Fire in the Flow

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Fire in the Flow

Postby blackdaggr » Mon Jul 13, 2009 1:09 pm

Starting a fire in the Phlogiston in 2E was a BAD idea - it made things go boom. Obviously we want to preserve this in 3E.

In 2E, many fire creatures were immune to normal fire, but took half damage from magical fires (and the phlogiston explosion was considered magical). In 3E, this was done away with, and any creature with the Fire descriptor is immune to all fires, both magical and non-magical. While this may seem innocuous, it has some significant consequences.

Consider a not-so-friendly Efreet. He now can cast fire spells without regard to blowing himself up, because he's immune to the damage from a Phlogiston explosion. He can fly over to an enemy ship, and incinerate it in seconds. This is way overpowered.

My solution, which I recommend for the official 3E adoption: When a phlogiston explosion happens, only 1/3 of the damage (the original, pre-tripling damage) is fire. The rest is Force damage.

Thoughts?
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Re: Fire in the Flow

Postby dulsi » Thu Jul 16, 2009 2:14 am

I'd prefer to just describe fires in the Phlogiston as super hot or magical that somehow bypasses fire immunity. Use the 2E rules, so that anyone with fire immunity just takes half damage.
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Re: Fire in the Flow

Postby Big Mac » Thu Jul 16, 2009 11:44 pm

blackdaggr wrote:Starting a fire in the Phlogiston in 2E was a BAD idea - it made things go boom. Obviously we want to preserve this in 3E.


Agreed, but it may be appropriate to adjust the phlogistion to fit in with tweaks in the rest of the universe. I think it is worth looking at what D&D has that is similar to the flow.

blackdaggr wrote:In 2E, many fire creatures were immune to normal fire, but took half damage from magical fires (and the phlogiston explosion was considered magical). In 3E, this was done away with, and any creature with the Fire descriptor is immune to all fires, both magical and non-magical. While this may seem innocuous, it has some significant consequences.


I would want to take my lead on how 3E deals with things like the Elemental Plane of Fire and the heart of suns. Can a creature sit on the plane of fire? If they can, then perhaps it might be appropriate for them to not take damage from fire explosions.

However, I was under the impression (perhaps a mistaken one) that elemental fire creatures could not go into the flow. If that is the case, then I would say that we should look for a rule that replicates that "ban".

blackdaggr wrote:Consider a not-so-friendly Efreet. He now can cast fire spells without regard to blowing himself up, because he's immune to the damage from a Phlogiston explosion. He can fly over to an enemy ship, and incinerate it in seconds. This is way overpowered.


I remember reading something (not 3E) about the Positive Energy Plane. IIRC, it would add hit points to any PC that went there until they got saturated with hp and exploded!

If that rule still exists in 3E, then perhaps the same sort of logic could be applied to fire elementals (and fire creatures). For every explosion, you could roll damage and give them bonus hp. Then work out some sort of threshold where they can't "take" any more hp and explode in a giant fireball. Given that they wouldn't be able to contact any other plane, this would zap their body and make it pretty impossible for the creature to come back from the dead.

blackdaggr wrote:My solution, which I recommend for the official 3E adoption: When a phlogiston explosion happens, only 1/3 of the damage (the original, pre-tripling damage) is fire. The rest is Force damage.


Hmm. Very interesting concept. So with your phlogiston, the fire itself would not be magnified, but would trigger some sort of secondary explosion that throws out the fire until it goes out (a bit like blowing on a candle).

dulsi wrote:I'd prefer to just describe fires in the Phlogiston as super hot or magical that somehow bypasses fire immunity. Use the 2E rules, so that anyone with fire immunity just takes half damage.


Hmm. I'm not sure that going for the "use 2E rules" option is the one I would choose. I agree that it "works" as a rule, but there are a ton of reasons why the D&D designers tinkered with the rules and we would need to look at them to see if a 2E flow fits a 3E wildspace.

