Hey guys, as DMs can you give your advice how you adjudicate this spell? The spell causes a "billowing mass of nauseous vapors to come into being" -- are the vapors opaque, semi-opaque or transparent? Creatures in the cloud who save versus poison are "helpless due to nausea for 2-5 rounds" and those who save are "helpless only for as long as they remain within the cloud, and for the round after they emerge, because of its irritating effects on visual and olfactory organs" (PH, p. 72). So, basically it is like they've been tear gassed. But, what does 'helpless' mean exactly in game terms? The DMG notes don't address these questions. I don't normally reference 2nd edition, but sometimes it adds clarity to spells. Under the 2nd edition version of this spell (p. 145) it says any creatures who fail their saves are "reeling and unable to attack because of the nausea" and those who save "can leave the cloud without suffering any ill effects."
Last Edit: Nov 17, 2020 14:13:06 GMT -5 by GRWelsh
I would say semi-opaque, like smoke, but not a wall of fog. Since helpless is used to describe no save and save situations, I don’t think it prevents moving, but I would so no attacks and the same defensive penalty as stunned. I would probably allow basic, uncomplicated actions, like pushing a door closed.
Post by geneweigel on Nov 23, 2020 22:02:18 GMT -5
Lakofka's heavy-handed unofficial ruling (No mention of Gary on this one but is on others[Magic Missile and Protection from Evil]) from, DRAGON #33 (JAN 1980):
Stinking Cloud A person is not absolutely “helpless,” either in the cloud or if he/she/it fails a normal saving throw. The figure cannot cast spells, but can defend his or her person with a weapon at -2 to hit and -3 from effective armor class (all dexterity bonuses are lost in addition). A figure emerging from such a cloud is more easiy surprised. The duration of 2-5 turns is far too long, in my opinion. I use 2-7 rounds, though figures (monsters) with 2 or fewer levels (hit dice) are RELATIVELY helpless for 3-12 rounds. Thus, a figure in the cloud or one who fails the saving throw cannot attack while suffering from the cloud’s effects.