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Anyone else find Slow Poison to be rather useless?

ashingdaashingda Member Posts: 29
This does the intended job however most of the time it is the caster who is using it on themselves thus lies the problem, it's not reliable!

A lot of the poison dished out by encounters are fast acting ones so interruptions are very high and some even deals out great amount of damage so the sooner it's cured the better. This spell becomes useless because you can just drink an antidote and rid yourself of all the hassle, heck you don't even have to wait for the cleric to waltz on over, just pass that potion bottle over and cure it instantly and without any chance of failure.

The only advantage Slow Poison has is that you can use it on incapacitated targets but even then it's better to cure their status ailment then have them down an antidote instead. I have a party with multiple characters that has slow poison readily available and I opt out to use antidotes every single time, this is a ridiculous waste of an ability/spell.

Because of the nature of how damage works in this game, the rate of poison tics, and the sheer amount it's encountered throughout the game the casting speed of this spell should be reduced to 0. It's really no different compared to a speed of 1 and it becomes greatly more reliable.

Antidotes has it's own advantages, allowing anyone without the ability/spell to cure themselves and also can be used while silenced. However as it is right now, even if you have the ability/spell it's still clearly the better option.

If anyone played solo, you'll see how useless Slow Poison is. Even if you gain this ability from the chapters or if classed as a cleric and has this memorized, you will never really want to use this to combat against poison as one failed attempt can end your game.


  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,350
    Sounds like it's more an issue with your playstyle than the spell itself.

    If you're using your sole priest as your sole tank then of course they'll be the first to get poisoned.

    Worth noting though that if your reputation is above 10, and you have a well rounded group, you should have a couple slow poisons on your player character in addition to your priest. So they can slow eachother's poison in a pinch.

    Unless of course your player character is your sole priest, sole tank. In that case you're back to square one I guess.

  • ashingdaashingda Member Posts: 29
    My party consist of 2 fighters, 1 mage, and 3 clerics so we have plenty of Slow Poisons as my charname has 2 extra Slow Poisons on top of the 3 clerics. My issue is that the ability never finds a use because it's way more efficient to use an antidote instead.

    My charname is always in the front line and even with 2 innate Slow Poisons I will not use it in fear that it'll fail and I'll have to wait a whole turn to attempt to cure it again. I have the option to walk my cleric over and cast the spell but that would break the formation and they'll have to wait another turn to act again whereas I can just down an antidote and they can proceed with an attack spell or cast a wand.

    What's the point of having the ability but never want to use it? It's just there taking up space, you can remove the ability/spell from the game and it'll make little to no difference. Also because it's a 2nd level spell and the innate version is acquired so late in the chapter by the time you have access to it you should have already bought yourself some antidotes and render it useless.

    I suppose you are right @Chronicler , it may largely be because of my playstyle and I also mostly play in the harder modes where these smaller steps has greater impact. I don't hate the spell by any means, I want to use it very much but there's no window of opportunity to use it effectively.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,350
    Not sure what you're talking about with the caster always being the one to get poisoned then.

    Of course potions are more efficient though. Consumables are always more efficient. There's no real reason to cast fireball instead of using an oil of fiery burning beyond the fact that oils are finite and spell slots are renewable.

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,350
    Why use an antidote and not an elixir of health for that matter? If you play your cards right there are enough elixirs of health to get you through the whole game, and by the end of the game the cost will be negligible.

  • ashingdaashingda Member Posts: 29
    edited July 2018
    "Not sure what you're talking about with the caster always being the one to get poisoned then."

    That's because my charname gets poisoned the most. Every little bow users we encounter has a potential to poison on hit and they come in large numbers so them striking a natural 20 is likely and thus poison. Upon poison I would like to use Slow Poison but it's unreliable so I use the antidote every time.

    If a cleric eats a stray arrow and gets poisoned I'd rather they take an antidote instead, often times they are spread apart, holding formation, on a cool down, or have their own set of problems.

