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Roll up a Quick Wizard’s Tower

Roll up a Quick Wizard’s Tower

A tall tower with a clock on top

Sooner or later, your players will ignore your narrative breadcrumbs in favor of aiding a random NPC. This is good and right. But it helps to be prepared when it happens!

One Roll Wonders are a way to throw together RPG locations and points of interest in the time it takes for a bathroom break!

To make something on the fly, grab one of each of the polyhedral dice: d4, d6, d8, d1, d12, and d20. Roll them all at once and consult the tables.

The results provide a ready-made NPC or adventuring locale. You might need to massage them to create something coherent, or you might find a result that appeals to you more than what you rolled. Whatever gets the game moving again is the right call!

Want more help keeping things running? The Prepared! Expanded Collection is an group of pregenerated one-shot adventures that helps you look like an improv master. 12 Peculiar Towers is an adventure collection that can mesh up with these tables to avoid railroading until you redirect the players into more comfortable territory. Try them both!

The Wizard’s Tower

d4How tall is the tower?
1A quaint two stories, perhaps smaller on the inside than the outside
2A modest three story fixer-upper for the cost-conscious arcanist
3Five stout stories that dominate the horizon
4Four stories reach to the sky, with another five subterranean levels
d6What is the tower made of?
1Rough-hewn stone
2Baked mud bricks
3Pozzolana, a powder that turns to stone when mixed with water
4A strong metal alloy
5Sturdy, yet flammable bamboo. The whole tower phases in and out of the Material Plane, creating additional protection against mundane threats
6The tower has no physical walls but is protected by a wind barrier created by trapped air elementals
d8What else is near the tower?
1A large lake that’s the source of water for a nearby settlement
2A growing city that wants to tear down the tower
3The tower guards the entrance to an ancient megadungeon
4A roost of highly territorial birdfolk
5A relatively safe entrance to the Underworld
6An amphitheater dating back to antiquity
7Eight monumental standing stones built in a pattern around the tower
8A dumping ground for failed magical experiments
d10Who guards the tower?
1Goblins who the wizard tolerates because they offer him gifts.
2Kobolds —so many traps.
3A cacophony of bony defenders, which are primarily cackling skeletons (see Tome of Beasts 2) with a smattering of clacking skeletons (see Creature Codex).
4More demons than you can shake a stick at—which you will need to do survive.
5Flab giants (see Tome of Beasts 1) magically shrunk to Small size (perish the thought if the magic is dispelled).
6Ghosts of the wizard’s ancestors bound to certain rooms who know centuries of secrets.
7Assassin vines and chaos creeper (see Tome of Beasts 3) that have been grown around the walls of the tower.
8Ahu-Nixta allies summoned from the Void. (To see the full complement of ahu-nixta foes, see Creature Codex, Tome of Beasts 2, and Tome of Beasts 3).
9A cursed swolbold (see Creature Codex) who just won’t stay dead.
10The tower is a massive mimic that is the wizard’s landlord. The rent is overdue, and the tower hungers for payment.
d12What is the wizard’s magical specialty?
9Shadow (see Book of Ebon Tides)
10War (see Tome of Heroes)
11Gravebinder (see Underworld Player’s Guide)
12Entropy (see Midgard Hero’s Handbook)
d20What rare spell component is found among the treasure?
1A smattering of bird feathers
2Two dozen mummified glowworms
3Pinches of multicolored powder
4A basement filled with rotting
5Dried carrot powder
6Sumac leaves
7Three shelves of books, each tome worth between 250–100 gp
8A closet full of tiny clay ziggurats
9Five pickled hen hearts
10A butt of powdered fools’ silver
11A flagon of imported molasses
12A fistful of jade dust
13A pound of bat guano, still moist
14Three yards of fine copper wire connected to a malfunctioning arcane device
15A pouch of salted butter
16Seventeen vials of holy water stoppered with tainted corks
17A dozen lodestones and a satchel of iron shavings
18 A bag of “distasteful items”
19Fourteen spiders, alive and of varying sizes, some are monstrous
20Sacks of dirt and gravel and jars of clay

Where Have I Seen This Idea Before?

The One Roll Wonder idea was pioneered by Kevin Crawford in the Stars Without Number RPG and can be found in many Sine Nomine Publishing products. Go check them out, especially if you’re looking for a splendid old school gaming.

About Benjamin Eastman

Benjamin L. Eastman was introduced to D&D by his four closest friends—who immediately betrayed his trust by sacrificing his first character to a demonic artifact. Undeterred, he’s played all manner of RPGs in the intervening years. In addition to writing Warlock Lairs and monsters for Kobold Press, he’s contributed to the Stargate RPG and Americana, and co-authored DMs Guild adventures including Baby Tarrasque. He is perhaps proudest of the bar brawl—his first published monster in the Creature Codex

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