Immortality: Everything you ever wanted to know, but were too short-lived to ask

Recently, a player of mine made a pact with Excrutiators (dark beings who study the deaths of mortals from other realms) to forsake her mortality and become a Lich. I like the idea that there are a number of ways you might be able to forsake the mortal bonds that shackle our lives in my games, and that all of them are available at different levels of difficulty. I'm still not quite sure how achievable I want these kinds of things to be; I think the happy middle is that the more "perfect" or rather, the less drawbacks the Immortality has, the higher level you'd need to be to get it. Potentially I want anyone at any level to be able to become immortal, its just that it won't quite be as easy as all that. We'll have to see. Immortality fundamentally changes what the game (and most importantly combat if they are that immortal, which I'd suggest you should avoid, too much hassle) is about, and what the character needs, so deploy it with caution, but I think it is very much worth deploying. The ramifications will certainly make for memorable experiences I'd wager.

The classic method. There are many ways to become a lich, and not all are as pleasant or difficult as the others. Lich is more of a catch-all term for the many, many ways to achieve immortality by removing one's soul and storing it elsewhere. There are indeed some very easy and simple ways to become a lich, but all of them need knowledge and specific materials and spells, thus it is usually only the higher-level wizards that ever achieve it, and usually only with the most complicated variations on the ritual. Eternity is a long time to be spent in a corpse after all, you want as many bells and whistles you can.

Potentially anyone can become a lich with enough effort and materials, even at first level (though the time spent gathering said materials will almost certainly be enough for a few levels as it is).

- Immortality as long as your Phylactery remains intact
- Phylactery required
- Undeath
- You can come back from bodily destruction
- More dependent on the method of Lichdom used. Some require upkeep in souls, some won't prevent rot and decay, some cause irrevicable insanity. The list will be long and complex I'm sure.

Another classic. There are exactly two ways to become a vampire; drinking the life-blood of a vampire, or by accepting the gift of the Thirster, one of the Grimm Powers of the Shadowfell, and the original source of vampirism. The powers of a vampire increase with age, and with blood drunk; initially it begins only as an inurement to death by old age and a lethal aversion to sunlight, but eventually you get all the powers such a creature of the night is rumoured and suggested to have. Most vampires are actually powerful warriors, their bloodlust on the battlefield actualised into their new curse.

- Immortality as long as you meet the upkeep
- Thirst and requirement for the blood of men
- Aversion and weakness to sunlight
- Undeath
- Bodily destruction is the end

Becoming a Lamenter
Actually totally out of a being's hands, mostly only happens to those who have a serious quest to complete when the cold grasp of death tightens around them, but potentially anyone can become a Lamenter. Of course, the shades of death often obscure the creature's original purpose, and they lose themselves in the murk of eternity. Their long grey lives are spent in pursuit of impossible tasks and ambitions, anything to stave of the inevitable monotony of infinity and the madness that comes with it. Lamenters tend to congregate in tomb-cities, and hunt the insane ones that lurk like rats in the tunnels underneath. More on Lamenters to come.

- Immortality without any requirements
- No real requirements
- Not much of anything really
- You need something to stave of the boredom or you'll go mad

All Saints are of course immune to death by old age, a God isn't going to invest such power in their agents for so trivial of a death to take them from the mortal realms. The fact that almost every Saint has been martyred within a couple decades of their canonisation is little distraction from the process of ascending for many. The powers of Sainthood are difficult to turn down, both from the magnitude of the power offered, and the fact that you have to be quite devout as it is to receive such an offer from your deity, and thus refusing the offer is off the table for such an individual.

Potentially anyone devout enough could become a Saint, though usually only Clerics and Paladins will be focused enough on their faith to ever achieve it. It also isn't quite as good as you might immediately think; while it does avoid most of the downsides associated with immortality as gained from other methods, you do have something of a responsibility to the deity that granted you the Sainthood; but of course that is seldom a downside for the type of individual to be offered Sainthood anyway.

- Immortality as long as you keep up the good rep with your god
- Divinely appointed powers
- People want your opinion on like, everything
- People want you gone because your god isn't as good as theirs
- Basically all the problems of celebrity and zeal

Alchemical Immortality
There are two main methods of achieving this, creating an undying body and transfering your alchemical soul into it, or transferring your alchemical soul into a fully-grown homunculi (though you will need to repeat this every few decades or so, homunculi aren't as eternal as the alchemical soul).

Creating such new bodies is horrendously hard, and ludicrously expensive. At least the Stone of the Philosophers has actually been confirmed to have been created more than once, though of course homunculi are somewhat common among master alchemists, its just that transferral of the alchemical soul is the hard part. Creating an undying alchemical body has yet to be achieved, as far as is known.

The other aspect of Alchemical immortality is that the alchemical soul isn't as rigid as you might think. It is just as changable as it is whilst in the body, and while the person who appears in the new body is literally speaking the same person who went in, that doesn't mean they won't emerge changed to one degree or another.

Golems and other such constructs have been known to be used in place of Alchemical bodies, but it is a rather lesser form of immortality. Golem bodies are much less flexible than Homunculi in many ways.

- Immortality as long as you aren't killed, and can maintain the body you live in
- Transferring your Alchemical soul might change it in certain ways, some small, some unavoidable
- Doubtless others will seek you out and demand you do the same for them

Demonic Apotheosis
The end result of many fiendish pacts, the giving over of your soul utterly to hell is tempting for many of the more boring and less gifted members of the human race. Of course, most will not make it, struck down by zealous do-gooders before the ritual is ever reached, and often the Demon who made the pact will often try to get the pactee struck down themselves (though indirectly of course) before they transfer the terms of the pact they bound them to.

Once Apotheosis is reached of course, the mortal shell sloughs off, and a new form of demonic proportions emerges, grand in power and dark majesty. Most who do achieve it find it to be less glamorous than they imagined. The potential to advance is there of course, the Demon said it would, but the newly minted demon didn't quite realise that they would start as low on the ladder as they would, nor that they would have to take orders from a liege. This isn't to say that they are weak at all, or not free to do much of what they wish, but many find it not as they quite expected.

- Immortality, as a Demon, with all that entails
- You start off as a reasonably middle-ranking demon, you must earn your way up
- You have a Demonic Liege-lord, usually the demon you made your pact with, until you overthrow them
- You do have a lot of free time, but also obligations you must fulfil

Draconic Apotheosis
With the heart of every Dragon-born is the spark of a dragon. When they die, it can (and often will) gutter and die within them, but every so often, a Dragon-Born of sufficient stature and power will kindle the spark into a raging flame, fanned by their cult of followers in a ritual specifically bred to increases the chances, and as their mortal form expires, they instantly reincarnate into their new semi-divine form, rising from the ashes wreathed in magic, and power.

This is of course, limited to Dragon-born.

- Immortality as a Dragon
- You are a Dragon
- A Dragon is you

Becoming a Death-Knight
The path of the Paladin is hard, and not all can make it. Of those that do, there are some that stumble and falter at the last, break their oaths, and fail to atone. From this stock, a Death Knight might be born. Words are power, more than people know, and breaking one's word twists and distorts that power, fuses and suffuses it to the soul, blackens and crisps it up like thin meat in the pan. These cracked and broken souls do not work right, and are the main source of an Anti-Paladin's power. Should they die, there is a chance that the crooked soul left within can't leave, and thus is the Death Knight born, the unholy powers of a broken oath sustaining it and corrupting it further. Redemption is the only way to permanently destroy a Death Knight, but the longer one remains as it is, the less and less likely redemption ever becomes.

This is usually only available to Fallen Paladins, but others who make mighty oaths and break them may achieve it too.

- Immortality unless you redeem yourself, which is unlikely
- Basically everyone hates you
- Your Anti-Paladin powers are enhanced, as your undead body can handle the negative energies of your magics more easily
- You can recover from bodily destruction eventually, but it takes longer and longer each time, and each time it takes and greater and greater tax on your mind, until eventually you go insane and dormant

The connection of a Druid to the Land itself is strong, and grows with the centuries. Eventually, the bind transgresses life itself, and the Druid becomes a part of the living world in a very literal sense. As one steeps themselves in the webs of alliances of the earth and the living things within and on it, the more one becomes tangled within themselves. Thus, a Druid who remains within their chosen Grove long enough will eventually never leave, becoming something of a part of it themselves. They live on as long as the Grove does, existing in symbiotic harmony. It is immortality of a sort to those outside it, but to the Druid themselves, it just the next step of life.

