Faintly are the screams heard,
Yet all quake in fear,
Uttering not a word.
A blight has descended on the land,
And all cower on the floor,
For they know their end is at hand.
By the great SANTICORE!!
OH GREAT POWERFUL AND AMAZING SANTICORE! PLEASE GRANT ME:
“A table of random spell misfires. At least ten, but as many as you’d like (preferably keyed to a standard die type like a d10, d12, d20, d30, etc., but if you don’t, I can deal). They can be as weird or screwy as your warped mind can imagine.”
Tony Pace really outdid himself with this list of spell misfires!
Sometimes you are shooting out the magic and it all comes out wrong. Roll on these tables to see just
how wrong it is. If you have a system with all these categories for spells you could use them to decide on
a table, or you could just eyeball it or roll one randomly. Whatever works.
The effect mentioned usually lasts as long as the spell would. Assume a round per level of the caster if
you’re not sure, although that might feel a little short for low level characters.
1. The spell is awesome big. Way too big. It reaches big enough to affect a couple of your pals,
including you if that’s what it takes.
2. All objects within 10’ or you, including those on your person, have a 50% chance of existing or
not existing for each creature that interacts with them. It is perfectly possible for objects to exist
for one person and not another. Floors, walls, and doors are all subject to this effect.
3. You are glowing with magical power and you know you are just fizzling to go off – but no one
else does. Roll again in 1d4 turns and have the spell go off then. DMs are encouraged to cheat
4. The spell fails. You are left visibly crackling with electric power as rivulets of charged plasma curl
and wriggle in the air. All small metal objects within 20’ are drawn to you and stick on. Anyone
who touches you during that time suffers 2d6 damage.
5. The spell fizzles. The next time you are in the same sort of environment, the spell goes off at the
original range, targeted at the nearest group of sentient creatures.
6. Close your eyes and draw a squiggly line on the map, starting from you. There’s a Wall of Force
7. Every sentient creature within 60’ of the target except you gets a magic missile to use as they
8. A floating disc appears under your feet and lifts you to the ceiling, or 60’ in the air. When it
expires, you fall down.
9. You evoke ice in your underpants. Take d2 damage continuing each round until you remove said
10. Roll on the conjuring table.
1. You summon a plague of frogs which moves randomly and makes movement difficult.
2. You summon a succubus, which promptly nets you, binds you, and tries to take you home.
3. You summon something small in a bad place. If it can’t fly, then 30 ft in the air. If it can, maybe
in your backpack or your pants.
4. You summon yourself to the home of the creature you wanted to summon.
5. You switch places with the summoned creature. If you summoned a devil, you go to hell and it
comes to earth.
6. You summon possibly the most useless creature imaginable. If in doubt, go with flumphs.
7. You summon a monkey on top of your head, which proceeds to open your backpack and toss
the contents far and wide.
8. You summon the ghost of a dear departed family member who loudly berates you about the
poor life choices you have made for d4 rounds. You must save vs. spells to act during this time.
9. You summon an enormous swarm of tiny flying jellyfish. The clouds starts at 5’ on you and gets
5’ bigger each round until the spell should be finished. Anyone in the cloud saves vs. poison or
takes d4 damage and is paralyzed for a round.
10. Roll on the divination table
1. You are teleported to switch places with your target.
2. You open a gateway to elemental air. You are caught in a small tornado and take 1d6 of wind
damage. You are also thrown 20 feet in a random direction if you fail a save against breath. If
you save your clothing is maimed in an embarrassing fashion.
3. You open a gateway to elemental fire beneath your feet. Save vs. breath weapon to avoid 4d6
of damage. If you do, your hair is gone and you are covered in soot. Either way, your footwear is
4. You conjure a geyser of water that erupts from your mouth. If you close your mouth you tempt
drowning, but if you open it you are propelled 30’ backwards per round. Either way you won’t
5. You open a gateway to elemental earth. You and everything within a 10’ radius of you are
buried in loose soil. You cannot move or breathe.
6. Grease. Centered on you. Also, you are greased like a pig. Save vs. wands to stand up or do
much of anything.
7. Bubbles erupt from your body. The cloud of bubbles starts as a 5’ cloud on you and grows by 5’
per round. Vision is limited to 5’, and moving means you have to save to remain standing. On
the plus side, you and anyone who was in the bubbles is now squeaky clean.
