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Dorn the dragon slayer

I hate dragons. As if they weren't powerful enough on vanilla, SCS makes them even more annoying, what with chaining instant cast stoneskins, having absurd THAC0/AC and damage and so forth.
Then I realized - they aren't immune to poison.
Basically all you have to do is give Dorn Firetooth and Vhailor's Helm, both easily available, at least by the time you are facing dragons.
Then you have a priest cast Champion's Strength and mage go with Improved Haste, while Dorn copies himself then poisons his weapon, copy does the same.
End result: 2 Dorns that melt dragons in seconds. No really, just try it. Your tank basically has to survive for about... 3-4 rounds. The other party members don't even need to do anything at all besides more thac0 buffing.

Balrog99MirandelBorek
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Comments

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,785
    Seems kind of silly. Any beings of that size (something like, 2 orders of magnitude greater than the mass of a human?) should be basically unaffected by poisons meant for size M creatures...

    booinyoureyesPhototoxin
  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 641
    @subtledoctor In terms of weight, insects are way more than 2 orders of magnitude below us, and yet their poisons are still dangerous to us.
    And I don't see why Dorn's poison should be designed to kill only humans, when he lives in a world where he meets giants and dragons and trolls and ettins and ogres and lots of other fun stuff to kill.

    ThacoBellbob_veng
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 153
    It takes a whole lot of insect poison to kill a human.

    A lethal dosage for an insect would be harmless for a creature of our size.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 4,962
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 153
    edited March 18
    I thought we were talking about poison for insects. Like Raid and stuff.

    Dorn isn't a venomous creature. He's a dude with some sort of venomous cream he slathers on his weapon. The ability of insects to regulate their venom discharge seems a little beside the point.

    Edit: as far as it being demonic poison, it's worth remembering that his Poison Weapon ability is identical to the assassin's, so mundane poisons are just as effective.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 153
    New thought.

    Let's say, for a moment, that Dorn is capable of getting a dragon's dosage of poison into each wound.

    The question then becomes why he doesn't do that all the time. That much poison would be catastrophic on a smaller creature, but he plays around doing his piddly 1 damage per second against hobbits.

    subtledoctor
  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 313

    New thought.

    Let's say, for a moment, that Dorn is capable of getting a dragon's dosage of poison into each wound.

    The question then becomes why he doesn't do that all the time. That much poison would be catastrophic on a smaller creature, but he plays around doing his piddly 1 damage per second against hobbits.

    Poison is poison, he doesn't apply more to a Dragon just because it's larger, i'd also point out that technically the dragon DOES take less damage because it's one of the highest hit point creatures in the game and thus takes less damage on a percentage basis than weaker creatures. Also, that much damage to a smaller creature IS catastrophic if said creature has less Hit points than the total the poison damage.

    ChroniclerThacoBell
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 153
    I'm not 100% sure that's how hitpoints are supposed to work, but it's a plausible enough explanation here.

    In particular it does mean that it requires more hits (more poison) to feel a dragon than it would to fell a smaller creature.

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 313

    I'm not 100% sure that's how hitpoints are supposed to work, but it's a plausible enough explanation here.

    In particular it does mean that it requires more hits (more poison) to feel a dragon than it would to fell a smaller creature.

    Yes, but that isn't based on the size rather the fact it's a powerful, magical Creature. In fact there's several times in the game where you get to see or fight a Dragon that has shape-shifted into Humanoid form, they maintain their hit points when they do so. A Dwarven Defender Bhaalspawn may well be even tougher at high level, being around 4 ft tall and a fraction of the mass of an Adult Dragon, yet able to shrug off even more poison damage.

    Ultimately it's an abstract set of rules, sometimes they don't make complete sense but it's not really possible to legislate for every eventuality so some things end up being simplified to the point where you end up just accepting it's not perfect.

    Chroniclerrecklessheart
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 153
    Most creatures of that size are pretty powerful. Often magical.

    I get the impression that dragon shapeshifting is a bit more advanced than the polymorph spells the player has access to. They don't give up anything when they change their form like that.

    Notably you can hit them with a Polymorph Other spell, and if they fail their save they will turn into a squirrel. In that case they really do end up with a squirrel's stat scores.

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 313

    Most creatures of that size are pretty powerful. Often magical.

    I get the impression that dragon shapeshifting is a bit more advanced than the polymorph spells the player has access to. They don't give up anything when they change their form like that.

    Notably you can hit them with a Polymorph Other spell, and if they fail their save they will turn into a squirrel. In that case they really do end up with a squirrel's stat scores.