This is mostly the domain of druids, but any animist can achieve it eventually.

- Immortality connected with the area of the World you are bound to
- You can only be destroyed if the area of the World you are bound to is destroyed too, which is really hard to actually pull off
- You have some influence over the area, but it is somewhat democratic, and you must convince the world it is in its best interests to follow your suggestions
- You can't ever leave the Grove you are bound to

Becoming an Iron-Wight
Just as the blades of mighty warriors soak up magic with each life they take, so to does the wielder. Just as the blades of the greatest warriors must eventually become magical from the slaughter they enable, so to does the wielder become less and less capable of anything else. Finally, they leave behind the comparatively frail flesh they once trusted in and become infused within their arms and armour, a metal gestalt consciousness, a sack of useless dried meat and rattling bones within the true iron-exoskeleton-creature. This is not what most warriors would want; you are lost utterly to the thrill of battle and the glory of the slaughter, but even the most grizzled veteran will usually hold other things dear, and existence as an Iron-Wight means forgoing those other things.

But there are enough with the lack of anything to live for that the most profane battlefields have been known to be stalked by immortal engines of death, empty armour still fighting for the sake of fighting and the spilling of blood.

Only the mightiest of warriors will even approach the level of slaughter needed to transcend their mortal skin and earn their iron-skin.

- Immortality as long as your Steel Body survives
- Slaughter is the only response you can have to just about anything
- You are bound to the arms and armour you had when you became an Iron-Wight, you can never change them. To do so would be like amputating a limb, potentially fatal.

Leave Behind thy Mortal Flesh, be Changed
There are many peoples beyond our lands that are not human in the least, they exist long, far longer than us. They are not human at all, but they can make us like them. Perhaps you could find them, convince them to make you like them. Lesser than they are, but greater than you are now. Or perhaps they'd just suck out your innards and discard your empty skin-sack as garbage, or enslave you to build their cyclopean cities for all eternity. Hey, its immortality of a kind.

- Immortality as long as you aren't slain
- If you can persuade them to actually do it for you, and I can't see why they ever would really
- And you need to live as an aberration now, not a man

A rather specific form of immortality, taught to men by dry and bright gods. Somewhat inconvenient for most in that death must be tasted first before life can begin again, immortal and imperishable. The flesh must be preserved, the organs removed and stored in ensorcelled jars, charms and pendents secreted throughout the funerary wrappings to guard and protect the immortal soul. Then, and only then, life will reignite within like fire, and the newly forged immortal rises.

Unfortunately, the preservations of the flesh will one day fail, the organs one day rot away to nothing, the charms and pendents battered down over millenia until the soul within is exposed, withered and weeping to the elements of the afterlife. You do get a millenia or two of perfect existance, the better the team that performs the ceremonies and rituals, the longer you will live; but one day, eventually, it will wear down, leaving you a husk, mad and cold and forever clinging on to life by the broken nails of your metaphorical finger tips.

Anyone who knows the rites and rituals, and has a team willing to perform them to their corpse, can become a Mummy.

- Perfect Immortality (or at least, your ego is inflated enough that you never see the drawbacks)
- Vulnerability in that you exist only as long as your organs, charms, and flesh remain
- Those same organs, charms, and flesh will deteriorate eventually, nothing you can do about it

The Stone of the Philosopher
More properly the elixir derived from it, and one of the pinnacles of the Alchemists Art alongside perfect transmutation, and Homunculi. To sup of that gold milk is to live eternally, and perfectly. That's it, no catches or drawbacks, except for dependence on the stone for your life. Unfortunately, should it ever get out that you managed it, then that is only the start of your troubles. There will be many who wish to propitiate you for some for themselves, who wish to take it from you, who wish to take for themselves the methods of its creation. Oh, and keeping up the supply of ingredients and reagents you need will probably be a bit of a hassle too. Maybe its not quite worth it except as an academic exercise.

- Immortality, with no drawbacks
- None, really.
- Okay, there area a few social knock-ons but thats it really

Amassing Words of God
Few will ever even come close to finding one, let alone the number that would be required to ascend to become a god themselves. The Words of God are those divine exaltations that force the world to exist as the speaker wishes it, the engines of deific movement and thought. To speak them is to control them, to make the world as you see it should be. Some mortals know one, maybe two, mostly the Saints granted them by their divine patrons. Knowing more attracts all sorts of attentions from those that see the attempt to become more than you are as perversion of the natural order. Should you learn enough though, even Death may become too intimidated to attempt to destroy you, and your divine domain becomes evident from the words you know, and you ascend shining and glorious.

Of course, you'll also need followers, but those come easily when the very elements of existance bend and contort to your whims.

- Immortality as long as you aren't struck down before you can fully ascend to godhood
- Power over the ELEMENTS THEMSELVES as long as you know the word for it
- Some people might be a bit upset by what you want to do
- Some people might be really for what you want to do

Using a Wish
But that is sort of cheating isn't it.

- Immortality, probably
- It probably won't end well for you, you'd probably end up with some sort of "figurative immortality" like that "Oh, but your story and name will live on!" tripe.

Living in the Undying Lands of the Fae
Beyond the bramble bush, beneath the standing stone, within the flowing of the waters, the bright shining land of the Fey-Lords blossoms like a flower of fire. There, all that is exists to its utter pinnacle, beautiful and glorious and dangerous. You won't be immortal to start with, you'd still only be human, but the longer you remain, the more and more you take on the traits of their brilliance and vitality. You'll leave behind your frail humanity, and become more like them. In the Undying Lands, you cannot die unless it is utterly appropriate, which for the cunning individual is nearly the same. If you were sick and on your death bed, you would not die unless all your family were there, tear stained cheeks and puffy eyes telling you how much they'd miss you. However, if they were to gather, it would then be completely unavoidable that you would die. Its a tricky balance to strike. You could not be struck down in combat, except by your arch-nemesis, and only then at the climax of your rivalry, but one of you at least, is guaranteed to die. Thus the endless scheming and stagnant rivalries of the Fey-Lords, none of them wants to risk such a confrontation.

The Fey-Lords are also the other main obstacle to immortality through this route. There are enough immortals trying to enforce their domains throughout the feywilds. They don't wish to have another potential competitor.

- Immortality outside of very specific circumstances
- You need to spend a long while in the Feywild first, and avoid getting curb-stomped by anxious Fey-Lords
- You won't be a man anymore, you'd become a Fey yourself

Dwelling in the Thin Lands of the Grimm
Grim are the Thin Lands, dark and cold, always on the brink of death beneath the ever dimming soft-red sun. Always on the brink, never quite tipping over though.

Unlike the Undying Realms, immortality on the Shadowfell is easy enough to attain, no-one cares about you, or how long you stay. The only thing is whatever it is that ails you, it will never leave you. It will progress and worsen and make every moment agony, but it will never kill you. There are stories of men you have degenerated into piles of flowing cancers, or ever spilling out their guts and blood, or who have wizened and wrinkled down to tiny ancient pygmies. It is immortality, technically. I wouldn't though. Some might though, if truly desperate enough.

- Immortality as long as no-one actually murders you
- Your existance will not be pleasant
- Oh and the Grimm may try to snap you up like a leftover party snack

Practice the Rites of the Red God
There is one god who hides in the dark and forgotten corners of the divine spheres, the last of his family. He killed and ate the rest. He ate all sorts, his home, his family, other gods, men, beasts, trees, dirt, stone, anything to quench the unquechable. He ate and ate and ate until nothing was left, not even a name. His is the Cannibal god, red and raw, bleeding and bloody.

His rites and devotions remain among the mortal realms, and you can follow them too if you wish. Each morsel you swallow down is a silent prayer, each gulp a libation, the tiny scraps and drips that run down your chin and stain your chest and darken your cheeks is an exultant psalm. Feast on flesh, glut yourself on liquids, gnaw on muscles, chew bone, crunch eyes, slurp fingers, these are the holy doings of the Eaters of Men, the glorious ministry of the Sanguine Church. You too can live forever, as the Red God does. Do unto others as he did unto himself.

