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The alchemist stink bomb says it creates a stinking cloud that lasts only one round.

So if a creature is inside the stink bomb cloud area and they make a fort save they don't become nauseated. The description says that if they choose to stay inside the cloud they have to roll again on the caster's turn.

But what if the cloud then fades just before the character's turn begins, as it only lasts for one round?

  • Does the creature that stays inside the cloud at the end of their turn avoid having to make that second save because the spell is no longer active during the caster's turn, and no longer counts because it finished?

    I'm not a fan of this interpretation because it seems like they make one save and are free to breathe in the gas and don't have to leave it.

  • Or do they still have to also make the save on the caster's turn because they stayed inside the cloud?

    This makes more sense to me because it punishes creatures that remain inside the stinking cloud through their turn. It would also be kind of meta to stay inside the cloud thinking you are immune to it because you know it only lasts for one round.

Edit: The summary of the question is "When do you make saves when a stink bomb hits you. The options that stand out as possibilities are: 1) when the stinking cloud appears around you on the casters turn; 2) the beginning of your turn when you stand in the cloud; 3) the end of the turn if you stay standing in the bomb; 4) the casters turn the round after it was cast.

"Living creatures in the cloud become nauseated," made it sound to me as if the moment the cloud appeared they had to make a fort save if they were in the cloud or moving into the cloud, hence why I thought they had to roll when first hit, 1).

However maybe 2) is the right choice. If they only have to fort save at the beginning of their turn, it would make spamming stink bombs (such as with a Mad Bomber build) not call for multiple fort saves in a single turn.

3) would make it so you have time to get out if hit by a stink bomb. Basically it turns the stink bomb into just a warning area. Get out or you will be nauseated.

4) I believe should always apply if they chose to stay inside the stinking clouds area, even if it ends in one round. However the argument against this is that the cloud spell ends before the casters turn even begins. Why should they have to roll on the casters turn if the cloud dissipated already? The spell warned them bad things would happen if they stayed in it, but the spell is gone now so doesn't count.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to site (if you haven't been welcomed already). Take the tour. You've made this question probably a bit more complicated than it needs to be by including your opinion of how it should work. If you've an opinion on your own question, it's totally legit to write your own answer and see how it answer fares against other answers. (It's also nice if you clue folks in that you've cross-posted a question.) Thanks for participating and have fun. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 29 '16 at 9:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks, feeling welcomed already. Also I appreciate putting the link to my other post in here, I'll make sure to do that in the future. I hadn't received an answer and was hoping for one and thought I'd ask two places. \$\endgroup\$ – Auranis Feb 29 '16 at 9:27
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If the cloud isn't there, no saving throw is made

The description of the spell stinking cloud says

Stinking cloud creates a bank of fog like that created by fog cloud, except that the vapors are nauseating. Living creatures in the cloud become nauseated. This condition lasts as long as the creature is in the cloud and for 1d4+1 rounds after it leaves. (Roll separately for each nauseated character.) Any creature that succeeds on its save but remains in the cloud must continue to save each round on your turn. This is a poison effect.

Emphasis mine. So if the cloud's duration is but 1 round, creatures that would have been in the cloud during the second round don't make a saving throw because there's no cloud to make a saving throw against.

To play this out, this mean on his turn the alchemist throws a stink bomb, dealing damage to some creatures and catching some creatures in the stinking cloud-like area of effect. Living creatures in the cloud area of effect make saving throws. Creatures that fail the saving throw are nauseated for 1d4+1 rounds, and creatures that succeed on the saving throw don't gain this condition (although both sets of creatures might suffer other effects, like being unable to see).

Similar to a spell with a 1-round casting time, on the next turn, immediately prior to the alchemist's initiative count last turn, the cloud effect dissipates. This makes it close to impossible for a creature to have to make a saving throw twice, and it should be impossible for a creature to have to make the saving throw if it enters the cloud after its already been created. (For example, the alchemist can't delay his next turn to extend the cloud's duration.)

I understand your concern: the effect, on paper, seems weak, especially compared to a spellcaster's stinking cloud, and, comparatively, you're right, it is. And it should be. The spell stinking cloud is a 3rd-level spell that's probably one of the best low-level battlefield control spells in the game (citations from 2008, 2009, and 2014). The alchemist gets to use an effect like that spell and deal damage with each bomb. That party members can engage their nauseated foes the round after the stink bomb is an advantage of the stink bomb, making the often short battles in Pathfinder even shorter since the party needn't wait for, like, 5 rounds for the cloud to clear before engaging the enemy.

I agree, however, that a metagaming monster may, after having succeeded on the cloud's saving throw, stay in the cloud, the monster's player knowing the cloud'll be gone next turn, but that's not a problem with the stink bomb but a problem with the player or, more likely, the GM, who's running dumb monsters as tactical geniuses. That should be the conversation topic, not the inappropriate or unrealistic nature of the stink bomb discovery.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I just want to clarify a little further, if a creature was outside of the cloud when it was made, wouldn't they then have to roll a save if they entered it? (I might be misinterpreting your 3rd paragraph). \$\endgroup\$ – Auranis Feb 29 '16 at 9:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Auranis No, the creature would not need to make the saving throw upon entering the cloud after the cloud was created but before the creator's turn. The phrase Living creatures in the cloud become nauseated applies to the saving throw needed when the cloud is created. (That's a quirk in the spell description--it explains first how the spell works when it's cast then explains the spell's effects as it persists.) If it's necessary to justify this, imagine that the creature just hasn't been exposed to the cloud long enough to warrant needing to make the saving throw. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Feb 29 '16 at 9:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Auranis To add onto Hey I Can Chan's comment, creatures in the cloud save on two conditions: if they are in the area of effect when the cloud is created, and if they're still in the area of effect on the owner of the cloud's turn. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Mar 4 '16 at 15:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan That would imply that it only effects creatures that stay in it an entire round. Once cast the creatures inside the cloud need to make a save, but then can choose to leave if they make it. But if a creature that comes in afterwards and stays in the cloud for a longer portion of the round doesn't need to make a save, the initial targets shouldn't have needed to make a save either. I still reason out (can't find solid rules) that the initial contact with the cloud in a round would call for a fort save regardless of if they were in it when the cloud was created. \$\endgroup\$ – Auranis Mar 29 '16 at 7:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Auranis I think it's a byproduct of the difficulty of simulating simultaneous actions in a turn-based system. It's not that the creature must stay in the cloud for 1 round but that the creature must stay in the cloud long enough to be affected by the cloud, and that long enough is set arbitrarily by the initiative count on which the creature created the cloud. That's clumsy, yes, but playable. The alternative cloud tracks an individual creature's entry (saving throw 1) and each its each round in-the-cloud-ness (saving throw 2+) instead of the more convenient caster's turn. \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Mar 29 '16 at 15:36
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Your option (1) which I'm paraphrasing as "The target creature rolls one Fort saving throw when the stinking cloud appears around [the target]. This save is made on the caster's turn."

from http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/spells/stinkingCloud.html

"This condition lasts as long as the creature is in the cloud and for 1d4+1 rounds after it leaves."

So, if the caster is lucky, the target is Nauseated for the round in the cloud plus five more rounds. :-)

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