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I used sickening entanglement in our last session to great effect. Which got the group wondering if the spell is more powerful than intended due to misreading it. Since the part in question comes from its base spell Entangle I am mentioning it.

This spell causes tall grass, weeds, and other plants to wrap around creatures in the area of effect or those that enter the area. Creatures that fail their save gain the entangled condition. Creatures that make their save can move as normal, but those that remain in the area must save again at the end of your turn. Creatures that move into the area must save immediately. Those that fail must end their movement and gain the entangled condition. Entangled creatures can attempt to break free as a move action, making a Strength or Escape Artist check. The DC for this check is equal to the DC of the spell. The entire area of effect is considered difficult terrain while the effect lasts.

From my interpretation of the spell, so long as you are within the area of the spell and not entangled, you are subjected to making the save. My DM however has put forth that only two (2) saves are required, unless entering and leaving repeatedly.

So which number of saves is it?

Edit: I removed it being about sickening entanglement because that seems to have been causing confusion in the answers.

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You make a save every turn inside an Entagle spell

There is really no room for confusion there, your GM is nerfing your spell because it was strong in one situation where your character used a spell that was specifically tailored for it (area with undergrowth and lots of enemies). When you cast the spell, everyone (including allies) inside the spell area must make a Reflex save or gain the Entangled condition. And they must repeat this save at the end your turn for the duration of the spell (and it has a long duration).

An entangled creature moves at half speed, cannot run or charge, and takes a –2 penalty on all attack rolls and a –4 penalty to Dexterity. An entangled character who attempts to cast a spell must make a concentration check (DC 15 + spell level) or lose the spell.

Note that those entangled are not anchored, meaning that they only get the condition penalties, but can still move. This is important because we see a lot of situations where GMs will rule that those inside an Entangle spell and fail their save cannot move. This is not true. They have a penalty for being entangled, and another penalty for the difficult terrain, meaning that they move at 1/4 their regular speed. For most creatures, that means a 5 foot movement, but not always the case (20 and 30 ft becomes 5 ft, 40 ft becomes 10 ft, 60 ft becomes 15 ft, etc).

Being entangled impedes movement, but does not entirely prevent it unless the bonds are anchored to an immobile object or tethered by an opposing force.

This anchor is something that is described on certain entangling effects, like a net with a rope tied somewhere or the Leashed Shackles spell. You could even take a 5-foot step while entangled if the spell didn't also create difficult terrain. They are not grappled or pinned, but the plants in the area are trying to stop them, but they cannot completely prevent them from walking away. They will take some time, but eventually they can walk away.

Those who pass on their reflex save are still taking movement penalties from the difficult terrain, moving at half speed. And it's on their best interest to leave the spell's area of effect.

There are a lot of situations where entangle cannot even be cast, like dungeon floors, middle of towns, inside a castle. It's a situational spell, and thus, it must be strong when that situation is available. Your GM should also keep in mind that spells work the same way for enemies as they work for players, so if he nerfs the spell for the players, the enemy casters are also taking an (unnecessary) hit.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ The spell was cast in a forest clearing where there was grass. Does this environment provide the requirement to make them anchored and thus immobile? \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Sep 11 '17 at 15:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ The anchor I mentioned is something that is described on certain entangling effects, like a net with a rope tied somewhere. You could even take a 5-foot step while entangled, if the spell didn't also create difficult terrain. They are not grappled or pinned, but the plants in the area are trying to stop them, but they cannot completely prevent them from walking away. They will take some time, but eventually they can walk away. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Sep 11 '17 at 15:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ So there are no conditions where this spell will function as intended that can anchor those that fail the reflex save? \$\endgroup\$ – Fering Sep 11 '17 at 16:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ None, and that is widely accept as such by the community. Spells that work for immobilizing creatures are Black Tentacles, or Shadow Trap. Entangle is a first level spell after all. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Sep 11 '17 at 16:50
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They have to make the saves when they enter and if they stay inside the area.

If someone enter the area of the entanglement spell, it rolls both Reflex and Fortitude, if it fails the first it gets the entangled condition (with the possibility to end it on its turn) and if it fails the second it is sickened until it remains in the area of the spell and 1d4 rounds more if it leaves it.

