GM Word of the Week: Tinderbox

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Light sources seem like such trivial things. It’s just fire, right? But what IS fire? And how do you FUEL fire? How do you LIGHT fire? And what happens when the fire goes out?

The GM Word of the Week is produced and performed by Fiddleback of The Mad Adventurers Society and written by The Angry GM of this site right here that you are reading.

5 thoughts on “GM Word of the Week: Tinderbox

  1. I may be misinterpreting your explanation, but there seemed to be some implication that all reactions that require energy to get started are endothermic. This is not correct. An endothermic reaction is a reaction in which the products have more energy than the reactants. All reactions, whether exothermic or endothermic, require energy to get started. This energy is called the ‘activation energy’. Combustion releases energy (it is exothermic), but still requires some energy to get started (provided in the form of heat).

    • Might have missed it. Here it is:

      “So, given half a chance, it’ll combine with almost anything it can. And, just like a spring going sproing, oxygen will release a lot of energy when it does combine. In this case, it gives off that energy as heat and light. And THAT is what we call fire. Combustion is an exothermic reaction. It’s a chemical reaction that RELEASES energy.”

  2. While it’s true that fire gives off energy, it’s not true that fire (the flame itself) is energy. Fire it one example of the fourth state of matter: plasma. Remember the three states of matter (solid, liquid, an gas)? Well, there are actually four (solid, liquid, gas, and plasma). Other than fire, the only other observable source that I’m familiar with (I’m sure there are more but I’m no expert) is the Northern Lights (aurora borealis). There is an awesome video by Veritasium about this topic at:

    • Apparently it’s not technically a plasma, because of some reasons given at the end of the video (which are apparently debatable), but it is made of ions, which makes it decidedly not just energy.

  3. E=mc^2.. mass is energy, energy is mass. Quantum physics and all that. More specifically, “energy” is a Lyapunov state equation that describes matter and the forces that effect it.

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