... now with 35% more arrogance!

Friday, September 23, 2011

It Will End in Flames

In the Delta's Hotspot post on burning oil, there's an example of players claiming that an entire barrel of oil should do 20d6 damage, or something like that. Now, I'm not really big on delving into minutiae for the sake of real-world accuracy in the context of a game, but this seems obviously wrong; if I use twice as much oil, are the monsters twice as on fire? More oil covers more area, so you might need an entire barrel to do 1d6 damage to a dragon-sized creature, but it's not going to do more damage to a goblin, just because there's more oil. It might burn longer, doing more damage if the goblin just stands in the middle of it.

The example player qyote strikes me as wrong, too: "We got giant barrels of oil and just flooded the whole dungeon and lit it on fire from the outside, and got all the XP!" If we assume by "flooded", they mean every corner of the dungeon has oil on the floor, well, it takes a while for the oil to spread. What are the dungeon's inhabitants doing in the meantime? Can't they go investigate? Or stand on some rocks?

In any case, if you kill something without knowing it was there, can you really gain experience?


  1. Burning a "dungeon" is pretty ridiculous with oil, unless it's actually a wooden tower or something. Clever players could devise a method to smoke out a small dungeon or lair, and try to fight the inhabitants where they can bring mercenaries to bear. You've still got constructs, undead, etc. to deal with, though.

  2. Yeah, the idea of flooding the dungeon and burning out everything is just absurd. Dowsing the whole dungeon with oil assumes 1) you've got an insanely and unrealistically large amount of oil; 2) the entire dungeon slopes downhill from where you're pouring it; 3) there are no holes, crevasses, underground streams, etc. in the dungeon by which the oil would simply exit; 4) creatures that don't react (as you mentioned); 5) probably a host of other things I can't think of. But there is no way this could work.

    And of course there's no way XP should be awarded for killing something you didn't even know was there (and I say this just as a player -- I don't want any XP my character didn't actually earn in some way as such XP would be meaningless).

  3. This reminds me of the Munchkin card, "Boil an anthill: gain a level."