Cloudkill + Delay poison


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10 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 1 person marked this as a favorite.

so as I see it there a few ways that it could go down.
1) it just beats cloudkill
2) You mark all the con damage you take round by round, and when delay wears off you take that damage once per round until it's all been applied.
3) you take all the con damage at once, and maybe die.

currently I'm leaning towards #2.
obviously MOST of the time 2 and 3 don't change much, since unless it's enough damage to reduce your con to 0 you're just fine.

related question:
Can you neutralize poison that's being delayed?
if yes, does it work on the delayed con damage of cloudkill?


1.
Delay poison makes you immune to poison and therefore also cloudkill.
So while delay poison is in effect, you suffer no ill effects from cloudkill.

Cloudkill only harms you when while you are in the cloud, so no effects build up or linger in your system.

related answer:
Yes. As I read delay poison any poison affecting you continues to expire, and in that time it can be neutralized as normal.
- there is no delayed con damage from cloudkill.

If the expiration is put on hold until the spell ends (which is a reasonable assumption, given the name - there may be some legacy issues in the rules text since putting poisons on hold isn't mentioned):
then still, yes. Poisons on hold can still be neutralized.

Shadow Lodge

DonDuckie wrote:

As I read delay poison any poison affecting you continues to expire, and in that time it can be neutralized as normal.

- there is no delayed con damage from cloudkill.

If the expiration is put on hold until the spell ends (which is a reasonable assumption, given the name - there may be some legacy issues in the rules text since putting poisons on hold isn't mentioned):
then still, yes. Poisons on hold can still be neutralized.

This is not the intent of the spell. The spell doesn't explicitly say that the effect's duration is put on hold, but it does say "Any poison in its system or any poison to which it is exposed during the spell's duration does not affect the subject until the spell's duration has expired." This implies that the poison does affect the target after Delay Poison's duration has expired. After all, the poison is Delayed, not Suppressed for the duration. Delay requires that the effect happens later.

Also, common sense, if the poison could expire and become harmless while Delay Poison was in effect, preventing the target from taking any further damage, Delay Poison would be superior to the higher-level Neutralize Poison since most poisons would expire in the hours-long duration and Delay Poison doesn't require a caster level check vs the poison like Neutralize does.

I would go with option (2)


I can't speak of the intent; I don't know who wrote it, or what he or she says on the matter. But that possibility is an option.

I can't see why it would be (2): delay poison makes you're immune to poison -- if you immune to poison then cloudkill has no effect on you as per the rules text of cloudkill.

On the superiority: neutralize poison also has the option of suppressing poison attacks in opponents, making it more useful as offense (debuff) in combat, which could account for the level discrepancy.

I admit there's only one poison in ultimate equipment which has >1 hour duration (1 day), but the concept of a substance that kills over the course of hours, days, or weeks is not unthinkable - most real world poisons (almost anything really) would kill/harm over longer periods.

Shadow Lodge

You're immune to poison for the duration of the spell - the intent is definitely to have the poison hit you later (hence, again, Delay Poison not Suppress Poison - word choice can reveal intent). It's possible that Cloudkill works differently because of a technicality but it seems wrong, and again the second sentence in Delay Poison seems to place a clear definition on temporary immunity: it doesn't absolve you from the need to track poison you've been exposed to, because you'll suffer the consequences later. Otherwise the spell would read "The subject becomes temporarily immune to poison. Any poison in its system or any poison to which it is exposed during the spell's duration does not affect the subject." Full stop. Or possibly "The subject becomes temporarily immune to poison. Any poison in its system or any poison to which it is exposed during the spell's duration does not affect the subject unless the duration of that poison is longer than the spell's duration, in which case it takes effect when the spell expires."

Offensively neutralizing a poison is a nice option and one I personally have taken advantage of, but I don't think it's worth the extra spell level if Delay Poison allows duration to run out. Practically speaking it's better to hit the melee party member with Delay Poison and have them occupy the poisonous creature, or even spend a Communal Delay Poison (also level 3) to make the entire party immune to poison. Offensively neutralizing a poison requires a save, but making yourself (or your entire party) immune to poison doesn't require a save. With no chance of failure it's objectively better.

Long-duration poisons are certainly relevant from a world/realism POV but not from a balance/game design POV since players do not generally encounter them.

