Heat Metal – Questions about the components

I’m a rookie DM with an even more rookie group of players. I have some questions about Heat Metal (2nd level transmutation).

It says you need a piece of iron and a flame. It also says the target of the spell is a manufactured metal object.

  • The piece of iron and the manufactured metal object are two separate objects, right? The caster needs to be in possession of the piece of iron, and the enemy would optimally be touching the manufactured metal (any metal – not just iron) object. Is that right?
  • Does the flame need to be close enough to the caster to touch (for example, if the caster would need to hold the piece of iron into the flame), or simply in the range of the spell? Intuitively I would have opted for the latter, as I’d imagine the caster would be drawing energy from nearby flames.
  • If there is no environmental fire nearby, would they have to use one action to light a fire with their tinderbox first? The PHB says "Don’t bother to keep track of material components with negligible cost. Assume you have all you need as long as you have your spell component pouch." Does that apply here? Obviously the flame doesn’t have a cost, so can I just assume the caster.. uhm.. has a flame in their pouch? Or can we say lighting a small piece of tinder is part of the spell action?

I guess some/all of these could be answered with "DM-fiat", but in that case I’d be interested in how seasoned DMs rule it 🙂

Thanks!

Heat Metal on Animated Armour – Can something be both an object and a creature? [duplicate]

Heat metal says (Emphasis mine) :

Choose a manufactured metal object, such as a metal weapon or a suit of heavy or medium metal armor, that you can see within range. You cause the object to glow red-hot. Any creature in physical contact with the object takes 2d8 fire damage when you cast the spell. Until the spell ends, you can use a bonus action on each of your subsequent turns to cause this damage again.

The target in this case was Animated armour (which is a construct).

In our session we did rule that it could work just because it fit well with the story. We played it out that the metal was melting and deforming so the joints wouldn’t work. However the issue we had comes down to:

Can something be both an object and a creature?

The armour needs to be a manufactured object for the spell to work (and it specifically mentions a suit of metal armour) but also needs to be a creature to take the damage.

Does the metal construct summoned from Summon Construct also cause fire damage when using Slam?

The Summoned Construct’s Heated Body ability is the same wording as the Remorhaz’ (though it does less damage).

Construct Spirit:

Heated Body (Metal Only). A creature that touches the construct or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 1d10 fire damage.

Remorhaz:

Heated Body. A creature that touches the remorhaz or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 10 (3d6) fire damage.

but unlike the Remorhaz’ Bite, the construct’s description does not have a clause that it also deals additional (fire) damage on a hit with its Slam.

Construct

Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: your spell attack modifier to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d8 + 4 + the spell’s level bludgeoning damage.

Remorhaz

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 40 (6d10 + 7) piercing damage plus 10 (3d6) fire damage. If the target is a creature, it is grappled (escape DC 17). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the remorhaz can’t bite another target.

Does a creature count as touching the construct (and get fire damage) if they are hit by its slam attack?


Info on the Summoned Construct is from Tasha’s Cauldron of everything. Info on Rhemoraz is from Monster Manual

Can the Heat Metal spell target a set of Dragon Scale Mail made from metallic dragon scales?

The heat metal spell can target "a manufactured metal object", including "a suit of heavy or medium metal armor".

A suit of Dragon Scale Mail is clearly a manufactured object, but if it’s made from metallic dragon scales, is it metal, and thus a valid target? Are bronze dragon scales actually made of bronze, or are they just colored like that?

I’m just assuming chromatic dragon scales are inarguably organic.

Is a wand of lightning bolts made of metal?


Question:

Can my druid character use "heat metal" against a "wand of lightning bolts" to make it damage the caster unless it is dropped, or potentially even damage the wand itself (melt solder or metal-contacting thermosetting adhesives)?

Background:

Here is a link describing the wand:
https://www.dndbeyond.com/magic-items/wand-of-lightning-bolts

It says that the wand makes an effect like the spell "lighting bolt".

Here is the description for lightning bolt: https://www.dndbeyond.com/spells/lightning-bolt

Here are other lightning-related magic items that might give hints about the construction:

  • https://www.dndbeyond.com/magic-items/staff-of-thunder-and-lightning
  • https://www.dndbeyond.com/magic-items/javelin-of-lightning

Thoughts:

The material components are "a bit of fur and a rod of amber, crystal, or glass".

  • The wand is potentially likely to connect some part of the material component to a handle, and in jewelry many gem-holding elements are soldered grips with metal. Heat metal might hit the solder and damage the wand causing a magical discharge in that case.
  • If the components are organic, like a glue or plant-based adhesive with a wooden handle, then heat metal might be totally ineffective.

I did not see any questions along this line on this forum.

What in-universe reasons exist that explain why druid can use metal weapons but not wear metal armour?

In 5e, we are told that the druid shouldn’t wear metal armour:

Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields (druids will not wear armor or use shields made of metal)

I believe this was true in older editions of D&D as well; "druids will not wear armor or use shields made of metal". Certainly the below quote seems to imply this…

In the 2016 sage advice, we are told that druids choose not to wear metal armour:

What happens if a druid wears metal armor? The druid explodes.

Well, not actually. Druids have a taboo against wearing metal armor and wielding a metal shield. The taboo has been part of the class’s story since the class first appeared in Eldritch Wizardry (1976) and the original Player’s Handbook (1978). The idea is that druids prefer to be protected by animal skins, wood, and other natural materials that aren’t the worked metal that is associated with civilization. Druids don’t lack the ability to wear metal armor. They choose not to wear it. This choice is part of their identity as a mystical order. Think of it in these terms: a vegetarian can eat meat, but the vegetarian chooses not to.

This question is not about what happens if druids wear metal armour, or whether certain druids might choose to wear it despite not being a common choice among druids.

My question is: why is there not a similar taboo around druids making use of metal weapons? Is there anything in any published material (ideally from 5e but I suspect that previous editions probably have more to say about this than 5e) that explains why druids are generally happy to metal weapons, despite the fact that they typically choose not to wear metal armour (or use metal shields)?


Just a reminder that this is not a designer-reasons question as I’m interested in lore-based answers, in-universe explanations, not any designer’s reasons from any edition as to why it was decided from a gameplay-based or mechanical point of view. I’m interested in the lore reasons only.


Related:

  • What would be the side effects on a Druid of wearing metal armor?
  • If I multiclass from ranger into Druid, can I still wear metal armor?

Is it possible to permanently create/transmute metal through magic without 9th-level spells?

Are there any official methods of permanently creating significant quantities of adamantine, iron or similar through magic, principally transmutation of lesser materials (creating a portal to a place with metal is not applicable in this circumstance) without spells like Wish and True Polymorph?

These does not necessarily need to be methods accessible by player characters.

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