June 27, 2015

Force Missile Mage

Arcane Tradition
Comments from the Finger: Have you ever read the word 'missile' so many times, you doubt it's a real word? You're about to!
     This is one of my favorite prestige classes to come out of 3.5, both for its silliness, and its complete willingness to pay homage to a spell that has flown without making an attack roll into our hearts. It really embodies the far limit of how specialized a character can be, while still being a viable addition to a party.

School of Force Missile

Magic missile is a staple wizard spell, well-loved for its versatility and stopping power. Your fondness for it, however, borders on obsession. You focus your studies on this spell, exploring every rune of the spell's secrets and pressing its power to the limits, resulting in new augmentations and variations on the spell.

Bonus Missile
Beginning when you select this tradition at 2nd level, you learn the spell magic missile, if you do not know it already. Additionally, when you cast this spell, you fire 1 additional dart, as if the spell was cast using a higher level spell slot. The additional number of missiles increases by 1 at 6th level (2 additional missiles), 10th level (3 additional missiles), and 14th level (4 additional missiles).

Missile Magician
At 2nd level, you can cast magic missile a number of times equal to your Intelligence modifier, or half your wizard level, whichever is lower, without using a spell slot. You regain all expended uses when you complete a long rest.
     If you choose magic missile for the Spell Mastery feature at 18th level, it is cast as if using a higher level spell slot (5 additional missiles.)

Shield of Missiles
By 6th level, as an action expending one casting of magic missile, you can cast your missiles around you in a tight orbit, providing a deadly aegis from your foes. For 1 minute, your armor class equals 10 + the number of missiles orbiting you, which begins as the number of missiles fired, to a maximum of 8. Whenever an enemy ends its turn adjacent to you, a single missile strikes it, dealing damage as normal and decreasing the number of missiles orbiting you, and also decreasing your bonus to armor class. After using this ability, you may not use it again until you complete a short or long rest.

Energy Missile
By 10th level you have become intimately attuned to the energies that compose the spell magic missile and may alter them in significant ways. During casting, you may change the damage dealt by your magic missile to acid, cold, fire, or lightning.

Overpowering Missile
By 14th level, your missiles become especially potent. Your magic missile ignores resistance. If a creature is immune to your magic missile, or is under the effect of the shield spell, it is treated as only having resistance against it.
     Additionally, your magic missile spell can deal maximum damage. After doing this, you cannot do so again until completing a long rest.

Changelog: 7/1/15: Missile Magician grants an extra missile with Spell Mastery.
Shield of Missiles has been retooled. It now grants a maximum of 18 AC, and is usable 1/short rest. Also, missiles in the shield now strike creatures at the end of their turn.
Overpowering Missile now ignores resistance and changes immunity to resistance.
7/13/15: Missile Magician now grants a maximum number of spells equal to half your wizard level.
Overpowering Missile now specifically refers to the spell shield.


  1. This is hands down the silliest arcane tradition I've seen. It takes second place on the overall silly 5e scale, because someone made a race of fruit.

    1. You are gonna LOVE Clucklomancer. And the Oozemaster.

  2. Love how this doesn't even come close to what the 3.5e version did using non-homebrew.

  3. Cool archetype!
    One question - at what level does one cast the Magic missles that are casted without expending spell slot?

    1. As with spells granted by races like the Drow, any spell which does not use a spell slot or specify the level at which it's cast is assumed to be cast at the lowest level. For magic missile, this is 1st level.

  4. Bonis Missile is cool. If I'm reading it right, it makes Magic Missile a strong choice for Spell Mastery later on.

    Missile Magician doesn't play well with Spell Mastery, however; the ability becomes pointless at 18th level if Magic Missile is the 1st level spell choice. And if you like Magic Missile that much, why /wouldn't/ you take it?

    Shield of Missiles could use some clarifying logic defining how/when/what triggers a missile strike. Perhaps: "Whenever an enemy ends its turn adjacent to you, a single missile strikes it, doing damage as normal" or somesuch. Also, the +7 to +16 AC seems either pointless or overpowered, depending on the play style of the wizard. A cap of +5 AC might be reasonable, stacking with Mage Armor and other AC sources, which could provide a buffer of free missile strikes.

    Energy Missile is cool, but seems to make Overpowering Missile's benefits partially moot. If you can change the damage type, the ability to overcome resistance to force damage is meaningless.

    Maybe Overpowering Missile could benefit from a more generalized wording: Your Magic Missile now ignores Resistance and Immunity from any source. Alternatively, Resistance could be ignored, while Immunity could provide Resistance instead. This is less important for sources like Shield, but more so for something like a Golem's immunities.

    Overall I really like the tradition. I hope you find my criticism constructive.

    1. Great criticism!

      I had thought about the Spell Mastery problem, but figured that since it was a natural continuation of the Missile Magician trend, it wouldn't be to detrimental. Do you have any suggestions on how to change Missile Magician to work better with Spell Mastery?

      I'll edit in a new wordings for Shield of Missiles and Overpowering Missile right away, based upon these suggestions.

    2. Alright, I gave a quick fix to the Spell Mastery problem in the form of another missile. It's not elegant, but it'll do.

      When I started editing Shield of Missiles, I realized that I may have intended to have written it as a once/short rest ability, so I changed it accordingly. It now allows for less AC optimization, as it doesn't use a flat bonus to AC, and is capped at 18. I think it was a step in the right direction. Let me know what you think.

  5. The original force missile mage gave some protections against magic missile; you could do something similar here, providing resistance to force and immunity to magic missile, but you might have to rearrange and adjust some other abilities.

    Combining that option with the alternative I previously mentioned of Resistance gets ignored while Immunity provides Resistance would make two dueling FMMs an interesting site.

    If you want to go pure offense, you could do something like: "When casting Magic Missile, each target struck by at least one missile takes extra damage equal to your spellcasting modifier." That keeps it roughly in line with what happens with Eldritch Blast for the warlock - the extra damage only applies once per target.

  6. My one problem is that a evocation wizard can do more damage with magic missile because of empower evocation than the force missile wizard

    1. Empowered evocation lets you add intelligence modifier to your casting (+5 damage, at maximum), where force missile mage allows for 3 extra missiles at this level (3d4+3: min +6, max +15, mean +11.)

  7. Question about shield of missiles. If the ac bonus from your shield is lower than your ac which do you use? Presumably your standard ac, but it isn't explicitly stated

  8. Well, that's one way to kill the Tarrasque: Fly out of its reach and Magic Missile it to death! Screw you Reflective Carapace! Makes me want to play this so bad.... post 18th level, the only resource you need is Time when it comes to killing.

  9. Question about the bonus missiles. Does it apply when the spell is being cast from a wand or a scroll?

    1. By RAW, it totally should. However, if I were planning on playing this, I would run it by my DM to make sure they would allow it.

  10. Two questions. One, when I cast Magic Missile using a 1st level spell slot but gets the extra missiles as if it were a higher level, it's not actually a higher level, yeah? Counterspell still negates it without a roll? And two, are my total number of missiles capped at 11 when casting from a ninth level spell slot, or do I get the extra missiles on top of that?

    1. 1: Correct, it is not actually of a higher level, so counterspell acts as normal.

      2: You can get extra missiles above the normal maximum.