Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Random List: Magic Missile

So the magic missile is boring? Here are ten ways to describe the effects of the spell for your players so that don't roll their eyes when you say "you get hit with magic missile for 3 points of damage".

1.) smoky tendrils come from the hands and head fo ryou
2.) the wizard stands there and shoots black bars at you
3.) he opens his mouth and a stream of bees comes flying out 
4.) hundreds of spiders drop from the ceiling and come up from the cracks to bite
5.) he makes a gesture and the nearby _______ (fill in the blank with whatever material is handy) splinters, attacking with devastating force
6.) flame comes from his finger tips
7.) fluorescent green slime balls
8.) bursts of acid
9.) birds appear from nowhere and viciously peck
10.) streams of venom

The point is not to extol the virtues of magic missile but to get the brain thinking about different ways of describing things. An effective technique for a GM is to get the players to describe what they do in a way that's not boring. Instead of them saying "I throw a fireball", ask them to describe what they're doing, or do it for them. It can really help with the immersion.

As a GM, you'll want to keep your spells consistent with each wizard, or have your players up in arms. For example if they meet one wizard who casts magic missile and it comes in the shape of a stream of bees and then the next time it's 100s of tiny daggers, they'll think it's a different spell, and rightly so. 


  1. I like to give my wizards a theme. I have a chef wizard, but haven't managed to work that theme into his spells yet :(

  2. Various kitchen implements? Food? Lots of flame spells? Boiling hot liquids?