Just don't let anyone catch you at it.

- Eat (one is the number of mouths)
- Eat (two is the number of his sets of teeth)
- Eat (three is the number of throats of his neck)
- Eat (four is the number of family which he devoured)
- Eat (five is the number of what was eaten when he ate himself)
- Eat (six is the number of years he ate from the history of the world)
- Eat (seven is the number for which he was consecrated)
- Eat (eight is the number of teeth he severs meat with)
- Eat (nine is the number of times you will eat to be like him)

Eat of the Fruit of that Perfect Garden
It was so that when the first of men crawled from the sea, they were perfect and immortal, they dragged behind them a sack of the kelp-fruits from the garden in which their first childhood was spent. The sack ran out, the immortal fires within them guttered and died, they became mortals. Now we all must die.

Or perhaps it was over the horizon whereon lie those final mountains upon which all souls must crest on their way towards their eternal destination that the Garden lay, guarded by burning angels. Or maybe in the sky itself, some other land held fast in the grand firmament of the sky. Perhaps it is closer than we think, among us at this very time. Or maybe it exists no more, trampled beneath the cities and factories and monuments of man.

But if there are fruit left, and you ate of them, your immortal fires would surely be reignited. Surely.

- None can say, but they who dwelt when light was first made by young until-then-unlit stars.

Tools of the Magic User

More of a repository for myself of the various rules/fluffs about the tools of the trade for magic users. Styled roughly for 5th ed DnD (if only because its all my groups play at the moment), and driven by the lack of anything exciting for Wizards/Sorcerers to really do with their arcane focii. I mean, if you think the weapon list is bad, at least there are actual mechanical differences outside of weight between weapons. It really is attrocious, why would you ever go with anything other than the cheapest/lightest one available? So, I think arcane focuses are gone from my games, as are material components really (I mean, as cool as the concept is, as of now I don't have a way to actually make them as fun to keep track of as they are to use, and no one uses them anyway because of stupid focuses). And thus; these are their replacements, stolen mostly from various other people because they are better at thinking about this stuff than me.

Stolen from:
(hopefully I will discover how to do the nice neat links I see other people doing at some point. I'm lazy like that.)

Essentially, these I think will mostly replace cantrips, and be a mite bit more predictable and standard. Essentially, a wand is a small stick, containing the rough energies of a single spell, that can be cast over and over, and is fueled by the owner's life force. Most anyone can create a wand if they're smart/well versed enough (poss. reqs Int 13 and Arcana prof). They reduce the maker's max HP by an amount dependent on the power of the wand, and the wand's usage dice, that determines when the wand finally runs down.

There are enough really cool and useful cantrips that people (and by people I mean me) want to take but can't justify giving up those precious cantrip slots on, I feel. I think I may entirely nix damaging cantrips entirely for the sake of putting them in wands, but we'll see. I personally think wizards are good enough as it is without the inclusion of always on hand spells that are just as good as actual weapons, given the destructive potential of spell slots on top of that, but that might just be me. Anyway...

Staves, Rods, Whatever
Also Stolen from:

Solidified laws of magic, they grant their bearer phenomenal power, and are the end game for most wizards I should think. Less bonus spell lists, more containers for spell-modifications a la metamagic but more whacky and wild, or for bodies of knowledge and bound and trapped otherworldly beings, warlock patrons in sticks. You see a wizard with a Stave, you know he's a badass.

The general idea here and for Spell Scrolls and Grimoires is inspired by the Grimoires of Wessex that I read in Broodmother Skyfortress but which I am lead to believe first appeared on Jeff's Gameblog, I'm sure if you've found me, you know enough about D&D blogs to know Jeff's.

Spell-Books are essentially individual to each wizard, a compilation of lab-notes and contractions of magical un-logics and incantations that each wizard has tamed to their own tongues. The writer of any given spell-book can use their spell-book to prepare and memorise spells, and also cast spontaneously from, as long as they still provide the magical impetus (i.e. spell slot). However, any given spell-book is mostly only legible to the Wizard that wrote it. The writing and scribbles within are so idiosyncratic to the mental landscape of the writer that even to other wizards it's mostly illegible nonsense, even if they're reading a spell they themselves know. A wizard can decipher another wizard's spells, but it takes time, and probably a lot of it. With enough study, you could probably become proficient in the scrawls of specific wizards, but that's probably not worth the effort. Usually.

In many ways the opposite of Spell-Books, they also contain spells, with one difference. They can be understood by anyone. Sort of like books of well layed out and simply displayed magical-proofs that anyone can follow along with, as opposed to the idiosyncratic short-hands of a wizard's spell-book. Copying a spell from a grimoire to your spell-book is simplicity itself, and even non-casters could probably memorise a spell (though probably only one, two at most) from it with enough study. Thus they make fantastic treasures, rare as they are.

The downside to grimoires, however, is that they are ludicrously, insanely expensive, difficult, and time-consuming to actually make. It is one thing to write a spell in your own short hand, decoding that into the fundamental expressions of magical source code for a grimoire is an entirely different league of complexity. It is even dangerous, and potentially lethal to write down a grimoire-spell wrongly. You also can't cast spells from them spontaneously, they are simply to verbose and wordy to cast in anyway other than as rituals.

Spell Scrolls
Something of the middle ground between Spell-Books and Grimoires, they are idiosyncratic as spell-books are, but they are roughly legible to others as well. Creating a spell-scroll is difficult, but not as difficult as a grimoire. Anyone can cast a scroll's spell from it, as long as they provide the impetus (i.e. the spell slot), and a spell can be copied from a spell-scroll into a spell-book/grimoire, but it does require decoding in the same way as a spell-book before it can be copied from.

In desperate times, you can use a spell-scroll to cast its spell without a spell slot, (such that even non-casters can use a spell scroll in this way) but doing so not only consumes the spell-scroll, but also erases it from the mind of the wizard that originally wrote the spell scroll, and stops the person who cast the spell from ever being able to cast it again.

Scrying Orbs
This one is mine, haha! Take that OSR community! I will be invited to your luxury drinking bars and sup from your golden tables one day!

A real scrying orb is essentially, charged to the brim with magic, and tremendously valuable to the right parties. Much like a wand, it obviates the need to know divination spells to cast them, though it doesn't provide the impetus for them. They don't start off knowing all divination spells however, and any that it doesn't know can be imparted into it but a wizard that knows such a spell, meaning that once the spell has been imparted, no more knowledge of it is required. Unfortunately, they are somewhat rare. The wizards who are actually capable of creating them have no real need of them for the most part except for convenience, so they are not often made.

Arcanite Crystals
Mine too (and might actually be one of the best things I've come up with in my estimation).

Magic is transformative for wizards, certainly figurative, sometimes literally in application, and literally literally for all wizards. Casting spells eventually turns your bones to shimmering arcanite crystal, its why wizards are so fragile. The skeleton of an archmage is literally priceless due to the magnitude of the arcane-energies that reverberate through their bones.

In practical use, Arcanite is the fuel for the most powerful rituals, and allows for wizards to cast spells of a level higher than they might normally be able to manage. They can also be used to provide impetus for spells (essentially acting as extra spell-slots) but they do require a certain amount of time to recharge afterwards. They will eventually burn out when used enough, as represented by a usage die.

There are stories of certain biomancers who have managed to surgically remove their own skeletons, prop their own sacks for flesh up with manufactured replacements, and utilise their own bones to terrifying effect, the personal connection to the arcanite they use magnifying its potency. The odd necromancer has also been said to animate a powerful wizard's skeleton, effectively now having a travelling magical power-house wandering around besides them.

Divine Alternatives
As an addendum, I've also made a small list of equivalents for Divine Casters, which are similar in most ways, but a bit different too, and a bit cooler in some cases I think.

Wands - Reliquaries: Allow you to cast the miracle that was most associated with the saint the Relic originally came from. Doesn't require any HP sacrifice, but does require a offering to recharge once the use die runs down (which are probably also a little smaller on average than wands use die).

Crystals - Offerings: Sort of, they more function in that most clerics need to give regular offerings to their deity to keep up their Divine Favour, and a good enough offering might occasionally grant the pious cleric extra "spell slots". They can't be cynically offered either, their Deity/DM would know the difference between one honestly offered and one offered because the Cleric just wants another spell.

