Can produce flame do damage on unarmed strike?

So I have seen previous questions regarding this situation, but all of them appeared to be for fun and silly one shots. What’s different in this case is I’m trying to run a long and intense campaign. The monk of the party recently gained the feat magic initiate and took the Druid cantrip produce flame. He asked me about when he used an unarmed strike while his hand was on fire if the damage from the fire would be added. I wasn’t sure so I just added a small amount of fire damage at the time. After doing f some research I understand that the flaming hand can do other things like holding a sword or a shield, but I don’t know if I should allow him to add damage. By the way I am new to DnD so I’m sorry if I missed something obvious which would answer my question.

Thank you for your time.

Shifting Sacred Flame to Toll the Dead for Evil NPCs

The PHB makes it clear that radiant damage comes from the Positive Plane and is often associated with the Celestials of the Upper Planes, while necrotic damage comes from the Negative Plane and is often associated with Fiends and the Lower Planes

Damage Types (PHB196)

Necrotic. Necrotic damage, dealt by certain undead and a spell such as chill touch, withers matter and even the soul. Radiant. Radiant damage, dealt by a cleric’s flame strike spell or an angel’s smiting weapon, sears the flesh like fire and overloads the spirit with power.

Positive and Negative Planes (PHB300)

Like a dome above the other planes, the Positive Plane is the source of radiant energy and the raw life force that suffuses all living beings, from the puny to the sublime. Its dark reflection is the Negative Plane, the source of necrotic energy that destroys the living and animates the undead.

Several cleric spells allow you to choose your damage type between radiant or necrotic, and if spirit guardians is the exemplar, you would make this choice based on alignment.

Spirit Guardians (3rd level conjuration)

You call forth spirits to protect you…If you are good or neutral, their spectral form appears angelic or fey (your choice). If you are evil, they appear fiendish. On a failed save, the creature takes 3d8 radiant damage (if you are good or neutral) or 3d8 necrotic damage (if you are evil).

Destructive Wave (5th level Evocation)

You strike the ground, creating a burst of divine energy that ripples outward from you. Each creature you choose within 30 feet of you…take[s]…5d6 radiant or necrotic damage (your choice)

Forbiddance (6th level Evocation)

You create a ward against magical travel…the creature takes 5d10 radiant or necrotic damage (your choice when you cast this spell).

Other cleric spells do just one or the other type of damage, but there are enough of these that DMs and players making alignment-based choices can find appropriate damage types at most levels:

1st: Guiding Bolt (radiant), Inflict Wounds (necromancy)

4th: Guardian of Faith (radiant)

5th: Flame Strike (radiant), Holy Weapon (radiant)

6th: Sunbeam (radiant), Harm (Necrotic)

7th: Finger of Death (Necrotic), Symbol (Death) (Necrotic)

8th: Sunburst (radiant)

However, at the time of the printing of the PHB and MM, there were no official cleric cantrips that did necrotic damage. This led to NPC’s such as the Acolyte (any alignment), Cult Fanatic (any non-good alignment), and Priest (any alignment) being assigned for their principle offensive cantrip sacred flame, which does radiant damage.

Now that Xanathar’s Guide to Everything has made official a cantrip that deals necrotic damage (toll the dead), would it make sense to replace sacred flame in the stat blocks of evil NPC’s with toll the dead?

Are there any balance or other issues that arise with such a general change?

Or, would it make more sense to keep sacred flame, but to modify it so that the caster can choose the damage type, as in spirit guardians et al.?

Related: Are positive and negative energy from their respective planes inherently good and evil?

What’s the DC for Hatchling’s Flame?


Saving Throw: Reflex half

You focus a burning aura of energy at the end of your blade. It forms a seething sphere that, after a moment, bursts into a torrent of energy.

The Desert Wind discipline teaches its students how to unleash their ki as burning energy. This maneuver allows you to create a wave of fire that sweeps over your enemies. When you initiate this maneuver, you blast forth a cone of flame that deals 2d6 points of fire damage. This maneuver is a supernatural ability.

Out of the 3 "X’s Flame" maneuvers of Desert Wind, Hatchling’s Flame is the only one that does not specify a DC even if it says "Saving Throw: Reflex Half", so, what’s the DC?

Does Green Flame Blade and Sweeping Attack combo cause the bonus effect of GFB to hit again?

So I was theory crafting and I came across the combination of Green-Flame Blade with the Battlemaster Fighter’s Sweeping Attack maneuver. I understand that just fine. What I am unclear on is this:

I cast GFB and hit target. Then I activate SA to roll Superiority Dice to hit a second foe for the Dice’s damage (If the original attack would hit the second foe’s AC).

