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D&D 5E 5e fireballs

Fanaelialae

Legend
As long as the fireballs expand to fill the volume of a 20' radius sphere (i.e. the 33 10x10x10' cubes closest to source) there's hope.

Expanding fireballs and bouncing lightning bolts are two prime examples of how magic is - and should be - high risk, high reward.

Keep those, and they can both happily do d6/level uncapped.

Lanefan

Unless the wizard's player is bad at geometry/math, I don't see any risk. Back in the day, those were features we'd exploit to our advantage whenever possible.

Occasionally it might stop you from casting fireball (because there wasn't enough space) but I never knew anyone crazy enough to fry themselves with their own fireball. Heck, I even knew a DM who allowed Lightening Bolt to deal double damage if you could hit a creature twice by bouncing it.

Those don't seem like good restrictions at all, IMO.
 
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Mokona

First Post
I really hope they've scaled back hit points! 5d6 always seemed like the optimal number of dice for a fireball. So many that is feels a lot, but not too many to quickly eyeball the total.

Agreed. Rolling lots of dice has an element of fun built in. Five seems like a "lot" of dice without being too many.
 

Game reports imply that hit points have been scaled back.

Monte wants a wizard to be able to do damage in a single round equivalent to nearly a combat's worth of fighter attacks.

I think fireball may be scary again.

What game reports? so far as i have been able to find, no one has talk more than a sentence or two about an actual game. Am i missing reports of game play somewhere?
 

Banshee16

First Post
That would be unfortunate (although I don't think that has been the case). Hopefully, they'll increase the limitations on magic and reduce the number of effects each individual caster has access to.

But if your spell doesn't do something you couldn't do without magic, then it isn't magic.

Not a fan of that idea. Why would you put arbitrary limits on what kinds of powers a spellcaster could have, just to shoehorn them into something easily mastered etc.?

That's one of the areas 4E has been criticized, and would simply contribute to similar criticisms of 5E, and possibly a failure to reunite the fanbase.

Banshee
 

Banshee16

First Post
Agreed.




Sure, I alluded to the same. I may have missed it's usefulness by a hit die or two. Fireball should be useful creatures a lot higher than 4 hd.
A 6 hd creature has a 35% chance of making it's save. Even if it fails, it's still up.



I never said that. I'd just like to see it useful long after level 7 or so.




Because burning a 4th level spell for one or two d6 is almost always a bad decision. 2d6 damage but I lost my only charm monster or polymorph spell is not a wise use of spells.

Fireball is not an "I win" button.

Stop putting words in my mouth. Pre 3e, fireballs, lightning bolts, etc were staples of every mage and useful even at very high levels. Capping them at 5d6 will make them tools of the vermin exterminator, nothing else.[/QUOTE]

Exactly. This is part of my concern. Fundamentally, those who loved 4E are looking for something different in D&D than those who didn't care for the new edition, I think. I'm not sure how WotC will reconcile the two positions.

Fireball *was* designed as a deadly spell. In 1E there was no damage cap...or it was 25d6 or something like that. As such, it was exceedingly deadly.

In 2nd Ed. it was capped at 10d6......but hp dramatically slowed in advancement at lvl 9 or 10, and during the "name levels" characters would gain a max of between 1 and 3 hp, depending on class. So the spell didn't do as much as in 1E.....but it wasn't just for vermin killing. And the lower max hp meant it could still be dangerous to a high level character, and in any case, could still sap a decent proportion of a character's total hp.

In 3E, hp became massively inflated....and the damage cap remained the same, so in theory the spell became far less able to scale at high levels.

And in 4E, yeah, it was for mopping up vermin.

So whether or not Fireball was intended to be a powerful spell depends on what edition you're talking about.

Banshee
 

Banshee16

First Post
As long as the fireballs expand to fill the volume of a 20' radius sphere (i.e. the 33 10x10x10' cubes closest to source) there's hope.

Expanding fireballs and bouncing lightning bolts are two prime examples of how magic is - and should be - high risk, high reward.

Keep those, and they can both happily do d6/level uncapped.

Lanefan

These are good points. They tie in to a post I made in another thread about Polymorph. It was the removal of the "control factors" on some spells that led to those spells being abused in 3E. Put the controls in place, but maybe simplify them, and all of a sudden, usng those spells becomes a real choice.

Banshee
 

Ahnehnois

First Post
Not a fan of that idea. Why would you put arbitrary limits on what kinds of powers a spellcaster could have, just to shoehorn them into something easily mastered etc.?

That's one of the areas 4E has been criticized, and would simply contribute to similar criticisms of 5E, and possibly a failure to reunite the fanbase.

Banshee
I see your point, but I didn't mean to restrict casters 4e style. I'm fine with a free choice of spells that can do all kinds of things, but the number of spells known and spells per day gets out of control at high levels. These could easily be restricted.

