Friday, March 29, 2019

Eater of Tongues

There was once a young man who had trouble talking to people. He had no friends, his family shunned him. He was utterly lonely. One day, he found himself on the edge of a pond contemplating his predicament, when a fish came to the surface. It spoke to him, asked why he seemed so lonely, and after the young man explained, the fish offered to help. The fish, it claimed, was very good at talking to people - it could show the young man how.

As he voiced his agreement, the tongue-louse in the fish's throat jumped out into the young man's mouth. The young man tried to scream, but the louse now had control of his throat. The louse then explained the situation - he would help, but he needed the young man's tongue. If he changed his mind now, the louse would rip out the young man's throat. Reluctantly, the young man agreed to the terms.

The young man died of starvation some weeks later, but he was surrounded by friends and lovers.


There was a famous bard, renowned for her subtleties of song. The greatest in the land she was called, and many kings and nobles vied to have her retained in their courts.

One day, the bard died. A sudden accident it was - she fell down the stairs and broke her neck. The funeral had many people in attendance, but a problem arose. What great singer could possibly do justice to this dead legend? Who could possibly sing with such skill to honor this dead? As the attendees contemplated in silence, a tune drifted on the air. It was the bard! She was speaking through the pall!

A crowd gathered around her corpse, first in shock, then in curiosity. The first of her pall bearers removed her death cloth and leaned over to examine the mouth. He exclaimed that there was something in the bard's throat.

"It is I," the louse in the dead woman's throat exclaimed, "the Bard to whom you are endeared. For it was not this woman that had such skill, but I who made of her my Great House!"

The body was immediately burned.

Behold, the greatest Bard in all the land!


Apparently, Really Big Spider and Robot Squid aren't parasites, so I need something else for this parasite GLOG challenge going about. How about a tongue-eating sea louse that sings enchantment songs and lives in your throat, eating all of your food? PARASITE FISH BARD! EATER OF TONGUES! ALL HAIL AND AGAPE FOR THE SIREN LOUSE!

Siren Louse
Starting Equipment: Host, Small Locket
Starting Skill [1d3]: 1 = Negotiator, 2 = Bard, 3 = Preacher

For Every Template: +1 Charisma
This is a Sea Louse Cymothoa exigua.
It has eaten this fish's tongue.

A Parasite, Siren Song, Speaker
B Song
C Song
D Song, Mating

You are a parasite. You cannot live long without a host. You don't have physical stats (STR, DEX, CON) for if you were without a host you could be crushed in an instant. Instead, you use your host's physical stats. In addition, you get to eat any or all food that the host eats as you reside in their throat. While you're in their throat, the host loses 1 point of STR, DEX, or CON (their choice) every day.

You are not in direct control of your host. They have free will over their own body. You are, however, in a position to end their life in an instant by yanking out their throat. It will kill you most likely too, but it will definitely kill them. You are in a position to eat all food that the host tries to eat. So you could very well starve them too. Hence, you shall need to negotiate. You can survive inside a dead host's mouth for 3 days.

Siren Song
You begin with one song, named "Swallow Me But Do Not Bite". It is soft and beautiful enchantment. All within 60ft who haven't plugged their ears must Save. Failure means that they will open their mouths wide for you to jump right in.

When you are inhabiting a host, you may speak in their voice, vibrating their vocal chords like some kind of psychotic serial killer. You can mimic the sound of the voice by grasping your throat as you speak.

After one week inside a host, you have severed their tongue and eaten it, replacing it entirely. You can now talk in the host's voice.

Pick one of the following songs to know. All songs unless noted have a range of 60ft. They last for as long as you care to sing them. You may only sing one song at a time. Saves must be made every round for those in the effect radius, friend or foe. Having plugged ears guarantees that the Save is made.

"Come And Give Thy Tribute."
All who fail Save will use their movement to approach the host. They won't do anything immediately dangerous from this movement (such as jumping off a cliff).

"Place Food At My Threshold, That My House Might Sustain."
All who fail Save will immediately place any food they are carrying at your host's feet. Won't work on fighting people.

"We Will Spike The Doors, That They Might Pierce The Invaders."
Sharp spear-like teeth grow on the edges of the host's mouth like a moray eel's. The host gains a Bite attack that deals 1d6 damage. The teeth retract when the song's done.

"Leave Me And Tend To Yours."
All who fail Save cannot approach within 20ft of your host.

