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I read through Treatmonk's guide that the Flaming Sphere plus Pyrotechnics combo is good which, upon seeing the spells, it is. However, the part of Pyrotechnics that snuffs out the fire seems to conflict with the duration of Flaming Sphere.

Flaming Sphere, Conjuration

Duration: Concentration, 1 minute

A 5-foot-diameter sphere of fire appears in an unoccupied space of your choice within range and lasts for the duration.

A 5' diameter sphere just fits a 5' cube, and Pyrotechnics does not need a non-magical flame source, so that's great. However:

Pyrotechnics, Transmutation

Duration: Instantaneous

Choose an area of flame that you can see and that can fit within a 5-foot cube within range. You can extinguish the fire in that area, and you create either fireworks or smoke.

The intention of the combo is obviously to keep moving the ball of fire as battlefield control, and blinding/creating obscurity with a mobile source of flame to debuff enemies.

Does Pyrotechnics snuff Flaming Sphere out, ending the spell early? Or does Flaming Sphere's lasts for the duration specification re-ignite the flame?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Please add a link to Treatmonk's guide for clarity. It's also not clear (and worth another question) if the smoke effect of pyrotechnics, if cast on a moving target, creates a moving area of flame. \$\endgroup\$ – Marq Mar 13 '16 at 19:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Added the link. The spell doesn't mention the flame source has to be stationary or mobile, I think it doesn't care either way as long as it fits in a 5-foot cube. What makes you think it's worth another question? \$\endgroup\$ – user27327 Mar 13 '16 at 20:06
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I think there are several interpretations, with no definitive rules support one way or another, so it's dm judgement call.

No, flaming sphere stays lit, and pyrotechnics causes the fireworks or smoke

The flaming sphere stays lit and you get the fireworks/smoke.

The reason the sphere stays lit is that it is fueled by magic, not mundane fuel.

While there isn't explicit rules support for this interpretation, it isn't unbalanced because it isn't more powerful than the spells separately, and deciding in favor of the PCs and the rule of cool argue in favor of it.

Perhaps for fluff it goes out during the fireworks/smoke, then relights.

A Contrary Argument

A contrary argument would be that you get either spell, but not both. Basically either one spell or the other wins.

If pyrotechnics wins, then the flaming sphere is extinguished and you get your choice of the fireworks or smoke.

If flaming sphere wins, then pyrotechnics fails to extinguish the flame.

This is making the assumption that the fire in the flaming sphere is magically fueled for the duration, and it seems reasonable to assume that it can't be snuffed the same way as a regular fire, because magic.

So how to decide which spell wins? Assuming they're both cast by the same caster, it seems reasonable to let the caster choose. If cast by different casters in an antagonistic situation, if the spells have been cast at different levels, higher level wins; otherwise, its a contest between spellcasting abilities.

No matter what, the fires created by the flaming sphere are fair game

You can use the flaming sphere to ignite something, and then use pyrotechnics to blow that stuff up like a boss, or, create smoke, of course.

Again, there's not much in the way of rules support, but if you think allowing the sphere to stay lit is overpowered, then perhaps this is the way to go.

Note:

My original answer was significantly different from this but editing it made me re-think it.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any rules support for this beyond "beacuse magic"? \$\endgroup\$ – Marq Mar 13 '16 at 19:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MarkCogan - I can't really come up with much in the way of rules either way. I think you're pretty much in interpretation territory. \$\endgroup\$ – Jack Mar 13 '16 at 19:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Maybe phrase your answer accordingly; when the headline for your answer is a definitive statement like "no", it sounds like you have clear rules support. If it's a judgement call, then maybe say "it's up to the DM", and then describe reasons why they might rule either way. \$\endgroup\$ – Marq Mar 13 '16 at 19:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm, okay, point taken. \$\endgroup\$ – Jack Mar 13 '16 at 20:21
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Pyrotechnics can't affect magical fire so I feel the real question would be whether flaming sphere counts as magical fire. Considering that it is created and fueled by magic it's probably safe to say pyrotechnics can't affect flaming sphere.

Pyrotechnics (Choose an area of nonmagical flame that you can see and that fits within a 5-foot cube within range.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, Flaming Sphere is definitely magical flame. I'm surprised nobody else pointed out the error in OP's quotation of the spell description. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Feb 27 '18 at 22:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast I'm pretty sure that text wasn't in the spell description initially. Note that this question was asked just short of two years ago. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Feb 28 '18 at 19:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LegendaryDude: Right you are! Apparently it was revised in an errata (and the PDF for the EEPC was updated accordingly). Here's the errata for Princes of the Apocalypse that notes the change. (Here is the original version of the EEPC, and here's the most recent version.) \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Feb 28 '18 at 23:22
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Flaming sphere stays lit because the rule for pyrotechnics says, "You can extinguish the fire in that area, and you create either fireworks or smoke."

This sentence is giving you two different things that you can do, which are not exclusive. "You can extinguish the fire" means it is your choice to extinguish it or not. However, you must always create either fireworks or smoke.

This leaves it to you whether the flames are extinguished or not, but in that case flaming sphere is a concentration spell so all you must do to extinguish it is stop concentrating, whether you've cast pyrotechnics or not.

In the case of two opposed casters, where one has cast flaming sphere and the other has cast pyrotechnics with the intent to put out the flames, I don't believe there are existing rules that we can reference to determine what happens when the source of flame is from a spell that has a duration. I can think of a few different methods of handling it.

  • The first is the easiest to rule: change the rule for pyrotechnics to allow it to extinguish only non-magical flames. This is probably how I would rule it.
  • You could have the pyrotechnics caster make a casting check (d20 + casting ability) against the DC of the flaming sphere, and if he beats it then he can extinguish the flaming sphere.
  • You could also have the two casters make opposed casting ability checks; highest roll wins.

The text for pyrotechnics looks like it might need some errata to clarify if it can extinguish magical flames, especially if the source is from a spell with duration remaining. In any case, I believe this type of scenario is deeply in DM-ruling territory.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ -1 extinguishing the flame is not an option, it is what gets you the fireworks or smoke. That's a dependent clause not a random separate effect. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk says reinstate Monica Mar 13 '16 at 23:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's no 'if, then' condition. The 'and' is used here as a conjunction connecting two separate clauses. If there weren't a comma I'd be more inclined to agree. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Mar 14 '16 at 1:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk From a strict RAW standpoint, he's correct. In the following sentence, it's clear that the first clause does not strictly hold true, while imposing the second as always true: "You should hike Mount Everest with us. You can survive it, and you will have climbed the world's highest peak!" \$\endgroup\$ – user27327 Mar 14 '16 at 2:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @markovchain I updated my answer to include my take on the caster vs. caster scenario. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Mar 14 '16 at 12:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @LegendaryDude you may have misunderstood my intent - I agree with you. The fact that the text is not worded that way demonstrates that it is not a dependent clause, that your answer is correct. Oh, and by the way, +1. \$\endgroup\$ – Dan Henderson Jun 23 '16 at 17:45

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