From Iamtim on the S&W boards:

  • OD&D Supplement 1 (Greyhawk) says that MMs do 2-7 points of damage, with two additional missiles every 5 levels. No comment is made about rolling to-hit or not.
  • Holmes Basic D&D says that MMs do 2-7 points of damage, with higher level casters firing more than one missile. A to-hit roll must be made as if it were fired from a long bow.
  • Moldvay Basic D&D says that MMs do 2-7 (1d6+1) points of damage, with two additional missiles every 5 levels. They automatically hit any visible target.
  • Mentzer Basic D&D echoes Moldvay Basic D&D.
  • The D&D Rules Cyclopedia echoes Moldvay Basic D&D.
  • The AD&D 1E PHB says that MMs do 2-5 (1d4+1) points of damage, with one additional missile every 2 levels. They unerringly strike their target.
  • The AD&D 2E PHB echoes the 1E PHB.
  • The 3E D&D PHB echoes the 1E PHB.

Labyrinth Lord, both the standard and the new Advanced Edition Companion, give an automatic hit, 1d6+1 damage, and two additional missiles every five levels. Just like Moldvay.

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4 Comments to “Evolution of Magic Missile

  1. JB says:

    But chronologically, shouldn’t it be:
    OD&D
    AD&D 1
    Holmes D&D
    Modvay (B/X) D&D
    Mentzer (BECMI) D&D
    AD&D 2
    RC
    DND3

    ??

  2. Jeff Rients says:

    Moldvay lists the duration of Magic Missile as 1 turn (i.e. ten minutes). When running that particular rule set I allow the missiles to be cast prior to kicking in the door or whatever. They just hover in the air near the magic-user until launched or the spell expires.