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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Produce Fire vs Create Bonfire

    So I've been fascinated by all manner of things in regards to older school version of D&D and the history of it's items and spells in general. But I have to ask one question in regards to the following.

    From Oe to 2e, the spell Produce Fire was a 4th level Druid Spell (although it was also a fire elemental spell in 2nd) that created an amount of nonmagical fire within a 12' square space within 4 feet of the caster (based on cursory research). The fire lasted only a few seconds.

    No parallel spell existed for two to three gnereation of the game, but I'm surprised to note that the 5e cantrip Create Bonfire is... basically Produce Fire but better in nearly every conceivable way. It fills a full 5' square (25 square feet), is magical fire that would still spread and burn objects, causes scaling damage, and lasts for concentration (up to 1 minute) and can be cast at a greater range (60 feet). And it can also be cast by druids, in addition to a wider array of classes.

    Again, this is a Cantrip, that is just... better than what was once a 4th level spell, in every way. That being said, is Create Bonfire the spiritual successor of Produce Fire?

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    Librarian in the Playground Moderator
     
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    Default Re: Produce Fire vs Create Bonfire

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.PC0X View Post
    So I've been fascinated by all manner of things in regards to older school version of D&D and the history of it's items and spells in general. But I have to ask one question in regards to the following.

    From Oe to 2e, the spell Produce Fire was a 4th level Druid Spell (although it was also a fire elemental spell in 2nd) that created an amount of nonmagical fire within a 12' square space within 4 feet of the caster (based on cursory research). The fire lasted only a few seconds.

    No parallel spell existed for two to three gnereation of the game, but I'm surprised to note that the 5e cantrip Create Bonfire is... basically Produce Fire but better in nearly every conceivable way. It fills a full 5' square (25 square feet), is magical fire that would still spread and burn objects, causes scaling damage, and lasts for concentration (up to 1 minute) and can be cast at a greater range (60 feet). And it can also be cast by druids, in addition to a wider array of classes.

    Again, this is a Cantrip, that is just... better than what was once a 4th level spell, in every way. That being said, is Create Bonfire the spiritual successor of Produce Fire?
    Yeah, Produce Fire was not a good spell in AD&D; it was basically a really weak fireball, as priests were not allowed heavy-damage spells. It should be noted that the range was not 4 feet, but 40 yards; 1e listed ranges in scale inches, and each inch was 10' (feet) indoors, or 10 yards outside. So a range of 4" would mean 40 feet indoors or 40 yards outside. Also, the AoE is not 12' square feet, but 12' feet square... a square 12 feet on a side, or 144 square feet. They also had 1 minute rounds, and the fire specifically can ignite things.

    The 2e version is better, with a bit more damage.
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Produce Fire vs Create Bonfire

    Quote Originally Posted by LibraryOgre View Post
    Yeah, Produce Fire was not a good spell in AD&D; it was basically a really weak fireball, as priests were not allowed heavy-damage spells. It should be noted that the range was not 4 feet, but 40 yards; 1e listed ranges in scale inches, and each inch was 10' (feet) indoors, or 10 yards outside. So a range of 4" would mean 40 feet indoors or 40 yards outside. Also, the AoE is not 12' square feet, but 12' feet square... a square 12 feet on a side, or 144 square feet. They also had 1 minute rounds, and the fire specifically can ignite things.

    The 2e version is better, with a bit more damage.
    Thank you for clearing that up. I'm glad the spell was more useful than I initially thought. It helps me better understand how the game has evolved over the years.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Produce Fire vs Create Bonfire

    It's worth mentioning that experience levels and spell progressions were not consistent across classes back then. In AD&D 1E, a druid gained the ability to cast 4th level spells at character level 6, with only 20,001 experience points. With a high enough Wisdom score, this druid's spell allotment per day might be as high as six 1st level spells, five 2nd level spells, three 3rd level spells, and two 4th level spells. A magic-user with an equal number of experience points would only be level 4, albeit close to reaching level 5, and casting only three 1st level spells and two 2nd level spells per day.
    Part of the class balance was that low level clerics and druids could cast many more spells than their wizardly compatriots, but each spell was individually less impressive. The upper level priest spells did get suitably more powerful, but for clerics that was where their experience level table became less generous, and for druids that's where they started having to challenge other druids to single combat in order to advance in level.

    Also, there's the simple fact that not all spells of the same level are equally useful, for any of the spell casting classes. At the same level as Fireball, Fly, Haste, and Slow, the magic-user spell list also has such unimpressive spells as Feign Death, Infravision, Gust of Wind, and Flame Arrow.

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