Lava Damage in D&D 5e: How to Survive Molten Rocks and Beyond!

Table of Contents

Understanding Lava Damage

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to battle molten rocks in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign? Lava damage is one of the most dangerous elements that adventurers can face, and understanding how it works is critical to surviving its fiery effects. 

In this article, we'll explore the effects of lava on creatures and characters, the amount of damage it can deal with, how to protect oneself from lava, and other forms of damage related to lava. We'll also provide tips on how to survive lava damage and how to deal extra damage to targets. So let's dive into the world of lava!

What is Lava?

Lava is a force to be reckoned with. It's the molten rock expelled from a volcano or fissure during an eruption, composed of various minerals and gases such as silicon dioxide, iron oxide, magnesium oxide, and sulfur dioxide. Making it incredibly dangerous for creatures and characters alike!

Lava can cause significant damage to animals and characters in D&D 5e. It deals damage per round to any creature or character that comes into contact with it.

How to Protect Yourself from Lava Damage in D&D 5e

  • Avoidance: The safest way to protect oneself from lava damage is to avoid coming into contact with it altogether. Characters can use their skills and abilities to scout hazardous terrain and plan safe paths.
  • Environmental Protection: Characters can use protective gear, such as fire-resistant clothing or magical items that resist fire damage, to reduce the damage caused by lava. Some spells, such as Resist Energy, can temporarily protect against fire damage.
  • Mobility: Characters with high mobility, such as those with the ability to fly, climb, or teleport, can often bypass hazardous terrain like lava, allowing them to move through dangerous areas more quickly and safely.
  • Dexterity and Athletics: Characters with high Dexterity or Athletics scores may be able to make acrobatic or athletic maneuvers to avoid falling into lava or to quickly move through hazardous areas.
  • Spells and Magic: Certain spells, such as Wall of Stone or Control Water, can create barriers or divert lava flows, making it easier for characters to avoid contact with the lava. Other spells, such as Fire Shield or Protection from Energy, can temporarily protect against fire damage.

How Hot is Lava?

In DnD 5e, the actual temperature of lava is not specified.

Since the temperature of lava in the real world can vary greatly depending on its composition and other circumstances, there isn't a set temperature for it. Lava can range in temperature from 700 degrees Celsius (1,292 degrees Fahrenheit) for some varieties to 1,200 degrees Celsius (2,192 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher for others. As a result, it can be challenging to provide lava in DnD 5e with a precise temperature that precisely mimics the variation of real-world lava.

Even if we assume that the temperature of lava in DnD 5e is the same as in real life, that’s hot enough to cause severe burns and even melt metal!

How Much Damage Does Lava Deal?

A creature or character that comes into contact with lava takes fire damage per round as:

HazardDamage per turn in lava
Hand sized globules splattered on you2d10 fire damage
Extremity in lava (hand or foot)3d10 fire damage
Full limb in lava (arm or leg)6d10 fire damage
Wading through lava (waist high)10d10 fire damage
Fully submerged in lava18d10 fire damage

For more comparison, here is a table for other improvised damages:

HazardDamage per turn
Burned by coals1d10
Struck by lightning2d10
Stumbling into a vat of acid4d10
Wading through a lava stream10d10
Being submerged in lava18d10
Tumbling into a vortex of fire on the Elemental Plane of Fire24d10

When dealing with lava streams, there are several actions one can take to survive them. For example, one can make Strength checks in order to jump over them or use spells such as Feather Fall in order to slow their descent into the stream.

Protecting Yourself from Lava Damage

When it comes to lava damage, the best way to protect yourself is by taking preventive measures. Wearing fire-resistant clothing or magical items that resist fire damage reduces the damage caused by lava. If you fall into lava, you can attempt a Dexterity saving throw to try and escape. 

Additionally, if you are in a lava stream, you can use an action to make a Strength check to try and climb out or swim away from it.

Approaching Lava

To protect yourself from lava when approaching it, there are a few steps you should take. First off, wearing magical clothing, items that resist fire, or a fireproof suit is a must. 

This will help protect your skin from direct contact with the molten rock. 

It’s also essential to keep a safe distance from lava when approaching it – at least 40 feet away is recommended. If you find yourself near lava, make sure you move away from it immediately.

If you happen to get caught in a lava stream – whether by accident or intentionally – then your best bet is to try and find a way out as quickly as possible. You may be able to use spells or other magical abilities like teleportation or levitation to escape the stream safely.

Dealing Extra Damage

Finally, if your goal is dealing extra damage against targets in a lava stream, there are several ways this can be done depending on what type of target we’re talking about here. 

For example, if we’re talking about creatures, they may take additional fire damage due to their proximity to the stream. 

While it's possible to deal extra damage to targets in a lava stream, the amount and type of damage dealt may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the encounter and the Dungeon Master's discretion.

Falling Into Lava

The DC for this check differs; if a creature or character succeeds on this check, they take half the usual amount of damage from the lava.

