Author Topic: Hardfire: How to make a Tzar level nuke  (Read 1117 times)

Offline Captnq

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Hardfire: How to make a Tzar level nuke
« on: July 04, 2017, 08:04:51 AM »
HARDFIRE
- DRAGON #347 (3.5)
These small red and orange mottled quartz-like rocks are usually found in chunks weighing roughly a pound and form on the banks of cerulean magma pools. Holding a hardfire stone unprotected deals 1d6 points of fire damage every round. When removed from the elemental plane of fire, hardfire falls apart at a rate of 1 ounce per week until it completely crumbles into worthless dust. A hardfire stone has hardness 2 and 2 hp per ounce. If ever reduced to 0 hit points, the hardfire stone explodes in a fireball that deals 1d6 points of fire damage per ounce in a radius equal to 10 feet per ounce. A DC 14 reflex save halves the damage. Generally ignored by natives of the plane, efreet merchants sometimes export hardfire to buyers on other planes, where it sells for 150 gp per ounce.
Editor: Ladies and gentlemen, gaze upon one of the most broken materials ever created in d20. Combined with stone metamorphosis, you can create this material in tonnage amounts. Yes, you have to have material of the same value to transform into another type of stone, but that’s just a logistical problem. Available at level 4 for cleric or druid, stone metamorphosis allows you to absolutely devastate an area because hardfire has no upward limit to damage or area. On the other hand, a mere square foot of this material can keep a cistern boiling hot for 33 years, so I can see the appeal to getting a block of this stuff.
Editor (Blowing up a city): Assuming that the upward limit of hardfire that can be considered a single item is if you made a wall of the stuff, and walls take damage in 5’ x 5’ x 5’ chunks, then we can determine how many ounces you can put in the largest possible amount one can stick together to damage and still have it be one explosion. Any amount larger than this in volume will merely result in overlapping explosions. Assuming 125 square feet of material, it will take a 7th level druid approximately 7 castings of this 4th level spell to create that amount. If we assume hardfire is 2/3rds the weight of normal quartz, and we round down to 1 ounce per cubic inch, one 5 cubic foot of this stuff weighs 216,000 ounces. (Side note, it would take 4142 years for that block of hardfire to crumble at one ounce a week. Put that sucker in a cistern and you’ll have hot water for the length of an empire.)
Now to cast the spell, you will need 32,400,000 gp worth of rock and other material to transform into the hardfire, but we’re really just discussing the logistics of the matter. If you can gather more than 150 gp a week in material, you’ll eventually build this monstrosity. Your block has a hardness of 2, so damaging it will be quite easy. However, you will need to do 432,000 hp of damage to it. At 10 hp a round, 10 rounds a minute it will take exactly 72 hours of non-stop whacking at this thing to set it off. If you have minions working in unison, you can have 8 guys standing around the rock, giving it a whack every round. You can cut it down to 9 hours until detonation.
And what a detonation it will be. Everything in the blast radius will take 216000d6 fire damage. Although with a DC of 14, most people in that area will be able to save for half. Every rogue in the area and anyone with any form of evasion will have a decent shot at taking no damage. Which would be a good idea, considering the average is 756,000 hit points of fire damage. At half damage, you are still ash blowing in the wind. What is truly terrifying is the radius.
At 2,160,000 feet, or approximately 409 miles, the blast will only be limited by the curve of the planet. If the explosion of the largest nuclear weapon in earth atmosphere is any indication, there is a point where the air resistance itself acts as a bulwark and redirects the energy into space. Simply put, a single explosion can only go so far before the curve of the earth forces the energy up and out. Since it is only fire damage and has no kinetic energy, I will assume that there is a natural limit of the horizon. So, at sea level we’re talking a mere 2.9 miles, but the average is somewhere about 22 to 64 miles, so let’s go with 20 miles to be on the safe side. Remember, the planet gives you total cover, so a valley won’t let it go as far as on top of Mount Everest, which gives you a blast radius of about 209 miles. You can see the advantages of an airburst.
Now, before you think you are going to have this massive crater, remember that fire does half damage to objects, but does ignore hardness. I’ll save you the math, your average mountain only has 15.6 billion hit points. We’re only doing 756,000 HP, which is halved or 378,000 hp of damage. So, as a DM, you might want to consider a mountain a single target, thus it would barely scratch the surface.
That said, this is an area of effect and it’s doing that much damage per 5 foot square. Your average 5 foot cube of ground has, assuming the ground is solid rock, 225 hp. Assuming the blast is reduced by every 5 foot cube of material above it, this blast will destroy the first 8,400 feet of ground, or create a crater 1.59 miles deep. Assuming the rock is on top of the tallest mountain on the planet, with a mountain about the size of Everest, including how far the blast eats up the ground, you’ll have at most a crater about 211 miles across and 1.5 miles deep. Since the rock only melts and is not destroyed, it will be a seething sea of molten magma. Congratulations, you just created a lake of fire.
However, assuming this goes off underground, the blast is far more limited, being around 3.18 miles across, and if within 3.18 miles of the surface, again, results in a mere puddle of fire, in comparison. However, on average you’ll get a decent sized pond of fire, about 50 miles across.
I would still have damage out to the full 409 miles, however. Assuming that every drop of moisture in the area turns to superheated steam, there will be a blast of pressurized steam that rolls through the area. So beyond the horizon, I’d make it a mere 10d6 fire damage and 10d6 kinetic damage from flying debris. Half damage to both on a DC save 14. Knock off a few dice if you get to cover. I mean, you should have a few rounds before the blast hits.
So, to put this in perspective, the Tzar Bomb, or 50 megaton fission-fusion nuclear bomb, had a radius of total destruction out to 15 miles, with 3rd degree burns out to 64 miles. It was not an airburst and dropped close to sea level, so this is actually on par with our block of hardfire. Yes, that’s right, for one 4th level druid spell, and a mere 32.4 million gp, you can build the Tzar bomb in d20 3.5 and turn that ultimate dungeon the DM made into the latest resort location for efreet tourists.

