In-game description "Poison drips from your hands."
Message when acquired "Suddenly a poisonous fluid begins to drop from your hands!"
Message when removed "The fluid dripping from your hands suddenly is gone."
Attribute changes None.
Other effects Melee attacks are poisonous;
Food becomes cursed on touch;
Potions become potions of poison on touch.

Poison hands is one of the 35 possible corruptions that can be inflicted on the PC. When in effect, it causes a variety of effects to objects the PC interacts with:

  • Opponents hit in melee (either with a barehanded attack or with a weapon) will be poisoned (unless they are naturally immune to poison on account of being undead or animated).
  • Any non-artifact potions will be transformed into potions of poison when interacted with. The transformation will take place before the specified action is performed, but the action will be performed nevertheless — drinking any potion will result in becoming poisoned, dipping any item will result in the item being coated with poison, etc. This does include potion of cure corruption.
  • Any food will become cursed when interacted with. As with the above effect, transformation will take place before the action is performed — all food will be consumed as if it was cursed before being tampered with.

All poison hands effects are blocked completely while the PC is wearing thick gauntlets.


Poison hands corruption is typically seen as negative by most players due to a number of reasons.

Melee poisoning

Adding a poisoning effect to any melee weapon or barehanded attacks is a very powerful combat bonus. Poison effectively boosts melee damage output, can partially offset quick regeneration of some monsters and seems to significantly increase the chance for the opponent to panic and start to flee. This can take some pressure from the PC if (s)he likewise sustained heavy damage or open up a possibility of performing a ranged attack without the fear of immediate retaliation.

Potion poisoning

Potion transformation occur every time the PC interacts with a non-artifact potion in any way. The most general consequences of such an effect include the following:

  • The PC will be unable to drink a potion for its original effect. Not having an immediate access to various healing potions in the midst of a battle can easily get the PC killed. Receiving buffs from stat gain/boost potions will have to be postponed. Potions of cure corruption will be useless.
  • The PC will be unable to dip items to get the desired effect (unless the desired effect is to poison the weapon/stack of missiles). In practice, only holy water is likely to be used to dip potions in, but not having the means to bless an item is a very significant disadvantage.
  • The PC will not be able to use disabling potions to inflict blindness and confusion on monsters removing yet another way to soften opposition.
  • The PC will be unable to drop/pick up potions without transforming them into poison.

Food poisoning

Any food touched by the PC will automatically get cursed which results in the following negative consequences:

  • Food will become less nutritious increasing the possibility of running out of supplies.
  • Corpses will decay much faster increasing the difficulty of preserving them.
  • Most herbs will drastically drop in efficiency: spenseweed will heal negligible amounts of HP, moss of marelion will abuse Dexterity instead of training it, stomafillia will become barely satiating.

Coping with poison hands

As mentioned above, thick gauntlets will block all effects of the corruption when worn. Players are advised to carry one or several pairs with them and possibly stashing a spare in a safe place.

Thick gauntlets make handling the corruption quite trivial. Wearing a pair at all times will protect the player from making mistakes at the cost of no melee poisoning. It is also perfectly possible to constantly switch them for another pair of gloves/gauntlets and back whenever the need arises. This approach, however, is potentially much more dangerous:

  • Forgetting to put on thick gauntlets before dropping/picking potions and food (working with item stashes, leaving important items outside of areas with increase item destruction) will cost the player all potions in question (food can be uncursed later). The effect on end-game stashes is particularly destructive.
  • Switching a pair of gloves takes at least 1 game turn which may cut off the possibility of using potions for emergency healing.

Getting afflicted with poison hands while having neither a pair of thick gauntlets nor means of removing corruption is a significant disadvantage. All potions will have to be left on the ground and food management becomes an issue. The only guaranteed scroll of corruption removal in the High Mountain Village is always cursed and will not help without means of uncursing not dependent on holy water.

There are no guaranteed early-game sources of thick gauntlets. Chaos knights often drop them, but they are high-DL monsters and are unlikely to be encountered early on. They start to appear in the wilderness as soon as the PC reaches experience level 25. PC Chaos Knights always start with a pair of thick gauntlets which is particularly desirable as they can also start the game with the corruption itself.

Alchemistic gloves and artifact Shezestriakis provide partial protection from poison hands by allowing the PC to pick up potions and food without transforming the items although this protection does not activate 100% of the time. Unfortunately, they still do not prevent transformation when the PC drinks a potion or eats food.

Tips & tricks

Negative effects of poison hands can be used for practical gain when the transformation actually improves a potion or food:

  • Useless potions can be transformed into poison deliberately to create a stash which will be used after the corruption is removed.
  • Stomacemptia herbs can be deliberately cursed in order to improve their efficiency.
  • Cursed spider bread is much more nutritious for Dark Elven PCs.

See also[]