[3.5] Wall of Fire Placement

15 posts / 0 new
Last post
Hi everyone,

The DM didn't object, but I'm wondering about the legality of a tactic I employed last night:

We had chased the villain out of his castle crypt; his parting shot was to pull the self-destruct lever. We had only a few rounds to gather our fallen and paralyzed comrades, but the villain's last minion was on the other side of the room firing arrows at us. I decided to use my Staff of Fire to create a Wall of Fire. We play on large grid paper, so I basically wove the wall into a rectangular grid between the minion and our party. My goal was to block line of sight and ensure he'd have to cross the Wall multiple times if he wanted to engage us. Is this legal, or am I limited to creating a straight line or a ring of fire?

Thanks!
Wall of fire doesn't specifically state it one way or the other, but if you wove it back and forth, wouldn't you also end up with the side of the wall that you've chosen to radiate heat facing in all directions?

I'm not sure about the legality offhand, but be sure that you're fine with the possibility of having your enemies use the spell in the same way.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
3.5

You can't do that;  WoF is an "effect"; Not an "area of effect". Neither an Archmage using Mastery of Shaping nor a caster with the Sculpt Spell metamagic feat can change things without a shaped area. That would be like a caster wanting to say, "I bend my ray (an "effect") around the corner of the pillar to hit him!"

As far as creativity, I'd prolly have allowed it at the climax of a gaming session; We've usually all had about 2 bottles of wine by then.

Play on!

 
3.5

You can't do that;  WoF is an "effect"; Not an "area of effect". Neither an Archmage using Mastery of Shaping nor a caster with the Sculpt Spell metamagic feat can change things without a shaped area. That would be like a caster wanting to say, "I bend my ray (an "effect") around the corner of the pillar to hit him!"

As far as creativity, I'd prolly have allowed it at the climax of a gaming session; We've usually all had about 2 bottles of wine by then.

Play on!

 



A peace or as a group? o.0

Ha ha, though either way that sounds like a helluva time nue.

"Effect: Opaque sheet of flame up to 20 ft. long/level or a ring of fire with a radius of up to 5 ft. per two levels; either form 20 ft. high."


NeueRegal - so you'd define "sheet of flame" as necessarily a straight line, rather than a line I can draw however I like? Curses...I've gotten pretty creative with that spell since I found that staff!

Slagger - good point and I guess it didn't occur to me, although we were far enough away we would have only taken 1d4 damage/round. Also, I had cast Spell Immunity: Wall of Fire on our other conscious character. Smile   


 
Weevil: I'm afraid so. It is indeed opaque, you certainly covered the line of site desire. But it is indeed a "sheet", in thickness, like a linen bedsheet. Unlike a Wall of Force, at least it doesn't have to be unbroken, but you don't get to twist and turn it. If you are suggesting along the lines of the grid paper, back and forth, (let's skip which side is hot...), You'd suddenly be creating a "standing fireball" with a duration of concentration...  that don't be no fourth level spell, ya think?  ;)

Lash: Depends on the session, and I now plead the fifth... 
I'd take "a sheet" to mean something that is going to be mostly flat.  As Slagger mentions it is not specific in any way but if you could "wrap it around" why couldn't you use it to make a tight coil around some target?  You get 20' per level which means you could "wrap" a 5' box once per caster level and if you let the damage stack that would be a super oven that you couldn't even really break out of.

If I were feeling generous I'd allow you to form the sheet into a box but I wouldn't let you lay one down in some big zig-zag shape. 
Yeah, fair enough - good points. I don't think we'd been drinking but maybe the GM just wanted to get the session over with!
You can make the ring's hot side face either way, Steve. But that's about the best such use, forcing them to "jump" at some point. (The radius of the ring is "up to", there is no minimum.)

For an effect comparable to bending (weaving) it back and forth on itself in grid increments, you are creating an "area of effect". Please see "incendiary cloud"
Yeah, fair enough - good points. I don't think we'd been drinking but maybe the GM just wanted to get the session over with!

