One of my friends came to me with a question that is making my head hurt.

According to the Warcraft RPG 2nd Edition Core Rulebook - a supplement for the D&D 3.5 rules, regarding the Warcraft World - Night Elves can have levels on a special racial class, which have only 3 levels. Night Elves that have all 3 racial levels have resistance to fire 2 and resistance to cold 2.

However, according to the D&D 3.5 rules:

Lava Effects

Lava or magma deals 2d6 points of damage per round of exposure, except in the case of total immersion (such as when a character falls into the crater of an active volcano), which deals 20d6 points of damage per round.

Damage from magma continues for 1d3 rounds after exposure ceases, but this additional damage is only half of that dealt during actual contact (that is, 1d6 or 10d6 points per round).

An immunity or resistance to fire serves as an immunity to lava or magma. However, a creature immune to fire might still drown if completely immersed in lava.

This means that, per RAW, Night Elves with all 3 racial levels can actually swim naked on a volcano?

As a related note, I've found that, despite the "naked" part being a joke on my part, it actually makes difference:

Characters exposed to burning oil, bonfires, and non-instantaneous magic fires might find their clothes, hair, or equipment on fire. Spells with an instantaneous duration don't normally set a character on fire, since the heat and flame from these come and go in a flash.

Characters at risk of catching fire are allowed a DC 15 Reflex save to avoid this fate. If a character's clothes or hair catch fire, he takes 1d6 points of damage immediately. In each subsequent round, the burning character must make another Reflex saving throw. Failure means he takes another 1d6 points of damage that round. Success means that the fire has gone out. (That is, once he succeeds on his saving throw, he's no longer on fire.)

If you are actually dressed when you jump on the lava pool, you will take 1d6 damage, which Fire Resistance don't give automatic immunity.

So, before jumping on a lava pool, shave your head and strip your clothes off.


4 Answers 4



The wording is pretty clear. There's no minimum resistance required. Any amount of resistance counts, and having it grants you immunity to lava.

It's Pretty Stupid

RAW is also pretty stupid. If you're immune, sure. But resist fire 2 should not block 20d6 of lava damage. That's goofy.

Personally, I treat immunity as immunity and resistance as resistance, so it reduces the damage taken. As a result, you probably don't want to go lava swimming even with resist fire 30 (although it wouldn't hurt nearly as much).

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Rather than "the RAW are stupid" I'd say "reading the rules as written is stupid." Sometimes editing mistakes creep in to a text, and this is most likely one of those times. \$\endgroup\$
    – starwed
    Sep 29, 2014 at 20:00
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ Yes. The sentence seems to be indicating that a resistance or immunity to fire translates to a similar resistance or immunity to (the heat aspect of) lava or magma. The wording error is the insinuation that resistance to fire translates to an immunity to lava or magma. \$\endgroup\$
    – Avestron
    Sep 29, 2014 at 20:06
  • 15
    \$\begingroup\$ @starwed While that's likely what happened, it's speculation. We don't know if they intended that or not, we just know what they wrote What they wrote is that resistance grants immunity to lava. If they really had wanted to do that, they could have just said "Fire resistance or immunity applies to lava damage." I agree that's how it should be played, but the RAW part of the question should be answered by RAW and not what we think RAW probably should have been. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tridus
    Sep 29, 2014 at 21:09
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ @Angew The first says "this rule is stupid" and the second says "taking this rule as holy writ, instead of following what they probably meant, is stupid". That said, since the question was about the RAW, I agree with Tridus that the first phrasing is fine. Especially since the asker is fully aware that following the RAW to the letter is an invitation for silliness :) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 30, 2014 at 19:08
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ @Angew The first is a judgment on the authorial/editorial quality of the rules, the second is a judgment of people who disagree with starwed's preferences and opinions. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 1, 2014 at 17:20

I'm sorry, they can't. Human (and presumably elven) flesh is far less dense than lava.

They could waltz on lava, though.

  • 17
    \$\begingroup\$ ...if they have a couple of ranks in Perform... \$\endgroup\$
    – Jim Kiley
    Sep 30, 2014 at 18:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you suggest that Gollum had a lot higher density than human? ;) \$\endgroup\$ May 2, 2018 at 10:58
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @ArturBiesiadowski Presumably he was borne down by the awesome weight of the ring. We know the ring was heavy to Frodo, and got heavier the closer he was to Mt. Doom. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Aug 16, 2023 at 0:05
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Carbonated lava. Much less dense. \$\endgroup\$
    – fectin
    Aug 24, 2023 at 0:24

I firmly think the issue can be summed up with what a user wrote wrt. the Pathfinder rules (that copied that stuff from D&D after all):

1:1 Quoting from a paizo thread: (not an official Paizo quote)

The PRD says, Quote:

Immunity or resistance to fire serves as an immunity to lava or magma.

It seems very clear that the rule should be and is intended to be read as, Quote:

Immunity or resistance to fire serves as an immunity or resistance, respectively, to lava or magma.

Seriously, this should be automatic, on the same level of assuming that if the rulebook mentions a class called "fihgter," that it was probably a typo for "fighter." Completely noncontroversial. I would consider anyone arguing otherwise to be doing so in bad faith.

I 100% agree and reading the rules verbatim here is just stupid. This is not a legal document nor a computer program specification. It is game rules prose, and throwing common sense out of the window completely doesn't yield fun, IMHO.

  • 15
    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your input, but: 1 - this is not Pathfinder, despite the rules being really similar, and 2 - this post was made by someone that don't have autorithy over the system. If you have an official FAQ or something similar, I will gladly accept it. \$\endgroup\$
    – T. Sar
    Sep 29, 2014 at 20:22
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Thales - I have clarified that this isn't official. But the pathfinder text is just a copy of the D&D text, so ... see edit. :-) I stand by that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Martin
    Sep 30, 2014 at 8:05
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ This is pretty clearly the correct answer, no matter where your quote comes from. The author's intent is obvious from the passage. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 30, 2014 at 19:53
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @JustinMorgan That depends on what your definition of "correct" is. The question is for a RAW answer, and RAW is both entirely clear and doesn't say this. This is an entirely sensible way to play it, but that isn't the same thing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tridus
    Oct 1, 2014 at 1:54
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Technically, the way it's worded, with the ambiguity of the English language, it could (absurdly, of course) be read as 'ANY immunity' or 'resistance to fire'... Meaning immunity to flowers (which doesn't exist of course) makes you immune to lava. English has a lot of difficulty with this and that or this and that because many times interpolation and exclusiveness is ambiguous. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wyrmwood
    Oct 1, 2014 at 21:17

Personally, I'd just assume that fire resistance translates straight to lava resistance on a 1 to 1 since that makes more sense as intended behavior.

I should note, however, that I have a tendency to be liberal with Rule Zero when dealing with nonsensical rules weirdness. In my opinion, the advantage of having a GM is that you get to fix things when they're screwed up.

  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Note the reference to RAW in the question, the implication being that they are not looking for a 'use rule zero' answer I'm afraid \$\endgroup\$
    – Wibbs
    Oct 1, 2014 at 7:57

You must log in to answer this question.

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