    Well there is a big difference between Polymorph Self and Polymorph Other, even a normal caster retains all their mental faculties and most of the physical (AKA Hit Points) with Poly Self, Poly Other is against the will of the target and designed to be debilitating. Game Lore does tend to paint the ability of Dragons to assume Humanoid form into a separate category though, but for the purposes of this argument (that of poison and physical size) it would seem to be off topic, although interesting.

    Also as a last note on poison i will point out that the BG rulings on Poison are actually simplified quite a lot over the original 2nd Ed rules, which had various forms of poison, all with different damage and effects and with a variety of saving throw modifiers. I actually like the way they implemented it in BG, the original rules were overly complicated.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 153
    I'd imagine if you were playing Pen and Paper the Dungeon Master could also shut it down if you tried anything truly nonsensical too, where in a computer game they can't really program for every eventuality in the same way.

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 313

    I'd imagine if you were playing Pen and Paper the Dungeon Master could also shut it down if you tried anything truly nonsensical too, where in a computer game they can't really program for every eventuality in the same way.

    Yeah, the developers become the DM, but without the ability to react in real time. Technically speaking you should not be able to permanently cripple a Dragon with Polymorph Other, assuming the Dragon was of sufficient Age/Type to have mastered it's ability to change forms it would become a squirrel only until it decided to change form of it's own volition, or the next day if it has run out of daily uses. Again, another slight rules tweak the devs made or perhaps overlooked.

    Chronicler
  • InKalInKal Member Posts: 96
    Dragon have (should have) a special, magical hardened skin, impenetrable by almost any poison (except some special poison distilled from another dragon or something like that) in my opinion.
    and size actually does matter in this case.

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 313
    InKal said:

    Dragon have (should have) a special, magical hardened skin, impenetrable by almost any poison (except some special poison distilled from another dragon or something like that) in my opinion.
    and size actually does matter in this case.

    They do have super-tough, magically hardened scales, that's why their AC is so low, making them hard to damage and therefore apply the poison. The game does have poison immunity as an option, but it hasn't been applied to Dragons (possibly the green from SoD but i am not sure off hand) and that is consistent with the 2nd Edition rules.

    Regarding the poison itself then it's only Assassins and Blackguards that can use poison weapons as an ability, and in both cases the poison potency increases as they get higher level, implying that knowledge leads to greater effectiveness and new recipes or Demonic Gifts.

    Personally i see no reason why a Demon powerful enough to have it's own Blackguard cannot gift said Blackguard with Poison potent enough to damage even a Dragon, since the premise of Demons in AD&D is that they are in a never ending war against the Forces of Good and use all forms of dark magic and knowledge to try and gain the upper hand.

    Assassins are likewise given access to the most virulent poisons by nature of the AD&D Thief Guild system/network that acts much like organised Crime does in the real world. In fact just recently in the UK an ex-Russian Spy was poisoned by what is presumed to be a Russian Assassin. High level assassins in game have access to the equivalent of the CDC labs, which explains their ability to lob a dart at Firkraag and have him twitching like mid-90's Rave dancer.

    ThacoBellronaldo
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,785
    Borek said:


    i'd also point out that technically the dragon DOES take less damage because it's one of the highest hit point creatures in the game and thus takes less damage on a percentage basis than weaker creatures. Also, that much damage to a smaller creature IS catastrophic if said creature has less Hit points than the total the poison damage.

    Yeah but that gets to the point: overall mass compared to the size of a dose matters a lot when it comes to poison. To model this correctly in-game a dragon should have an order if magnitude more hp than a humsn. Like, 1,000 instead of 200.

    Then I would agree that Poison Weapon works just fine against large creatures like dragons and giants.

    booinyoureyes
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,785
    Borek said:

    the premise of Demons in AD&D is that they are in a never ending war against the Forces of Good

    Wait what??

  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 641
    InKal said:

    Dragon have (should have) a special, magical hardened skin, impenetrable by almost any poison (except some special poison distilled from another dragon or something like that) in my opinion.
    and size actually does matter in this case.

    But it's not the poison that you use to penetrate the skin. It's the weapon. If you can hurt a dragon with your sword, then it stands to reason that any poison riding on your blade can be left behind in the wound for additional damage.
    If you can't hurt a dragon with your sword, then the poison should stay outside as well.
    Phrased like this, one could argue that Stoneskins (which OP was circumventing with his tactics) should offer immunity to weapon based poisons (so, not to the cleric spell).