    The item variant is widely accessible, cheap, stackable, and free of interruptions. When both the spell and item are readily available, the item is always the better choice and in nearly all the scenarios. The reason is that Slow Poison can be interrupted by the very same thing it's design to cure and also when you need to use it on an ally, it's better if they just drink the antidote instead.

    I just cant find a reason to use the spell version, there's no real benefit to do so.

    "Of course potions are more efficient though. Consumables are always more efficient. There's no real reason to cast fireball instead of using an oil of fiery burning beyond the fact that oils are finite and spell slots are renewable."

    Very true, I collect and heavily use mentioned items :). The difference is that these spell versions are not useless like Slow Poison and I'm more incline to using the spells first mainly because it's renewable.

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,716
    Slow Poison is a life-saver. Literally.

    You can avoid the disrupt if you time your casting right.

    I'm really surprised that someone badmouths Slow Poison, to be honest.

  • ashingdaashingda Member Posts: 29
    LOL that's because if you time it wrong, it's potentially a game over. On the other hand antidote is 100%, the real life-saver. It's also much harder to time it at 60 fps.

  • ashingdaashingda Member Posts: 29
    That makes a lot of sense now, I had always wonder why it's called slow poison and not cure poison. So if you only slow it how do you eventually cure it?

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 4,716
    With the correct antidote, Neutralize Poison or Heal.

  • OlvynChuruOlvynChuru Member Posts: 2,820
    edited July 2018
    kjeron said:

    It' also a result of the disconnect between PnP and the games.
    PnP poisons don't deal damage over time. After a certain amount of time (most are 30min or less), they deal a single large amount of damage, or they outright kill you, leave you paralyzed for several hours, or debilitated for a couple of days.

    The poison from a Green Slime in Baldur's Gate works this way. After a few rounds it just kills you.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 7,009
    ashingda said:

    LOL that's because if you time it wrong, it's potentially a game over. On the other hand antidote is 100%, the real life-saver. It's also much harder to time it at 60 fps.

    I agree that, for most poisons, there is a good chance that an attempt to use slow poison will fail. In my case I don't allow the use of antidotes or healing potions and many's the time I've died to poison as a result. Occasionally slow poison does prove useful, but putting yourself in a position to travel to another area before the poison kills you is a more reliable method of curing yourself (resting also works, but in most cases you've got the risk of being ambushed if you try that).

  • Yann1989Yann1989 Member Posts: 92
    Slow Poison is absolutely great and life-saving in Cloakwood, but you should have a cleric able to cast a spell. If you have your cleric on the frontline then you should have a backup

  • GreenWarlockGreenWarlock Member Posts: 1,354

    The poison mechanics need a big overhaul. Kind of like the way Spell Revisions treats petrification: status effects for a while (weakness, nausea, whatever), and successive saving throws over time which, if you fail them, desl damage and could lead to death. Slow Poison could stop the poison from progressing to death, but leave the status effects. Neutralize Poison and Heal would cure all the effects entirely.

    The problem is that early areas of the game, notably cloak wood, are balanced around the current slow poison mechanic, and could become both tedious and deadly if this were changed. Similarly, the Bhaalspawn powers you pick up negotiating cloak wood.

    The contrary is wondering what purpose neutralize poison serves at two spell levels higher, when slow poison effects a cure. But I still think it is too late to change a mechanic that is key to easy chapters of the first game.

    For the original poster: I find slow poison to be incredibly useful and frequently a life saver, especially when curing others. It may not be as reliable as potions, but it is a renewable resource, so still a vital tool in my armory. Also, the (N)PC ability appears to trigger much more quickly than casting a spell, which also partially addresses your concern.

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,644
    edited July 2018
    I agree with the OP. I only ever use the spell if I run out of antidotes/elixirs of health, and I keep at least two of those on every party member at all times from the moment I can afford them.

    I very occasionally use the spell very, very early in the game, before I have the money for the potions. But I won't even go against the spiders of Beregost without at least two antidotes and a Sleep spell ready to go.