"Fire the Hearth For The Land Is Cold And Dark"
The host radiates light through their skin in a 30ft radius. This light pierces and dispels even magical darkness.

"The Lord Commands, The House Obeys"
You take direct control of your host's body, although you cannot speak while this is happening.

"A Lord's House Is Their Castle"
Your host body receives 2 less damage from all sources, to a minimum of 1 damage.

"A House Should Not Stand Alone"
All who fail Save are Charmed. Range 10ft radius. Though, you can't both sing and talk to the victim.

"We Shall Clean the Halls, For Grime Does Not Befit Us."
The host is purged of all disease, and gains Advantage on Saves against poison and disease.

"There Shall Be No Monument That Stands Above The Sovereign House."
All within 20ft must Save or fall prone to the ground.

"Let Us Sing of Hearths Past"
You may mimic the voice of anyone's tongue you've eaten.

You've matured enough to reproduce. If you manage to find another parasite such as yourself, you can have your hosts french kiss and then vomit up a bunch of parasite babies a week later. Gross.


One time, a Siren Louse entered the mouth of a god. The god, known for his promiscuity with mortals, once went and made love with a beauty who is said to have had the voice of an angel. During the height of the act the little louse made its move. It jumped inside the gods mouth as he screamed. Surprised and shocked, the god immediately killed the beauty, and tried to curse her to eternal torment, but it was already too late. The louse had control. If the god should harm the beauty further, the louse proclaimed, then he would rip out the god's tongue and his throat both, making a mute of him forever.

Not even a god could risk losing his voice. And so the parasite made his heavenly home. Soon, strange dictates began to flow from heaven's gates. The god's followers, though utterly confused, obeyed each instruction to the letter. They would raze their temples of vainglory, come to treat each creature - no matter how small - with respect and care, and erect strange monuments to tongue-shaped things they did not understand.

And so it remains until today, for the louse had usurped a god's tongue, and gods do not die of hunger. May the God-Louse ever keep the Old Ones' tongues!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019


It's reeeeeally easy making creepy necromancy spells. And there's already so many good ones out there. As such, I'm going to put in some effort to not make 100% of these completely ethically and grotesquely horrible.

Necromancy, Cantrip
Range: Touch
Saving Throw: None
Duration: 10 Minutes
Component: S, V

You damage your own hit points, as many as you choose until you fall unconscious, to bequeath the target temporary hit points of an equal amount that last 10 minutes. For every hit point you lose, your maximum HP is also reduced by the same amount. Doing so you may not go below 0 HP, but you can render yourself unconscious by going to 0 HP. This spell nullifies the resting process for the caster.

Your maximum HP is recovered at the end of a Long Rest.

Little Life
Necromancy, Level 1
Range: Touch
Saving Throw: Constitution
Duration: 1 Week / Save each Day
Component: S, V, M (a small creature)

You take a small animal - a sparrow, a mouse, a large beetle, etc. - and mold it in your hands. You turn it into a grafting organ, and place it inside someone's body, removing their original organ in the process. The small animal will serve as a makeshift organ for up to one week, before it will give out from the stress and a new one is required.

Each day the graftee must make a Constitution Save, on Failure the graft remains another day. On success, the graft fails.

Meat Men
Necromancy, Level 2
Range: Touch
Saving Throw: None
Duration: 1 Days
Component: S, V, M (meat)

You animate a bunch of little meat men from some meat. You get one meat man per HD of creature (0 HD creatures don't have enough meat). This little meat man is at your beck and call, and is capable of following simple commands.

Meat men aren't very good at fighting, but they are small, and have a particular strength. Each of them can sustain around 25 pounds of force. They're also great vectors for disease. By the duration's end, the Meat Men rot to the point of being useless. If salted or preserved in some way (spices work great!) their duration can be increased to 3 Days.

For each spell slot level upcasting this spell, double the number of meat men you make.

Soul Broth
Necromancy, Level 3
Range: Touch
Saving Throw: None
Casting Time: 15 Hours
Duration: 1 Day
Component: S, V, M (cooking pot, water, salt, veggies, fresh creature)

You make a hearty magical soup by boiling something very recently dead (or alive), separating some of its soul out into the broth. This broth may then be ingested later to heal and provide special effects. Treat the broth as a potion. ((Note: Creature must have soul for this to work. Ergo most constructs and possibly undead may not apply.))

