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Is the spell "grease" flammable?


Rules Questions

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1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Okay the first level spell "grease" once cast will it light on fire if ignite is cast on it or somebody lights it with a flint and tinder?


Its only a 1st level spell and is potent enough as written. Giving it the further effect of burning those in it seems to br going too far. I would say no if I were your dm.


Yeah but it's made of grease that would make sense it would only be like alchemist's fire and you'd have to spend another turn to light it on fire?


According to RAW it's not but you can house rule whatever you want it to be.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's real grease.


There are greases that are flammable and there are greases that are not. Which the spell happens to conjure is not specified the dm gets to decide.

Silver Crusade

Speaking from firsthand experience, Grease is such a good spell that all of my spellcasters who can use it have it as one of their starting spell picks, period. I do not play them without Grease; it's that versatile and that good. It doesn't need the buff of being flammable.

RAW says nothing about it being flammable, either. Ciaran has pointed out most of these things already, so I'm mostly just chiming in to affirm those sentiments.

Your DM might say otherwise, but in a strict rules environment the call would be either "No, doesn't say it is" or "consult a DM, DM is likely but not guaranteed to rule No."


I one of those DMs who houserules that it is somewhat flammable--I let the stuff burn for one round at 1d6 damage. It takes a fire source such as a torch or burning hands and a DC 10 survival check to light it (up it to DC 15 if they're using spark or flint and steel).

It is a buff to an already great spell, but our group doesn't play pathfinder/3.5 for its balanced classes anyhow.

Andoran

It is not a mundane substance and if it was intended to be flammable, I am sure it would have said in the spell description. It is just a magically viscous goop that vanishes after a certain period of time.

If you are a GM, and wish to make this spell more potent, then by all means make it flammable.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Nah, it is just mundane grease. It's a Conjuration (Creation) spell, and that's what that does. The magic just keeps it there for a bit.


Cheapy wrote:
Nah, it is just mundane grease. It's a Conjuration (Creation) spell, and that's what that does. The magic just keeps it there for a bit.

Agreed, per the rules there's nothing saying it is or is not flammable, so that likely the grease is not flammable especially if you consider that Paizo is careful when writing spells to address their interactions with objects and flammability. (burning hands, fire ball, flame arrows).

I houserule that it is, and it burns away at 1 square per round or 4 rounds if its on an object, but that's just my house rule.


In past editions Web burned much more potently than it does in PF but it mentions the burn rate and how fire can be used it does not even mention it with grease.

Shadow Lodge

alright, lets read through the grease spell

Quote:

School conjuration (creation); Level bard 1, sorcerer/wizard 1

Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, M (butter)
Range close (25 ft. + 5 ft./2 levels)
Target one object or 10-ft. square
Duration 1 min./level (D)
Save see text; SR no
A grease spell covers a solid surface with a layer of slippery grease. Any creature in the area when the spell is cast must make a successful Reflex save or fall. A creature can walk within or through the area of grease at half normal speed with a DC 10 Acrobatics check. Failure means it can't move that round (and must then make a Reflex save or fall), while failure by 5 or more means it falls (see the Acrobatics skill for details). Creatures that do not move on their turn do not need to make this check and are not considered flat-footed.

The spell can also be used to create a greasy coating on an item. Material objects not in use are always affected by this spell, while an object wielded or employed by a creature requires its bearer to make a Reflex saving throw to avoid the effect. If the initial saving throw fails, the creature immediately drops the item. A saving throw must be made in each round that the creature attempts to pick up or use the greased item. A creature wearing greased armor or clothing gains a +10 circumstance bonus on Escape Artist checks and combat maneuver checks made to escape a grapple, and to their CMD to avoid being grappled.

Does the spell state that it's flammable? No? Then it isn't. This is how I'll run it in my home games and how it runs in PFS. I've never gotten why people insist that the grease spell is flammable.


At early levels it rocks enemies, if you have the sense to use it strategically. How many 1st levels spells do more than one thing? Should magic middle also knock an enemy back? Should burning hands also cause extra penalties from the pain of being burnt?

Contributor

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 4 people marked this as a favorite.

The reason why people think Grease is flammable is the simple logic of sympathetic magic. In 1st ed, when it showed up as a 1st level spell in the Unearthed Arcana, the material component was a pork rind, butter, or similar greasy material. It logically follows that what you're conjuring is more of what you use as a material component. A pork rind conjures lard. Butter conjures butter. Goose grease conjures more goose grease.

Whacking things with the nerf bat because it's "only a 1st level spell" and making butter via sympathetic magic somehow conjure some sort of magically nonflammable KY Jelly makes no sense from a magical standpoint. If the resulting substance is slippery jelly, then the material component should likewise be jelly, seaweed, banana peels, or just a pinch of soap flakes.

