24 Things to Discover in a Wizard’s Tower

Wizard’s towers are strange places full of esoteric items of unknowable purpose and artifice and odd, otherworldly magical effects. Adventures therein should be (pardon the pun) magical…

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge)

By Maciej Zagorski (The Forge)


Use the three short tables below, to add depth and flavour to an adventure set in a wizard’s tower:

8 Interesting Tower Features

  1. A sundial in the tower always casts a shadow to indicate the correct time although it is not in sunlight.
  2. A small depression in the floor serves as a well of sorts. Although it is only a foot deep and has no obvious source of water, the “well” never runs dry.
  3. The tower’s windows are opaque from the outside, denying anyone a view of what goes on within.
  4. This whitewashed tower gleams brightly in sunlight. During daylight hours, strange shadows and shapes writhe across its white walls.
  5. The mortar used to build the tower is laced with lead; thus detect magic from outside reveals nothing of what lies within.
  6. Dozens of carven gargoyles decorate the tower; sometimes they seem to move or shift location.
  7. Intricate mosaic windows depicting ancient, famous wizards admit a riot of colour into the tower’s interior.
  8. An impossibly slender and long flagpole atop the tower flies a flag emblazoned with the wizard’s personal sigil; no matter the weather, the flag flutters majestically.

8 Strange Sounds

  1. Perceptive PCs hear the sound of barely audible muttering in a harsh, otherworldly language. The sound is so faint, though, they cannot make out more than a few words.
  2. Many small holes pierce the tower’s outer walls; when the wind is stronger than a mere breeze this creates a whining sound that rises and falls as gusts batter the structure.
  3. Footsteps sound in a random direction, but investigations reveal the relevant area to be empty.
  4. A perceptive PC detects the faint sound of scrabbling claws on stone.
  5. Barely audible crying or sobbing comes to the party’s ears; it comes from an unknown source.
  6. A high pitch buzzing sounds suddenly begins. No matter the PCs’ actions, it increases in pitch for 30 seconds before abruptly ceasing.
  7. A low humming—seemingly coming from the tower’s very stones—slowly becomes apparent to the PCs’ ears. It continues for 20 minutes before slowly fading away.
  8. A single, loud chime suddenly rings out. The sound echoes through the tower.

8 Things to Find Inside a Book

  1. A scrap of weathered, aged parchment decorated with beautiful doodles of writhing arcane fire.
  2. A single brilliant white feather that clearly hailed from a very large bird (or perhaps a more exotic creature).
  3. A thrice-folded slip of parchment upon which has been written a shopping list of sorts. It appears whoever wrote the list was looking to restock a laboratory.
  4. A large but fragile oak tree leaf. It is brittle to the touch and disintegrates if handled roughly.
  5. A quill with a red ink-stained tip. The pages between which it lay are smeared with the same red ink.
  6. A small pouch fashioned from a heavy piece of parchment is glued to the book’s inside back cover; a few shiny grains of diamond dust yet linger within.
  7. One of the book’s pages is heavily smeared with dried blood; much of the page’s contents are obscured and the page is partially stuck to its neighbour.
  8. A lock of long, jet black hair serves as a bookmark of sorts; tied at both ends with delicate strands of black silk the whole gives off a faint odour of unidentifiable origin.

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This article will appear in 20 Things #3: Wizard’s Tower, available in July 2017. For more, check out our Free Resources page.

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