How long does the Slowed condition from a Cockatrice's Peck last?


Rules Discussion


This is text lifted from the PF2 SRD:

Calcification (incapacitation, primal, transmutation) A peck from a cockatrice hardens the flesh of the creature struck. The target must succeed at a DC 20 Fortitude save or become slowed 1 (or slowed 2 on a critical failure). Further failed saves against calcification increase the slowed condition. Once a creature’s actions are reduced to 0 by calcification, that creature becomes petrified. Every 24 hours after it was petrified, the victim can attempt a DC 20 Fortitude save to recover. On a success, it becomes flesh again, but is slowed 1 for the next 24 hours. On a critical success, the creature recovers and isn’t slowed. On a failure, the creature remains petrified, but can try again in 24 hours. On a critical failure, the petrification is permanent, and the creature can’t attempt any more saves.

Have I missed something? I cannot seem to find a duration listed for the slowed condition it applies. I was going to just rule that it lasts for 1 minute, but wanted to know what others thought. Thanks!


There doesn't appear to be one so the duration is until you pass a save that reduces slowed to 0 as far as I can tell.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

It looks very similar to the Flesh to Stone spell, which has a duration of 1 round on success (not present in calcification) and a once per turn re-save, until the condition ends (via losing the slowed condition either by saving out of it, or failing into petrified)

I think I'd run it following the rules as written for the regular failure case of Flesh to Stone.


Woof. The ability really doesn't read like Flesh to Stone, in that there's nothing suggesting you make repeated saves unless you are pecked multiple times. If you hit someone with the spell, they could eventually turn to stone with no further action from yourself. This doesn't work that way, so I don't think comparing it Flesh to Stone makes a lot of sense as written. If anything, the most logical thing to extrapolate off of would be the 24 hour cycles of getting petrified, breaking out of it, and being slowed for another day.

That is VERY disruptive for the adventure though, so I'm not sure it is the best solution. It is just the one that makes the most sense within how the rest of the ability works, IMO. But that would shut a party down for the full day, really.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

Searched some more and couldn't find any slowed condition w/o an explicit duration or linked condition. So it does seem like the calcification rules are missing something.

The options that I like, all depend on what form of narrative you want regarding the calcification ability.

1) Do you view it something very close to a poison? If so, the Flesh to Stone's regular failure rules look right. The multiple exposure rules for poisons appear to match rules in Calcification.

2) Do you view it as a magic effect/spell? Ie each peck has the potential to make it worse, but it doesn't worsen on its own. Some fixed duration seems right. 1 min as proposed in the OP feels a bit long, 1 round feels too short. 3-5 rounds feels about right, but honestly that's close to 1min in effective combat duration, so leaving it at 1 min and not tracking it probably works. Could also treat it as 'bleeding' in this interpretation (slow lasts until fully healed).

3) Something of a hybrid between the two? Its a poison, but onset is worse than progression. Use the Flesh to Stone regular failure rules, but change the degrees of success to: decrease slowed by 2/decrease by 1/no change/increase by 1. Ie, the victim will typically recover unless repeatedly pecked. The downside here is that it might wear off faster than you want.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Heh, I asked this question at the end of the Playtest in the We Be Heroes? product page. For, uh, no reason...


As for the Cockatrice, there does seem to be a rules gap. Drained has explicit language to say it heals with rest, implying that other conditions do not. Except for Stone to Flesh (which technically shouldn't work and is far higher than a level 3 monster deserves, with even the Basilisk having a workaround) I think I'd go with Slowed PCs making a save every 24 hours like a petrified person would. But then would it be permanent on a crit fail??? :-/

The Brain Collector has a poison which inflicts Slowed 1 (& Enfeebled 1-2 as well). If read like most poison effects, the Slowed condition remains after the poison has run its course. It's damage, much like Enfeebled, right? Except Restoration doesn't work and neither does rest.

The odd thing is Enfeebled (as well as Clumsy & Stupefied) seem to lack natural means of healing (unlike in PF1 w/ ability damage) so you need Restoration (and parties need to know this). Drained does heal with rest, and needs a higher level Restoration if you lack the time.
But if poison doesn't inflict this sort of damage, what does?
Did I miss something about poisons in PF2 only giving their condition while the poison's running its course? That covers the issue with the BC's poison, but it'd feel odd if a strength-sapping poison only Enfeebled you for less than a minute.


Yeah I believe as written conditions from poisons only apply until the poison has run its course. Some poisons last more than 6 rounds, but that's usually poisons with longer onset times. There are a few poisons that specify their final stage lasts longer. A goliath spider paralyzes someone for 2d4 hours if it reaches stage 3, as an example.

The Shadow, on the other hand, specifies that the Enfeebled value it inflicts decreases at a rate of 1 per hour. So the cockatrice is definitely an oversight.


I think Darksyde has it right -- it only requires one peck to start feeling the affects of calcification, and the effects last until you either make enough saving throws to bring the Slowed condition on you to zero, or you fail enough saving throws to gain the Slowed 3 condition at the beginning of your turn, whereupon you turn to stone.

