Ritualistically Speaking: Affect Normal Fire.


“There are three things that are never satisfied,

four that never say, ‘Enough!’:

the grave,the barren womb,

land, which is never satisfied with water,

and fire, which never says, ‘Enough!’ – the book of Agur – Proverbs 30

Fire is some crazy stuff! It can be a handy tool or a deadly weapon and that is why I have chosen the ritual Affect Normal Fire as my challenge this week. I had suggestions for Undead Ward and Detect Secret Doors but fire just holds so many possibilities for making a wizard feel more like a wizard.  I’ll actually deal with detect secret doors later on when I debut some magic items on which I am working. So lets dive into the fire shall we?


Affect Normal Fire

Cost: 25 gp Market Price: 125 gp Key Skill: Arcana or Nature (no check)
Level: 3 Category:  Exploration Time: 1 minute Duration: 8 hours

You gain mastery over nonmagical fire. For the ritual’s duration, or until you take an extended rest, you can manipulate nonmagical flames within 10 squares of you as a minor action. You can make a fire that normally provides dim light produce an equal amount of bright light, or you can double the radius of bright light a fire produces. Alternatively, you can diminish a fire’s light, reducing its area of bright light to an equal amount of dim light, or reducing its area of dim light to darkness. Reducing a fire’s light to produce no light does not extinguish the flame. You can extinguish 1 square of nonmagical fire as a minor action.

First published in Player’s Handbook 2.

Making it accessible: For this I thought a really cool way to make this ritual accessible to players would be a tattoo.  Ah the tattoo an all to often unused treasure in Dungeons and Dragons. So for the purpose of this ritual I’m going to create a flame warden tattoo.

Item name: Sign of the Flame Warden Item type: Tattoo Cost: 250 gp Level: 3

This tattoo is a special arcane container which allows the player to store the effects of the ritual “Affect Normal Fire” which can be used once per day as a minor action. To store the ritual the character must preform the ritual as normal and choose to invoke the tattoos properties as a storage device. At any time the bearer of the tattoo can summon the stored ritual as a minor action and gain its effects for the full duration of spell.  If the ritual is not released with in 12 hours the arcane energy dissipates and is lost.

Special: The tattoo can be recharged for a second time in a 24 period but the player must also spend 1 healing surge or their own or a willing donor.

There we go. Now any player wishing to have instant access to their affect normal fire ritual can, and not at a terrible price either I might say.Now we are playing with fire!

DMs: I’m trying had to think of an adventure in which I have played or been the dungeon master that didn’t have fire making an appearance. This ritual shouldn’t be hard to draw into a story line since all you need is any strategically placed fire. A really simple idea would be a wall of fire, or a fire pit blocking the path of the party. Doing this would Allow the caster to create a path through the flames as an easy solution. A DM could also have the party looking for an archive or library only to find that previous to their arrival it had been set on fire. The party must spring into action if they are to save what they need and affect normal fire is a really good option. If the players use any kind of wooden transport the danger of fire consuming the vessel is also a fun way to garner use of this ritual.

When writing a skill challenge which requires stealth, allowing a player to dim light sources for a success or at least a bonus to stealth checks works well. In an interrogation style skill challenge allowing players to use fire to intimidate  and NPC can be fun. The player could set the NPC on fire but control the fire so it does not burn them. Or the player could just show the NPC how crazy they are by setting their own arm on fire and waving it at the players face; in this instance I would allow the player to substitute an arcana check for an intimidate check.

In combat a generous DM will allow creative use of this ritual and reward clever and fun ideas. I’ll get more into the combat options in the player section.

Players: What wizard, arcannist or conjurer has not added flair to their words by making the flames of a candle flare up, or the light in the room dim eerily as they brim with power? This rituals is awesome for dramatic flare! But it also has practical uses as well. Rouges, assassins, and stealthy avengers will be the best friend of a wizard who can kill the lights for them. Being a key utility player and allowing stealth classes to do what they do best will really add to a players value in a story and in a group. Fire can also be used to cause distraction, by making a torch flare up behind a guards to gain a surprise round. Or  by making a fire leap from a candle to some papers on a desk so a player can quickly scoop something into their bag while an NPC is distracted. A crafty player might throw off their pursuers by putting out the lights down a hallway running east while they take the door to the west which might cause their pursuers to check the east hallway before having to double back for the west door.

Combat: In combat affect normal fire can be expanded and used in all sorts of fun ways. A wizard standing in the back of a room can use the ritual to dim the lights in the squares surrounding him/her. Doing this should allow the character to gain partial concealment and would thus be harder to hit. Since the players targets would not be in the dark the player would still be able to see them and attack normally. A kind DM would also allow a player to flare a torch or normal fire light source once per encounter, making some form of attack against fortitude to blind or distract an enemy; I would give my players combat advantage for one round if the light flare attack hit. Also something for DMs to consider would be allowing players to continue ongoing normal fire damage even after a save. Here is what I mean: if an enemy is taking ongoing fire damage and rolls to save the DM could allow a player as a minor action on their next turn to roll to reignite the flame. If the player can beat the monsters save on a straight roll the fire resumes burning the monster. If the player fails the fire is out and can only be reignited by the usual means.

I could go on for a while with ideas on how to use this ritual. As always a little out side the box thinking can turn any ritual caster into a wizard of legend and song. Creative use and quick thinking often create the best stories to tell. Perhaps some of these uses won’t fit your DM or play style but I would encourage you to look for ways to make rituals and magic use more accessible and fun in your own games.


Part idiot. Part old man. All geek. Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.

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About Thadeousc

Thadeous can't think of anything interesting about him self right now. Know this though if he could it would be creative and funny as well as thought provoking.
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