    The trouble with the spell, as has been stated, is that way too much can go wrong trying to get it cast in time. Not only is the poison likely to tick before the spell if you're trying to cast it on yourself, but also if a caster is trying to get to you, they can get blocked by positioning and pathfinding, and unable to get to you in time. They also open themselves up to attack if they had been trying to stay in the back line. And if they already cast a spell on the round you were poisoned, it will be the next round before they can cast again. And then they can be interrupted by an attack when they try to cast it on the next round.

    By that time, especially with a poison as strong as wyvern poison, the victim is highly likely to be dead. If it's Charname in a no-reload, it's a game over.

  • Yann1989Yann1989 Member Posts: 92
    It's fine, nearly everything in Baldur's Gate can be considered "op" (mindflayers, beholders, demons, liches), it forces you to elaborate a strategy

  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 12,220
    I think a good question is, why is your sole caster of slow poison on the front line?

  • MonotremataMonotremata Member Posts: 78
    I don't ever use it.. The few times I needed to, I ran into the same scenario as you. Either the poison was just too quick and did too much damage already, or the character happens to finish a really tough battle where he took a lot of damage and gets poisoned at the very end. Stuff like that, and they still died every time heh. I just keep a handy supply of them green bottles on hand instead. Every character has at least a couple in their quick items just in case. Sometimes in combat, it gets pretty busy in the console and you can miss when someone gets poisoned until you notice they've started taking damage from it already.

  • DhariusDharius Member Posts: 486
    edited July 2018
    I found Slow Poison to be incredibly useful in both BG1 and BG2, used by back-up characters like Jaheira, Branwen, Viconia or the main PC as a spell or Bhaalspawn ability.

    I use the pause button a lot in combat, so poisons are never too fast for lightning reflexes like mine :)

    Having said that, Antidotes and Health Elixirs are also nice.

    And yes the spell appears to cure poisons, rather than slow their effects down??

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,350
    It's also worth noting that if you have a druid in the party, second level spell slots aren't exactly a precious resource. Not like you're missing out on all these other cool things you could be doing in your effort to save antidotes.

  • Yulaw9460Yulaw9460 Member Posts: 634
    edited November 2018

    Post edited by Yulaw9460 on
  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,811
    i never use antidotes and elixirs in BG1 since i play gold piece runs, so slow poison is a god send, plus i usually only play with one cleric who is never on the front lines, so i never have problems with it, in fact the first pair of boots of speed i find in BG1 i always give to the cleric first, so then when someone gets damaged or poisoned my cleric will zip right on over to the afflicted character

    plus with my scripts my main character and clerics cast slow poison quite effectively, although maybe once out of 20 or 30 times, i need to throw the odd antidote in there ( if i have one ) but other than that, slow poison gets the job done

    its one of my MVS spells of the level 2 divine class, with hold person being number 1

  • ChroniclerChronicler Member Posts: 1,350
    What's a gold piece run?

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 7,189
    I find the Bhaalspawn slow poison very useful with its near instant spellcasting time. The actual cleric spell, not so much. I'd rather have silence or hold person memorized. I must admit, the freebie from Dynaheir is handy though at times.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 5,811

    What's a gold piece run?

    a gold piece run is when i try and accumulate as much GP the time i hit Sarevok in the undercity without uses exploits or farming

    its the only way i can play BG, if i dont do this, then i just cant play the game, don't know why, perhaps OCD? i think my best so far is around 670 000 GP, i would need to hit a very lucky run with lots of laerel's tear necklaces to hit 700 000 i think

  • Yulaw9460Yulaw9460 Member Posts: 634
    edited November 2018

    Post edited by Yulaw9460 on
  • DordledumDordledum Member Posts: 243
    I actually quite like the spell. I don't want to spend my hardearned cash on one use items if I don't have to. I just make sure that I have multiple characters who can cast it and/or equip those with antidotes. If the healer goes, the party goes.

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