Calcification is an affliction with no onset time or duration.

"When you’re first exposed to the affliction, you must attempt a saving throw against it. This first attempt to stave off the affliction is called the initial save. An affliction usually requires a Fortitude save, but the exact save and its DC are listed after the name and type of affliction. Spells that can poison you typically use the caster’s spell DC.

On a successful initial saving throw, you are unaffected by that exposure to the affliction. You do not need to attempt further saving throws against it unless you are exposed to the affliction again.

If you fail the initial saving throw, after the affliction’s onset period elapses (if applicable), you advance to stage 1 of the affliction and are subjected to the listed effect. On a critical failure, after its onset period (if applicable), you advance to stage 2 of the affliction and are subjected to that effect instead. The stages of an affliction are described below."

The Slowed Condition says:

"You have fewer actions. Slowed always includes a value. When you regain your actions at the start of your turn, reduce the number of actions you regain by your slowed value. Because slowed has its effect at the start of your turn, you don’t immediately lose actions if you become slowed during your turn."

Once you reach Slowed 3, i.e., you have no actions left at the beginning of your turn, the affliction final effect takes hold: "Once a creature’s actions are reduced to 0 by calcification, that creature becomes petrified."

And once you are petrified, you have to go through the process of resisting being turned to permanently to stone. Succeed your saving throws, and you are unpetrified. Critically fail and you are permanently petrified.

It does not have a duration when it stops affecting you, it lasts until you make or fail enough saves.

Failing one saving throw to a peck makes you afflicted with calcification. It does not require multiple pecks to move you along the line of affliction.

Multiple pecks resulting in overlapping failed saves would have no additional affliction affects as the rules say "Multiple exposures to the same curse or disease currently affecting you have no effect." Your Slowed status caused by the affliction would not change if you are hit by more pecks.

My two cents, anyway.

Happy gaming...


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Another question is how this ability is supposed to stack with other forms of slowed.

Assume a character has in the previous round critically failed the save against a slow spell and is now slowed 2 for 1 minute. A few rounds later he gets hit by the cockatrice and (normal-)fails his save.

The initial effect only says he gains slowed 1, nothing about increasing the amount of slowed. So, since he already is slowed 2, that does not change. But does the duration of his slowed 2 change (it had only a few rounds remaining from the slow spell)?

If he gets hit (and fails his save) again the next round, the cockatrice's effect now increases his slowed condition by one, which barring extraordinary circumstances would reduce him to 0 actions, becoming petrified?!

If he instead lasts a few more rounds before being hit again, reaching the end of the slow spell's duration, now that the "time dilatation" of that spell is gone, is he still slowed 2 from the one cockatrice hit?

I have a hard time making sense of this mechanic, and while I understand that rules have to simplify reality that is a tough sell for me in this case. I'd probably have preferred a mechanic like:

- If a cockatrice hits you successfully, make a DC 20 Fortitude saving throw -> Crit fail: gain two petrification counters, fail: gain one petrification counter, success & crit success: no change.

- Each petrification counter you have increases your slowed condition by 1 while you have it.

- At the end of each of your turns (or after 1 minute, whatever the unclear intention here was), while you have petrification counters, make another DC 20 fortitude save -> crit fail: gain one petrification counter, fail: no change, success: remove one petrification counter, crit success: remove 2 petrification counters. (or maybe instead, just succeed at a DC 15 flat check to lose one counter??)

- If at the start of your turn the number of petrification counters you have is ever at least equal to the number of actions you would have received without the slowed condition (normally 3, but might be 4 if also quickened), you become petrified.

That way, the petrification effect contributes to any other slowed effect up to reducing you to 0 actions, but the actual petrification is independent of other slowed effects. Flesh to stone could use the same mechanic and stack with a cockatrice's petrification, obviously.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

I'm a bit confused by your analysis.

Quote:


Calcification is an affliction with no onset time or duration

By duration are you referring to max duration, or duration between saves to move between stages?

Quote:

Failing one saving throw to a peck makes you afflicted with calcification. It does not require multiple pecks to move you along the line of affliction

If it does not require multiple pecks, there must be a frequency/duration of saves against stage increase. This number is missing, I don't see a default value listed for afflictions. Additionally I feel the Calcification intent was that multiple pecks are the primary (and possibly only) way of progressing. (Which is at odds with treating it like an affliction, which i also agree with....)

Quote:


"Multiple pecks resulting in overlapping failed saves would have no additional affliction affects as the rules say "Multiple exposures to the same curse or disease currently affecting you have no effect."

That's true for curses or diseases, but not for multiple exposures to poison. Additionally all curses, diseases, and poisons have the appropriate trait. Calcification does seem similar to an affliction, but doesn't have a trait for one. I'd probably run it as one, but if choosing between curse, disease, or poison, I think I'd have to go with poison for which set of trait interactions it has.

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