- 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.STONE METAMORPHOSIS
- UNDERDARK (3.5)
Level: Cleric 4, Druid 4, Sorcerer/Wizard 6
Components: V, S, M/DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Target: Stone object touched, up to 10 cu. ft. + 1 cu. ft./level
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
You can change an existing piece of rock to another type of rock. For instance, you can make crumblestone into granite, substantially strengthening it. Precious and semiprecious gems cannot be manufactured with this spell, and its effect does not change the monetary value of the affected stone object.
Arcane Material Component: A grain of talc and a chip of obsidian.