Return to: Skills and Professions
Poisoning Essay by Quenchant

A pleasure to meet you. I see you have come to learn about the mysterious skill of poisoning. The title of Assassin intrigues you, you say. There will be no gold exchanged for these lessons. Your mastering of this wondrous skill will be payment enough. First, I must warn you. Becoming a grand master in this skill does not come easily. There are no special jewels, or equipment to boost your skill level. You will have to do this all yourself. You will spend hours poisoning blades or food as you attempt to increase your skill. You will spend a good amount of gold or time acquiring the required poison or nightshade on your journey of mastering this skill. I have only one stipulation, complaints will not be tolerated. You have been forewarned of the pitfalls that await you as you lean this skill. If you are ready to learn, I am ready to teach you.

First, I think a bit of history is in order. The first people to take the time to have a written record of this were Som Kman and Den Dragon. They were alchemists by trade, but poisoning fascinated them. It took many long days but they mastered this skill and eventually became grand masters. New techniques were found and Xena Dragon made sure the records were updated. For many years the skill was fading into obscurity. The skill was not practiced much by alchemists. It became popular with rogues. Flippy was one of the first to assemble the rogues into forums. They would discuss this skill and techniques for using it for hours. New written records were added to the originals. My master, Leurnid Hand, taught me this skill, much in the same way I am passing the information on to you. Assassins no longer assemble in forums. They drop in from time to time with their other rogue brethren, the thief’s, to discuss matters. Were it not for the willingness of our predecessors to share their information, perhaps none of us would hold the title of Assassin. Think of the history as you spend those long hours learning this skill. Also, think to the future. How is the best way to use this new skill?

Let’s start your first lesson off with the basics. Fully understanding this skill and it’s intricacies, will help you win the battle. This skill is equally appropriate for PvM as it is for PvP. However, I think that the PvP practitioners find it a bit more useful. There is really nothing more delightful than watching your victim spasm uncontrollably, as they fall to the ground in a heap. Probably the best place to start is the levels of poison.

There are 5 Levels of Poison:

  • Level 1 – Lesser Poison
  • Level 2 – Poison
  • Level 3 – Greater Poison
  • Level 4 – Deadly Poison
  • Level 5 – Lethal Poison

You can buy lesser poison and poison from NPC’s. Alchemists can make lesser poison, poison, greater poison, and deadly poison. Alchemists can also make two special earthen mixtures that act as poisons. Darkglow and Parasitic poison are ground from special ingredients obtained by a lumberjack (parasitic plants & luminescent fungi). These earthen mixture poisons have special powers associated with them. Lethal poison can not be made in game. In fact, only a person wielding a blade can inflict lethal poison.

A detailed understanding of the different poisons and their effects will help you choose the correct poison for your blade. Testing for this information was done by hitting a character with the different level of poison 10 times and taking the averages. I agree, it’s not very scientific. However, the data derived was fairly repeatable.

Lesser Poison – Lvl 1

  • 4 damage every 2 seconds
  • Victim Sees – You feel a bit nauseous
  • Attacker Sees – “Char Name” Looks Ill
  • Duration 20 – 23 seconds

Poison – Lvl 2

  • 9-11 damage every 3 seconds
  • Victim sees – You feel disoriented and nauseous
  • Others see – “Char Name” looks extremely ill
  • Duration 40 – 45 seconds

Greater Poison – Lvl 3

  • 14 – 20 damage every 4 seconds
  • Victim sees – You begin to feel pain through out your body
  • Others see – “Char Name” stumbles around in pain and confusion
  • 45 – 60 duration

Deadly Poison – Lvl 4

  • 25 – 33 damage every 5 seconds
  • Victim Sees – You feel extremely weak and are in severe pain
  • Others see – “Char Name” is wracked with extreme pain
  • Duration 70 – 75 seconds

Lethal Poison – Lvl 5

  • 35 – 50 damage every 5 seconds
  • Victim sees – Your are in extreme pain, and require immediate aid
  • Others see – “Char Name” begins to spasm uncontrollably
  • Duration 70 – 85 seconds

Darkglow Poison – Lvl 3 – Extra Damage Done by Distance from Being Poisoned

  • 14 – 20 damage every 4 seconds
  • Victim sees – You begin to feel pain through out your body
  • Others see – “Char Name” stumbles around in pain and confusion
  • 45 – 60 duration
  • Damage did increase, but only by 1 HP. Had to be more than one tile away
  • Did not matter if the poisoner or victim moved the required distance for extra damage.

