Magic missile is too powerful


General Discussion

1 to 50 of 53 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

I've just started playing Starfinder, but I've found that magic missile is basically an indispensable spell. Our party today had a technomancer with magic missile and a mystic with shooting stars. They did, by far, the most damage. By simply giving up a move action, they were doing 6-15 damage per round, automatically. Our operative had to succeed at a skill check and then an attack roll to do 2-8 damage, while our soldier with an artillery laser had to succeed at an attack roll to do 1-10 damage.

That disparity seems kind of outrageous. Granted, the spells will run out over the course of several encounters, but charges run out, too, and does it matter when a 1st level technomancer can do an average of 40+ damage before his 1st level spells are depleted? Other characters will require twice as many rounds to do as much damage.

I bet if I house-ruled it to only being cast as a standard action with 2 missiles, almost all technomancers would still take it as one of their starting spells. Anyone else feel the same? Are there other rules that seem imbalanced and create very difficult to ignore power combos?

The Exchange

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

A battery is not in any way comparable to a spell slot, you can buy enough batteries to not ever worry about running out in a day by 2nd level.

That being said, magic missile is indeed powerful, but its a first level spell and it doesn't scale, sure it does 10.5 average damage at first level without an attack roll but by 3rd level a soldier character wielding an ember flame doshko with an 18 strength (from the +2 augment) and melee striker does 13.5 a hit with no charges. A mechanic with overcharge on a azimuth laser rifle does 11 damage on a hit (but does run through charges faster) and also has a drone also doing similar. An operative does 8 with a trick. A solarian does 11.5 with 18 strength.

Yes, they all need to hit, but they can also full attack with that full round action which increases their damage potential not decreases it against most enemies.


Yes, I know spells run out faster than batteries, and you're only wasting a few credits per shot with an ammo-using weapon. I realize, too, that magic missile doesn't scale. The fact that in a few levels, other classes will exceed the damage potential of magic missile hardly matters, though, since other spells will be available by then, and magic missile will still be a pretty potent backup. Classes should be pretty balanced at all levels, but at 1st level in Starfinder, it doesn't feel like they are. Maybe with a different set of encounters, I'll change my tune. That's why I posted this - to see what others thought.

The Exchange

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Faragdar the Free Captain wrote:
Yes, I know spells run out faster than batteries, and you're only wasting a few credits per shot with an ammo-using weapon. I realize, too, that magic missile doesn't scale. The fact that in a few levels, other classes will exceed the damage potential of magic missile hardly matters, though, since other spells will be available by then, and magic missile will still be a pretty potent backup. Classes should be pretty balanced at all levels, but at 1st level in Starfinder, it doesn't feel like they are. Maybe with a different set of encounters, I'll change my tune. That's why I posted this - to see what others thought.

Only 5% of the game is played at first level, I'm not sure why you would ever balance a game based only on what occurs during 5% of it.

Now I still use magic missile on my 5th level technomancer against things with high AC but my primary go to move is Summon Creature and my laser rifle especially since spells being fairly limited commodities.


Mind thrust scales. And all thats needed is a will save on the part of the target. 2d10dmg. I know not helping. But surprised your mystic did not take it.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

I really don't know what to make of a post that compares spell slots to normal attack rolls and complains about them. The whole point of spells is that you only get a limited number of them per day and they have to count. Normal skills, feats and attacks are usable at will and therefore have greater obstacles. I don't see what's difficult to grasp or "imbalanced" about this.

No, I would not house-rule magic missile so you can't use it as a full attack. Needlessly nerfing your spellcasters to make the other players feel better could (and certainly should) annoy them. If you have munchkins at the table who are grudging the damage the spellcasters are doing because their mission in life is to statistically outperform the rest of the party, tell them to knock it off. If this is coming from you instead of the players, knock it off. That's the best advice I can offer.


ghostunderasheet wrote:
Mind thrust scales. And all thats needed is a will save on the part of the target. 2d10dmg. I know not helping. But surprised your mystic did not take it.

Could you explain what you mean by 'Mind Thrust scales'? Since it does 2d10 damage with a will save for half at level 1 and that value never changes?

So how is it scaling any more than Magic Missle?