If you must beat Grease with a nerf bat because you're tired of 1st level wizards flambeing goblins with burning butter, just sub in a 1st level Sorcerer/Wizard spell called "Soap" that acts in all ways as Grease except it requires a hotel-size soap bar as material component and has a logical reason for why it doesn't burn.


Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Skerek wrote:
Does the spell state that it's flammable? No? Then it isn't. This is how I'll run it in my home games and how it runs in PFS. I've never gotten why people insist that the grease spell is flammable.

People might have gotten the idea from playing Dragon Age, in that game you can set fire to grease and burn enemies caught in it.


Gnomezrule wrote:
In past editions Web burned much more potently than it does in PF but it mentions the burn rate and how fire can be used it does not even mention it with grease.

Yeah, I used web to template my grease burning houserule.


The spell uses butter as a material component, can you take a stick of butter and light it on fire (idk as I don't use the stuff) but in the name of science I would be glad to test this. If butter is flammable then I say why not let the grease spell be flammable? I mean yeah it adds a huge boon but what about the dastardly evildoer who foils the plan of that greased guy that doesn't want to be tied or grappled by lighting the rope or person on fire? There are huge ways for a DM to get creative with this. I think I'll do it in my campaign! I'm so not a stickler for the rules though I think if people on here saw I a ran a game, their heads will explode like OMG you can't do that!!

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

what if we renamed it lubricate


Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

The reason why people think Grease is flammable is the simple logic of sympathetic magic. In 1st ed, when it showed up as a 1st level spell in the Unearthed Arcana, the material component was a pork rind, butter, or similar greasy material. It logically follows that what you're conjuring is more of what you use as a material component. A pork rind conjures lard. Butter conjures butter. Goose grease conjures more goose grease.

Whacking things with the nerf bat because it's "only a 1st level spell" and making butter via sympathetic magic somehow conjure some sort of magically nonflammable KY Jelly makes no sense from a magical standpoint. If the resulting substance is slippery jelly, then the material component should likewise be jelly, seaweed, banana peels, or just a pinch of soap flakes.

If you must beat Grease with a nerf bat because you're tired of 1st level wizards flambeing goblins with burning butter, just sub in a 1st level Sorcerer/Wizard spell called "Soap" that acts in all ways as Grease except it requires a hotel-size soap bar as material component and has a logical reason for why it doesn't burn.

I like your humor so much! ... hmmm a soap spell..and....BURNING BUTTER LOL oh my goodness, you are killing me here :P

Contributor

theveggiejerk wrote:
The spell uses butter as a material component, can you take a stick of butter and light it on fire (idk as I don't use the stuff) but in the name of science I would be glad to test this. If butter is flammable then I say why not let the grease spell be flammable? I mean yeah it adds a huge boon but what about the dastardly evildoer who foils the plan of that greased guy that doesn't want to be tied or grappled by lighting the rope or person on fire? There are huge ways for a DM to get creative with this. I think I'll do it in my campaign! I'm so not a stickler for the rules though I think if people on here saw I a ran a game, their heads will explode like OMG you can't do that!!

Butter not only can be used as lamp oil but is traditional in some cultures.

Since there are already rules in the Core Rules for lamp oil and how flammable it is, just use those, and if someone wants to use a flask of lamp oil to grease a floor, just turn to the Grease spell for the appropriate rules.


If you want your grease to deal damage just use the alchemical power component Acid.
With it the grease deals 1 Point of damage per round.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

The reason why people think Grease is flammable is the simple logic of sympathetic magic. In 1st ed, when it showed up as a 1st level spell in the Unearthed Arcana, the material component was a pork rind, butter, or similar greasy material. It logically follows that what you're conjuring is more of what you use as a material component. A pork rind conjures lard. Butter conjures butter. Goose grease conjures more goose grease.

Whacking things with the nerf bat because it's "only a 1st level spell" and making butter via sympathetic magic somehow conjure some sort of magically nonflammable KY Jelly makes no sense from a magical standpoint. If the resulting substance is slippery jelly, then the material component should likewise be jelly, seaweed, banana peels, or just a pinch of soap flakes.

If you must beat Grease with a nerf bat because you're tired of 1st level wizards flambeing goblins with burning butter, just sub in a 1st level Sorcerer/Wizard spell called "Soap" that acts in all ways as Grease except it requires a hotel-size soap bar as material component and has a logical reason for why it doesn't burn.

To be fair, it's more accurate to say that you're giving the spell a buff coat as you're putting in a quality that's not supported by the spell text. Again this is not 1st Edition, not 2nd, not even 3rd, but Pathfinder's Grease spell. The pathfinder text is the only one that's relevant.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

And the only text in PF that hints to what it is is the butter.

