"Tavius was right about one thing. I do have a fair knowledge of poisons."When a weapon is poisoned for added lethality. The weapon is frequently a dagger, but often an arrow, dart, or even a sword. Expect from such a weapon to ooze a purple or green and possibly stone-melting liquid. The poison is likely to either act instantly, or be timed to the Final Speech. Poisoned weapons are typically used by villains (and Hungry Jungle natives, who get a free pass), since they allow an easy victory or a spiteful revenge despite losing, especially in a duel. The Hero is usually too honorable or stupid to use it himself. Heroes down the Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism and Combat Pragmatists sometimes use poison. A literary device as old as time is to have a confrontation involving a poisoned weapon which the audience knows is poisoned, but the characters involved do not. It should be noted that the poison being fatal isn't always the case. Often times, the poison will be nonlethal and merely intended to weaken, paralyze, or disorient the target instead. Reasons why vary from wanting to capture them alive, to avoid accidentally killing oneself, to wanting to actually kill them with their own hand but knowing they only stand a chance against them if they're weakened. It's almost never for safety's sake, where the villain doesn't want to risk killing themselves with an accidental nick of their own blade outside of combat. If the poison is actually lethal, it normally depends on who is hit with it whether or not the poison will actually kill them. If a hero is infected, the poison will normally be slow acting enough to permit a Find the Cure by his allies, but not always. If it's the villain, they're more likely to die. If an undead is infected, they are immune to poison so it doesn't matter. See also Master Poisoner.
open/close all folders
- In Noir, Shaoli delivers deadly poison with a mere scratch of her fingernails.
- In Blood+, Saya's sword has a little groove in it for her blood, which is fatal to most chiropterans.
- Quite common in Naruto, given that the protagonists are Ninjas: Sasori tips every weapon he has with poison (which is a lot of weapons), Shizune and one of Kankuro's puppets have poison needles, the Demon Brothers that Team 7 run into on the way to the Land of Waves used poison claws, Sakura once poisoned a kunai (and that she apparently learned to make it from Shizune), and Hanzo put some of his poison on his kusarigama.
- Little Miss Badass Loly's zanpakutou is a dagger that releases poison.
- Evil bastard Mayuri Kurotsuchi's zanpakutou also effectively poisons (but don't say so in his hearing) its target upon wounding them; befitting his extraordinarily sadistic personality, it paralyzes the victim's limbs enough to prevent movement without affecting their ability to feel pain.
- One Bankai is revealed to be hiding the ability to leave a piece of the blade behind in an opponent's body whereupon it breaks down into a poison that destroys the enemy's cellular structure. The Bankai belongs to Gin and he kept its true power secret in an attempt to ambush and kill Aizen.
- In One Piece, Crocodile's trump card is a poisoned hook-hand.
- Brook and his entire crew were killed by pirates with poisoned weapons.
- In the same fashion, Don Krieg's most powerful weapon is a cannon ball filled with (oddly) white coloured poison Gas.
- Wanze from the CP7 wields a huge poisonous kitchen knife as his last resort.
- Thanks to the Doku-Doku Fruit (Poison-Poison Fruit), Impel Down's Chief Warden Magellen can use his entire body as a poisoned weapon.
- In a non canon example, Wapol's brother Musshul ate the Noko Noko fruit (stands for kinoko, mushroom) and can manipulate poisonous spores. This includes bullets, a drill like fungus on his arm and poison clouds.
- Hyouzou from the New Fishman Pirates is a Blue-Ringed Octopus Merman and can coat his swords with his venom.
- In Digimon Adventure, DemiDevimon tries to kill Sora with a poison dart, but Biyomon takes the bullet for her. Thankfully for her, while the poison is lethal to humans, it only makes Digimon severely ill for a time. Which is rather unfortunate because Myotismon shows up directly after that...
- Coco from Toriko can create poisoned weapons by combining the poison in his body with the clotting agents from his blood.
- In Omamori Himari, Kuesu pulls a gun on Himari and shoots at her. When Himari is grazed, Kuesu reveals the bullets have been coated with a potion that strips an ayakashi of their human mind and fills them with murderous bloodlust, the idea being that win or lose, Yuuto would reject Himari for turning into what he hates, a killer. Himari manages to resist the potion and escape.
- In My Bride Is a Mermaid, Maki may be six inches tall and wield a tiny sword, but it's coated with puffer fish toxin.
- In The Familiar of Zero, Jeanette's dagger is coated with a paralyzing potion.
- In Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero, Phil's BFS is coated with poison. Akatsuki collapses with a terrible fever when the blade nicks him.
- In Akame ga Kill!, Akame's katana Murasame is coated with a deadly poison that has no antidote. It only takes one nick to kill a man in seconds. She mentions that maintaining the sword is a real pain, because she risks getting cut herself. However, the poison only affects living beings. If Akame faces robots or zombies, her sword is just a sword.
- Master Poisoner and Psycho for Hire Cheshire loves these. It's generally dangerous to let her so much as scratch you.
