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D&D 3E
Magic Missile question.... You can direct each missile at multiple… 
30th-Oct-2007 08:25 pm
chalice UU
Magic Missile question....

You can direct each missile at multiple targets (when you are a 3rd level or higher), and you have to choose your targets before rolling for spell resistance. When targeting multiple foes, you have to make a spell resistance roll on each..... do you make on for each missile on a SR target, or just once for each SR target?
Comments 
31st-Oct-2007 01:02 am (UTC)
I don't think the rules explicitly spell that out, but I'd say once per missile. It's analogous to rolling to-hit.
31st-Oct-2007 01:13 am (UTC)
don't know, but it's better for the caster if you roll each one seperate.
(Deleted comment)
31st-Oct-2007 02:54 am (UTC)
Roll once per target. Else, when you can fire 5 missiles at once at a single target with SR, you'll be making a LOT of rolls!

Rolling once per target makes it more bursty, rolling once per missle averages out the damage on each casting. In the long run, it evens out either way and this way means less rolling.
31st-Oct-2007 11:18 am (UTC)
If you have 5 enemies and you have 5 missiles (9 level) and you assign each missile to a different enemy and you roll SR for each of them => one missile/one enemy/one roll/
I don't think it matters how much enemies there are, 1 or five.
I'd roll for each missile. Moreover it actually raises chance to hit.
31st-Oct-2007 12:22 pm (UTC)
I'd definitely say once per missile.
31st-Oct-2007 03:26 pm (UTC)
You do not roll once per missile. You roll once per enemy per spell, to see if the spell itself is powerful enough to effect each enemy that you are targeting. This is the reason you only roll once for spiritual weapon (and other spells lasting multiple rounds) and this is the reason you only roll once per enemy for magic missile.
31st-Oct-2007 03:43 pm (UTC)
This is the most logical response so far. However, if each missile is cast with the same strength (in one casting of the spell) shouldn't each missile do identical damage? Then again, this is a flaw in the whole SR system...

Also, since spiritual weapon specifically calls out that SR is tested once, but magic missile does not, I'm inclined to agree with the per missile argument.

However, I'd be wrong to do so. The SRD has the answer: Check spell resistance only once for any particular casting of a spell or use of a spell-like ability. If spell resistance fails the first time, it fails each time the creature encounters that same casting of the spell. Likewise, if the spell resistance succeeds the first time, it always succeeds.

Since each missle in a single casting comes from a single casting, SR is checked only once per target.
31st-Oct-2007 03:48 pm (UTC)
I was looking for that rule in the SRD, but I'm at work so I didn't have much time to check for it. Glad you found it though; looks like SR is only checked once per enemy per casting of magic missile (or any other spell).
31st-Oct-2007 03:53 pm (UTC)
The text in Spiritual Weapon is redundant with the text in Spell Resistance. Too bad.
31st-Oct-2007 04:02 pm (UTC)
That's D&D for you.

Maybe they'll get rid of that line in 4E... (ha)
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