Mind thrust is a variable level spell. This doesn't matter much because you're almost always going to cast it at the highest spell level you know it at or not at all, but if you learn it as a level 3 spell, say, you could choose to cast it as a level 3 spell (doing 7d10 damage), or a level 2 spell (4d10) or level 1 (2d10).

Variable level spells are more useful for spells like holographic image or flight IMO.

Edit: I suppose the important part for variable level spells as far as mind thrust goes is 'If you know a variable-level spell and later select it again as a higher-level spell known, you can immediately select a new spell known to replace the lower-level version of the variable-level spell. '


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I would not house rule it. I am certain that if you continue to run your game for a few levels you will be shaking your head saying "Remember when I thought magic missile was OP?"


ghostunderasheet wrote:
Mind thrust scales. And all thats needed is a will save on the part of the target. 2d10dmg. I know not helping. But surprised your mystic did not take it.

Mindthrust also doesn't work on undeads, robots, golems, oozes, vermin, inevitables, plants, and probably others I'm forgetting. It's a very good spell, when it works.


Make sure when they cast magic missile as a full round that it doesn’t finish until the start of next turn. Intelligent creatures will try to down the spellcaster before they finish


That's not how the spell works, tho. It changes casting time to full action, which is the same than a charge or full attack. It resolves in your own intitiative.


gustavo iglesias wrote:
That's not how the spell works, tho. It changes casting time to full action, which is the same than a charge or full attack. It resolves in your own intitiative.

Ah thanks, had to double check. I was at a con recently and the GM ruled it that way. The spell does say "full action" and not "full-round action". I'll have to give them a hard time next time I see them.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

CeeJay has touched on this, but there is something that should be made very clear here. Spell slots are limited. They are extremely limited at level 1. A Technomancer has 4. A Mystic has 3. When another character attacks, they are sacrificing their ability to attack later by using up their ammunition. When a Technomancer casts Magic Missile, they are giving up the ability to do anything else with that spell slot. This is a much higher opportunity cost.

Every cast of Magic Missile or Shooting Stars is 25-33% of your daily spell slots at level 1. Every casting is a spell slot you can't use for Charm Person, or Mystic Cure, or Share Language, or what have you. Every casting is a spell slot you can't use for Comprehend Languages, Disguise Self, or Holographic Image. If your Mystic or Technomancer exhausts their daily spells on Magic Missile to get that 30-40 guaranteed damage, then they have completely sacrificed their ability to use those spell slots for anything else in favor of pure damage.

If someone ever feels like they can do that without worrying about the opportunity cost, that is a problem with the adventure design, not the spell.


Hithesius wrote:

CeeJay has touched on this, but there is something that should be made very clear here. Spell slots are limited. They are extremely limited at level 1. A Technomancer has 4. A Mystic has 3. When another character attacks, they are sacrificing their ability to attack later by using up their ammunition. When a Technomancer casts Magic Missile, they are giving up the ability to do anything else with that spell slot. This is a much higher opportunity cost.

Every cast of Magic Missile or Shooting Stars is 25-33% of your daily spell slots at level 1. Every casting is a spell slot you can't use for Charm Person, or Mystic Cure, or Share Language, or what have you. Every casting is a spell slot you can't use for Comprehend Languages, Disguise Self, or Holographic Image. If your Mystic or Technomancer exhausts their daily spells on Magic Missile to get that 30-40 guaranteed damage, then they have completely sacrificed their ability to use those spell slots for anything else in favor of pure damage.

If someone ever feels like they can do that without worrying about the opportunity cost, that is a problem with the adventure design, not the spell.

Very good summary on opportunity costs, IMHO.

In addition, by giving Starfinder spellcasters some decent 1st level spells, it allows them to be a spellcaster first. If you nerf 1st level spells, especially damage spells, then it likely forces every spellcaster to take weapon feats like Longarms and such. Is that what you really want?


Joshua James Jordan wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
That's not how the spell works, tho. It changes casting time to full action, which is the same than a charge or full attack. It resolves in your own intitiative.
Ah thanks, had to double check. I was at a con recently and the GM ruled it that way. The spell does say "full action" and not "full-round action". I'll have to give them a hard time next time I see them.

