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Fire Magic

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Im planning on designing an rpg with a very detailed and creative magic and combat system, and looking back on other games for ideas on fire-based spells (or rather, magic in general) theres surprisingly not much to choose from.

Using skyrim for example, the only fire spells are "fireball" "fire storm" "flames" and an elusive fire wall spell that comes on staffs.

What different and unique spells can anyone think of that are more creative than the standard "fireball"

Im going for a bada$$ ultra destructive feel for fire magic, and each "classical" element having two counter parts for its spells, like fire/ash, and water/ice. Water would be a more soothing and flowing magic, while it could instantly be flash frozen into a more deadly ice.


- Boost power of all fire magic within 5 ft of caster for 1 minute
- Explosive blast of fire centered on caster knocks back enemies
- A linear blast of fire sets enemies ablaze
- A Cloak of heat melts ice 5 ft around and prevents cold damage to caster
- An Area of fire 5 ft around the caster is doused, creating ash.
- A Blast of ash cuts nearby enemies and leaves a thin smokescreen.
- Summon a swarm of fireflies, setting fire to everything they touch
- A gout of flame leaps from enemy to enemy, setting them on fire
- Douse a flaming enemy, overcharging next fire spell
- Douse flames around caster, replenishing health and magic.
- Summon Fire orbs, which float in place and explode when disturbed.
- Summon a goblin from ash.
- Summon a pheonix, which may resurrect as long as there is enough ash nearby.
- Summon a fire elemental.
- Summon an Ash Drake.
- Summon a fire dragon. the Legendary incarnation of destruction.
- Summon a Fire imp, with basic combat and magic capabilities.
- Fire a charged fireball at an enemy, with an explosion radius of 2 ft/second charged, to a maximum of 5 seconds.
- A shockwave of fire blasts outwards from the caster, knocking back and setting enemies on fire.
- a circular wall of fire centered on the caster prevents enemies from entering, or leaving, without burning.
- Instantly turns water and ice to steam, burning enemies.
- A storm of fire and ash wreaks havok around the caster.
- Cover the caster and allies with a coat of ash, making them harder to see in darkness, and providing some defense bonus.
- Sets blood on fire as if it were oil, creating pools of fire and burning "too close" enemies from the inside.
- trap an enemy inside a sphere of insatiable fire, burning forever or until the target is nothing but ash.
- cleanse infection/poison
- lava geyser minefield
- re-ignite ashes
- Immunity to fire %
- [Enchant] fire damage
- [Enchant] extra damage/defense vs ice
- [Enchant] resistance to fire
- [Enchant] Ash Cover (darkens the material making the user harder to detect in darkness)
- summon ash orbs, similar to fire orbs but exploding into dark thiock smokescreens instead.
- create a fountain of fire and/or ash
- summon fire wisp, like a miniature low-level elemental
- summon hellfiend/ashfiend, similar to imps but more pwerful and larger, with more advanced magic.
- possible crafting usage spells?
- possible spells unique for hand to hand combat?
- scorch earth in a straight line (or an area around the caster) for a specified distance.
- heat/melt a weapon, causing some damage to its weilder if they are not wearing addequete gloves, and a chance to disarm them.
- heat/melt armor, (only works on metallic armors) brings down the defense of an armor, making it easier to cut through, and burns the enemy over time.

Edited by nullie

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Essentially any kind of weapon or projectile you can think of can be turned into a fire based spell. How about conjuring up a sword made of fire? Or a volley of fire arrows?

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so far i've come up with several fire-based chain lightning like spells, and various spells involving ash that require there to be enough ash nearby to use them, Im hoping to make the spells combo together nicely, for example, a wave of fire explodes outwards from the center, setting enemies on fire, then another spell douses the fire, creating ash, and a smokescreen is made from the ash, i'll make a list of what i have come up with when i have time. but keep fueling ideas please :D

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Would fire-as-cleansing be off-topic to this?  I'm talking about phoenixes that have healing powers, burning out poisons or bad plants, purifying undead or other creatures of the night, possibly archangels because light which is intense enough becomes fire.  Light has a lot of other possibilities - confusion, illusion, blinding the opponent.


For summoning suggestions, hell hounds or flame horses (as summonable mounts or for knocking down barriers?).