For each HD of creature that went into the broth, it will heal 1d6 HP damage. If you cook it into a proper soup it will heal 1d8 HP damage per HD. You also get one of the following effects, chosen secretly by the DM:

- A secret that it took to the grave.
- The last thing it thought of.
- It's True Name
- The hinge of its existence (last driving motivation)

Magic Compost Jar
Necromancy, Level 4
Range: Touch
Saving Throw:
Casting Time: 5 Minutes
Duration: 1 Day
Component: S, V, M (body)

You compost a body over a week, visiting it once per day to cast the spell. At its conclusion, you collect the compost from the body and put it in a jar - the Magic Compost Jar.

When you spread this compost on any kind of plants (or anything else that eats compost), it will possess them for 1 Day. The spirit of the composted thing controls this plant, and it can uproot itself and walk around like a mobile little creature. If this plant is composted, the same spirit as the original compost will be preserved in the next compost.

Necromancy, Level 5
Range: Self
Saving Throw: Constitution
Duration: 1 Week / Save each Day
Component: S, V, M (fresh organs of choice)

On failed Save, you manage to graft a fresh organ of your choice onto your body. On a successful Save, the organs are rejected and will slowly poison you if not removed (poisoned condition). On failure, it grows and merges into your skin, acting as a redundant organ. These temporary organs last a week at most. Removing them causes no damage on a DC 15 Medicine check, or 1d4 damage per point of failure.

Example Organs:
Liver: Grants advantage on saves against poison and resistance to poison damage.
Eye: Gives you another functional eye. Great on the back of your head.
Skin: Heals up to 50 points of Fire damage.
Hand: Who doesn't want an extra hand?
Muscle: Gain 2 Strength
Fat: Grant yourself resistance to cold damage and survive without food a few more days.

"I'm sure this Graft spell will only be used responsibly!"

Eternal Battle
Necromancy, Level 6
Range: 120ft
Saving Throw: None
Duration: Length of Battle.
Component: S, V, M (a spear, which is thrown into the battle prior to it starting)

All combatants of the battle designated by the spear-thrower will fight, and then they will fight again. Once the battle has concluded, all combatants heal of all injuries, spell slots, and HP loss obtained during the battle - with exception to the spell slot used for this spell. All combatants have knowledge of what happened in the first battle.

(Note: Not recommended to have this spell if you do long drawn-out 5e combat. It needs to be reasonably short or else it'll feel like a slog.)

Soul Bomb
Necromancy, Level 7
Range: Self
Area: 50ft radius
Saving Throw: Dexterity
Duration: 24 Hours
Component: S, V, M (yourself)

This spell activates upon your death. You explode, in a shower of blood and gore and soul stuff, taking everyone around with you. Deals 20d10 necrotic damage in a 50ft radius centered on yourself. Half damage on save. Additionally, anything within the radius with 100HP or less must make a Constitution Save or die instantly.

If you explode in such a manner, you cannot be resurrected, reincarnated, brought back, or communicated with by any means. Your soul is obliterated.

Life Link
Necromancy, Level 8
Range: Touch
Saving Throw: Constitution
Duration: Permanent
Component: S, V

On failed save (may be voluntarily failed), the target and the caster become mortally linked. Their old lifespans are now disregarded, and their remaining years is now the average between the two of them. The target and caster now share an HP pool which is the total of their respective hit points.

If one should die, then so will the other. Other people may be added to the link. Only a Wish or Astral Scissors may undo a Life Link.

((Fun Application: An entire tribe has bound themselves up in this spell. They must continue to rise the birth rate or else they will all die simultaneously. The oldest is some 200 years old. They are all meticulously careful.))

Necromancy, Level 9
Range: Touch
Saving Throw: Charisma
Duration: Permanent
Component: S, V

On failed Save, the target's soul is destroyed and its body crumbles to nothing. The target cannot be resurrected, animated, or transported to another plane. It simply no longer exists. More than that, the target is erased from all memory from everything, and time-reality will warp around to ensure that the target never existed. The target is fully unmade in every sense.

If the target makes it Charisma Save, this spell will never work on them at any point in time, ever. Even if one were to travel back in time or phase to another parallel reality and try again it won't work. You only get one shot.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

The Last Jury Trial of Wizard City

An idea for a mystery module for Wizard City (or any high magic setting, really): jury trials are a holdover from less magical times.