EDIT: There's also the fact that the guidelines on spell design say "Watch out for spells that counter or otherwise render useless equal- or higher-level magics. For defensive spells, countering an equal-level spell is fine (like shield negating magic missile)..." This suggests it's unlikely that a 2nd level spell (or 3rd level for the communal version) ought to completely negate a 5th level spell.

The Exchange

well at least this discussion means I didn't overlook something obvious lol.

The "or exposed to" line of text is the major argument for me. My first reaction was "cloud kill won't exist anymore, so it's damage shouldn't exist" but then i re-read it and came to the conclusion that 1 was a very generous interpretation.


agreed, it's pretty ambiguous for cases like this where the poison is a magic effect with it's own duration as a spell, vs. as a normal poison.
i hit FAQ, it seems worthy of clarification, and cloud kill or stinking cloud are pretty common spells.

One thing to note is the persistent effects of those spells' poison, i.e. duration of effect after you step out of them or the spell ends, as opposed to the spell duration. Thus, it's arguable that THAT is the only actual 'poison duration', the duration of the Cloudkill/Stinking Cloud spell itself is not changed or delayed/time-shifted by Delay Poison... If that makes sense :-).

Since those spells don't trigger multiple Saves from one dose, you will only ever be faced by one Save vs the Poison. If you already failed that and then had Delay Poison cast on you, then the remaining poison duration kicks back in when Delay Poison ends, but the SPELL duration is not extended.

If you already had Delay Poison cast on you before afffected by Cloudkill/Stinking Cloud, then if Delay Poison ends after Cloudkill/Stinking Cloud themself have ended then you don't have to roll a Save because the Cloudkill/etc are no longer in effect.

...???

Shadow Lodge

The way I see it working normally is that the poison doesn't hurt you, but it's still in your system until Delay Poison wears off - and if you are exposed to multiple doses of poison, multiple doses are still in your system. At the end of Delay Poison you're affected by these poisons at the normal rate with the normal dose effects. I don't think it's debatable that that's the effect for normal poisons (as opposed to the poisons leaving your system during the spell effect) for the reasons I posted above.

Thus when someone under the effect of Delay Poison enters an area of Cloudkill, I would expect that the magical poison would still enter the person's system without hurting them, but it would remain in the system until the spell expires and then affect the person at the normal rate (d4 Con per round), with the normal dose effect (number of rounds of damage). And just like you make saves for a poison, you'd get a save if entitled and you haven't already made one to reduce the cloudkill effect. Though since Cloudkill doesn't work mechanically in the same way as a normal poison, I wouldn't be too surprised if the devs said otherwise in this case, and I hit the FAQ.

The spell Poison might also be affected by a ruling, though that one does have mechanical effects close to an actual poison.

Benrislove wrote:

Can you neutralize poison that's being delayed?

if yes, does it work on the delayed con damage of cloudkill?

You should be able to neutralize a poison that's delayed, including cloudkill if it works the way I think it works.


Well that's the thing, spells disappear after their duration, so there is no more poison from them remaining after they expire. If you already were affected by them before before receiving Delay Poison, then the effects of poison can continue after Delay Poison ends: those effects are suppressed by Delay Poison but can continue in the absense of the poison/spells. If you were already protected by Delay Poison when you walk into a Cloudkill/etc, then there is never any effects on your body being suppressed, you are Immune and protected from the Poison affecting your body in the first place, so if there is no more Poison/Spell left when Delay Poison ends then there is nothing to trigger an effect on your body.

Shadow Lodge

Nonmagical poisons also disappear after their duration ends. If you're stung by a giant scorpion while under the effect of Delay Poison, is there never any poison in your system because you're immune?


Delay Poison specifically suspends and delays poison, but it doesn't do anything about spells.
The spells here are basically creating poison with zero duration it's own for the entirety of the spell duration.
Because if you step into a Cloudkill/etc on the very last round of the spell,
and pass/are immmune to that save, there is no further duration of any poison past the spell duration.
I guess the question might be: should you roll the save vs. Cloudkill/etc ANYWAYS when you are in the spells' area?
And if you fail, then that effect is suspended/delayed?
If you don't make any roll during the time the spell is in effect, I don't see why you should after the spell no longer exists.
(and when you make the save matters if you saves change, i.e. slamming antitoxin to boost your save for when Delay Poison wears off)
If it's clarified that you SHOULD roll that Save (which most people don't do when immune to something),
then that effect could plausibly be suspended/delayed.

Anyhow, definitely FAQ worthy...

The Exchange

Bumping in hopes more people FAQ it, seems worthy of a true ruling.

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