Monday, June 11, 2018

One Dozen Wicked BFRPG Wizards

This is mainly a brainstorming exercise of how wicked wizards might exploit spells that don't have obvious Evil Overlord applications to become menaces regardless.
Also I think a lot of these spells are totally crap but oh well, maybe I'll do a 'one dozen wicked GLOG wizards' next

I assigned spells by simply giving wizard 1 the first spell from each level, wizard 2 the second spell, and so on, up to level 5 spells. Level 5 only had 10 spells, so i kept wizards #11 and 12 with no level 5 spell, but working as a team.

Wizard #1- The Saint of Sunlight
1- charm person
2-continual Light
4-charm monster
5-animate dead
Actually this is awful similar to Damon Kars but oh well.

The Saint of Sunlight  is indeed a wicked wizard, but he masquerades as a non-spellcasting saintly character bringing peace between all beings to the realm. His stronghold is totally lit with Continual Light and kept spotlessly clean by tireless skeletal maids(who are in disguise, naturally). He is renowned for being able to convince anyone and anything of the goodness of his cause, but in fact simply spams charm person or charm monster, and if that doesn't work, he uses his already charmed servants to kill people in corpse-preserving ways like poison or stabs to the heart, then raises their corpse to parade it around as proof of 'conversion.' He charms noble beasts like lions and unicorns to accompany him as proof of his saintly nature, and if possible, acquires breeding pairs of them to train their offspring to be friendly without the use of charm spells. To aid his poisonous assassinations, he likely charms poisonous things like giant spiders or serpents, though such creatures are not considered good for his image and he keeps them as secret guardians of his bedchamber, much like the well-preserved and/or disguised undead servants.

Having the charmed 'support' of key figures that once opposed him has given him a loose unification of the local military and religious organizations in a certain town and he is working his way up to usurping the pope-equivalent by demonstrating his superior saintliness compared to the wicked and materialistic clergy of the day, who spend all their time teaming up with murderhobos to loot old crypts. This strongly espoused anti-adventurer stance is mainly just to bring him in conflict with the PCs, but has a side bonus of letting him use dungeons as a source of monsters and perhaps loot. Rival adventuring parties with a Charmed leader do such looting for him, of course.

Wizard #2- Otto of the Grotto
1- Detect Magic
2-Detect Evil

A middle-aged, bald, villainous hoarder of magical trinkets, with a small cabin set near a perilous cliff, from which he peddles various minor magical items and adventuring gear. He uses Detect Magic on people to see if they have any magical items worth looting, and if they do(or if they just prove to be stinking rich by buying his expensive items), he'll tell them that a lost hideout of a famous, anonymous highwayman who raided and pillaged the region for years is rumored to be in the forested mountains nearby near a grove of dead oaks.

Said hideout is incredibly easy to find with the hint of the dead grove, and it is in fact Otto's hoard, and the grotto is basically his personal bankvault+bait. The grotto is nothing but a single cavern with a 20' deep pit, at the bottom of which lies the treasure, a wealth of coins and trinkets, and a simple rope pulley elevator to allow people to ascend or descend.

Otto's plan is simple- follow the players with Darkvision, wait for them to descend into the pit, then gas them all with Cloudkill. Confusion makes it harder to escape the deadly fumes, and he can cut ropes of the pulley or any other ropes set up to make the gas trap harder to escape. Fleeing with darkvision through a mountainous forest at night makes him hard to catch, and if confronted at his own home, he has a cunning escape route that also takes advantage of his darkvision- a reservoir of water, with a short flooded tunnel that emerges up into a 3 way intersection. Any torches of pursuers will be doused while his Darkvision keeps him able to flee down the correct tunnel to escape in stealthy darkness, the other tunnels being trapped with deadfalls and small spiked pits, and even the correct tunnel having a pit trap that he jumps over. If he still has Cloudkill available, it can cover his escape as well.

Otto's Hoard
A kings ransom of assorted coins and jewels, assembled via a good 30 years of banditry and preying on absurdly wealthy adventurers who fell victim to his schemes(in the early days, before he mastered Cloudkill and confusion, he probably relied heavily on just kicking people into the pit). Some of it has been spent on his cabin and fine foods and luxuries, but it's still an impressive sum.

