The Blighter class in D&D 3.5e (Complete Divine) has an ability called "Blightfire"

Blightfire (Su): Starting at 2nd level, as a standard action, a blighter can unleash a scorching blast of fire. This effect deals 5d6 points of fire damage to all creatures within 10 feet (Reflex half; save DC is 10 + blighter’s class level + blighter’s Wis modifier) and ignites flammable objects it touches. Blighters delight in starting wildfires and often use this ability to do so.

I wonder whether the center of the 10 feet emanation is the Blighter, and if that would mean that the Blighter harms himself when using this feature. Is this ability overpowered?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Don't answer in comments. \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton May 24 '15 at 22:20

It's not that bad...

With no range listed, the the prestige class blighter's supernatural ability blightfire has a range of 0 ft., therefore centered on a crosshairs adjacent to his space. This means the blighter will be affected by his own blightfire effect.1

But, assuming no shenanigans, the blightfire's effect deals only an average of 17.5 points of fire damage and a maximum of 30 points of fire damage. "The blighter’s caster level is equal to her blighter level plus her druid level" (Complete Divine 23), and the path of least resistance for blighter entry is as a level 6 druid. Thus By the time the blighter can use the special ability blightfire, the blighter should (assuming the blighter possesses a Wisdom score of at least 14) have access to the 2nd-level blighter spell resist elements, which doesn't exist2 yet is almost certainly supposed to be, instead, resist energy [abjur] (PH 272).

Such a blighter, then, can cast resist energy at caster level 8, providing the blighter and his equipment (as per the spell's description) fire resistance 20 for 80 minutes per casting, which should be sufficient to ward himself from his own effect except on an exceptionally lucky—or unlucky—roll. At caster level 11 (druid 6/blighter 5), the spell resist energy renders the blighter immune to his own blightfire ability.

...But it's also not that good

Being able to take a standard action to deal 5d6 points of fire damage with a 0-ft.-range in a 10-ft.-radius burst as a level 8 character just isn't that impressive, even if such an effect can be generated at will. The special ability blightfire never increases and is already behind the damage curve of most damaging effects, involves forcing many a blighter to protect himself from his own special ability, and hurts equally any friends the blighter may have (and those friends' equipment).

The special ability blightfire is a little sad, actually, especially compared to what the blighter could have been doing had he just chosen to be, from the start, an evil druid.

1 When the blighter appeared in the Dungeons and Dragons, Third Edition supplement Masters of the Wild the supernatural ability blightfire was like the 1st-level Sor/Wiz spell burning hands [evoc] (PH 207), the effect of which can also set certain objects alight. A DM may want to house rule the special ability blightfire as functioning similarly instead with its weird 0-ft. range.
2 The blighter's spell list appears copied from its Dungeons and Dragons, Third Edition source in which the spell resist elements did appear and where it was quite different from the spell resist energy.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think the Undead Wild Shape ability is the best aspect of the Blighter class. Otherwise its "meh." But, blighters still know how to speak Druidic, and being ex-druids wouldn't worry if they taught that language to someone else... \$\endgroup\$ – Ruut May 25 '15 at 8:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ruut Admittedly, I've done zero research, but how is undead wild shape particularly advantageous? The blighter's natural armor decreases in exchange for some minor DR and, by character level 12, a druid of the blighter's level is getting similar immunities by wild shaping into a plant. Am I missing something that's badass about skeletonizing? (I do like the blighter roaming around and teaching everyone druidic, though. That has a lot of story potential.) \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan May 25 '15 at 11:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would say... advantageous... party make-up aside, cold immunity and not having to breathe could have potential when used for specific builds. Grappling someone underwater that has to breathe for example. Or centering cold spell AoE's on yourself. Otherwise, it is "meh" like previously stated. I think it is better as a role-play villain, using the deforestation ability as a hook, teaching druidic secrets to people for the right price, and the like. Basically, it is the Blackguard for the Druid; except Blackguards are better and that doesn't mean all that much. \$\endgroup\$ – Ruut May 25 '15 at 13:59

I would think that making The Blighter's blightfire hurt the blighter is not only silly but utterly counter-intuitive. In the abilities very description it states that the blightfire is "similar to a burning hands spell but with a range of 10'" obviously this implies that it's a 10' cone.

Also, I played a blighter into epic levels (49th) and let me tell you, with the proper metamagic and other feat selections, I have no character more powerful. Go into Hierophant ASAP and focus on Spell Penetration feats and caster level enhancements. Also go Energy Substitution:Cold, Wildspell and Lord of The Uttercold. Then you can Undead Wildshape and drop Maximized Uttercold Firestorms right on top of yourself destroying everything else while healing yourself. I'm not inventing the fact that I defeat the Spell Resistance of a Hecatoncheiries by rolling a one and that the abomination needs a 12 or better to save against Alerius' Implosion spell heightened to 15th level. By the way, Yes, he's very solidly retired into Demigodhood.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! I think you can improve this answer by quoting and/or citing the relevant rules (such as that for burning hands). I'm also struggling to see how the second paragraph (after my edit) is relevant to the question. Please note we are a Q&A site, not a forum and answers are for answering the question, not related discussion. On that end; take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center or ask us here in the comments (use @ to ping someone) if you need more guidance. Good Luck and Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Someone_Evil Jul 12 '19 at 18:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ You may be looking at the Masters of the Wild blighter (48–9) whose blightfire ability does reference the spell burning hands. The question, however, is about the Complete Divine blighter (23–6) who also possesses an ability called blightfire but that ability doesn't mention the spell burning hands. (Also see footnote 1 of my answer.) Thank you, though, for making me double-check the accuracy of my answer! Have fun! \$\endgroup\$ – Hey I Can Chan Jul 12 '19 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, yeah. Sorry but I just felt that the entire post was about the effectiveness of the prestige class as a whole. As far as the blightfire ability, Yeah I suppose I am referencing "The Masters of The Wild" version, however I don't think that the intention of the ability was that the character hurt itself. My point is that sometimes common sense should defeat literal rules interpretation otherwise we end up with Death-By-Thorns being a "save AND die" spell. \$\endgroup\$ – Joseph Douglas Jul 15 '19 at 8:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, @HeyICanChan the second paragraph was more directed at your above comment as to the viability/usefulness of a Blighter as a character and why Undead Wild Shape can be particularly good. \$\endgroup\$ – Joseph Douglas Jul 15 '19 at 8:21

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