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Detect poison was a divination spell that allowed the caster to sense if a creature or an object was poisonous or had been poisoned.[1][6][7] It was one of the spells available from the Balance of Belaros, a holy relic of Tyr.[12]


Upon casting this spell, the caster could examine one creature, object, or a 5 ft3 (3.5 m3) volume and know instantly if it had been poisoned or if it was poisonous to the caster.[1] The earlier version of this spell was not instantaneous but lasted for at least 10 minutes and the caster could examine multiple targets at a rate of one per minute.[6][7] Both versions had a chance to determine the exact type of poison. The probability of success for the newer version depended on the caster's wisdom[1] while the earlier spell depended on the caster's level.[6][7] Skilled alchemists could also use their alchemical knowledge to detect poison.[1]

This spell could successfully detect poison through barriers, but could not penetrate 3 ft (91 cm) of wood or dirt, 1 ft (30 cm) of stone, 1 in (2.5 cm) of regular metals, or a thin layer of lead.[1]


Both versions of this spell required verbal and somatic components, but only the older version needed a strip of vellum, blessed specifically for this purpose. The vellum turned black in the presence of poison.[6][7]


See Also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 219. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  2. James Wyatt, Darrin Drader, Christopher Perkins (October 2003). Book of Exalted Deeds. (TSR, Inc), pp. 54, 57. ISBN 0-7869-3136-1.
  3. Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, Skip Williams (July 2003). Dungeon Master's Guide v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 181. ISBN 0-7869-2889-1.
  4. James Wyatt (October 2001). Oriental Adventures (3rd edition). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 93. ISBN 0-7869-2015-7.
  5. Richard Baker (November 2004). Complete Arcane. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 91. ISBN 0-7869-3435-2.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 199. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 254. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  8. Cook, Findley, Herring, Kubasik, Sargent, Swan (1991). Tome of Magic 2nd edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 1-56076-107-5.
  9. Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), p. 186. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
  10. Gary Gygax, David Cook, and François Marcela-Froideval (1985). Oriental Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 58. ISBN 0-8803-8099-3.
  11. Steve Perrin (1988). Dreams of the Red Wizards. (TSR, Inc), p. 39. ISBN 0-88038-615-0.
  12. Ed Greenwood and Doug Stewart (1997). Prayers from the Faithful. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 9–10. ISBN 0-7869-0682-0.