Many fire-based spells, like Fireball, ignite flammable objects that aren't being worn or carried.

When you are restrained by a net, rope, or similar normally flammable device, are you considered to be "wearing or carrying" it (and thus, it would not ignite if subject to one of the fire-based spells mentioned above)?


1 Answer 1


The rules don't strictly adjudicate this.

In my opinion, it seems the intent is that worn/carried objects are things you have "equipped" or are in your bags/packs. It would seem the intent was to simplify combat with respect to spells that would otherwise incinerate all of a character's possessions.

Objects, which includes items, have only two inherent immunities: Poison and Psychic. There is a table in the DMG pp 249-250 which details item types AC values as well as recommended hit points based on size.

As 5e is about rulings over rules, it would seem that common sense should dictate a rational course of action with respect to adjudicating these kinds of questions. The rules won't address things like, "Well does it say the sword is made out of iron?" It's assumed that a weapon is made up of it's common components unless otherwise stated. Much the same as an object is assumed to be what it is unless specified as something other. So the difference between the rope binding me to a tree, and the rope in my backpack is that the rope binding me to a tree would be burned away if I ignited it, and the one in my backpack would remain unhindered.

Unless of course you kicked my backpack into the fire when I set it down. Then it would ignite. I know it seems paradoxical, but the intent seems to be to avoid a Wizard losing their spellbook, robes and staff every single encounter due to a lousy fireball.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Not taking this approach leads to having items make saving throws ... a lot. More die rolling for no value to the game/characters/story. Not sure if you want to mention that, in terms of the alternative being added fiddly bits with no value. (A very sensible answer). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 14:04
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ It also means something like a fireball basically kills the party. If it doesn't burn all their gear, it'll burn all their supplies. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nelson
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 14:18
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Heh. I just imagined a magical area created by a dick wizard where flammable objects would still ignite even if worn/carried. That'd be hilaaaaaarious ! \$\endgroup\$
    – Gael L
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 14:23
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ @Nelson Don't underestimate the dexterity of money; it has managed to evade me for the last 20 years. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bilkokuya
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 16:59
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, it would be too brittle if it was quench hardened. However old iron weapons were work hardened instead, and from archaeological findings it appears they were roughly as durable as their bronze age counterparts. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 21:19

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .