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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why do fireballs in D&D media most of the time

    Quote Originally Posted by Toofey View Post
    I agree, it would be a great slow motion element, with maybe one or two of the targets seeing it coming and trying to call out a warning, people throwing themselves behind cover etc, the back to normal time for the explosion. Maybe slightly cliche, but we all know what kind of scene I'm describing.
    While it makes for a cool scene in isolation, it doesn't really fit in with how I see fantasy fights. Following the missile for the explosive version of a kill cam shot assumes that the missile is both singular enough for that sort of focus, and devastating enough for a kill cam effect. (Even for normal kill cams, you assume that one bullet is deadly and effective all on its own.) Your average high fantasy hero can usually hold his own against magical attacks, and quite often the casters have plenty of fireballs to spare.

    To go 5e D&D for a moment (which, for all its flaws, does work better with highly scene-based tropes), small balls of fire are your at-will attacks. The Big One is something that villains rarely pull off and that the heroes only pull off at a major turning point, and most often there's some other The Big One effect to pull off other than a massive burst of flame.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why do fireballs in D&D media most of the time

    I envision it a bit like a photon torpedo:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4GpWd7sZXw

    Poor old Will.
    Last edited by Kami2awa; 2017-12-02 at 04:36 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #33
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    Lord Haart's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why do fireballs in D&D media most of the time

    Fireballs that don't have to travel and just explode out of the targeted place are more common in strategy games (both TBS and RTS).

    Off the top of my hand, among the games/game series i frequently play that feature fireballs:

    Non-exploding "fireballs" that hit only one target: Gothic (has a higher-level version that does explode), World of Warcraft, Battle for Wesnoth, Doom, fighting games. Personally i believe such "fireballs" to be a bit of a misnomer.

    Small missile (usually a puffy, golfball to football-sized sphere rather than a bead) that explodes into a big explosion: feels like the most common variety. Diablo series, Nox (a beautiful game that visually codifies a lot of DnD-inherited stuff), Might and Magic 6-9, HoMM 4, Infinity Engine games (bigger than a bead, though), Skyrim, ADOM, Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup…

    Instantaneous explosion originating in the targeted space, with no missile needed: Heroes of Might and Magic 1-3 and 5, Master of Magic, Might and Magic 3-5 (i believe; at least it did damage to several rows of enemies, including the closest range, but didn't harm the party)… Can't remember any more right now.

    Warcraft 3 managed to go without a spell specifically carrying that name, somehow. Its fireball-like effects were either type 1 if non-ability attacks, or type 3 if active abilities.


    When refluffing (because "a fireball" is such a recognisable, evocative name that says "this dude can blow things up with his arcane might"), i tend to call a spell this if it: can be evoked at a distance, has an area of effect bigger than one square (being ally-friendly is discouraged, but not prohibited), does fire damage (obviously), and feels like a decently-powered explosion either by virtue of doing good damage or by having explosion-y additional effects (like knocking targets prone). Fiery Burst reserve feat in 3.5 and Orbmaster's Incendiary Detonation (Wizard, lvl 1 encounter; damage a bit too low, but it knocks prone, so feels like an explosion) and Explosive Pyre (Sorcerer, lvl 1 encounter) in 4e are great low-level/spammable stand-ins for Big F when Big F itself is not avaiable (for various reasons), despite their relatively small (Fiery Burst only covers 4 squares) explosion size. The general idea is that every character's way of making fire ball is slightly different, and most deliberately don't train to cover a Whopping Big area because smaller-but-still-AoE ones are both less dangerous and less taxing.


    And then, of course, there is this gem from Might and Magic 6:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elitarismo View Post
    Complaining about martial characters dipping many different classes is like complaining that the sun is hot.
    Quote Originally Posted by ArqArturo View Post
    When I first wanted to build a gish, I wanted to be the guy that threw fireballs, lightning bolts, wore spiked fullplate and reigned death and destruction (…)

    So I rolled a cleric.

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  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Why do fireballs in D&D media most of the time

    When I think D&D fireball I think explosions, all the othe rorbs of fire only set the target ablaze.
    Despite my avatar I'm not a fan of anime

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Eladrinblade's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why do fireballs in D&D media most of the time

    Produce Flame is the closest thing to actual "fireballs" that most people think of when they hear the word.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Why do fireballs in D&D media most of the time

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    1e combat rounds were one minute, with six second segments, a turn was ten minutes.

    2nd edition also used 1 minute rounds too, prior to Combat and Tactics, which changed it to 10 seconds (I think).

    (Not that it's particularly relevant to your point that it wasn't specifically about 1e fireballs.)
    Wrong, on all accounts. I have the 2e handbook right in front me. Combat is 6 seconds per round, 10 rounds to a turn.

    I remember 1e being this as well. Never have I seen 1 round be 1 minute.

  7. - Top - End - #37
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    ClericGirl

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    Default Re: Why do fireballs in D&D media most of the time

    Quote Originally Posted by Zurvan View Post
    Why do fireballs in D&D media most of the time look like balls made of fire rather than "A glowing, pea-sized bead streaks from the pointing digit and, unless it impacts upon a material body or solid barrier prior to attaining the prescribed range, blossoms into an explosion of flame that detonates with a low roar and deals 1d6 points of fire damage per caster level (maximum 10d6) to every creature within the area. Unattended objects also take this damage. The explosion creates almost no pressure."?
    Yeah. The artists, being artists, aren't anal retentive but are instead creative. See "left brain" and "right brain" models of explaining human behavior.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct (and also quite handsome) or so I am told ... by 2D8HP

  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Tanarii's Avatar

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    Default Re: Why do fireballs in D&D media most of the time

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Yeah. The artists, being artists, aren't anal retentive but are instead creative. See "left brain" and "right brain" models of explaining human behavior.
    You mean the models that have been thoroughly discredited, and is only still around because simplistic pop-psychology sticks around long past its expiration date?

