A magic missile was a spell that cast bolts of pure force from its caster's fingertips.
Before the Spellplague and after the Second Sundering, magic missile grew in power as its spellcaster did, so that more experienced wizards or sorcerers cast more bolts with a single spell than those with less training. Like nearly all spells of the time, it required careful preparation before its casting and a sorcerer or wizard could only cast the spell as many times as they had prepared it for the day before the memory of how to cast the spell fell from the mind of its caster.
The missile manifested itself as a silvery bolt of energy and while the spell was simple, it could be deadly to weaker opponents. Magic missile was so simple that it required little concentration or preparation on the part of the wizard casting it. Very powerful wizards were able to cast a magic missile of twice the equivalent power of inexperienced mages. Between the Spellplague and the Second Sundering, magic missile could be cast over a distance of about 100 ft (30 m). In other periods, that range was about 120 ft (37 m).
The appearance of a magic missile could vary greatly. For example, Cybriana's early magic missile created a massive gout of fire from her palm, while Kyriani Agrivar (in fact, a transformed Cybriana) produced more conventional streaks of green globes from her finger tips. An avatar of Shar later fired yellow-green beams from her fingertips at her during the Time of Troubles.
In -1591 DR, at the height of the Golden Age of Netheril, this spell was introduced by famous Netherese arcanist General Matick under the name of General Matick's missile. Many scholars believed that he commissioned the spell rather than inventing it himself.
Throughout the years, the fundamental specifications of magic missile have been used in the development of several other spells. In the 13th century, Snilloc's snowball was invented by the adventurer and spell-crafter Snilloc. It was considered a lesser variant of magic missile by many mages throughout the Realms.
Another variant of this spell was Slingstar, which allowed a mage to imbue their sling with magical energy. The caster evoked a number of magic missiles by using small stones or bullets as an added material component.
The half-elf magic-user Cybriana, who was later transformed into the famed half-drow wizard Kyriani Agrivar, knew magic missile. In the Year of the Prince, 1357 DR, Cybriana fired fiery magic missiles at first a chasme then a gargoyle, slaying them. In the Year of Shadows, 1358 DR, when Kyriani was briefly turned back into Cybriana, she used magic missile, in the form of a pale-green streak of darts, against a kenku. During the Time of Troubles, when magic went awry, her attempt to cast magic missiles failed, instead producing a shower of pink flowers. Kyriani later fired four green magic missiles at the marauding Fellandar, though thanks to his magical resistance, he knocked them away with his fist.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 22–23. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 209–210, 257. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
- ↑ Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 125. ISBN 978-0786965809.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 159. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook 3.5 edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 251. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
- ↑ David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 176. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
- ↑ Jeff Grubb and Andria Hayday (April 1992). Arabian Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 152. ISBN 978-1560763581.
- ↑ slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 121. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
- ↑ Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 67. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
- ↑ Gary Gygax, David Cook, and François Marcela-Froideval (1985). Oriental Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 76. ISBN 0-8803-8099-3.
- ↑ Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 275. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
- ↑ Jeff Grubb (August 1989). “Concordance of Arcane Space”. Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space (TSR, Inc.), p. 78. ISBN 0-88038-762-9.
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Michael Fleisher (February 1989). “The Secret of Selûne's Eye”. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #3 (DC Comics), pp. 14, 20.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Dan Mishkin (May 1990). “Day of the Darkening”. In Elliot S. Maggin ed. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #18 (DC Comics), p. 19.
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Dan Mishkin (September 1991). “Summer in the City”. In Kim Yale ed. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #33 (DC Comics), p. 12.
- ↑ Dan Mishkin (July 1990). “Dark of the Moon”. In Elliot S. Maggin ed. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #20 (DC Comics), p. 18.
- ↑ slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 8–9, 27, 111. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Tim Beach (1995). Pages from the Mages. (TSR, Inc), p. 32. ISBN 0-7869-0183-7.
- ↑ Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 45. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 85. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood and Steven E. Schend (July 1994). “Campaign Guide”. City of Splendors (TSR, Inc), p. 86. ISBN 0-5607-6868-1.
- ↑ Dan Mishkin (August 1990). “Lunatics”. In Elliot S. Maggin ed. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons #21 (DC Comics), p. 22.