[RPG] Does the Fireball spell damage objects


Does a fireball spell do any damage to window glass, for example?

It looks like that its wording damages creatures and only causes fire on flammable objects.

Best Answer

You are correct that the fireball spell only ignites (does not damage) objects.

The fireball spell's description states:

Each creature in a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 8d6 fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

In order for a target to be damaged it must make a save and the only things that make the save are creatures in the area - Because the objects are not making a save they are not targets and so do not take the 8d6 fire damage.

However the spell goes on to say:

The fire spreads around corners. It ignites flammable objects in the area that aren't being worn or carried.

The extent of what "igniting an object" means it not explicitly covered by the rules and would be left up the GM; however, it does not mean that the objects take the 8d6 damage for another reason. If objects were supposed to take the damage then the spell's description would say so.
This is the case with the spell shatter whose description states:

Each creature in a 10-foot-radius sphere centered on that point must make a Constitution saving throw. A creature takes 3d8 thunder damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one...

A nonmagical object that isn't being worn or carried also takes the damage if it's in the spell's area.

Again, objects do not make the save at all, but the spell then explicitly states that they take the damage regardless of this fact.

The Sage Advice Compendium potentially provides further evidence that fireball does not damage objects stating:

Q. Some spells (like eldritch blast) target a creature. Some others (like fire bolt) target objects too. Does this mean that I can’t attack the door with eldritch blast?
A. The target specifications (creature, object, or something else) in spells are intentional.

The fireball spell only ignites objects, it does not deal 8d6 fire damage to them

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