The Background

A famous wizard mob boss allegedly commits literal mass murder in front of a crowd of 2000 people then gives himself up to authorities and admits to the crime, then pleads not guilty while still admitting to the crime. His case goes to a jury trial.

It goes horribly wrong. He's found unanimously innocent, despite the mountain of evidence against him, including his own testimony, in which he bragged about the murders to the whole court.

The player-characters are tasked with finding out what went wrong, BEFORE the retrial is set to occur. They get paid for each flaw they find.

What they start out with:

- Court Transcripts
- Identities of the Members of the Court
- Identity of the Defendant
- Identities of all Wizard-Lawyers involved
- Identities of the 9 Jurors (12 seems like too many for one adventure).
- Addresses for most of the people there.

Their job is to piece together what the heck happened that led to a unanimous non-guilty verdict.

The answer? Everything. Everything went wrong. Literally everything.

Court Transcript: magically modified post-trial.

Jurors: Suggested, Brain-washed, Commanded, Sleeper-Agented, Doppleganged, Threatened, Cursed, Bribed, or Thrown-Into-Future.

Lawyers: Wizardry used extensively. Enchantment spells layered with testimonial-illusions. Security threats conjured in the courtroom. Multiple people illusioned to look like the defendant. Zones of Truth dispelled and replaced with illusion versions. The works.

Defendant: Cloned several times prior to incident. The guy sitting in jail and at the trial was actually just some bum who was altered to look like one of the clones.

Judge: Utilized divination spells to augury and foresee the trial, thereby biasing his opinions before it even began.

Prosecutors: Memories of law practice modified, bamboozled and confused.

Evidence: Tampered, extra-dimensionally lost.

I sorta imagine it was like this, literally. Giant 8-ft tall wizard lawyer man,
12 identical egghead people in a box labelled "Jury".

The Catch

None of this really matters. New laws have been passed. Summary punishments are set to take effect within the month. The jury system is being phased out (for obvious reasons). This is all for the purpose of satiating some idealist's notions of justice and improving the system.

The double catch is that this entire endeavor was an elaborate ritual - the massacre, the trial, everything, down to the last detail. That's why getting everything was important. Every factor is a component in the ritual. What does the ritual do? Does it wipe all existing memory of a person, even to gods? Does it bequeath immortality? Does it assure that a person may not be named? (If the defendant was only referred to as "the defendant", this could be fun.)

Tuesday, March 12, 2019


It's common knowledge that you destroy illusions by convincing them that they may not exist - unveiling the subjectivity of reality will erode them like a weeping acid. But what happens if you do the opposite? What happens when you take an illusion and reinforce its notions of itself, when you go to terrible lengths of creation to uphold the fiction of a fiction?

If it is a simple thing, then the thing becomes real. If that illusion was a person, then you get a Shade.

A Shade is an illusion of a person which believes itself to be real. It is a crafted soul.

From Westworld

It takes time and introspection to create a Shade. Unless you have intimate access to somebody else's soul, the only person who you can make is yourself. Usually, only you are privy to the depths of your personality: your secrets, your desires, your quirks, your thoughts, the important hidden subconscious bits that define personhood. The crafting is a work of inspiration and obsessiveness - everything must be believable, or the spell will fail.

Shades tend to look better than their original counterparts, or slightly worse. Rarely are they exactly the same. Any model can be used to create a Shade, though the most person-like fare the best - it is harder to convince a Shade that it isn't real the more real it looks. The oldest of Shades are completely indistinguishable from their originals - their joints crackle when they bend and every spiral in every fingerprint is just so.

How to tell them apart? Oftentimes you can't. They bleed and eviscerate the same goo as in all of us. There are two ways, however.

First, a Shade cannot survive a Dispel Magic, or enter an Anti-Magic Field. If subject to these spells the Shade will pop out of existence forever. They will simply cease to be. They don't know this.

Second, to question its premise for existing. There is an innate resistance in Shades to never want to think or talk about the subjectivity of reality. If the subject comes up they will avoid it - they'll leave the room, or come up with some excuse to go, or bring up another discussion topic. If someone suggests they might not be real, they will become uncomfortable and defensive, irrationally so.

