D&D (2024) What is the lowest damage Fireball could deal where you would still prep/use it?

What is the lowest damage Fireball could deal where you would still prep/use it?

  • 1d6 (avg 3.5)

    Votes: 3 3.7%
  • 2d6 (avg 7)

    Votes: 3 3.7%
  • 3d6 (avg 10.5)

    Votes: 2 2.5%
  • 4d6 (avg 14)

    Votes: 10 12.3%
  • 5d6 (avg 17.5)

    Votes: 15 18.5%
  • 6d6 (avg 21)

    Votes: 32 39.5%
  • 7d6 (avg 24.5)

    Votes: 3 3.7%
  • 8d6 (avg 28)

    Votes: 11 13.6%
  • More than 8d6 (i.e., I don't use it now)

    Votes: 1 1.2%
  • I wouldn't use Fireball no matter how much damage it did

    Votes: 1 1.2%

Clint_L

Legend
No. The best way to "nerf" it is to bring back all the balancing drawbacks it used to have when it was invented as a 3rd level spell: have it always fill 33k cubic feet, blowing back into hallways if applicable (casting it indoors should be very risky), have it ignite all flammable objects in the blast, and melt precious metals (coin and jewelry).
I like emphasizing the deleterious effects; I would do both - lower the radius but also make it incredibly dangerous within that radius.
 

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SakanaSensei

Adventurer
I take your point, but I still can't imagine anyone taking it if it did 2d6 damage. That's just not realistic for a level 3 spell. That's Word of Radiance damage, a cantrip, albeit in a larger area. The average damage by the time you can cast the spell is 7hp, 3hp on a save. It sounds like you run games where there often are swarms of super weak foes but I seldom do. There's no point in including a spell that no one will take.
I definitely acknowledge that my preferences don't match with a lot of people. I'm in the camp with Kevin Crawford where fighters (as an archetype, not necessarily the one class) are for fighting, casters are for twisting the rules of the world to do the impossible. I don't want to get into the martial/caster debate, though.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Epic
I take your point, but I still can't imagine anyone taking it if it did 2d6 damage. That's just not realistic for a level 3 spell. That's Word of Radiance damage, a cantrip, albeit in a larger area. The average damage by the time you can cast the spell is 7hp, 3hp on a save. It sounds like you run games where there often are swarms of super weak foes but I seldom do. There's no point in including a spell that no one will take.
Minute meteors is a good example of such a spell dealing 2d6 damage. If not for the needless inclusion of concentration it would be a pretty good spell with a decent use case for blasters given the tiny number of ways a caster can bonus action deal damage& the fact that all but the first of them could be fired off in conjunction with another spell or cantrip. Technically the first could be cast with another spell too if it was cast before the fight or held for whatever reason.

Also don't forget that various classes & archetypes are almost certain to add damage to spells like that & fireball. By dialing back the base output of spells like fireball it allows those classes & archetypes to have more & better features even when their niche is "can cast fireball but would rather cast $these kinds of spells"
 



Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
If I am doing my math right.

6d6 no save = 8d6 half save

But the reliability of the no save feels stronger.
The average damage of 6d6 is 21 no save and saves are pretty easy to make in 5e. 8d6 average is 28 which when saved is 14, but some won't save.
 

Yaarel

🇮🇱He-Mage
The average damage of 6d6 is 21 no save and saves are pretty easy to make in 5e. 8d6 average is 28 which when saved is 14, but some won't save.
For the sake of a smell test, I am treating the chance of fail or save as if 50%-50%.

But the more likely the save, the less damage on average.
 

Clint_L

Legend
Right now it's a spell that everyone that almost every who can take, takes. ASAP. So that's not great because it removes choice from the game. Buuuut it's a cool spell and one of the most iconic in the game. It existed before D&D was even D&D. So I see the argument for wanting to make sure that it is always a desirable choice. My favourite suggestion thus far is to go back to adding more consequences to it. Like, you shouldn't be able to shape spell with it, for one thing - it's a freaking explosion.

Maybe build on that. Add some risk to it. Like, keep it crazy powerful but add a "to hit" roll and on a miss have it be off target in a random direction by 5-30 feet or something. So there's potential that you could even hit yourself with it if you screw up while using it in tight quarters. That would make it way more fun.
 

Horwath

Legend
maybe 4d6 with 30ft radius.
then you can reduce the radius by 5ft to gain 1d6 damage;

5d6, 25ft radius,
6d6, 20ft radius,
7d6, 15ft radius,
8d6, 10ft radius, with 1/4 of the area, 8d6 would not be that impactful
9d6, 5ft radius,
10d6, single target.

upcasting increases damage by d6 and radius by 5ft.
upcasting would add 2d6 with keeping the radius if focused on maxed damage.
 

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