View Full Version : An idea I'm toying with - Magic Missile Pistols

2010-10-17, 08:32 AM
I know, I know, the name needs work, but this is just an idea that I've been thinking about that I would like to use when I attempt to get into PbP gaming here, and I need some help translating it into DnD speak, heh.

So, my idea is thus - a pair of enchanted handguns that fire Magic Missiles instead of using conventional ammo.

They could both be wielded at once without any penalty for 2 weapon fighting, and the number of shots you could fire as a standard action would be equal to the user's dexterity bonus.

I'm debating on the ammo system; either you can directly recharge each pistol by casting the Magic Missile spell into them, whereby they gain the amount of missile charges equal to the amount of missiles the caster would normally fire off themselves, or somehow have gems of some kind that you can charge with x amounts of missiles via the same process, which you then need to reload into the gun (I guess that would be a standard action to reload both guns)

I was also thinking that perhaps you could choose to expend a certain amount of charges (say, 4 or 6) at a time, and instead choose to shoot a Fireball. Either that, or have a separate setting on each pistol that needs to be recharged with a Fireball spell, but each gun can only hold 1 Fireball charge at a time, and after using the Fireball, the gun would be unusable for say, 2-3 rounds due to the excess heat.

The options are... well, limitless, I guess. It doesn't have to be restricted to magic missiles. They could possibly just be enchanted handguns that are able to fire basic spells, like Scorching Ray, or Ray of Frost. I was thinking Magic Missiles though because they'd be more economical to be recharged by a high level wizard.

Do you think this idea would be usable in a non overpowered sense? I'd really like to play a character that uses these. Thanks for any help I receive, too :smallsmile:

Morph Bark
2010-10-17, 08:59 AM
Do you think this idea would be usable in a non overpowered sense? I'd really like to play a character that uses these. Thanks for any help I receive, too :smallsmile:

Overpowered: no. Interesting: yes!

Also, if you'd want them to have a Fireball effect, I'd make it so that it is force instead of fire (and of course lower the dice from d6s to d4s to account for force being more powerful). Five charges sounds fair.

Ray spells otherwise could be a good idea - at least those of levels 1-3, maybe 4. To calculate prices, you could simply look at wands, but alter them a bit.

2010-10-17, 09:10 AM
Well. these are basically wands, but can be used by everyone. The magic item creation guidelines should help here.

Use activated item, level one spell, caster level 1: 2000 gold.

And it shouldn't be overpowered either. It's nearly 3 times the price of a wand, but as written here, they don't have to be reloaded. That should lower the price a little.

2010-10-17, 03:43 PM
So, the idea of recharging it by casting the spell that it fires into the weapons is not too far fetched then? What would be be a good amount to set as the max amount of charges, you think? 30 Missiles per handgun?

Or perhaps instead of expending spells, you got expend spell slots to recharge them? Say, a level 0 spell slot is worth 1 charge, level 1 is worth 2, so on and so forth?

2010-10-17, 05:19 PM
In spell compendium there is the spell Chain Missile which fires off several Magic Missiles which can then ricochet off to hit other enemies. Maybe have that instead of the fireball effect.

How about this, the guns themselves have five barrels (or so) and they can fire off up to five missiles per round and use up Mana Points (similar to Power Points in psionics).

Firing one missile takes 1 MP and it takes 2 MP more to fire each missile after that 1 MP for 1, 3 MP for 2, 5 MP for 3, 7 MP for 4 and 9 MP for 5 missile.

Double that cost to turn it into a Chain Missile which causes the missiles to ricochet off the primary target to hit secondary targets.

The gun has to be recharged at a special station that converts spell slots into Mana Points (basically each spell slot is worth a number of Mana Points equal to the level at which a wizard can start casting spells of that level. Like how Power Points work).

In Complete Arcane there is the Mage of the Arcane Order prestige class that gives people access to a spellpool where they can trade in spells and spell slots with other mages, maybe there is an option where a magic missile gunner can trade in spell slots or use Pearls of Power to acquire a mass of Mana Points that they can load into their guns.

Splitting magic up into Mana Points would make sense because it could allow a person to convert one high level spell into a whole bunch of low level spells or visa versa. If there are other magic items that use this energy to do stuff like make food or heal wounds then its just a matter of figuring out how much energy it takes to cause the effect, and then extracting that exact amount of energy from a common pool.

2010-10-17, 05:27 PM
wait... no the MP costs for those missiles is wrong. 9 MP for 5 missiles would sort of imply that 5 magic missiles is equal to a level 5 spell. It would make marginally more sense if its a straight 1 MP = 1 missile and maybe 2 MP to turn it into a Chain Missile effect.

Psionic powers like Energy Ray (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/energyRay.htm) can be augmented which is kind of how I got the idea of how it would work.

2010-10-17, 05:35 PM
He seems to be going with 1MP=1 caster level ,actually.

Lord Vukodlak
2010-10-17, 05:55 PM
magic missiles hit automatically you might consider the lesser orb spells

2010-10-17, 07:17 PM
I should possibly elaborate on my idea, heh. See, I wanted to play a rogue (re: Treasure hunter) in Faerun, probably with a couple levels in sorceror so I have access to a small magic pool with which to recharge.

I'm also thinking of having one gun be powered by Arcane energy, and the other for Divine, seeing as I want my character to be a jack-of-all-trades, prepared for anything kinda person.

Instead of firing Magic Missiles, each gun would have say... 40 Charges at max. You can do multiple things, depending on how many charges you expend.

So, like, spend 1 charge, fire a standard bolt of energy that dissipates on impact for say, 1d6+1 damage. Spend 2 charges, and they gain the Chain Missile effect that someone described above. Spend 4 charges, and they fire a bolt of energy that explodes on impact with the target for 3d6 damage, and does splash damage of 1d6 for... maybe a 5 ft radius around the epicentre? This ability renders the guns unfireable for maybe 3 or 4 rounds due to overheating. Last option is to expend all remaining charges in a single burst (maybe 1d4 damage per charge expended?), but that would render the guns unusable for a day, and unrechargeable for 2, due to the stress placed upon them.

Instead of having the energy bolts automatically hit the target, I was thinking that you could make a ranged attack roll instead, and to compensate, I'd make each pistol masterwork with a +1 or 2 bonus, though I guess I'd have to apply that to the damage too.

Each gun would also have a command word that would have to be said before they can be used (like a safety on a normal gun)

As for recharging, the Arcane one could be recharged by spending x amount of spell slots per day, each level 0 being 1 charge, level 1 being 2 charges, or I could use the mana pool idea that someone else suggested prior, too. The Divine gun would be chargeable at any Good aligned church, for a certain fee, or by any good aligned cleric that has a god willing to charge them with divine energy.

I'm not sure if this makes them too OP'd now though, so I'm willing to adjust as necessary :smallsmile:

2010-10-17, 07:38 PM
Maybe a staff, modified to use your character level rather than caster level? Double cost for rechargable.

Bergor Terraf
2010-10-17, 07:42 PM
How about giving them a kind of separate power source ?

Think of a laser gun with a battery pack. Basicly, it would be like a stripped down version of a wand, only containing energy to power the gun. They each contain 50 charges and must be switched with another one when empty. They would be cheaper to produce than wands.

The shooter could still use his own magical powers to power the gun in a pinch.

Also, power sources could be made to give a specific type of energy. The basic model would be force, but other kind include fire, ice, positive, etc.

2010-10-18, 01:09 AM
Like the idea, I was making a build that used wands, but magic pistols would be fun.


Don't use Magic Missile. Auto hit makes Dex useless. Just a wand that way, so use something else, a ray of some sort possibly.

Recharging is an excellent idea, otherwise it's just an oddly shapped wand. Pearls of Power hold magic? Not what you want, just an idea. Or you could make it psionic.. And Gnomish, since they're (at least in Forgotten Realms) the most likely to create guns. Psions have those things.. Cognizance Crystals (?) that store power points, a small specialized version of that would work fine for what you want.

Don't change the spell like MM to Fireball, but use a Maximized version of the spell/power instead. Think those plasma pistols in Halo. Can fire a shot normally, or charge it up to fire a much larger shot.

Sorcerer gives you a lot of low level spells.. There's a feat or some such somewhere, lets you use spell slots instead of charges? Could work.

Or just use a small wand embedded into a holder. -.-

Rogue would be sweet, ranged sneak attack with Point Blank Shot gives a +1 bonus anyway. And if it's using Dex, no reason not to treat it like a bow. :P

Off topic, registration here is a complete pain, should never get spammers.

2010-10-18, 04:55 PM
"Magic mistols"?

2010-10-18, 05:19 PM
If you wanted ammo, this might not be quite what you're looking for but this is a set of simple patches we made to make a Wizard a little more "gunslingy" for a Pathfinder game... it relies on the Pathfinder infinite cantrips thing, so i've included an overpriced option to Alternate Class Feature [ACF] that in for you.

