06 October 2012

Magic Item: Wand of Wonderment

Some of my players are partial to magic items that have random effects, and one of their favorites is the infamous wand of wonder. The wand described in the original AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide had only 19 different randomly determined effects. My version has 100 different effects, because variety is the spice of adventuring (and because the greater the chaos, the greater the entertainment value). The following article was originally written with no system in mind and was meant to be used online, but has been adapted for use with actual dice and You Know What Role-Playing Game (and its relatives).

Wand of Wonderment

The ever popular and unpredictable wand of wonderment is a magical item of fantastic power and potential danger. Who knows what its effects might be? Each time it is used, its effects are entirely random. To use it might mean your undoing... or it might save your life. You may never know, unless you say the magic words and point it.

Pointing the wand is crucial, because the wand's magic is directional. Whatever the wand is pointing at receives the magic, for good or ill. Whether the wand requires magic words to activate it, or merely a practiced swish, depends on the particular wand and the whim of its maker, but when the wand is activated, one had better know where it is pointed.

All wands have a limited number of charges, and each use of a wand drains one or more charges. Each use of a wand of wonderment, for instance, drains a single charge regardless of the magical effect. It is sometimes possible, however, to cause the wand to generate a specific effect that the user has witnessed before, but the charge expenditure is much greater, and, typically, random. Each such use depletes a wand of surprise of a variable amount of charges as follows:

Roll 1d4

1. One charge.
2. A quarter of all remaining charges.
3. Half of all remaining charges.
4. All remaining charges.

When a wand has been depleted of charges, it becomes inert. Some wands are rechargeable, whilst others are forever drained of their capacity for magic. To recharge a wand may require the undertaking of a quest to seek one capable of performing such a task, and it may involve great expense. Whether your wand can be recharged or not, use it wisely. Or just go crazy with it. Who am I to tell you what to do with a dangerous, unstable magical object?

Speaking of danger, breaking a wand is another matter. It is probably best to avoid it if possible.

Wand-Using Procedures
Wave the wand whilst
Uttering the magic words of activation (if any) and
Point it.

