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Generally speaking, a drug is a substance which when ingested, smoked, injected, or absorbed into the body by any other method, causes either a mental and/or physical change within the organism.  It is different from food in that it is not consumed primarily for the purpose of nourishment.  When taken to promote health, or to combat a disease or an infection, it is generally referred to as a "medical" drug.  Any other use is generally thought of as "recreational".  The drugs described in this article fall into this final category.


This expensive drug is generally sold in wafer form. When ingested it acts as a powerful stimulant, eliminating tiredness for up to eight hours. Once the effects wear off, however, the user becomes completely exhausted. Side effects include jitteriness and difficulty concentrating.[1]


This powerful sedative is made from a plant found in marshy soil along the Yondabakari River in Varisia. It is generally mashed up and brewed into a bitter tea and is not generally thought to be habit-forming.[2]


Flayleaf is a wiry shrub with reddish-brown leaves that grows in almost any temperate environment. Leaves are harvested and dried, and when smoked produce a powerful sedative and hallucinogenic effect similar to drunkenness. It is also a powerful analgesic and muscle relaxant, rendering the user immune to most pain for up to four hours. It also causes the user to become very susceptible to suggestion.[3] The berries of the flayleaf plant are sometimes crushed and mixed with dream spider venom and spiderberry tea to produce a potent hallucinogen called Riddleport Tea (see below).[4] Unlike its cousin, the cabble-weed, flayleaf is sadly highly addictive.[2] Cost varies across regions with a full pouch of it going for around 12 gp in the highly permissive city of Riddleport in Varisia.[5]


Grit is an unpredictable drug created about 20 years ago in the Puddles district of Absalom. It is manufactured by grinding down alchemically enhanced barbarian chew, and mixed with toxic plant-based substances such as bitterbark or redroot. Grit is generally sold as a powder which is ingested, inhaled, or mixed with qat or flayleaf and smoked. Its effects vary greatly depending on how it is made and who is ingesting it, but it has been known to cause severe hallucinations, numbing, or uncontrollable rage. It is very expensive and highly addictive, and users are often blamed for escalating violent rampages in order to feed their habit.[6]


This drug is fairly common in the shadowy realm of Nidal, where it is taken by citizens who wish to appear to be true believers in Zon-Kuthon. It imparts a heightened tolerance to pain, an attribute much sought after there, but is sadly addictive. Users can be identified by red-purplish stains around their nostrils.[7]


Main article: Pesh

Pesh is a powerful stimulant and mild hallucinogenic made from the spoiled milk of a cactus found predominantly in the country of Katapesh and strangely enough, Darkmoon Vale.[8]


Qat acts as a mild stimulant and euphoriant when its leaves are chewed. Soldiers and warriors are known to use it before battle, although commanders tend to discourage this practice as the drug is addictive.[2]


Main article: Shiver

Shiver is a powerful hallucinogen and soporific made from the venom of the dream spider.[9]

Thileu Bark[]

Stripping the bark of the thileu tree (pronounced THIHL-ee-oo)[10] is a secret process known only to the Varisian people. Powdered it is exported around Avistan as a spice. Young Chelaxian nobles have taken to snorting the powder, claiming that it causes hallucinations, although most others just think that it burns their nasal passages and hurts a lot.[8] Sold as a spice it can cost as much as 100 gp a pound.[11]


Vayav or "demon gasp"[12] is a rare intoxicant manufactured by the drow of the Darklands. They use mushrooms harvested from the Midnight Mountains of Orv and mix them with a number of their poisons to create a pulpy violet mass that is smoked. Its effects include feeling euphoric and invincible and it heightens both pleasure and pain stimuli. It is not only highly addictive to the person smoking it, but can also causes dependence in anyone who simply inhales the fumes exhaled by another. In the Darklands it can be found for around 10 gp per dose, while on the surface it is generally not sold for under 200 gp.[13]

Yellowcap mushrooms[]

Yellowcap mushrooms are grown in Andoran and have a mild hallucinogenic effect when eaten. At one time they were very popular among the Andoran nobility, although the drug's popularity has declined dramatically since the revolution. These days, most people have never even heard of the fungus.[14]


  1. Jonathan H. Keith et al. (2010). Adventurer's Armory, p. 17. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Mike McArtor. (2008). Guide to Korvosa, p. 56. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-078-0
  3. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 216. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  4. James Jacobs, F. Wesley Schneider, Amber Scott, & Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). Second Darkness, p. 21. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-142-8
  5. Tim Hitchcock. (2008). St. Caspieran's Salvation. Shadow in the Sky, p. 71. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-115-2
  6. Louis Agresta. (2008). Slave Pits of Absalom, p. 4. Paizo Publishing, LLC.
  7. Joshua J. Frost et al. (2009). Cities of Golarion, p. 43. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-200-5
  8. 8.0 8.1 Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 217. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  9. Nicolas Logue, & Mike McArtor. (2008). Bestiary. Edge of Anarchy, p. 83. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-088-9
  10. Erik Mona et al. (2008). Campaign Setting, p. 247. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-112-1
  11. Mike McArtor. (2008). Guide to Korvosa, p. 35. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-078-0
  12. F. Wesley Schneider. (2008). Endless Night. Endless Night, p. 41. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-129-9
  13. F. Wesley Schneider. (2008). Endless Night. Endless Night, p. 40. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-129-9
  14. Craig Shackleton. (2009). The Prince of Augustana, p. 11. Paizo Publishing, LLC.