Parasitic Poison – Lvl 4 – Healing Power. Receive Health Back with Every Tick

  • 25 – 33 damage every 5 seconds
  • Victim Sees – You feel extremely weak and are in severe pain
  • Others see – “Char Name” is wracked with extreme pain
  • Duration 70 – 75 seconds
  • Massive amounts of healing poisoner, if you stay within one tile
  • Healing takes place every tick and continues till victim cures

Observation Notes From Testing:

  • Victim gets to see Lvl bump on their screen with message – This poison seems extra potent
  • Damage to victim is as stated VS. their poison resist. For example: 35 damage VS 70 resist = 10 damage per tick
  • The strength of the poison fades after a few ticks, dealing less damage per tick.
  • Darts work from 1-4 tiles
  • Shurikens work from 3 – 9 tiles
  • Darkglow & Parasitic bump like regular poisons when using infectious strike
  • Since Parasitic bumps to lethal (if you have the skill), it can be a very impressive poison.

We are almost done with the explanations and I’m almost ready to start teaching you how to train poisoning. Since there are going to be many hours spent training, ponder the information you have received so far. For example, don’t discount the use of lesser poison. I know it doesn’t do much damage. I know it is easily cured. It still has it’s uses. It has the fastest ticks of any poison. It is useful for interrupting a mage’s spells, it can be used for stopping that one bandage that the dexxer really needs to get back up to health. It has more charges on a blade than any other poison, therefore it will last in battle a bit longer before it is recharged. Now that you know all about poison, let’s discuss who might want to use poison.

There are three main types of poisoners:

Mage’s, use the poison spell and poison field spell.

Warriors, that use poison potions applied to blade.

Ninja’s, use shurikens or darts that have been poisoned.

While Ninja’s probably don’t need the poisoning skill, many Assassins find the skill set offered by Ninjitsu very useful. There are a few other folks that use poison, but I generally would not consider them Assassins.

– Role players – find poisoning to be very useful in the drama they create

– Tinkers create trap boxes using poison. While they can be lethal, the poisoning skill isn’t required, nor would the skill really provide any benefit for the traps.

– Gardeners use a large amount of greater poison in creating those wicked devices to cure poison known as orange petals.

Mage’s – operate on the formula – [Magery + Poisoning ]÷2

– After calculating your result, the level of poison you can expect is listed below:

— < 65.1 = Level 1 poison

— 65.1 to 85 = Level 2 poison

— 85.1 to 99.9 = Level 3 poison

— 100 and higher = Level 4 poisoning

– Casting the poison spell, you need to be within 2 tiles of your target to get the proper level of poison.

– Casting poison fields, will always result in the proper level of poison.

More Information on this topic found at: Magic – Spell Descriptions

Warriors – operate on a completely different criteria.

It is totally dependent on their poisoning skill and using the special move Infectious Strike.

(Tactics is not required for this special move)

– The Poisoning skill will give a (Poisoning Skill)% chance to increase the level of poison delivered by 1.

– The blade must have poison applied to it.

– The power of the poison depends on the type of poison used and your poisoning skill.

With Poisoning skill 0.0 – 19.9 you can inflict Level 1 (% chance of level 2)

With Poisoning skill 20.0 – 39.9 you can inflict level 2 (% chance of level 3)

With Poisoning skill 40.0 – 59.9 you can inflict level 3 (% chance of level 4)

With Poisoning skill 60.0 – 100.0 you can inflict level 4 (% chance of level 5)


– 75 poison skill, deadly poison applied to blade

– You will inflict level 4 poison, but will have a 75% chance that it will bump to Level 5 known as Lethal Poison.


– Poison level increases can only be achieved with Infectious Strike.

– Tinkerers, with poisoning skill, do not see a level increase when a victim opens a poison trap box.

– Eating poisoned food, does not increase the level of poison applied to it.

– Mage’s can never cast Level 5 Poison or Poison Fields.

– The only other way to bump poison a level is by casting Evil Omen and then having the poison be next damage type.

– Archers who use an Elven Composite Longbow can use the special move, Serpent Arrow. This poisons their victim at the appropriate poison level with no bump to lethal.

More can be found out by going to: Weapons – Special Moves


– Poison their victims by throwing shurikens or shooting darts.

– There is no requirement of tactics for this.

– For Darts, the Victim must be 4 tiles or closer.

– For Shurikens, the victim must be 4 tiles away or more.

— You will get the message victim is too far away, but I have seen hits as far as 12 tiles away.

— Shurikens are also line of sight. Your target cannot be sitting behind a wall when a throw is initiated.

– The poison on the dart / shuriken determines the level of poison (exception evil omen).

– The success chance of hitting your opponent is based on your ninja skill.

The time is finally at hand. You are now ready to start training your skill in the use of poison. It would be far too easy for me to just tell you how to do this. I think it best, that I show you the complete study that I performed while training this skill. Not only will it tell you how to train this skill, it will also discuss time and costs of training this skill.

