How Much Damage Does Lava Do in 5e?

February 8, 2024

Lava has long been a staple of fantasy stories and adventure. Whether it's the dragon breath of a volcano or just an elemental plane of fire, lava is often one of the most deadly environmental dangers D&D can throw at players.

The official rules for lava are quite sparse and leave a lot to DM discretion. However, the damage it does scales with level. Using this as a framework, DMs can set the tone of a dangerous lava pit by having low levels get burned like crazy while high level PCs are able to wade through it.

If a creature is within 10 feet of lava and begins its turn there, it takes 2d6 fire damage on a failed save. Cloth garments burn away, metal armor sears to skin, and exposed flesh suffers third-degree burns. In addition, a creature that ends its turn within 5 feet of lava is automatically reduced to 0 hit points.

Being close to lava also does damage because of the heat radiating off it. In fact, a creature in contact with the molten rock does 1d6 damage each round it is within 10 feet of it. This is why DMs should encourage players to use protective gear or magic that can shield them from the ravages of lava.

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