View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Homemade bombs

2017-12-19, 06:26 PM
I'm not sure if this is truly homebrew, but... well, I did come up with something new. So... here it is. And it's really simple.

As part of the campaign, my character got his hands on some gunpowder (or Goblin Dirt, as it is called) and I have made some 'grenades' that are small, partially sealed ceramic pots with 'goblin dirt' inside. I basically plan on throwing a handful of them all tied to an Alchemist's Fire so they all explode and send little ceramic shards flying everywhere.

The question is, how much damage do you think this should do? My DM just plans to use the usual grenade damage found in the back of the DM's Guide, but... 5d6 per ceramic bomb is a LOT. And a ceramic pot exploding will never do as much as a real frag grenade. So, in an attempt to help my DM, I was wondering if anyone knew how much damage that would really do.

2017-12-20, 02:18 AM
I just looked at my copy of the DMG, and 5d6 is the damage for a modern-day grenade. The type of bomb you describe is found under rennisance-era weapons on pg 268. It deals 3d6 fire damage in a 5ft radius burst. A powder "horn" that is ignited also explodes for 3d6 damage, but in a 10ft radius burst, igniting a whole keg is 7d6 damage in a 10ft burst.

In all cases it is DC 12 dex save for half damage.

2017-12-20, 04:06 AM
5d6 is laughably low for a modern grenade. A 2nd level fighter has a better than average chance of surviving that, and PCs aren't supposed to be considered superhuman until after 5th level.

So I wouldn't trust the DMG's perspective on this. In fact, trying to apply any kind of real-life logic to D&D gets shaky real fast. I would take a gamist perspective by looking at what your current damage options are and making the bombs a certain amount better than that, depending on how scarce they are.

So what level and class are you? Then I can give you a suggestion for what seems reasonable to me.

2017-12-20, 09:24 AM
I know 5d6 is very small in the long run, but I made 12 of these bombs. And, due to party troubles, may have to defend myself from my own teammates. Twelve Ceramic Bombs, or even Twelve powder horn bombs, is a lot of damage. 60d6 altogether if the bombs are 5d6. Everytime I rolled that number in my electric dice calculator, the final number was somewhere in the 200's.

My entire party is level 8, and I am the tiny rouge of the party with severe bloodlust. The rest of the party is a Melee Sorcerer (Yes. Melee.) a Ranger with a dragon, an Elemental Monk and a Life Cleric who hates needless killing. I may have done to much needless killing, so almost the entire party is against me. The Sorcerer might want to be referee for our massive fight.

60d6 and therefore 200ish damage to the cleric sounds like exactly what I need right now. But I don't want to be unfair, seeing as how after anything close to that much damage, I could probably take the Monk and Ranger in a 1 v 2 anyway. I just need the healer gone.

Thank you!

2017-12-20, 03:41 PM
I didn't mean that 5d6 is too little for your purpose, merely that it's realistically too low for a modern grenade. A common soldier shouldn't be able to have a grenade tossed at his feet, fail his saving throw, and come out in one piece.

But yeah, it's difficult to come up with a balanced damage number when throwing them all at once is a possibility.

The DMG does have a suggestion under the dynamite entry. It says that one stick of dynamite deals 3d6 damage in a 5 foot radius, and every additional stick that you detonate simultaneously adds 1d6 damage (max 10d6) and increases the burst radius by 5 feet (max 20).

While I'm not sure about the logic of this, it is a convenient balance measure, and it's the most official answer you're gonna find. If you follow this, you'd probably be best off making two clusters of six bombs each. Each cluster would do 8d6 in a 20 foot radius, which is funnily enough exactly the same as the Fireball spell.

I should warn you that starting a PvP fight against your fellow players and using a specially-arbitrated resource to one-shot them is probably not very good for your OOC relationship. But then again I don't know the context of your game.

2017-12-20, 03:50 PM
Thank you for reminding me of Dynamite. I hadn't thought of that. I'll bring that up with my DM so I don't feel as guilty. And sorry that I misinterpreted what you said about grenades, I was expecting higher damage from a modern grenade as well. So thank you very much.

As for player relationships, I'm actually the target. All this Ceramic bomb stuff is self defense. My party is trying to kill me and I'm trying to catch them all by surprise. Hopefully two pseudo-fireballs to the face will be enough to save my hide.

2017-12-20, 09:54 PM
I think part of the disconnect may be that 5d6 is the damage of a hand grenade in d20 Modern, but that setting also has much harsher massive damage rules where any attack that deals damage equal to or greater than your con score can potentially oneshot you if you fail a fort save, regardless of level or hit points.

2017-12-21, 11:52 AM
Dang. That makes sense now.