The AD&D system doesn’t have rules for every situation,
but by sticking to the Core Rule system, we can always use them to establish
our own. For instance a building catches on fire with characters inside of it.
This scenario is going to need lots of logic on the DMs part, but I think that
I have the basics covered. If you see any holes, kind readers, please let me
I’ve got two different methods to handling this situation; let’s
do the hard way first.
A building constructed with normal planks has the structural
hp of 10. (Source: Player’s Option:
Combat & Tactics)
FIRST ROUND: Save vs.
Mag. Fire: failure = structure fire, building loses 2d3 structure hp, or half
damage with successful save. (2d6 is in the DMG but this seems too much to
me, so I cut it in half)
SECOND ROUND: structure takes 1d3 points of damage, if save
was successful, half damage.
Third Round: If save was successful, must make a Save vs.
Normal Fire, if this save is successful the fire goes out, if it fails, the
structure takes 1 point of damage per round until it is either extinguished or
its hp is gone, at which point the building falls down.
·Attacker can add more oil or fuel to the fire,
and cause another saving throw vs Magic Fire.
·People still in building when it burns down must
save vs. death. Failure = death. Success = 2d6 of damage the first round,
character runs blindly outside by the fastest possible means, 1d6 the second.
·Assume all items are destroyed. If a specific
item is in question, it may make a saving throw vs. magic fire. Item will be
damaged, but not destroyed if it makes its save.
·Under some circumstances, a saving throw vs.
normal fire is applicable (i.e. throwing a torch into a building with oil on
the floor may land on a table, or sit funny so that fire doesn’t start). Once
oil catches on fire, it is treated as a magical fire until the fuel is
consumed, which takes 2 rounds.
·Use logic to attempts to put out the fire. A
wall that is burning cannot be put out by non-magical means, without lots of
·A structure won’t fall down on the first round,
regardless of hp consumed. A building with 0hp is out of control, and cannot be
put out or saved. It may still stand in some form. Use logic!
·This is a none-direct attack and players who use
this method do not acquire XP for every creature that dies inside. Players who
do use this method of attack, depending on their alignment, and the situation,
may lose their current alignment at the discretion of the DM.
·Characters who survive being burned from getting
trapped in a structure fire will be scarred, even if critical damage systems
·Those inside of a building while it is burning
may be subject to heat or smoke damage, a person who is on fire takes 2d6 of
damage, radiated heat or smoke damage might cause half of that, depending on
the intensity of the fire, I’d say that it would be anywhere from 1d2 to 1d6.
However if we are going by the movies (which we probably are) then only dish
out damage to failed saving throws , because lets face it, sword fights that
take place in burning buildings are awesome!
I suppose that the fire serving the story that you are
telling works best of all. Ignore these rules and just start the fire, and
write a detailed chain of events to guide you through the process. Have key items
and/or locations be on fire and write how and when the fire spreads. Rules be
I would be interested to hear about any play testing or get
some tips from other DM’s who have ran similar scenarios.
Now, before we wrap this up, we should discuss barrels of
oil. The PHB says that oil is purchased by Flask, but this wouldn’t work for
shipping, or for evil wizards, dungeon keepers, castle dwellers and the like.
They would purchase it by the barrel, or by the tun (a smaller barrel like the
kind you’d get beer out of).By using
the weight of the lamp oil, we could fit 30 flasks of oil in a small barrel and
the average price would be 38sp. Greek Fire (if available) would contain 15
flasks and cost 152gp both of them would weigh at least 60lbs.
Large barrels of Greek Fire would run double that and weigh
at least 120lbs. but as they say, sieges aren’t cheap! Of course, a warrior who
has gotten a siege or two under his belt, with the right materials, may be able
to turn normal lamp oil into Greek Fire. Goblinoid creatures of some
intelligence and resourcefulness could probably make some too, course it wouldn’t
be a good as the stuff that a man at arms would hurl at a fortress wall, but it
would be good enough to burn down a serfs house or two. A giant with a stolen wagon
of the stuff could be a nightmare! It isn’t something that would be an every
day thing, as this would change the world away from what we and our characters
want to play in, but it would make some encounters that more memorable!