Written by: James S.
A Fire Elemental is a blazing entity of pure elemental fire, a formidable foe often encountered in Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, and other fantasy tabletop role-playing games. When preparing for a thrilling encounter with this fiery adversary, set the stage using the "Impact Site - Blaze" Czepeku battlemap, and consider the following key elements:
- Cultists summoned living fire; a star fallen from the sky.
- It spews gouts of flame which settle upon the ground.
- It turns the battlefield into a wildfire labyrinth.
- Cultists pile flammable material onto the creature, increasing its size and power.
- Their leader controls the wind to spread the flames further.
Cultists called a fiery comet from the heavens, and even now, they work to feed it, to stoke the inferno that will consume the world. Its impact rocked the ground for miles around–the cultists know time is short before someone comes looking. As the players approach, perhaps they see a blaze out of control on a nearby farm, a diagonal plume of smoke leaning into the sky. A strong wind is pushing the fire toward the nearest village. People run and shout in alarm as if to douse the fire. But as they come closer, the players realise the attendees carry bales of straw, old furniture, curtains - anything they can find to pile onto the bonfire. The Elemental is at the centre of the fire, blowing sparks with each laboured breath. Presiding over it all is a tall figure with long robes rippling in the wind. Their arms are raised high, chanting a continuous spell, eyes locked on the horizon.
This is a chess-like battle against the clock, a fight of positioning and tactics. If the players don’t manage to stop the cultists and douse the flames in time, the fire will be too great and spread to the nearby settlement with devastating effects.
Tactical considerations for both players and the GM:
- Difficult terrain everywhere: burning embers, scattered debris, churned earth. Movement is important. Scarce. Use it wisely.
- The Elemental should not move. Like the king in chess–vital but vulnerable.
- Start the battle with one burning tile per player, anywhere you like. On its turn, the elemental can create another fire on any tile in sight, dealing damage to anyone within it or who walks through it. Tiles remain alight until someone extinguishes them.
- Wind spreads the fire. Each turn, each existing fire spawns a new fire tile in the direction of the prevailing wind (decide on this direction at the start of the fight). The leader of the cultists controls the weather. If they are interrupted, the wind dies down.
- Introduce 1d4 more cultists per turn, but make sure they are weak. Some come to waylay the players, some with wood and straw to stoke the fire.
- They start at the edge of the battle. Have them move inwards. For every round, when more material is piled onto the Elemental, it can start one additional fire on its turn.
- The Elemental also gets larger and brighter. Once it reaches, say, five fires per turn, increase its size and make it so bright that it can blind players. Its radiance becomes painful.
The players can control the battle by:
- Stopping cultists with fuel from reaching the Elemental.
- Interrupting the leader’s weather-control spell.
- Dousing flame tiles as an action.
- Attacking the Elemental itself.
This battle could quickly overwhelm players if they don’t assess the situation correctly. Marching flames divide the battlefield, isolating players and cutting off routes of attack and escape. More cultists showing up could make the battle seem hopeless. If you want to give the players an extra helping hand, get some villagers from a neighbouring settlement to appear with buckets of water and fire beaters, or have them there from the start. Let the players command them, but make them as weak as the cultists, like pawns in chess.
Start Your Adventure With a FREE Map Pack!
For tons more guides like this, and to keep up to date with the latest from Czepeku, sign up to our mailing list now and get an introductory map pack for FREE with fantasy, sci-fi, full cities, lore, and more.