Burn baby, burn. Sight range spells

Hi there!

I was looking at Ranulf from MoH and the forums when I thought that he had not explored one aspect of Creo Ignem: how much he can burn. How large an area. Having re-read Calebais not long ago and that great paradigmatic 8even if cliché) Pitsdim character also helped in shaping that idea.

If he went for a Sight range spell and as many magnitudes as necessary, how large an area do you think he could burn? Let's assume a mountaintop or cosy flying position for ease of use. IIRC he cannot use magical senses to improve the range of his Sight spell, but I would say that the area could be fairly brutal. A barony?


I would keep in mind the following:

  1. If a spell does something really massive, it's supposed to be a Ritual (it's not just an issue of level being above 50, it's how "impressive" the outcome is). Anything burning down a whole barony would definitely be a Ritual in my saga.
  2. Something is within range as long as some part of it is within range -- i.e. distance is computed from the closest point of the target. So you can burn a barony at Touch range. How large the target is is controlled by Target, not Range.

Also, it'd depend on how you geometrically define "a large campfire or the fire in the hearth of a great hall."

How many cubic paces is an Individual of Ignem?

IIRC we have often used 1/8 cbm as a halfdecent approximation. Ie. basically a fire, half a meter by half a meter with half a meter high flames.
This became a lot more important when we added Targets very useful for creating things like walls of fire etc..

Dunno. 1 cubic pace? 2 cubic paces? I suppose not more than that

Well, if you go by 1 cubic pace as an Individual of Ignem (which seems a little on the small side, to me) and you limit yourself to only +5 damage and Sight Range you could cover and area with 3' high flames in a circular area of about a 3rd of a mile in radius with a 50th level spell, if you consider that an unnatural shape. If you don't consider it an unnatural shape, it'd be about a mile in radius.

If you go with Touch Range (why not, even if you penetrate your own Parma, your Stamina+Form Bonus is probably more than enough to soak +5 damage, if you're throwing around 50th level spells); +5 damage in an unnatural shape, +8 mags for size would cover a circular area with 3' high flames in an radius of 3.2 miles. If you consider that a natural shape, just over 10 miles in radius.

Any way you slice it, not exactly 'a barony' in area. So just cast it a few more times. :stuck_out_tongue:

"How large is "a large campfire"? is certainly the adequate question there. If it was larger, it would cover a much bigger area easily.

So, if we go for a version of "fire spreads around me" we can disregard any kind of control. As you say if you are casting it your ignem should be fairly large.

+5 damage (base4) +1 touch, +10 size. level 55 for a size +10 spell. Bump it up to Level 80 for a size +15 spell.

The exact definition of size is really of paramount importance once you start bumping it up like crazy :slight_smile:

Going for hot enough to start a fire instantly seems inefficient, instead it would make sense to make it only hot enough to ignite something and put the duration at concentration. Serf's parma here but I'm guessing that base level 2 will give us the heat of a candle or better.
range sight is three magnitudes.
duration concentration is one magnitude
target individual seems most efficient so far we're up to level 10. For a level 50 spell we have another eight magnitudes to increase size.
By brute calculation that's 100 million standard size fires, or a square of 10,000 by 10,000 standard fires. if a standard fire is about 1/2 a meter, this makes a square 5 kilometers on a side. My take is messing with the shape to get the square thinner than this and thus cover more area could arguably cost a magnitude for complex effect and paradoxically shrink the area (arguably, not certainly).

I think ezzelino's point about there being a ritual requirement for big spells whether or not they exceed level 50 or use a ritual required parameter is spot on. I'd put a ritual requirement on the spell above if I were the storyguide.

It's not a really a Ranulf sort of spell. Although (especially in the last 30 or so years I posted) Ranulf does spend some time doing combat stuff, his passion was always doing non-destructive useful tasks with ignem. Also Ranulf has the flaws "poor vision" and "deleterious circumstances: spells with range sight or eye" .

(Incidentally I do mean to get back to the ridiculously long Ranulf thread one day. I have another five years or so plotted out for him in a notebook someplace and I'd like to revise final enchantment in his talisman, the range of touch is in poor taste even if my justification for it holds water -which I'm not certain that it does.)

Base level 2 is enough to "ignite something extremely flammable (like oil.)" If you want the fire to ignite more than that, base 3 : very flammable (parchment) ; base 4 flammable (dry wood) ; base 5 : slightly flammable (damp wood) and base 10 : barely flammable (human body.)

In the end, I think you can either take base 2 ; D: Conc or base 4 ; D: Mom, it is quite similar. The latter doesn't risk losing concentration, however.

Also, I don't think it would create a fire of this size, only ignite everything in the area flammable enough for the spell. In a dry forest, once again it is quite similar!

I invoked serf's parma for a reason.

2 cbm of fire is more like a small bonfire. A fire looks much larger than it is if you measure cubic size at any single point in time, because how much the fire is randomly "moving" around.

And to get 2 cbm, you pretty much need a square fire 1.5m by 1.5m, with fuel stacked high enough to get almost meterhigh flames on AVERAGE. That´s huge.

While we're thinking about CrIg - base guideline 10 from the main rulebook includes "ignite something barely flammable (like a human body)." (page 140)
How much damage does setting a human on fire do, and what does it take to put it out - are we talking skin/hair on fire which can be rolled out on the ground, or more like a spontaneous human combustion "skin and the fat underneath catch fire" business?

Probably less than Pilum of Fire, the table on 181 of the MRB and the text detailing it are informative. I would venture to say that it would take a few rounds of concentrating to keep the fire active and cause it to consume the entire body...but that's just me.

Seems my plan for a "napalm bombing" NPC is not good enough. Size increments screw it since it is too large. Even upping it to level 75 or 80 does not seem to cover much of an area. What size would you say that the duchy of Brabant is, for example? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duchy_of_Brabant

Plan B. MuAq(Ig) to make rain become fire? It might even be an existing canonical spell.

IF you combine North and South Brabant, that's 7100 sq. km, or 7,100,000,000 sq. m.
Start with a fire the size of 1 cu. m.
Size +10 would cover 10,000,000,000 sq m with a flame 1 m. high

Base 4 to ignite all the easy stuff, fields (near harvest time or during a dry period), dry foliage, feed, thatched roof, maybe some hair, vis not protected by an Aegis, whatever.
What's so hard about this?

Base size and increments. There is a limit where I do not trust my numbers anymore. It seems people are going from size 0,5 to size 2 for a "standard sized fire". That changes the final result once you add increments massively. Hence the question. Erik Tyrrel would have a total size about half what you said, and DW75 double what you said.


I split the difference. If you go with Erik's then it is still really close to covering the entire duchy.