New Spell – Arcanic Fire

16 November, 2012

Fire!“This time, I have something special for you,” smiled Volran Koth, Wizard of the Three Triangle Society to his opponent.

“Will it impress me?” sneered Rodan the Blue, of the Many-Colored League.

The other wizards, sorcerer and assorted students of the esoteric arts watched from around the dueling circle as the two wizards faced off.  Whispering discussions moving among them.

The first attack was to Volran as challenger.  “Well, it is colorful,” said Volran with a grin.  Then, with seven words and a gesture, Rodan was suddenly engulfed in yellow-orange flames.

Arcanic Flames
School evocation [fire]; Level Sor/Wiz 2; Domain Magic 2
Components V, S
Casting Time 1 standard action
Range Close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target One target
Duration Instantaneous
Saving Throw Fortitude half (and see below); Spell Resistance Yes

With a gesture and a word of seven twisted syllables, the target is engulfed in pale almost translucent flames.  If the target is not a spell caster, the effect end there with the target being dazzled for one round.

If the target is a spell caster, the flames feed on their magic, running from the spectrum from pale red (for a low level caster) to deep violet (for an archmage with all spells ready).  Such a target takes an amount of fire damage equal to the highest level spell they have uncast plus the total number of uncast spells of 1st level or above they have available (Example: an 8th level wizard with a 16 Int who had cast no spells would take 19 damage, 4 for a 4th level spell plus 15 for spells uncast) and be dazzled for an amount of time equal to the highest level spell they have uncast.  A successful Fortitude save halves the damage (round down) and reduces the duration of the dazzled to one round.

Divine spell casters are less vulnerable to this effect and gain a +2 bonus to their save against this spell.  Spontaneous spell casters may -as a free action- expends a single spell slot of 1st level or higher to partly dissipate the flames, this both reduces the number of spells they have known for the purpose of damage calculation and they gain a bonus to the save equal to half the level of the spell expended, rounded up.

Creatures that have innate spell casting abilities take damage equal to twice the highest level of spell their abilities simulate and are dazzled for half that level in rounds (rounded up), a successful save halves that damage and reduces the dazzled to a single round.  If the target has both innate and class-based spell casting, add an amount of damage equal to the highest level spell that the of innate to the normal calculated damage for a spell caster.

Inspired by the spell Arcane Fire created Wymarc of Quag Keep.

Notes: This is one of those spells that looks more powerful than it really is, it only does damage to spell casters.  While, yes, against a high level spell caster, it can do a fair amount of damage by you could also be throwing around burning rays or acid arrows.  It is also fire damage, the most commonly protected against elemental damage.

Photo by Lee J Haywood and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license.


  1. Cool! I like the fact that this spell scales with the potency of the target rather than the potency of the caster. I’m pretty likely to adapt this directly into my D&D Next setting. =)

    • Please do and let me know how it works out.

  2. I second Stoddard’s comment. The backwards scaling is probably the most interesting thing about this spell. You could make other spells with the same idea (Base Attack Bonus, sneak attack, etc). It’s a cool notion.

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