Tuesday, December 22, 2020

One Hundred Magic Missiles

Magic Missile is a popular first level spell in virtually all editions, but I have always found it to grow a little monotonous over time. I often encourage my players to come up with a “signature” look and feel for their sorcerous projectiles. Just a little bit of ornamentation and embellishment over the frightfully dull “glowing arrow” default.

Since it always hits (except in that wonderfully quirky Holmes), and engenders no Saving Throw it’s a wonderful candidate for “Never Name Your Spell” in the hands of wicked Wizards and malevolent Magic Users. But how should one describe it to preserve this mystery?

Here is a d100 Table to help. A hundred entries that you can roll or choose from to give our old stand-by a bit of a makeover. These should usually be treated as strictly cosmetic of course (unless you think it would be fun not to), with the actual evocation behaving as we have grown to expect over the years. After all, 1d6+1 can be re-skinned in uncounted ways.

5 comments:

  1. Sweet post. My last magic-user had magic missile and took the form of keys with fluttering moth wings. Pretty sure I got it from Harry Potter lol.

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  2. Fantastic wordplay amongst all of these! You might also be interested in - https://archonsmarchon.blogspot.com/2019/10/d1000000-answers-to-question-what-do.html

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  3. For some reason, my first thought upon finishing this post was to calculate how often a Magic Missile kills a Normal Human (as a way of conceptualizing how dangerous it is, I suppose). The answer is 87.5% of the time.

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    Replies
    1. Must be pretty terrifying for those Townsfolk when a stranger in a pointy hat appears :). I lean into this...everyone has stories about how Magic Users can kill with a glance, and since you can't see their level or even if they have any spells prepared by looking at them, it's less about how powerful they actually and more about this reputation and fear :)

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