Back in the day of Den and Som, you needed many different pieces of food or daggers to poison. Methods have changed over the years. You now only need one item to poison over and over again. In the past it was also more difficult to poison a blade than it was food. This too has changed, during testing it appeared that they have the same difficulty.

To begin training, you will need to acquire a few things:

  • Something to poison: fish steak, apple, any bladed weapon that has infectious strike as a special move, shuriken or fukiya dart.- There is no difference between poisoning a blade or food for skill gain as there used to be in the past.
  • A way to cure yourself from finger slips: Cure / Greater Cure Potions, Vamp Form, Arch Cure, Cure, Cleanse By Fire, Band aids (healing and anatomy are required for this 60 in each for the lesser poisons 80.1 in each for deadly).
  • Poison – The proper poison for your skill level.

The method for training poison is done in three easy steps:

  1. Use the poison skill – Click the blue button on skill list or click the button from dragging the blue button to the UO window.
  2. Target the poison potion you want to use – It must be in bottle form
  3. Target the item you wish to poison


You get on screen messages that will guide you through the poisoning process.

There is approximately an 8 second timer between poisoning attempts.

You can set up a UO Assist macro to help you train this skill.

You can also gain poisoning skill from using the special move infectious strike and perhaps serpent arrow.

There are three outcomes from poisoning an item:

  1. You fail to apply poison to the object. – You did not pass the skill check for the event to happen.
  2. Your fingers slip. – You fail to apply the poison and you become poisoned yourself
  3. You apply the poison to the object. – You passed the skill check and the item is now poisoned.

That’s really all there is to training except the repetition and knowing when to switch poisons. Go ahead and start training the skill. You can read the study as you practice your technique

It was proposed to me by my master (Leurnid Hand) that I should perform a study while I trained poisoning. This was to be my payment for his teachings. I gladly accepted and kept diligent records. My master wanted me to study which method of training was better: Using Greater Poison or Switching to Deadly Poison Sooner. Which was faster? Was there a Cost difference? Had his tables changed for the skill level to switch poisons? My study answers all these questions.

The Study:

The original intent of the study was to look at the costs and time involved to determine the best method for getting to GM Poisoning.


– Char had starting skill points of 502 to reduce the effect of GGS

— GGS expected: DP method was 0.6 / GP method 0.7

– Started from bought skill of 23.4

– Char GM’d first time using DP method (switching to DP at 93.4)

– Char then taken to skill cap, reduced poisoning by 6.6 (back to 93.4)

— He then reset his total skills back to 595.4 with soul stones

— This was done to try and make the results as uniform as I could get them.

– Poisoned Fish Steak for Skill gains.

— No Need to re stack fish steaks or have boxes of daggers to poison.

–You can gain off of a single item now that the anti macro code has been removed.

Skill Gain Notes:

– The black section is common, Green is GP Method, Blue is DP Method

– The red section was not used in cost calculations but might have caused an extra GGS. (More on this in a bit)

– I tried switching from LP to Poison early to increase skill gain. Didn’t work.

— 40 seems to be about right for the potion change

– At 65, I switched to GP. Skill gains appeared slow, returned to Poison.

— Another mistake, skill gains dropped. Couple hours wasted.

– In the DP method, I switched at 93.4. In reality switching around 91 would have increased skill gains.

– In GP method, there is a red section. At 99 I could get no gains.

— I ran for 6 kegs (to long) to make sure it was a wall.

— I then considered I should be poisoning a weapon for gains – 1 Keg used on cleaver. Still no gain.

— Switched to DP. Got a gain on my first attempt on a fish steak

Reagent and Time Costs
DP Method GP Method
Kegs Used 144 Total Kegs 159 Total Kegs
Time 60h 35m – Poison Time

12h 30m – Potion Time

Total Time – 73h 05m

66h 15m – Poison Time

11h 12m – Potion Time

Total Time = 77h 27m

Reagents and Cost 79,850 Night Shade

159,600gp Faction Vendor

239,550gp NPC

63,820 Nightshade

127,640gp Faction Vendor

191,460gp NPC




Cost Notes & Observations:

– Due to my mistakes, I expect costs for another person to be a little lower.

– Again, the red section was not used in these calculations.

– Time to use a Keg for poisoning was fairly consistent. (23m lowest – 27m highest)

— An Average of 25 minutes was used in calculations.

– Time to fill kegs were pretty consistent.

— 4 minutes for GP, P & LP – 8 minutes for DP.

– Nightshade usage for DP was estimated at 1080 per keg.

— I should have kept better track actual usage, but this was an average.

— I have a 27% bonus Talisman. Your usage will depend on yours.

