Why do I feel like the Most Interesting Man in the World this week? (Thank you Dos Equis.) Might it be that I started playing a new wizard in 4e D&D last weekend and the first spell I selected was Fireball?
What is it about Fireball that makes it the “must have” spell in D&D? I’ve played a lot of D&D wizards over the years, but the goal of getting to 3rd level was always to achieve Fireball and possibly Lightning Bolt, with Ice Storm being a distant third.
Why is that however? I’ve caused more than a few disasters with the spell. Dumping it into a 10’x10′ room and watching all the gold and silver treasure melt to slag was one of my favorites. It’s not like you can tell the fire NOT to melt the treasure. But I felt compelled to end the battle right then and there, dumping a Fireball in the middle of a perfectly placed group of monsters. Sure, there might have been a PC or two in the blast radius, but they knew the risks!
Fireball and Magic Missile have always been my go-to spells for wizards. Even playing 1st edition Palladium Fantasy I think I used a version of Fireball frequently.
That said, I began playing with a true Controller the other night. He was tossing Hypnotize and other Charm-related spell effects all over, making our foes beat themselves up. And I have to say that was pretty cathartic. Sure, Fireball is a momentary blaze of glory, but it’s satisfying when your enemies are attacking and doing large amounts of damage to themselves and THEIR allies, while ignoring you entirely.
What are your favorite spells of D&D past, present, or future?