Cheshire: Hand me one of your bullets. I have something agonizing to dip it in.
- In Dhampyr, Harlan Draka and his friends often dip their weapons and bullets in Harlan's blood, since he is a dhampyr and his blood is dangerous to vampires.
- Dungeon Twilight: Fayez and his followers use poisoned needles that rot the victims and dissolve them in seconds.
- Utro the Needle of Red Sonja smears dung on his daggers to turn scratches into lethal infections.
- In Aeon Entelechy Evangelion a human working for the Migou used tiny carbon-fibre syringes hidden in her knuckles to assassinate the Marshal.
- In Winter War, Soi Fong and Ukitake finally manage to kill the Barragan Fragment by getting its corrosive blood on their swords. Unfortunately for them, the blood is also eating through their Empathic Weapons as they fight...
- In The Fledgling Year, this is Gyneth’s apparent chosen method for her plan to seduce and assassinate Prince Cor.
- In Nightblade, the titular Nightblade is a physically weak weapon that imparts a deadly poison on a single wound.
- In the Naruto fanfic Sugar Plums the protagonist Ume does this with her weapons, though she actually uses a strong sedative then anything lethal.
Films — Animated
- In Rio 2, Nigel plans to shoot Blu with a porcupine quill tipped with poison-dart frog toxin. It turns out the frog from which he got the toxin is not actually poisonous, however.
Films — Live-Action
- Indiana Jones: Poisoned blowdarts are featured twice.
- The Na'vi of Avatar dip their arrows - which they use primarily for hunting Pandora's megafauna - in a neurotoxin that will stop a human's heart in a minute. The poison is the least of a human victim's concerns, though; the arrows are the size of broomsticks and the Na'vi are crack shots.
- Our Man Flint. Gila uses a poisoned dart propelled by a harp to try to assassinate Flint, and Flint uses a curare-tipped dart to take out a fly.
- Hudson Hawk. Almond Joy uses a blowgun with curare-tipped darts against the title character and Tommy Five-Tone.
- In From Russia with Love Rosa Klebb has a poisoned dagger in the toe of her shoe. At the end, she has a kicking fight with James Bond who pushes her against the wall with a chair until Tatiana Romanova shoots her. (Compare with the novel)
- That Man From Rio opens with a museum robbery, where the crook kills a guard with a poison dart gun. It initially looks like heart failure to the police, but the museum head notes the poison is a common weapon of the vanished Mesoamerican culture that made the stolen artifact.
- In Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Barbossa poisons his sword in order to insure even more suffering when he attempts (and succeeds) to kill Blackbeard.
- In The Wolverine, some moronic hunters attack a bear with illegal poisoned arrows. The bear kills several of them and escapes, but is left in agony. After Wolverine gives it a Mercy Kill, he angrily confronts the remaining hunters and stabs one of them with one of the arrows. Later, Wolverine is attacked by several ninjas with poisoned arrows.
- In The Hobbit, Kíli gets shot with a Mordor arrow when opening the Mirkwood river gates to let the Dwarves in barrels through. Its effects take their toll on him later, putting him in increasingly agonizing pain.
- In Transcendence, the assassin that targets Will uses bullets laced with polonium. If the bullet itself doesn't kill him, radioactive material flowing through his veins will finish the job.
- In the ending to A Million Ways to Die in the West, Albert laced his bullets with rattlesnake venom. He manages to graze Clinch's arm before getting disarmed, then stalled for time until the venom could take effect.
- The local Amazonian headhunters in Five Came Back shoot and kill one of the plane crash survivors with a poisoned arrow.
- Dune loves this one:
- The gom jabbar, a poisoned needle used by Bene Gesserit Proctors in their death-alternative test of human awareness, is a "specific poison needle tipped with meta-cyanide". It's also the weapon used by Alia to kill the Baron Harkonnen.
- The first book has Paul facing Feyd Rautha at the end duel. Feyd has a poisoned spring needle in his belt. They both also have poisoned blades, Feyd's with a soporific and Paul's with acid.
- Crysknives often have a groove in them where poison can be applied.
- When fighting gladiators, Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen was allowed to use a short knife with a poisoned blade. During his hundredth bout, he secretly put the poison on his long knife instead, which allowed him to win the match.
- Redwall: Employed by villains. Cluny the Scourge has a poisoned barb on the end of his tail, which kills the Abbot slowly enough for him to deliver his Final Speech, and the minor character Farran the Poisoner possesses an instant-death poisoned dagger.
- The Obsidian Trilogy: The Goblins have deadly poison on their claws and teeth (the Shadowed Elves often use them on weapons). Only the timely intervention of a unicorn can save someone from even a slight or incidental dose.
- In The Lord of the Rings, the Witch-King stabs Frodo with a Morgul-blade. If Elrond hadn't cured him, the poison of the blade would have turned him into a wraith. It's also mentioned in the books that orcs sometimes put poison on their blades.