    ThacoBellBorekChroniclerronaldo
  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 313

    Borek said:


    i'd also point out that technically the dragon DOES take less damage because it's one of the highest hit point creatures in the game and thus takes less damage on a percentage basis than weaker creatures. Also, that much damage to a smaller creature IS catastrophic if said creature has less Hit points than the total the poison damage.

    Yeah but that gets to the point: overall mass compared to the size of a dose matters a lot when it comes to poison. To model this correctly in-game a dragon should have an order if magnitude more hp than a humsn. Like, 1,000 instead of 200.

    Then I would agree that Poison Weapon works just fine against large creatures like dragons and giants.
    Well you can take any of the more venomous insects that can kill human or larger animals and easily work out that they are proportionately similar size wise to a Human and a Dragon. Those insects ONLY have access to venom developed naturally over time, just IMAGINE what they could do if they had super-human intellect, Divine/Demonic help PLUS were in a universe where Magic was a "thing"?

    Like i have stated, poison is poison, the most potent will kill ANYTHING regardless of size, why do you think the world has a treaty to ban the use of Biological and Chemical Weapons?

    Minuscule concentrations of nerve agents will kill, standing in a hermetically sealed room with 100% nerve gas is just as deadly as being outside and having a cloud of the stuff (invisible to human eyes) waft over you.

    Of course all poisons have a minimum deadly concentration, and yes all poisons require more to kill something larger, but you are talking micro-grams for a human and perhaps a gram for a huge creature like a Dragon, all perfectly plausible to be applied to a weapon. I will also point out that Venom and Poison are not the same thing, the assumption in game is that because it's called Poison and not Venom, it is in fact either man, or magically, made, rather than simply taken from a venomous creature. This means it can be created to affect a huge variety of targets including Dragons and could have potency far beyond even the most venomous creature.

    Lastly i'll point out that, as i stated before, poison rules in 2nd ed were more complicated, you had multiple forms of poison, some contact poison, some ingested, some aerosol based, all with different effects and saving throws. Only the most potent would actually kill (was literally save at -4 or instantly drop dead, IF you save you take 20 damage).

    ThacoBell
  • SirBatinceSirBatince Member Posts: 723
    it's clear poison weapon should've never been given to blackguard.

    it would have been better on say, a class with 1apr. even the old PW was fine then on the 1apr class.

  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 313

    it's clear poison weapon should've never been given to blackguard.

    it would have been better on say, a class with 1apr. even the old PW was fine then on the 1apr class.

    I dunno, you can technically dual-class an assassin, but you cannot do so with a Blackguard...Assassin > Fighter dual class gives you 5 APR with Poison weapons, at least with blackguard they are limited to 2 pips in weapon profs and not 5, meaning they have to work a bit harder to get 5 APR w/o spells. It's definitely an OP ability, but depends what stage of the game you're at, lets be honest by the time you are deep into TOB a lot of stuff is immune and certainly most of the tough Boss fights (and any undead) will be unaffected.

    Personally i see no problem with using a cloned Dorn to savagely ruin Firkraag via multiple poisonous hits, anyone who doesn't like it can simply not use the strategy, but i commend the OP for pointing out an extremely effective Dragon slaying scheme.

  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,134

    @subtledoctor In terms of weight, insects are way more than 2 orders of magnitude below us, and yet their poisons are still dangerous to us.

    Yes, but an insect's poison would would clearly be more damaging to, say, a miniature giant space hamster than to a human.

    subtledoctor
  • Humanoid_TaifunHumanoid_Taifun Member Posts: 641
    @booinyoureyes Yes, but the miniature giant space hamster having only a single digit worth of HP compared to Minsc's 3 digits worth of HP, I think the poison is more dangerous to Boo than to Minsc.

    BorekThacoBell
  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 313

    Borek said:

    the premise of Demons in AD&D is that they are in a never ending war against the Forces of Good

    Wait what??
    Why do you think there's Angelic races in the game? Angels are the Soldiers of the Good Gods, same as Demons are the soldiers of Evil, most focus on the Inter-factional Demonic War AKA The Blood War, but make no mistake they are constantly fighting Angelic forces.

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 4,962

    @subtledoctor In terms of weight, insects are way more than 2 orders of magnitude below us, and yet their poisons are still dangerous to us.

    Yes, but an insect's poison would would clearly be more damaging to, say, a miniature giant space hamster than to a human.
    While technically true, with many naturally occuring venoms, the difference in lethal doeses is nearly infinitesimal. We're talking a single drop of venom from certain species of viper being strong enough to kill dozens of humans. That's a tiny tiny amount needed just to kill one person. There are stronger poisons in our world.

