Magic Missile

As was stated beforehand, spells were supposed to only get more powerful if you used a higher level spell slot.
Now with magic missle being one of the most iconic and basic spells, I was curious how it would be implemented.

The current version gives you more missiles (equals more damage) as you level. Not only does that break the above mentioned design concept, it also outshines other damage dealing minor spells (i.e. shocking grasp) very quickly.

So I've thought about for a while and would like to propose this version of Magic Missile as a minor spell:

You can fire ONE magic missile at up to [Magic Modifier] targets, with each missile dealing 1d4+1 damage. For every missle that you do not use, the remaining ones get +1 damage.

So the example wizard (with int mod +3) would deal 1d4+3 against a single target (compared with 1d8+3 from shocking grasp - a fair trade-off for 100ft range and auto-hit) or 1d4+2 against two targets or 1d4+1 against three targets.

This also eliminates magic missile as the ONLY (afaik) spell that lets you see the level of the wizard directly, which has ALWAYS bothered me.


Thoughts? Comments?

P.S. Am I the only one that's bothered that the maximum number of missiles is currently only 4 and not 5? I always thought that you get one per finger as the shoot out your hand...
I said this in the other thread about scaling minor spells, but it's worth repeating here:

The problem is not that magic missile scales, it's that the other minor spells /don't/.  If minor spells don't scale, or represent an effect that does not need to scale, they become useless around 3rd level, and a class feature that only serves as training wheels until the "real" class features kick in is bad design.

If they don't scale, they might as well just be 1st-level spells.  If scaling makes them too powerful, then they should be rebalanced so that they lag just behind max spell level power.
Missed the other thread...

Still I don't agree that they become useless. They should just be alternatives to basic weapon attacks, which they are at the current level.
I 100% disagree with this. Magic missile is already TOO powerful. What other class gets at guaranteed hit that can do 4d4+4 damage every round? 4 minions no problem 1 spell att dead.

It's a minor at will, and it turns out to be the most damaging single target spell in the game.
Missed the other thread...

Still I don't agree that they become useless. They should just be alternatives to basic weapon attacks, which they are at the current level.



This is a possibility.  We still don't know enough about advancement to be certain, but it's my understanding that damage is supposed to scale with level, somehow.  i.e., there's no reason why a 3rd-level fighter wouldn't take his second attack action every round.  Forcing a wizard into using crippled minor spells because he is out of higher-level spell slots sounds like we're not escaping the old wizard problems.
it makes sense that if magic missile is an innate ability "minor" rather than a full blown spell, it should be weaker. I rather prefer the 5 magic missiles at 9th level rather than four, as a spell. If I was going to make "at will" spells, I wold probably make a "Full Spell version" and an at will version.

it would work something like this:

Magic missile at will: 1d4+1 damage and target must remain unobstructed/line of sight.

Magic Missile as Spell: 1 missile at 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th, etc., and missile may be "heat seeking" if you have spotted your target during casting, even if they duck for cover.

Fireball at will: 3d6 or 5d6 flat damage, ignites combustables.

Fireball as a Spell: 5d6 +1d6 damage per level above 5th (possibly to a cap of 10 or 20d6), ignite combustables.

This concept allows you to have 'innates' at will, and then also have a memorized 'spell' version.

Homebrew Kensei & Martial Arts:

 

Options are Liberating

I don't really mind MM scaling so powerfully. It lets the wizard keep slots for more interesting spells while still being an effective combatant. At third level we're talking about 2d4+2 unavoidable (7 dmg). Meanwhile, the rogue just got 3d6 sneak, meaning when s/he hits we're looking at 15+ dmg. With even 50% chance to hit, they're pretty balanced out and the wizard gets to have creative spells in the chamber.
I think the auto-hit mechanic needs to be part of the scaling - so roll to hit until you can produce 3 missiles then a few levels after that you move to auto-hit.
I 100% disagree with this. Magic missile is already TOO powerful. What other class gets at guaranteed hit that can do 4d4+4 damage every round?



We don't know.  We don't know anything about 9th level characters except a very little bit, like 9th level MM does 4d4+4.  Seriously, though, 14 damage on average to a single target at 9th level is not likely to be overpowering.  Especially compared to things like fireball and whatever 5th level spells you get.

4 minions no problem 1 spell att dead.



Sorry, what's a minion?  I don't see that term in my playtest packet. 

It's a minor at will, and it turns out to be the most damaging single target spell in the game.



...of the very limited number of spells we've seen, none of which are above 3rd level.   Yes.   I'm 100% sure that there are more 1st-3rd level spells than the ones we've seen... and we haven't seen higher level spells.

It seems fine.  Low damage that a sure thing has not been shown to be broken in the past. I don't think it will be now either.

 


Sorry, what's a minion?  I don't see that term in my playtest packet.
 



LOL!

I'll try to avoid saying more as that'll probably be edition war bait.


Sorry, what's a minion?  I don't see that term in my playtest packet.
 



LOL!

I'll try to avoid saying more as that'll probably be edition war bait.


Honestly I can say that I am guilty of making assumptions in the other direction when I initially read through the rules for Next.

It's a hard habbit to break.


Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Yeah, I imagine it is. As far as Minions go, I actually liked that introduction to 4e, but I never liked move actions, partial actions, move equivalent actions and all those terms, so the absence of them made Next an easy read for me. I guess if you took the time to internalise those terms, they'd be second nature and it'd be hard to kick.
Radiant Lance is 1d8 + < magical ability modifier >. The part inside the < > is ever increasing unless you have a very "interesting" build and thereby scaling as you level (and possibly scaling with gear).

Too early to determine what the relative power of these spells are without more data points on what happens at/by level 9.

 
"At a certain point, one simply has to accept that some folks will see what they want to see..." Dragon 387
Yeah, I imagine it is. As far as Minions go, I actually liked that introduction to 4e, but I never liked move actions, partial actions, move equivalent actions and all those terms, so the absence of them made Next an easy read for me. I guess if you took the time to internalise those terms, they'd be second nature and it'd be hard to kick.


Yeah, the difference between 5ft step and shift was almost zilch.  Covered the mechanics so similarly that I couldn't help but interchange them.

This actually upset some purists in each eddition.

But hey what can you do.

I, like you am very fond of the new definition of the movement system.

Although, I saw a thread titled Space and Time that got me thinking about the reach aspect of things. 

Edition wars kill players,Dungeons and Dragons needs every player it can get.

Something to consider regarding balance of spells (as well as other crunchy bits)...

As this is a playtest, perhaps they are including different types of spell scaling to see which will be nailed down as a firm ruling. The inconsistency you are seeing may well be intentional for the time-being. This notion is purely conjecture, so take it with a grain of salt. A gut feeling, if you will.
I think a realistic consideration is the law of diminishing actions.  I'll explain.

At 1st level, Elftastic McMagicuser the wizard has 3 daily spell slots and magic missile.  Depending on what his party comes up against, it's likely he'll try to hold on to his spells and cast no more than 1/encounter.  As a result, he's going to spam magic missile.  A lot.

Over time, Elftastic gains additional daily spells.  He does not gain additional actions.  At some point, he may find that he simply has too many better spell choices in any given encounter to cast magic missile more than once or twice a day.  At that point in time, it becomes irrelevant that magic missile scales freely, because the preponderance of other choices has made it less optimal for Elftastic to be casting that.

People who played a lot of 4e know what I'm talking about.  At-wills are excellent at lower levels.  But somewhere around late heroic/early paragon, you reach the tipping point of encounter and daily powers where your at-wills become situational fall-backs.  Something you keep in your toolbag but only pull out occasionally.

Alternatively, the solution to magic missile scaling is simple.  MM can be cast as a single missile at-will version freely as a minor spell.  To gain additional missiles, it has to be prepared in a spell slot of a suitably high enough version.  So as a wizard, on any given day you could use it as both an at-will minor spell and a higher level, multi-missile slotted spell.
4 minions no problem 1 spell att dead.



Sorry, what's a minion?  I don't see that term in my playtest packet.


Now that's just being obtuse.  There have always been mooks, and there always will be mooks.  What you call them doesn't matter.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
4 minions no problem 1 spell att dead.



Sorry, what's a minion?  I don't see that term in my playtest packet.


Now that's just being obtuse.  There have always been mooks, and there always will be mooks.  What you call them doesn't matter.



They called em zero levels in e1... their were special rules interaction with them too. The fighter got attacks equal to his level when fighting against them (at least in theory - never saw in practice)
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

4 minions no problem 1 spell att dead.



Sorry, what's a minion?  I don't see that term in my playtest packet.


Now that's just being obtuse.  There have always been mooks, and there always will be mooks.  What you call them doesn't matter.



They called em zero levels in e1... their were special rules interaction with them too. The fighter got attacks equal to his level when fighting against them (at least in theory - never saw in practice)



I think any class could attack their level of 0 level people. We used it once in a fishing village that went mad from an evil necromancer, they all pick fork and tourched up on us.
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