Interupting or disrupting a spell is called or planned action. What ever it is called. So even if you had to wait for the enemy to get his action off before your spell hit him. It would still hit if he shot you. you already cast the spell. This is not pathfinder magic is identifiable by everyone. Unlike in the old days of having the party rogue babble nonsensical Arcane sounding words to intimadate the peasants in pathfinder. Your dm should have had a guy in back ready with a sniper rifle ready to counter any pesky magic.


I kinda agree with those guys your mystic should save his spells for mystic cure. Atleast one.


ghostunderasheet wrote:
Joshua James Jordan wrote:
gustavo iglesias wrote:
That's not how the spell works, tho. It changes casting time to full action, which is the same than a charge or full attack. It resolves in your own intitiative.
Ah thanks, had to double check. I was at a con recently and the GM ruled it that way. The spell does say "full action" and not "full-round action". I'll have to give them a hard time next time I see them.
Interupting or disrupting a spell is called or planned action. What ever it is called. So even if you had to wait for the enemy to get his action off before your spell hit him. It would still hit if he shot you. you already cast the spell. This is not pathfinder magic is identifiable by everyone. Unlike in the old days of having the party rogue babble nonsensical Arcane sounding words to intimadate the peasants in pathfinder. Your dm should have had a guy in back ready with a sniper rifle ready to counter any pesky magic.

Except non-purely-defensive Readied Actions explicitly don't interrupt anymore (excepting maybe spells that are 1 Round or greater casting time, table variance permitting) so the only way the GM is having a guy ready to counter any pesky magic is if you give them a sword and have them somehow get past the frontline to get in the mage's face. One of the more controversial changes between Pathfinder and Starfinder, but given the prevalence of ranged weapons it actually lets mages still cast.


Starfinder Superscriber

I disagree that he should (necessarily) save a spell slot for Mystic Cure.

A CR 1 creature deals 1d6+1+Str with a melee attack if it's a combatant array, and should have a Str of +4. Assuming it's in a position where it can full attack, that's a potential for 2d6+10 damage in a single round.

Mystic Cure 1 only heals 1d8+4 (max) at 1st level. Plus, it only heals hit points, not stamina, so unless the numbers fall pretty precisely, you're either going to have wasted some of the healing, or not healed all of the damage from a single round of damage from the monster.

If you're in a position where you can (potentially) take the monster out in this same round with a Magic Missile (or other damage spell), that's the better tactical option. It always prevents all of that monsters damage if it's dead, and none of the healing is ever wasted.

There are circumstances of course where saving to heal is the right call. It just isn't always (or even usually) the right call.


Kalderaan wrote:
In addition, by giving Starfinder spellcasters some decent 1st level spells, it allows them to be a spellcaster first. If you nerf 1st level spells, especially damage spells, then it likely forces every spellcaster to take weapon feats like Longarms and such. Is that what you really want?

It's pretty close to necessary even so. If you build a SF spellcaster very specifically for it I think you can depend on spells and mostly non-weapon actions from about 4th level onwards, but it's more a corner-case build than the standard.


avr wrote:
Kalderaan wrote:
In addition, by giving Starfinder spellcasters some decent 1st level spells, it allows them to be a spellcaster first. If you nerf 1st level spells, especially damage spells, then it likely forces every spellcaster to take weapon feats like Longarms and such. Is that what you really want?
It's pretty close to necessary even so. If you build a SF spellcaster very specifically for it I think you can depend on spells and mostly non-weapon actions from about 4th level onwards, but it's more a corner-case build than the standard.

Unfortunately, as the Core Rulebook is laid out, I agree. However, as more and more splat books come out, there could be more options available that could aid in stopping the Longarms race for most classes.


Shinigami02 wrote:


Except non-purely-defensive Readied Actions explicitly don't interrupt anymore (excepting maybe spells that are 1 Round or greater casting time, table variance permitting) so the only way the GM is having a guy ready to counter any pesky magic is if you give them a sword and have them somehow get past the frontline to get in the mage's face. One of the more controversial changes between Pathfinder and Starfinder, but given the prevalence of ranged weapons it actually lets mages still cast.