If they entertain the thought that they may not be real, if they truly consider it even for a moment, they will start to dissolve into nothing. It is very painful to experience and to watch - a positive feedback loop of destruction. The soul may be illusory, but the screams are real. A Shade, though an illusion, is as much a person as you or I, and that is the worst part of all.

Shades in the World

Nobody thinks, from one moment to the next, that they are aging; therefore, Shades do not age. This can be their downfall. Old Shades will rationalize this somehow, even creating self-believing fictions of immortality or vampirism to shield their minds from the potential truth.


People fear it, for it reveals the superficiality of their existence. The gods hate it and will seek to destroy both it and its creator, for soul-making is the domain of gods alone. Beasts ignore it, for they only concern themselves with the divine spark, in which the Shade has none.

Shade's Shade

Powerful Shades can learn illusion magic, just like their creators. In fact, they often tend to be better at illusions than those who made them. This brings up the strong possibility that a Shade may create a Shade - a simulacrum of a simulacrum - man making machine making... something. What will be the souls that Artificial Intelligences make? The answer to that is what a Shade's Shade is.

Lesser Shades

Souls born from lesser inspirations are often not long for this world. They often live just long enough to see themselves, then they melt. They are defective in obvious ways: perfect skin, unnatural flexibility, lack of smell, or a scent too consistent. They are popular with recluses, who create bubbles of fiction in their domains to sustain their creations. Lesser Shades rarely survive contact with outsiders, and so they're often kept isolated.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Evergreen Pyramid of the Glade Lord

I had an idea for a dungeon on my way to work this morning: it's a Giza-style pyramid, but it's made of trees. Evergreen trees, particularly. This is how it works.

It all started 2500 years ago, with the planting of The Golden Pine - a gift from a wood elf lord to his consorts, who he claimed would never have such beauty as when they were with him (he was an asshole). The Golden Pine had needles of gold, and all around it sprouted greater trees, fit for monuments. Every 250 years the Golden Pine and its offspring would grow 50ft and seed the area directly around them, producing offspring which grew at a similar pace.

Over 2500 years, this means ten generations of trees had grown. Ten levels of a pyramid made from this forest. Every 250 years another level is grown up, and the pyramid expands outwards in radius. Each layer is broader than the last. (Shit, this makes a cone, not a pyramid. WHATEVER.)

But over two millennia, the power of the wood elves faded. Their empire has crumbled, and their noble lineages of Reincarnates have become lost. Now savage creatures trespass on the pyramid.

This puts the pyramid at around 500ft high, just a bit taller than the Great Pyramid.
The Golden Pine, shining like a beacon in the Sun, can still be seen from afar.