I wonder if it can create I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Skerek wrote:
Does the spell state that it's flammable? No? Then it isn't.

Does the spell state that it's fireproof? No? Then it isn't.

Shadow Lodge

Jiggy wrote:
Skerek wrote:
Does the spell state that it's flammable? No? Then it isn't.
Does the spell state that it's fireproof? No? Then it isn't.

to bad grease doesn't have any listed HP to be destroyed by fire huh?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I am so sure there was a developer answer to this. I believe the answer was no. I have not found it yet.


I rule it can be set ablaze. My group seems to like fire in an unhealthy way, though.

Lantern Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
I rule it can be set ablaze. My group seems to like fire in an unhealthy way, though.

That's perfectly fine. Any healthy campaign has a good set of house rules to run it by.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Skerek wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Skerek wrote:
Does the spell state that it's flammable? No? Then it isn't.
Does the spell state that it's fireproof? No? Then it isn't.
to bad grease doesn't have any listed HP to be destroyed by fire huh?

Neither does lamp oil.

Shadow Lodge

Jiggy wrote:
Skerek wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Skerek wrote:
Does the spell state that it's flammable? No? Then it isn't.
Does the spell state that it's fireproof? No? Then it isn't.
to bad grease doesn't have any listed HP to be destroyed by fire huh?
Neither does lamp oil.

but it actually has rules for being set on fire

Qadira

Spells are only what they say nothing more. In 3.5 they added a flammable grease spell I think it was lvl2.

Edit: not that I don't enjoy fire, it's just letting wizards make up spell effects on the spot is the path to trouble and overpoweredness. Maybe house rule you can make if flammable if you add alch fire as a material component, if lit it can do alch fire damage to the target or splash damage to all covered. This could save an action so it is still good (the standard to throw the flask). Have it burn away after dealing the alch fire damage.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Skerek wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Skerek wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Skerek wrote:
Does the spell state that it's flammable? No? Then it isn't.
Does the spell state that it's fireproof? No? Then it isn't.
to bad grease doesn't have any listed HP to be destroyed by fire huh?
Neither does lamp oil.
but it actually has rules for being set on fire

But straw doesn't. (Nor does it have HP.)


No.

Qadira

How long does it take a 20 ft square of oil to catch on fire? I doubt it is easily set on fire, it takes time to get oil hot, not to mention it is spread out and in other objects. Grass, clothes, dirt...

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

GeneticDrift wrote:
Spells are only what they say nothing more.

In that case, the grease is also not opaque, but also not transparent or translucent.

It doesn't trickle down a sloped or vertical surface, but also doesn't stick in place.

It has no limitations to the size of an object that it can coat.

And so on, and so forth. At some point you have to accept that there will be things that are true despite being unstated, and it's up to a human being to employ their brains and make decisions. Want to decide it's flammable? Fine. Want to decide it's not? Also fine. But to say that one of those two decisions is supported in the rules while the other is not is just silly and arrogant.

Quote:
In 3.5 they added a flammable grease spell I think it was lvl2.

Unlike everything else in this thread, this would actually be relevant. Can you find it? A quick search of the SRD found nothing.


Some DM's say yes and other say no. Frankly it's going to be up to your DM every time. Frankly, it doesnt need to be to be an awesome spell, but it can be fun.

Grand Lodge

Skerek wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Skerek wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Skerek wrote:
Does the spell state that it's flammable? No? Then it isn't.
Does the spell state that it's fireproof? No? Then it isn't.
to bad grease doesn't have any listed HP to be destroyed by fire huh?
Neither does lamp oil.
but it actually has rules for being set on fire

Food is an item on the equipment chart, but there are no rules for eating or what happens if you don't.

Food doesn't have any hit points. Does that make food invulnerable to chewing?

I think a little bit of creativity and common sense are acceptable in a tabletop role-playing game....


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Fireball does not catch anything on fire. Remember, it's magic, try not to use too much "logical thinking".

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

blackbloodtroll wrote:
Fireball does not catch anything on fire. Remember, it's magic, try not to use too much "logical thinking".

But spark ignites things immediately, even if they would normally take longer to ignite.

Shadow Lodge

Jiggy wrote:
Skerek wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Skerek wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Skerek wrote:
Does the spell state that it's flammable? No? Then it isn't.
Does the spell state that it's fireproof? No? Then it isn't.
to bad grease doesn't have any listed HP to be destroyed by fire huh?
Neither does lamp oil.
but it actually has rules for being set on fire
But straw doesn't. (Nor does it have HP.)