8. You open a gate to the demiplane of vomit. You and everything in a 20’ radius around you is
covered in it. Anyone who comes close to the vomit needs to make a morale check not to run
away to the nearest source of fresh air and water.
9. You create copies of all the items on your person (nonmagical, of course). They fall on your head
in a heap. Take 1d6 damage for every 10 pounds of items.
10. Roll on the summoning table.
1. Your nails all grow to 2 ft long and they hurt like heck when you cut them – 1pt per level
2. You transmute your appendix into a homunculus. It doesn’t hate you but it wants out of your
body right now.
3. All inanimate objects within reasonable line of sight animate and begin fighting against each
other in teams divided by material. This includes clothing and personal weapons.
4. You eyeballs begin to bulge out of your eye sockets, transforming into eyestalks over the course
of the next turn. They are tremendously attractive to birds of all kinds who will relentlessly
attempt to eat these tempting snacks. The victim will quickly grow new eyestalks when this
occurs. The effect is permanent.
5. You become hermaphroditic, and are fully capable of both conceiving and carrying children.
6. The next time you go to sleep, you chew on your blankets and form a chrysalis around your
body. In one week you will awaken with a new body of a randomly determined type.
7. You weigh as much as a feather does for the next 2d4 turns. Any attack against you knocks you
back d4x5 feet. Wind sends you flying. You do no damage with physical attacks.
8. The caster’s most precious item (spellbook likely) animates and flees from the caster. This effect
is permanent until dispelled, but restraints are an option.
9. A random object in the possession of the caster becomes the center of gravity for all objects
in the area. Everything within line of sight falls towards this object. Since it is probably a soft
landing, falling damage is split between the falling object and the person they fall on to.
10. Roll on the healing table.
1. Your target becomes extremely amorous regarding you. No is not an acceptable option.
2. You are touched by the spirit of generosity and asceticism. Give away all your worldly goods to
the poor. Join a religion and believe it.
3. You are affected by an aura of truthtelling. At the top of your lungs, exclaim your forbidden love
for another PC, and all the many reasons that they should reject you.
4. You are touched by a magical aura of enchantment for d4 days. Children love you, birds and
fluffy animals flock to you, and you are considered by all right thinking cynical people to be a
witch, a pederast or worse.
5. You are affected by a backlash of spell energy. You now hate everyone, violently.
6. You are deeply confused. Where were you again? Who are these dudes? Also, you forget your
7. You are immediately affected by an irresistible compulsion to dance. Method acting is highly
8. You now have your target’s voice and mannerisms permanently.
9. You manage to put yourself in a tremendously suggestible state. The next natural small animal
you see will befriend you and take to perching on your shoulder or head. You will regard it as
your closest friend and endeavor to assist it in all tasks including feeding, mating, and sleeping.
10. Roll on the necromancy table.
1. Everyone except you disbelieves your illusions. You cannot be convinced that this has occurred
for the duration of the spell.
2. You are concentrating wrong and maybe a little distracted. A bad scene of the kind that comes
unbidden to your mind occasionally appears in full view of everyone and plays out. You can’t
stop it as it is straight from your unconscious.
3. A finger of darkness clouds your mind and a shadowy nightmare creature steps out of the
shadows and attacks you. Consider it a shadowy undead with one more HD than you. Nobody
else can touch it. Normal weapons can’t hurt it, but your fists and spells can.
4. You are feeling a little bright and cheerful and so is your illusion. People can see what you are
illusing and might even believe in it but it is laughable. The monster is a Disney cute monster
and dances. The wall has a big happy face and is made of little cheery goblins. If you are invisible
you look Hollywood invisible and people always notice the weird little distortions you are
making. Also, you have theme music.
5. Your illusion has a little glow around it and is semitransparent. There is a little glowing trail
leading from the illusion back to your index finger.
6. You illuse yourself to look like an opponent and your opponent to look like you.
7. You are convinced that your most recently claimed mundane item is an artifact in disguise. You
will talk to it constantly and attempt to awaken its power. Others may or may not believe you.
8. All creatures in melee are made to look like their melee opponents.
9. You create an illusion of the most frightening creature you have ever seen, centered on yourself.
You are also struck silent.
