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I'm preparing to run a Pathfinder 2e game with an alchemist player and trying to fully understand persistent damage to prepare.

When you take persistent damage, you don't apply it until the end of your turn. After taking that damage, you make a DC 15 flat check to see if you remove the condition. But you or your allies can take actions to aid in recovery from the condition. For example, if you are on fire and you dump water on yourself, it looks like you still take the full amount of fire damage but then your flat check to remove the condition is reduced to DC 10.

There is also a way to automatically end the condition (quote from CRB under persistent damage condition):

Automatically end the condition due to the type of help, such as healing that restores you to your maximum HP to end persistent bleed damage, or submerging yourself in a lake to end persistent fire damage.

In this case, you don't make a flat check to see if it ends, it just automatically ends. But this check that you automatically succeed on would have occurred after you already took the damage.

So do you still take the damage and then the check to remove the condition is automatically successful? Or because the condition was removed do you ignore the damage that turn?

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You take persistent damage at the end of your turn. If someone removes the condition before the end of your turn it's entirely possible that you don't take any persistent damage at all.

As an example, take being set on fire. Your hair or your dress caught fire and if you're quick enough you can douse the flames before taking any damage.

Most probably, you already have taken some fire damage, which is what set you on fire in the first instance, but it is not necessary.

For a different example, you got stabbed. It hurt. You're losing some blood, but it will be enough blood to actually be counted as damage at the end of your turn. Somebody fully heals you (which is necessary for the bleeding to stop). The wound is closed, you're not bleeding anymore, you never take the persistent damage.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You should clarify that bleeding is only removed by being healed to full health in Pathfinder 2e. "Automatically end the condition due to the type of help, such as healing that restores you to your maximum HP to end persistent bleed damage, or submerging yourself in a lake to end persistent fire damage. " \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Apr 26 at 20:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would like to mention that those are recommendations / examples rather than actual rules. Same goes for the bleeding, it might be stopped by fully healing but saying it is necessary gives the impression that it is the only possibility - which it is not. I agree with the sentiment of the answer though, my comment is just smart-assery. \$\endgroup\$ – Tim Rasim Jul 2 at 22:48

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