Volcanoes erupting over a village, dancing in Hell Fire and Dante’s Inferno are all imagery you can draw on for fiery encounters in your Dungeons and Dragons sessions. For those who prefer Charmander over Squirtle, this is your time to shine like a great flaming star in the sky! From the goofy to the noble, you have a lot of choices with how to add fire into your game. Below I hope you will find some inspiration for your sessions!
Dragons - Fire Breathing of course!
You just can’t go wrong with a classic fire breathing dragon! Whether it is Smaug defending his gold, Maleficent attacking Prince Phillip or the Dragon Lord, Master of all of Monster Kind, from Dragon Quest, what better creature to add to your adventure? While actual stat blocks vary, many adult dragons challenge the players with multi attacks, legendary actions and resistances, maybe even lair actions on their home turf. You are sure to be in for an active session if you face off against a dragon.
Spawned from lakes of fire on the Elemental Plane of Fire, you may first mistake an Ember Guard for an Earth Elemental. Once it drops its shell, it becomes clear you are dealing with a much hotter encounter! These huge, evil and dim creatures derive joy from spreading pain and suffering. Their fire breath can also slow down adversaries, causing an extra challenge. Careful when you finally do take one of them down, as they explode, causing fire and debris to land anywhere in a 60 foot diameter.
Fire Elemental Myrmidon
These fire elementals are summoned and bound into armor, losing all memory of their former lives. Existing only to follow commands, this imagery can be quite disturbing. They light up so bright they can cast light into a dark situation. With multi attacks and fiery strikes, this medium sized elemental can pack a serious punch!
Fire Toad (See also Fire Bat, Fire Beetles, Fire Spider, Fire Troll, Fire Newt)
Take a mundane creature and set it on fire! What was once a cute familiar is now absolutely terrifying. Take it one step further and make it huge! I will forever remember an encounter our party had with fire beetles in the desert in Kait’s homebrewed world! It happened two years ago but it is still one of my favorite combat sessions I’ve ever had!
Another classic beauty! Stat blocks vary wildly on this one depending on your source and that is ok! It’s always best to keep your players guessing. One of the great things about the phoenix is choosing what level to give to your players, from ashes to adulthood! You can also get creative choosing if this creature will be friend or foe. Familiar or adversary. Maybe the party doesn’t need to face off a phoenix at all but this flaming friend comes to the party’s aid by lighting the way through tunnels. Don’t boil your encounters down to “to fight or not to fight” when there are so many ways to meet creatures at your disposal!
I think the environmental aspects of an encounter are wildly underutilized in Dungeons and Dragons. Does your encounter take place in or near a volcano? What near a lava flow on land or underwater heat vent near the base of a volcano? What effect would that have on your party’s movement speed, damage from the environment or spell attacks? Challenges don’t have to just come from adversaries. They can also come from the environment you find them in.
What are some of the most memorable fiery encounters your party has had?
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