  • Creatures within 30 feet of lava take 1d4 fire damage per turn. Exposure flushes the skin at this distance. Heat makes your eyes wet, lowering attack rolls and Wisdom (Perception) checks based on sight, unless you have fire resistance. The creature must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw before each round of lava exposure or exhaust 1 level. Ducking or avoiding the lava negates these effects.
  • Unless they crouch (half movement speed), creatures within 20 feet of lava take 1d10 fire damage per turn. Second-degree burns take 2d6 days to cure without magic. The creature must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw before each round of lava exposure or exhaust 1 level. Heavy armor and clothing disadvantage saving throws. Fire-resistant creatures immediately pass the save.
  • Unless they crouch, creatures within 10 feet of lava take 4d10 fire damage per turn (half movement speed). Second-degree burns take 3–6 days to heal without magic. The creature must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw before each round of lava exposure or exhaust 1 level. The monster would have a disadvantage on the saving throw if they were not holding their breath, wearing medium or heavy armor, or in a clad. Fire-resistant creatures immediately pass the save.
  • A creature within 5 feet of lava gets 20d10 fire damage every round, halved if they crouch (they can crawl 10 feet per round). Direct exposure causes third-degree burns, clothes to burn away, metal armor to sear flesh, and irreversible disfigurement to exposed extremities. The creature must make a DC 25 Constitution saving throw before each round of lava exposure. Success exhausts them in one level. Failure results in 0 hit points. The monster would have a disadvantage on the saving throw if they were not holding their breath, wearing medium or heavy armor, or wearing heavy garments. Fire-immune creatures pass the saving throw.

Dealing with Lava Streams

Learn how to protect yourself from lava streams, survive them, and deal extra damage to targets in a lava stream.

How to Survive a Lava Stream

Get ready before you approach the lava stream. 

Characters should ensure they have gear that can withstand fire or magical artifacts that can withstand fire harm. Moreover, they can cast spells like Fire-Resistant, which offers protection against fire damage. Additionally, they can avoid the stream or build a bridge over it by casting spells like Fly or Levitate.

The characters can employ abilities like Athletics, Acrobatics, and Survival to get around the environment if they have to cross the lava stream. Characters can use athletics to achieve long jumps or scale barriers, while acrobatics can assist them stay balanced on precarious ledges or uneven ground. 

Characters can use survival to discover a safe path across the environment or to use their understanding of the terrain to avoid dangers.

In a cavern with a lava stream, characters can also employ spells like Spider Climb to traverse the walls or roof. By doing so, they can lessen the harm they sustain by avoiding coming into contact with the lava.

Characters can take precautions to reduce the damage they receive if they do come into touch with the lava. For instance, they can cast spells like Cure Wounds or Healing Word to heal themselves after suffering damage, or they can utilize spells like Water Walk to walk across the surface of a lava stream.

It's vital to remember that lava protection may only partially be provided by heavy armor. It can, however, aid in lowering the amount of damage that characters sustain.

Moreover, heavy armor can also disadvantage Dexterity-based checks and reduce a character's movement speed, making it more challenging to navigate the terrain.

Characters should take regular pauses and drink lots of water to prevent tiredness and other harmful effects. They can also use the surroundings by seeking shade to cool off in between exposures to the heat.

Generally, surviving a lava stream requires cautious planning, adept navigation, and fast thinking in peril. Characters can successfully navigate the dangers of a lava stream with the appropriate preparation and a little luck.

At the end of the day, surviving these dangers isn't easy, but with knowledge comes power – so arm yourself with knowledge about these dangers before venturing into unknown lands filled with molten rocks and beyond!

Dealing Damage to Targets in a Lava Stream

Dealing damage to targets in a lava stream can be tricky due to the extreme heat and danger of the environment, making it difficult to approach and fight opponents. Yet, with foresight and planning, heroes can use the lava stream's dangers to their advantage and inflict severe harm on their foes.

Using spells and abilities that deal fire damage to opponents in a lava stream is one of the best methods to inflict damage on them. For instance, a steam region can be targeted with the Fireball spell, and any targets caught in the blast radius will be damaged.

Similarly, you can use the Scorching Ray spell to focus on specific targets within the stream, causing additional fire damage and possibly igniting them.

Characters can also navigate the lava stream and directly engage targets using their skills and abilities. Characters with high Acrobatics scores can stroll along the stream's margins, but characters with high Athletics scores can jump over it to reach targets on the other side.

Moreover, characters with the Water Walk spell can cross the stream without suffering any damage, possibly enabling them to attack enemies head-on.

Characters can also damage targets in a lava stream. For instance, they might be able to throw rocks or loose boulders into the stream, where they will cause further harm to the targets below. Characters might also be able to take advantage of the stream's heat and fire by lighting targets on fire or igniting nearby objects or structures with it.

Creating a barrier or obstruction that forces adversaries to come into direct contact with the lava is another method for causing harm to targets in a lava stream. For instance, players might be able to use spells or other powers to erect a wall of fire or another barrier that makes it difficult for adversaries to approach them without passing through the lava stream. Alternately, characters can construct a bridge or another safe way of crossing the stream using spells or abilities and then utilize traps or other hazards to harm targets as they cross.

The ability to think imaginatively and use the environment's perils and hazards is ultimately the key to doing harm to targets in a lava stream. Characters can make a dangerous hazard into a powerful weapon by utilizing spells, skills, and the environment to their advantage, perhaps tipping the balance of a battle in their favor.

Overall dealing with any kind of molten rock can be incredibly dangerous but with these tips, you can stay safe while navigating through even the most intense situations involving lava streams.


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