Rods - Sainthood: Again, sort of. On becoming a saint, you are a saint of something, which you can channel through your miracles. It is also a way towards immortality for clerics, much like lichdom for wizards.

Spell Scrolls - Litanies: You can recite a litany to channel its inherent miracle, but you must always have the slot for it.

Grimoires - Sacred Texts: i.e. your faiths bible-equivalents. You can't cast from it spontaneously, only as a ritual, and you can't add to them (unless you're starting a heretical off-shoot, which is a whole other kettle of fish) but they do have generally larger lists of available spells than arcane grimoires, and might have other abilities inherent to them, such as being able to invoke angels.

Rods - Words of God: Again, sort of. The Words of God are the real deal, the literal power of gods actualised as verbal pronouncements that you can learn, if you are devout enough. Once mastered however (and the methods of mastering are as obscure, difficult, and potentially blasphemous as you might think) you can invoke them for essentially free power over the word you have mastered, and alter miracles using them that you cast as well. Dangerous to have, but powerful. Learn enough, and you could essentially act as a god yourself.

Tables for Wizard Lairs

I'll be honest, this post will be a bit of a mess. Lots of tables that are spread a bit haphazardly. Much like Wizard Lairs I suppose.

For wizards of 1 to 7 hit dice, roll once on all tables, except Denizens, which you roll on d4 times.
For wizards of 8 to 14 hit dice, roll once on all tables, except Denizens, which you roll on d6 times, and Defences, which you roll on d3 times.
For wizards of 15+ hit dice, roll once on all tables, except Denizens, which you roll on d8 times, Defences, which you roll on d6 times, and Cool Things, which you roll on d3 times.

Oh, and only 1 in 4 Wizard Lairs have a Non-Standard Entrance.

Forms (d10)
1 -  A Tower, reaching up high into the sky, higher than it has any right to.
2 - A Non-Euclidean Space, winding and folding in and out on itself.
3 - A Cave System, twisting and coiling down into the earth and living rock.
4 - An opulent Manor, festooned with gargoyles, statues, wide windows.
5 - A smooth and featureless dome, arcing high up into the sky
6 - A small and quaint little cottage, thatched roof, wattle walls, the whole works
7 - Something like smoke, you can't quite make out the features of this one
8 - A vast and verdant garden. Flowers blossom into rooms, trees grow into spiral stairs
9 - A grand and opulent hall for feasting like lords of old, gold and wood
10 - An Inverse Tower, diving deep into the earth, rooms radiating out like branches on a tree

1 - Ice
2 - Wind
3 - Embers
4 - Flame
5 - Metal
6 - Rock
7 - Cloud
8 - Shadow
9 - Light
10 - Neurons
11 - Bone
12 - Living Wood
13 - Shell
14 - Crystal
15 - Flesh
16 - Smoke
17 - Ceramics
18 - Cloth
19 - Cogs and Mechanisms
20 - Roll Twice and Combine

Entry (only 1 in 4 Wizard Lairs have these)
1 - Through a Mirror
2 - Through a perfectly still Lake
3 - Whilst high off your head on psycho-actives
4 - Through the darkness at the heart of a flame
5 - Through your classical magical Portal
6 - A lonely door, standing somewhere it really shouldn't
7 - Between the pages of a book
8 - Climbing up a lightning bolt
9 - Through a mysterious and trembling briar bush
10 - In the deep dark depths of a crumbling sepulcher

1 - A Research Area
2 - A Ritual Space
3 - A Repository of Artifacts
4 - A Monument to the Owner
5 - A Peaceful Garden
6 - An Inescapable Prison
7 - A Domicile/Retreat for the Owner
8 - A School for lesser Wizards

1 - The Lair is actually incredibly Miniature
2 - It lies in an Inconvenient Location
3 - It bristles with Automatic Defences
4 - The local area is crawling with Monsters
5 - A leak of Magical Energy
6 - An Impenetrable Barrier surrounds it
7 - The Lair was Ruined long ago
8 - The Lair is overgrown and strangled in roots

1 - The Wizard's Relatives (d4d4)
2 - Humanoid Servants (d4 per HD of Main Wizard)
3 - Sentient Fungus (d12 fungus forms, one of them is the fungal overmind)
4 - Animated Objects (3d4)
5 - Undead Servitors (2d6)
6 - A Dominated Monstrosity
7 - Trapped Spirits (2d4)
8 - An Alchemical Homunculus
9 - Non-Humanoid Scholars (2d4)
10 - A Fellow Wizard (HD = Main Wizard's + d4 - 2)
11 - A Miniature Reality
12 - Unseen Servants (2d6)
13 - Bound Elementals (d6, roll each type seperately)
14 - A Disinterested Lich
15 - A Great Old One (50% its bonds are still in place, 50% chance that it still sleeps)
16 - Really Seriously Non-Human Scholars (d4)
17 - A Saint
18 - Beings from the Bizarro World (exploding d4)
19 - Bound Extra-Planar Beings (d4)
20 - A Bound Deity

Extra-Planar Beings Sub-table
1 - Angels
2 - Demons
3 - Fey
4 - Grimm
5 - Djinn
6 - Slaad
7 - Inevitable
8 - Dream Being

1 - Fleshfire - It grows as it burns, slowly coagulating into wild meat spires and bursts
2 - A Horrifying Curse - Insidious, and inescapable.
3 - Bound Arcane Guardians - Metal and Runes, Blades and Bludgeons.
4 - Magical Alerts - The Wizard shall know soon enough...
5 - Isolation Fields - Ray Shields. Hang on a minute, you're smarter than this.
6 - Instant Darkness - Not just regular Darkness. Magical Darkness.
7 - Maze-Maker Walls - The Walls unfurl and twist in strange ways when you aren't looking.
8 - Anti-Magic Field - No magics allowed.
9 - Anti-Flesh Field - No meat allowed.
10 - Slow/Fast Time - Stuck in place, or just slowed? Gone in a flash, or just sped up?
11 - Rust Inducers - You weren't using your armour or weapons were you?
12 - A Magical Plague - You won't even notice the flesh slopping off your bones
13 - Alchemical Hunters - Lab-grown wolves and bottled bears serving mad homunculi warriors
14 - Word Enforcers - Once you've said it, you cannot contradict it, no matter what
15 - Hired Goons - Just men, at least they were when they signed the eternal contracts...
16 - Mind-Jackers - Ride your neurons like horses, directing signals as they will
17 - Poisonous-Gas Elementals - Flowing speeding invisible winds of death
18 - Golems - Tall and sculpted, designed for one purpose only, death dealing.
19 - Bound Spirits - They are trapped, and the only person they can take it out on is you
20 - A Bound Deity - Hast thou felt the heat of his anger? Or the force of his wrist? Then kneel and repent.

Cool Bits
1 - The Wizard's Library - Containing all such manners of materials for spell research. Worth double if used to research the same school of magic as the owner's.
2 - The Wizard's Laboratory - Containing all such manners of materials for alchemical experimentation. As it is, worth some small amount, but could be used to create tremendous treasures.
3 - The Wizard's Garden - Containing all such manners of growths and living things for many kinds of magic. Useless on their own, the knowledgeable might unlock their potentials though.
4 - The Wizard's Cache of Supplies - Containing all such manners of arcane esoterica and magical knick-knacks. Useful for any wizard low on reagents and components, could last decades potentially.
5 - The Wizard's Repository of Artifacts - Containing a small hoard of the more common magical oddities, but also containing a few (d6) seriously powerful magical artifacts.
6 - Teleport Circle - A handy route in (and out) of the Wizard's lair that by-passes many of the lair's defences for those that know the rune-symbols for it. Also contains a book of circle-symbols for other linked circles.
7 - Ritual Space - A grand area steeped in residual magic, any costly rituals performed there would require a measure less of expensive components to complete.
8 - Binding Circle - Etched into stone and wrought from salted silver, all but the most temperamental creatures of the out nights might be brought forth and contained within this circle.
9 - Crystal Outcrop - A grand crag of bright shining crystal, easily worth a small fortune as it is. In the hands of a capable arcanist, all kinds might be wrought of it.
10 - Spellforge - For hammering and melting your spells into the shapes you wish, twist them into things they never were before.
11 - Cosmolarium - Like an observatory, but instead of the stars, the alignments and motions of realities and planes.
12 - Divinimatrix - Many many looms and spindles that the very wise and learned can use to spin apart the strands of fate to intuit the future.
13 - Simulated Reality - Very close to our own reality, only contained in one small little office, all of it.
14 - Elemental Core - It is very rare to be able to create a containment field that can handle a pure elemental core. This wizard appears to have mastered it.
15 - Timeless Vault - Within those rune-scarred walls, time will not pass when the gate in is sealed. Perfect for more organic reagents.
16 - Mage-Gaze Orb - Scrying Orbs have their limitations. Maze-Gaze Orbs do not. Except that they take up a whole room. There is still work to be done there admittedly.
17 - Spell-Sculpting Chamber - For the distinguished and discerning golem-carver and automaton-worker.
18 - Null Chamber - Within this room, there is no magic. Not even a tiny breeze. The ultimate prison for the arcanely-versed. This one might even hold something in it...
19 - Gate to Another Plane - As simple as it sounds, if you understand nothing of the recursive geometries that underlie cross-planar conduits.
20 - Recursium - Bounded about by seven mirrors. Shut the door behind you, and your infinite recursive reflections empower you, all your potential, infinitely magnified and concentrated back on yourself. Imagine what you could accomplish.