  • Bark Mummies - the old bodies of now-reincarnated wood elves looking for souls to fill their empty vessels. They're the old wood elf lord's lovers. Rotted hollow on the inside, bark on the outside.
  • Giant squirrels.
  • A bounty of gold to be plucked from the Golden Pine. Maybe it also has medicinal properties.
  • A huge freakin' bird that nests near the top, complete with chicks it needs to feed. It likes the lumberjacks the most. NO, wait, better: TWO huge freakin' birds. A mated pair. They're cowards and won't pick a fight with anything that can fight back if they're looking for food, but if you get near their nest then they'll fuck you right up! One rests while the other hunts.
  • Wood elf patrols of the fallen empire, spread thin but zealous in devotion to kill and capture trespassers. Few in number but skilled.
  • Seasonal changes for the dungeon.
  • The ground under the pyramid is covered in highly acidic pine needles and traps. Moving along the bottom is certain death - one must navigate through the layers of the trees.
  • Mercenary grave-robber lumberjacks, who've cut away some of the pyramid to reveal a cross section for easy access. They clear the pine acid but are constantly harried by the giant birds. They've been hired to get at the Golden Pine, and harvest its needles so some emperor can make tea from them.
  • Pine dryads, perhaps?
  • Oozing sap oozes, of course.
  • Something with pine cones. Do they explode? Do they turn into little pine cone men? Will eating one make you momentarily immune to the trees' defenses? Are they simply valuable because they'll grow more of these evergrowing trees? Maybe different pine cones do different things. All of the above.
  • Sexy tree sex? (This is not as sexy as it sounds.) It is a tomb for multiple lovers, after all.
  • Evil wilt creature thing, eating the pyramid tree by tree?
  • Wood elf history, genealogies, reincarnation records, carved or grown into inner trees.
  • Lots of spiky pit traps. Pit traps which drop you down several floors like snakes and ladders.
  • Vertical dungeon shenanigans. Tons of pits and trees to climb up/down.
  • Fledgling god of the wood growing within the core. It is not a nice god. Maybe it's the reincarnating lord of the wood? Man, if he founds out what somebody's doing to his pyramid he will be PISSED.
  • Tree-sarcophagi, curses, false chambers, treasures of the wood elves, all that jazz.
  • Tom, the surly Lumberjack, is a reincarnated elven princess and consort of the wood elf lord. He still has memories of his previous reincarnations, and over time he's realized just how awful and horrible the lord guy was. He finds this entire pyramid a disgusting monument to their awful relationship, and he wants to find his Bark Mummy and destroy it. Then he wants to burn or cut the whole pyramid down.
  • There are still entities within the pyramid that recognize the above elven princesses, and will call them by such. Maybe an old treant or a nut golem or something.
  • Wait, y'know what's better? If all of the ex-consorts are there, trying to destroy their own Bark Mummies. They're in various reincarnated forms: a surly lumberjack, a butterfly, a young doe, a raven, a troll. They'll grant you boons if you can help them destroy their gross trophy-mummies.
  • Speaking of trophies: gross hunting trophies. Massive antlers decorated with impaled skeletons, mummified human faces kept in pine acid water, leather.
  • Hmmm.... Treants. They can't be just normal treants. Maybe... self-conflagrationing treants? They set themselves on fire and explode/hug, so they can spread their seeds all over. Fresh bodies make good fertilizer. Evergrowing treants? There's like one or two of 'em, and they're moving column-rooms in the pyramid. Rotting treants? They've not native to the pyramid, so the bugs eat them.
  • Spiders.
  • Immortal Acid Weavils. They eat the pine needles, and it makes them immortal. They just keep growing and growing until they're huge and smart.
  • What Happens When You Cut Open This Tree Table
I was thinking about this game in particular: Photosynthesis.
It's an excellent game. Very challenging!
The Crooked Forest - Source

Tuesday, March 5, 2019


Following up on my last post: Illusion. Someone in my home group said he wanted a cantrip that makes people cuss like they've got Turret's. So here we go: Enchantment spells cantrip to level 9!

Enchantment, Cantrip
Range: 30ft
Saving Throw: Charisma
Duration: Instantaneous
Component: S (flip 'em the bird)

On failed Save, the target bursts out one word of a category of your choice. 

Such example categories include: Cuss ("F*ck!") , Name ("Roger!"), Verb ("Running!"). These generally work under word association rules (the first word the target thinks of).

Enchantment, Level 1
Range: 60ft, Within Sight and Hearing
Saving Throw: Wisdom
Duration: Instantaneous (one action)
Component: S (offer a toast), V, M (a drinking vessel held in hand)

On failed Save, the target uses its next action to drink from the nearest liquid source available to them, be that booze, a healing potion, poison, a pool of acid, or a dangerous ooze. They will move within one segment of their speed to do so. Anything worn on their body takes priority. Anything held in hand takes extra priority.

If there are multiple potential objects, then assign them numbers and roll randomly for them.
Effects one additional target for each spell slot level above 1.

Sock Puppet
Enchantment, Level 2
Range: Touch
Saving Throw: Charisma
Duration: Until dispelled
Component: S, V, M (a frog's throat, or the jaw of a ventriloquist dummy)

On failed Save, the target becomes primed for activation unless dispelled. The caster may then activate the spell from any distance, at any time thereafter. This allows them to talk through the mouth of the target for 1 minute. The target cannot resist this effect, though their body is still under their control. Forcibly shutting the mouth will prevent the sock puppetry.

No more than one Sock Puppet per target. Once the activation effect has been used, the effect is dispelled.

Enchantment, Level 3
Range: 60ft
Saving Throw: Charisma
Duration: 1 minute
Component: S

On failed Save, the target begins blurting out everything they're thinking, quite loudly. There is absolutely no social filter. The only way to stop before the duration is up is to cease conscious thought entirely, such as knocking the target out, or non-dreaming sleep. Traditional silencing methods also work quite well.

Enchantment, Level 4
Range: 120ft, within sight and hearing
Saving Throw: Charisma
Duration: Instantaneous
Component: S, V (sounds come out of proxy)

On failed Save, the caster may cast a spell that they know of level 3 or lower, through the target, using the target's next available action, bonus action, or reaction (depending on the spell requirements).

