Skip to main content

Into the Fire

"You know about all those dangerous mutants you here about on the news?  I'm the worst one."
 - Pyro, X-Men 2

Out of all the elements that I will write about (water, air, fire and earth), fire is by far the most common.  Why?  There are just so many spells/abilities that deal with fire, and, in my experience, people just seem more drawn to wielding fire.  It's like everybody has an inner pyro.  And so, because fire is the most commonly seen element, it becomes harder to make it interesting and finding ways to make it awesome.

Out of all the players in my group, we only have one min-maxer.  For those unfamiliar with the term, a min-maxer is a person who builds their character in a way that makes them as powerful as they can be.  Most of these players tend to focus on being the best and dealing massive amounts of damage.  Needless to say, outside of combat, they don't tend to do very well unless there's something to break/attack.

I'm not trying to give our optimizer a bad rep.  He is a great player, and while he builds his character to be powerful, he gets into all aspects of the game, exploring and interacting with the world.  However, his character is driven by one thing.

To be the most powerful wizard of all time.

This wizard, Krenlor, is also a pyromancer.  Kyle, my friend who plays this character, has taken all fire spells as the character has leveled up.  He has one daily spell that is non-fire, but everything else is fire (except Magic Missile of course).

The mini Kyle uses for Krenlor.  It's pretty accurate.

 Krenlor has given huge advantages to the party, simply by the infernos he can create and enemies he can set alight.  There have been encounters that I've built that became a lot easier simply because Krenlor threw down the fire and everything burned.  So, as a DM, I have to find a way to challenge Krenlor.

While playing through Madness at Gardmore Abbey, the problem solved itself.  Fire resistance.

So far, the last 2 elemental posts have written about building elemental characters and how, as a DM to incorporate these fantastic elemental terrain into your games.  Now, I want to talk about ways to challenge the characters.  The first, and easiest way to do this, is to have the character face monsters that are immune to their attacks.

For Krenlor, this came about fighting corrupted angels of Bahamut.  The angels had a strong fire resistance, negating most of the damage Krenlor would be able to deal.  Later on in the adventure, the party learned of a red dragon that had taken residence in the underground temple.  Krenlor groaned.  This was definitely going to be a challenge.  The rest of the party became quick to discuss how they could hope to defeat the dragon with Krenlor neutralized.

As the group has yet to challenge the dragon, the question still remains up in the air.  I will be interested in seeing how the whole adventure pans out.  I am sure that this dragon will become a hi-light of the group in the future to come, simply because of the obstacles they will need to overcome to throw down the mighty wyrm.

For fantastic fire locations, I think the most obvious place is a volcano.  It's a place brimming with danger and excitement.  In reality, any place with lava would work well.  In most situations, you could take a water based location and change the water to lava.  Instead of pirates sailing the seas, have them sailing on a river/lake of lava (using magic boats of course).  The crazier things sound, the better they become.

When I first started playing DnD and creating my world, I played a goblin artificer named Kov.  (He originally made constructs, but with all the changes in the last year, I would turn into more of an alchemist).  Since I was the only goblin in our game, I wanted to create a goblin kingdom, a place where my character was from.  And so, I created Raav, the goblin city inside a volcano.  The place was originally home to an ancient red dragon, whom the goblin armies assaulted and slew.  From there, they were able to claim the dragon's hoard, resulting it currency and wealth for the new kingdom, as well as respect from the lands around it.

Kov, with some of the constructs he created (before my re-build).
I've been hoping that my players will decide to journey to Raav at some point, simply so that I can pull out all the stops and create some  a really memorable part of the adventure.

Kov greets Caitrisana, Kat, Alfred and Murph as they enter Raav.
Of course, there always needs to be a threat or a challenge.  I'm trying to throw out some ideas about Raav.  Perhaps the city holds a portal to the Elemental Chaos, being inside a volcano and all.  Or maybe a young red dragon, hearing legends of the ancient red that was slain long ago, has come to try and turn Raav into it's new lair.  Or even a civil war between the goblins.  Regardless, there are plenty of opportunities  and reasons to turn a simple visit to Raav into something much larger and much grander.  The following picture was me toying with the idea of the dragon swooping in, killing goblins and claiming Raav for its own. 

Throwing down against the new dragon in town.


Popular posts from this blog

D&DNext and the Despair Deck

"Fear attracts the fearful." - Darth Maul
In May of 2011 (which seems like forever ago), Wizards of the Coast released a 4th Edition supplement entitled The Shadowfell: Gloomwrought and Beyond.  One of the coolest things to come in the box set was a deck of 30 cards called the Despair Deck.  The deck, to quote from the campaign guide, "represents the unnatural behaviors and neuroses that can come over those who visit the Shadowfell."  I would like to that statement one step farther and say that the deck represents behaviors and neuroses that come over those who visit any place of horror.  Flipping through the deck, the cards are separated into three main categories: Fear, Apathy, and Madness.  Such traits create good roleplaying opportunities, as well as further demonstrating the horrors that adventurers face on a regular basis.

I thought the Despair Deck was a great addition to special encounters and events for D&D, and I've really wanted to c…

Revisiting the Trinket Lord

As I’ve gone back to dive into the options that are 4e D&D, I took another hard look at something near and dear to my heart: my 4e published article, The Trinket Lord. Published in Dungeon 205 (August 2012), it was another article in the Court of Stars series about the Archfey. With GenCon 2017 occurring right now, I figured it's a good time to talk about such things again.  I had always found the Court of Stars articles extremely intriguing and full of adventure hooks, but when I pitched this article, only two existed, The Prince of Frost (Dragon 374) and the Bramble Queen (Dungeon 185).
The Trinket Lord was originally pitched back in April 2012, when WotC accepted article submissions for their Dragon and Dungeon magazines. My contact for the entire process was Greg Bilsland (which was a major “whoa!” moment for me). I consider my relatively short interactions with Greg to have been extremely insightful, as he gave me a good mix of compliments and critiques and helped me im…

The Evils of Fey

"They were big and little creatures. Some were hairy with long, thin tails, and some had noses long as pokers. Some had bulging eyes and some had 20 toes. In they came -- crashing through the door, sliding down the chimney, crawling through the windows. They shouted and cried. They banged pots and pans. They twirled their tails and tapped their toes upon the wooden floor. He watched as the trolls gobbled the food and threw the plates and drank everything in sight. They continued to shout and scream, to scratch the walls and pound the floors and slap their tails upon the table. The tiny trolls were the worst of all. They screamed at the top of their lungs and pulled each others' tails." - The Brothers Grimm
In the previous post, I wrote about broadening the use of monsters in my campaigns.  I mentioned my love for the fey and the Feywild, and how I was trying to step away from it.  In today's post, I want to embrace the fey, and write about all of the wild i…