Poor Old Spindle-Wolf

When the moon glows its least gloomiest, when even the clouds have seeped from the sullen sky, and starlight lies crisp on the moors, you might catch sight of the Spindle-Wolf.

It is huge, easily 12 feet high at its shoulders, and a good 30 feet long from snout to tail. It is seen always as a silhouette, black against the dull silver sky; long jagged muzzle, whispy scrag of tail, long thin feet sprout fro long thin legs, and its back and flanks hedgehog-bristled with weaponry. Spears and blades, arrows and daggers, the odd ballista bolt and silvered sword, all jutting awkwardly from the skin of the beast like a second suit of fur. It has but one eye, centrally set on its head, large and glassy, with which the Wolf sits and gazes wistfully at the moon.

Many have tried to destroy it, as evidenced by its wounds, many have failed, as evidenced by the tales of battles with it, many seek to be the first, as evidenced by the bright-smiling adventures in the taverns on the edges of its moorland territory. They come from all walks, all desperate to take the heart of the Wolf, which is rumoured to be purest silver, and have the properties of the storied stone of the philosophers. As far as anyone would be able to tell if they ever could ask though, all it wants is just to be left alone to contemplate the moon.

There is one and only one Spindle-Wolf, alone in all the world as far as it is known.

In battle, the Wolf's silver skin protects it from all hurt, and wrenches the weapons from the hands of their wielders to become a second skin for the wolf. Its claws flash with light as it strikes, and streaks of quicksilver seep from its claws through the air and drench wounds. The rare survivors of battles with the Spindle-Wolf rarely remain so for long. Even in the heat of the struggle, their limbs numb and their skin peels, their tongue and senses betray them. Even when the Wolf is completely surrounded, it throws its bulk around with wild abandon, trusting the many weapons that make up its shell to skewer and slice even pointed inwards as they are.

Though as much as the battle-skills of the beast are fabled and planned around and against, in its heart there is very little blood-lust to be found. It is content most nights to catch are chew a deer or two, then settle up for the night on some wide and lonely field, and gaze for hours on end at the moon.

There are some scholars amongst the most learned peoples of the world that speculate that Wolves, ubiquitous as they are, are not native to this world. They say that the long and keening cries of the wolves, their manifestation in the hearts of wicked men named Werewolves, and the specific case of the Spindle-Wolf, are evidence that perhaps, just perhaps their home is secretly that lonely silver sphere wheeling slowly through the firmament, that perhaps there, there are great grey plains of silvered plants and beasts, endlessly churning up the chalky ground, hunted forever by the great packs of Moon-Wolves that must surely dwell in such a place.

This has never been proven. The Moon resists all attempts at scrying, even from very learned seers, nor has anyone ever figured out a way to bodily transpose themselves there. The Moon remains alone and lonely, remote and distant up in the unreachable heights of the cold and empty empyrean, and so the Spindle-Wolf remains lost and forlorn, gazing at its long lost home.

The Bombastic Knight and his Followers

The Bombastic Knight
They are a in many ways, a self-parody. They are the platonic ideal of a Knight, gallant, bombastic, chivalrous, good-hearted, brave, indefatigable. They constantly struggle with some great and noble quest, and they always fight for those that need it most. Of course, the Bombastic Knight is merely human. They are somewhat flawed, yet outwardly, they match the bill, gleaming armour and band of merry men in tow. In practice, a group of adventurers is just as likely to find themselves between the Bombastic Knight and their goals as they are to find their goals aligned. This is an encounter/NPC for a bit of fun, for a slightly weird encounter of whatever type ends up happening.

And just as important as the Knight themselves, is their followers. Be sure to track the relationships of the Knight and their Lieutenants. Especially if they end up with the Starscream.

The Bombastic Knight's Quest
1 - Become King by their own Hand
2 - Avenge a great Wrong from their Past
3 - Topple the Godless Tyrant
4 - Usher in the Golden Age
5 - Recover the Ancient Relic
6 - Destroy Evil wherever they find it

And just generally save the day.

Hallmarks of the Bombastic Knight
1 - The Bombastic Knight and their followers must be fancifully and wonderfully dressed and presented at all times
2 - The Bombastic Knight bears a seriously fancy weapon, the envy of all warriors everywhere
3 - The Bombastic Knight is a big fan of One on One Duels, they can hardly deny them
4 - The Bombastic Knight has a surprisingly Respectable Name in the local area
5 - The Bombastic Knight is Famously Mercenary, and may switch sides in any given battle if it is to their advantage
6 - The Bombastic Knight has a Particular Vice, to which they may never consciously say no
7 - The Bombastic Knight has been Divinely Chosen for their quest, according to them anyway
8 - The Bombastic Knight is Chronically Unknown, and is constantly vexed by their lack of recognition regardless of whatever deeds they may attempt or do
9 - The Bombastic Knight has a Mysteriously Exotic Origin
10 - The Bombastic Knight is the rightful Heir to a Kingdom, or so they say

Traits of the Bombastic Knight
1 - Unphased: The Bombastic Knight has advantage on all strength, dexterity, and constitution saving throws they must make.
2 - Willful: The Bombastic Knight has advantage on all intelligence, wisdom, and charisma saving throws they must make.
3 - Boaster: The Bombastic Knight's to hit bonus is double what it should be, but it is reduced by 1 each time they make an attack that misses.
4 - Lucky Bastard: When the Bombastic Knight is reduced to 0 hit points, roll a d6. On a 1 to 5, they instead survive by some miraculous stroke of luck on 1 hit point. Each time this happens, reduce the range by 1 (i.e. to 1 to 4, then 1 to 3, etc.) this increases by 1 back to a maximum of 1 to 5 at the end of each month.
5 - Cowardly: The Bombastic Knight never suffers any penalties or attacks of opportunity when moving away from enemies. All the Bombastic Knight's unit's Morale scores are reduced by 1.
6 - Really Fast!: Takes two turns each round, initiative rolled separately for each. However, at the end of each turn, they have a cumulative 10% chance of collapsing from exhaustion for 1 minute.
7 - Really Rich: When hit by an attack, the Bombastic Knight spills d4 x 10 gp on the ground.
8 - Berserker: All of the Bombastic Knight's attacks have advantage on attack rolls, and add 2 to their damage rolls. However, all attacks made against the Bombastic Knight have advantage on their attack rolls too.
9 - Duelist: The Bombastic Knight has a bonus of +2 to attack rolls and armour class against a target chosen at the start of each of their turns. However, all other enemies have this same bonus against them.
10 - Unassuming: The Bombastic Knight is always severely underestimated, no matter what methods are used to assess them.
11 - Oathbound: The Bombastic Knight will never, ever break their word. Not even when magically coersed.
12 - Fair Sport: The Bombastic Knight's to hit bonus is always equal to the to hit bonus of their target.
13 - False Identity: The Bombastic Knight is also, secretly, someone else in the world as well, somehow.
14 - Magic Blade: The Bombastic Knight wields some sort of magical blade. Chose an appropriate weapon depending on your campaign.
15 - Spell Breaker: When an enemy casts a spell within attack range of the Bombastic Knight, the Bombastic Knight may make an attack against them, cancelling the casting of the spell if it hits.
16 - Tactical: The Bombastic Knight may issue an order to one of their units instead of taking any other actions other than moving on their turn. The selected unit may immediately take another turn as long as they can hear the Bombastic Knight.
17 - Inspiring: Friendly units within 30 feet of the Bombastic Knight may the Bombastic Knight's to hit bonus instead of their own, if it is higher.
18 - Prepared: The Bombastic Knight is always prepared for everything and anything. Always, and anything.
19 - Vindictive: The Bombastic Knight has a bonus of +2 on to hit rolls and damage rolls against creatures that have damaged him. The bonus increases to +4 if they have ever reduced him to 0 hit points in the past.
20 - Cutting Words: As a free action, at the end of each of their turns, the Bombastic Knight may cast vicious mockery against a target that can hear them.