Indeed straw does not have rules for being set on fire, might have something to do with the fact it isn't listed as an item (as far as i can see) so therefor would fall under GM discretion whether or not it burns and how quickly it burns ect.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Skerek wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Skerek wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Skerek wrote:
Jiggy wrote:
Skerek wrote:
Does the spell state that it's flammable? No? Then it isn't.
Does the spell state that it's fireproof? No? Then it isn't.
to bad grease doesn't have any listed HP to be destroyed by fire huh?
Neither does lamp oil.
but it actually has rules for being set on fire
But straw doesn't. (Nor does it have HP.)
Indeed straw does not have rules for being set on fire, might have something to do with the fact it isn't listed as an item (as far as i can see) so therefor would fall under GM discretion whether or not it burns and how quickly it burns ect.

Yet the spell flame blade says it can ignite combustible materials and lists straw as an example. So clearly it does burn, but has no HP and no rules for how fast it burns. So again, decisions must be made.

And I honestly don't care what decisions are made, as long as people are willing to own up to it being a decision instead of stubbornly insisting that they know the correct answer when there isn't a correct answer.

Taldor

we houserule that it is flammable and does 1d6 burn damage if lit.

Shadow Lodge

Jiggy wrote:
Yet the spell flame blade says it can ignite combustible materials and lists straw as an example. So clearly it does burn, but has no HP and no rules for how fast it burns. So again, decisions must be made.

Indeed

Quote:
as long as people are willing to own up to it being a decision instead of stubbornly insisting that they know the correct answer when there isn't a correct answer.

Ah like you're stubbornly insisting that grease could be caught on fire?

In your straw example, or AT's food example the rules are not laid out for these items, so GM discretion is needed.

But grease has a spell description, rules laid out on how it is used. And not once does it mention setting it on fire. Also consider that another spell, Web, has rules for setting it on fire and burning it away.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Invoking the rule of awesome here.

It's more awesome for it to be flammable. 8)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Skerek wrote:
Ah like you're stubbornly insisting that grease could be caught on fire?

Except that I'm not. All I did was rebut your (bad) arguments, not argue for the opposite position. In fact, if you were willing to take a moment to read my posts, you would also see that I've acknowledged that both rulings are fine, and I even noted a very good piece of evidence suggested by someone else in favor of it not being flammable and asked for the citation (which sadly hasn't come yet).

Apparently, though, you're unable to discern the difference between someone pointing out a bad argument and someone arguing for an opposing viewpoint. I would encourage you to rectify that.

To do so, here's how to get started:
1) Slow down and read. You believed that I held a position (and even "stubbornly insisted" it) despite me not only never arguing for said position, but even stating that your position was acceptable. In short, you believed the opposite of my words, which means you didn't read.

2) Take care to catch the difference between "does not say X" and "says not-X". They are usually not the same.

3) Be precise in your rebuttals. Instead of simply reiterating what you've already stated, explicitly address new statements and show why they either are not valid or do not support such-and-such a view. Repetition is not an argument.

Hope that helps. :)


By a strict reading of the rules, no. But catching mundane items (wagons packed with straw, houses, etc.) is something that is generally left up to the GM, whose real world experience can guide him/her.

In real life, there's very little that can light grease (butter, lard, petroleum jelly, etc.) within 6 seconds, and it doesn't normally burn in bulk, only when furnished with a wick, as in a lamp or torch. (As an aside: This is because only the vapors of oils are really flammable, and grease has to be very hot before it starts to evaporate enough to burn. In more technical terms, it has a very high flash point.) Certainly I don't see flint & steel, a tindertwig, or the spark spell igniting grease.

Based on that, I would allow (as my personal GM interpretation) a coating of grease from the spell to increase the damage of being on fire by 1d6 per round, but it doesn't catch from fire effects with a duration of less than 2 rounds, and doesn't continue to burn without another source of fire or fuel.

I would also allow a creative player to start a fire with wet wood if they cast grease on it first, and similar applications.


While I've never bothered to try lighting butter on fire, I would imagine it is not very flammable. Something that is used as lamp oil can have a different effect in an open air environment.

We bought one of those FirePot things last summer and while filling it with the fire-gel they sell I spilled a bunch of it on the ground. I did what any pyro-maniac would do and try to light it on fire. It would not light up at all. However the gel inside the lamp started right up.

I would imagine something similar to something like butter or even lamp oil. It's flamability suffers once it's out in a more open aired environment.

* Edit - In other words.. What Gordon said :)

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Dr Grecko wrote:
I would imagine something similar to something like butter or even lamp oil. It's flamability suffers once it's out in a more open aired environment.

Hm, now that's an interesting point. (You too, Gordon!)

With everything that's been said, I might start randomly deciding whether or not to treat grease as flammable. Or maybe give it a % chance at igniting when you try to light it up? Or maybe have it just barely burn, dealing 1 fire damage/round for 1d4 rounds....


1 person marked this as a favorite.

After this thread I'm going to assume every conjuration spell is highly flammable until explicitly told otherwise by a developer.

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