Does it really last 24 hours if cast on an area?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

Envoy's Alliance

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So I recently cast Necrotic Radiation on an area
You imbue the touched object or space with slow-acting necrotic radiation. "Range touch; Target one object or one 10-footsquare area
Duration 24 hours
If you cast the spell on an object, any creature ending its turn holding or carrying the object takes 2d6 negative damage. If you cast the spell on an area, any creature ending its turn in the area takes 2d6 negative damage. You can attempt to use this spell on an attended object by touching the object. If you do, the creature attempts a Reflex save to reduce the effect."

In all of the results it reads only for the casting on an item. So does the area attack really last for 24 hours?


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I read it as "it makes being around a thing or a place a really bad idea for 24 hours". The advantage of casting it on an item is that it's portable, the advantage of casting it in an area is that it potentially ruins more people's days."

But the duration is less of an idea since presumably somebody has the option to not stand in or around the negative energy radiation- either put the cursed maguffin down and walk away or walk away from that part of the room it hurts to look at.


It looks like it does, yes.

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For balance, it is good, but not great. It is a defensive spell mostly. It is actually better as a GM's spell to use against the party than it is for a PC to take and try to use offensively.

It is a 4th level spell. That deals 2d6 damage. In a fixed, unmovable 10-foot square area. Which is approximately equivalent to a 5-foot burst area.

That had better be a really important 10-foot by 10-foot area. Most 4th level enemies will either walk out of the area or just accept the minor amounts of damage.

Compare that to Sanguine Mist that does 6d6 damage immediately, doesn't harm you if you are in the area, causes concealment, and if it is sustained it does 2d6 damage on future rounds and gives you temporary HP.

Or Ice Storm that does 2d8 bludgeoning and 2d8 cold damage, and if sustained makes the area difficult terrain and causes minor amounts of damage.

And for one that isn't sustained: Coral Eruption that does 6d6 piercing damage in 2 10-foot bursts, has a low possibility of causing 1d6 bleed damage, and makes the area difficult terrain and hazardous to walk through. And lasts a minute.

Considering that a normal battle lasts between 4 to 6 rounds, is there much difference for dungeon crawling adventurers between a 1 minute duration and a 24 hour duration?


With a 24 hour duration, I wanted to think about how this could be used as a plot device... but it isn't that great for that either.

2d6 damage is enough that it could be plot relevant. It is enough that random low level villagers probably couldn't wander in and ignore it since it would be potentially fatal. So you 'could' use it to put an area of denial that stops normal people, and they have to wait until the party comes to solve the problem.

But the problem is the time it requires to take effect. It affects creatures that "end its turn" in the area. And a 10' by 10' square is not exactly an insurmountable obstacle. This is enough that a creature can walk in, pick something up, and walk out with three actions.

It might take three spells line up in a row in a corridor before it becomes an actual problem... and there are better ways to use 3 lvl 4 spells.

Can the negative damage at least be used for undead healing?


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lemeres wrote:
Can the negative damage at least be used for undead healing?

Depends on who you ask.

I tend to say that damage does damage, not healing. So positive damage doesn't heal living creatures and negative damage doesn't heal undead creatures.

But that has been debated both ways.


lemeres wrote:
With a 24 hour duration, I wanted to think about how this could be used as a plot device... but it isn't that great for that either.

I assume because it has 24 duration you can just keep that slot open and effectively make it permanent

lemeres wrote:
Can the negative damage at least be used for undead healing?

Thats disputed by some people say you only get what is explicitly in the power. Other people, interpret the Undead trait to say that Undead are healed by Negative damage. Personally I find that the traits are quite clear, and I'm OK with that.

Sovereign Court

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You could put it in front of a door with a lock that needs multiple successes to open.


lemeres wrote:


It might take three spells line up in a row in a corridor before it becomes an actual problem... and there are better ways to use 3 lvl 4 spells.

Put a single one in front of your locked gate or anything that may take multiple skill checks to interact with.


Ascalaphus wrote:
You could put it in front of a door with a lock that needs multiple successes to open.

My first thought too.

Or inside a pit, cell, ledge they'd want to stop on, place they need to work/study/collect items/search. Put some of those skills/skill feats to work. :-)

I could see guards cast it so prisoners stay back from the bars.

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And no, unlike in PF1, in PF2 negative damage does not translate into negative healing unless the effect specifically says so (like many do, such as Harm). So no free healing station. I could see a party of Dhampir abusing that, trying to attract all the battles to that one spot. :-P
ETA: I suppose they still could, but the free healing would have been more valuable IMO.


breithauptclan wrote:


Compare that to Sanguine Mist that does 6d6 damage immediately, doesn't harm you if you are in the area, causes concealment, and if it is sustained it does 2d6 damage on future rounds and gives you temporary HP.

Off topic, but it really seems to me that it doesn't affect you only on initial damage, but sustained effect harms all, including you. This bothers me a little every time I see this spell :)

https://2e.aonprd.com/Spells.aspx?ID=989

On topic, I don't see any reason to consider that duration could be anything but 24 hours when it's written so (unless there are exceptions, like results of a save).
Also, in recent erratas it seems the designers changed all spells they could reach with 24h durations to 'until your next daily preparations' duration. But this is an adventure spell.