Are you saying a sniper in the background somewhere can not have an action held to shot a spellcaster in the face to stop him or her fom casting. I know logic does not apply but even getting shot in the chest with a shotgun is going to mess up anyone's concentration while doing a delicate task. I know it causes a dc concentration check to see if you lose the spell or not and that pathfinder took the concentration skill away from spell caster and to save the spell its something like 10+the damage dealt or something like that.


ghostunderasheet wrote:
Are you saying a sniper in the background somewhere can not have an action held to shot a spellcaster in the face to stop him or her fom casting.

Can you have a sniper in the background with a readied action to shoot a spellcaster that casts? Yes. But by the Starfinder rules for Readied Actions the spell gets cast then the Readied Action happens (like I said, with the possible exception of 1 round+ casting time GM permitting). So no, he will not stop the spell getting cast, as it is cast before he can pull the trigger. No concentration check even involved.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Spells with a concentration duration are more vulnerable. Microbot assault looks surprisingly good but you need total cover to duck behind for it to work.


A readied action triggers the moment the trigger happens. As the sniper i am going to shoot either of those guys in the back with weak weapons and light armor if it looks like they are getting magic shifty. The spell caster starts getting "magic shifty" triggering the sniper into shooting him in the kisser. The spellcaster is not guna be a bruiser charging into combat with a huge/glowing sword nor is he going to be the guy hefting a huge gattling gun or the guy that you did not notice and that is most likely to get some back staby action in on the sniper.because the sniper is focused on the people he thinks is a shifty magic user.

Or you can take what the crb has to say on it.

Normally, you can concentrate even in a distracting situation, but if you’re casting a spell and ====>you take damage from either a successful attack that targeted your AC <==== or from an effect that you failed a saving throw against, the spell fails.

You are most at risk of taking damage while casting when a spell’s casting time is 1 round or longer, you have provoked an attack of opportunity, ====> or a foe readied an action to attack you when you began to cast.<==== However, if you are taking ongoing damage (such as if you are bleeding or on fire), your spells are not disrupted in this way.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
ghostunderasheet wrote:

A readied action triggers the moment the trigger happens. As the sniper i am going to shoot either of those guys in the back with weak weapons and light armor if it looks like they are getting magic shifty. The spell caster starts getting "magic shifty" triggering the sniper into shooting him in the kisser. The spellcaster is not guna be a bruiser charging into combat with a huge/glowing sword nor is he going to be the guy hefting a huge gattling gun or the guy that you did not notice and that is most likely to get some back staby action in on the sniper.because the sniper is focused on the people he thinks is a shifty magic user.

Or you can take what the crb has to say on it.

Normally, you can concentrate even in a distracting situation, but if you’re casting a spell and ====>you take damage from either a successful attack that targeted your AC <==== or from an effect that you failed a saving throw against, the spell fails.

You are most at risk of taking damage while casting when a spell’s casting time is 1 round or longer, you have provoked an attack of opportunity, ====> or a foe readied an action to attack you when you began to cast.<==== However, if you are taking ongoing damage (such as if you are bleeding or on fire), your spells are not disrupted in this way.

Sadly, the relevant bit of the rules in this situation is in the Tactical Rules section of the CRB.

Starfinder CRB, page 249 : Ready An Action wrote:


If your readied action is purely defensive, such as choosing
the total defense action if a foe you are facing shoots at you,
it occurs just before the event that triggered it. If the readied
action is not a purely defensive action, such as shooting a foe if
he shoots at you, it takes place immediately after the triggering
event.

Shooting at a spellcaster is clearly not a purely defensive readied action, therefore the readied action triggers after the spellcasting action has been completed.


ghostunderasheet wrote:
Normally, you can concentrate even in a distracting situation, but if you’re casting a spell and ====>you take damage from either a successful attack that targeted your AC <==== or from an effect that you failed a saving throw against, the spell fails.

Wait. So damage from something that ignores AC and saves, such as the magic missile spell this thread is about, doesn't disrupt spellcasting?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
quindraco wrote:
ghostunderasheet wrote:
Normally, you can concentrate even in a distracting situation, but if you’re casting a spell and ====>you take damage from either a successful attack that targeted your AC <==== or from an effect that you failed a saving throw against, the spell fails.
Wait. So damage from something that ignores AC and saves, such as the magic missile spell this thread is about, doesn't disrupt spellcasting?

Apparently not.

I hadn't noticed that before now. That's an unexpected change from PF.


You can interupt spell casting with attacks of opportunity, but not with readied actions.


