Rules Index


Chapter 9: Playing the Game / General Rules / Afflictions

Format of Rules Elements

Source Core Rulebook pg. 457
Whether appearing in a spell, as an item, or within a creature’s stat block, afflictions appear in the following format.

Name and Traits

Source Core Rulebook pg. 457
The affliction’s name is given first, followed by its traits in parentheses—including the trait for the type of affliction (curse, disease, poison, and so forth). If the affliction needs to have a level specified, it follows the parentheses, followed by any unusual details, such as restrictions on removing the conditions imposed by an affliction.

Saving Throw

Source Core Rulebook pg. 457
When you’re first exposed to the affliction, you must attempt a saving throw against it. This first attempt to stave off the affliction is called the initial save. An affliction usually requires a Fortitude save, but the exact save and its DC are listed after the name and type of affliction. Spells that can poison you typically use the caster’s spell DC.

On a successful initial saving throw, you are unaffected by that exposure to the affliction. You do not need to attempt further saving throws against it unless you are exposed to the affliction again.

If you fail the initial saving throw, after the affliction’s onset period elapses (if applicable), you advance to stage 1 of the affliction and are subjected to the listed effect. On a critical failure, after its onset period (if applicable), you advance to stage 2 of the affliction and are subjected to that effect instead. The stages of an affliction are described below.

Onset

Source Core Rulebook pg. 458
Some afflictions have onset times. For these afflictions, once you fail your initial save, you don’t gain the effects for the first stage of the affliction until the onset time has elapsed. If this entry is absent, you gain the effects for the first stage (or the second stage on a critical failure) immediately upon failing the initial saving throw.

Maximum Duration

Source Core Rulebook pg. 458
If an affliction lasts only a limited amount of time, it lists a maximum duration. Once this duration passes, the affliction ends. Otherwise, the affliction lasts until you succeed at enough saves to recover, as described in Stages below.

Stages

Source Core Rulebook pg. 458
An affliction typically has multiple stages, each of which lists an effect followed by an interval in parentheses. When you reach a given stage of an affliction, you are subjected to the effects listed for that stage.

At the end of a stage’s listed interval, you must attempt a new saving throw. On a success, you reduce the stage by 1; on a critical success, you reduce the stage by 2. You are then subjected to the effects of the new stage. If the affliction’s stage is ever reduced below stage 1, the affliction ends and you don’t need to attempt further saves unless you’re exposed to the affliction again.

On a failure, the stage increases by 1; on a critical failure, the stage increases by 2. You are then subjected to the effects listed for the new stage. If a failure or critical failure would increase the stage beyond the highest listed stage, the affliction instead repeats the effects of the highest stage.