Upcasting this spell allows the use of higher spell slots. (e.g. casting it as a level 6 spell allows proxy spellcasting of level 5 or below)

Reverse Psychology
Enchantment, Level 5
Range: 60ft
Saving Throw: Charisma
Duration: Instantaneous
Component: S, V

As a reaction, you can cause someone to attempt to do the opposite of what they're just about to do. Just make up on the spot anything that seems about right. It's rarely going to make exact sense.

Sleeper Agent
Enchantment, Level 6
Range: Touch
Cast Time: 1 Hour
Saving Throw: Intellect
Duration: Until Dispelled
Component: S, V, M (hypnosis charms)

On failed save, the target becomes a sleeper agent. A Magical Aura is built into the spell, so it will not detect under normal circumstances. The target is given a specific trigger condition. When this trigger condition is met, the target will be charmed into fulfilling given orders.

The target will be charmed for 1 Hour this way, or until dispelled.
Upcasting as the spell increases the charmed duration to 8 Hours for Level 7, 1 Day for Level 8, and 1 Week for Level 9.

Find Secret
Enchantment, Level 7
Range: Touch
Saving Throw: Charisma
Duration: Instantaneous
Component: S, V, M (mice paws)

On failed Save, the caster learns a deeply-held secret of the target. This often aligns as close to the current topic of conversation as reasonably possible. Obviously, a lot of DM discretion here.

The target knows this spell has been cast on them, but they won't know what secret has been stolen.

Upcast as level 8: the target doesn't know the spell has been cast on a Save failure.
Upcast as level 9: the secret is erased from the target's mind and they don't know it's been cast.

Power Word: Ignominy
Enchantment, Level 8
Range: 60ft
Saving Throw: Charisma
Duration: Until Remove Curse
Component: S, V, M (a scepter of precious material, 500gp)

All who witness and recognize the target will treat them with utter disdain, no matter their personal relations.

Strangers will hurl curses and insults. Beggars will spit at their boots.
Those with aggressive violent tendencies will attack the target on sight.
Friends will shun and distance themselves from the target.
Those who love the target will hate them with a sense of betrayal.

Power Word: Command
Enchantment, Level 9
Range: Self
Saving Throw: Wisdom
Duration: 1 Hour
Component: S, V, M (a holy relic, or a piece of a god)

For the duration, every word you say is a Command spell. There is no word limit to your Commands. Commanding during combat is limited to six words per round, requiring an action.

Sunday, March 3, 2019


For 5e, 'cause that's what my home campaign is. 5e also needed some better illusion spells. One for each spell slot level, and easy enough to adapt to old school. These spells would normally be accessible to Bards, Sorcerers, Warlocks, and Wizards (and maybe some of the half/third casters).

Illusion, Cantrip
Range: Touch
Saving Throw: Intellect
Duration: 1 Minute + 1 additional minute per point of failure
Components: S

On failure, the target now experiences a sensation you describe, such as: itchiness, constipation, existential dread, the feeling like they're forgetting something, drowsiness, aching pain, etc. No symptoms, only feeling.

Sense Swap
Illusion, Level 1
Range: Touch
Saving Throw: Intellect
Duration: 1 Hour (Concentration)
Components: S, V

You alter the inputs of two of your five senses, choosing between touch, hearing, smell, sight, and taste. This allows you to potentially see smells, feel colors, or taste music. Any sense input can be substituted into any other. Your campaign may have additional senses - ask the GM.

If used on an unwilling target, they must make an Intellect Save. Upcasting this increases the number of targets by 1 per spell level above 1.

Illusion, Level 2
Range: Touch
Saving Throw: Intellect
Duration: Lasts until dispelled/consumed
Components: V, M (object of interest)

You imbue a substance (a bottle of water, miscellaneous white powder, some dust you just picked up) with an illusion. This illusion causes the consumer to believe that they are consuming whatever drug they think it might be. This requires some sort of imprint in order to work (i.e. it's contained in a beer bottle, the target is told this is crystal meth, or somebody shouts that they just ate poison).