– The time for seeding vendors for Nightshade was not included.

— I didn’t have to seed any. 60k Nightshade from an IDOC.

— The time difference between methods is decreased even more if this is considered.

– Buying regs from bulk vendors was not considered.

— Faction vendors are readily available on my shard. Nightshade is 2gp per.

— The cheapest price I have seen, for nightshade, is 4gp per on a bulk vendor.

— This would essentially double your cost of compared to faction vendors.

Looking at time – only:

— Using DP will save you 4 hours.

— This may increase, for you, to 6 hours due to previous mentioned mistakes.

— You might be able to increase this to an 8 hours savings.

— This would take: 2 computers, alchemist on another account, UOA macros.

—- Keg filling on one computer, while poisoning on the other.

Looking at Time & Cost

— Saving 4 hours probably isn’t worth the additional cost.

— 32k savings is a fair amount.

— 48k savings is an excellent savings for those of you who won’t venture to Fel.

Suggested Skill Gain Potion Switch:

0 – 40 Lesser Poison

40 – 65 Poison

65 – 99 Greater Poison*

99 – GM Deadly Poison

* If time is the main factor, switch to DP at 91 or so.

My family is rather large. There are ten poisoners in my extended family. The last seven have verified this chart. It is not dead accurate, but an average. You will see some variation as you train this skill.

I was asked a question recently, that I had no idea what the answer was. So, I set out to test this new question. The question led to some surprising results.

I was asked, at what skill could I apply different levels of poison to a blade?

To test this, I used this method:

– Skills increases started at 20 and increased by 10 to GM.

– 10 poison potions were used on food.

– The % was the success number VS. number of to attempts.

– If there was no success at a level of poison, the next higher level was not attempted.


This method wasn’t very scientific. RNG could have played a large part in the lower percentages.

It is interesting that at 80 skill, everything jumps to 100% chance of success.






























































20 60% 0 NA NA
30 60% 20% 0 NA
40 70% 40% 0 NA
50 100% 50% 0 NA
60 100% 60% 10% 10%
70 100% 80% 30% 20%
80 100% 100% 100% 100%
90 100% 100% 100% 100%
100 100% 100% 100% 100%

You have almost learned all that I can teach you about poisoning. You might have a few questions remaining. You have looked at the time involved to become a grand master Assassin. I know your commitment is wavering and you are wondering if you really need spend all the time to GM this skill. The answer is probably no. How high you take your poisoning would largely depend on the template you are using.

For mage’s, there is no benefit for exceeding 200 total skill points in poison and magery. Once you meet this requirement, all your fields will be Lvl 4 – Deadly Poison. For warriors it is a matter of choice. From my experience, most warriors stop the skill once they have become adept (80). At 80 skill points, you will never have another finger slip and will always properly apply poison to a blade. Also, an 80% chance for dosing out Lvl 5 – Lethal poison is a pretty good chance your opponent will feel the full force of poison. I would encourage you to keep at it till you are Grand master Assassin, but this path is not for everyone.

The last thing you might want to know is how to set up a UO Assist Macro to help you train this skill.

– To set up the macro go to the UO Assist Macro tab and hit record (notice what macro number you are recording).

– Go through your poisoning steps – Use Poisoning Skill, Target Poison, Target Item to Be Poisoned.

– Hit the Stop Button in UO Assist.

– Highlight the second item in the list and change to Use Item Type.

— You will need to redo this macro every time you switch poisons.

– Go to the Key Tab and scroll down the list till you find play macro number (the one you recorded).

— Highlight it and enter a hot key.

Every 8 seconds just press your hot key. You can also record multiple times, but you will have to enter pauses.

This is all I can teach you. The last thing I can do is to wish your well on your journeys and hope that you find success with this new skill. If you have questions, feel free to shoot me a PM. I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

Quenchant - Sig

One Last Note. Don’t Believe The Myth:

There has been ongoing confusion about the formula for poisoning with magery VS weapons.

– The confusion is that some folks think -> [Weapon Skill + Poison Skill] ÷ 2 determines poison level.

– In other words [110 Swords + 90 Poison]÷ 2 = 100 = 100% chance for Level 5.

Let me clear this up. The information relating to the poison spell and infectious strike, in this guide is correct.


The Formula

[Magery + Poison Skill]÷2

Only Applies to Mage’s.


Let me Repeat that:

— The Formula Only Applies to Mage’s

— There Is No Formula Concerning Weapon Skill For Poisoning

— Poison Applied & Poisoning Skill Determine the Level of Poison A Victim Sees When Using Infectious Strike

If you don’t believe me, Check out Chad Sexington’s Study

Last modified: July 1, 2013

Comments are closed.