Prismatic spray / poison question


Rules Questions

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

I have a question about the green beam effect of prismatic spray. The effect is:

PRD wrote:
Poison (Frequency 1/rd. for 6 rd.; Init. effect death; Sec. effect 1 Con/rd.; Cure 2 consecutive Fort saves)

I don't understand the point of the secondary Con damage effect. The initial effect is death, so if you fail your save, you die and don't need further saves against the Con damage. If you pass your initial save, you avoid the poison altogether:

PRD wrote:
All afflictions grant a saving throw when they are contracted. If successful, the creature does not suffer from the affliction and does not need to make any further rolls. If the saving throw is a failure, the creature falls victim to the affliction and must deal with its effects.

Emphasis mine. So, what's the point of the Con damage?

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2014 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 32

I think I found the answer, which is that they are working on a correction but haven't made it yet...

Jason Bulmahn says...

Silver Crusade

Ok the description says 2 consecutive Fort saves. So, make the first save, then have to make the second to avoid the 1 Con/Rd?


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Jokem wrote:
Ok the description says 2 consecutive Fort saves. So, make the first save, then have to make the second to avoid the 1 Con/Rd?

That's how I interpret it.

Observation: This is one of the very few "save or die" effects still in the game.

Sovereign Court

No it needs to be changed. The way the rules work is if you get attacked by a poison attack, you make the initial save at the moment of the attack. If you succeed you are not poisoned at all. If you fail you take the listed damage, if there are two effects you take the initial effect right away.

Afterward each time you make the save against the poison on your turn in the following rounds you take no damage for a success or take the secondary effects on a failure. The poison lasts until you make the requisite number of saves, you cure it via the heal skill or spell, or the duration runs out.

--Schoolhouse Vrock

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The way I played it last night was the 1st save was as follows:
The ray hits you, you are poisoned period.
Initial save was vs Death.
Round 2-6 saves were vs 1 CON.


Bit of a necro, but while we're at it, poison rules say if you make the initial save against the poison, no more effects. To me it looks like the con damage is just there as an after thought in case you happen to be immune to Death effects for some reason and isn't really expected to come up.


chaoseffect wrote:
Bit of a necro, but while we're at it, poison rules say if you make the initial save against the poison, no more effects. To me it looks like the con damage is just there as an after thought in case you happen to be immune to Death effects for some reason and isn't really expected to come up.

But...But...

The poison isn't a death effect.


Snowblind wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
Bit of a necro, but while we're at it, poison rules say if you make the initial save against the poison, no more effects. To me it looks like the con damage is just there as an after thought in case you happen to be immune to Death effects for some reason and isn't really expected to come up.

But...But...

The poison isn't a death effect.

It would be rather odd if something that literally causes "death" isn't death effect, but I see your point. RAW there is no phrase specifically calling it one.

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