- In one of The Stainless Steel Rat stories, a character gets into a fight with an assassin, and the knife barely touches the assassin and he dies, it turns out not only did he have a very nasty knife but the knife was coated with a neurotoxin that would kill anyone on skin contact.
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Oberyn Martell (aka The Red Viper) is infamous for using poisoned weapons, and it allows him to deliver an ultimately fatal wound to the Brutish Gregor Clegane.
- The Crannogmen are also famous for fighting with poisoned arrows and utilizing the swamps that surround their lands when they fight. Their foes refer to them as bog devils because of this.
- Man Plus, a science fiction novel by Frederik Pohl, has the U.S. Secret Service require women meeting the president to soak their hands in a solution first, in case their fingernails have a biochemical poison on them.
- In The Wheel of Time, a form of dueling is mentioned as having existed shortly before the collapse of the Age of Legends which involved Dual Wielding daggers laced with a slow-acting poison. Most duels ended with both participants dying.
- Sherlock Holmes: The villain of The Adventure of the Dying Detective is a doctor who has killed his nephew by surreptitiously injecting him with a deadly illness. He later on tries to do Holmes in the same way by sending him a package with secret spring-loaded, virus-tipped needles, but Holmes is able to see through his scheme. (Having a lot of enemies tends to make the detective overly cautious of the mail he receives.) Holmes pretends to be infected, and he soon manages to lure the evil doctor over to his apartment and trick him into a confession in front of witnesses.
- When the anti-hero protagonist of Altered Carbon goes to the armorer, among the weapons he buys is a poison-coated knife.
- Mallorean: Sadi, one of the heroic party members carries a variety of poisons, and his major weapon in battle is a poisoned dagger. When Belgarath asks the group to minimize casualties during a fight with Mooks, he's responsible for two of the three deaths at its close - "It's a little hard to unpoison a knife." (The third was Silk taking out an ambusher.)
- The Sword of Shannara: Menion Leah, a heroic protagonist, poisons some arrows when the opportunity arises, just in case. He uses them in the very next scene to try and kill a dragon.
- A prequel to Deptford Mice series has enemies who wear golden claws with an impossibly nasty poison that causes you to pretty much dissolve into goo. When one character finds an unconscious one of them, Hoist by His Own Petard is subverted by What an Idiot when the guy decides to put on the claw and kill him with it, but accidentally scratches himself. He then runs away from the incurable poison already in his veins, and dies very quickly as opposed to using his remaining time to say, kill the one he poisoned himself getting ready to kill.
- In some versions of Tristan and Isolde, Tristan is poisoned by the Irish knight Morholt's spear (but wins the duel), and sent on a craft without oars or sail as a last-ditch effort. He lands in Ireland, where Morholt's niece Isolde cures him, not knowing he was Morholt's killer.
- Hercules had arrows poisoned with hydra blood. Sophocles is the first author to mention this, making this one Older Than Feudalism. Similarly, a poisoned arrow was used to finally kill the otherwise Invincible Hero Achilles towards the end of the Trojan War.
- Valeri Petrofsky of The Fourth Protocol by Frederick Forsyth carried a handgun that fired hollow-point bullets filled with cyanide.
- The Cabinet of Curiosities reveals that the thought to be Big Bad was poisoning weapons, clothing, and other objects in an effort to find an effective means of destroying humanity, research he stopped only because he felt the creation of Hydrogen Bomb made him think the rest of humanity was perfectly capable of destroying itself on its own.
- This Immortal by Roger Zelazny: assassin Hasan (who has been forcibly disarmed) is forced to fight the Dead Man and spends the time filing his nails. To really sharp points. His bullets (which weren't taken away) had meta-cyanide on them. He scratched the Dead Man at the start of the fight, and stalled until it dropped. Then he got the leader too.
- The Saint: The Saint himself discovered a poison-dart launcher built into a doorbell once. He avoided getting shot, kept the dart, and later used it in a booby-trapped parcel to prick the finger of the villain.
- The Tail of the Tip Off: A rather ingenious example is found in Rita Mae Brown's novel. When H. H. Donaldson drops dead after going to a basketball game, an autopsy shows he was poisoned through an injection in the neck, but the poison would have had to have been administered during the game for it to kill him when it did. No one saw anything despite the bleachers being packed, and Donaldson didn't react in any way as he would have had someone jabbed him in the neck with a needle. It turns out the killer froze the poison into an ice dart, and was able to kill Donaldson by shooting it our of a noise maker into his neck. No weapon was found because the ice melted, releasing the poison.
- In Edgar Rice Burroughs's original Tarzan books, Tarzan uses poison arrows that he steals from the natives, at least until he scares them into leaving a bundle out with some food every so often as 'tribute' to the forest spirit they think they've angered.
- In the Conan the Barbarian story Black Colossus, Shevatas poisoned his blade to deal with the snake.
- In From Russia with Love, Rosa Klebb had a poisoned dagger at the toe of her shoe. She nicks James Bond with it and he passes out from the poison in seconds. The novel ends at that point. (Compare with the film.)
