Say you're a rogue, standing between a tough-looking baddie and a Flaming Sphere (that your Wizard has just placed. You're not sure why it was placed there, but you're here to sneak and stab, not ask questions). Next thing you know, the baddie turns around and bull rushes you, right into the square with the sphere. As a rogue who formerly didn't ask questions, you have some questions:

  • Do you take damage immediately, or on the Wizard's turn? (Assuming you fail the save)
  • If you do take damage immediately, do you take it again on the Wizard's turn? (Assuming you have not left the square already)
  • If you do not take damage immediately, and you move away before the Wizard's turn, did you just somehow avoid a scrape with a fiery death on a technicality?

These are the important questions that keep you up at night, at least until you complete that heist on the local city nobles.


3 Answers 3


RAW, the only mention of damages in the spell description is:

If it enters a space with a creature, it stops moving for the round and deals 3d6 points of fire damage to that creature

So you wouldn't take any damage, unless Wizard moves the sphere back and forth so it enters your case and stops on you. I guess in this case you definitely should start asking questions.

However, this line:

The sphere moves as long as you actively direct it (a move action for you); otherwise, it merely stays at rest and burns.

suggests that the sphere keeps its hot and flaming aspect even when not moved by the wizard, so making a houserule would be legit. I suggest to rule it as :

If something enters the flaming sphere's space (for example if someone is bull-rushed in) he immediately takes 3d6 points of fire damage (Reflex negates).

At the end of the caster's turn, everyone who is inside the sphere's space takes 3d6 points of fire damage (Reflex negates).

The sphere don't do damage when entering someone's space anymore (but still stops and thus will probably do at the end of the turn)

I have seen someone using the spell like that in a game and no one even noticed about it not being rules-as-written. I just discover today that it doesn't work the way I thought (and I find the official way less intuitive).

  • \$\begingroup\$ @AnneAunyme So with your house rule the rogue would take damage twice in the same round (once when it enters the square, and once on the Wizard's turn if it hasn't moved)? \$\endgroup\$
    – WeirdFrog
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 19:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @WeirdFrog: precisely. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 8:46

If it enters a space with a creature, it stops moving for the round and deals 3d6 points of fire damage to that creature

It didn't enter a space with a creature so no damage is dealt to anyone.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Where's that text from? Flaming sphere spell description? And don't you think that might just be sloppy wording since it hardly makes sense that you don't take damage? \$\endgroup\$
    – Charanor
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 6:49
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Sorry, it's a flaming sphere made of magic - where's the sense in that? @Charanor \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 6:55
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In Pathfinder it makes perfect sense. However not being damaged when you touch fire as opposed to when fire touches you doesn't make sense in this case. \$\endgroup\$
    – Charanor
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 7:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Charanor The sphere doesn't fill the entire 5' space it occupies, just like creatures don't. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 13:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @LegendaryDude From Flaming Sphere: "Effect 5-ft.-diameter sphere" so it only fills most of the 5' space. \$\endgroup\$
    – WeirdFrog
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 14:01

We use the "bouncy ball" a lot in our campaigns.

RAW - No

However, as a persistent area effect, it makes sense to take damage upon entering the area (much like a Wall of Fire):

The wall deals this damage when it appears, and to all creatures in the area on your turn each round. In addition, the wall deals 2d6 points of fire damage + 1 point of fire damage per caster level (maximum +20) to any creature passing through it.

The fact that the sphere does not fill the entire square is the reason for the reflex save. It lets you move around the big wobbling sphere.

Also, if someone is going to Bulls Rush you toward it, it is big enough that they aren't likely to miss it with you.

Logically speaking, treat it as a hazard. If someone Bulls Rushed you toward a spiked pit, wouldn't you need to make a Reflex Save to avoid falling in?

We generally rule that you take damage when it enters your square or when you enter its square. On the wizard's turn, you make another saving throw only if he leaves it there (unless he has it in for you, he'll likely be moving it to somewhere useful). There is no rule stating that the wizard cannot move the sphere from an occupied square.


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