Magelock Pistols:
A simple idea, a Magelock is a "weapon" that is intended to focus the firing abilities of a mage.
Description: Magelocks resemble a flintlock pistol with a wheel covered in runes, which spins around when the trigger is pulled, where one might expect the hammer to be. A Magelock pistol is a magic weapon that may carry any enchantment but applies them to Ray spells, much like a crossbow applies its abilities to its bolts. Obviously, a Magelock pistol must have an Enhancement bonus before it can have other abilities.

Cantrip Obsession [ACF]:
Class: Wizard or Sorcerer
Replaces: The character gains one fewer spell of each level he may cast per day, to a minimum of 1 .
Description: The character may use his Cantrips at will and any damaging effects have their dice size increased by 1 size.

Neither of these are particularly powerful, but if you include the following enhancement(s) on the pistols, it can get pretty tasty...plus you'll have Sneak Attack:

Twinning [+2 Weapon Enhancement]:
[I]You own a pair of Magelock pistols, each with this enchantment. When you cast a spell through one, it's effect also emerges from the other.
Description: Each weapon so enchanted is matched with a pair. When you cast a spell through the Magelock, the second weapon may fire a duplicate of the ray .

Manyspell [+3 Weapon Enhancement]:
[I]Your Magelock pistols give you untold flexibility while blasting...
Synergy: Twinning
Description: While using these weapons, as a Full action, you may cast two different ray spells, one through each weapon. These spells function normally and the Twinning weapon function activates as normal, adding an additional ray to both spells.

For reference, I'm sure that these could be optimised or abused somehow but as a handy dandy tool to make blasting a little better, they worked nicely.

2010-10-23, 04:17 PM
Dunno if it's relevant, but there are a few gun mage projects in DnD wikia (or its new home if you want to look for it there). One of them was made by me, as an alternate feature to the sorcerer/wizard, which enforced the use of guns. While granting a free exotic weapon proficiency (namely guns) as well as a slightly extended spell list and the ability to hold spells a bit before firing them, it also made the caster extremely dependant on the gun. Fluff-wise it's about unbinding the forces that hold matter together (e=m*c^2) and using the extra energy surge to power the spell in place of a weakened magical reserve. At level 10 and 20, it becomes possible to cast without bullets and guns, but it costs double spell levels. A bit of power and versatility (e.g. pre-casting a few spells and firing them as normal shots in the case of extra attacks from base attack bonus) and extra spells (up to four, with non-sorcerer spells having their level doubled) at the cost of becoming useless if deprived of gun or ammo (a simple disarm check would suffice). Dunno if it's what you want or seek, but hey, it could make a fine substitute and so would the gun mage prestige class in the same site. Other than that, what you suggest is a normal wondrous magical item, looking it up in Tome and Blood should be enough to give you a rough estimate of its cost.

Realms of Chaos
2010-10-23, 08:07 PM
I'm not sure if this makes them too OP'd now though, so I'm willing to adjust as necessary :smallsmile:

I think that you've reached the narrow band of power occupied only by artifacts, where the lesser powers are too weak for a strong character but the strong powers are too strong for a weak character.

How about resolving the price as a command-word item to provide you with unlimited uses.

Let's say that a base pistol (1 bullet/use) would cost 1,800 gp and have CL 1 but that you could buy up to four add-ons to the pistol (each costing 3,600 gp) that each increase the number of missiles you shoot by 1 per use by increasing the caster level of your pistol by +2.

Instead of making chain missiles, explosion missiles, and laser missiles all in one gun, I'd recommend making them separate weapons with their own (more expensive) add-ons.

This technique actually has the advantage of following the guidelines for item creation prices... more or less.

2010-10-24, 07:24 AM
I had a similar idea a while back. My line of thinking was designing a "Pistol" that could make the Use Magic Device checks for you, and have the ammo as smaller single charge wands.

Dunno if anyone's suggested something similar, just skimmed the thread :smalleek:

2010-10-24, 08:29 AM
Ok heres my suggestion on the things you will need to make a magic missile gun
1 the pistol from DMg page 145
2 wand of magic missile DMg page 246
3 wand chamber dungeonscape page 34 or alternatively wand bracer page 33
4 if you find this unhelpful you can always make the gun a magic rod

Cipher Stars
2010-10-24, 10:11 AM
I'm reminded of the Limit Sniper (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19528498/The_Limit_Warriors&post_num=8#331923198)

But yea, I can see these "magelock" Pistols firing Magic Missiles. powered by crystals. Possibly multiple smaller crystals crafted similar to bullets, each containing one charge? and like Bullet casings can be reused, the crystals could be gathered again and recharged.