- In Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, Binabik carries a hollow walking stick, a small roll of poisoned needles, and a bundle of loose wool. When combined, these make a blowgun that shoots poison darts, allowing the diminutive troll to pack a lethal stealth attack.
- The Hunger Games: How Maysilee Donner got so far during her games; she fought using poison darts. She was good enough with them to be able to kill a Career.
- In The Iron Teeth, Saeter and his slave/apprentice Blacknail occasionally use weapons coated with paralytic timber spider venom.
- In Michael Moorcock's Erekose/John Daker story The Eternal Champion, Erekose uses the poisonous (or radioactive) sword Kanajana. The toxicity of the blade will kill humans and eldren with a slight scratch. Kanajana is so dangerously "radioactive" (Erekose himself isn't sure if it's radioactive or supernatural) that it needs to be kept in sheathe and can only be safely used by him.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows it turns out that the sword of Godric Gryffindor is made from "goblin silver" that repels dirt and dust and "imbibes that which strengthens it", meaning that since Harry stabbed a Basilisk in the head with it back in Chamber of Secrets it is now imbued with basilisk venom, one of the few things that can destroy a Horcrux.
- In Xena: Warrior Princess, Gabrielle gets hit by a poisoned arrow. Xena has to look after her and find the antidote in time whilst fighting off an entire army.
- One episode of Get Smart had some Yellow Peril villain with long, poison coated fingernails. It probably best summarized that show, too, with him getting defeated because Agent 99 randomly had a bottled mosquito in her purse, which she used to get him to accidentally scratch himself upon swatting it.
- In Stargate Atlantis episode "The Tower", Sheppard ends up with the Evil Chancellor trying to kill him in the climax. When Sheppard disarms him, Otho is cut with his own poisoned dagger and dies in moments, after providing the quote up above.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Faith poisons Angel by shooting him with a poisoned arrow.
- Monroe uses an elephant gun with bullets coated in a special poison to take a siegbarste in Grimm.
- Played for Laughs in The Hero Yoshihiko And The Devil Kings Castle where a random Mook licks his very own poisoned knife◊. Too Dumb to Live indeed.
- It's mentioned in Babylon 5 that the Drazi often poison their blade tips.
- Centauri actually have jeweled hypodermic needles. In other words they treasure poisons the way humans treasure swords.
- In Charmed, darklighters are the only beings capable of killing whitelighters. They use arrows coated with a substance that is toxic only to whitelighters.
- In Sliders, Remy is shot by a Kromagg particle weapon. The wound isn't fatal, but the radiation poisoning that come with being shot would have been had he not been healed by a friendly Kromagg half-breed.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has a futuristic variant. Dominion weapons carry an anti-coagulant with every shot. Anyone they don't kill bleeds to death unless they can get off the battlefield and to a doctor.
Mythology and Religion
- Hercules uses arrows dipped in the blood of the Lernean Hydra; wounds from these arrows are deadly as there is no cure. He died when he wore clothes his wife had drenched in the blood of the centaur Nessus (or in hydra blood in some versions), who had told her it would make Hercules faithful to her.
- Paris used a poisoned arrow to kill Achilles when he shot him in the heel.
- The Dark Elves in Warlords Battlecry will use poisoned weapons.
- Poisoned weapons are a game mechanic in Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000. The latter has guns which fire ninja stars coated in a poison so horrible it makes the target's blood explode. Generally used by the even more evil races, though in Warhammer they're a specialty of the close-as-you-get-to-good Lizardmen.
- Representing their love for this one, the Dark Eldar have poisoned weapons as an upgrade in Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War Soulstorm. Note that according to the fluff it's usually nonlethal, as Dark Eldar want to take prisoners. In-game, it just makes their weapons deadlier.
- This sometimes seems a little unnecessary, given the tech levels in Warhammer 40,000. For example, the Callidus Assassin is armed with a gun that rips your brain apart, a sword that can cut through anything in the universe except the Great Old Ones who invented it... and a poisoned knife. Which in some circumstances is exactly what you need.
- GURPS: Ultra-Tech has a shuriken made of "coherent sound" that can be used to deliver poison when it attacks.
- Exalted: Wood Aspected Dragon-Blooded are capable of producing a magical plant toxin from their anima. They can poison you with a simple touch or unarmed attack, or with a very basic Charm can also channel this toxin through a weapon.
- Essentially, virtually every action adventure-based tabletop RPG (which is to say, most of them) will have at least a few paragraphs on the effects of poison on player characters — from a simple "save or die" to lovingly detailed descriptions of a given poison's exact effects over time. Some systems (notably early editions of (A)D&D) then promptly go out of their way to make the use of poison by player characters in turn as impractical as possible or even ban it outright, while others won't bat an eye.
- In D&D Fourth Edition, poison use is one of the main shticks of the Executioner Assassin player class. The class makes a certain number of uses of poison each day (determined by level) which can be applied to weapons or used directly on enemies. Other classes have access to poison-based powers as well, but since the poison damage type is resisted by more creatures than any other damage type, it's not the best type of damage to specialize in.
