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.