So we recently encountered a spider swarm in a game and there was argument over what the basic reflex save is actually saving against.
"Each enemy in the spider swarm’s space takes 1d4 piercing damage with a DC 14 basic Reflex save. A creature that fails its save is exposed to spider swarm venom"
I think that the basic reflex save is for the damage because the CRB says basic saves halve the damage on success and negate the damage on a crit.
Most of the people think that the basic save is just to avoid the poison. But this would mean that you'd make two saves to just avoid the poison and swarms get to make 3 of these in a round with unmitigated damage.
Which is the correct interpretation? And please the more input the better.
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The basic save is for damage. Basic saves always are for damage and always work the same way.
But sometimes a basic save also has an additional rider effect, and that’s what’s going on here. In addition to your damage from the basic save, if you fail (or worse) you are exposed to (and deal with separately) the venom.