug effects happen at once, and last for an hour. Attribute boosting drugs set that Attribute to either Sound, Impressive, or Great depending on how many times that trait appears in the Drug. This is followed by a crash at the end of the hour, where affected Attributes are reduced by a like-amount immediately. The character’s attribute is returned to its natural level, then decreases from there by either 1, 2, or 3 levels. This manifests itself as sore, torn muscles, numbness, pounding headaches, confusion, and listlessness as the body recovers.
For other drug traits that do not affect Attributes if the effects are repeated, such as Irritant, which prevents Resting, the effect lasts an additional hour.
For instance, a performance drug to increase Strength may have Steroid, Steroid, Steroid as it’s 3 Traits. One hour after ingestion the drug kicks in, and the user’s strength would increase to Great Strength. One hour after the drug has taken effect, there is a crash, and the user’s Strength returns to its natural level, and then they lose 3 Strength, very likely killing them from a heart-attack. If they survive, they return to normal after 1 Hour.
It is possible to end an effect early to prevent a crash using an Antidote, a Purger, or to taper back off with more drugs of lesser effect. Drug effects that both raise and lower attribute cancel one another, so someone suffering from a crash can take additional drugs to even out the effects.
Drugs that affect Attributes can never take an Attribute above Great (ʘʘʘ)
Poisons and other effects, such as magic, can damage the Attributes themselves. If Attributes should fall below the Terrible Attribute Ө range the character suffers an immediate catastrophic state, the nature of which is determined by whichever Attribute is affected.
Strength: Muscles cannot move. Immediate death by heart-attack.
Speed: Full body paralysis. The subject collapses and cannot move until the drug wears off.
Fortitude: Immune system failure. Immediately enters Last Breath state
Faith: Catastrophic delusional episode. Gain a new Crippling Delusion.
Intellect: Neurological shutdown and brain damage. Total brain death.
Resolve: Catastrophic psychotic episode: Gain a new Crippling Obsession or Phobia
Stimulant – Stunning
Clarifier – Striking
Nimblemind – Staggering
Focus Aid – Stunning
Steroid – Increase Strength
Fortifier – Increase Fortitude
Stimulant – Increase Speed
Clarifier – Increase Faith
Nimblemind – Increase Intellect
Focus Aid – Increase Resolve
Paralytic – Stunning
Depressent – Striking
Neurotoxin – Staggering
Mindburner – Stunning
Relaxant – Reduce Strength
Immune Shock – Reduce Fortitude
Paralytic – Reduce Speed
Depressent – Reduce Faith
Neurotoxin – Reduce Intellect
Mindburner – Reduce Resolve
Slow-Acting Effects, Repeatable
Soporific: Induces sleep at next available lull in action. The subject will sleep for at least 30 minutes per trait, and is extremely difficult to rouse unless they suffer attack or injury.
Excitant: Induces an artificial sense of confidence. Grants one Discipline against Fear.
Irritant: Prevents Rest due to headaches and nausea.
Apathetic: The drug induces a sort of lethargic bliss in the user, leaving them highly suggestible. They gain the effects of Terrible Resolve Ө.
Addictive: Positive attribute increases do not cause a crash afterward. Instead, the subject automatically gains a Compulsion to consume again, which begins at Mild and grows in severity each time it is taken.
Pleasant: The Drug produces a euphoria in those that take it. While it is in effect, it relieves the effects of Despair and Misery.
Hallucinogen: Subject gains Severe Delusions for Duration, chosen at creation. Additional traits are additional Delusions.
Anesthetic: Subject is Immune to Pain. Battered penalty reduces by 1 Skill Level.
Intoxicant: The drug behaves as if the user had imbibed 3 drinks.
Slow-Acting Effects, Flat
Undetectable: The drug is colorless, tasteless and odorless, and will not be detected in a Search from the Vigilance Skill.
Foul: Tastes awful and has a distinct and obvious smell. It cannot be hidden in food, and Discipline must be spent to take it orally.
Antidote: Normalizes the effects of the rest of the traits present in the drug. The other effects on the Drug are instead removed in their taker if they were present. For instance, Antidote with Paralytic x2 would normalize a Paralytic effect by 2. Unlike normal Slow-Acting drugs, the Antidote effect happens as soon as the drug is ingested..
Purger: Induces vomiting and diarrhea. Lowers all existing drug values by 1. Causes Misery. Unlike normal Slow-Acting drugs, the Purger effect happens as soon as the drug is ingested. Other effects the drug may have occur at the normal delay.