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What happens when spiderwebs are set alight?

Though page 69 of the DMG lists spiderwebs as a special terrain it doesn't talk about the effects of fire.

I'm about to run in encounter with a LOT of webs, and I'm sure the fire elementalist will set it all aflame, if possible.

I can't find the official rules for how fast it burns (if at all) and how much damage it does to anything within (spiders?) and if there is a saving throw...

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2 Answers 2

Nothing, but the webs may shrivel a bit.

Spiderwebs, contrary to 3.5's web spell, aren't flammable. (TvTropes, A literature review on google scholar suggests that TvTropes is correct, but there exist no trivially viewable papers on "how to burn spider webs.")

On the other hand, this "real" conception of spider-silk may contrast so forcefully with how we visualize it that you may choose to go with a more hollywood style. In 4e, this is simple. Every square does tier-appropriate ongoing fire (5/10/15) save ends, and burns until the encounter is over, or someone gets set on fire, or for a round, depending on how you want to play it, and what "magical properties" the spider silk has.

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Although anecdotally, I learned the hard way that tent-caterpillar webs at least are super flammable as a kid... A big wad of it went up WHOOMP in a manner disconcerting even to an experienced WD-40+lighter pyro... Also cobwebs are considered a fire hazard by inspectors. –  mxyzplk Sep 8 '13 at 13:38
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There are notes that they do tend to collect dust which is, itself, quite flammable. But the literature suggests webs qua webs aren't. (Mind you, crypt-webs of ancient-dustiness? Yea, whoomph. More interesting that way, too.) –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Sep 8 '13 at 13:43

The best part about all of the "Rules" done by D&D is there are no rules. Just "Guidelines" In other words however you as the DM wants to run it is how it roles. If you want them to burn like in hollywood films go for it. If you want them to burn for six hours causing 20d20 points of damage to anything they touch go for it. You as the DM make up everything.

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Welcome to RPG StackExchange! - could you modify your answer a bit? The first sentence is fine, but the rest doesn't help me. Have you seen any particular (house) rules used for 4e that worked well? I already know I can "make something up" - that wasn't my question. I asked for rules (and am willing to consider suggestions if there are no rules.) –  F. Randall Farmer Sep 8 '13 at 1:09
    
Simply invoking rule zero, "make it up" is not a real answer. For some games just going with your GM intuition works because that is how the game is structured (like FATE), but D&D 4e is a game system that is all about balance, especially when it comes to combat. –  Joshua Aslan Smith Sep 9 '13 at 4:11

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