About the Skill:
"A wise poison master never licks his fingers."
Subtler than an impaling sword, poisoning food and drink has long been a method of choice for the discerning assassin. For those with a flair for the dramatic, Poison can be applied to the blade of a weapon to swiftly bring an enemy to defeat in battle.
Along with the ability to poison weapons and food, higher levels of this skill improve the effectiveness of the Poison and Poison Field spells. Poisoning skill also grants a natural poison resistance which is 20% of the player's poisoning skill.
Poisoning takes the place of Tactics in determining the probability to perform poison Special Moves - These are Infectious Strike and Serpent Arrow. However, you must have a weapon skill of at least 70 to activate primary move weapons and at least 90 to activate secondary move weapons. The item property of Mage Weapon does not act as a substitute for a weapon skill when it comes to special moves.
Previously, a weapon that had been poisoned could be used by anyone and would have a chance to poison a target with each hit.
One of the criticisms of the Poisoning skill is that nearly any use of a Greater Cure Potion or Arch Cure spell in PvP combat would render a successful poisoning of a target useless. Poisoning remains very useful in PvM and roleplaying, however.
Standard weapons with the Infectious Strike/Serpent Arrow moves can be used to inflict Poison.
Prior to the introduction of these Special Moves, poison could be applied to most any weapon and inflicted by simply hitting your targets with it. Weapons coated this way would lose Durability as the poison corroded them, but could be cleaned with an Oil Cloth.
Now days, only Infectious Strike weapons, Shuriken and Fukiya Darts can still be poisoned in the original manner, and corrosion is no longer in effect. The Serpent Arrow move requires no actual poison (either on the weapon or in your pack) but requires high levels of Dexterity to be effective.
Throwing a Shuriken/Fukiya Dart will apply the poison regardless of your skill level. To use other weapons that have been poisoned, you must specifically activate the Infectious Strike move.
Having a high enough level of Poisoning skill can allow you to inflict a level of poison higher then that on the weapon.
Stabbing weapons are of course the ideal delivery method when it comes to infecting targets. These items can each created by Blacksmiths. Due to the large variety of poisonable weapons available to Fencers (at least, compared to other weapon skills), this skill could be considered the most popular choice.
How to train:
Unlike most skills, there is no accelerated skill gain New Player Quest for poisoning. But still, one no longer must train poisoning the old way in which many different targets had to be poisoned. Players may poison the same weapon or food item again and again to gain skill. Poisoning can be expensive and time-consuming to raise. One estimate is that reaching GM Poisoning requires about 80,000 Nightshade worth of various poisons.
The recommended type of poison to use for training is:
0 - 30: Train at an NPC Thief Guildmaster
30 - 40: Apply Lesser Poison
40 - 70: Apply Poison
70 - 92: Apply Greater Poison
92 - 100: Apply Deadly Poison
The skill ranges listed above also apply to the level of poison you may apply during the Infectious Strike/Serpent Arrow weapon skills. Using these abilities will also cause you to gain in poisoning. With each attempt to apply poison to a weapon or food item there is a chance for the player to accidentally poison themselves, so having a few Cure potions on-hand is recommended (especially when first moving on to a higher level of poison).
For a power gaming technique to train this skill see the Satyr Trick.
When you reach 70 in a melee skill, you have a chance of gaining in poisoning whenever you use the Infectious Strike special move; Tactics is not required. When you reach 90 in Archery and Tactics, you have a chance of gaining in poisoning when you use the Serpent Arrow special move. Suggestion, using Dryad Allure control an Arctic[Ogre Lord] and poison a 100% poison damage weapon and hit with infectious strike or Serpent Arrow.
Alchemy skill is required to produce poison from Nightshade. Many aspiring poisoners purchase poison by the keg-full from other players if they do not possess high levels of Alchemy.