D&D 5E Flames of Phelegethos feat rules question

ECMO3

Hero
The third part of the feat states:

Whenever you cast a spell that deals fire damage, you can cause flames to wreathe you until the end of your next turn. The flames don’t harm you or your possessions, and they shed bright light out to 30 feet and dim light for an additional 30 feet. While the flames are present, any creature within 5 feet of you that hits you with a melee attack takes 1d4 fire damage.

Question is on the word "deals" and if that applies to spells you miss with. So I cast Green Flame Blade, Firebolt or Scorching Ray and miss. The spell didn't "deal" any fire damage because you missed, do you still get to wreath yourself in flames?

Also I am trying to come up with a good melee build that is both thematic and uses this feat with green flame blade.
 
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Since they didn't put a qualifier on deals (like "successfully deals") to narrow it's meaning I would take it in the broad sense of meaning that the spell is of a type that deals that damage, rather than the dealing being something that necessarily happens on the particular casting. If we took the narrower reading, then the comparable language for the Transmuted Spell metamagic would make it impossible to use:

Transmuted Spell. When you cast a spell that deals a type of damage from the following list, you can spend 1 sorcery point to change that damage type to one of the other listed types: acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, thunder.

If we take "deals" as meaning "successfully deals on that casting" then this metamagic is unusable since you need to decide to use it when you cast the spell, not when it deals damage. I suppose someone could argue that it could still be used on save for half spells and such, but even those you do not know to a moral certainly will actually successfully deal any damage until it happens (they may be countered, the enemy may be invulnerable, etc. etc.).
 



DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
If it only had to be a fire spell, you could firebolt or whatever every round and (basically) be constantly wreathed in flames dealing 1d4 fire damage to any creature that hits you with a melee attack. THAT is WAY TOO POWERFUL and I can't believe the designers intended that to be the case.

It is like a minor (always on) hellish rebuke. If others want to rule it that way that is fine, of course, but I never would. And I agree, it is the problem with using "natural language" in English.
 

ECMO3

Hero
If it only had to be a fire spell, you could firebolt or whatever every round and (basically) be constantly wreathed in flames dealing 1d4 fire damage to any creature that hits you with a melee attack. THAT is WAY TOO POWERFUL and I can't believe the designers intended that to be the case.

It is like a minor (always on) hellish rebuke. If others want to rule it that way that is fine, of course, but I never would. And I agree, it is the problem with using "natural language" in English.
I don't think it is that powerful. It is a feat on a Tiefling, which means you get it at 4th level minimum, where 1d4 is still substantial, but not a lot. By 8th level it is pretty weak.

Second is it is most effective on a melee build, with a free fire-based attack when your AC is mediocre. Firebolt would be great, like you say, but firebolt in melee is done with disadvantage and out of melee you probably are not being attacked in melee regularly. I think Green-Flame Blade is the actual "spam" spell for this, and melee with Green Flame Blade is medicore, compared to attacking. On say a Hexblade or Paladin you are giving up extra attack to use it.

Most melee builds are going to want to use extra attack. A Bladesinger could get a ton of use out of it because they can use extra attack and a cantrip, but the problem here is a bladesinger build relys on NOT getting hit. If you are not getting hit, you are not doing great damage. Also a Teifling is not a great race for a bladesinger becasue they do not get any weapon proficiencies and the Hellish Rebuke (or alternatively Vicious Mockery and Charm Person) are tied to Charisma. So now you are very MAD.

An Arcana Cleric could get some mileage, or perhaps a Rogue who took Green Flame Blade as a Cantrip could get some mileage too, but there you have an ASI with limited utility.

I think it is a lot less powerful than other half feats like Telekenetic, Gift of the Gem Dragon or Fey Touched.

In trying to put together a buld for this I am leaning into a Draconic Sorcerer with a 1-level Warlock dip (Hexblade). The extra hit points and AC would make him quasi survivable. With Armor of Agathys, Hellish Rebuke through Tiefling he could really punish those who hit him. Elemental Affinity would boost damage to make GFB almost competitive with extra attack (1d8+Charismax2+weapon)
 
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If it only had to be a fire spell, you could firebolt or whatever every round and (basically) be constantly wreathed in flames dealing 1d4 fire damage to any creature that hits you with a melee attack.
Yes, that is the intent.
THAT is WAY TOO POWERFUL
Nah, it's a bit rubbish really. All it does is discourage low CR monsters from attacking you with melee weapons.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Yes, that is the intent.
Really? When did you start working for WotC? ;)

Because otherwise, you don't know what their intent was. You can certainly rule it that way (as I already said), but I wouldn't.




The difference being with something like Transmuted Spell, you are spending a finite resource. This could be spammed with something like GFB for a melee build and be nearly always on. It might not be as big a deal in tier 3 and higher, but in tier 1 and 2 it adds up if you leave it (basically) always on.