I would like to blackdaggrise the flow and compare it with a 2Eised flow to see what sort of effect both versions have on 3E creatures.
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Re: Fire in the Flow

Postby Ashtagon » Fri Jul 17, 2009 9:04 am

Are/could there be any creatures that are immune to both fire and force damage?
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Re: Fire in the Flow

Postby blackdaggr » Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:41 pm

Fire creatures - those immune to fire, not just "true elementals" - can easily enter the phlogiston through a portal. Red dragons fall into this category, as do fire giants. Nothing would prevent a fire giant shaman from boarding an enemy ship, and start casting fire spells. Even a hatchling red dragon could destroy an entire spelljamming ship in the flow by breathing hard -with no harm done to itself.

This is the loophole I think we need to close in 3E.

Few (if any) creatures are immune to force damage though, which is why I suggested replacing the damage with force damage.
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Re: Fire in the Flow

Postby Big Mac » Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:41 pm

blackdaggr wrote:Fire creatures - those immune to fire, not just "true elementals" - can easily enter the phlogiston through a portal. Red dragons fall into this category, as do fire giants. Nothing would prevent a fire giant shaman from boarding an enemy ship, and start casting fire spells. Even a hatchling red dragon could destroy an entire spelljamming ship in the flow by breathing hard -with no harm done to itself.

This is the loophole I think we need to close in 3E.


It isn't realy a loophole as WotC have not invented the 3e Phlogiston and we get to create it.

blackdaggr wrote:Few (if any) creatures are immune to force damage though, which is why I suggested replacing the damage with force damage.


I've just been reading through monsters (while working to destub MC7 and MC9) and there is a monster in there that blows up in the flow. If it doesn't kill you, you are knocked soemthing like 1d10 miles away. I would say that feels like force to me.

I also think there is something else you didn't take into account in your example. The red dragon can't just breath hard as it won't be able to use its breath weapon normally. Rather than breating a cone of fire, a wyrmling red dragon is going to have its 2d10 cone explode inside its mouth* as it prepares to breath. Now you might get a big fireball (which would be a 6d10 fireball if we didn't go with your suggestion) but the dragon would need to swim right up to its targets and attack them at pretty close range.

* = I get this logic from the Delayed Blast Fireball modification on p83 of CoAS.

The same goes for your fire giant. They are going to need to wander up to their opponents while their fire spells (at least the ones that work) explode in their hands. And their flaming swords are almost certainly going to explode when they take them into the flow.

But, I think I am onboard with your "1 x fire + 2 x force" logic. I think it could give a red dragon a nasty suprise without totally removing the fire immunity that 3e gives the creatures.
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Re: Fire in the Flow

Postby Rexfelidae66 » Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:29 pm

How would you deal with Delayed-Blast Fireball? Is the "bead" just glowing as it says in the spell description and therefore handleable, or would you make it hot also and explode upon evocation?
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Re: Fire in the Flow

Postby Big Mac » Fri Jul 16, 2010 12:17 am

Rexfelidae66 wrote:How would you deal with Delayed-Blast Fireball? Is the "bead" just glowing as it says in the spell description and therefore handleable, or would you make it hot also and explode upon evocation?


Hey! You are new! :cool: Welcome to The Piazza! :mrgreen:

I, personally, don't see any reason to change the 2e logic, where the fireball explodes instantly:

CoAS page 83 wrote:Delayed Blast Fireball: The spell will not detonate in the void and if in airless space is wasted. In the phlogiston, it will detonate immediately, with the effect centered on the caster.


Now, I don't know if we should be going with blackdaggr's logic and converting half the fire damage to force damage. But I've just realised I should have challanged part of his first post:

blackdaggr wrote:Consider a not-so-friendly Efreet. He now can cast fire spells without regard to blowing himself up, because he's immune to the damage from a Phlogiston explosion. He can fly over to an enemy ship, and incinerate it in seconds. This is way overpowered.


As I see it the efreet could not use the tactic of "flying over an enemy ship", even if the fire didn't damage him. Because, I believe that the rule for the delayed blast fireball implies that all fire effects would go bang centred on the genie.

