Poison bottle

Toxic substances are often marked with a skull and a set of crossed bones.

This page serves as a guide to proper use of poison and toxic substances, specifically as it applies to role-playing on World 42. Any valuable contributors are welcome to add, especially as new content is released in-game.

The basic concept of Poison

To use derisive and toxic substances to cause physical or mental harm to the target. On the core level this means giving your target any form of toxic substance. As your experience with poison grows, so will your selection of poisons and the variety of situations to apply them in.

Offensive methods of using Poison

The ways to apply Poison to an opponent are really only limited by the player's own creativity. We have here compiled a few of the more popular methods of poisoning your enemies.

Poisoned Weapons

A selection of weapons one may poison, along with slight guidelines.

  • Daggers: The most common poisoned weapon, mainly used by assassins in their quest to silently dehume a target without being noticed.
  • Swords: Rather uncommon to poison, yet it may give you a definite advantage if you choose a quick, deadly poison. Typically this won't work though, as sizable wounds made with a blade bleed too much, evacuating the poison.
  • Arrows: Often utilized by assassins, it serves as a means to finish off a target even if you should miss a more vital place on the body.
  • Bolts: Very rarely used, as the effort is not really worth it: bolts often fail to pierce the target's skin, bouncing off armor. In other words, if you hit someone with a crossbow bolt, he will die anyway, even without poison.
  • Rings: Inset with a poisoned spike it may be used in an unarmed brawl as a means of defeating thine enemies.
  • Magic: There are several magic spells designed to poison, the most commonly used one being smoke magic.
  • In addition to these, any weapon which is expected to come into contact with the circulatory system, which includes most weapons from slashstab, bow, light or heavy thrown, and crossbow combat styles can be poisoned to give the user an edge in a conflict. However, with weapons not designed to directly puncture into a victim, the risk of the user ending up ingesting poison from his own weapon increases.

Poisoned Food

Rather self-explanatory, almost all food is either poisonable or deadly in its own right, if you have the right quantity. Therefore, this is not only a guide on food to poison, but also how to do it.

When poisoning food, always remember to use a tasteless, scentless poison.

  • Poisoning water: when doing this, remember to use a clear poison so as not to cause any changes in the water color.
  • Any other poisoned drink: Keeping to the no taste, no scent formula, you will have no problem. Make sure nobody notices you while you apply the poison to the beverage.
  • Poisoning food: Is easier to do if you are the one preparing the food, or are left alone with the food. The main part, as often, is to ensure you are not observed while applying the poison.

Methods of applying poison to food:

  • Most preferable is if you have a small vial which you may discreetly empty into the target's food and/or drink. Make sure noone sees you doing this, or that they do not tell anyone if they do. This method is best used if sitting next to the target by a table. With this method, utilize a quickly working poison.
  • Impersonate a cooking servant if the target victim has hired such a workforce. If poison can be applied during the cooking or serving process, less suspicious activity is required. 

Other applications of poison

A selection of situations you might want to utilize poisons in.

  • Assassin's last escape: Assassins commonly keep a capsule of poison in their mouth in the eventuality of a capture. This enables them a quick, mostly painless death instead of a drawn-out torture.
  • Cretin death: Many people use poison to keep rats and other bugs at bay in their home. However, they do not always realize that what is poison to rats can be poison to humanoids, too.
  • Poison air: By making the air in a room slightly toxic, it is possible to make a target very sick. This method is rather complicated to make, easy to defend against and altogether not very effective.


  • The use of slow-working poisons which take longer periods of time to take full effect gives a poisoner more time to distance himself from the victim, makes the moment of poison intake less clear, and often allows the victim to initially brush off symptoms as common ailments.
  • Combination poisons are helpful for food-based application when the target victim has tasters that check his foods for poison beforehand. This requires more work, but such victims usually have multiple servants, and if one were to use two docile substances that only become toxic when consumed in tandem, food could slip past an individual's tasters and only take effect when he eats his green beans with his steak.
  • It is always advisable for a poison-user to also carry a relevant form of antidote; it's a good idea to plan for a scenario where the poison goes wrong and the user somehow ends up ingesting it himself, whether it be by a knick from his own sword or somehow needing to eat some of the poisoned food himself.