I'm also referring to limits such as placing higher casting times or ritualizing powerful spells, adding more costly or damaging components, or otherwise making it more difficult to learn or cast spells. None of these things takes the magic out of magic.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
Exactly. This is part of my concern. Fundamentally, those who loved 4E are looking for something different in D&D than those who didn't care for the new edition, I think. I'm not sure how WotC will reconcile the two positions.

Fireball *was* designed as a deadly spell. In 1E there was no damage cap...or it was 25d6 or something like that. As such, it was exceedingly deadly.

In 2nd Ed. it was capped at 10d6......but hp dramatically slowed in advancement at lvl 9 or 10, and during the "name levels" characters would gain a max of between 1 and 3 hp, depending on class. So the spell didn't do as much as in 1E.....but it wasn't just for vermin killing. And the lower max hp meant it could still be dangerous to a high level character, and in any case, could still sap a decent proportion of a character's total hp.

In 3E, hp became massively inflated....and the damage cap remained the same, so in theory the spell became far less able to scale at high levels.

And in 4E, yeah, it was for mopping up vermin.

So whether or not Fireball was intended to be a powerful spell depends on what edition you're talking about.

Banshee

Okay, but my earlier point still stands. If fireball is a killer spell, then a single target spell of equal level has to be a more killer spell. If fireball is a killer spell, what role does the rest of the party play (they're preferably not just there to be cheerleaders for the mage)? Are they only there for encounters where the wizard chooses not to cast fireball? Is there not perhaps some middle ground for others to contribute as well?


Additionally, mages had a lot of weaknesses in 1e. If you want spells like a 1e fireball, you should be willing to accept the 1e drawbacks that balanced them. These include:

-Wizards had the highest xp requirements of any class.

-Wizard saving throws, most notably against death magic, sucked.

-Their "Thac0" was only 13 at level 20. (Their ability to hit sucked.)

-Any damage would automatically waste the spell. Since actions were declared before initiative was rolled, and initiative was rolled every round, you never knew how many attacks you might take before finishing your spell.

-Wizards had a measly average of 34.5 hp at level 20. Note that this means he could be killed by an average 20d6 fireball, regardless of whether he makes the saving throw or not. He can kill himself quite easily.

-They had quite severe limits on the number of spells they could learn (from 6 to 18 spells, barring a 19 Int), and had only a percentage chance that they could ever learn a given spell (from 35% to 85%, barring a 19 Int). Since stats were rolled in those days, it wasn't unusual to see a 16 Int Wizard (can only learn 11 spells per spell level, and only has a 65% chance to learn that given spell, and can never cast 9th level spells). If you failed your check to learn the spell, you could never learn that spell (barring not meeting you minimum number of spells limit). Envision yourself as a fire mage but rolled a 89 for fireball? Sucks to be you; you'll never be able to cast fireball.

-They couldn't wear armor at all.

-They couldn't circumvent vocal, somatic, or material component requirements by any means (no Still Spell, etc.).

-Many spells had significant drawbacks. Some had expensive material components (5,000 gp to cast shapechange), while other spells had serious drawbacks, such as polymorph other requiring a system shock roll just to survive it and another roll for the mind to remain intact (useful against enemies, but potentially disasterous if cast upon a party member).

-Spell resistance was a flat percentage, unlike 3e. Many high level creatures were practically impervious to magical attack. And let's not forget that you were completely boned in an anti-magic field.


Personally, I much prefer a toned down version of fireball and a mage with a few less restrictions. I like the idea that a mage can choose spells that conform to his concept. I like that some mages might learn to cast spells without somatic components (useful if you're bound). I like a wizard who can't be one-shot by his own fireball, regardless of whether he makes his save. I think an armored mage could be interesting. I don't think that mages should automatically waste their spell if they get hit (they ought to at least get a save or something). I don't think anti-magic fields should exist any more than anti-sword-swinging fields should exist. That's just me though.
 
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jbear

First Post
5e news summary quote:

"Monte: Fireball is a static 5d6. If you want more damage, you use a higher-level spell slot. Much more balancing. Monte: the play session that I envision with the fighter and wizard fighting together is that the figher is always better than the wizard. The fighter hits someone for 12 damage and then the wizard hits someone for 4, and the wizard wishes he was a fighter. Then that happens again on the second round, and the wizard feels the same way again. But then on the third round the wizard whips out his fireball and does 16 or 20 damage total and the fighter goes ahh, I wish I was a wizard. I want each class to shine and to have reasons to want to play that class. "


So 12 dmg per round or 4 ... pretty safe to say WITHOUT speculation, HP have been scaled back.

Also if 5d6 is calculated as dealing 20 dmg ... the fighters round by round damage is probably being worked out as something close to 2d6+4. Wizards 4 dmg? 1d8?
 

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