Flying Stone Head Vaporous Space Slug Adventures!

Khazred Häül, Flying Stone Head of Destruction!

stonehead

You’d have full backstory as well as stats for the Shadow Wizards and the ectoplasmic vaporous space slugs if you suppoted Johnstone’s Monthy Monsters Patreon: http://www.patreon.com/johnstone (heck, you can support me too: http://www.patreon.com/tonydowler

The Blue Wizard

This guys is a good guy to have on your side.

When the Blue Wizard produces a miscellaneous object, roll. 10+ choose two 7-9 choose one – It’s fitting for the task at hand – It’s not cheap junk that will break at the slightest provocation – It’s pretty simple and intuitive to use

Fool’s Gold isn’t a Useless Spell


There’s this spell in the AD&D PHB called Fool’s Gold. It turns a big stack of copper pieces into pretty good fake gold pieces for a while. But that’s not all! If you want to be sure of fooling your target, you can crush an expensive gem on the fool’s gold to make it doubly fooling! Why you wouldn’t just offer someone the gem you’re going to crush anyway is a little unclear.

Has anybody ever used a memorization slot on this? Has anyone ever used it to good effect? Fool’s Gold is just one of those many practically useless spells in the PHB (Leomund’s Trap, anyone? Mending?).* If you’re into measuring the utility of the spells you memorize, it’s hard to see why you’d chose this over Magic Missile, Charm Person, or Protection from Evil, for example.

At least, that’s what I used to think. But now I’m starting to see that utility isn’t the only or even the main reason those spell lists exist. Those lists show what wizards in this world can do. And if your wizard has Fool’s Gold in his spell list, it’s the kind of thing he/she can do too. That’s a small but important part of the game of D&D.

As a DM, you can put this to good use. What happens when the Orcs that the party is trying to bribe have a dreadful distrust of Wizards, owing to their reputation for making fake treasures? If wizards have a reputation for deception in your world, it can make all kinds of interesting trouble for your party. Or maybe the kobolds in that ruined tower are helping the mage with his experiments because of that huge chest of “gold” he keeps showing them. And Fool’s Gold might not be worth a memorization slot, but in a wand or scroll, it might see use. A wand of mending would be a handy and colorful item for a wizard to be toting around.

The deeper I dig into AD&D the more respect I have for Gary Gygax’s game design skills. There’s a lot of gold (not Fool’s Gold) buried in the texts–perhaps an endless supply!

* I’m also deliberately ignoring another purpose for useless spells: to make a certain brand of player bend their brain trying to find a good use for them. I played a bard in 3rd edition, so I know whereof I speak on this.

Temple of the Iron Arrow


Temple of the Iron Arrow
Originally uploaded by orkboi

Pride of the archeomancer guild in his younger days, Magus Vitzhago’s growing eccentricity was regarded with indulgence for many years; after all, if a mage can’t be eccentric, who can? At last, however, after several incidents which were rather disturbing (and in once, downright gruesome), Vitzagho disappeared from the public eye. No one has seen him for years. Has he finally gone mad? Is he in seclusion? Dead? Now the guild has offered a sizeable reward for whoever might enter his lab in the abandoned Temple of the Iron Arrow, determine what has happened to him, and return his staff of office to the guild.