So I end up with one melee weapon attack that hits two different foes with special effects added to the attack. So it should look like this correct?

Weapon damage + GFB damage. GFB Jump damage to second target. Superiority Dice damage + GFB damage (because it is still the same attack correct?). GFB Jump damage to another target (possibly the original) ((because it states that this happens on a hit with an attack?)).

Does the Elemental Adept (fire) feat apply to the Flame Strike spell’s radiant damage?

I noticed that the Elemental Adept feat states (emphasis mine):

[…] when you roll damage for a spell you cast that deals damage of that type, you can treat any 1 on a damage die as a 2. […]

Does this mean the feat applies to spells like flame strike which deal 4d6 fire damage and 4d6 radiant damage?

In other words, would taking Elemental Adept (fire), casting flame strike, and rolling a 1 on a radiant damage die allow me to treat that 1 as a 2 even though its damage type does not match the damage type I chose with Elemental Adept?

Can you cast and hold Produce Flame and then wield a weapon and shield?

The text of the produce flame spell reads:

A flickering flame appears in your hand. The flame remains there for the duration and harms neither you nor your equipment. The flame sheds bright light in a 10-foot radius and dim light for an additional 10 feet. The spell ends if you dismiss it as an action or if you cast it again.

Emphasis mine. The druid in our party asked our DM if he is able to cast produce flame in a dark cave, then opt not to attack with it, and wield a shield and sword. The goal is to continue emitting light, since he doesn’t have the light spell. He claims that since the flame does not harm his equipment, he is able to hold a shield or sword with the fiery hand with no problem.

Is this okay to do RAW, or are we missing something?

This is specifically not asking about casting spells with a sword in hand. He wants to draw his weapon after casting and holding the flames.

Related, but not the same question: 1, 2, 3.

What exactly is Helm of Brilliance’s “a sword of flame” power?

I don’t have the exact AD&D 2nd edition Dungeon Master’s Guide quote, but there is an item, Helm of Brilliance, which, among other things, allows the wearer to turn any sword to a sword of flame.

What is “a sword of flame” here, and more importantly where in the official rule books is it described?

If it isn’t actually described anywhere, is there any less official source on what this power of the Helm actually does? I’m looking for something to show to my DM.

Does Sacred Flame or Firebolt do more damage on average to a Shadow over an arbitrary but finite number of rounds?

Assume the following character build:

Level 2 Variant Human Wild Magic Sorcerer with Magic Initiate Feat; relevant spells are Sacred Flame and Fire Bolt. While I don’t think character level is relevant, it is included in case an ability plays a larger roll than anticipated.

Ability Scores:
STR: 8 (-1)
DEX: 14 (+2)
CON: 14 (+2)
INT: 10 (+0)
WIS: 12 (+1)
CHA: 14 (+2)

Spell Save DC: 8 + 2 + 2 = 12
Spell Attack Modifier: 2 + 2 = 4

Spell Save DC for Sacred Flame: 8 + 2 + 1 = 11

Magic Initiate (5e PHB page 168):

Choose a class{cleric}: You learn two cantrips of your choice from that class’s spell list. … Your spellcasting ability for these spells depends on the class you chose: … Wisdom for cleric

Sacred Flame (5e PHB page 272):

Cantrip.
Casting Time: 1 action.
Flame-like radiance descends on a creature that you can see within range. The target must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d8 radiant damage. The target gains no benefit from cover for this saving throw.

Firebolt (5e PHB page 242):

Cantrip.
Casting Time: 1 action
You hurl a mote of fire at a creature or object within range. Make a ranged spell attack against the target. On a hit, the target takes 1d10 fire damage. A flammable object hit by this spell ignites if it isn’t being worn or carried.

Shadow (53 MM page 269),

Armor Class 12
Hit Points 16 (3d8 + 3)
DEX: 14 (+2)
Damage Vulnerabilities radiant
Damage Resistances … fire …

Damage Resistance and Vulnerability (53 PHB page 197)

If a creature or an object has resistance to a damage type, damage of that type is halved against it. If a creature or an object has vulnerability to a damage type, damage of that type is doubled against it.

Assuming that we don’t have to worry about the Sorcerer taking any damage (just for the sake of the question, otherwise it boils down to the Sorcerer dying after a few rounds), which spell would be the better choice to deal the maximum amount of damage on average within an arbitrary but finite amount of rounds?

Can continual flame be cast on an opponents helmet to blind them?

The Spell Continual Flame(p227 of the Player’s handbook) Is a touch spell. It does not offer any parameters as to what qualifies as a target other than it has to be an object. In theory you could touch an opponents helmet and a flame would spring forth. Potentially blinding him. (With no save and no attack roll).

