Poison - when do you make the saving throw


Rules Discussion

Silver Crusade

I couldn't find the answer to a simple question.

Let's say you're hit by a giant centipede and fail your initial fortitude save.

When do you make your next save? I think maybe on the centipedes next turn but that requires an insane level of bookkeeping if the centipedes have their own initiatives. Not to mention what happens if you're poisoned by more than one centipede in the fight?

Poison is potentially do deadly that I had it happen at the end of the players next turn


The duration is one round, so, yes, it's at the beginning of the giant centipede's turn.
If you're poisoned by more than one centipede, their poison doesn't stack, the second exposure only increases the current stage. The initial duration is kept, and as such the moment it is activated.
If you are poisoned by a giant spider and a giant centipede, then, it's another story, as you'll have to keep track of both poisons.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Step 3: End your Turn - CRB p. 469 wrote:
If you have a persistent damage condition, you take the damage at this point. After you take the damage, you can attempt the flat check to end the persistent damage. You then attempt any saving throws for ongoing afflictions. Many other conditions change at the end of your turn, such as the frightened condition decreasing in severity. These take place after you’ve taken any persistent damage, attempted flat checks to end the persistent damage, and attempted saves against any afflictions.

You roll at the end of your turn.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In my first game last Friday, we had precisely this situation. A PC was bit by a giant centipede and failed his save. Subsequent rounds also saw him fail his save. His buddy used medicine to treat poison, but all that does is grant a bonus to the saving throw.

Soon, the damage from the poison took him below zero hit points. Without magical healing or stabilization, he wound have died quickly, since with the added damage of the third-stage poison, he would have progressed two stages of the Dying condition per round.

Two things saved this PC. Stablization (via the Medicine skill) removed the dying condition, then when the poison progressed again, he only fell to Dying 2. And the poison is listed as having a six-round maximum duration, so at the end of the six rounds, he ceased taking the effects of the poison.

Poisons are really nasty in PF2. Some of the worst ones have "dead" listed as the final stage, making good FORT saves very, very important for survival.


I'm using Archive of Nethys, they sometimes make mistakes when transcribing rules. And for afflictions, they say:

"An affliction typically has multiple stages, each of which lists an effect followed by an interval in parentheses. When you reach a given stage of an affliction, you are subjected to the effects listed for that stage.

At the end of a stage’s listed interval, you must attempt a new saving throw."

So, it looks to me that both rules are a bit misleading in case of 1 round duration affliction stages. When are you supposed to make the first saving throw?


SuperBidi wrote:

I'm using Archive of Nethys, they sometimes make mistakes when transcribing rules. And for afflictions, they say:

"An affliction typically has multiple stages, each of which lists an effect followed by an interval in parentheses. When you reach a given stage of an affliction, you are subjected to the effects listed for that stage.

At the end of a stage’s listed interval, you must attempt a new saving throw."

So, it looks to me that both rules are a bit misleading in case of 1 round duration affliction stages. When are you supposed to make the first saving throw?

This difference between the general affliction rules and the end of turn rules from the encounter mode chapter were also present in the playtest. I don't think it was ever cleared up.

However, the general rules for affliction are probably talking about stuff like curses, diseases and slow poisons that have intervals of like 1 minute and more. You can hardly tack those to the end of your turn outside of encounter mode.

So I'd say it's a case of "specific beats general". In this case, the specific rules of handling an affliction in encounter mode beat the general affliction rules.


Blave wrote:

This difference between the general affliction rules and the end of turn rules from the encounter mode chapter were also present in the playtest. I don't think it was ever cleared up.

However, the general rules for affliction are probably talking about stuff like curses, diseases and slow poisons that have intervals of like 1 minute and more. You can hardly tack those to the end of your turn outside of encounter mode.

So I'd say it's a case of "specific beats general". In this case, the specific rules of handling an affliction in encounter mode beat the general affliction rules.

On paper, they are not incompatible. You could, for example, start rolling saves at your turn and every round as soon as you get poisoned. But I must admit I dislike this kind of rules where, depending on the initiative order, your healer may have the chance to cure you before your first save or not. As a DM, I'll make the roll at the moment you got poisoned, to be as fair as possible.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
SuperBidi wrote:
I dislike this kind of rules where, depending on the initiative order, your healer may have the chance to cure you before your first save or not. As a DM, I'll make the roll at the moment you got poisoned, to be as fair as possible.

You always make an initial save the moment you are poisoned (or diseased or cursed) and failure immediatey puts you at stage 1 of the affliction, including any damage. The rules are just a bit ambivalent about when you make the next save to try to reduce the stage by 1.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

For ease of running (and also because I think it's likely to be the intention), I get my players to roll the initial roll at the time of affliction, and subsequent rolls during their turn. I think they've been doing this at the start of their turn in our games, but I will change to having them do it at the end now that I've seen the reference from page 469 (thanks Blave)

Silver Crusade

Blave wrote:
Step 3: End your Turn - CRB p. 469 wrote:
If you have a persistent damage condition, you take the damage at this point. After you take the damage, you can attempt the flat check to end the persistent damage. You then attempt any saving throws for ongoing afflictions. Many other conditions change at the end of your turn, such as the frightened condition decreasing in severity. These take place after you’ve taken any persistent damage, attempted flat checks to end the persistent damage, and attempted saves against any afflictions.
You roll at the end of your turn.

Thanks. That seems definitive. I wish they'd put that somewhere clearer, mind :-)

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Rules Discussion / Poison - when do you make the saving throw All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.