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After reading the description in the monster's section about creatures that lack a constitution attribute I assumed that undead would fall under that category.

But Skeletons and Vampires do have a constitution value which means that by RAW they could run out of breath and  be harmed by poison.

That is not the way I think of the undead.

How do you handle this? Can your players poison skeletons?

Edited by Seldak
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There are two way’s I’d handle this.

1) First, and probably the most elegant remove the Constitution score from undead. This has the advantage of covering situations you may not have thought of. However, as physical being and not insubstantial spirits vampaires and skeletons probably should have a constitution score to represent their physical toughness 

2) Referee fiat: a house rule that states undead are never fatigued and are immune to poison. This might work ok or you might have to keep adding conditions you have not yet thought of such as i dunno gamma radiation, viral disease, etc. Really though if each of these new rulings is consistent with being undead then your players will be fine with it. However, there may be odd corner cases. What about a flesh eating bacterial disease?

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Again judging from the descriptions in the monster's section, I would assume that being substantial is best represented by the SIZ attribute. CON rather seems to simulate being alive, being able to catch diseases or be poisoned.

I am also an idiot since I somehow didn't get that skeletons actually don't have a CON score.

But vampires, mummies and zombies (according to the BGB) do have a CON score.

Aside from the necessity to justify higher hit points I cannot think of any reason why insisting on those types of undead having a constitution attribute results in better stories.

The terrifying tale of the Monstrous Mummy with Measles? The Zombie who zonked out?

The only poisoning equivalence I can think of would be attacking a vampire with garlic but I guess that could be handled with an attack on either POW or MP.

Am I missing something? Can you think of a situation in which having CON would be necessary?

Edited by Seldak
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12 hours ago, Seldak said:

Am I missing something? Can you think of a situation in which having CON would be necessary?

Major wounds would be the obvious example.

Still, I could see going with HP= SIZ for undead  with the idea being that since they are not actually alive they can shrug off a lot of injuries that would incapacitate or outright kill a normal being. In gneral you could probably get away with using SIZ in place of CON for things like major wounds. Bigger body means more flesh and bones to cut through.

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21 hours ago, Seldak said:

Using SIZ instead of CON does seem way more intuitive.

Hard to believe that in all these years this obvious inconsistency has never been adressed/corrected.

Anyway thanks for your views on this issue.

*meh* the game includes diseases that attack the soul; the idea of poisons / venoms that might affect at least some undead seems perfectly fine in a fantasy game to me.

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7 minutes ago, NickMiddleton said:

*meh* the game includes diseases that attack the soul; the idea of poisons / venoms that might affect at least some undead seems perfectly fine in a fantasy game to me.

I don't think I'd allow much that didn't target Chaos. What is a poison going to do to something that has no blood in its veins, or is dead flesh? Annoy it?

Things like vampires have souls but they're corrupted, I don't think a disease is going to bite. Don't Chaos creatures usually carry diseases?

I'd imagine you could make a "disease", Glorantha-style, by summoning a spirit of Chaos purge. That would be immensely costly to summon, and learning how to do it would involve one crazy heroquest for a healer who could heal Chaos wounds, some shamans, a Storm Bull, and Humakti. I would definitely not make it a "disease" in the sense that it spreads, either; Chaos is not something that has a solution. This is a tactical nuke situation for a Big Bad and should be an endgame struggle to weaken/destroy an impossible, unbearable evil threatening to destroy something big. A fragment of Genert, if you're in Prax, might be such a spirit to create-summon. Thereafter, the named spirit, uh, let's call it "Genertalio", could be the focus of a spirit cult.

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On 9/8/2020 at 9:35 AM, NickMiddleton said:

*meh* the game includes diseases that attack the soul; the idea of poisons / venoms that might affect at least some undead seems perfectly fine in a fantasy game to me.

That seems like the 'obvious' approach to me. Not all poisons poison all things. Rat poison isn't going to kill a skeleton or a zombie... but something else might strike at the animating force of the thing. Holy water and garlic traditionally keeps vampires at bay, for whatever reason... so quest to find out what works on other pesky undead.

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4 hours ago, Simlasa said:

That seems like the 'obvious' approach to me. Not all poisons poison all things. Rat poison isn't going to kill a skeleton or a zombie... but something else might strike at the animating force of the thing. Holy water and garlic traditionally keeps vampires at bay, for whatever reason... so quest to find out what works on other pesky undead.

i don't think we have holy water in Glorantha. We have PURE water, for sure: the holiest of water issuing from a divine spirit would harm a Chaos creature, but so would pure Storm winds or even empowered Moonbeams.

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11 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

i don't think we have holy water in Glorantha. We have PURE water, for sure: the holiest of water issuing from a divine spirit would harm a Chaos creature, but so would pure Storm winds or even empowered Moonbeams.

All true - but this thread is in the Magic World forum, and started from observations about the Magic World rule for creatures without CON and poisons, so Glorantha's not hugely relevant here... 😉

I quite like the idea of "blessed" / "holy" water as poisons / venoms against undead (or Otherworld) creatures... But my main point is that in a broad, non-setting specific game like Magic World I do NOT think this is a mistake - one may prefer in ones OWN setting to define a rule that what ones rules recognise and model as Poison can only affect creatures with a CON score, and that no creature formally defined as Undead can have a CON score... but that would be ones own specific ruling for ones own game / setting.

Cheers,

Nick

Edited by NickMiddleton
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