    Edit: more to the point, I know lots of anal retentive traditionally creative artists, as well as plenty who 'create' analytically or constructively or mathematically or scientifically. Not holistically, by what's normally thought of as creative process.

    Although they're certainly less common than traditionally creative types.
    Last edited by Tanarii; 2017-12-05 at 10:28 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

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    Default Re: Why do fireballs in D&D media most of the time

    Quote Originally Posted by Calthropstu View Post
    Wrong, on all accounts. I have the 2e handbook right in front me. Combat is 6 seconds per round, 10 rounds to a turn.

    I remember 1e being this as well. Never have I seen 1 round be 1 minute.
    What printing is that book? Is that something from the "Player's Option" series? AD&D (1E and 2E) had 1 minute rounds. Basic D&D had more reasonable 10 second rounds. 3E and 4E had 6 second rounds.

    AD&D 1E: "The 1 minute melee round assumes much activity -- rushes, retreats, feints, parries, checks and so on. Once during this period each combatant has the opportunity to get a real blow in."

    AD&D 2E: "A round is approximately one minute long. Ten combat rounds equal a turn... But these are just approximations..."
    Player's Handbook page 91

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why do fireballs in D&D media most of the time

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    You mean the models that have been thoroughly discredited, and is only still around because simplistic pop-psychology sticks around long past its expiration date?
    There's old models that were discredited, but new ones that have made the distinction more interesting.


  11. - Top - End - #41
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Why do fireballs in D&D media most of the time

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Yeah. The artists, being artists, aren't anal retentive but are instead creative. See "left brain" and "right brain" models of explaining human behavior.
    What annoys me about that is that as I'm both autistic and interested in science people would identify me as, I think it's 'left brained', and insist that I'm going to be bad at being creative. That's not true, I'm currently working on a couple of SF short stories I'm planning to either upload to my blog or compile into a PWYW collection. I just work more methodically, the first thing I do is to take what I like, take out elements from some of that stuff, and try to combine it together into something new.

    Am I a brilliantly creative person? Not really, my style's a bit more suited to comic books than my preferred prose, and while I can write short stories of up to about 5,000 words easily I struggle with getting anything even novella length. But it's the same for many 'right brained' people. I know somebody who has written his own game (and hopes to publish it at some point, it's still in ongoing beta), he's a dyslexic with a PhD in physics and is now working on space stuff in the EU, and most people would consider him a 'left brained' person, but from a simple idea he's created an engaging setting and heavily modified his favourite system to blend perfectly (to the point where you can only notice the original system if you look very carefully).

    I'm more a believer in 'logical versus intuitive', where both kinds of people can do well in any field, but that's just me making bad attempts to analyse my personal experience then anything that's likely true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordaedil View Post
    There's old models that were discredited, but new ones that have made the distinction more interesting.

    Yeah, that's an interesting video, although I've been told it doesn't get everything 100% accurate. Given me ideas for a fantasy story though, where somebody loses one of their souls (everybody in the setting has two) and suddenly becomes unable to recognise faces (and other nonspeaking brain stuff).
    I prefer science fiction to fantasy, and generally play in the former genre. Due to this, I generally expect the laws of physics to apply to games, and work from that perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why do fireballs in D&D media most of the time

    It is only a 5 minute video, would be kinda crazy if he managed to put in every nuance into it and it's a fun philosophy lecture any way.

    But yeah, while the brains are spearate, there's a lot they still coordinate since some signals go to both brains at the same time and we don't know everything there is to know about the brains as they really complicated things.

    And classifying one as the "creative" part and the other as the "logical" part is hugely oversimplifying things we don't know much about and extrapolating based on observations in a minute few people.

    It's all very lacking in terms of real science that can be applied broadly as definite. They serve almost more as guidelines.

  13. - Top - End - #43
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Why do fireballs in D&D media most of the time

    Quote Originally Posted by Mordaedil View Post
    It is only a 5 minute video, would be kinda crazy if he managed to put in every nuance into it and it's a fun philosophy lecture any way.

    But yeah, while the brains are spearate, there's a lot they still coordinate since some signals go to both brains at the same time and we don't know everything there is to know about the brains as they really complicated things.

    And classifying one as the "creative" part and the other as the "logical" part is hugely oversimplifying things we don't know much about and extrapolating based on observations in a minute few people.

    It's all very lacking in terms of real science that can be applied broadly as definite. They serve almost more as guidelines.
    Yeah, I understand that, from what I gather it's more that even before speculation time he presents hypothesises as theories (from the science side of it), but it's still a very good introduction to the idea. I also like his video on the transporter.
    I prefer science fiction to fantasy, and generally play in the former genre. Due to this, I generally expect the laws of physics to apply to games, and work from that perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zelphas View Post
    So here I am, trapped in my laboratory, trying to create a Mechabeast that's powerful enough to take down the howling horde outside my door, but also won't join them once it realizes what I've done...twentieth time's the charm, right?
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    How about a Jovian Uplift stuck in a Case morph? it makes so little sense.

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Why do fireballs in D&D media most of the time

    He is an intelligent man as one can gather from the podcasts he does, where he brings up the faults with his own videos and how they are cut in content and specifications for purposes of being entertaining as well as informative.

    The pod-casts are harder to watch on that end, namely because they aren't made solely to entertain.

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