Please don't create pages for poison recipes. We would like to keep this wiki free of spoilers.
However if you are looking for hints to get you started with some of the utility poisons you may find inspiration in the poetry section of our Library.


Solvents and Solutes

There are primarily two types of ingredients: solvents and solutes. Solvents are liquids which dissolve certain solids, called solutes.

Many poisons consist of mixing solvents and solutes to create a solution which is then refined to greater potency in the lab's various equipment.

There are some liquids, however, which need not be enhanced by solutes to create a usable poison.

The books found in the Ankh-Morpork library are an excellent source of information on solvents and solutes.

When adding a ground herb or body part to a solvent you are looking for a change in the colour of the liquid. If the colour doesn't change then that solute does not dissolve into that solvent - try a different solvent.

This is also true when processing solutions in the lab equipment. If processing a solution does not change its colour then that step is not required.

Black smoke and/or a blackened mess is the result of a failed skill check.

Be observant, sometimes the change in the colour's description can be quite subtle.

Collecting Herbs

There are two skills required to gather herbs for use in poisons:



Herbal determines your ability to identify specific herbs while your foraging skill determines how easily you can gather the herb.

A compilation of the various plants of the Disc can be found in the Herbarium.

Animal Parts

Some creatures on the Disc deliver a potent sting or bite. Their venom can by extracted by removing the sac or gland from their corpse. A knife capable of cutting is needed to remove body parts. A light weight scalpel can be bought from the Doctor in Ohulan-Cutash.

Most are small enough to fit the presses found in the various poison labs, however there is some variance, even among a single species, so not all sacs and glands are guaranteed to fit the presses.

Note that there are some other body parts mentioned in the Book of Beasts which are ground into powders rather than pressed for liquids.

Preventing Rot

Collected body parts and gathered herbs rot relatively quickly. Grinding or pressing them in the lab equipment will prevent this, and some player shops have automatic pickling machines that cost only a few pence per item, however not all ingredients are located close to a convenient lab or shop. Fortunately there are some portable options for preserving your valuable resources until you are able to return home.

Mortar and Pestle

A portable mortar and pestle can be purchased from market stalls in Ephebe and Ohulan-Cutsash. It doesn't have the same capacity as the Lab grinders and is relatively heavy, so keep an eye on your burden.

Wand of Pickling

Pickling sticks are small wands created by Wizards. Using the wand to pickle an item requires a very low bonus in magic.items.held.wands - around 10 skill or 50 bonus - and it TMs very nicely once you get your first couple of successes.

hold stick

zap <object> with stick

The wands can also be purchased from a store in Lancre but are likely to have less charges per wand.
Remember to be polite, Wizards can be grumpy if you catch them between meal times.

Hello Monkey! Lunchbox

The Hello Monkey! lunchbox is an airtight container, which can be purchased on Sion Street in BP. Any perishable herbs placed inside will be kept fresh provided the lid is closed.
Unlike other methods the preservation isn't permanent and the contents might degrade a little each time it is opened and closed.
It weighs less than a pound when empty and requires no skills to use.
(This wiki originally stated that the lunchbox preserved both herbs and body parts. After further testing it seems to only protect herbs from rot, and not sacs or glands. An idea report has been raised to ask whether this can be changed.)

Units of Measure

Liquid Measurement

Units Divisions Containers
1 Dart 10 Drops Dart / Spike
1 Teaspoon 20 Drops Small/Tiny Phial
1 Tablespoon 3 Teaspoons 60 Drops
100 Drops Shot Glass*
1 Ounce 2 Tablespoons 120 Drops
200 Drops Genuan Crystal Phial
300 Drops Alchemist's Vial
1 Gill 5 Ounces 600 Drops
1 Cup 8 Ounces 960 Drops
1000 Drops Hip Flask
10 Ounces 1200 Drops Small Clear Bottle
1 Pint 20 Ounces 2400 Drops Medium Clear Bottle
2500 Drops Small Canteen
4000 Drops Blackened Canteen / Large Bottle*
1 Quart 2 Pints 4800 Drops

*Note: The game reports large bottles as 2 pints and shot glasses as two tablespoons or an ounce, however these are approximations. Most large bottles only hold 4000 drops, not the 4800 drops that would be 2 pints. Similarly shot glassess hold 100 drops, not the 120 drops of a full ounce.

Clear bottles show their contents when looked at while they are in other containers. This allows you to easily identify them when looking at multiple bottles in a backpack, for example.
They can be purchased from the glass blower's shop on The Street of Cunning Artificers in Ankh-Morportk.

Small/tiny phials and Crystal phials fit in the phial pouch of the Ninja guild's blowpipe sash, however alchemist's vials do not.

Bottles can break if stored in non-wearable containers like boxes or sacks, but are safe in wearable containers such as satchels or backpacks.

Dry Measurement

Units Divisions
1 Handful 50 Pinches

When using the "get" or "take" commands it is only possible to take up to 1 handful at a time from  a container.

However once you learn the "palm" command, it can be used to take multiple handfuls at once.

palm <herb> from <container>

palm <x> handfuls of <herb> from <container>

Due to approximation 1 handful and 24 pinches will be displayed as 1 handful, while 1 handful and 25 pinches displays as 2 handfuls.

Tools & Equipment

Lab Equipment

Grinder Grinding herbs and some animal parts
Statue Pressing animal sacs and glands for liquids
Vase Steeping plant or animal matter in acid
Pot Heating liquids
Retort Distilling liquids to their essence


Bottles, phials and pipettes can be bought from  Long Nudle.

Pipettes are useful for separating and measuring liquids. They are accurate, but each size has a bit of variance.

You can always read your pipette to know exactly how much it holds.

Size Capacity Price
Teat 10 Drops 8Rh 40s
Tiny 20 Drops 8Rh 40s
Small 40-70 Drops 12Rh 60s
Medium 120-150 Drops 16Rh 80s
Large 160-190 Drops 20Rh 100s

Suction is applied to each of the pipettes via your mouth, with the exception of the teat pipette.

At low bonuses of covert.items.poisons it is possible to accidentally take some of the liquid into your mouth when doing this.

The reasons why this can be dangerous should be obvious.

The syntax for using a pipette is as follows:

hold pipette

suck <liquid> in <container> into pipette

empty pipette into <container>

The teat pipette also has the option to add individual drops to a container:

add 1 drop from pipette into <container>

add <x> drops from pipette into <container>

Darts and Phials

It is advisable to only dip your darts into your poison phial immediately before use, as drops will slowly drip off over time.

When first starting out you might need to dip your dart into the phial multiple times before the ridges of the dart are completely filled. This is probably dependent on your covert.items.poisons bonus, as it can be TM'd when dipping.

covert.manipulation.sleight-of-hand is also likely to help with successfully dipping while hidden.

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