    Borek
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,785

    Phrased like this, one could argue that Stoneskins (which OP was circumventing with his tactics) should offer immunity to weapon based poisons (so, not to the cleric spell).

    100%. Which is why I always play with a mod that stopd poison going through stoneskins. (And mirror images - how does the poisoned sword infect you if it only hits a hologram??)

    Raduziel
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,785
    edited March 19
    Borek said:


    Well you can take any of the more venomous insects that can kill human or larger animals and easily work out that they are proportionately similar size wise to a Human and a Dragon.

    Dude, Dorn is not a man-sized venemous insect. He's just a jerk who puts poison from actual tiny venemous insects flowers, whatever - onto his sword.
    Borek said:

    Those insects ONLY have access to venom developed naturally over time, just IMAGINE what they could do if they had super-human intellect, Divine/Demonic help PLUS were in a universe where Magic was a "thing"?

    Yeah but then, in this universe, how do dragons - some of the oldest, smartest, most powerful beings around, who tend to be constantly harassed by greedy adventurers for their hoards, not use basic poison protection? So this thread is really just saying that the DM in this game is an idiot...?

    Post edited by subtledoctor on
  • BorekBorek Member Posts: 313

    Borek said:


    Well you can take any of the more venomous insects that can kill human or larger animals and easily work out that they are proportionately similar size wise to a Human and a Dragon.

    Dude, Dorn is not a man-sized venemous insect. He's just a jerk who puts poison from actual tiny venemous insects onto his sword.
    Borek said:

    Those insects ONLY have access to venom developed naturally over time, just IMAGINE what they could do if they had super-human intellect, Divine/Demonic help PLUS were in a universe where Magic was a "thing"?

    Yeah but then, in this universe, how do dragons - some of the oldest, smartest, most powerful beings around, who tend to be constantly harassed by greedy adventurers for their hoards, not use basic poison protection? So this thread is really just saying that the DM in this game is an idiot...?
    No, he doesn't use VENOM he uses POISON, 1 is naturally produced, 1 is not, so no he doesn't get it from insects, at least not without some processing involved which would seem unlikely given Dorn's not known for his Bio-chemistry Phd lol.

    Well, remember there's only 2 classes in the game that can actually use poisoned weapons, 1 is a Blackguard, the other an Assassin, neither particularly known for attacking Dragons nor traditionally even travelling as part of a group. On top of that some Dragons can combat Poison, i believe Adalon will cure poison if she gets infected, but as you have no doubt noticed Dragons will usually have 1 immunity related to their colour.

    Why can you poison Firkraag? He's immune to Fire as a Red dragon and if you looked in the source books for 2nd Edition Dragons it would actually state they gain increased abilities as they get older, this includes inate abilities plus spell casting, usually Wizard spells but some even gain Priest spells as well.

    In 2nd Edition as a pen and paper game then a Red dragon as old as Firkraag *seems* to be at LEAST classified as "Adult", likely older than that, that would mean he has several advantages when it comes to fighting poison, 1st he can Polymorph self as an inate ability, meaning he'd just shift into something with natural poison immunity to negate it then shift back or into something else, but that assumes he considered the party a threat, which is probably unlikely given their immense pride.

    He'd also have amassed a large hoard of treasure, there's a small chance he could have found something that gives poison immunity but unlikely, however it's something often overlooked by DM's. I always told my players when i DM'd they could have anything they wanted for items, BUT the drawback was they had to kill someone/thing who was using it against them 1st...Strangely enough they stopped asking for Vorpal Swords all the time after 4 out of 5 got their heads lopped off and the 5th had to empty the bag of holding to the local priest to get them back up again lol. Anyway i digress, short answer is yes, the game is simplified to make it work as a computer game and on top of that not every DM will deal with situations the same way, but ultimately a Dragons power is diminished quite substantially in the game because you simply cannot apply the full scope of an Older dragons experience and intellect given the coding restrictions.

    Short version is yes i agree Firkraag *should* have at least 1 way to make himself immune to poison, but the only way they could do it in game would be via an immunity, which isn't really accurate. I would argue that it's feasible to explain it away by stating he simply had previously used his Polymorph Self abilities for the day, perhaps spying on the Party for his amusement, so when the fight happens his immense Ego has him convinced he's so powerful the party is no challenge and being rekt by a Cloned Dorn with poisoned weapons is so unexpected he fails to realise before it's too late.

    ThacoBellronaldo
  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 153

    it's clear poison weapon should've never been given to blackguard.

    it would have been better on say, a class with 1apr. even the old PW was fine then on the 1apr class.

    The poison weapon ability can only infect any target once per round, so APR doesn't matter.

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