Flaws of the Bombastic Knight
1 - Unobservant: Is generally easily surprised. Always fails checks/rolls to determine if they are surprised.
2 - Intimidateable: Any bonuses that they add to any rolls that they make are reduced by 1 for every 10 points of damage that they have taken.
3 - Faulty Equipment: When they roll a natural 1 on an attack roll, their weapon breaks (if it is non-magical). If a creature attacking them rolls a natural 20, then the Knight's armour breaks (if it is non-magical).
4 - Vulnerable: All attack rolls made against them score a critical hit on a range that is 1 bigger than normal (i.e. usually 19 and 20s now)
5 - Specific Phobia: Randomly select a damage type, if the Bombastic knight witnesses someone take damage of that type, they must make a save versus fear. If they personally suffer damage of that type, they must make the save with disadvantage.
6 - Disloyal Captain: One of their captains (randomly determined) is planning to stab them in the back and take their command. The Starscream will be aiding that captain if both apply, the Starscream is always subservient.

Followers of the Bombastic Knight
Roll once for every 2HD the Knight has, and a commander for each.

Followers of the Bombastic Knight (d6):
1 - (d6 + 1) Swordsmen with 2HD each
Swords men are usually equipped with chain mail, a longsword, and a shield.
2 - (Highest 2 of 3d6) Spearmen with 1HD each
Spearmen are usually equipped with a breastplate, a spear, a dagger, and a shield
3 - (d6 + 1) Archers with 1HD each
Archers are usually equipped with leather armour, a long bow, and a dagger.
4 - (Highest of 2d3) Mounted Warriors with 3HD each
Mounted Warriors are usually mounted on war-horses, and equipped with chain mail, a riding sword, a shield, and a spear.
5 - (Highest of 2d3) Tankers with 3HD each
Tankers are usually equipped with plate armour and heavy, two-handed hammers.
6 - (d6 + 1) Skirmishers with Hounds, 1 HD each
Skirmishers are usually equipped with leather armour, short bows, and short-swords.

Commanders (d4)
If you roll more than one of a type of unit, then only the first unit actually has a Commander, the others are lead by lesser captains who are identical to other members of the unit, except that they always have the maximum hit points for their hit die.

1 - The Starscream: The followers in this unit take no penalties or attacks of opportunity for moving away from an enemy. This Commander is watching carefully for any opportunity to take the command from the Bombastic Knight.
2 - The Diomedes: The followers in this unit have the maximum hit points for their HD. The Commander is the very picture of chivalrous, and is an all around great person.
3 - The Westley: The followers in this unit have +2 to their AC whilst in contact with one enemy and no more. The Commander of this unit kind of doesn't want to be here, but is honour-bound to see out the Knight's quest out to the end.
4 - The Slice'n'Dice: The followers in this unit wield 2 weapons. The Commander of this unit is really just a bit of a psycho and doesn't care how it happens as long as they get to spill blood at some point.

1 - The Vicar: The followers in this unit are galvanised by the Commander's fiery rhetoric, and double their to hit bonus while the Vicar lives, the Commander also wields a two-handed maul. The Commander of this unit is fiercely devout, and could potentially turn against the Knight if they perceive the Knight as blaspheming.
2 - The Leonidas: The followers in this unit gain +1 AC for each of their fellows that are adjacent to them as they turtle their shields together. The Commander of this unit is brave beyond brave and will never retreat, and neither will their men as long as they live.
3 - The Long-in-the-Arm: The followers in this unit are wielding pikes with a 15 foot reach rather than 10 foot. The Commander of this unit is a big fan of being alive, and will go to any lengths to preserve themselves, and as a result is an expert in receiving a charge.
4 - The Man-Catcher: The followers in this unit, when surrounding a foe, reduce the surrounded creature's to hit bonus by 1 for each follower surrounding them. The Commander of this unit was once a captain of a distant city's town watch, used to taking their targets alive. Now, they set their eyes on the prize of the Bombastic Knight's Quest.

1 - The Keen-Eyed: The followers in this unit gain advantage on their ranged attack rolls if they all fire on a target that is no more than 10 feet away from their Commander's target. The Commander is a veteran of many wars, and now the Bombastic Knight's struggle is something of a personal crusade for them.
2 - The Cranksman: The followers in this unit are actually piloting a small siege engine of appropriate size and complexity for the number of followers in the unit. The Commander of this unit is a self made man, after looting his machine from a cataclysmic siege. They have thrown their lot in with the Bombastic knight to finally make use of the pride and joy of the unit.
3 - The Studley: The followers in this unit are actually armed with crossbows, which they can fire only once every other round. The Commander of this unit is a bit of a snob who is unfortunately quite wealthy too, and has splashed out on equipping their unit with only the finest in crossbow manufacture.
4 - The Splinters: The followers in this unit are armed with short bows, and have an unusually high stealth score. The Commander of this unit is a master of guerrilla warfare, and prefers to strike suddenly and leave no chance for their foes to retaliate.

Mounted Warriors
1 - The Lancer Master: The followers in this unit are equipped with lances instead of spears, and creatures hit by their lances can't make attacks of opportunity against them that turn. The Commander of this unit is a minor noble who has spent much of their life in the saddle, and has mastered the art of the hit and run tactic. They're a dab-hand at jousting too, and will take any opportunity they can to take part.
2 - The Drogo: The followers in this unit can leap from their mounts when they attack, gaining advantage on all to hit and damage rolls they make that turn. The Commander of this unit sees their horses as merely a delivery device for them and the warriors under their command. They follow the Bombastic Knight as their quest often brings them into conflict with others, which suits the Commander just fine.
3 - The Kublai: The followers in this unit are also equipped with short bows, which they can fire once per turn in addition to moving their mount. The Commander of this unit is supposedly from a realm far, far away, of which the commander will not speak.
4 - The Theoden: The followers in this unit can as one, shout out a terrifying war-cry, and all non-friendly creatures within ear-shot must make a saving throw of be frightened of them for the rest of the turn. The Commander of this unit is from a proud line of horse-lords, and serves the Bombastic Knight to repay an old debt of their family's.

1 - The Lump of Raw Iron: The followers in this unit are instead armed with oversized greatswords, that can attack two targets as part of one attack as long as they are adjacent to each other. The Commander of this unit is an exceptionally large specimen, and very rarely speaks.
2 - The Ajax: The followers in this unit are also armed with tower shields, which when wielded halve their movement speed and grant them double the protection of a normal shield. The Commander of this unit takes great pride in their shield, that is formed of just layers and layers of wood, iron, and animal skins, is nearly impenetrable, and is so heavy that it seems only they can wield it at all.
3 - The Trolleater: The followers in this unit roll one of their hit die at the start of each of their turns, and regain that many hit points if they are missing them. The Commander of this unit is renowned as having slain a troll with their bare hands by tearing out all of its organs with only their nails and their teeth.
4 - The Lothbrok: The followers in this unit are instead unclad in armour, are daubed in blue war-pigments, and only take half damage from all sources. The Commander of this unit is deeply attuned to the earth, and in the days before a battle comes, can be found offering sacrifices to the Earth itself for their protection.