- 3rd Edition has a 5% chance of accidentally poisoning yourself when applying acid to a blade, although certain classes, such as Assassins, are trained to avoid this. It's still not very practical, however, as the good stuff is expensive, and by the time you can afford it in mass quantities, most enemies will make their Saving Throw easily.
- In Hc Svnt Dracones pretty much everything out of Spyglass's weapons division is poisonous. The Fang is a dagger with pores in the blade and a reservoir in the hilt, Shardshot a glove-dart launcher, while the Shrapnel Gun only has the "Poisonous" effect because it's close to having your body filled with shards of jagged metal. Though the description for "Poisonous" ammo notes that bullets would need to be too hard to shatter to be useful and the explosion and velocity would strip most coatings so only a few weapons can use Poisonous ammo, like Spyglass products, and compound bows.
- Poisoned weapons featured in a number of Shakespeare's plays, perhaps most prominently in Hamlet.
- In a flashback of Suikoden II, it is revealed that a previous border-skirmish between the Highlands and the Jowston Alliance was to be settled with a contest of champions - a duel between the greatest hero of both sides. That those two happened to be personal friends was supposed to make it into an honorable fight. However, when the battle was joined, the hero of Jowston, Genkaku, refused to even lift his sword. Eventually, Highland's hero had no choice but to simply disarm him and claim victory. Genkaku was condemned as a traitor and banished to Highland... but later, it was revealed that the Major of Jowston had surreptitiously poisoned Genkaku's weapon in order to ensure a victory - but Genkaku had realized this. If he had let this subterfuge be known, it would have triggered renewed hostilities between Jowston and Highland, so instead, he simply refused to swing his poisoned blade...
- In Suikoden V Lyon is stabbed and near-killed with a poisoned dagger.
- Some weapons in the Final Fantasy series inflict the "Poisoned" status effect on enemies when they hit.
- In Final Fantasy V, Sword Mages/Mystics can enchant their swords with the poisonous Bio spell, adding magical poison to their attacks.
- In Final Fantasy VII, any weapon with two linked materia slots could be associated with an element or status effect, including poison.
- In Final Fantasy IX, the Rune Tooth and the Poison Knuckles can both inflict poison, while the Scissor Fangs can inflict the more dangerous venom.
- In Final Fantasy X, you can give any weapon this ability.
- Final Fantasy XI has poisoned weapons as well, but they're generally not that useful.
- In Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, ninja Tristam's shuriken are imbued with poison and paralysis abilities. The various claw weapons you find on your journey also inflict poison and paralysis, with the stronger ones adding even more status effects.
- Possible hero example: Commander Shepard can equip his/her weapons with Polonium rounds (if you can handle enemies breaking down into green vapor after death).
- The Assassin class in Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn can poison their weapons. There are also poisoned arrows. The poison is also applied to any traps the assassin deploys while under the 'poisoned weapon' effect.
- Dungeons & Dragons Online features weapons with the poison trait, doing extra 'poison' damage and some kind of ability damage. Rogues also have an enhancement available that adds additional 'poison' damage to their attacks. The Master Poisoner Ninja Spies are the most dangerous with their own brand of poison that increases in toxicity while worsening damage from stock poison weapons. Enemies are worse; one poisonous sting or bite from some medusas or demon will outright kill you if not immediately treated.
- World of Warcraft has a number of notable examples:
- Rogues can apply various poisons to their weapons, granting extra damage or certain special effects when an attack lands.
- Hunters have special shots called "Stings" which are loaded with various toxins that can cause Instant Sedation, Damage Over Time, Mana Drain or loss of accuracy. These work like the Rogue's poisons, but unlike them, only one Sting can be in effect on a target. In Warlords of Draenor, Stings were largely removed except for the sedative version, although a new optional ability called Exotic Munitions was added, which plays with this trope.
- During a duel between Garrosh and Cairne for leadership of the Horde, Magatha Grimtotem poisoned Garrosh's weapon (taking advantage of his ignorance of the pre-fight blessing tradition) so that a single lucky blow defeated the almost victorious Cairne. Garrosh was less than pleased.
- Some of the buffs you can get from the Mantid Paragons while questing in the Dread Wastes poison your weapons. For example, Xaril the Poisoned Mind coats your weapons with a poison that after eight hits on a target, severely damages the target and stuns nearby enemies.
- In Mists of Pandaria, Vol'jin gets stabbed with a weapon that interferes with his regeneration capabilities. It's up to you to find the herbs necessary to heal him.
- Players in RuneScape can create poisons to use on daggers, arrows, spears and a few throwing weapons using the Herblore skill. There are three poisons, each stronger than the previous, and they're made from a herb and a dragon scale, a cactus spine and spider eggs, and poison ivy berries and belladonna respectively, from weakest to strongest. Belladonna is potent enough to strongly damage the player just when it's touched with bare hands.
