Most threats, challenges, obstacles and enemies I see in RPG supplements are individual beasties and beings, with special abilities, per day powers and scripted dialogue.

This applies to games I have played, and games I have run.

Very rarely have I seen a mundane, everyday burning building used as an adversary, yet a house fire can be an unpredictable and terrifying foe.

It may be Hollywood hokum, but any movie featuring fire or firefighters will, at some point, tell you that as soon as you stop respecting a fire, you’ll under estimate it and that’s when it’ll kill you.

I’ve had burning buildings in my games before, but only as background flavour.

The players have dashed down burning streets, aware that the burning house is just an interesting wall, or they’ve watched safely from a distance as the joint has lit up.

They’ve never had to fight their way out of a burning building, or dash into the flames to rescue a child or loved one, or battled to control a raging inferno before it engulfs the library or hospital.

This is a shame, as all of the above seem exceptionally awesome to me.

So, from now on, I vow to have fire break out in Elysium, a blaze in the arcane library, a burning house between the players and freedom.

Posted via my geek phone


3 thoughts on “Burning stuff / Fire as an adversary

  1. I read a big chunk of Monte Cook's Ptolus last year. In it he has some great rules that govern the spread, durability, and lethality fire. It's neat the way he treats it as a sort of fire elemental that can spread and damage those adjacent to it.


  2. Yes, my current Labyrinth Lord party LOVES flaming oil flasks, so I am getting rather used to houseruling fire effects myself. Do you have any rules parameters you like to use?


  3. Spreading fire is one thing, and a tricky challenge at that.
    I'm thinking about the other aspects as well: smoke inhalation, decreased visibility, weakened structures, proximity damage, terror (especially for Vampires) etc.

    Backdrafts and explosions and general spread have their place as well.

    Literally hours of fun to be had, torching your players 🙂
    It's a shame my next planned game is water based.


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