Wand Effects

Roll 1d100

1. The target becomes invisible for 6 turns.
2. The target becomes invisible for 6 rounds.
3. The target glows brightly for 1d6 turns.
4. The target creature or object expands to twice its normal size.
5. The target creature or object shrinks to one-tenth its normal size.
6. The surface beneath the target becomes liquid if it is solid or solid if it is liquid to a maximum depth of ten cubits.
7. The target gains the strength of a cloud giant for 1d6 turns.
8. The target is struck by a ray of enfeeblement.
9. A stationary wall of fire surrounds the target for 5d6 rounds.
10. A stationary wall of ice surrounds the target for 5d6 rounds.
11. The target becomes inaudible for 1d6 turns.
12. The target emits an odd pungency for 1d8 hours.
13. The target levitates until a loss of concentration occurs.
14. The target is enshrouded by thick fog to a radius of 20 cubits for 1d12 turns.
15. The target becomes ethereal (or corporeal if already ethereal) for one day.
16. The target is covered with whipped cream.
17. The target is instantly healed of all injuries if living, or repaired of all damage if nonliving.
18. The target is struck by a cream pie.
19. The target is struck by a lightning bolt.
20. The target is struck by a fireball.
21. The target is struck by a ray of frost.
22. The target turns to stone (or flesh if already stone) for one day.
23. A dark cloud manifests above the target and rains for 5d6 rounds, remaining above the target until it dissipates.
24. A bright shaft of light illuminates the target from above for 5d6 rounds, remaining on the target even if it moves.
25. A gust of wind blows on the target from below for 1d4 rounds or until the target moves.
26. The target is instantly cleansed, purified, and rejuvenated.
27. The target is affected by a localized reversal of gravity for 3d6 rounds.
28. The target gains the ability to fly for 6 turns, or, if it already possesses the ability, its maximum flying speed is doubled for 6 turns.
29. A stationary dome of force, permeable only to breathable air, surrounds the target for 5d6 rounds.
30. A cloud of flour engulfs the target.
31. The target's speed is doubled for 2d6 rounds, or, if the target is immobile, it gains mobility for 2d8 turns.
32. The target's speed is halved for 2d6 rounds.
33. The target becomes feebleminded for 3d6 rounds.
34. The target is hurled 100 cubits away as if by a trebuchet.
35. The target is polymorphed into a frog for 1d6 turns.
36. The target is polymorphed into a wyvern for 1d6 turns.
37. The target becomes capable of speech, or, conversely, it loses its ability to speak, for 1d6 hours.
38. Every movement of the target is accompanied by dramatic music from an unknown source for one day.
39. The earth beneath the target opens up to a depth of 20 cubits.
40. The target becomes highly magnetized and attracts all metal things in a 10 cubit radius for 5d6 rounds.
41. The target becomes highly magnetized and repels all metal things in a 10 cubit radius for 5d6 rounds.
42. The target turns green and can derive nourishment from the sun for one week.
43. The target becomes frictionless for 3d6 rounds.
44. The target is afflicted with hiccups for 4d8 rounds.
45. The target is teleported in a random direction up to six leagues away.
46. A very loud eructation emanates from the target.
47. The target becomes charged with energy for 2d6 rounds, shocking anything it touches that is not insulated as if by a shocking grasp.
48. The target assumes gaseous form for 2d6 rounds, or, if already gaseous, becomes ethereal.
49. The target assumes liquid form for 2d6 rounds, or, if already liquid, becomes ethereal.
50. The target assumes solid form for 2d6 rounds, or, if already solid, becomes ethereal.
51. The target becomes surrounded by 6d6 identical duplicates, which, if organic, last for 1d6 rounds, or if inorganic (and nonmagical), are permanent.
52. The target becomes ethereal for 2d6 hours.
53. A displacer cake materializes before the target.
54. The target spins like a top for 3d4 rounds.
55. The target's color changes to one color of the visible light spectrum each minute in succession (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet) for 1d6 days.
56. The target astrally projects for 6d6 turns if it is living, during which time its corporeal body appears to be comatose; or it disappears if it is nonliving, having been transported to the Astral Plane.
57. The target is struck by a ham.
58. The target gains the ability to communicate telepathically for one day.
59. The target gains the power of clairvoyance for one day if living, or bestows that ability to anyone touching it (as long as it is being touched) for one month if it is nonliving.
60. The target glows brightly in the presence of the supernatural for 1d6 hours.
61. The target grows a protective carapace stronger than steel (AC 0), which crumbles into dust after one day.
62. The target gains the ability of pyrokinesis and immunity to fire for 24 hours if living, or bursts into flame if nonliving.
63. The target gains the ability of cryokinesis and immunity to cold for 24 hours if living, or instantly freezes if nonliving.
64. The target gains the ability to read and write any language encountered for 1d6 days if living, or becomes capable of being used as a translator for anyone in physical contact for 1d6 months if nonliving.
65. The target becomes highly allergic to silence for 1d6 days, sneezing uncontrollably whenever it is quiet.
66. The target becomes inflated and floats as if filled with helium for 6d6 rounds.
67. The target becomes heavy as if made of lead for 6d6 rounds.
68. The target becomes as buoyant as wood for 6d6 rounds, or, if already as buoyant as wood, becomes lighter than air.
69. The target gains a moustache (real or false, depending on whether the target is normally capable of growing one).
70. The target grows a prehensile tail that disappears after one week.
71. The target grows wings that disappear after one week.
72. The target creature or object expands to thrice its normal size.
73. The target creature or object shrinks to half its normal size.
74. The target emits a powerful floral fragrance for 2d6 days.
75. The target fumbles for 3d6 rounds.
76. The target is blinded for 1d6 rounds.
77. The target is blinded for 1d6 hours.
78. The target is deafened for 1d6 rounds.
79. The target is deafened for 1d6 hours.
80. The target is paralyzed for 2d6 rounds if living, or explodes if nonliving (potentially affecting anything within a 6 cubit radius with its shrapnel or other debris).
81. The target emits sounds at regular intervals like a foghorn whenever it is dark and/or foggy for 1d6 days.
82. The target is incapable of understanding speech for 2d6 hours if living, or shatters if nonliving.
83. The target hums for 3d6 hours.
84. The target grows large compound eyes (affording excellent peripheral vision) that disappear after one week.
85. The target grows a thick coat of fur that disappears after one week.
86. The target gains the ability to see perfectly in darkness for 1d8 days, or, conversely, gains the ability to see in bright light.
87. The target gains the ability to divine the location of treasure in the same manner as a divining rod for 4d6 hours.
88. The target becomes enveloped by a web that has the strength of steel, but the flammability of a normal web.
89. The target is struck by a powerful jet of water.
90. The target is struck by a powerful blast of wind.
91. The target grows protective scales (equivalent to scale armor) that are shed after one week.
92. The target gains the ability to regenerate 1 hit point per turn for 6d6 days.
93. The target's eyes are crossed for 4d6 hours or, if the target does not have eyes, the target is simply inverted.
94. Any curse cast upon the target is negated or, if none exist, the target glows in the presence of curses, for one week.
95. Time stops for all except the wielder, who is free to act for 60 seconds, at which point Time resumes.
96. A cloud of soot engulfs the target.
97. The target is duplicated by a hostile simulacrum if living, or by a shoddy fake if nonliving.
98. The target appears to be displaced 1d6 cubits away from where it actually is for one week.
99. The target becomes translucent for one month, or, if already translucent, opaque.
100. The wielder may choose any one effect he or she has witnessed being caused by the wand (and is made aware of this by a telepathic sensation from the wand).

[Previously published in a slightly altered form here in Fudgery.net.]

[Edit: This article was updated on 10 May 2014.]

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