Additionally, a small octopus caught on a tropical island, and when somewhat heated it becomes as poisonous as the strongest poison - then it can be ground into a paste that can be applied to spears only, though. The reason of such a limitation? There is no real one. Only the mentioned select few above weapons can be poisoned, too - many other bladed weapons can't be.
- Poisoned weapons are featured frequently in Fire Emblem. There's usually no way for you to get one though, making them Unusable Enemy Equipment (or rather, Unobtainable Enemy Equipment). In games that allow you to steal or otherwise obtain an enemy unit's equipment, the poisoned weapons are converted into plain old iron weapons when in your possession.
- In Radiant Dawn, you can disarm an opponent and steal them and they'll still be poisonous. Not really worth it, since they do less damage than iron weapons, but it is still possible should one want to use them. A unique weapon of this type is the Valaura, a poisonous Light Magic tome. Explained that it's corrupted magic.
- Arrows in NetHack can be poisoned, which can lead to much frustration since poison can sometimes cause instant death.
- Magicka has several poisoned weapons. They also are the only way to create poison elementals.
- Diablo II allows low-level Necromancers to enchant daggers with poison. Poison enchantments on weapons was also quite common, even though these enchantments were generally far from lethal in any way.
- There's Bruno from Quest for Glory I and the same Bruno's in Quest for Glory V. The poisoned daggers were a plot point in the second. The hero could obtain and even use one. Not recommended if you're playing a paladin.
- Deus Ex features poisoned crossbow bolts, which serve as tranquilizer darts (though they kill you). In the sequel there is a similar dart gun, but also a hidden, poisoned dagger. Striking your enemies with it makes them cough from the poison in addition to extra damage. This is especially useful as continuous strikes will have your opponent hacking so much he won't have the chance to fight back.
- The Elder Scrolls
- The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion lets you poison your weapons. Any potion you make (or find) which only has negative effects will be treated as a poison and be applied to your weapon (delivering its effects to the next enemy you strike with a melee weapon or applying them to the next arrow you fire). This causes some confusion as to how a warhammer-or other blunt weapon, which has no method of actually transmitting the poison into the host's body-can be poisoned in the same manner as, say, a sword or battleaxe/waraxe.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, poison returns, but further testing one's Willing Suspension of Disbelief. A master of pickpocketing can reverse pickpocket a poison vial into their possession to poison them without the recipient noticing.
- Poison also appears in The Elder Scrolls Online, yet again delivering another case of Fridge Logic. Poison is made with the Alchemy skill line, which creates vials to be equipped neatly next to your weapon of choice, which in turn are consumed 20% of the time you attack with your weapon to apply their effects. This happens even if you are equipped with a magical staff that shoots fire and lasers. Some learnable skills also include poison in their attack; the Bow line, for instance, has three skills morphable into poison versions.
- Battle for Wesnoth has a Poison weapon special, used (in mainline) on Orcish Assassins' throwing knives, and Ghouls' claws. This ability turns both, especially Orcish assassins, into Demonic Spiders.
- The Dart Gun from Fallout 3 utilizes Radscorpion venom, and will instantly cripple the victim's legs as well as causing damage over time; the effect stacks up with the number of darts hitting the enemy. Interestingly enough, a sting from an actual Rad-Scorpion does not cause the crippling effect, only the initial damage and HP drain.
- The Ant-Agonizer's Ant Sting knife also has a poison effect.
- Point Lookout has the Fertilizer Shovel.
- Fallout: New Vegas ups the ante, by allowing you to craft numerous types of poison and apply them to any melee weapon. It wears off after one use, making it less useful on standard weapons, but kickass on thrown ones.
- Myst IV: Revelation: According to Achenar's journal, he used poisoned spears to kill the two large sea monsters (known as Cerpatees) in Haven.
- In Assassin's Creed II, Ezio can get a poison upgrade for his hidden blade. It's the quietest weapon in the game, and because it has a delayed effect, you can poison a target and then get long gone before the target finally dies. An interesting bug in the game means that if the poisoned target, while flailing around uncontrollably, hits anyone, all the guards will blame you and go into high alert.
- Monster Hunter series: Poisoned weapons do exist, but they behave a little differently from the norm. First, each monster has its own tolerance to poison — Bnahabra die instantly from poison smoke, while bigger monsters tend to resist it more readily. Also, each monster takes a given amount of damage maximum from the poison, and no weapon can inflict more or less. That said, a weapon's Poison attribute is in fact its virulence - a higher attribute means that the poison starts doing damage with fewer blows. Neurotoxins (paralysis) and sleeping agents (sleep) behave in the same way.
- Exile and Avernum give players the ability to poison melee weapons or arrows. Handy for taking out that nasty spellcaster hanging out in the back, as multiple hits from poisoned weapons makes the poison worse. There's also the Alien Blade, which constantly drips poison.
- There are enough enemies dealing poisoned attacks to make poison resistances and cures necessary. Same with the Geneforge series.
