This might be a dumb question, but I'm really lost on how some standard action spells / actions are supposed to actually work.
If a player takes an standard action that causes some kind of effect, and it says it lasts "1 round per level", and someone is a level one so it only lasts for one round, does this not totally negate using it? Is it not expired by the time the round comes back around to the character? If so, why would something like this even be a Level 1 option, since it's useless until you're at least a Level 2?
There are a number of examples of this, but to show a clear example, suppose a Level 4 Ranger (caster level 1) casts Sun Metal:
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S
Target one melee weapon
Duration 1 round/level (see text)
Saving Throw Fort negates (object); Spell Resistance yes (object)
The target weapon ignites into flame that does not hurt the weapon or the wielder, but damages those hit by the weapon. When the weapon’s wielder hits with this weapon, it deals an additional 1d4 points of fire damage. This damage is not multiplied in the case of a critical hit. This effect immediately ends if the weapon is submerged in water. This effect does not stack with the flaming or flaming burst weapon special ability or any other effect that grants the weapon extra fire damage. It does not function on weapons with the frost or icy burst weapon special ability or any other effect that grants a weapon extra cold damage.
Since they used this as a Standard action, they can't make an attack to follow it up, they must wait until their next turn, i.e. the next round. By that time, the spell has dissipated, correct?