Wall of Fire does not harm objects?


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

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Need a semi quick deliberation. Basically Wall of Fire specific ally calls out creatures not objects. Not to mention the magical nature of the fire which the caster can select a side in which the fire burns and which one doesn't.


It's probably irrelevant for most objects.

Wall of fire.

At a maximum of 12 damage, that's going to be 6 damage minus an object's hardness for most objects.

Note that, with wooden items, that means that there is a 1/11 chance every round that it will actually do damage at all, and only if the fire is directly on top of the wood.

That said, leather, ice, rope, paper, or glass can be destroyed relatively easily, though even glass and leather will likely endure if its more than 10 feet away (4/2=2; leather is immune, glass has a 1/4 chance to take no damage in a turn).

As a GM, of course, one has the option of saying it bypasses or mitigates relatively hardness.

All that said, though I've never thought of it before, it is questionable for the reason that you specified that it would damage objects.

Let's look at a similar spell that definitively does: fireball.

Quote:
The fireball sets fire to combustibles and damages objects in the area. It can melt metals with low melting points, such as lead, gold, copper, silver, and bronze. If the damage caused to an interposing barrier shatters or breaks through it, the fireball may continue beyond the barrier if the area permits; otherwise it stops at the barrier just as any other spell effect does.

Based on these two elements, I would suggest the really weird magic of wall of fire doesn't actually harm objects. That said, as a fellow GM, I wouldn't really mind if it did, and would kind of feel "better" about that interpretation... but because of the rules, I'm not stuck too hard on it.

That's about the best I got. Hope it helps!

(I know it's an hour late, but I just noticed. Sorry!)

Liberty's Edge

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My man! That was exactly the type of answer I was hoping to wake up to! Thanks.


Glad to help!


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Note that Wall of Fire is a valid target for Permanency. Not damaging objects has some interesting implications. You can't make steam by putting a decanter of endless water over it.


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deuxhero wrote:
Note that Wall of Fire is a valid target for Permanency. Not damaging objects has some interesting implications. You can't make steam by putting a decanter of endless water over it.

You could by using living creatures as intermediaries!


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It puts out heat but doesn't damage objects. Is boiling water damaging it?


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If it doesn't damage objects, then a wall of fire could be buried in snow. (Snow/ice loses its form if melted, so this is damage). I find this silly enough that yeah, a wall of fire has to be able to damage objects IMO.

Being forced to employ a bag of tricks rather than a decanter of endless water to make steam if objects can't be damaged is another argument in favor.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I personally will have it deal damage to objects. RAW it will not but it seems more oversight made when the description was written.

I have checked the PDR and found some indication that it should affect and be affected by objects:
Obscuring mist A wall of fire burns away the fog in the area into which it deals damage.
Wall of Fire If any 5-foot length of wall takes 20 points or more of cold damage in 1 round, that length goes away. (Do not divide cold damage by 2, as normal for objects.) So it interacts with other forms of energy damage.
Catching on Fire[ii] Characters exposed to burning oil, bonfires, and noninstantaneous magic fires might find their clothes, hair, or equipment on fire. Spells with an instantaneous duration don’t normally set a character on fire, since the heat and flame from these come and go in a flash.[/i]
Rod of flame estinguishingWhen applied to Large or larger magic fires, such as those caused by fireball, flame strike, or wall of fire, extinguishing the flames expends 2 charges from the rod.

There aren't saves against Wall of fire effects, but the simple fact that it deals double damage against undead to mee seems an indication that it can affect undead.

On the other hand, the damage dealt is not much. As a minimum 2d6+7, maximum 2d6+20, i.e. 19-32 hp of damage. Against objects that aren't particularly susceptible to fire that translate into 10-16 points of damage before applying the hardness.
A solid wooden beam used in construction, with something like 300 hp and hardness 5, will be scorched but will withstand it for a long time.
Loose wooden chippings will catch fire almost immediately.

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