I think people are focusing on the wrong part of Neue's original post.  Here's the part of the post that really matters: Creativity counts.  As a one-shot deal, in a climactic battle with the BBEG, that kind of thing is (usually) ok.  Expecting it to happen on a regular basis is too much.
"Today's headlines and history's judgment are rarely the same. If you are too attentive to the former, you will most certainly not do the hard work of securing the latter." -Condoleezza Rice "My fellow Americans... I've just signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Bombing begins in five minutes." - Ronald Reagan This user has been banned from you by the letters "O-R-C" and the numbers "2, 3, 4, and 6"
User Quotes
56788208 wrote:
I do, however, have one last lesson on this subject. That last one? The only build in this post that can one-shot average opponents[by dealing twice as much damage as they have HP? I would argue that it is not optimized. Why isn't it optimized? Because it's overkill. Overkill is NOT optimizing. This means that there are portions of this build dedicated to damage which can safely be removed and thrown elsewhere. For example, you probably don't need both Leap Attack AND Headlong Rush at the same time. You could pick up Extra Rage feats for stamina, feats to support AoO effects, feats that work towards potential prestige classes, and so on. However, you could also shift our ability scores around somewhat. I mean, if you're getting results like that with 16 starting Strength, maybe you can lower it to 14, and free up four points to spend somewhere else - perhaps back into Charisma, giving you some oomph for Intimidating Rage or Imperious Command if you want. You can continue to tune this until it deals "enough" damage - and that "enough" does not need to be "100%". It could easily be, say, 80% (leaving the rest to the team), if your DM is the sort who would ban one-hit killers.
Tempest_Stormwind on Character Optimization
So when do you think Bachmann will be saying she met a mother the previous night that had a son who got a blood transfusion using a gay guy's blood, and now the son is retardedly gay?
When she meets CJ's mom?
Resident Pithed-Off Dragon Poon Slayer of the House of Trolls
Yeah, fair enough - good points. I don't think we'd been drinking but maybe the GM just wanted to get the session over with!

I think people are focusing on the wrong part of Neue's original post.  Here's the part of the post that really matters: Creativity counts.  As a one-shot deal, in a climactic battle with the BBEG, that kind of thing is (usually) ok.  Expecting it to happen on a regular basis is too much.



No, I'm pretty sure the moral is wine is tasty. Tongue Out
You can make the ring's hot side face either way, Steve. But that's about the best such use, forcing them to "jump" at some point. (The radius of the ring is "up to", there is no minimum.)

For an effect comparable to bending (weaving) it back and forth on itself in grid increments, you are creating an "area of effect". Please see "incendiary cloud"


I realize the "hot side" of a ring could go either way.  It is interesting that it does say "up to" with no minimum states with the spell.  In a practical sense I'd say the minimum must still circle an entire square if not a 5' radius (a four square block).  The difference between the ring and my wrap example is that with the ring you're still just going through the wall once but with the wrap you are arguably going through multiple layers of wall to get out; at the same time you can say there are multiple layers radiating heat as well.

The idea of "weaving" the curtain back and forth to create an area affect similiar to incendiary cloud really helps point me away from allowing it.  The reason should be simple enough to see; Wall of Fire is a 4th-level spell while Incendiary Cloud is an 8th-level spell.  I'll admit I'm not comparing covered and damage but that is a pretty big difference in spell level.

Oh, and just so it's clear I most like would not be arguing against how it was used at the time just to keep things moving.  I may worry about setting some kind of precident but if I knew the NPC would "run through" the single wall then throwing things down in mulitple layers really didn't change anything.  I am not sure what this problem would be called where you know the simple effect is enough but the PC wants to do something "creative" and you don't feel like crushing it at the time.

 
If you ever needed to keep it in control, you could simply limit the damage for passing through the wall to one application per round; it never says that damage for passing through the wall applies for every separate section of wall (which wouldn't make sense for bigger creatures anyway, since they're likely to touch more than one section while passing through even a flat wall).

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome Lurker, Fulminating Crab, Ironglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
My group did a similar thing with Wall of Blades surrounding the barracks of an enemy army. I flew up to the top of the building with a score of oil (essentially Greek Fire) a doused the building with it before plunging through the roof with the rest of the building and setting the whole thing on fire. Our cleric then cast Wall of Blades wrapped around the building twice to prevent easy escape!
*score of barrels of oil