Learned by some wizards of relatively low experience, burning hands momentarily engulfed the wizard's hands in a burst of magical flames and then expelled them rapidly into an adjacent area of roughly twenty-five feet in diameter. Earlier versions projected a cone of flame from the fingertips of the caster's outstretched hands, thumbs touching. These flames did no harm to the wizard but could scorch the flesh of others caught nearby during the fiery blast. The effect was instantaneous but damaging and the wizard required only a short, momentary rest to refocus in order to cast the spell again.
The post Second Sundering version cast flames in a 15 feet cone and had the older spell casting method of having ones thumbs together with outstretched hands. This ignited any flammable object that wasn't worn or carried.
A modified version of burning hands was developed by the mage Asmiak before the Time of Troubles. It created a thinner, but longer ray of fire that extended 2-8' out from the caster. The flame was directional and could be fanned back and forth.
According to the Book of the Silver Talon, the ingredients for the ink used to inscribe burning hands into spellbooks was: one ounce of giant octopus ink, two ounces of green plant matter, four ounces of animal flesh, a piece of wood (such as a log or plank), a scrap of cloth, a sheet of parchment and either 3 drops of red/gold dragon blood, two ounces of fire elemental phlogiston, six salamander scales, or the horn of an efreeti. The last component of the ink could be replaced with the ichor of a hellhound, blood of a fire drake or ash of a tome guardian.
All the components, save for the ink, would be added to a burning brazier and burnt down. The coals that fed the fire would be added to the mixture and lastly combined with the octopus ink. The sediment would not be emptied and the concoction was to remain covered until cool.
Before the Spellplague, burning hands was also used by sorcerers and could only be cast a number of times equal to how many times the wizard had prepared the spell or the sorcerer had energy for. After the Spellplague burning hands became easier to access, though as a consequence it no longer grew in power with its caster.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 24,26. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
- ↑ Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 207–211, 220. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
- ↑ Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 61, 109. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
- ↑ Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 131. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 159. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 207. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 131. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 170. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
- ↑ Richard Baker (1996). Player's Option: Spells & Magic. (TSR, Inc), p. 183. ISBN 0-7869-0394-5.
- ↑ Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 978-1560763581.
- ↑ slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 121–122. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 64. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 220. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Tim Beach (1995). Pages from the Mages. (TSR, Inc), p. 20. ISBN 0-7869-0183-7.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Tim Beach (1995). Pages from the Mages. (TSR, Inc), p. 21. ISBN 0-7869-0183-7.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Ed Greenwood, Tim Beach (1995). Pages from the Mages. (TSR, Inc), p. 22. ISBN 0-7869-0183-7.