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Offline Garryl

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Re: Hardfire: How to make a Tzar level nuke
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2017, 10:21:38 AM »
Cubic feet, not square feet.

Wall hit points are given in 10-foot by 10-foot sections, with the largest thickness notes being for unworked stone (5 feet). Therefore, you can argue for at least 10x10x5 sections, instead of 5x5x5.

Where are you getting the density of hardfire from? You mention assuming 2/3 the density of quartz, but I don't see anything about that in the description you posted.

You're missing something important about line of effect. Unlike lightning bolt, there's nothing about continuing past barriers it destroys, and unlike the actual fireball spell, the explosion is not a spread, and thus unable to go around corners. It does mention exploding "in a fireball", though, but whether that's descriptive or a reference to the spell or not depends on whether the original text italicized "fireball" (indicating the spell) or not. It would still require dipping into RaI to pull the spread from that, though. Either way, anybody blocked off of line of effect even to a spread would be spared the wrath of your explosion. For example, anyone indoors with closed doors and windows. Since it's not actually a spread, anybody with a roof over their heads or behind a tall enough wall gets to live. You absolutely need an airburst to have any decent coverage unless you're on a perfectly flat plain. Cities are going to be surprisingly hard to destroy with this, and any multilayered structure is only going to lose it outermost walls with an explosion.

Since the explosion stops when line of effect does, at the first solid barrier, you need a way past that. You want staged explosions. Assuming you don't want to go to the hassle of breaking multiple blocks of this stuff down to low hp together, you can just let one trigger the next. Let's say the first block of hardfire you set off weight x ounces, dealing xd6 damage. It will deal at least (x/2)-2 damage to each other nearby block (after hardness), enough to guarantee setting off any number of blocks just under 1/4 the original ones' size. At the levels of damage we're dealing with hardness 2 is very small and doesn't significantly influence the calculations, so let's go with just one block of x/4 size for simplicity. That will explode for (x/4)d6 damage, triggering any other blocks of up to (5/8) times the original's that were also hit by the original explosion. Keep repeating, scaling up to larger and larger blocks with all of these overlapping, triggered explosions. With each block on the outside of a hollow sphere, every block has line of effect to every other, so all damage carries onward. Without this layout, you can still do a staged setup, it's just less efficient (you need at least 5 smaller blocks for each stage, all of which have line of effect to all 5 blocks of the next stage). With a proper layout, you can start with an initial trigger as small as 24 ounces (min damage 24, or 10 after halving and hardness, enough to trigger 5 ounces, guaranteeing at least 1 damage), although it's more efficient with larger blocks due to hardness's flat damage reduction. Anyways, the end result of this setup is that instead of one massive blast, you have a series of simultaneous blasts, each of which gets to destroy the line of effect blockers impeding the next blast. Also, with multiple explosions comes an even greater chance of those rogues rolling a natural 1 on one of their saves against a few thousand damage.

