Dungeons and Dragons: You’re poisoned with 1 hit point and a cure potion

IMG_0546What to do when your hero is poisoned, about to start the Hero Phase, and you have the cure potion item with one hit point left?  Are you destined for defeat? Can you use your potion now?  Will you suffer an extra point of damage by using a Healing Surge on your next turn?  We’ll carefully examine the rule’s nuances.  The rules are definitively explained, if you read the rulebook deep enough.

First experienced in Legend of Drizzt adventure “Exile”, Drizzt was down to his final hit point and ready to begin his hero phase.  With one Healing Surge, there was a conundrum in the rules.  Let’s review:

While poisoned (taken from the Poisoned token):
“You take 1 damage at the start of your Hero Phase.”

The cure potion card reads:
“Use during your Hero Phase.”

From Legend of Drizzt rulebook, page 9:
“While Poisoned, your Hero takes 1 damage at the beginning of your Hero Phase.  Take this damage before using any Treasure cards and before checking to see if your Hero must spend a Healing Surge.

The Poisoned marker reads:
“At the end of your Hero Phase, [roll] the die.  If the result is 10 or higher, discard the Poisoned marker.”

With the scenario, its your turn beginning with the Hero Phase.  You are poisoned and have 1 hp of health left with a healing surge to spend and a cure potion to drink.

  • Your hero loses 1 hit point from poison and now down.
  • While at 0 hit points, heroes “cannot take any additional damage or use any powers or items.”  – Legend of Drizzt rulebook, page 10.
  • The opportunity to take the potion is lost.
  • You are able to make a roll to overcome the poison.
  • Let’s assume your roll fails and you are still poisoned.  Other than activating monsters and traps, your turn ends.
  • With your next Hero Phase,
    • According to the rules (page 9), taking additional damage from poison comes before spending a healing surge.  But you can’t take more damage (page 10).  You remain at zero hit points.
    • You spend your Healing Surge, the mechanism to inflict poison damage came earlier with no further consequences.
    • If the hero chooses not to drink the potion he or she will roll for a 10+ to discard the poisoned condition marker.

The most important read is page 9 under “Condition: Poisoned”.  Piecing together the rules there and from page 10, the card, and the “Poisoned” marker you have a clear flow of rules.  At first glance, it appears your hero would suffer a second point of poison damage soon after spending a Healing Surge.  Not true.  Just remember, spending a healing surge is not the first thing you do when your hero is down.

All of this can be averted if you simply do a better job rolling a 10 or better.


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One Response to Dungeons and Dragons: You’re poisoned with 1 hit point and a cure potion

  1. EvanR says:

    I am studying ambiguous rules and I thought of this situation and found this post.

    It seems to me using the rules you found that you would first go to 0 HP, then immediately use a Healing Surge because it explicitly says to do poison before the Healing Surge check.

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