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%


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UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
this, if anything, casters doing damage is the least of problems with casters.
control is far more influential.
All other damage spells need a buff and better scaling with upcasting.
Totally agree, playing through Solasta:Crown of the Magister at the moment and the cleric is dropping hypnotic pattern and the fight becomes much easier or now my ranger can throw in a summons and that takes up the action of most of the enemies. Screwing with the enemies action economy is far more effective than direct damage. Let the people with the sharp wedges that do not get tired do the damage.
 

Larrin

Entropic Good
The thing that put me in the "Lower fireball damage" camp is being a PC and having it cast by an enemy monster. In Princes of the Apocalypse (I think? it was a book adventure for sure, run as "by the book" as the DM could) there was a fire temple with enemy casters that had fireball. We hit it when the party was made of level 3 and level 4 PCs. It was rough. It was too much. Yes, we were under leveled for that part of the book probably, (that was a common problem with that adventure in my experience), and that played a big part. But even if we'd been level 5, a fireball still would have gutted the party HP in one action, more than any other spell of the same level could have. I've seen hypnotic pattern on a party, I've seen fireball on a party. Fireball was more brutal, less fun at levels of play where 3rd level spells are most relevant. Hypnotic pattern has the advantage of being good/consistent somewhat regardless of level or hp, but the tension of making saves, then shaking people out of it, surviving the hit from the monster while incapacitated and then fighting back, makes for interesting gameplay. Hypnotic pattern is a scary spell but I'd rather play against it than fireballs "Oops you only have 5hp left, and the DM has to make the choice that the other fire druid isn't going to cast its fireball because it is mathematically impossible for the party to survive if he does". I've seen that too many times.

Edit: "It's bad vs PCs" isn't my only reason for wanting Fireball to do less damage, it was simply the catalyst that got me thinking about it.
 
Last edited:



ECMO3

Hero
Fireball is notoriously the best mid-level damage spell in 5E. Suppose it were to have its damage output reduced in 1D&D. What is the hardest it could be nerfed where you would still prepare it and expect to cast it in combat (assuming you were playing a caster of appropriate class/level)?

Assume the spell is otherwise unchanged, and all other spells remain as-is; so, for instance, lightning bolt will continue to deal 8d6.
I would disagree with this. Fireball is a weak 3rd level spell IMO.

The really good and universally useful offensive 3rd level combat Wizard spells are Fear, Summon Fey, Summon Undead, Summon Shadowspawn and after that there a bunch more like counterspell, dispel magic and fly that I would pick up before Fireball.

For Fireball to compete with these spells it needs to be about 11d6.

Fireball is decent if you are a Light Cleric.
 

Clint_L

Hero
I would disagree with this. Fireball is a weak 3rd level spell IMO.

The really good and universally useful offensive 3rd level combat Wizard spells are Fear, Summon Fey, Summon Undead, Summon Shadowspawn and after that there a bunch more like counterspell, dispel magic and fly that I would pick up before Fireball.

For Fireball to compete with these spells it needs to be about 11d6.

Fireball is decent if you are a Light Cleric.
A) The post specifically states "damage spell," so not sure what Fear, etc. have to do with the discussion.
B) You're welcome to your opinion, but you are the only person I have ever heard describe 5e Fireball as "weak," and given that it is almost universally taken by players who have access to it, consensus indicates that your "hot take" (pun intended) is wrong.
C) That said, folks suggesting 2d6 damage for Fireball aren't serious, either. You may as well just write "Fireball shouldn't be in the game," because it would have the same effect. It would be nice if we could focus on suggestions that might have a snowball's chance in a fireball of actually being implemented in OneD&D.
 

SakanaSensei

Adventurer
A) The post specifically states "damage spell," so not sure what Fear, etc. have to do with the discussion.
B) You're welcome to your opinion, but you are the only person I have ever heard describe 5e Fireball as "weak," and given that it is almost universally taken by players who have access to it, consensus indicates that your "hot take" (pun intended) is wrong.
C) That said, folks suggesting 2d6 damage for Fireball aren't serious, either. You may as well just write "Fireball shouldn't be in the game," because it would have the same effect. It would be nice if we could focus on suggestions that might have a snowball's chance in a fireball of actually being implemented in OneD&D.
I certainly understand my opinion on balance is different, but I’m in no way not being serious with my 2d6 stance. Spellcasters have so many other things going for them, they don’t need an easily used 4-40 great sword swings in a round on top of it. IMO of course.
 

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