Without armor your ac is 10+dex so a 12 or 13. So if the dm rolls for the moster and gets a 15 the monster beat your target AC which is armor class by the way. But your right as a spellcaster you should never entertain the thought of using protection.

Being prepaired to shoot the wizard to prevent the wizard from casting is not a defensive action. A full defensive action gives you a +4 to AC and ends your turn. A readied action means you have not used your turn yet and are waiting til something happens (say like the technomancer starting a spell) at which point you leap into action.


Starfinder Superscriber

That's not how it works in SF. Readied Actions happen after the triggering event (unless they're defensive). Golfdeltafoxtrot already quoted the rule from page 249.

Logically, you leap into action when something happens not before something happens. So your readied action should happen after the triggering event. It was always a rules contention in my group that they could happen first in 3.5 (and IIRC PF).


pithica42 wrote:

That's not how it works in SF. Readied Actions happen after the triggering event (unless they're defensive). Golfdeltafoxtrot already quoted the rule from page 249.

Logically, you leap into action when something happens not before something happens. So your readied action should happen after the triggering event. It was always a rules contention in my group that they could happen first in 3.5 (and IIRC PF).

I'm glad the SF designers opted for easier play rather than making us do concentration checks like in PF, but it makes just as much logical sense for someone to ready a shot to interrupt the casting of a 3-4 second spell.


Starfinder Superscriber

You can certainly make the argument that in some cases it makes sense that the shot would hit you before you finished casting.

Some of the players in my group have had this argument before. Early on in 3.5 we went back and forth on houserules on that, treating it situationally at first and a DM call. Under the houserules, though, every time someone's spell got interrupted they argued that it shouldn't have been and every time someone tried to interrupt a spell but failed they argued that they should have interrupted. But I think it's hard to make the argument that it always would or always wouldn't in that game. Especially since there are ways to mask the fact that you're casting the spell in the first place (how does one 'see' you cast a still/silent/eschewed spell?).

Eventually we just gave up and said that it always interrupts even though most of us thought that it probably shouldn't in most cases, as a check on the power of spellcasters in that game. And besides they had concentration checks to overcome it anyway in that game.

There aren't any concentration checks in SF nor are there any Verbal/Somatic etc components on spellcasting. So, how do you anticipate that the look of concentration on the Technomancers face and fiddling with computer buttons (or whatever it is they do) when he's 'casting' is him casting a spell or him watching porn? Is that a battery he just threw as part of spellcasting or a grenade? And really, what's the difference? Can you interrupt someone throwing a grenade? That's a standard action too. You'd only know he was casting when the explosion went off. I think it makes sense that that's when your readied action would go off in this game.

Meh, with laser pistols and bullets being faster than people, I can see someone making the argument for the houserule, but really I'd only agree if you can interrupt all standard actions that way.


Interesting directions this thread took. I won't try to respond to everything. I should say that I was playing the Technomancer. I just felt like it was kind of silly how massively I was outperforming the other players on damage. Plus, I knew that once I ran out of 1st level spells, I could fall back on energy ray, which is unlimited. Granted I would have then started to fall behind on damage per round, but not incredibly quickly--1d3 is similar to the damage from an azimuth laser pistol, and I didn't have to worry about batteries and could possibly take advantage of energy vulnerabilities.

I also play D&D, and I am admittedly comparing my experience to that game - magic missile works about the same, but weapons do more damage and targets have more hit points, so it doesn't seem out of whack.

Perhaps you're right that I'll change my tune in a few levels when players have much higher level weapons.


Shaudius wrote:
Only 5% of the game is played at first level, I'm not sure why you would ever balance a game based only on what occurs during 5% of it.

Actually, much more than that, since many character will be played for just a few levels and then you'll start anew. Regardless, one could say the same about 7th level. So should designers not bother to balance the classes at that level, either?

The point from CeeJay and Hithesius is taken about opportunity cost. Yes, I consider that when in an encounter. When we went up against a baddie that was starting to chew up one of our players, I didn't even blink burning two spell slots to for 20+ guaranteed damage (while the mystic used one) to take the enemy down fast. The soldier and operative could only dream of doing so much damage in two rounds, unless they got a lucky crit with really good damage rolls.


