20 Minor Magical Effects to Encounter in a Wizard’s Tower

Wizard’s towers are strange places, full of strange sights, sounds and smells.

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge Studios)


Use the table below, to generate details of such minor effects encounters by the party:

  1. Small motes of multi-coloured light float near the ceiling. They gently bob in the air currents and swirl about wildly when someone passes beneath them.
  2. The temperature in certain areas of the tower is either much hotter or colder than the others, for no apparent reason.
  3. A faintly glowing translucent mist hugs the floor. Those staring into the mist for too long are suddenly overwhelmed by a sensation of falling which only ends when they shut their eyes.
  4. Doors open silently when a sentient being gets within 5 ft. and close when it moves away. The tower’s resident can override this effect and command the doors to remain closed or open.
  5. Gravity is subtly different in the tower. Light weight objects—weighing less than one pound—if left unattended sometimes begin to float of their own accord. (Small micro-pockets of zero gravity float through the tower as a result of the erosion between the various planes of existence existing in and about the structure).
  6. The tower has no mundane decorations such as paintings, tapestries or other decorative wall hangings. Instead, beautifully created illusions of otherworldly places—alien vistas, strange cities and so forth—decorate the walls. Careful observation of the decorations reveals several have tiny moving features such as clouds, people, wandering monsters and so on.
  7. Key pieces of furniture—the wizard’s favourites such as his desk, chair and so on—are animate and can move around at his command.
  8. Residual magic covers some sections of the floor. Characters stepping on such locations leave behind faintly glowing footprints that fade after an hour.
  9. Faint music fills the tower; the type and style of music is dependant on the wizard’s mood.
  10. Glowing, intangible runes float through the air. They pop out of existence when they come into contact with anything solid.
  11. Insubstantial, ghostly figures float through the tower on occasion; they pay no attention to the tower’s inhabitants. The figures seem to be of a haughty, cruel-meined race of humans who wear clothes of strange cut.
  12. Every now and then, a blast of hot air—like a desert gale—rushes through the tower.
  13. Gently glowing green mist fills this part of the tower. The mist reduces visibility to about 5 ft., and resists mundane attempts to dissipate it.
  14. Heatless flames writhe about metal balls hung from the ceiling in each room, providing light. A command word causes the flames to extinguish (or ignite).
  15. The sound of gently falling rain echoes throughout the tower, no matter the weather outside.
  16. Doors within the tower are crafted from some kind of super-hard transparent crystal. Inside each room the doors are flanked by curtains which can be pulled across for privacy.
  17. Every room in the tower has a black ceiling. Chaotic swirls of multi-hued light writhe across their surfaces in a never-ending cascade of colour.
  18. Invisible servants formed of magic move about the tower tidying up and cleaning. The resident wizard abhors mess and so has created these semi-sentient invisible servants to indulge his lust for cleanliness and order.
  19. The fur of any animal entering the tower becomes charged with static electricity and stands up on end. This does not hurt the animal, but can give it a somewhat comical appearance.
  20. Characters in the tower can become affected by the thinness of the boundaries between planes at this point of the multiverse. Occasionally, such characters are assailed by glimpses of these other planes and their inhabitants. The visions happen suddenly and without warning and can be disconcerting. With practise, the visions can be controlled and the viewer can use this strange effect as a limited form of scrying magic.

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20Front_#3_220This article appears in  20 Things #3 Wizard’s Tower, which is available now.

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