Unless the person consuming it makes their Saving Throw, for all intensive purposes they have just taken the drug you described, though, it is limited to behavioral effects (if a drug turns your skin orange, Placebo will not replicate this. It can get you virtually drunk, though.) The "drug" tastes, smells, feels, and looks like the supposed drug. Their own body tricks itself into thinking it's taken this drug. The illusory drug effects last for 1 hour per point failed-by.

If the person knows that it's an illusion (casting the spell or making the Save), Placebo has no effect.

If the person consuming the substance succeeds on their Saving Throw, they realize what the substance truly is just upon taking it.

(This is great for acid and poison, FYI.)

Illusion, Level 3
Range: 120ft
Area: 20ft radius
Saving Throw: Intellect
Duration: 1 Minute / May save every round to end effect.
Components: S,V, M (mini yellow and black hat)

On failure, the target now believes that one object or spell effect of your choosing within both of your sights is an illusion. Any pains or sensations caused by the object are believed to be illusions.

(Ex: A wizard casts Wall of Fire, then casts Unseeming on a bandit trying to shank them. At first, the bandit wishes to avoid the Wall of Fire because he can feel the heat and know it will burn him. The Unseeming then causes him to realize that this is an illusion, and so he jumps right through. The bandit takes damage from the Wall of Fire.)

Saving throw DC goes up by 2 for every spell slot above 3 used.

Illusion, Level 4
Range: Touch
Spell Attack
Duration: 1 Minute / May save every round to end effect.
Components: V, S

Touch a body part on the target. That body part no longer believes it's part of the body. Arms will try to strangle their hosts, legs will try to jerk themselves free. A critical hit means you can snag the head, and the entire rest of the body will rebel, trying to yank the head off.

Deals 6d8 psychic damage, and incapacitates a chosen limb. On a critical hit the entire body is incapacitated for the duration.

Illusion, Level 5
Range: 30ft
Saving Throw: Wisdom
Duration: 1 Hour / May Save every Hour to end effect
Component: S, V, M (25gp ring of silver thorns)

On failure, the target sees and feels thorns everywhere: under their feet, on their skin, on every person and thing. Every 5ft of movement (excluding flight/swimming), and every action taken, causes 1d6 psychic damage. Dispel Magic alleviates the effects of this spell for 1 hour, after which the symptoms return until a successful Save. This spell detects as a poison, and may be permanently dispelled by Resist Poison.

((I can't take credit for this one. Too much influence from Cavegirl's The Idea of Thorns and The Lovely Dark's The Anti Wizard.))

Illusion, Level 6
Range: 30ft
Saving Throw: Intellect
Duration: 1 Week
Components: V, S, M (collagen)

On failed save, the target's own immune system starts freaking out to an imaginary disease, causing bodily harm from the reaction to the imagined threat. After 1 Day, joints become inflamed and begin to painfully swell up, lowering the target's speed by 5 ft every day. Every time they take an Action they take 1d4 poison damage.

Cure Disease will not work on this spell.

(Note: this damage is not illusory, it is very real.)

Each time this spell is cast on the same target, the duration becomes renewed and the effects of the spell stack with previous instances (two level 4 casts will lower speed by 10ft every day, and 2d4 poison damage per action)

Illusion, Level 7
Range: Touch
Saving Throw: Charisma
Duration: Permanent
Components: S, V, M (a drop of moon milk, 500g)

You implant an idea in the target's psyche. If they fail the save, then they believe that this idea was their original creation, and they'll try to follow through with it or rationalize it as best they can.

Mind Flay
Illusion, Level 8
Range: Touch
Saving Throw: Intellect
Duration: 1 Round
Components: S

Make a spell touch attack. On a hit, target becomes incapacitated for 1 Round. They become trapped in a prison of their own mind, a featureless gray desert stretching from horizon to horizon, for 1000 minus (INT x 20) years.

Depending on how long-lived the race of the target, it also Drains a Intellect. For long-lived races like Elves, it drains the lesser of 2d20 INT. For medium-lived races like Dwarves, it loses 1d20 INT. For short-lived races like humans, it drains the greater of 2d20 INT.

Creatures used to being immortal will be incapacitated, but will not suffer INT drain. Only a Wish spell can bring back INT lost this way.

Illusion, Level 9
Range: Touch
Duration: Until dispelled
Components: S, V, M (a collection of little silver brushes worn on the fingertips that cost 50gp)

You create a Shade - a permanent illusion of a person which believes itself to be real, born entirely from your consciousness.