# Is Igni and the fire effect meant to be as powerful as we are understanding it to be?

I've been playing the The Witcher Pen & Paper by R. Talsorian Games with a group of friends and we've noticed that if we're reading Igni and the "fire" effect (page 161) correctly, it seems absurdly powerful. As an example, here is how much damage we calculate that Igni would do to a Katakan, which has a threat level of "Hard" and "Difficult" (page 308).

A Katakan has six body locations, and fire deals 5 damage to every body location per turn.

• Head: 5 * 3 * 2 = 30 dmg
• Body: 5 * 2 = 10 dmg
• Limbs: 4 * 5 * 0,5 * 2 = 20 dmg

In total: 60 dmg

Adding in an average damage from the Igni our Witcher deals, this comes out to 60 + 30 = 90 dmg, which would instantly kill a Katakan as their HP is 80 and they have no armour. Of course, this depends on the fire effect actually being applied, but given that Igni has a 50% chance of setting an enemy on fire (page 114), even if the first Igni doesn't set the enemy on fire, chances are that a second attack would.

To clarify how these numbers were calculated: The 5 is the base fire damage being on fire deals per turn. The 3 in head is the multiplier for dealing damage to the head. The 2 multiplier in all of them is there because Katakans are vulnerable to fire damage and as such take double damage from it. The 0,5 is the multiplier for dealing damage to limbs. And, the 4 multiplier is because a Katakan has four limbs.

While I understand that Katakans are supposed to be vulnerable to fire damage in particular, it feels unreasonable that a new Witcher (we've only played four times so far and the characters have only accumulated something like 14 Improvement Points) realistically can one-shot an enemy which is supposed to be one of the more difficult ones in the game. We looked through the erratas and couldn't find anything about balancing this aspect.

Are we understanding Igni and the fire effect correctly, or are we missing something?

## Igni is somewhat less powerful than you've calculated, but is still brutal against Katakans.

Up front I'll say it: Fire effect damage is busted in this game, particularly against the katakan. Some tables have developed various ways of limiting Fire damage, such as applying it to only hit body parts instead of the entire body, but RAW it's very powerful. Still, it might not be as one-sided of a fight as you're expecting, and your calculation above has some errors so I'll go into further detail here.

Based on the average 30 damage you mention, I believe you're calculating the base damage of Igni correctly, but I'll add this just in case:

1. Igni has in fact been updated in errata. The relevant text:

Page 114. Igni has been updated. The Effect now reads:
Igni throws out a wave of sparks and fire which does 1d6 damage per STA point spent and has a 50% chance of lighting anything it hits on fire. Igni always deals damage to the torso unless used at point blank range. When used at point blank range Igni can be aimed at body locations.

Continuing on to the other parts of the calculation:

1. Katakan has 5 body parts
The Monster Damage Location table on p.154 is used "when fighting a non-humanoid monster.", and indicates they have 5 body parts instead of the standard Humanoid 6. Page 268 (and the Katakan bestiary page) indicate that the Katakan is a Vampire type, and so not humanoid.

2. Fire Damage is an effect, not an attack
The Monster Damage Location table on p.154 only refers to attacks, not effects that are applied to a monster. The flat 5 damage is always a flat 5 damage, per body part.

So the ongoing turn-by-turn damage would be a flat: 5 (damage) * 5 (parts) * 2 (weakness) = 50 damage. This is relatively close to your initial calculation, and if you can apply the fire, the fight will go in your favor.

## Brutality, Risk, and Metagaming

The Witcher P&P is supposed to be a brutal game with fast combat, and the Katakan is an ambush predator. It has invisibility, undetectable by Witcher Medallion, and fairly high damage output. As such, it doesn't have a huge health pool. A clever Katakan (aka GM) will spend its Stamina to use an additional action and go invisible after it finishes attacking each turn, making it exceptionally hard to hit. (Invisibility is never defined in the base rules outside of the Katakan stat block, so whether this maneuver is acceptable at your table is up for interpretation.)

You've also correctly identified that fire is it's weakness, which not all characters will be able to identify easily, and shouldn't be assumed. In The Witcher, monster abilities/weaknesses are acquired through difficult Witcher Training rolls, Monster Lore rolls, or other in-world sources, and an average adventurer wouldn't have encyclopedic knowledge for monsters they have not encountered. Whether your table enforces that "in-character" is up to you.

Nevertheless, you've certainly identified the fastest way to dispatch a Katakan. An experienced party who knows to use fire will probably suffer little damage before killing it, especially if encountered alone. Keep in mind, however, that Igni requires a Magic Attack roll (WILL + Spell Casting + 1d10) which is contested by the monster's Dodge or Block roll (the Katakan has the highest Dodge bonus of all printed creatures at +10), and suddenly there's a much lower guarantee of killing the Katakan in one shot.

• Welcome to RPG.SE! This is a really great, thorough answer. Thanks! Commented Jul 16 at 23:06