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OK, I'll do some improvising.
A spell that...:

  • increases fire damage dealt by you, but deals damage to you over time (or nukes you when a spell is cast)
  • conjures a large scythe of flames to damage everyone in an area around you (deals extra damage to Plant type enemies; the farmer's scythe is their greatest fear!)
  • conjures a fire 'geyser' that spews flame/lava upwards; also consider a variant of the spell that summons an array of 'geysers' scattered across a large area, if you want something less predictable
  • conjures a miniature volcano that lava will pour out of for a duration, forming streams of lava across the ground around the volcano
  • conjures a pool of ashes on the ground for a duration, slowing enemies in the area.  If a fire spell touches the ashes, they will all ignite, burning enemies in the area for damage over time (or just nuking them once, if that's what you would prefer)
  • spits a cone of ashes in front of you, blinding/stunning/knocking back/slowing/whatevering enemies it touches
  • summons a whip of flames that repeatedly flings in a circle around you for a duration, damaging enemies it touches and having a chance of burning/slowing/stunning them
  • summons a circle of fire around a location that gradually grows smaller; if an enemy touches the fire, they begin burning, increasing the damage they take to fire magic and damaging them over time; once the circle of flame forms a ball in the center of the targeted location, it explodes outwards, nuking enemies in range.
  • burns all poison or other negative buffs off of you; for each effect removed, you are nuked for some damage and are buffed to deal a percentage of extra fire damage for a duration.

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Great ideas, but for a clarification, im thinking that you cannot create ash, and that it is created as a biproduct of the fire spells, forcing the player to be destructive with their fire to use the spells requiring ash.

Hell hounds and mounts are great ideas too. and im having trouble coming up with many non-combat spells, so cleansing poison is a possible addition.

As well, because of the complexity the magic system will have (rather than selecting spells to use) you will be required to expiriment with different "patterns" some of which will cause negative effects to the player, or simply be variations to other spells, making expirimentation with higher level spells dangerous, but highly profitable.

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I dunno if you have a crafting system, but as far as non-combat magic goes it seems like heat and light would have a ton of relevance to blacksmithing, mining, working with gems, felling trees, bending wood into bows, cooking, and anything related to steam power if your setting has discovered steam engines.

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seems like heat and light would have a ton of relevance to blacksmithing, mining, working with gems

Heh, I can imagine some pretty cool spells, like Burning Grip that would burn anyone you grab (perhaps for a melee type spellcaster), but would also have the useful side effect that you could grab a piece of charcoal, grip it firmly, and turn it into diamonds. (we'll just skip the fact that extreme pressures are also required eh?)


What about some environment effects like:

Heat Wave: Heat up the air in a large radius. Anyone in heavy armor starts feeling dizzy and/or missing their shots. In addition talking becomes difficult, so any spoken spells can't be used

Scorched Earth: Turn the earth into smoldering coal. Depending on how strong you want it to be: either anyone who stands still long enough will take damage/catch on fire, or anyone who just comes into contact with it long enough starts taking damage/catches on fire.


And a spell with two strengths (possibly just two spells):

Heat Weapon: Any metal components of the target's weapon become so hot as to be unholdable (essentially making him drop the weapon)

Melt Weapon: If the weapon is mostly metallic, you melt it from the target's hands, dealing him some damage depending on weapon type

Edited by Milcho

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Using skyrim for example, the only fire spells are "fireball" "fire storm" "flames" and an elusive fire wall spell that comes on staffs

Skyrim and Oblivion are (IMHO) both pretty bad examples of spell variety (specially in Oblivion, many effects reduced to a "Ball of [insert effect]" spell).


You'll find better examples on action RPGs (Two Worlds has an interesting card system for spells) , or more "classical" isometric view RPGs like Diablo series or Sacred (or even fire benders in Avatar!).


Bethesda's way of doing mages is the sole reason why I never played one on their games :D

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I quite liked the spell customisation in Sacred 2.

As you put points into a spell, you could decide how you wanted to customise it.

e.g. At fireball spell level X, choose between upgrading to a larger fireball or a spread of smaller fireballs.
At level Y, choose between increasing fire rate or increasing damage of each fireball.

These choices typically resulted in the same overall DPS, but each was more suited to a particular play style, and so the choices were meaningful. E.g. a single large fireball favours players who make calm, targeted attacks, while a spread of small fireballs favours a more frantic player.