Yes, but they other classes can do it over and over again. Also if you want to be fair a melee character can do imilar damage in a full round albeit not as reliably. A melee with 18 strength and a pike full attacking at level one has a possible damage output of 24 (1d8+4 plus 1d8+4). Most of the time they won't get this, but they can. And that's without calculating any crit chances.

A lot comes down to adventure design. Of you are playing society adventures the spellcasters are going to do well there' no way around it. You know you have 1 your to do a thing. You basically can have 1 fight, that's it. You also know that after that 1 hour thing. You get to rest. So there's no reason not to burn your spell and kick butt. If you're doing something else where you may have 3-5 consecutive fights without resting more than a 10 minute rest, you have to balance your resource usage more. Spells have to be designed to be balanced in both situatuions and really you can't balance it very well.


Magic missiles can't crit.


No one ever said it did...


as a random extra note (someone may have mentioned. I've only read about half of this thread). One purpose they wanted to do was to make level 1 spells fairly usable at most levels. and be more worth a use at lower levels. In an attempt to sort of even out the power parabola

Supposedly anyways, I read that in one of the intro things somewhere last year


Here is how you make Magic Missile, and Spellcasters in general, less of an issue (in a home game)...

1. Have 4-5 combat encounters in a typical adventuring day. Do not let them face 1-2 encounters a day. The casters have more than enough slots to go nuts in that situation.

2. Put them behind a shot clock. Your game probably shouldn't happen at the speed of the player. The players should have goals that generally should be time sensitive. That makes taking time to sleep overnight a gamble. Should we rest now, or press on? If we rest we might fail by being too late, if we press on we may not have enough power to handle what is to come.

3. Melee and Step Up and Strike. This one is the biggest one. If your casters are getting by too easily then make sure (on groups post level 3) you have characters with Step up and Step up and strike. Not every encounter, mind you, but every so often. Melee enemy gets onto a caster, caster guarded steps, the melee uses step up and strike, but doesn't attack, the magic user casts... Attack of opportunity... Spell gets popped.

4. The rule of escalation. When your PCs do it, then it is okay for YOU to do it. This is important. If you are seeing your players use a specific strategy often, then you, as the GM, are well within your right to use those same strategies in retaliation. Also, if you notice your players use the same tactic over, and over, and over and it is very successful, realistically assume that enemies start guarding against it. Why? Well if the players are using it effectively, then other people in the universe use it the same way, and if it is effective then it will be commonly known. This forces players to constantly adapt their strategies and makes the game more dynamic over time.

Basically put, throw your players against a party of enemies, have the enemies use the same tactics the players employ. If your players have Magic Missile, make sure they face an enemy who has Magic Missile, see how the PCs like being on the receiving end of a Magic Missile for once. If the PCs summon monsters, have your NPCs summon monsters. Do not blindly stick to modules unless you are playing Starfinder Society. You are the GM, you can change things as needed to challenge players.

Edit: To add:

Another really good one, at least one I have found to work great on casters and pew-pew gun users with my Solarian is this:

Ready Action - Stellar Rush if Caster/Pew-Pew moves (Nimble moves is a must for this one) - Enemy moves, if they aren't blocking your charge, you charge them, running up and smacking them silly. They go to shoot and/or cast at that point and they are eating a melee attack to the face. This is the bonus of Readied Actions in Starfinder going off *after* the action triggers.

Dark Archive

Misil Question.
You can target a single creature or several creatures, but each missile can strike only one creature. You must designate targets before you attempt to overcome spell resistance or roll damage.
If a PC vs 2 NPCs, choice target a single criature, but with de First Missile kill him, the second Missile can be change o missed?


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

Nope, you select your missile distribution and they all fire at the same time. No redirections if one of the enemies is killed. The rest of your missiles simply pummel the creature's corpse.

Dark Archive

thanks Cellion


pithica42 wrote:

That's not how it works in SF. Readied Actions happen after the triggering event (unless they're defensive). Golfdeltafoxtrot already quoted the rule from page 249.

Logically, you leap into action when something happens not before something happens. So your readied action should happen after the triggering event. It was always a rules contention in my group that they could happen first in 3.5 (and IIRC PF).