Anyway, I've made my point so I'm not discussing it further. It is the DM's call, ultimately, so I'm leaving it at that. :)
 

cbwjm

Legend
The designers are pretty good at saying when X happens, do Y. I think if they intended for this to only activate when you deal fire damage with a spell, that they would say something like "when you deal fire damage with a spell..." instead of "when you cast a spell that deals fire damage...". It seems pretty clear to me from the wording that the intent is when you cast the spell, not if you deal damage with it.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
If it only had to be a fire spell, you could firebolt or whatever every round and (basically) be constantly wreathed in flames dealing 1d4 fire damage to any creature that hits you with a melee attack. THAT is WAY TOO POWERFUL and I can't believe the designers intended that to be the case.
So you are spending a feat, and your action, to do d4 daamge to people that hit you. That's quite a bit lower damage then many other damage focused feats -- it's far from WAY TOO POWERFUL when compared to other cases where you need to spend a feat and your action. And it's not even one you can invoke, it only comes around when you are hit, in melee, successfully. It averages 2.5 damage vs. Hellish Rebuke's 11 average, and only works against melee attacks which is not where you are positioning your caster tiefling to be -- sayign they are the same is hyperbole.

I'd put it on the side of "in the acceptable power curve, but on the low side".
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
So you are spending a feat, and your action, to do d4 daamge to people that hit you. That's quite a bit lower damage then many other damage focused feats -- it's far from WAY TOO POWERFUL when compared to other cases where you need to spend a feat and your action. And it's not even one you can invoke, it only comes around when you are hit, in melee, successfully. It averages 2.5 damage vs. Hellish Rebuke's 11 average, and only works against melee attacks which is not where you are positioning your caster tiefling to be -- sayign they are the same is hyperbole.

I'd put it on the side of "in the acceptable power curve, but on the low side".
Anyway, I've made my point so I'm not discussing it further. It is the DM's call, ultimately, so I'm leaving it at that. :)
 

It averages 2.5 damage vs. Hellish Rebuke's 11 average
Which is why it's so weak as an offensive ability. In order to do as much damage as Hellish Rebuke you need to be hit 4.4 times. That means taking 4.4 times as much damage. At the low end, if we assume each hit does 6 hp of damage, that means you need to soak 26.4 hp of damage. And if you pause to refresh a damage soak like False Life or Armor of Agthys you aren't casting a fire spell so the ability turns off. You could get round this with something like quickened spell, but it's all very expensive in terms of return.
 

ehren37

Legend
If it only had to be a fire spell, you could firebolt or whatever every round and (basically) be constantly wreathed in flames dealing 1d4 fire damage to any creature that hits you with a melee attack. THAT is WAY TOO POWERFUL and I can't believe the designers intended that to be the case.

It is like a minor (always on) hellish rebuke. If others want to rule it that way that is fine, of course, but I never would. And I agree, it is the problem with using "natural language" in English.
It's an average of 2.5 damage. For me, that falls into the "so minor I'm irritated I have to track it" category.
 

cbwjm

Legend
It's an average of 2.5 damage. For me, that falls into the "so minor I'm irritated I have to track it" category.
The sort of thing you don't care about if you forget it, if the DM asks if you want to roll it afterwards to make up for missing it, the player just goes, "Nah"
 

It's an average of 2.5 damage. For me, that falls into the "so minor I'm irritated I have to track it" category.
It's actually pretty nice on a low-level melee caster like a bladelock or sorcadin - not so much for the damage as for the ability to discourage weak enemies from ganging up on you. But it's probably not better than any A-tier feat like GWM or even Shield Master.
 

ehren37

Legend
The sort of thing you don't care about if you forget it, if the DM asks if you want to roll it afterwards to make up for missing it, the player just goes, "Nah"
I aint fumbling around to pick up the d4 with my fat fingers for anything less than 6 damage!
 

Yeah, I took it at 16th level when playing a Fire Genasi Arcana Cleric, and at that point it was more just for flavour, as a way to represent how powerful the character had become. Never really made a difference in combat.
 

It's actually pretty nice on a low-level melee caster like a bladelock or sorcadin - not so much for the damage as for the ability to discourage weak enemies from ganging up on you. But it's probably not better than any A-tier feat like GWM or even Shield Master.
If you allow narrative to enter into your D&D (perish the thought) many natural creatures are afraid of fire, so they would avoid attacking someone with this ability even if they did have plenty of hp. It's a sort of Sanctury. I might rule, for example, that a character could use this to walk through a swarm without being attacked.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
It's actually pretty nice on a low-level melee caster like a bladelock or sorcadin - not so much for the damage as for the ability to discourage weak enemies from ganging up on you. But it's probably not better than any A-tier feat like GWM or even Shield Master.

I can see the use with green flame blade before you get extra attack. I can't see much utility once you get extra attack
 

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