Gortle wrote:
lemeres wrote:
With a 24 hour duration, I wanted to think about how this could be used as a plot device... but it isn't that great for that either.
I assume because it has 24 duration you can just keep that slot open and effectively make it permanent[

No, it's only spells that last until next daily prep that allow that. Magnificent Mansion got its duration errata'd from 24 hours specifically so that it could be maintained by continuing to sacrifice slots.


Errenor wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:


Compare that to Sanguine Mist that does 6d6 damage immediately, doesn't harm you if you are in the area, causes concealment, and if it is sustained it does 2d6 damage on future rounds and gives you temporary HP.
Off topic, but it really seems to me that it doesn't affect you only on initial damage, but sustained effect harms all, including you. This bothers me a little every time I see this spell :)

*Rereads spell*

Hmm... Yeah, it does say that doesn't it. Seems more like a bug than a feature though.

The other one that I find strange is that the temp HP gain doesn't happen on the initial cast, but only when sustained. That one is at least more explicit and obvious that it is intended to work that way. It puts the temp HP gain a little worse than Vampiric Maiden, but it is renewable. Though when heightened to level 6 it isn't anywhere near as much as Vampiric Exanguination can give.


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QuidEst wrote:
Gortle wrote:
lemeres wrote:
With a 24 hour duration, I wanted to think about how this could be used as a plot device... but it isn't that great for that either.
I assume because it has 24 duration you can just keep that slot open and effectively make it permanent[
No, it's only spells that last until next daily prep that allow that. Magnificent Mansion got its duration errata'd from 24 hours specifically so that it could be maintained by continuing to sacrifice slots.

And that is exactly why the CRB got errata to change the 24 hour duration spells. I would apply that to all of the other 24 hour duration spells too.


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breithauptclan wrote:
QuidEst wrote:
Gortle wrote:
lemeres wrote:
With a 24 hour duration, I wanted to think about how this could be used as a plot device... but it isn't that great for that either.
I assume because it has 24 duration you can just keep that slot open and effectively make it permanent[
No, it's only spells that last until next daily prep that allow that. Magnificent Mansion got its duration errata'd from 24 hours specifically so that it could be maintained by continuing to sacrifice slots.
And that is exactly why the CRB got errata to change the 24 hour duration spells. I would apply that to all of the other 24 hour duration spells too.

Yes. I don't really see the need to make a distinction between 24 hour duration and till your next daily preparation. I mean the wording on the long duration rule is If a spell’s duration says it lasts until your next daily preparations. Effectively 24 hours is saying that even if it uses different language. But I agree the wording is different. Given the loose use of language in PF2 and their explicit embrace of natural English, I don't see that it should make a difference.


breithauptclan wrote:
Errenor wrote:
breithauptclan wrote:


Compare that to Sanguine Mist that does 6d6 damage immediately, doesn't harm you if you are in the area, causes concealment, and if it is sustained it does 2d6 damage on future rounds and gives you temporary HP.
Off topic, but it really seems to me that it doesn't affect you only on initial damage, but sustained effect harms all, including you. This bothers me a little every time I see this spell :)

*Rereads spell*

Hmm... Yeah, it does say that doesn't it. Seems more like a bug than a feature though.

The other one that I find strange is that the temp HP gain doesn't happen on the initial cast, but only when sustained. That one is at least more explicit and obvious that it is intended to work that way. It puts the temp HP gain a little worse than Vampiric Maiden, but it is renewable. Though when heightened to level 6 it isn't anywhere near as much as Vampiric Exanguination can give.

Yes interesting, it does sort of read like that. Though the caster doesn't have to stay in the area. I'd still exclude the caster anyway from taking the negative effect ongoing because of the statement of what it is supposed to do.


I'd personally put it in front of a slow opening gate or the bottom of the pit, maybe even make it a pressure plate puzzle where you need to stand on the plate for 5 rounds. So once person could eat it all, or you can rotate the party, or try to find something heavy enough to not need a party member to stand there.


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breithauptclan wrote:


Hmm... Yeah, it does say that doesn't it. Seems more like a bug than a feature though.

The other one that I find strange is that the temp HP gain doesn't happen on the initial cast, but only when sustained. That one is at least more explicit and obvious that it is intended to work that way. It puts the temp HP gain a little worse than Vampiric Maiden, but it is renewable. Though when heightened to level 6 it isn't anywhere near as much as Vampiric Exanguination can give.

Yes, but Exsanguination is instant and Mist's temp HPs could be renewed. (Also, what a mess I made with that link... Or the forum?...)

Gortle wrote:


Yes. I don't really see the need to make a distinction between 24 hour duration and till your next daily preparation.

Actually, I see a huge one. If you cast 24h spell before the sleep, you have all the next day of duration. Which would be great if PF2 had 24h spells with significant effects. 'Until your next prep' spells don't allow this.

Gortle wrote:


Yes interesting, it does sort of read like that. Though the caster doesn't have to stay in the area. I'd still exclude the caster anyway from taking the negative effect ongoing because of the statement of what it is supposed to do.

'You unleash a cloud of foul, blood-sucking fog that drains the vitality from the living to bolster your own' does not really exclude that this fog could be dangerous for you too. You still will get these temp HP even if you were harmed by it (so it could be your HPs... half of them).

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