D&D 5E Our 5 Session Playtest

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First Post
Thanks for a great write-up. I agree with you about almost everything, especially the ability to logically switch around monster weapons and armor and have the bonuses make sense. It's awesome.

I'm curious why you object so strongly to Magic Missile auto-hitting. It's been that way in every version of the game, as far back as I can remember. There was an outcry when they changed it in 4e, so much so that they changed it back to auto-hitting in Essentials. When I joined a 3e campaign in college, part of the "here's how our game is played" handout that I got was a long discussion of Magic Missile and how the only time it would ever miss you was if you hid completely out of the caster's sight behind an object and then teleported without the caster knowing it. So as far as my experience with it, an auto-hitting MM is totally right and proper. I can see the argument that it shouldn't be an at-will, and I shared your confusion as to why it scaled with character level when spells were supposed to scale by spell level slot, but the auto-hit thing-- why the objection now?


First Post
If you have to roll to hit with Magic Missile it should do more damage than a dagger thrown by a kobold. It should become 1d6+int.


Magic Missile...again

I played the old editions when MM auto hit and it was OK, b/c it was a very limited resource. In our 4E game, it NEVER went back to auto-hit. We always rolled.

As stated, I was okay to leave it, but the players wanted to change to rolling, so I let them choose. But, as the game progressed and it was used over and over in situations where it should be very difficult to hit things, we just didn't like it at all.

I could deal with auto-hit if it was a limited resource or only auto-hits under favourable circumstances, but combined with other spells or in situations like our final fight it just seemed so, unheroic. The boss could do nothing (and I certainly didn't want him to hide away out of sight).

I also agree its damage could go up if to hit rolls are required. I would much rather do away with the d4+1 tradition than stick to the auto-hit one.

But, again, we played it as written to start, and in our 5 sessions there were so many times when we said things like, "Oh, I don't think you would get a clear shot; at best it would be disadvantage with a chance of hitting allies...oh, yeah, MM. You hit". I have no particular like for the spell in general anyway, but my comments were based purely on the playtest, and yes, it was the one thing that 'spoiled our play experience'. I won't say ruined, b/c when 1 spell was our bone of contention...well that is a good thing I guess. :)

I can only comment on what happened...and we did not like it. (Players included - and there were 3 of them that could use it. Our halfling wizard preferred other options simlpy b/c he thought MM lame).

If this brought up so many "I don't like it" moments in 5 sessions, I would hate to see what it could do over a whole campaign (especially where exploration is important). Better hunting than a ranger, best fisherman too (if it goes into water), snapping the rope of hanging PC or a chandelier, does it shoot through things like curtains/glass, knock/smash things being held, used by prone, drunk greased caster vs hidden target fighting on other side of allies, etc. All pretty cool for one-off heroic actions, but to be able to do them all the time, with NO chance of failure - sorry, but that is not our play style.

Oh, and [MENTION=6689976]KesselZero[/MENTION], a handout on how to play should NOT have to have a "long discussion" on how to account for one spell in play. That to me already says the spell is the problem.
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New Publisher
I actually agree, if magic missile is an unlimited resource, it should be a bit more effective at hitting, but do slightly less damage, than an arrow from a ranger, shouldn't it?



I am not sure I follow: "if an unlimited resource, then it should be MORE effective at hitting"?

You can't get better than hitting no matter the state of the caster or target. Did you mean 'limited resource'?


New Publisher

I was trying to say: more effective than an arrow from a ranger, but do less damage than an arrow. It's like an arrow, but it is magic. Therefore I think it should be more accurate than an arrow, but for balance, do less damage.

If it is an autohit, then it needs to be limited use, imo.


I like having magic missile auto-hit because it makes it different than other low-level spells. It also feels more magical. However, I do agree that it does too much damage with enemy HP being so low. It seems like (aside from the obvious enemies meant to be sort of solos) that it can one-shot any enemy at level. That's great if your games use mostly hordes of enemies, but if you like running bigger monsters, it'll be overpowered. It should be limited in some way, but making it a 1st level spell would be too much - the damage would need to go up or it'd need to attack multiple targets.


Well if magic missile hits 'b/c it is magical' why the rolls for EVERY other attack type spell.

How have you gone with at-will magic missiles over many sessions? Have you played a wilderness game where food is scarce and the mage is a better hunter than the ranger?

I agree - the main thing this needs is to be LIMITED in use. One of those spells for that very special occaision when other ranged attacks would be hard. Not everytime this is the case. I also agree that changing its damage is less of a concern for me. More damage + limited use suits me fine. It is the 'all the time under any circumstances' that does my head in.


AFAIK magic missile and a few other combat cantrips were never meant to be cantrips at all and were demoted from 1st level spells last minute for the playtest because the true combat-effective cantrips weren't ready to go yet.

In other words, I don't think this will be a problem in the future.

We all have a tendency to forget that this is really, truly a test and there are elements involved that no one has any intention of leaving as is.

Great report, btw.

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