Otto's Goods for Sale- All manner of magical and mundane items could be for sale, looted from all the adventurers he's slain over the years. They are unmarked by violence, as the owners died of poison fumes, though a bit of an acrid smell may be smelt from the armor.
Sold for bargain prices intended to tease out if the players are rich enough to be worth robbing.
Likely Things For Sale- Y'know, if you don't have a list of 'fun lesser items I want to use someday'
1- Wand (No charges)
2- Sword/Shield +1 (He's got them coming out his ears by now)
3- Cursed Backbiter Spear (his favorite trap item)
4- Niche Potion (like 'control lycanthropes')
5- Healing potions (useless against his tactics anyway)
6- Platemail to make sure everyone is bad at climbing, swimming, etc.

Otto's Personal Gear
Potion of Speed- for extra haste in escaping
Battle Axe +2- for use in quickly chopping ropes, though Otto's no fighter.

Wizard #3- Abductor Captain Ronglio

1-Floating Disc
2-Detect Invisible
3-Dispel Magic
4-Dimension Door
5-Conjure Elemental

Ronglio made his living at the start of his career catching fugitive wizards with the aid of a few hired thugs, at first being nothing but a way to carry abducted people atop the floating disc, then learning how to counter those who attempted to hide via invisibility, then acquiring an all-purpose wizard-foiling tool via detect magic, and finally getting Dimension Door to simply teleport his targets into waiting ambushes. With that mighty development, he has gone freelance, and become a ransomer of kidnapped prisoners and rescuer of criminals(for a price, of course). His typical asked ransom is to fill up his floating disc with treasure. Having become inordinately wealthy via his extortionate practices, he has a pirate-crewed prison-ship, the Abductor. crewed by faithful knaves who he rescued himself from certain doom via Dimension Door. Abductor is nigh-uncatchable thanks to his summoning of air elementals to fill its sails or water elementals to push it directly, and due to its cargo of prisoners, those interested in saving them can hardly dare attack it for fear of the prisoners safety. Magical means of attacking or infiltrating are often foiled by Detect Invisible or Dispel Magic.
Bonus-If it comes to a dramatic confrontation, have him dangle a chained prisoner off the side of the ship atop floating disc- you kill him, and the prisoner falls into the briny deep! Also dimension dooring intruders 380 feet away into the ocean is always good.

Wizard #4 Keeper of the Pass
1-Hold Portal
4-Growth of Plants

Years ago, invading barbarians raided a small kingdom in the mountains. The court wizard escaped the sacking of the keep and the slaughter of the royal family and peasantfolk and fled to the guard tower that overlooked the mountain pass and sealed the invading army in with a nigh impenetrable thicket of trees and bushes clogging the past. The invading army, fat with looted booty and wishing to return to their home, attempted to cut their way through, only to find themselves in the middle of a forest fire as the vengeful wizard hurled fireballs into the overgrown plant life, and save for a few survivors, they perished in the raging flames.

The wizard still lurks in the watchtower, crazed and utterly xenophobic, preventing any who still live in the sealed-away kingdom from leaving or any outsiders from entering. He casts Hold Portal to delay entrance to his watchtower, and ESP on those attempting to trick their way past him. After the Feebleminding of the wizard Brandi, few wizards are willing to risk their valued brains against the madness of the Keeper. Hallucinatory terrain is used to give an impression of the area around the watchtower being clear during the 18 hours or so per day the wizard is awake, but this is a ruse- the flame-blackened stone walls have grasping creepers and vines outside the very doors of the tower, and all trespassers will burn if the wizard spots them and ignites the patches of vegetation.

Nearly a generation has passed since any news came from the sealed-off kingdom. There may yet be a few survivors locked behind the overgrown forest's ash-eating roots, and there are certainly melted treasures the invaders carried beneath the embered underbrush and forgotten in the sacked castle.

All you'll typically see of Kalavor
 Wizard #5  Kalavor the Merciless
1-Darkness(We had Light earlier so I reversed it)
4-Hallucinatory Terrain

