I have a player interested in ways to improve 0 level attack spells. Mainly, they're looking to not have to carry around a crossbow for attacks when they don't want to cast a spell, and the 1d3 damage from your average 0-level spell is a bit low.
Are there any RAW ways to increase the damage of 0-level spells and/or provide an at-will magic attack?
Also, any recommendations on house rules for something like this? Any reason you'd think this is a bad idea?
As a houserule, I have considered a feat or alternate class feature that would improve (or add) the damage of a particular 0 level spell to be in line with normal ranged weapons, the value depending on if the spell does more than just damage. For examples, Acid Splash would move up to 1d8 damage to be on par with a light crossbow, but say altering Virtue to add a ranged damage component, would maybe do 1d4 or 1d6 and provide the temp hit point to an ally within 5 feet of the target.
This is for a Pathfinder game but I'm perfectly comfortable with 3E or third party d20 options if there's nothing Pathfinder specific.