I recently remembered an argument I made in favor of giving magic missile to fighters. It was an argument I made for Third Edition, because it bothered me that magic was held in such reverence that even wizards had trouble with it. Magic can’t be exotic and commonplace at the same time, and Third Edition tried to do exactly that.

There were far, far more options available to mages than other characters, but let’s look: barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, paladin, ranger, rogue, sorcerer, and wizard. Four of them are ostensibly spellcasters – the cleric, druid, sorcerer, and wizard – the bard “dabbles” and the paladin and ranger simply borrow the system.

D&D Scout

She’s a Third Edition scout, but can she see why kids love Cinnamon Toast Crunch?

One third of the classes represent spellcasters, and yet they are the major recipients of character options – spells are more plentiful and flavorful than feats, they even got their own compendium – and many feats are geared toward mages while spells are solely in the purview of said mages. Mages get more prestige classes.

And yet – for all this, magic is supposed to be rare, otherworldly, esoteric – with more content than one player could use in a lifetime’s worth of constant gaming.

It just doesn’t make sense.


Now, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t give the fighter magic missile anymore, I’ve moved on past that stage. What I do like however, is that a fighter can be on even footing with a spellcaster without magic. A warrior should be able to craft a sword that can match a wizard’s staff blow-for-blow. That’s the way this game has to be.

You can’t give wizards (and clerics, and druids) all the nice things. They can have the demiplanes and the time distortion and the magical experimentation, but the warriors have to get their own nice things. Third Edition didn’t do this. Fourth Edition did a decent job of leveling the playing field. That’s all for now.

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