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thats the idea, but rather than upgrading each spell individuakly, players have to expiriment with different patterns in order to increase the power and radius of different spells, sometimes addin interesting or unpleasant effects.

I like the scorched earth and melt weapon ideas. i'll add them to the list.

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-Fire Gaze: Allows you to see with thermal vision

-Blinding Fire: Ignites enemies eyes on fire. More effective agaisn't creatures with light sensitivity

-Liquid Fire: Lobs fireballs that drip liquid fire. Creates pools of fire that can flow down hill.

-Magma Tounge: Caster is able to devour any metal with an intense heat within the mouth.

-Dehydrate: Burns the liquid within enemies bodies causing dehydration effects and constant damage

-Fire's Will: Stir caster or allies resolve with the ferocity of fire itself. Increase to all will type abilities or determination

-Melting Grasp: Melt objects with the grasp of the casters hand

-Scarr'ed Mark: Caster burns tatoo marks on target creature for spell effects

-Fire Tornado: You can imagine what this is

-Rain of Embers: Ignites free falling objects in the air causing them to deal fire damage in addition.

-Embers Foresight: Able to have preminitions by staring into a fire or hot coals/embers

-Fires Message: Caster can leave writing or a small fire figure of himself in the still burning ashes of any fire to leave a message

-Salamanders Tounge: Whips out a long gecko like tounge made of fire to grasp objects or creatures

-Burning Speed: Casts a fire buff on ally. The faster or further distance the target moves the more friction and fire charges up. Upon becoming still the built up fire explodes around the target. (Good for long charges or a free falling object)

-Blood Raze: Casters blood can be ignited remotely to catch on fire.



Here are some ideas. Hope they are helpful

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  • warmth - Mana regen bonus (Diablo 2)
  • Fire = Speed: Movement speed bonus with fire trail
  • ghost fire!
  • combine a fiery inferno suicide with a phoenix-like resurrection ability

Fire has probably a lot of different meanings in other cultures which might inspire you to some cool non-destructive abilities.

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the game im planning on using these in is a multiplayer (not MMO,think sorta like minecraft or borderlands. ) game with hardcore ideas and permadeath, so the suicide bombing one would be tricky to implement, but dehydration would be good, seeing as hunger/thirst is something i am considering.

A couple by senyu are repeats or have little actual value, for example, how would one implement the ""foresight" of looking into a fire?

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so the suicide bombing one would be tricky to implement


I plan on having a "suicide" attack in my game, but it functions something along the lines of rendering the unit/player useless instead of fully killing them, so perhaps something that drains their energy or ability to use attacks. If this is more a match style play with teams, this could be effective for say running in and trying to wipe out a cluster, but you are left a sitting duck.

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Not sure if these have been mentioned but here goes: 1. Sacred Flame of Hospitality - Basically a campfire or a lit torch, the flame is infused with holy magic and will repel or attack any hostile beings in its radius. Useful for plopping down in an area so you can rest. Weak enemies are repelled, medium enemies are prevented from attacking, powerful enemies who stay hostile are attacked by the flame (which is extinguished in the process). The sacred flame might even attack or inhibit the player when they are in the radius. The sacred hospitality flame basically enforces that an area is safe from hostility. Anyone who enters either can't attack or gets burned if they cause trouble. May also repel toxins, cold, disease, or darkness. 2. Flame Bellows - Air based magic, sends a burst of hyper-oxygenated air which heavily damages any enemy currently on fire. 3. Overcook Food - A cooking spell that instantly converts any raw food item into "edible charcoal" or some other foodlike item.

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  • Magma skin - targets skin gets mushy and porous as it turns into lava/melted metall. Can resist blunt/piercing type of damage but more vulnerable to cold and shockwave types of damage (wind is blowing the lava away).
  • Heatwave - a wave of very hot air is bursting out from the caster, making all sensitive units/enemies sweat and get dizzy for a while.
  • Stream of Ash - during volcanic eruptions the biggest killer is not the stones and lava - its the hot mud that moves very quickly.
  • Storm of Ash - remember the huffpuff about the icelandic volcanoe and its ash? A storm with ash that makes it hard to see and move could be interesting (perhaps)
  • Soften ground - make ground melt into a pool of lava or similar. Players moving through will slow and hurt their feet.
  • Summon burning skeleton - a burning skeleton on fire with a weapon. Perhaps it is pregnant with a lava belly and suicide attacks?

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