D&D 5E Vengeance Paladin/Assassin Poison Use

Ecthellien

First Post
By any means necessary ...This being one of the oaths for a Vengeance Paladin, I'm wondering if the usual prohibition against poison use applies to the subclass. Am currently building a Paladin/Assassin and, reading up on poisons in the DMG, found a short description stating that poison was used by drow, various unsavory types, and other evil creatures. So would use of poison by a Vengeance Paladin be considered evil?

I always found the labeling of poison as evil a little odd considering that various animals use poison innately, the benevolent couatal has traditionally used poison, poison spells are pretty common (stinking cloud, cloudkill etc) and the fact that poison is just another way to kill something (dying by burning in a fireball would probably be at least as painful and horrific if not moreso than dying by certain poisons).

Poison is typically associated with underhanded activity like poisoning a person's food or deceitfully applying poison to a sword during an honorable duel. But what about poison use in direct, open warfare against evil foes, or poison used to incapacitate a criminal you're trying to apprehend or, better yet, poison used to knock out a combatant you don't wish to kill?

This last question brings me to drow poison. If drow poison is used, as it is by drow, to incapacitate foes that are later to be killed or sold into slavery, then the act is certainly malicious. However, if drow poison, or something like it, is used to incapacitate a foe whom you feel you accidentally provoked, or someone you otherwise do not wish to kill, want to negotiate with, or perhaps even wish to befriend in the future, wouldn't use of sleep poison be more benevolent than simply hacking the person/thing to pieces with swords and axes?

In any case, the potential non lethal use of sleep poison aside, against terrible foes and evil villians, would a Vengeance Paladin consider it an evil act to use poison? Admittedly, this is outside the typical flavor of a paladin. But my sense is that the new vengeance variety is the gritty, vigilante type. One who'll tend to use whatever it takes to bring down the bad guys, even if it causes others to call the paladin's methods into question.
 
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jaelis

Oh this is where the title goes?
The DMG suggests that poison use is illegal in most societies. But PCs do all kind of things that are illegal already, that's a RP hook not a prohibition :)

Nothing to me in the VP code suggests poison use would be outlawed, but if you as a DM don't want poison in your game, just say it isn't available. If you're wondering whether to allow it, I'd say sure. The more RP hooks the better :)
 


By any means necessary ...This being one of the oaths for a Vengeance Paladin, I'm wondering if the usual prohibition against poison use applies to the subclass.

Dude, seeing as you can freely play a LE Vengance Paladin who engages in genocide, torture, murder, ethnic cleansing and worse, I dont think poison is an issue at all.
 

indemnity

First Post
If drow poison is used, as it is by drow, to incapacitate foes that are later to be killed or sold into slavery, then the act is certainly malicious. However...to incapacitate a foe...

If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

The excuse of "The Greater Good" really covers everything. One little "evil" action to remove a big "evil" is good, right? You might have saved many lives with that tiny bit of "evil".

Sleep poisons, especially darts, are a common trope for lazy writers needing the good guys to use guns. Would you bash a wild animal unconscious or subdue it with magic/tranquilizer (AKA poison)

And isn't people poison similar to using acid/fire on trolls to stop regen? Both elemental effects, both on living creatures.
 


C-F-K

First Post
I can't see why a poison to put someone in sleep be considered evil, and the sleep spell not.
Bashing someone's head in with a hammer is good while pricking him with a sleep-poison coated dagger isn't? It's mostly what you do afterwards is what makes a person evil or not.
And a poison that does some extra damage, why is that so evil compared to a magical sword that does extra damage to all it hits?

What IS evil though, is poisoning a pot of food without knowing EXACTLY who will eat it.

Ok, Midnight Tears is very evil though...
 

Al2O3

Explorer
What usual prohibition against poison? Unless other oaths have specific tenets against poison the use of it is as allowed as for any rogue with the assassin subclass.

Nothing in the Oath makes a thing more it less evil. However, the Oath might make something evil more or less allowed.

For an Avenger I can probably imagine cases when NOT using poison would be against the Oath. For a Vengeance Paladin/assassin I would say poison should be encouraged when practical. Getting kicked out of town, imprisoned or killed for possession of poison is not practical.
 

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