Cataract of fire was at its core a giant flame strike with a number of differences. First, there was the aforementioned size. The flame pillar was 300 feet (91 meters) in radius and 2000 feet (610 meters) tall, meaning it could be used to attack air-borne creatures. Second, there was the source the spell was powered from. Flame strike was composed half by fire and half by divine energy, while cataract of fire was composed half by fire and half by arcane power. Third, there was the strength. Cataract of fire harmed everyone and everything within the aforementioned area, but also to a lesser, but still highly destructive, degree everyone and everything within a quarter mile (400 meters) of the conjured pillar. Fourth, there was the range. Flame strike could be cast so that the flame pillar was located away from the caster, but cataract of fire caused a flame pillar that fell directly on the caster. The spell conferred immunity against fire, but did nothing of the sort regarding the arcane energy, meaning the caster was hurt by it.
Cataract of fire required somatic, verbal, and material components. The material component was a bronze gong. This gong was consumed when the spell was cast, not because it was consumed the conventional way on casting, but because it could not withstand the spell. The spell needed an entire minute to cast and the aforementioned gong was struck on completion.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Jeff Crook, Wil Upchurch, Eric L. Boyd (May 2005). Champions of Ruin. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 38. ISBN 0-7869-3692-4.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 231. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
- ↑ Jeff Crook, Wil Upchurch, Eric L. Boyd (May 2005). Champions of Ruin. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 37–38. ISBN 0-7869-3692-4.