Fire damage doesn't ignore hardness. Where are you getting that from? I know people often make that mistake with acid and sonic damage, but fire damage is a new one.

Hey! No catgirl killing! You're not allowed to bring real-world physics into this with your debris and clouds of pressurized steam and such, let alone try to assign abstract game numbers to them. Shoo!

Offline Captnq

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Re: Hardfire: How to make a Tzar level nuke
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2017, 11:44:20 AM »
Sorry. Thought fire ignored hardness because it "melted" things. However, you did give me pause to think about, what if I animated a chunk of this sucker. A creature that if you attack, when it reaches 0 hp explodes as a fireball. Yes, total cover protects everyone behind it, but still, the damage of even a diminutive critter should be terrifying.

And it's a quartz-like material, so I assumed quartz at 1.59 ounces per cubic inch, thus rounded down to 1 to 1 to make the math easier. Besides, we're talking a 409 mile fireball. Any additional damage and size is lost at this point. Still, it becomes more useful as a magguffin if it doesn't make massive lakes of fire. at 1800 hp a 10x10x5 chunk of anything even at hald damage to objects, it's still vaporizing anything it has LoS with.

Note I didn't say it was unbalanced. I said it was broken. I mean, if I spend 32.4 million gold on a one use item that only went boom, I'd expect a big boom.  I'm mentioning it, because running an eberron campaign, and I was thinking of having a unexploded bomb plot in a major city, where a chunk of this stuff was brought down to a few hundred hitpoints, but over the years, it's been losing 2 hp a week, as it loses one ounce a week. Estimates put it at exploding in the next month and some brave PCs need to find where it was hidden.
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Offline Nifft

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Re: Hardfire: How to make a Tzar level nuke
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2017, 02:25:01 PM »
Great find.

Really gives a brutal twist to "You Break It, You Buy It".

I don't think your production methodology works RAW -- it seems like you'd need to find a starting material which is both the same volume and the same price per unit volume, while being "rock" (i.e. not a semi-gem, which quartz is) -- but the golem certainly works if you gather the stuff the hard way, and the nuke works if you can get enough together.

True Creation may be a better spell option, or just Wish for 25k GP of the stuff.

Offline PlzBreakMyCampaign

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Re: Hardfire: How to make a Tzar level nuke
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2017, 06:07:59 PM »
Shame we can't make that half that fire damage pure, or up the DC. Tons of things are just plain immune to fire.

Offline Endarire

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Re: Hardfire: How to make a Tzar level nuke
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2017, 06:26:54 PM »
This is more like "You Buy it, You Break It," but LOL!

Not to be confused with handfire.

Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: Hardfire: How to make a Tzar level nuke
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2017, 04:02:05 AM »
Ladies and gentlemen, gaze upon one of the most broken materials ever created in d20.
Voidstone?
Quintessence?
Sickstone?
Abolth Mucus?
Riverine?
Combined with stone metamorphosis
Try Major Creation.

Available at level 4 for cleric or druid
fyi, any 1st level character with Hidden Talent(call weaponry) can reach across time to grab nuclear, gravity, and even antimatter weapons.

walls take damage in 5’ x 5’ x 5’ chunks,
You mean 10'x10'x5' right?

Now to cast the spell, you will need 32,400,000 gp worth of rock and other material to transform into the hardfire,
Which is almost two and a half times more rock than a level 40 character can afford.

If you can gather more than 150 gp a week in material, you’ll eventually build this monstrosity. ... it will take exactly 72 hours of non-stop whacking at this thing to set it off. ... Everything in the blast radius will take 216000d6 fire damage.
A Warforged Sorcerer/Primal Scholar with Easy/Practical Metamagic can use Twin/Repeat/ArcaneFusion/ExplosiveRunes can easily create nineteen times more damage in the same 72 hour period. And instead of a large single bomb that lets all kinds of people interrupt setting it off you can deliver stacks of handheld post it notes in multiple precision strikes that can instantly detonate.

What is truly terrifying is the radius. At 2,160,000 feet,
So like 144,000 applications of Enlarge Breath on a second level Dragonspawn Kobold?