Defending against Poison

Defending against poison is primarily a job of ensuring that you do not get poisoned in the first place. However, there are still ways to prevent death by poison.

Preemptive Measures

As Poison can be applied in extremely many different ways, this can be a rather hard task. Common ways to fend off possible poisoning include:

  • Food tasters: A way to prevent being poisoned by food by enlisting a servant to taste your food before you. If no major change occurs, you may assume that the food is at least devoid of quickly working poison.
  • Ensure your servants (if you have any) are trustworthy. This will stall potential assassins from sneaking in disguised as servants to poison your food. If you do not have any servants but fear a potential assault by poison, make sure your food is never left alone.
  • Make sure you are not hit by any sort of poisoned weapon, preferably by not entering combat at all.

Active Antidotes

If, despite all caution, you should find yourself poisoned, there are a number of ways to heal yourself again.

  • Antipoison: Brewed either against poison in general or against a specific poison. 
  • Lunar Magic: Will cure mostly any poison. However, it requires the knowledge of Lunar Magics and appropriate runes.

List of Known Poisons

Weapon poison (varying degrees)

  • How to make it: Most often, these are combination poisons that become toxic when a certain kind of herb is stewed in the presence of another specific substance. Certain (often more rare and expensive) combinations are more deadly than others. The most common way to create this poison is to mix the ingredients in a vial and create a paste.
  • How to apply it: The most common way to use this kind of poison is to smear it on a weapon with a sharp edge and wound the enemy such that the paste gets into that victim's bloodstream.
  • Effects: The victim experiences a gradual break-down of bodily functions, starting with varying symptoms like weakness, shaking, aching, or cold sweat, and building up to vital organ failure. A strong enough victim might be able to outlast a weaker dose of this poison by getting bed rest and letting his kidneys filter out the toxic waste.

Nightsoil (Feces)

  • How to make it: Natural processes. (In goes the food...)
  • How to apply it: It is usually used on arrows, as a common, and cheap, assassination tool. It's also been known to be used on spears, especially in traps.
  • Effects: Pain, fever, rapid heartbeat, and rapid breathing. Eventual systematic collapse of body systems.


  • How to make it: It can be isolated by heating with soap, to get the stand-alone element.
  • How to apply it: A Liquid. Odorless, and tasteless, its use by the Borgia in dark coloured wine eventually reached legendary as their preffered form of killing. It is also used in wood, as a way to protect it from insects and animals.
  • Effects: Headaches, confusion, severe diarrhea, drowsiness. White spots on the nails occur as the poison develops. When it is truely noticeable, vomitting and blood in urine occur. Soon after this state, the afflicted enters a coma, ultimately ending in death.


  • How to make it: It comes from the Monkshood (Wolfsbane) plant's leaves.
  • How to apply it: Arrows, needles, or ingestion are all viable forms of poisoning.
  • Effects:  20 - 40 ml will cause death within six hours.  Initial signs of nausea, vomitting, and diarrhea occur soon after poisoning.  Burning, tingling, or numbness sensations around the face or lower abdomin follow.  In strong doses, muscles are weakened, and the tingling spreads to the limbs quickly.  Low heart rate, low blood pressure, and strange heart rate in general.  Sweating, dizziness, headache, confusion, and difficulty breathing may occur.  The main reasons someone would die from this, is heart paralysis, or off-track heart-rate and respiratory issues.  The main sign visible after death, is a low amount of oxygen in the blood.  Also worth noting, is the plant "Wolfsbane" is said to be magical in repelling Werewolves.  Werewolf roleplayers should be aware, the poison may affect them faster, and stronger than in humans.

Belladonna (Nightshade)

  • How to make it: It grows naturally on Belladonna leaves, within the oil on them.
  • How to apply it: Either rubbing the leaf onto the skin (As used in cosmetics) or making it into a paste through grinding it, and adding water.
  • Effects: These leaves cause a blushing effect, commonly used in cosmetics during the Medieval times by peasants.  They also cause vivid hallucinations, being used as a recreational drug in some cases.  Nightshade can lead to dry mouth, a very slow, or very rapid pulse, a shortness of breath, shock of the heart, and paralysis.  The body will be covered in sweat during this experience.  Diarrhea and vomitting are also possibilities.