This means that the genie would need to actually land on an enemy ship, move to the part of the ship they wanted to damage and then set off a fire effect (which would go bang in a sphere around him - or his hand - or whatever point of his body the fire effect originates from). This might be a good way to set fire to the cargo hold of a ship, but to do that, your genie (NPC or in 3e maybe even a PC) would have to go deep inside it and face the assault of all the crewmembers who saw him. Whizzing past crew would give them all an attack of opportunity, but avoiding the attack of opportunity would involve doing the attack at a much more controlled pace (i.e. more than one round).

So, not to undermind the "lets make some of it force" debate, this attack form is not quite as one-sided as it first seems.

Secondly, the genie has the extraplanar subtype (which means it is not a material plane critter).

SRD extraplanar type wrote:A subtype applied to any creature when it is on a plane other than its native plane. A creature that travels the planes can gain or lose this subtype as it goes from plane to plane. Monster entries assume that encounters with creatures take place on the Material Plane, and every creature whose native plane is not the Material Plane has the extraplanar subtype (but would not have when on its home plane). Every extraplanar creature in this book has a home plane mentioned in its description. Creatures not labeled as extraplanar are natives of the Material Plane, and they gain the extraplanar subtype if they leave the Material Plane. No creature has the extraplanar subtype when it is on a transitive plane, such as the Astral Plane, the Ethereal Plane, and the Plane of Shadow.


And its "home plane" is the Elemental Plane of Fire. Now, I can't specifically find a ruling on all elemental fire creatures (at the moment) but the Appendix 1 of CoAS has this to say about the Conjure Fire Elemental spell:

CoAS page 83 wrote:Conjure Fire Elemental: Us of this spell requires access to the Elemental Plane of Fire, and as such cannon be used in the phlogiston. A fire elemental brought into the phlogiston will immediately explode, inflicting its 1d8 of damage for each of its hit dice to all within 20 feed and causing possible hull damage to the ship as well.


So without even looking into if this should be tweaked for other creatures from the Plane of Fire, I would argue that a genie would create a 10d8 fireball as soon as it flew through a crystal sphere portal. And if it was somehow not killed by this explosion, I would have it continue to explode once per round until it left the phlogiston. I think this would render the creature unable to see its targets.

BTW: If a genie (of any type) was inside its lamp, you wouldn't be able to rub the lamp and get it out, because I believe it is inside an extra-dimensional space (and would be trapped until its lamp was taken back to wildspace).

But not to totally trample on blackdaggr's argument, I think that a material plane creature, with fire immunity could do damage on an enemy ship. For example: holding onto the sails of a ship and then casting a Burning Hands spell would cause a triple damage fireball to burst around the spellcaster's hands and that could cause a flash-fire to engulf the entire sail (knocking out some of the manouverability of the ship in an instant). Burning hands might also be a fairly deadly spell if someone was wrestling with a spellcaster (who had fire immunity) in the flow.

The question is: is that sort of tactic overpowered? Or is it no different from what would have happened under 2e rules.
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Re: Fire in the Flow

Postby MagusZeal » Wed Jun 15, 2011 9:19 pm

GSH bad idea referencing summon fire elemental as it's a throw away argument as an the efreet has a body and a fire elemental is made of fire. Now technically the efreets heat ability might cause the flow to detonate, can't remember if heat metal causes an explosion off hand, but the creatures subtype won't matter in the flow.

That said I agree with the idea of using force as a secondary effect of fire explosions. The immediate option I'd suggest is to only have the fire do x2 and have what would have been the last 3rd be force. So using burning hands as an example at say the 2d6 range you'd get an explosion doing x2 of fire damage and another hit of force doing the dice value to everything in the blast.

Now another question with 3e and fire in the flow, how do you handle ship saves against fire? Items in 2nd had their own save values based on the material while 3rd tends to use the owners save if it even cares.
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Re: Fire in the Flow

Postby Big Mac » Mon Aug 29, 2011 11:58 pm

MagusZeal wrote:GSH bad idea referencing summon fire elemental as it's a throw away argument as an the efreet has a body and a fire elemental is made of fire. Now technically the efreets heat ability might cause the flow to detonate, can't remember if heat metal causes an explosion off hand, but the creatures subtype won't matter in the flow.


