I have seen a ton of Fireball variants, some good, most bad. But some of the best were from Hackmaster, 4th edition. Since the character of Brian from the comics it was derived from was fireball happy they had a TON of variants.
But my kids loved more fireballs, I love more fireballs, so I made some variants of my own. This spell uses the magic missile mechanic I discussed here.
Level- 1 Range- 60' + 10'/rank
Casting Time- 3s Components- V, S, M
Area of Effect- 5' r. sphere Duration- Inst.
When cast a spark streaks from the caster's extended fingertip until it bursts into a sphere of flame 10' in diameter at its destination. All creatures within the area of effect take 1d3 h.p. of damage per rank of the spell caster, save for 1/2 damage.
While otherwise similar to Fireball the Lesser Fireburst differs from that spell in important ways. The flames of a Lesser Fireburst are not as hot, causing spells such as Protection from Fire and items such as a Ring of Fire Resistance to be twice as effective in reducing damage from this spell. Also, the Lesser Fireburst does not expand within confined spaces and items exposed to the heat of this spell save vs. normal fire with a +1.