Hemlock Juices

  • How to make it: The Juice is pressed and made by boiling the roots of Hemlock trees.
  • How to apply it: It's a fairly viscous liquid, unable to be effectively used on arrows.  It must be injected or ingested.
  • Effects: Hemlock acts as a paralytic, keeping the mind awake, but shuts down the muscles and then the lungs.  One cup of Juice is sometimes not enough to kill, but it is a painful demise.

Poison (Rat poison, possibly)

  • How to make it: There are different types of rat poison, ranging from overdosing the vermin with vitamin D, depleting it from vitamin K, paste solutions, or most likely in the age of Runescape: Poisonous plants. Oleander could be a good choice to keep rats away from your estate as it is poisonous in all it's parts, when consumed in high amounts. Other plants such as the strychnine tree also contain toxic compounds such as strychnine and brucine.
  • How to apply it: Strychnine may be injected, inhaled or orally intaken into the body, oleandrin (the toxic compound in oleander) must be introduced orally to the body, both toxics are intensely bitter.
  • Effects: Strychnine may cause severe nausea, vomiting, convulsions of all muscle groups, spasms of facial muscles, dilated pupils, priminent eye balls, frothing at the mouth, loss of consciousness, immense reflex sensitivity, death due to asphyxiation caused by muscle spasms (usually after 1-2 hours). Oleandrin symptoms include nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting, salivation and diarrhea (may contain blood). After this the heart may be affected by tachyarrhythmia, bradyarrhythmia, premature ventricular contractions, or atrioventricular blockage along with yellow vision, a burning sensation of the eyes, gastrointestinal tract and respiratory paralysis can occur. Otherwise there can be drowsiness, tremors, shaking of the muscles, seizures, collapse and ultimately coma that can lead to death.

Karambwan Poison

  • How to make it: When a karambwan octopus is only partially cooked, it becomes poisonous on a very dangerously potent level. It can be eaten this way, and can also be ground up into a paste, often with a pestle and mortar but any grinding process should be sufficient. 
  • How to apply it: An undercooked karambwan is poisonous to eat, but more often this poison is used by smearing paste onto a weapon - most often a spear - and piercing into the victim with the poisoned weapon to infect that victim's bloodstream.
  • Effects: To consume a poisonous karambwan octopus will cause, initially, pain upon consumption, and following digestive discomfort, but alone it is usually not strong enough to be fatal to a healthy adult. The paste, however, when exposed to the victim's bloodstream will produce symptoms similar to typical weapon poisons, and is generally mid- to high-strength in comparison. It is said in the Twai Bo Wannai Trio quest that it prevents wounds from healing, perhaps acting as an anti-coagulent as well as a poison.

Various animal venoms

  • How to make it: 
  • How to apply it:
  • Effects:

Poison Ivy

  • How to make it: 
  • How to apply it:
  • Effects:

Cleaning Poison (from Poison Salesman in the quest Murder Mystery)

  • How to make it: Bought from the Poison Salesman
  • How to apply it:
  • Effects: ???

Cave Nightshade

  • How to make it: Cave nightshade is found in the Feldip Hills Skavid Caves. It is a rather rare and very potent poison, especially if ingested. The progress is quite easy; after obtaining one of the flowers, grind it or add it to a vial of water. The first method will result in a slightly sickly-sweet powder that is deadly in doses above a tablespoon; other foods dilute the effect. The second method results in a weapon poison, the effects of which have been described earlier. The rest of this section will focus on the powder/unrefined form.
  • How to apply it: Cave Nightshade powder is easy to mix into drinks, which therefore are the most preferred way of applying it. However, any other mix ending with the target ingesting the poison will have a similar effect.
  • Effects: Depending on the amount of poison and the percentage of dilution, this poisons effect range from diarrhea to death within three hours (only for high amounts of poison).

