Fireball wrecking damage

Discussion in 'The Temple of Elemental Evil' started by anatoliy, Jan 11, 2021.

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  1. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    I always thought Fireball to be somewhat unbalanced spell. It often stroke me how easy is to block a passage from a room with monsters and simply blast them out by throwing ball after ball. Especially if spell user would use a wand.

    Funny, but Gary Gygax himself thought it should have disadvantages. And it actually has by 3.5 rules:
    Moreover, critical saving throw failure:
    Now, should a Player be wary of downsides of using a Fireball?

    ToEE does not have equipment Hit Points and Damage. I think it is due to low priority of such feature due to low occurrence of such situations. Even Sunder in T+ is implemented as drop item mechanics.

    Saving Throw Critical Failure
    I think in such cases Fireball damage should be checked versus worn items, as defined in the rules. For the implementation simplicity of not storing remaining item's HP, I would suggest simply checking against maximums.
    In practice such rules mean that 1 should be rolled by NPC during saving throw, then magic sword should be randomly picked as target, then saving throw (most likely of same NPC) should be accounted. And only then damage should be taken. Overcoming Hardness +HP of the sword would utterly destroy it.

    Dying or Dead critters
    Now that is different issue.

    Dead, or maybe dying also NPC is has no protection to equipment. Particularly worn ones.

    IMHO all worn items should take the hit. Nonmagical without Saving Throw, and Magical with (small) Saving Throw.

    Moreover inventory loot should also take hit after "backpack" would be destroyed.

    Consequence
    Throwing a Fireball first time is great option to weaken the enemies. But every next throw, especially when dead bodies lying around would yield destroyed loot.
     
  2. Allyx

    Allyx Master Crafter Global Moderator Supporter

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    Well... I mean, you could... but is it worth the effort?
     
  3. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    In ToEE module? Definitively not.

    In my zmod modules - oh yeah!

    Moreover, I want Player to know exactly what was destroyed, similarly to what Gary Gygax did:
    Source.

    Second Fireball would most likely completely destroy non magical combat gear and affect critter's "backpack". Perhaps it would be nice to indicate this by burning particle effect. And Third Fireball would destroy coins in that backpack and affect existing inventory loot.

    Players should be very wary about using AOE damaging spells on things, including dead bodies.

    Additionally I'm considering affecting Chests as well. Although most chests would be hard to destroy in such way.
     
  4. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    I missed out on energy effects:
    That is why Ernie Gygax (playing wizard named Tenser) invented Cone of Cold. Cold dealing 1/4 of damage to things is quite nice.
     
  5. Sitra Achara

    Sitra Achara Senior Member

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    Sunder is not really implemented. I sort of started on it, what you may see is mostly copy paste of disarm. I think I went 'screw this' after reading up on item HP/hardness etc.
     
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  6. Allyx

    Allyx Master Crafter Global Moderator Supporter

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    It would effectively be about the same amount of work either way, calculating Hardness and HP for every item in game into their protos.tab line is doable... time consuming, but doable.
    Are chests not unattended non magical items? If you intend to make damaging AoE spells affect items anyway, excluding chests seems odd.

    And what of targeted damaging spells like Acid Arrow? Shocking Grasp? Scorching Ray? Heat Metal? Warp Wood? It seems like a terribly large rabbit hole to fall into.

    This is also not to mention that enemies can also cast Fireball and INSTANTLY VAPORISE ALL THE PARTY TREASURE - NO SAVE ALLOWED for non magical coins.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
  7. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    Well, if Sitra would "unscrew" Sunder implementation :p, we could come up with some workable solution.

    Technically I think there should be Condition "Object Damage", which could be applied as a part of some particular non-critter object / equipment. Such condition would store current damage, and calculate HP/Hardness using PHB formula. There is no need for protos change.
     
  8. Allyx

    Allyx Master Crafter Global Moderator Supporter

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    Would you also add the Craft skills for PC's to repair damaged but not fully destroyed items as well? And/Or use NPC's to repair damaged items for a fee?
     
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  9. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    Obviously, that could be next logical step.

    But that would require to display somehow that item is damaged. Perhaps such condition I mentioned before would show indicator while being equipped. Not sure.

    In practice most players would simply reload the game if loot or even their items are destroyed. So what is the point?

    The point is if having the mere potential for destroying loot, especially on already defeated foes, may cause players to start being a little more thoughtful as to how they use magic.
     
  10. FDR4PREZ

    FDR4PREZ Established Member

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    BITD i certianly remember having to roll for my armor, weapons, and items - especially after getting blasted by a dragon's breath weapon.

    It was not a fun time

    [​IMG]
     
  11. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    Well you have to roll 1 in d20 to start doing that. So it is only 5% chance. Isn't it?
     
  12. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    Essentially dying creature is unconscious / helpless, which rends -5 dex mod to Reflex Saving Throws. But the point is - saving throws still are present, and possessions are attended. Therefore unaffected directly.
     
  13. Allyx

    Allyx Master Crafter Global Moderator Supporter

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    As long as there is an option to disable that mechanic, I say go for it... just don't expect many people to use it. I mean it is a fantasy game, people want to have fun doing things that are impossible in real life, and everyone loves a good explosion right?

    I wouldn't want to spend what little time I have playing video games become a matter of calculating fun vs. reward, I mean there's probably a good reason no other D&D video game has ever implemented those rules, and I expect the vast majority of DM's skip them at the tabletop as well.

    Just because the late "great" misogynist Gary Gygax said it, doesn't make it a great idea... just look at TSR, they were putting out products at a loss without even realising it for a number of years.
     
  14. anatoliy

    anatoliy Established Member

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    "What is happiness? It is moment before wanting even more happiness" @ Mad Men.

    People would start using Cone of Cold, when they would realize it is not damaging loot so much. Currently there are no incentives to do that.
     
  15. Allyx

    Allyx Master Crafter Global Moderator Supporter

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    Nope, I'd just go full enchanter/bard/necromancer/druid and charm/dominate/command/summon vast armies of Dominated Gnolls/Undead/Undead Gnolls/Animal Companions/Dominated Animals/Summoned Animals and eschew fun AoE damage in favour of full on engine limitation exploitation instead. :p

    Cone of Cold has it's own built in incentive, it caps out at 15d6 damage where Fireball/Lightning Bolt cap out at 10d6 (at least until someone adds the (Pathfinder?) Intensified Metamagic Feat - which raises the cap by 5 levels for +1 spell level)
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
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