I've checked Appendix 1 of CoAS and heat metal is not mentioned, so I'd say the spell works normally. If an efreet causes heat without fire, it should be OK. That seems a bit illogical, but if it comes down to heat then the critter might be able to survive.

Perhaps there is a specific source that mentions efreet, azer and other critters associated with the plane of fire.

MagusZeal wrote:That said I agree with the idea of using force as a secondary effect of fire explosions. The immediate option I'd suggest is to only have the fire do x2 and have what would have been the last 3rd be force. So using burning hands as an example at say the 2d6 range you'd get an explosion doing x2 of fire damage and another hit of force doing the dice value to everything in the blast.

Now another question with 3e and fire in the flow, how do you handle ship saves against fire? Items in 2nd had their own save values based on the material while 3rd tends to use the owners save if it even cares.


IIRC many unattended items don't get a chance for a saving throw. That would make fires a bit more damaging.
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Re: Fire in the Flow

Postby Davane » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:47 am

D&D doesn't have anything similar to the flow, but it is fairly easy to define the planar traits of the flow so that the explosions recreate the theme of AD&D 2e play with ease, while remaining true to the 3e rules set.

Bear in mind the force damage has interactions with magic and ethereality, so you are basically looking at an energy type that can effect ghosts, so force explosions can affect ghosts. If you want to use damage that bypasses energy resistance/immunity, then you define it as either aligned or raw magical damage instead.

Personally, I'm not so sure that this is really all that relevant, since this is one of those changes of the system that, upon switching to 3e, you can kind of accept upon switching to 3e as part of the change and let it slide, because it's not really that big of a deal, surely. Maybe I'm wrong on this, but exactly how important is this factor?

If pushed towards making a change, I'd actually go with having the flow deal 100% fire damage, and dealing an additional 50% force damage. Make the damage extra as a result of making the flow a more deadly environment when using fire. It can be used in many ways, but gives an extra twist - that red dragon is causing +50% damage with it's breath weapon in the flow, but it's not entirely invulnerable to fire attacks, and if caught in the area of effect of it's own attacks, might even end up hurting itself.

In most cases, this is mostly about the interaction of two different mechanics - the planar mechanics and the energy resistance mechanics. The change is in the energy resistance mechanics, so an effect that was efficient or a deterrent simply isn't the same any more. You don't really need to change the planar mechanics of the flow, but that's where I'd do it if desired, because the alternative is to change the energy resistance mechanics, and that's taking you right back to AD&D 2e, which is where you were to start with.
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Re: Fire in the Flow

Postby Davane » Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:59 am

MagusZeal wrote:Now another question with 3e and fire in the flow, how do you handle ship saves against fire? Items in 2nd had their own save values based on the material while 3rd tends to use the owners save if it even cares.


Unattended items don't get a saving throw. A ship probably wouldn't count as an unattended item however, and would get the saving throw of the pilot or captain, I'd imagine.

Items also get hit points based on thickness and size, and ships are going to have buckets of hit points, and you are basically going to be looking more at damaging certain areas of ships to render them non-functional than trying to destroy the whole ship because the hit points should get really, really, really, stupidly big otherwise.

So you are more than likely going to be seeing burning ships for a few rounds and crews trying to put them out with bits blowing up, and if the numbers aren't allowing that, the balance is off and the gameplay is wrong. You might be able to take out a rowboat in a round or two, but most ships need to be defeated by boarding rather than fire... it takes a lot of effort and a lot of firepower otherwise!
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Re: Fire in the Flow

Postby Havard » Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:56 am

I agree with Davane. In 3E, Captains/Helmsmen would save for their ships.

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Re: Fire in the Flow

Postby Michael Silverbane » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:20 am

dulsi wrote:I'd prefer to just describe fires in the Phlogiston as super hot or magical that somehow bypasses fire immunity. Use the 2E rules, so that anyone with fire immunity just takes half damage.