Warring Flower

  • How to make it: Warring Flowers grow only in Freneskae. Their roots contain one of the most versatile poisons known to Mahjarrat. To produce the poison, one has to grind the flowers to a paste, a process that can take several hours. The paste is then left outside until struck by lightning. This will energize the remains and leave a porous substance (which will crumble to dust when touched). This is the finished poison, ready to be applied.
  • How to apply it: As powder, it may be compressed into pills (not advised), mixed into drinks or, if you have large amounts, be mixed into the air with wind magic.
  • Effects: Dependant on the dosage, Warring Flower poison is able to kill an average adult mahjarrat within two or three hours. In very small doses it may dull pain and/or cause hallucinations of strange, pastel-colored things, such as pink elephants.

Cadava Berries

  • How to make it: Cadava berries grow naturally in the northern regions of Misthalin, particularly around the outskirts of Varrock, and are highly poisonous. However, cadava seeds can be taken and planted in any farming patch in Gielinor. It is usually ground into a thin paste and then diluted down until it is liquid.
  • How to apply it: Cadava is placed on needles for non-lethal attacks but ingestion is also a viable form of poisoning.
  • Effects: When used in needles, cadava berries act as a very strong sedative. If the poison is used in small dosages, the victim becomes drowsy and tired. Reaction time is slowed. When used in medium sized dosages it induces unconsciousness. In strong dosages, death is common. Ingestion works in nearly the same way but the effects of the poison are slowed.

Mushrooms And Fungi

  • How to obtain: Mushrooms and other fungi grow in various places across Gielinor, while many are poisonous some are not, be sure to check which fungus it is specifically before you go to the trouble of obtaining it. Morytania often holds a horde of toxic mushrooms in the swamps. Alternitively, they can be grown, but raising fungi is considered difficult, as the organisms require many special cares involving fertilizing, dampness, temperature, and limited light exposure.
  • How to apply it: Many can be disguised as simple food dishes, as non poisonous types are often considered a delicacy. Most kinds require ingestion in order to take effect, or as simple as making contact with the mouth. Some can simply be rubbed on various foods and the toxins will transmit from the fungus to the edibles. Keep in mind that sometimes only portions of the mushroom are toxic, the cap of the mushroom being the section causing death, the stalk being a curer, and vice versa.
  • Effects: Fungi comes with varying effects; some are instant death, others hallucinogens, some causing paralysis, and some can even cure other poisons.


  • Rose Hip

    Rose hips, a natural source of cyanide (in the seeds, the flesh is good for culinary use).

    How to make it: Cyanide can be extracted from a wide variety of plants, although in the modern day, it is usaually synthesised. One type of plant from which cyanide can be extracted is the rose hip.
  • How to apply it: Cyanide is best used by lacing it in the target's food or drink. There is a slight smell of bitter almonds, so you could cover this by serving it in almond liquer (amaretto) or in an almond based foodstuff. It can also be used in pill form to commit suicide.
  • Effects: Cyanide inhibits the enzymes of the body, causing the body to be unable to respire, effectively asphyxiating the target. Effects are rapid and it is highly unlikely you will be able to administer an effective antidote fast enough.

List of known Antidotes and where to find them

  • Antipoison (varying degrees)
  • Lunar magic spells
  • Specific antidotes.
  • (Please contribute!)

Common mistakes

  • Poisons are not in all cases a means of instantly killing an opponent. Instead, they may require continuous application over a period of time and kill slowly.
  • Poison is not a means of direct combat, but more a way of silently killing your enemies. This is a reason why politicians can often be found as poisoners.
  • To infect a victim with poison is not an autohit. Some people who feel that inflicting a character with a deadly substance without their knowledge is unavoidable and argue this case to argue this to avoid being poisoned. However, unless the user wielding the poison powerplays the victim into intaking the substance (e.g, autohits with a poisoned weapon or auto-feeds a poisoned substance), the use of poison is legitimate.
  • You cannot "sense" poison in your food unless the kind used has a pungent odor or appears visibly.
  • (Please contribute!)


  • Poison is used sparsely in role-play situations, probably because of the ease curing it (As Lunar Healing Spells are widespread and commonly applied) and the badly defined effects of the different poisons.
  • Another reason for this deficiency in role-playing may be the lack of well-planned assassinations and the more amiable nature of politics.
  • Poison is lesser used on weaponry due to the Evolution of Combat update; this removed poison from being on weapons such as daggers and spears.
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