Where as the light cantrip (p255 of the Player’s handbook) Specifically states:

If you target an object held or worn by a hostile creature, that creature must succeed on a Dexterity saving throw to avoid the spell.

This leads me to believe the spell is working as intended.

Is there a rule or ruling that I am missing?

Homebrew spell idea for DnD 5e: Chromatic Blade. Chromatic orb + Green Flame Blade hybrid. Looking for feedback and potential balancing

Honestly this was my Eldritch Knight player’s idea but I thought it interesting and am trying to work out the balance.

Spell Concept

The idea is to imbue chromatic orb’s ability to pick the element, a powerful ability, into a melee attack with similar-ish splash damage. Something akin to dragonbreath’s short range cone felt right.

Current Draft

Chromatic Blade

Evocation

Level: 2nd

Casting time: 1 Action

Range: 5 feet

Components: V, M (a weapon)

Duration: Instantaneous

Your weapon gleams with incandescent light. You choose acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, or thunder for the type of glow you create. As part of the action used to cast this spell, you must make a melee attack with a weapon against one creature within the spell’s range, otherwise the spell fails. On a hit, the target suffers the attack’s normal effects and elemental energy of that type bursts forth from your weapon in a 5-foot cone directed at the point of attack.Creatures within the cone’s area of effect take 2d6 damage of the chosen elemental type. This spell’s damage increases when you reach higher levels.

At higher level

When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3nd level or higher, the damage increases by 1d6 for each slot level above 2nd.

Wording clarifcations for reading purposes

  • “Incandescent” tends to mean “glows from being heated” (like an incandescent lightbulb) and my nearest alternative I could think of was radiant and while I think that’s a better fit semantically, that is already its own damage type (and intentionally not one of the options here to keep in line with chromatic orb). Could just do “chromatic light” but chromatic is just the light spectrum already so that’s lame/nonsense.
  • “directed at the point of attack” is a little awkward but the intent is “from you in the direction of the attack”. Unsure on the best wording there to represent this.
  • “Cone of 5 ft radius”, The intent of the spell is to represent an area like so:
 | | |X|  |O|X|X|  | | |X| 

With the O being the caster, the Xs being the targets. So, the cone would include the hit target of the melee (like green flame blade) and proceed to jump to the 3 adjacent/back tiles (back, diagonal up, diagonal down). If there’s a better way to word that part in general I’d be open to it

Balance considerations

My thinking was that being able to pick your element is a powerful feature of chromatic orb and giving it an AOE effect both warranted it dealing less direct damage than the nearest equivalents (1 casting of chromatic orb and 1 spray of dragonbreath). Math comparisons of similar abilities/attacks/spells:

  • chromatic orb, 1st level, does 3d8 of chosen type to a single target based on spell attack roll (averaging 13.5 on a hit)
  • dragonbreath spell, 2nd level, does 3d6 per breath (average 10.5 per target) but with a save so at least some guaranteed damage (average 5.25 on a save per target) and across a 15-foot cone (bigger area than proposed)
  • dragonbreath character ability, once per short rest and character specific (like from a red dragonborn), does 2d6 of your lineage’s elemental type (average 7 per target) with an associated save for half damage (average 3.5 per target) for a 5-foot cone (same area)
  • scorching ray, 2nd level spell, 3 individual ranged attack rolls for 2d6 fire damage per hit (average 7 per hit)
  • green flame blade, cantrip, melee hit + fire damage on additional creature within 5 ft based on your spell modifier (1-5 realistically)

All of the above scale to include an extra damage die per level, or in the case of green flame blade, being a cantrip, at select player levels.

Alternatives/options speculated

  • Could perhaps use a save for the elemental damage, DEX or CON respective to the element chosen like normal)

    • Pro(s): fits closer to dragonbreath spell’s damage per target (also 2nd level)
    • Con(s): spell already requires a struck melee attack before it does anything and that then means its a roll per target, which I know lots of spells do but just adds to the complexity of the mechanics
  • Could make it just a single additional target within 5ft of the melee attack target.

    • Pro(s): Would make it fit a little closer to Green Flame Blade’s effect
    • Con(s): then the damage at face value seems a little underwhelming being 2d6 per target (though in it’s current form of not needing a secondary save for each target in the cone it’s potentially up to melee weapon + 8d6 damage in total, compared to 6d6 for all 3 rays hitting for scorching ray and you get to pick the damage type for this, though a more realistic situation of melee target + 1 extra is melee + 4d8 chosen damage)
  • Could increase/decrease the damage dealt or increase the range if the damage seems right but maybe not enough AOE (more similarly scoped to dragonbreath spell, also 2nd level)

So… thoughts?