1 - The Greaser: The followers in this unit utilise poisoned arrows in battle. The Commander of this unit is a notorious criminal, however, their criminal exploits are known of only in a far off land, and the Bombastic Knight would be horrified to discover the Commander's past deeds.
2 - The Knife Boy: The followers in this unit are never, ever, not even ever without at least d4 knives hidden somewhere on their person unless literally stripped naked. Sometimes not even then. The Commander of this unit has an unhealthy obsession, and that's all that needs saying about that.
3 - The Misty: The followers in this unit will all have a vial of particularly vicious ether on them, and can throw it instead of taking an attack, forcing their target to take a saving throw or fall unconscious. The Commander of this unit is an amateur alchemist in their spare time, though the ether is the only recipe they've ever mastered, much to their annoyance.
4 - The Sapper: The followers in this unit will set d4 traps of various types each, if they have enough warning of a tussle. The Commander of this unit is a master huntsman, and serves the Bombastic Knight with only a passing regret for the opportunities they had in their previous life.

"Entourage" of the Mad Wizard

All good Mad Wizards will inevitably (sometimes indelibly) have a train of wretches and creatures bounds and dragged along behind them. Some will be fuel for the next magical ritual the Wizard attempts, some  are the results of said rituals. They are inevitably terribly mistreated, but for now, have no power to fight back. They follow wearily, begging for release that shall never be granted.

Here are some lists for you to generate such unethical menageries:

To determine how many members of the entourage to generate, roll a d4 for up to 5th level Mad Wizards, d6 for up to 10th, d8 for up to 15th, d10 for up to 20th. When on the cusp of the next tier (i.e. 4th, 9th, 14th levels), roll this dice with advantage.

For each component of the entourage, roll a d10 (roll with advantage if the wizard is 10th level or higher:
1 - 3d6 Enslaved Wretches:
(d4 roll) 1 - Fish-men, 2 - Ratfolk, 3 - Goblins, 4 - Orphans

2 - 3d4 Dominated People:
(d4 roll) 1 - Men, 2 - Orcs, 3 - Dwarves, 4 - Lizard Men

3 - 2d6 Animated Objects:
(d4 roll) 1 - Domestic Items, 2 - Clothes, 3 - Suites of Armour, 4 - Corpses

4 - 3d4 Animated Scarecrows:
(d4 roll) 1 - Regular, 2 - Meaty, 3 - Rusted Iron, 4 - Vine-clad

5 - 2d4 Elementals:
(d4 roll) 1 - Earth, 2 - Air, 3 - Fire, 4 - Water

6 - 2d4 Creatures of Anthropomorhphised:
(d4 roll) 1 - Sand, 2 - Mud, 3 - Paper, 4 - Plant Matter

7 - d4 Golems:
(d4 roll) 1 - Flesh, 2 - Clay, 3 - Wood, 4 - Gravel

8 - d4 Bound Beings:
(d4 roll) 1 - Angels, 2 - Demons, 3 - Fey, 4 - Djinn

9 or 10 - Roll on the Specials List

Specials List (d12)
1 - Motes of light, potentially the souls of the departed, potentially super hot dust particles
2 - A Sentient Wind, that burns on command, and strong enough to pick up men like toys
3 - An alchemical humonculi Clone of the Mad Wizard, dormant until he dies, fawned over daily
4 - A Child made of Teeth, that the Mad Wizards dotes over, the child never seems to notice
5 - A "civilised" Ogre, wearing d4 of the following: a top hat, a cravat, a cane, a monocle
6 - A pair of pallid and docile men who vomit swarms of snakes, which are the creature's true form
7 - The animated skeleton of some prehistoric beast, hollowed out into a mobile home
8 - The embodiement of a non-standard element (i.e. 1-Surprise, 2-Secrecy, 3-Radiation, etc)
9 - A group of domestic items or appliances on dainty little naked legs, a spell-book leads the pack
10 - A statue of the Mad Wizard on wheels, dragged by a slave-team of miserable flagellants
11 - A caged... thing?  Its too dark to see... it could be big, or maybe not... I don't know.
12 - The Corpse of a God, wrapped in linen, dragged by a misshapen beast whilst in its stone coffin

A Map Making System?

So I accidentally stumbled across this when making an adjacency generator for the Rulers and Realms thing to work out which realms were next to which, and I think it might actually be pretty good for all sorts, dungeons most notably. Here's the system.

The Method
Start with room 1.

Roll a decaying exploding d4.

Okay, okay. That's a weird word jumble there. Here's how it works. Normal exploding dice (as I'm sure at least some of you know) when they roll the maximum, roll again and add it to the total. So if you rolled an exploding d4, and got 4, then 4, then 2, your total is 10. Simple stuff. Decaying it means that each dice you roll past the first has a cumulative -1 modifier, with the catch that the modifier only applies to its personal dice. If you roll a 2 on the fourth dice which has a -3 penalty, its really a 0. So for our earlier example, it would go 4, then 4(-1), then 2(-2) for a total of 7. Doing the rough maths gives it a sort of pleasing jaggedy curve that I kind of like, the numbers are (roughly):

Chance of:
1 - 25%
2 - 25%
3 - 25%
4 - 6.25%
5 - 6.25%
6 - 6.25%
7 - 3.125%
8 - 1.5625%
9 - 1.02...%
10 - 0.3...%

Point is, it decays much more rapidly than regular exploding dice, and lets you actually roll a 4 for example, and has a hard limit. It would be kind of really irritating if you just rolled really well and got 33 connections for one kingdom (though not without historical precedent I have no doubt). And it weights the numbers much lower than usual, which I like, and the needless complexity tickles me somewhat. So, that method then.

Once More, With Feeling
Start with room 1.

Roll a decaying exploding d4 and give it that many connections to new rooms. Try to keep the rooms spread out radially as evenly as possible. We want a sort of grid so that we can easily tell which rooms are "adjacent" to each other (ie. if you have 6 rooms spreading out from room 1, room 3 is "adjacent" to rooms 2 and 4 given they spread from room 1, I'll try to include some pictures to show you roughly what I mean).

Move on to room 2 and give it the results of a decaying exploding d4 connections, connecting the room to "adjacent" rooms before spreading out and adding new rooms.

Move on to room 3, and continue ad infinitum, until you reach a room and roll equal to or less than the number of connections it already had, and there are no other rooms you can roll for.

Note: If you roll a room's connections and roll less than the number of connections it already had attached to it, those connections become "tenuous". For example, if it is for a dungeon map, they could be secret connections, unorthodox connections, or dangerous ones. If it was for a world map they could be difficult crossings, such as an almighty river, or a desert. They could represent characters that have only heard of each other and never met before, or one way connections in an area map, or secret connections between city wards, which leads me on to the next point.

These maps could be a lot of different things. I've already listed political maps, showing geographical connectivity, or relationship webs between countries, people, or a dungeon map, or a city map, or many other things. It just depends what you decide to call each "room". It could be a country, a person, a room in a dungeon, a step in some arcane ritual, a molecule to synthesise...

I think it pretty cool, and I'll see about showing some pictures of maps I've generated this way.

Other Note: Tbh, if just normal exploding dice (or even just a d8 or whatever) work out for you, then I'd say just go with that. No need to overcomplicate the rolls beyond what you find acceptable.

Rulers and Realms

So I've been working on this and the following post a little bit recently, this is it such as I have it so far, a series of tables for generating politics, roughly speaking. I think this is part one of three or so.

In this post I'm putting the tables (that I may add to or edit as we go) that you can use to generate the Rulers of realms, and the history of said Realms. The following post will be a method for making the maps of the realms using dice (or potentially maps of many things to be honest), and the final one as an example of how to tie it all together using said methods.

Anyway, here we go.

These tables are for generating the main attributes of a Ruler, what they use to enforce their rule, and how they rule. The rest you can extrapolate somewhat from there I think.