So, to put this in perspective, the Tzar Bomb, or 50 megaton fission-fusion nuclear bomb,
Probably deals less than 144d8 damage in D&D given a one megaton bomb deals 18d6 and duct taping them together is subject to the twinned rule. Sort of like opening a Gate that leads to the middle of the sun or casting a Wall of Force in space for the planet to slam into should be pretty devastating but somehow, even with all it's high level casters, Faerun is still around.

Nice 3rd Party Fun Find.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2017, 04:15:27 AM by SorO_Lost »
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Offline TC X0 Lt 0X

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Re: Hardfire: How to make a Tzar level nuke
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2017, 06:07:47 PM »
Now to cast the spell, you will need 32,400,000 gp worth of rock and other material to transform into the hardfire,
Which is almost two and a half times more rock than a level 40 character can afford.

Come now we are in the YBiBi subforum, we can get away with picking up as much gold as we would ever need with the various other sources of chessery
Im really bad at what I do.
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Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: Hardfire: How to make a Tzar level nuke
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2017, 12:09:14 AM »
Come now we are in the YBiBi subforum, we can get away with picking up as much gold as we would ever need with the various other sources of chessery
Yeah but no one really cares if your buying a bunch of decanters to flood the earth or rocks to set it on fire, it's not creative and everyone already knows that assuming infinite resources is broken. Like you wouldn't post about how you figured out a Commoner with infinite money can defeat a 20th level Wizard by hiring higher level Wizards to beat him up (or at least I hope you never will).

You also don't need an inaccurate book full of unmentioned TO tricks to say "A 9th level Wizard casts Fly and then uses Major Creation to create a couple rocks and one of them is one cubic foot of Hardfire (Dragon 347, pg49). Assuming it weighs somewhere around 20lbs/cuft after taking a bit over six hundred damage it detonates in a 3,200ft air burst that deals 320d6 fire damage (dc 14 reflex halves)." :)
« Last Edit: July 20, 2017, 12:58:06 AM by SorO_Lost »
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Offline awaken_D_M_golem

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Re: Hardfire: How to make a Tzar level nuke
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2017, 04:47:12 PM »
cza - cza - cza - cza , Czar Bomba.


Wonder if the Hulking Hurler could throw it far enough, to not die?
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Offline Endarire

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Re: Hardfire: How to make a Tzar level nuke
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2017, 10:13:09 PM »
ADMG: LOL!

Hulking Hurler: Neclace of Adaptation and fire immunity seem handy for avoiding the fallout.

Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: Hardfire: How to make a Tzar level nuke
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2017, 05:10:53 AM »
Hulking Hurler: Neclace of Adaptation and fire immunity seem handy for avoiding the fallout.
Ring of Evasion + Ring of Action Before Thought means you can stand inside the area and ignore it.
« Last Edit: July 21, 2017, 05:13:55 AM by SorO_Lost »
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Offline PlzBreakMyCampaign

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Re: Hardfire: How to make a Tzar level nuke
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2017, 02:40:51 PM »
Does evasion even work with ABT?

But yeah, quintessence is worse. Sickstone is just a DC13 fort save...

Offline SorO_Lost

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Re: Hardfire: How to make a Tzar level nuke
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2017, 10:22:14 AM »
Does evasion even work with ABT?
Hmm... *looks* No probably not. No Maneuver then, you'll just have to beat the 14 the "hard" way then.

Sickstone is just a DC13 fort save...
Sickstone in a bullseye lantern
Not to be mistaken with the Sickstone entry in the Online Far Corner's articles which is decently balanced. The printed months later Underdark entry is DC 15, deals 1d6, and makes you Save every single round. More importantly, even on a successful Save you still take a point of Con Damage. Since it's illumination based, strap it into a Bullseye Lantern for a Yeek-like flashlight. Is 1 Con damage per round as broken as everything else on this list? Would it help if I said it costs less than 300gp and you can tape it to your chest so you can still Full-Attack thy foes?
Edit - btw it's also capable of Constitution Drain instead of Damage and imposes a -4 penalty to the Save if you smack them with it bringing the effective Save DC up to 19 if you use it as a Club, but you need to be a Necropoliton or something to use it. It's on page 105 under magimorphic rocks.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 10:47:09 AM by SorO_Lost »
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