This is sort of how I treat fires in the phlogiston in my Spelljammer games using Type III D&D. I treat all the damage as untyped damage, with the added bonus that creatures vulnerable to fire take an additional 50% of the damage dealt, just as if it were fire.

I use a couple of general rules for fire spells and effects in the phlogiston.

Fire spells (and effects that closely emulate spells) cause a fiery burst, centered on the caster. The burst has a radius equal to ten times the spell level in feet and deals 2d6 points of damage per spell level. Damage is (as previously mentioned) untyped and treated as fire damage for those who are vulnerable to fire.

Fire effects which do not closely emulate spells but originate from a creature (a dragon's fire breath or a fire elemental's burn ability, for example) have a burst radius equal to five times the Hit Dice of the creature that originated it and deal 1d6 point of damage per hit dice of the creature.

Fires that do not originate from a creature follow rules similar to those laid out on page 10 of the Concordance of Arcane Space, slightly scaled up to make up for the higher hit points of Type III creatures.
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Re: Fire in the Flow

Postby TBeholder » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:59 am

blackdaggr wrote:Consider a not-so-friendly Efreet. He now can cast fire spells without regard to blowing himself up, because he's immune to the damage from a Phlogiston explosion. He can fly over to an enemy ship, and incinerate it in seconds.
Fly from what? :) And can he even fly, or just be kicked around by the continuous explosion, tumbling like an unstable rocket?
blackdaggr wrote:My solution, which I recommend for the official 3E adoption: When a phlogiston explosion happens, only 1/3 of the damage (the original, pre-tripling damage) is fire. The rest is Force damage.
Yeah, because it's not like there can be any way to protect from Force damage...

Big Mac wrote:I remember reading something (not 3E) about the Positive Energy Plane. IIRC, it would add hit points to any PC that went there until they got saturated with hp and exploded!
If that rule still exists in 3E, then perhaps the same sort of logic could be applied to fire elementals (and fire creatures). For every explosion, you could roll damage and give them bonus hp. Then work out some sort of threshold where they can't "take" any more hp and explode in a giant fireball. Given that they wouldn't be able to contact any other plane, this would zap their body and make it pretty impossible for the creature to come back from the dead.
Regarding elementals and effects that are hotter than them, a good idea.
I'm not sure a fire-based creature should benefit from the Flow at all, however. Phlog does not only make "boom" around fires, but e.g. Wall of Fire collapses into a thin pillar no matter its normal AoE and the resulting flare burns out in 1 round no matter its normal duration. This part so does not bode well for creatures who completely or partially consist of flames... They may just "pop" like depressurized foam, disperse, get dissolved, or something like that.
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Re: Fire in the Flow

Postby Big Mac » Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:21 pm

TBeholder wrote:
Big Mac wrote:I remember reading something (not 3E) about the Positive Energy Plane. IIRC, it would add hit points to any PC that went there until they got saturated with hp and exploded!
If that rule still exists in 3E, then perhaps the same sort of logic could be applied to fire elementals (and fire creatures). For every explosion, you could roll damage and give them bonus hp. Then work out some sort of threshold where they can't "take" any more hp and explode in a giant fireball. Given that they wouldn't be able to contact any other plane, this would zap their body and make it pretty impossible for the creature to come back from the dead.
Regarding elementals and effects that are hotter than them, a good idea.
I'm not sure a fire-based creature should benefit from the Flow at all, however. Phlog does not only make "boom" around fires, but e.g. Wall of Fire collapses into a thin pillar no matter its normal AoE and the resulting flare burns out in 1 round no matter its normal duration. This part so does not bode well for creatures who completely or partially consist of flames... They may just "pop" like depressurized foam, disperse, get dissolved, or something like that.


Yep. I think that a fire elemental that went into the phlogiston would be doomed...

...unless maybe they got back out immediately. (That's what I was thinking about with the Positive Energy Plane logic, where they would gain fire HP until they exploded.)
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