- Early FPS/RPG Strife allows you to use poisoned bolts for your crossbow, turning it from your weakest weapon to a One-Hit Kill weapon on grunts.
- Command & Conquer: Generals allows the GLA to infect their tank shells with toxins given the proper upgrade. Dr. Thrax, in the Zero Hour expansion, takes it Up to Eleven and places poison on everything in his arsenal.
- The Latin Junta in March Of War have a similar combat philosophy to Dr. Thrax.
- Dark Souls has some poisoned weapons, throwing knives, and arrows. Also, enemies in Blighttown use poison darts and giant clubs. Rotten Pine Resin can also be applied to almost any weapon to temporarily add a poison effect.
- In League of Legends Teemo uses a blowgun with poisoned darts, Twitch uses poisoned crossbow bolts, and Gangplank soaks his blades in grog - which is apparently pretty strong stuff, because it deals damage over time and slows enemies it hits. Cassiopeia and Singed cut out the middleman and simply blast people with contact poison or gas.
- The Viper Blade and Scorpio Staff can inflict poison on targets in Kid Icarus: Uprising. And any weapon can be made poisonous with powers and customized abilities.
- One of the robots in The Journeyman Project shoots the player with a tranquilizer dart that will kill them if they try to leave the laboratory without finding an antidote first. The same dart gun is used to neutralize the Big Bad at the end.
- Certain Battle Realms units have weapons that have poisoned. The Serpent Clan's Zen Master Shinja dual wields poisoned swords, while the Crossbowman and Bandit can have their crossbow bolts tipped with poison. Lotus Clan Diseased Ones exude a poisonous gas to attack.
- In Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain, Lian Xing gets to use poisoned shurikens while on a ninja-style stealth mission disguised as a Sherpa.
- The Game Breaking Nightglow Sword in Jade Cocoon delivers a guaranteed poison status to nearly any enemy and all but one of the bosses.
- Dwarf Fortress has various syndromes that can be carried by monsters. !!Science!! has shown that these syndromes can be applied to weapons for lots of fun for both your enemies and your dwarves.
- Warcraft III has two main kinds of poison: Envenomed Weapons does damage over time (but can only reduce HP to 1 if the target runs away) and Slow Poison slows the target's movements. The Undead's Disease Cloud also deals low damage for a long time without killing, the Night Elves' Orb of Venom gives the hero Envenomed Weapons (and an anti-air attack if melee) and the Warden's Shadow Strike hurls a poisoned dagger for massive damage, damage over time, and slow.
- Dragon's Crown
- The Toxic Extract skill of the Elf allows her to add poison to her arrows and daggers. The Dragon's Crown artbook mentions that elves specifically use poison harvested from Hydeland's cat-sized scorpions for their weapons.
- The Cranequin crossbow the characters could pick up use poisoned bolts as ammo.
- From Bayonetta 2 there's the Kafka, a large bow crafted from a demonic dragonfly that can shoot out venomous spears or even infernal insects, all of which can poison an enemy and slow their movement. Also, when she uses the Tetsuzankou technique when wielding the Rodin the weapon will turn into a poisonous whip that can hit multiple enemies at once.
- One of the targets in Hitman: Codename 47 and it's "remake" Hitman: Contracts (The same target) wields a poisoned sword that he will use in combat if he spots 47. This acts as a one hit kill in the first game, and deals a lot of damage in the remake. In the remake, 47 can take the sword, and use it against guards, although it's not a very good idea, as the sword cannot be hidden or taken into other levels. In addition, the target's personal bodyguard is immune to the sword, either for unexplained reasons or [[Kevlard]].
- In Evolve, Val and Abe's adaptations both carry guns that inflict poison damage. in addition, both hunters and monsters have access to perks that add a poison DOT to their attacks.
- Fortune Summoners: In the Story Within a Story, Magical Girl Merrin, Part 4/12:
goblins descended on Merrin from all directions. Their swords were bent and rusty, their bows and arrows small and ridiculous... but even these could be deadly when coated in terrible poison, and the weapons lashing out at Merrin were.
- Chantelise: As the Flavor Text for the Poison Crystal says:
Coats your sword in poison.
- In Gigantic Voden can poison his arrows with toxic spores, while Ramsay can coat his Whipblade with the poisonous juices of a Juju fruit. In both cases the enemy struck with a poisoned weapon is inflicted with the Poison status effect which deals damage over time and makes healing less effective.
- In Rice Boy, T-O-E (one of the good guys) carries a poison blade, possibly anticipating that he would have to fight Golgo, and that poison was the only thing that could kill Golgo.
- The Order of the Stick has Daimyo Kubota using a poisoned ring to kill Therkla after she decides to act in a way that is not in his best interests.
- Girl Genius not only hints that Smoke Knight's weapons are poisoned, but shows how it can be used for an insult (what with those poisonous frogs and all):
Tarvek: Violetta — have you been licking your knives again?