I called this the time travel flaw when I was testing 3.0

imagine if you will. A tavern filled with people ready to take a punch but dont want to throw the first punch. They all ready and as soon as someone actually takes an action to punch they are interupted x times while the rest of the brawlers all go. Rendering the first person unconcious before they take the action that triggered the reactions.

I guess the Doctor Who fans would say wibbly wobbly


Our group is at level 4, and we still rely almost completely on the technomancer's Magic Missiles to do all of our damage. Nobody else can hit the enemy. Without MM, we'd be losing all of our combats even faster.


Well, that's a bad problem with your group, then.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
HWalsh wrote:


4. The rule of escalation. When your PCs do it, then it is okay for YOU to do it. This is important. If you are seeing your players use a specific strategy often, then you, as the GM, are well within your right to use those same strategies in retaliation.

I agree with most of your post, but this part stood out as being egregiously incorrect. It is never within the GM's right to retaliate against his or her players. Those doing so have clearly lost sight of the fact that this is just a game and that their primary role and responsibility as a GM is to make sure everyone is having a good to time.

I understand using counter tactics, especially if the enemy lives long enough to learn PC tactics, but encouraging retaliatory actions against the players just smells a little too much like some kind of a political power struggle of something similar, which should have no place at the table (it's just not conducive to a good time).


Calybos1 wrote:
Our group is at level 4, and we still rely almost completely on the technomancer's Magic Missiles to do all of our damage. Nobody else can hit the enemy. Without MM, we'd be losing all of our combats even faster.

Out of curiosity, whats the party composition, and what is their typical to-hit bonuses with their primary attacks. Are enemies of the appropriate CR? If the only thing that is hitting on a regular basis is magic missile, something has gone wrong in the game balancing, as clearly parties without Technomancers should function just as well as those with.

Ravingdork wrote:

I agree with most of your post, but this part stood out as being egregiously incorrect. It is never within the GM's right to retaliate against his or her players. Those doing so have clearly lost sight of the fact that this is just a game and that their primary role and responsibility as a GM is to make sure everyone is having a good to time.

I understand using counter tactics, especially if the enemy lives long enough to learn PC tactics, but encouraging retaliatory actions against the players just smells a little too much like some kind of a political power struggle of something similar, which should have no place at the table (it's just not conducive to a good time).

I agree with this sentiment. It is the GM's role to make sure everyone is having a good time. However, I'd like to add on that it is also each player's role to make sure everyone (which includes the GM) is a having a good time as well.

There are different levels to consider. If a tactic is so obnoxious that using it could be considered retaliation when used by the GM as opposed to simply proper play, then why are the players using it in the first place? How do other players feel when one character is breaking the game.

In such a case, I find the best option is generally talk outside of the game and explain why a given tactic is distorting the game, and presumably causing some players or perhaps the GM to not have fun with the game. At that point, a general agreement can be reached not to do it, a house rule implemented, or perhaps some character builds altered with consent from the players.

If its simply sensible and expected play, then it should be fair game for the GM to use. Like trying to get melee characters adjacent to ranged attackers/casters. GMs are allowed to learn how to play better from their players.


Sometimes the dice just aren't with you. My main PC went through two 3-6 Society adventures and never did a point of damage despite having a well-built melee soldier. On one of them, we had three technomancers with us and the resulting hail of magic missiles did the yeoman's service of damage dealing.

That guaranteed magic missile damage really helps when the chips are down. I don't think it's too powerful, except in situations (like quests) where you have one encounter and then basically the next encounter is on a different day and the technomancer gets all their spells back every fight.

Lantern Lodge

Hiruma Kai wrote:
There are different levels to consider. If a tactic is so obnoxious that using it could be considered retaliation when used by the GM as opposed to simply proper play, then why are the players using it in the first place? How do other players feel when one character is breaking the game.

I think you misinterpret Ravingdork's comment. It's not the tactics at issue, it's the GM feeling he needs to "retaliate" against the player(s). It's the GM's attitude that he's commenting on.

I have to agree with Ravingdork's comment insofar as when I initially read the part of the post in question, I was thinking: "If this guy thinks he needs to retaliate against players, then this is not a GM I would want to play with."

But, to be fair, I suspect HWalsh probably just chose his words badly.

1 to 50 of 53 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Starfinder / Starfinder General Discussion / Magic missile is too powerful All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.