The Realm's Ruler
A d8 roll determines the primary attribute of the current ruler, that which they exercise most to maintain their power. If you wish, you can roll on the relevant secondary tables to determine further details about the Ruler's methods.
1 - Martial Might
2 - Sorcery
3 - Riches
4 - Secrets
5 - Diplomacy
6 - Despite
7 - Intrigue
8 - Divine Right

Martial Might (d4)
1 - They are a Terrifying Combatant
2 - They control an Elite Force of warriors
3 - They fight alongside Sorcery
4 - They fight using the best that Money can buy

Sorcery (d4)
1 - They have a terrifying Mastery of Magic
2 - They are apparently Immortal
3 - They have been Magically Enhanced beyond human limits.
4 - They control a force of Magical Guardians

Riches (d4)
1 - They can afford to pay Heavy Tribute for their survival
2 - They can afford a Mighty Mercenary Force
3 - They have made nearby realms Economically Dependent on them
4 - They produce a Unique Commodity

Secrets (d10)
1 - They hold the secret to controlling a Mysterious Guardian Force
2 - They have made it Magically Impossible for them to not rule
3 - They are a Doppelganger ruling for a Shadowy Power, and the real ruler is missing
4 - They have control over a Ruthless Guild of Assassins
5 - They have bound an Inhuman Deity to their command
6 - They know how to produce a Mysterious Substance found nowhere else
7 - Their rule was the result of an Ancient Prophecy
8 - Roll again, the ruler gained this ability from a Mysterious Source
9 - Everyone believes there's some secret to it, but there Really Isn't
10 - The ruler was once An Adventurer, now made ruler by their own hand

Diplomacy (d4)
1 - They have carefully cultivated a Web of Alliances
2 - They have nurtured a Longstanding Friendship with another People
3 - They utilise the terms of an old Peace Treaty
4 - They have made it in the Best Interests of a Foreign Power to keep them around

Despite (d8)
1 - They rule despite their utter lack of Might with Arms
2 - They rule despite their utter lack of Diplomatic Tact
3 - They rule despite their utter lack of Administrative Skill
4 - They rule despite their utter lack of Subtlety and Guile
5 - They rule despite their utter lack of Any Sort of Education
6 - They rule despite being the victim of a Horrifying Curse
7 - They rule despite their utter lack of Piety and Respect for the Gods
8 - They rule despite their utter lack of any of the Skills a Ruler Requires

Intrigue (d4)
1 - They have Plotted and Schemed to put themselves on the Throne
2 - All their opponents have "mysteriously" disappeared or died
3 - Their Bloodlines have been carefully Manipulated to produce them
4 - There are Secret Pacts with Mysterious Powers for the Throne

Divine Right (d4) (how true it really is though, is up to you)
1 - Their God/s literally chose them
2 - Their Ancestors literally chose them
3 - They were victorious in their Crusade, and so earned the Throne
4 - They recently converted to the Dominant Faith

The Ruler's Method
Roll a d6 to determine how strict or liberal the ruler's reign is. Perhaps consider rolling with advantage or disadvantage based on the ruler's methods, or alignment.
1 - Tyranny
2 - Authoritarian
3 - Strict
4 - Laissez Faire
5 - Fair
6 - Benevolent

These are further tables to determine the situation and history of the realm if you wish. Mostly I think these are as optional as you want them to be, perhaps with the exception of the Realm's situation. Certainly at this point the further through you go, the more optional it is I think.

The Realm's Situation
The minimum I would suggest that is needed for the realm, as the situation can inform a lot about each ruler's inclinations towards neighboring realms.
As simple as a d6 roll:
1 or 2: On the Rise
3 or 4: Comfortably Stable
5 or 6: In a Steady Decline

The Realm's Status Quo
A d20 roll determines how long the current Realm has stood for (or not in some cases). This does not necessarily mean that the current ruler has been reigning for the whole time, however. I would suggest it is a marker of how long the current Dynasty has been in power. If the realm is on the rise, roll with disadvantage, and if the realm is in decline, roll with advantage.
1 - Recently (d6 years)
2 - Recently (d6 years)
3 - Recently (d6 years)
4 - Recently (d6 years)
5 - In Memory (d6 x 10 years)
6 - In Memory (d6 x 10 years)
7 - In Memory (d6 x 10 years)
8 - In Memory (d6 x 10 years)
9 - In Memory (d6 x 10 years)
10 - In Memory (d6 x 10 years)
11 - For Ages (d6 x 100 years)
12 - For Ages (d6 x 100 years)
13 - For Ages (d6 x x100 years)
14 - For Aeons (d6 x 1000 years)
15 - Embroiled in a Civil War (began d6 weeks ago) - (Roll another Ruler if you wish)
16 - Embroiled in a Civil War (began d6 years ago) - (Roll another Ruler if you wish)
17 - In the Grips of Revolution (began d6 weeks ago)
18 - In the Grips of Revolution (began d6 years ago)
19 - Languishing as a Puppet State
20 - Under the Control of Outside Forces

Civil Wars (d4)
1 - Succession Crisis
2 - Upstart Nobles
3 - Religious Upheaval
4 - Rise Against the Tyrant

Puppet States (d4)
1 - Conquered by a Neighbour
2 - In a Dynastic Union
3 - Under Economic Dependence
4 - Ruled by a Shadow Government

Outside Forces (d8)
1 - Realm of the Dead
2 - The Kingdom of Heaven
3 - Hell on Earth
4 - A Primeval Forest
5 - An Impossible Devastation
6 - The Remnants of the Precursors
7 - Untamed Wilds
8 - Land of the Dark Lord

Events are the Realm-Shaking activities that can often separate the rule of one Dynasty from another, and at the very least demarcate the periods of Status-Quo. I suggest using your best judgement to decide exactly when these events occurred; they may not necessarily indicate the end or start of a Rulers reign, but they can. If you go for rolling the history of the realm as well, you could spread some of these events back further.
When rolling for a Realm that has been in its current state for Aeons or Ages, roll with disadvantage. When rolling for a Realm that has been in its current state only Recently, roll with advantage.

Number of Events (d6)
1 or 2 - No Events
3 or 4 - One Event
5 - Two Events
6 - Three Events

Events (d12)
If you roll a War, Revolution, or other such struggle, roll on the Outcome stable below to see who won. Similarly, if you roll a cataclysm, roll on the cataclysm table.
1 - Civil War (d4 months)
2 - Civil War (d4 years)
3 - Revolution (Short-lived, 2d6 years)
4 - Revolution (Long-standing, has been finished for 2d6 x10 years)
5 - Golden Age (d6 years, explodes with each explosion also multiplying duration by 10)
6 - Succession Crisis (d4 months) - (Roll a deposed Ruler if you wish)
7 - Succession Crisis (d4 years) - (Roll a deposed Ruler if you wish)
8 - Minor War (2d6 months)
9 - Major War (2d6 years)
10 - Cataclysmic War (2d6 decades)
11 - Minor Cataclysm (d4% of population)
12 - Major Cataclysm (d4 x 10% of population)

War/Revolution Outcomes (d8)
1 - Utter Loss
2 - Minor Loss
3 - Tense Standstill
4 - Comfortable Standstill
5 - Minor Victory
6 - Total Victory

Cataclysms (d10)
1 - Rampaging Monster/Dark Lord
2 - Divine Apocalypse
3 - Magical Catastrophe
4 - Economic Depression
5 - Virulent Disease
6 - Genocide
7 - Noble Decadence
8 - Extra-Planar Threat
9 - Earthquake, or other Geological Devastation
10 - Unrivaled Storms, or other Extreme Weather

The Realm's History
Use this d10 table to determine what was going on before the current Ruler came to power. If you really want detail, I guess you could roll rulers and Status-Quo periods for them, but I wouldn't really recommend it, lots of detail that most wouldn't care for anyway.
When rolling for a Realm that has been in its current state for Aeons or Ages, roll with disadvantage. When rolling for a Realm that has been in its current state only Recently, roll with advantage.
1 - This realm rose up from an ever-expanding city-state
2 - A Warlord united the land's petty barons together into this realm
3 - This realm rose over time from the results of many political marriages
4 - This realm was hard won in a battle against an inhuman foe
5 - The realm has been torn apart by Internal Conflicts for as long as any can remember
6 - A series of 2d4 Dynasties ruled over this area in succession over as many decades
7 - A pair of Dynasties have been fighting over this land for d6 decades
8 - The realm was a part of another realm before earning its Independence
9 - A Dynasty ruled for d6 decades after uniting the lands
10 - A Dynasty ruled for d6 centuries after uniting the lands

Recent Stuff

Cafe Prost and the Little Red Notebook

The Jackalope is here, and requires a SACRIFICE. Anne requested the following gift: The Coffee House - Cafe Prost! It is well known i...

This the gud stuph right hear