Saturday, July 07, 2012

Wizards as Holmes Basic monsters

I woke up this morning thinking it might be neat to imagine what wizards might have looked like if they were written up as a foe in the monster section of the Holmes edit of D&D.  Here's what I came up with.


Move: 120 feet/turn     Alignment: variable
Hit Dice: 4     Attacks: 1
Armor Class: 5     Damage: 1-6 points
Treasure Type: E, S, T

Wizards are semi-human spellcasters whose abilities exceed that of normal magic-users.  They have 2d4 first level and d6 second level spells available to them, as well as d4 strange powers beyond the normal spell rules.  50% of all wizards have some sort of aberrant appearance that reveals their inhuman nature.  Most wizards have d6 unusual minions, such as demonic imps, a hunchback, robots, a super-intelligent horse, etc. 

Why do wizards have AC 5?  Because they're wizards.


  1. Great post. I demand a (d12 or d30) table of "strange powers" :)

  2. I like this and second the d30 powers table...

    Some suggested powers for it:

    1. Can tell different coin types by smell
    2. Normally speaks backwards.

  3. Thanks for your take on this. I've wrestled with this question for some time.

  4. That's terrific. I'm definitely swiping this for how I handle space-wizards on Oriax.

  5. Nice! I'd also give them one or two third-level spells (effects determined by the DM), since level 3 spells are also listed in Holmes.

  6. Over on the G+ Harold Wagener shared the following:

    36 random weird wizard powers:

    11. Inverse AC – roll low to hit; all your bonuses stay the same.
    12. Spell thief – 1d4 of their first level spell powers are randomly stolen from Magic Users who lose their prepared spells.
    13. Segmented Body – body parts act independently; a targeted hit at: 1-2 Neck 3-4 Heart 5-6 Brains will kill them.
    14. Virulent Telepathy – all within sight suddenly hear all thoughts of all others. Make an INT check (or save vs. Magic) to drown out the noise or suffer from confusion.
    15. Perpetual Mirror Image – Except in darkness, 50% of all physical hits fail.
    16. Insect Swarm Body – half damage from physical attacks that are not area of effect; +50% damage from area of effect; -10 to save versus pesticides.
    21. Pseudogiant – looks bigger the further away it is
    22. Scissorhands. Wonderful haircut.
    23. Spits acid. Impeccably clean teeth.
    24. Will sink in water like a lead statue. On the plus side, doesn't need to breathe.
    25. Gassy. Acts as stinking cloud 3/day, alternately allows wizard to float at 20' for 2d6 turns.
    25. Hyperintelligent. Add 1d4 3rd level spells. Easily distracted by logic puzzles.
    26. Feebleminded. Casts spells randomly, immune vs. charm/sleep
    31. Tentacles for ears.
    32. Radiates silence. Magic users can still cast spells that require verbal components/speaking, but they may not know this.
    33. Eats shadows. Save vs. Poison/Death or lose your soul. Eating a shadow takes one full turn. Eaten shadows return within 4d4 weeks, if the save failed, your soul is still lost.
    34. Hysterically happy. Immune vs. mind altering spells.
    35. Shiny. Improve armor class vs. Light based attacks by 2
    36. Immune to banishment and summoning. Gets lost easily.
    41. Dark vision. Save vs. Poison or suffer radiation damage.
    42. Scent glands. Roll 1d6 for scent each time it's used: 1-2 rosy 3-4: putrefying 5-6: Glands need to recover for 24h.
    43. No lower body. Wizard floats at normal movement speed.
    44. No face. All attacks by the wizard are at -4 due to blindness. On the plus side, never gets a headcold and never needs to eat.
    45. Eyes for fingertips.
    46. Scaly skin. +2 to control dragons, increase AC by 1d4
    51. Celestial Wizard. Roll for cleric spells rather than magic user spells. Can only use the standard version of invertable spells.
    52. Infernal Wizard. Roll for cleric spells, but can only use inverted versions of invertable spells.
    53. Looks like a badger.
    54. Has 1d4 imaginary retainers. Roll vs. rods or share delusion for 1d6 turns.
    55. Squeaky voice. All summoning spells cause rats and rat-themed monsters to appear
    56. Sticky. Natural climber. -5 to opponents that wrestle this wizard
    61. wheels for feet. Double movement on even surfaces.
    62. Maggots for eyes. Gross.
    63. Constantly bleeding from the ears. Immune to sound based effects.
    64. Psychic beacon. All random encounter tables within 1d6 miles of this wizard change the top 2 results to be ghosts/spirits/apparitions.
    65. No arms. Wizards manipulates physical objects via retractable, prehensile eyestalk.
    66. Emits constant high pitch whine. -4 on all activities that require concentration.

  7. This is awesome. I love Holmesbrew (hahahaha... OK not really funny).

  8. Strange appearance table:

    1. A lord or lady, radiant with health and beauty.

    2. As above, but their face has been flayed to reveal the skull beneath.

    3. An ancient, so withered that they could be a man or a woman, or indeed, save that they move and speak, a corpse.

    4. Horribly scarred or burnt.

    5. Normal-looking, but walks on all fours with bestial agility. 50% chance of being able to climb walls and even roofs.

    6. Normal-looking, but their shadow is that of a monster.

    7. Normal-looking, but their reflection is that of a monster.

    8. Normal-looking, but their footsteps sound like the clop of iron-shod hooves.

    9. Normal below the neck, but their head is replaced by a brain in a jar.

    10. Normal appearance, save that their feet are consumed by a constant flame.

    11. Normal appearance, save that their hands are constantly covered in blood.

    1. I forgot a couple of common ones.

      12. Looks like a child, but has an adult's voice.

      13. Normal appearance, save for entirely black eyes.

  9. Unusual minions

    1. Shadow.

    2. Bipedal cat.

    3. Rock (Neither unusual nor a minion, though the wizard is convinced it's both).

    4. Invisible Stalker

    5. Cowardly flying carpet

    6. Murder of Crows

    7. Dumb but (much to the wizard's chagrin) kind half-ogre son.

    8. Landshark

    9. Hunchback

    10. Hopeless apprentice

    11. Robot

    12. Morose skeleton

    13. Beautiful princess (charmed).

    14. Sentient zombie that just wants to die already.

    15. Winged monkey

    16. Lycanthrope

    17. Wolf-headed manor woman

    18. Super-intelligent earthworm

    19. Will-o-wisp

    20. Jeff Rients

  10. Mmm. That's some good stuff.

    I always appreciate wizards in the style of "Thundarr the Barbarian"

  11. 1. Backwards in time - Words and movements are "forward", but inflection is stilted and actions are similarly awkward, as though someone walked through a room backwards, but then the video was run in reverse.

    2. Only in dreams - Wizard inhabits some sort of spiritual or dream continuum and will only be encountered while characters are sleeping.

    3. Entelechy - The wizard is the manifestation of a dream in the mortal world. Spells cast are not memorized, but spontaneous "dream logic" responses to the situation, using nearby objects as improvised material components.

    4. Metamorphic Locus - the world gradually changes within proximity to the wizard, overwriting it to produce some fae or alien reality. The wizard doesn't intentionally control the process and may not even realize they're doing it.

    5. Inhuman hunger - Wizard needs food! But subsists on pain and suffering, or human hearts, or vitriol, or paws chewed from a still-living cat, or something similarly unsavory.

  12. This post and the replies remind me of the flavor of wizards in Anomalous Subsurface Environment.

    I like the idea of a PC magic-user encountering one of these guys and wondering, "is that going to be me someday...?"