Let’s say it succeeds both saves and it moves but stays in the area of the spell. As it ends its turn in the area it makes a Fortitude save to avoid becomeing sickened (“Any creature that enters the area or ends its turn there must succeed at a Fortitude save or be sickened”). You have your turn you do something and end your turn. As the creature is still in area of your spell and it is free, it has to roll another Reflex save to avoid becomeing entangled (“those that remain in the area must save again at the end of your turn.”).

Continue this as long as the creature is in the area of the spell. (So it is not save when enter and save once when still inside, but save when enter and save as many times as they remain inside the area or the spell rans out)

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The Fort save v.s. being sickened is at the end of each of your opponent's turns, but the Ref save v.s. being entangled is unclear. It certainly occurs at the end of your turn after casting the spell, but since it says 'your turn' and not 'your turns' or 'each of your turns while the duration persists' it's unclear whether or not they need to make a save on each additional turn you end. Because of the ordering of the text, it's also unclear whether creatures succeeding on a save for entering the area would need to also save against a turn ending effect. To make this a little clearer, I'll go over a typical casting:

1- You cast the spell. Every creature in the affected area must immediately save or become entangled. Those that fail are entangled until they break free or the spell ends (leaving the affected area does not remove the condition).

2- You end the turn on which you cast the spell. Probably noone's moved, so anyone who made their save the first time now has to save again. Those that failed don't have to make a save, even if they've somehow broken free. Those that fail this save are entangled just like those that failed the first save, except they might be subject to additional saving throws on future turns.

3- Other creatures take actions on their turns. Any that enter the affected area must save or gain the entangled condition, and make a separate save or gain the sickened condition. If they succeed at their save they might have to save again at the end of your next turn v.s. entanglement if they remain in the area. Regardless of success or failure, they will definitely have to save again v.s. sickening at the end of their turn if they remain in the area. Also, any creature who starts and ends their turn in the area has to save v.s. sickening (once), but not entanglement.

4- Your next turn starts. You do stuff, and no one has to save v.s. entanglement except maybe you.

5- Your next turn ends. Many people might possibly need to make a save now, but no one definitely does (except maybe you).

Now, your DM has indicated they are going with the reasonable interpretation that 'your turn' refers exclusively to the first turn after you cast the spell. That means:

1- You cast the spell. Every creature in the affected area must immediately save or become entangled. Those that fail are entangled until they break free or the spell ends (leaving the affected area does not remove the condition).

2- You end the turn on which you cast the spell. Probably noone's moved, so anyone who made their save the first time now has to save again. Those that failed don't have to make a save, even if they've somehow broken free. Those that fail this save are entangled just like those that failed the first save.

3- Other creatures take actions on their turns. Any that enter the affected area must save or gain the entangled condition, and make a separate save or gain the sickened condition. Regardless of success or failure, they will definitely have to save again v.s. sickening at the end of their turn if they remain in the area. Also, any creature who starts and ends their turn in the area has to save v.s. sickening (once), but not entanglement.

4- Your next turn starts. You do stuff, and no one has to save v.s. entanglement except you if you walk into the area.

5- Your next turn ends. No one needs to make a save now, except you if you ended your turn in the affected area.

repeat 3, 4, and 5 until the spell wears off.

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A creature that is not already entangled needs to make a save against the spell:

1) When they move into the area of the spell, or

2) When they remain in the area at the end of your turn.

If creature A is in the area of the spell when it is cast, they don't need to save against it until your turn ends. If they make that save and continue to stay in the area, they don't need to save again until your next end-of-turn.

Moving out of the area does not trigger a save.

They don't have to make the save as soon as you cast, but seeing as they need to make the save at the end of your turn, it's functionally irrelevant unless there's some sort of turn-interrupt in play.

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  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Your last paragraph is incorrect. You DO need saves as soon as the spell is cast. \$\endgroup\$ – YogoZuno Sep 11 '17 at 4:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @YogoZuno It is questionable and may surprisingly be correct given the change from 3.5. Or else everybody allready in the area when a spell is cast would have to make a reflex save twise. Furthermore, spell description separates "enter -> immidiately" and "in the area -> at the end of caster's turn". It may be true that there is no "have to save at the moment a spell is cast". \$\endgroup\$ – annoying imp Sep 11 '17 at 10:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ @annoying imp No, the spell makes no exceptions to the general rule that those in the area of a spell save when it is cast. Instead, it adds additional conditions that will also make you save, such as entering, or remaining in the area. \$\endgroup\$ – YogoZuno Sep 11 '17 at 21:14

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