5-Hold Monster

Kalavor Lives near the Akkadian Waste, a desert of small size, annoying location between several  kingdoms, but still a danger to cross unprepared. Traders and armies alike of nearby kingdoms must leave monthly tributes at gallows constructed by the wizard, or face his sorcerous wrath. He uses Invisibility, Fly, and Hold Monster to slay or kidnap those who defy him, via the following method.
He has a camel trained to remain calm when Fly and Invisibility is cast upon it, and enters settlements either in disguise or invisibly. Then, via a lasso or net, he has a variety of ways to inflict his wrath upon his target.
1- Kidnapping- Ideally aided by Hold Person, he can snag people and fly away with them invisibly, returning to his desert fortress via camel with his prisoner. Pursuers may be bamboozled by Hallucinatory Terrain leading them to false oases and landmarks, causing them to become lost and either abandon the pursuit or risk dying of dehydration in the desert. Those who pursue tenaciously will be led to his lair in the Black Crack, a desert canyon, and Kalavor will conceal the canyon as desert with Hallucinatory terrain and cast Fly, then pretend to ride over the safe desert and lure the pursuers to a death by falling.
2-Public Hanging- A ghastly fate, where the victim, either captured beforehand or snagged via a dangled lasso from the flying invisible Kalavor and/or Camel, is dragged through the skies over their town(or caravan) as they are gradually asphyxiated by a noose round their neck, horrifying the populace, until they are dropped into a public location.
3-Unleashed Monster- Having captured a desert monster with Hold Monster, Kalavor tows it into the bedchamber of his target if possible(a basket with a snake or scorpion captured via Hold Monster will do if no monsters can be found), or simply unleashes it as near to town as he can get to wreak havoc.

Kalavors actual lair is a simple hut stuffed with finery atop a perilous spire of rock in the Black Crack, reachable only by flight or climbing. If confronted, he has various tricks to lure people into falling to their doom, like casting darkness near an edge of the spire and flying a few feet out over the fall and waiting for bold enemies to charge in, or (in the event he has but a single foe) debilitating them with Darkness to their eyes or Hold Monster. A trick for escape he likes using in case he cannot fly for whatever reason is to cast darkness on the ground at his feet, then turn invisible and sneak away while people investigate the darkness.
magic jar is a lot like a bootleg phylactery
 Wizard #6 Keyless
1-Magic Missile
4-Ice Storm
5-Magic Jar

A retired adventurer of poor moral character, Keyless has turned to the dark practice of bodysnatching to buy more time. His tower is 3 stories tall, and 3 stories deep, and his corpse lies in stasisin a hidden chamber on the ground floor, in a secret crypt beneath the floor of a room with 4 doors, all barred from the inside. He demands tribute in the form of servants from the nearby settlement, who live and maintain the tower for the wizard Keyless, who takes one of their bodies for himself every so often via Magic Jar, the Jar being a large ruby set in an amulet engraved with the spell in pixie runes. While in a servant's body, he leaves the ruby with his own corpse, but if he were to ever leave his tower, he would take the Magic Jar with him and likely use his own form(unless he was to, say, infiltrate an adventuring party via taking over a character...) but the only reason he'd leave the tower and expose himself to danger would be if tempted by a less precarious form of immortality.

In any case, there are many doors that are barred from the other side and lead to hidden areas and research laboratories below ground, or to high balconies with no apparent means of access, and it is from these places of cover and high ground that he would prefer to smite intruders foes with magic missiles and ice storms and Keyless uses Knock to enter these areas. Use of Haste allows him to get these doors between him and potential enemies, and if cornered in a servant's body, he will likely abandon it, then possess a random new victim if his body is not found before he can recover spells. If worse comes to worse, he may even possess one of the rats in the tower, but would prefer to take a strong or influential body that could help him in his quest for immortality.

Wizard #7 Prince-Burier
1-Magic Mouth
3-Hold Person
This wizard is all about trickery within his own lair, a castle that was drowned in a mudflow from a nearby volcano along with all its treasures and royalty. He uses Massmorph to disguise himself and his 2d4+2 graverobbing friends to avoid direct conflict, and has enhanced mobility inside the half-drowned keep, able to pass through the earth to isolated air pockets and cleared out chambers, levitate up broken tower interiors, and so on.

His nastiest trick is to open Passwalls to areas of the castle that have no exit to the surface and lure people inside with Magic Mouth, then close the passage behind them and either leave them to die or use their well-hidden position and certain doom as leverage to manipulate anyone who cares about the trapped soul. He can also claim that he is the only way anyone can reach the treasure of the sunken castle and so hopefully have people spare his life if he's cornered. His other nasty trick is Hold Person while people are swimming through muddy water, forcing people to rescue their paralyzed comrade lest they drown.

He would also be dangerous in the event that players had their own fortified place to defend, but man, this guy was tricky to make into a crediblemenace and I think would work better in a 'rival adventuring party' situation where the issue is getting to the treasure of the sunken keep before he does.

Wizard#8 Anfar the Beastmaster
1-Protection from Evil
2-Locate Object
3-Invisibility 10' radius
4-Polymorph Other

 Owner of a traveling circus(really more of a grim selection of cage-wagons with sullen creatures inside them ala The Last Unicorn), Anfar's exotic bestiary is entirely composed of polymorphed people who have crossed him, and the occasional kidnapped VIP. A good place to throw NPCs you haven't used in a while. He has grown quite wealthy in unremarkable ways doing things like turning horses into elephants, mice into dairy cows, and other wheeling and dealing of livestock, and has turned to turning people into monsters as a way to entertain himself and get political connections by meddling in the affairs of nobles by kidnapping targets lured by the promise of entertainment at his circus.