- Violetta also uses a variation. Zola high on "Movit #11" receives a blowdart in the back and mocks the attempt... until Violetta explains the nature of the poison.
Violetta: Tsk, I know that. That wasn't poison, that was more Movit #11. Now all I have to do is watch you combust.
- More people with Smoke Knight training have shown up, and every time anyone has been hurt by them, a poison was involved. It's like they don't have any non-poisoned blade.
- Wulfenbach commandos had poisoned dirks. Fast-acting stuff, apparently.
- Violetta also uses a variation. Zola high on "Movit #11" receives a blowdart in the back and mocks the attempt... until Violetta explains the nature of the poison.
- In Strays, Feral's foe uses them.
- In Digger, Boneclaw Mother augmented her Natural Weapon by coating the claws of her left paw in poison, in case things got desperate. Afterwards, she had to clip them down to the quick to remove the poison.
- Survival of the Fittest: Blood Boy's assigned weapons are an Ida (an African sword) and a vial of poison meant to be applied to the blade.
- Phase (Ayla Goodkind) of the Whateley Universe is now carrying some poisoned throwing darts. When chided for it by an instructor, she shows she also carries a syringe of antidote.
- By way of contrast, the instructors never bothered to even ask Master Poisoner Jobe about this; it's simply assumed by everyone that any of the dozens of holdouts she is carrying is coating in something potentially lethal, and the fact that she's known to carry antidotes for them only goes so far given the sort of nastiness she uses.
- In one episode of The Simpsons with Homer's brother, Herb, Bart is given a membership card to the NRA as a present from Herb so Bart can buy a machinegun when he's older. He asks if he can get armour piercing cyanide-tipped bullets to go with it. Herb replies, "It's in the constitution, son."
- In Sandokan, one evil tribe uses poisoned spears.
- Generally speaking, poisoned weapons were not very commonly used in warfare, as they were an unreliable and overly complicated way of killing a person. Any injury inflicted with a poisoned weapon is more than likely to bleed out faster than the poison could be absorbed; even if were to be absorbed in sufficient amounts, it would take some time before the effects actually come into play. Typically, poisoned weapons were mainly used for hunting, in which case the poison can be given enough time to take hold and debilitate an animal, so that a hunter can catch up and deliver the final blow. For obvious reasons, this requires a poison that is relatively benign and/or destroyed by the heat of cooking.
- In exception to the above, poisoning darts and arrows was a fairly common practice in ancient times; in fact, the word toxic comes from the Greek toxikon, a poison made from yew extract for use on arrows (toxa). However, this was mainly done to make up for their lack of power and wounding potential: as projectile weapons became more powerful and more deadly, the practice became less and less necessary for warfare. Today, the only place where poisoned projectile weapons remain in widespread use is in the Amazon, where local tribes use blowdarts coated in curare to hunt small animals.
- Though poison itself is a common method of discreetly killing people, poisoned weapons have been rarely employed for assassinations. However, there are noticeable exceptions: Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov was assassinated in 1978 by a ricin-filled pellet, which may have been shot into his leg by a KGB agent using a modified umbrella.
- Prior to the 20th century, most casualties in warfare were not caused by enemy action, but rather by secondary causes. Wounds could easily get infected, leading to illness and eventually, death; insanitary conditions in cramped conditions allowed for illness to spread easily. Some people realized that the risk of infection through injury could be increased by smearing their weapons with feces, which was employed by the Viet Cong during The Vietnam War in combination with traps using sharpened bamboo poles, commonly known as Punji sticks. Likewise, corpses were often used as projectiles during medieval sieges, in hopes of spreading disease.
- In 1973, an African-American school superintendent by the name of Marcus Foster was shot multiple times by the Symbionese Liberation Army. During the coroner's examination, it was discovered that all eight bullets contained cyanide. Somewhat unsurprisingly however, the cause of death was from being shot eight times.
- British scientists during World War II worked upon a grenade shooting dozens of poisoned needles instead of your common shrapnel. The project was scrapped; the sadism-to-usefulness ratio was too wide.
- Early bullets were usually made entirely out of lead, which is a toxic metal. Assuming that a gunshot victim lived long enough, secondary poisoning from the bullet lodged in their body may become an issue. It is for this that "lead poisoning" became a common euphemism for getting shot. Modern bullets are generally made out of lead as well, but coated with copper (which tends to be less toxic).
- Depleted uranium, a byproduct of nuclear reactors, is used by a number of countries for military purposes. The density of uranium (which is much higher than steel or lead), along with its propensity for spontaneous ignition and self-sharpening on impact, are all ideal qualities for armour-piercing ammunition. Depleted uranium however, is mildly radioactive; while the residue from a single round is unlikely to do lasting harm, firing thousands of them across the battlefield can leave enough radioactive dust to cause long-term health problems in those exposed to it.
- A development called Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME) uses powderized tungsten alloys to limit the size of an explosion while maintaining lethality. While intended to reduce collateral damage, there are concerns that the metal particles ejected by the explosion could potentially be highly carcinogenic.