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The description of Acid Splash says (emphasis mine):

Range 30 feet; Targets 1 creature

You splash a glob of acid that splatters your target and nearby creatures. Make a spell attack. If you hit, you deal 1d6 acid damage plus 1 splash acid damage. On a critical success, the target also takes 1 persistent acid damage.

There is no radius for the area of effect (AoE) listed for the splash unto nearby creatures. I also couldn't find any general rules for splash effects of spells (all I could find was for bombs). Note also, that Acid Splash does not have the 'Splash' trait.

What is the AoE of the splash damage of Acid Splash (if any)? Is the target also hit by the splash damage?

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2 Answers 2

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For attacks or weapons with the Splash trait, the radius is 5 feet (1 square) around the creature.

If an attack with a splash weapon fails, succeeds, or critically succeeds, all creatures within 5 feet of the target... (Splash, Archives of Nethys)

There is also another page for the Splash Trait Rules that gives the example:

For example, if you throw a lesser acid flask and hit your target, that creature takes 1 acid damage, 1d6 persistent acid damage, and 1 acid splash damage. All other creatures within 5 feet of it take 1 acid splash damage. (Emphasis mine)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answer! Acid Splash does not have the 'Splash' trait. Do these rules apply anyways? \$\endgroup\$ Sep 14, 2023 at 19:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ "the radius is 5 meters (1 square)" is incorrect, it's 1.5m or 5 feet \$\endgroup\$
    – Patta
    Sep 14, 2023 at 19:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Slaves_of_the_Coast I think the fact that ot does splash damage means it applies, but I'll double check when I can. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Sep 14, 2023 at 21:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ The spell 'Corrosive Body' from Secrets of Magic seems to imply that Acid Splash affects creatures within 5 ft. of the target. "You can cast acid splash as an innate spell; the splash damage affects all creatures within 15 feet instead of the normal 5 feet." \$\endgroup\$ Sep 15, 2023 at 0:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ @CaptianObvious Squares within 5 ft of the targeted square, so a 3x3 \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Sep 15, 2023 at 18:57
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Only the Target is Affected

There's no generic rule for splash damage affecting creatures in any particular area.

Rules exist for weapons and attacks with the splash trait, but acid splash doesn't have that trait.

It Should be 5 Feet

If an attack with a splash weapon fails, succeeds, or critically succeeds, all creatures within 5 feet of the target (including the target) take the listed splash damage.

Weapons and attacks with the splash trait deal damage to all creatures within 5 feet and acid splash is likely intended to work the same way, including that the splash damage is still applied on a failure.

You can cast acid splash as an innate spell; the splash damage affects all creatures within 15 feet instead of the normal 5 feet.

This is further reinforced by the spell corrosive body, which mentions acid splash having a normal splash damage radius of 5 feet.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "You splash a glob of acid that splatters your target and nearby creatures." It explicitly calls out nearby creatures, though, so it can't only damage the target. \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    Sep 15, 2023 at 18:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think "splattering nearby creatures" is enough to bridge the gap of a missing splash trait, but I certainly agree that it should damage every adjacent creature. \$\endgroup\$
    – brandon
    Sep 15, 2023 at 20:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @brandon Secrets of Magic p38 says Your spell still has any non-targeted effects that might affect creatures other than the target, as well as any ongoing effects starting from the moment you hit with the Strike. For example, acid splash would still deal its splash damage to creatures other than the target and tanglefoot’s circumstance penalty would last for its normal duration. So its clear the devs intended for Acid Splash to do splash damage to nearby creatures. Without that splash, it's very underpowered. \$\endgroup\$
    – RisingZan
    Sep 15, 2023 at 21:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ There also used be a rule that said Damage Types and Traits : When an attack deals a type of damage, the attack action gains that trait. For example, the Strikes and attack actions you use wielding a sword when its flaming rune is active gain the fire trait, since the rune gives the weapon the ability to deal fire damage. Which means Acid Splash 'had' the splash trait. That rule was removed without errata in a reprint and it seems that Acid Splash should have been updated at the same time. Relevant Forum Post \$\endgroup\$
    – RisingZan
    Sep 15, 2023 at 21:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @RisingZan I certainly agree that was the intent, just that the rules for acid splash on their own aren't enough to actually enable that. \$\endgroup\$
    – brandon
    Sep 16, 2023 at 5:08

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