In my short time here on the forums and since the release of the EA, it's become apparent to me that BG3's Burning and Burning Terrain are generating more than a bit of grief for players, both because they represent maybe the greatest point of divergence between BG3 Gameplay and the traditional D&D ruleset and because their utility tends to overshadow many other avenues in combat, especially in the early game. With this in mind, I'd like to start a more thorough conversation about surface effects--especially Fire surface effects--and Burning and how they ought best to fit together both for the content we know now in EA and as we move forward into higher level content.
Now, there obviously is no Burning status effect in D&D, and burning DoT is fairly rare in the standard game--fire spells don't cause burning and burning damage hardly ever persists beyond exposure to the source of the flame. My best guess is that the burning status as implemented in BG3 is based on Alchemist's Fire
, based on its damage. Personally, I think that a lot of the issues surrounding flaming surface effect damage can be addressed simply by reducing the number of triggers for the burning status effect--reserving it for Alchemist's fire, Oil barrel explosions, and other effects which you might imagine engulfing
a target in flames. Running through or dancing about on flaming grass need not be so damaging and shouldn't necessarily engulf you in flames, in my opinion, and of course fire spells need not come standard with 2d4 extra damage from burning DoT. Whether reducing the effects of flame surfaces to 1-2 fire damage per turn/x distance will render it useless later in game compared to other surface effects of course remains to be seen.
There's definitely more to say, and I'd like to review the various sources of flame terrain effects and burning, but in order to nurse my writer's block I'll open the thread first. I focus on Flames here because I have not heard a great deal of discussion about other surfaces, likely because they do not deal damage and therefor are largely ignored (excepting Caustic Brine, which seems anomalous and restricted for the most part to the nautiloid). If you've had other concerns about surface effects (excepting powder effects, which I think are a separate discussion) I do want to hear about them.