Fireball: The iconic fantasy spell in Dragon Heresy

This is a draft, not a final version, but here’s how the iconic Fireball spell from the SRD5.1 shakes out in Dragon Heresy:

3rd-level thurisaz rune

1 action
150 feet
V, S, M (a tiny ball of bat guano and sulfur)
A bright streak flashes from your pointing finger to a point you
choose within range and then blossoms with a low roar into an explosion of flame.
Each creature in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a
Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 4d6 wounds as fire damage on a failed
save, or as vigor on a successful one.
The fire spreads around corners. It ignites flammable objects in
the area that aren’t being worn or carried.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 6th level or higher, the damage increases to 5d6, and again to 6d6 using a 9th-level slot. The vigor taken on a successful save increases to 6d6 using a 5th level slot, 8d6 with a 6th level slot, 10d6 for 7th level, 12d6 for 8th level, and 15d6 for 9th level.

2 thoughts on “Fireball: The iconic fantasy spell in Dragon Heresy

  1. Why go with the spread of the caltrops instead of the d6s? With lots of dice for damage, it always strikes me as best to go with the d6, since players are more likely to have lots of them on hand than any other die. Also, I'm thinking the d4 is the slowest die to read since you have two other numbers on a die face that are not the correct result.

    1. Good question. It has to do with the relative proportion of wounds and vigor and how they increase (or don't, in the case of wounds) as you go up in level. I certainly could have done something like 4d6 (average 14) instead of 5d4 (average 12.5) for the base damage, and I thought about it. In fact, I still am. But the progression scaled a bit better with the d4s.

      That being said, I could do 4d6 wounds as fire to start, increase to 5d6 at 6th level slot, 6d6 at 9th level. That will make vigor loss on a successful save 4d6 with a 3-4 level slot, 6d6 with a 5th, 8d6 with a 6th, 10d6 with 7-8, and 15d6 with a 9th. A bit more complicated, but still scales well.

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