Talk:Homing Needles (5e Spell)

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Damage balance[edit]

Would this be more balanced with d4s instead of d3s? — Guy (talk | edits) 04:09, 7 March 2017 (UTC)

I have noticed this spell is actually using the wording of magic missile and thus it is actually outrageously OP at low and high levels for the following reasons:
  • First of all, it does not require an attack roll, so it bypasses AC just like magic missile. But unlike Magic Missile, it cannot be be stopped by shield making it an unblockable 1 or more damage. Especially against something like a Tarrasque, which Homing Missile will bypass the Reflective Carapace, and guarantee the damage. The other thing is that, even if shield blocks Homing Missile, the fact that Homing Missile is a cantrip, the enemy just wasted a 1st level spellslot to block a cantrip, which the player will just shoot at the enemy again, and again, every turn for guaranteed damage.
  • Second of all, this is actually much more powerful than any other cantrip due to the fact it does not miss bumping up its average damage over time. For example, assume the enemy has an AC of 15, and the caster is 1st level and has an spell attack modifier of +5. Thus, the caster has a 50% chance of hitting with an ordinary cantrip such as fire bolt. The average damage of Firebolt is 5.5, meanwhile the average damage of Homing Missile is 2.5. Thus, Homing Missile will do 5 damage on average in two turns, while Firebolt does an average of 5.5 in two turns by probability, but also potentially does zero. This makes Homing Missile the most optimal damage cantrip, along with the fact Homing Missile does magical piercing damage which very little creatures have resistance against.
  • The other thing is that because the damage is guaranteed, the spell does an outrageous amount of guaranteed damage, over a long range. But overall, in the span of 1 minute, or 10 turns, Homing Missile will do 10-40 damage, averaging at 25. At higher levels, such as 17th, this spell does 40-160 damage, averaging at 100 per minute. Due to this, this spell can guarantee the caster kills, say a Tarrasque, in 7 minutes as long as the caster stays out of range.
  • The other thing is that Homing Missile is also guaranteed damage against objects which, even if the DM dictates it has a million AC, Homing Missile will bypass it and eventually tick the HP of the object down to 0. This is impossible with magic missile because the spell specifically requires the caster to target a creature with it. Thus, a player can also effectively destroy an object with a million HP in about 10 days of continuously casting the max level version of this spell. Meanwhile other cantrips, if the AC is too high, the player would be unable to do it.
  • There are two ways I can think of to fix this spell: First is either make it require an attack roll and buff the damage. Or alternatively, nerf the damage dice to be d4-2 minimally, and have it scale appropriately. -- Alearori (talk) 09:30, 8 April 2018 (MDT)
It's been months and I'm still flabbergasted by this feedback.
In the example given of an AC 15 creature, comparing fire bolt and homing needles, back when homing needles was d4 instead of d2 and had a range of 120 feet, fire bolt did more damage on average and did so from the same range. Homing needles was statistically inferior by your own math, which needless to say is miles away from "outrageously overpowered." Even with d4s (let alone d3s or d2s), this spell would only be more useful on average than another damage cantrip if the target was abnormally defensive and/or the caster had particularly poor bonuses to hit—which is what it was designed to do. More often than not it will be the inferior option when compared to fire bolt, let alone more optimized cantrips like toll the dead and shocking grasp, or arguably any cantrip which calls for a saving throw instead of an attack roll.
Combat lasting 70 rounds? A million AC? Spending ten days destroying an invincible object? These ridiculous scenarios where the DM hates you would be the only time to definitely use this spell over other cantrips, but virtually anything but the most incompetent party would still have better options. Even in this bizzare world where you can outrun a tarrasque for 70 rounds, literally anyone could just as easily use a longbow or any ranged weapon for comparable results—even if your not proficient with it, a natural 20 will always hit, and you can do it from much further away than this cantrip. That's not even considering anyone fighting a tarrasque would hopefully burn 1st level spell slots for these dozens of rounds before they think doing peanuts for damage every round is a good idea. Let's not forget almost every spell of 1st level or higher that does damage has "guaranteed" damage, from burning hands to fireball and cone of cold.
The weirdest thing about all this feedback is that even with the proposed "d4-2" damage dice, this spell still has several of the the same so-called problems of being able to damage creatures and objects with "a million AC." But sure, let's talk damage. Even with d4s, it less than a quarter as much as the damage as magic missile on average (2.5 versus 10.5). That's under 5th level and lower, but even at 17th level, 10 (4d4) is still less than 10.5 (3d4+3) from magic missile. I don't know in what 5e game anyone could've played where a 17th level character doing ~10 damage per turn to a single target is "outrageous." Meanwhile fire bolt outpaces chromatic orb as early as 11th level—except fire bolt has a shorter range and no costly material component, making it even more superior.
I didn't know what to think when I noticed this back in April, and I forgot about it until stumbling across this page again. Now, I honestly have difficulty believing these comments are genuine feedback. Is this some kind of parody? I'm bringing it back up to d3s. In terms of pure mathematical balance, even the apparently abhorrent d4s would probably be fine. - Guy 20:46, 13 September 2018 (MDT)

Measuring space in inches[edit]

D&D does not meassure space in inches, you should fix that. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nekristus (talkcontribs) . Please sign your posts.

Ochre jelly, air elemental, and numerous other creatures in the Monster Manual have the Amorphous feature: "can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing." There are other examples I'm sure, that's just the first one that came to mind. - Guy (talk) 01:14, 29 December 2017 (MST)
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