10. Roll on the transmutation table.
1. Your dead skin comes alive and assembles into a skin dust ghost. It has telekinesis but it’s totally
visible. It wants more of your skin and might be bargained with.
2. You animate your own bones. You can think and speak normally but your bones behave as an
skeleton ordered to guard. You cannot control your own body except by making an open doors
3. You lose a level for 1d4 hours. If you are level one, take a coma.
4. Your soul is trapped in the shiniest object you own. It may become an intelligent magic item.
5. All of your hair rips itself out of your scalp and other body parts (d4 damage) and twists together
into a vile miniature undead creature which attacks you. The transformation takes a round, then
it climbs all over you and attacks for d2 damage and distraction. It may berate you for getting
haircuts. Exceptionally hirsute characters might be able to negotiate but would take more
damage from the original formation.
6. You catch a necrotic fever. In a few days, bits of your body are going to wither up and fall off.
7. You begin to wither and develop the appearance of a lich.
8. You develop a frightful hunger for fresh sentient flesh. Every day you don’t, lose a hitpoint semi
permanently until you get fed.
9. For the next day, anyone who touches your flesh absorbs one hit point from you.
10. Roll on the abjuration table
1. The gods are laughing at you. Reroll your next successful roll.
2. Your divination seems to work great, but it lies to you like hell.
3. All enemies or failing that NPCs can see you for the next minute as if they were affected by a
clairvoyance spell targeted on you.
4. Whomever you would least want to see what you are up to right now is affected by a scrying
spell targeted on you for the next turn.
5. You foresee your own doom. Think up a doom and a circumstance. (or roll them in Vornheim if
you have it). When the circumstance passes, so will your doom.
6. Your hearing is heightened to an ungodly level. You automatically make all hearing checks, but
you suffer a point of damage every time you hear an attack or shouting within 60’.
7. You are tormented by visions. At any stressful time during the next week, the GM may ask you
to roll a save. If you fail, you are unable to act for an action as visions of the future pass through
8. You make contact with an alien entity. Make a save or develop a permanent insanity. If you do
make the save, the GM may tell you some interesting or useless fact about the setting.
9. All metal objects begin speaking to the caster. They cherish this rare opportunity to speak to the
living world and talk over one another. Make a save to act each round. Also, if the caster fails to
reply to them, they become unruly and attempt to convince their owners to attack the caster.
10. Roll on the illusion table and think up an appropriate illusion if needed.
1. You grow scales all over your body. You get +2 AC if you are not wearing armor, but you look like
2. The spell is turned the wrong way around. Everyone else gets the needed protection from you.
3. The spell makes you vulnerable in exactly the same way it was supposed to protect you.
4. All of your magic items are dispelled (temporarily, roll as normal.
5. You form a magic circle of protection vs. you and you are stuck in the middle of it. You have to
save vs. magic to get through it. Lasts until you manage to save.
6. Roll a body part randomly (1 head, 2 torso, 3 right arm, 4 left arm, 5 right leg, 6 left leg). That
location is immune to criticals and cannot touch anything for 1d4 hours. Anything held in or
attached to that location falls to the ground.
7. There appears to be no effect. If you harm anyone over the next week, you will come to suffer
the same sort of harm yourself in a coincidental fashion.
8. Your protective spell is so effective that it constricts your movement, allowing you to move only
5’ per round.
9. A shield of force manifests in front of you. You cannot attack or walk forwards, but instead must
walk backwards with your head turned around. -2 to all attacks.
10. Roll on the transmutation table.
1. Target grows a vestigial hand on the site of the wound.
2. Target grows a conjoined twin from the site of the wound.
3. Target slowly begins to gain a bit of your essence. Over time, their face will come to resemble
4. Target changes gender.
5. Target is healed, but you suffer their greatest wound.
6. Target’s nose falls off and is replaced by a bird’s beak.
7. You channel so much healing energy into the target that they are fully healed, gain 1d4
temporary hit points and are blinded for d4 days.
8. The target’s blood becomes a tiny blood ooze. Treat as a green slime.
9. The target develops a large number of skin tags which begin to grow faces and express hitherto
unknown aspects of your personality. Their dialog is clearly audible to the victim, but only
slightly so to others.
10. Roll on the Necromancy Table and work with it.