Consolations Prizes for Missed Attack Spells

Homebrew and House Rules

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Let's say I wanted to give something to a player who burns a spell slot on a missed attack spell. Perhaps not as much as the save spells' success conditions, since attack spells are ostensibly tuned up to account for that lack.

What would be a good thing to add that wouldn't be too strong, and isn't too annoying to track?

Here's my idea that I wanted to bounce off you guys:

A Rune you can only carve into a staff that gives you a bonus charge when you expend a Spell Slot of 3rd level or higher on a spell with the Attack trait, and you miss.

Eh? eh? Maybe?

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Yeah, it is strange that there are some consolation effects for martial attacks - though you have to play certain classes and take certain feats for them. Things like Confident Finisher and Certain Strike. But I guess those are meant to match up against save-based spells. But those martial abilities can be used indefinitely - not a fixed and finite number of times per day like spell slot spells.

But I would use those martial consolation effects to balance the spell attack consolation effects on. The difficulty of course being that there are a bajillion spell effects to try and account for.

Perhaps your idea of recovering some spell magic on a failure would be a good plan. Probably needing a feat buy-in like Certain Strike. And probably with a scaling level rather than a fixed level. And probably a limited number of times per day so that it doesn't get completely out of hand. So something like a feat to let a Staff Nexus Wizard be able to 1/day charge their staff with a missed attack roll spell cast from a spell slot with a number of charges equal to spell level -3.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I honestly forgot all about the martial consolation effects! At least those two you mentioned seem quite modest from a damage standpoint, though yeah they might happen more frequently.

Maybe something like a feat that lets you choose to redirect the energy of your missed spell into a magic missile, or multiple magic missiles at higher levels.

Maybe something where they can spend an action to redirect the attack back on their target? Probably dealing a little less than magic missle damage.

A ability to spend an action or reaction to recover the spell splot when your spell has no effect.

siegfriedliner wrote:
A ability to spend an action or reaction to recover the spell splot when your spell has no effect.

For two feats - Investigator Dedication and Investigator's Strategem - you can spend an action and preroll the attack roll to avoid spending the spell slot or its actions if you miss.

Though that may only apply to physical weapon attacks. Spell attack rolls might be different enough that it wouldn't work. It works for Magus Spellstrike though.

Another point for balance considerations is the Shadow Signet, a common 10th level item that lets you convert a spell attack roll to target save DC values instead of AC.

Though personally I agree with NoNat that this item is low-key broken.

I also thought I read something that let you change an attack roll spell into a saving throw spell when you cast it. But I am not finding it currently.

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Devise a Stratagem uses the word "Strike" rather than attack, so I think that's out. However, that's a potentially really cool metamagic feat or something!

Yeah. Might even be powerful enough to build an entire Wizard Thesis around.

Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

A metamagic action that if last spell cast that was an attack spell that missed, and was powered from a slot or focus point, and required at least one action to complete. (and generated no effect, either directly or indirectly) You spend an action to harness that spells energy to cast another attack spell. If the prior spell's level is greater than the currently cast spell, you get a +2 circumstance bonus to hit to the attack spell you are casting now. If the prior spell was that level or less, the circumstance bonus is +1.

Honestly, I'm not certain that spending a cantrip attack spell and missing, being able to present you with the opportunity to get a +1 circumstance bonus, doesn't necessarily seem overpowering. But I did want to be careful about potential cantrips reaction for free action casting somehow getting leveraged to get a free bonus somehow.

You might even be able to add a rider... that if you are casting the same spell, if you hit, you get extra damage equal to +1 per die damage the prior missed spell would have done on a hit. (the concept of smashing flame attack spells, with the spells getting hotter each time)

Something you would have to be careful potentially on would be the spells that give you multiple attacks over turns, if you miss the first turn or subsequent turns, there was still a spell effect that took place, so it would make that spell ineligible for the bonus for boosting the attack roll on the next spell/attack roll.

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