He is often attended by 4 faithful but stupid thugs- his own loyal hounds, polymorphed into humans to better assist him. Though of doggish knowledge and sophistication, their unwavering loyalty in their master and simplemindedness can make them 'too dumb to fool' for people who believe them to truly be human hired thugs. He occasionally will stalk targets on a horse or with his dog-men under the cover of invisibility, and clever use of Locate Object helps him follow people he seeks to add to his circus.

In the event of things going badly, he has a few tricks, most involving Polymorph Other aimed at turning an enemy into a monster that will maim whatever is closest, or aimed at one of his dogs to create a more useful, but still controllable beast to attack with or flee upon.
  • Alicorns are dangerous, cruel, and often invisible, but can be warded against by Protection from Evil, and are a popular choice of what to turn his dogs into.
  • Flame Salamanders are exceedingly dangerous and intelligent, but can be used to roast everyone within 20' of the polymorphed target regardless of the new salamanders intentions, and cause huge flaming distractions to cover his escape as flammable things ignite.
  • Basilisks can be good for surprise-petrifying masses of people
His final combat trick requires time to set up, and involves him lifting a 450 pound iron cage into the air and dropping it on people with Telekinesis to either capture them or squish them. If outmatched, he will use Invisibility or a Polymorph to turn one of his dogs into a Pegasus to flee.

Wizard#9 Anzu The Scourge
1-Read Languages- labeled traps
2-Mirror Image
3-Lightning Bolt
4-Polymorph Self
 A pest on every country in creation, Anzu rides the winds in the form of a great eagle(and in fact is thought to actually be some sort of monster, rather than a wizard), and terrorizes any location reached via outrageous demands in the language of the land once Anzu has had a chance to Read Languages and learn enough of the language to be an asshat. Able to escape by land, air, sea, and the warping of space itself via teleport, Anzu arrives, makes demands and demonstrates the power of lightning bolts, then vanishes once tribute is given(and certainly before enough people with bows can be mustered to shoot the 'thunderbird' out of the sky). As if this direct extortion wasn't bad enough,. various bandits calling themselves the "Talons of Anzu" make extortionate demands in this wizards name, and while most of them are almost certainly pretenders, the "Talons of Anzu" have become a phenomenon all over the world due to Anzu's antics, and some of them actually do enjoy erratic support from this mysterious wizard.

Wizard#10 Cursebreaker
2-Phantasmal Force
3-Protection from evil 10'
4- Remove Curse
5-Wall of Stone

Apart from providing free construction, I don't see a lot of potential to be extra-wicked here without basically just relying on charisma and money and mostly ignoring the spells. So I'll have this wizard be someone who was Geas'd to help everyone who asks for curse removal, but they're just selfish and antisocial, so they try to get around their Geas by lurking in a labyrinth that has expanded a little every day with Wall of Stone. The trick is finding the wizard in this giant maze, and avoiding the monsters naturally drawn to inhabit such a place. The wizard is protected from the monsters via protection from evil so they focus on eating people who come to compel the wizard's help and laughing at the suffering of cursed petitioners.

Wizard#11 Crimson Fever Dream
3-Protection from Normal Missiles
4-Wall of Fire
Wizard#12 Reflected Ocean Dream
2-Wizard Lock
3-Water Breathing
4-Wizard Eye

Maybe I've just run out of creativity, but I'm having a rough time with these two. I guess they could mislead people, lurk underwater, be well-informed, be able to have annoying doors, and have decent crowd control and resistance to getting killed by arrows, but they're still not especially mobile or blessed with the ability to much beyond maybe kill people and maybe not be killed, and maybe be tricky in preset situations. Maybe they could be the quirky duo of apprentices to Prince-Burier, another wizard who basically needed a specific context to be anything but ignorable.


  1. I want to run a Jojoesque campaign with these wizards as the main antagonists. As they already have weird powers and habits, they only need wacky fashion sense and mannerisms to gain the feel that any good Jojo villain has.

    1. If you ever run that, I wanna hear the results! Typically I think the Jojoesque campaign is easiest to run in superhero games, but I think there's a real overlap with OSR with the mindset of 'hmmm, how can I exploit this weird spell/item' so I think your idea has a lot of promise.