Question / Discussion about Delay Poison

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Ancalagon
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Question / Discussion about Delay Poison

Post by Ancalagon »

Some of my players have been discussing the Delay Poison spell during the last couple of sessions. I'm running them through the lower reaches of The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan which contains "bad air" i.e. poison gas. The gas causes d6 damage every 15 minutes to every person without some means of protection against the poison. Once the party realized they were breathing poisonous air, the party wizard popped his potion of delay poison.

Per the Delay Poison spell description from the 7th printing of the PHB:

The caster imbues one subject with immunity to poison. Any poison in the subject’s system, or any poison the subject is exposed to during the spell’s duration, does not affect the subject until the spell has expired. Delay poison does not cure any damage that poison may have already done.

All of the players interpreted the spell to provide immunity from poison gas while the potion operates. A few players contend that during the time the potion is in effect, the wizard is still being exposed to the poison by breathing and when the potion wears off, the hours of poison exposure the wizard had by breathing while they were searching for a way out will hit the wizard like an avalanche of hit point damage.

I've not announced a ruling on this at the table as its the first time the party has utilized Delay Posion, the potion is still active, and their characters have no prior experience with it. I like to keep the tension ratcheted up. 8-)

How do you interpret Delay Poison? Is the wizard immune to the gas until the potion wears off then will begin taking d6 damage every 15 minutes OR will the hours of gas exposure catch up to the wizard with a massive hit point loss when the potion expires?

Thanks!
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Go0gleplex
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Re: Question / Discussion about Delay Poison

Post by Go0gleplex »

Only experience I have with it is under 2e AD&D rules.

However, as I read the above description; the poison air damage between the time of initial exposure and the Delay Poison imbibing would be waiting to slam the PC. Any exposure after that, since it states that the poison does not affect the one under the Delay Poison effects, until the time of expiration would be nullified; with the previous damage/exposure taking up where it had left off at the start of the Delay Poison effect.

edit: To clarify- The wizard has been exposed to the poison for 25 minutes. They suffer the first 15 min. d6 damage which clues them in to the bad effects. They take their Delay Poison 10 minutes into the next amount of exposure time which pauses that amount of build-up and prevents further exposure effects for the duration. Once the duration of the Delay Poison has expired; their next d6 damage from exposure hits them 5 minutes afterwards rather than 15, the prior 10 minutes of exposure effects having been delayed by the potion but not negated since it is not a Neutralize Poison.
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Rhuvein
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Re: Question / Discussion about Delay Poison

Post by Rhuvein »

I would rule that the wizard is immune until the potion wears off with NO avalanche effect ~ otherwise, the spell is mostly worthless.

:)
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Captain_K
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Re: Question / Discussion about Delay Poison

Post by Captain_K »

if it all hits later it would be call "delay death". Delay poison is a wonky spell sometimes of little value.
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Re: Question / Discussion about Delay Poison

Post by Rigon »

Rhuvein wrote:I would rule that the wizard is immune until the potion wears off with NO avalanche effect ~ otherwise, the spell is mostly worthless.

:)
That's how I would rule.

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Go0gleplex
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Re: Question / Discussion about Delay Poison

Post by Go0gleplex »

The original intent of the spell from wAAAAaaay back when, was to delay the onset of the damage and status debuffs (to use a term) hopefully allowing the poisoned person(s) to reach help or apply treatment. Not actually nullify the damage and debuffs in and of itself, all of which would have hit after the spell expired without any adequate treatment (usually either allowing another saving throw for non-magical type stuff or out and out curing the poison itself). Since many poisons have a fast onset time, yeah, overall the spell isn't highly useful most of the time. But I'm sure there are moments when it can be that thin line between survival and daisy-chow. :D
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Re: Question / Discussion about Delay Poison

Post by Traveller »

Simply for bookkeeping reasons as the CK I would ding the imbiber of the potion when the next interval comes up after the potion's effect ends. Otherwise I have to keep track of everyone individually, which would be a pain. While the potion is in effect of course there is no damage.

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Ancalagon
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Re: Question / Discussion about Delay Poison

Post by Ancalagon »

Thanks for the feedback!
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