Friday, April 24, 2020

The Plurality (GLOG Class: Many Wizards)

    The early Discworld novels hadn't settled down on having the Unseen University as a major in-setting faction. The wizards mostly just backstabbed each other, summoned demons and were slaughtered, and generally made a nuisance of themselves. This class is a swarm of treacherous wizards in the style of Many Goblins or The Extras.
    Some people think of wizards as harmless kooks who spend their time locked up in towers trying to summon a hot succubus. Some people think of honey-bees as fuzzy little buddies, and of piranhas as delightfully colored fishy friends. People like that are a danger to themselves and everyone around them.
Source: Discworld (obviously)

Glog Class: Many Wizards

    Something has stirred you up — a summoning gone wrong, a rumor of a powerful artifact, or the vague idea that Wizards aren't getting enough respect in the world. Sixty percent chance of solving the problem? Thirty percent chance of making it worse? Ten percent chance of turning into a toad??  You'll have to demonstrate the true percentages — personally.
    You use Multitude Dice to cast spells, which operate a little differently from normal Magic Dice. You can wear light armor (subject to the usual Many X rules), and can wield staves, crossbows, clubs and knives. You cannot use shields unless your DM lets you multiclass with someone who can (which they should not! Bad idea!).

Starting Equipment: Enough tall pointy hats for everyone, enough high-end cheese and pickles for three rations, one inaccurate map of the surrounding area.
Skills: 1. Maths 2. A complete, self-consistent and wildly incorrect understanding of natural science 3. Choir singing.

Perk: This many wizards in one place represent a combined total of hundreds of years of study. When you encounter an ancient bit of text, some exotic wallpaper or an interesting object, you may spend ten minutes bickering amongst yourself about what it is. Pass a save or take 1 damage from the slapping and the biting, then pass an intelligence check to see if you actually identified the thing.
    Additionally, you can see Death, curses, and other stuff most people try not to worry about. You are generally difficult to fool with illusions or mind-control, and you spot invisible creatures or secret doors on a 3-in-6.

Drawback: You can't trust anyone, especially not yourself. Charm effects instead reduce you to one half of your current HP as the wizards turn on each other in brutal internecine fracas. You automatically fail saves vs. Fear and disappear into nearby scenery. You get to roll if someone else damages the source of the Fear.
    Finally, your incompetence and greed gives you a 1-in-6 chance of pulling any given unmarked lever or picking up obviously cursed what-have-yous (DM's call when this relevant). Wizards are awful about this stuff. It's just terrible.

  • A: The Plural of Wizard, +1 MD 
  • B: Additional Staff (Ha, Ha), +1 MD 
  • C: Some Semblance of Order, +1 MD 
  • D: Further Additions, +1 MD 
The Plural of Wizard
    You are a small host of shitty wizards, subject to the usual rules of multitudes. In brief; each hitpoint lost in damage represents a wizard dying in some horrible but amusing way; area-of-effect spells hit you only once and single-target spells work on you as a whole (save-or-die deals 1 damage without a save), you cannot benefit from mundane equipment like shovels or breastplates or horses unless you have enough for 10 people, you occupy a 20' square whenever possible, and there are 2d6+3 of you if it matters (rerolling every time it matters). You move and act as a single character. You can do the work of ten men in an hour, but for every subsequent hour you have to pass a save to keep yourself motivated with rousing speeches and ferocious kicks.
    You are led by an Archchancellor who is some variety of first-level wizard. He has a really stupid name, a really impressive hat, and does the talking when necessary. If you all die the Archchancellor can recruit more shitty wizards at any large city; if the Archchancellor dies then you truly die. The Archchancellor is assumed to be carrying any magical equipment you have. Once per scene, he may step forth from the crowd to fire off a spell or tool (essentially giving you an extra action).
    You know a group spell at first level (determined randomly), and develop an additional random spell every level. Casting these spells takes five minutes for a single MD, ten for two, thirty minutes for three MD and two hours for four.
    Finally, wizards don't like feeling as if they are porters or bagboys. You can carry only five slots of items, which are passed from hand to hand inside your group. Additional gear is "accidentally" set down somewhere and forgotten about. Armor or ten identical weapons do not take up inventory slots, and your Archchancellor has three quick-draw slots he may fill with crossbows or magical artifacts.
Additional Staff (Ha, Ha)
    See, because wizards carry staffs, and so additional wizards would carry additional staffs, but they would also represent more staff. It is a Pune, or a play on words. Aha, ahaha. Aha.
    Your Archchancellor has seen fit to promote or hire an additional wizard. This wizard also gets an action once per scene, and survives with the Archchancellor if the Many Wizards all die. They have a single MD which never returns to their pool. Roll on the table below:
  1. Muhsin bin O'Hooligan, first-level Illusionist. He knows Mirror Image, creating the illusion of 1d4d12+13 shitty wizards, which is just terrifying. Is an alcoholic but lies about it.
  2. Poncegain Trattogap, first-level Diabolist. He knows Bind. The stench of brimstone and the awful fire that accompanies the black chains bursting from the earth makes his identity clear to everyone. He insists he is a cleric from a church in Canada. You probably haven't heard of it.
  3. Tollain Ditherer, first-level Adipomancer. He knows Aura of Warmth, which affects all of the Many Wizards. Dimwitted, wears a horned helmet, excellent cook.
  4. Boris Strugatsky, first-level Metatron. He uses Falsify Memory to smooth things over with Johnny Law. Boris is invariably chipper, and as his scene-action can challenge people to a friendly fencing match. Quite good at fencing.
  5. Archibald Money, first-level Orthodox Wizard. He knows Featherfall, which affects all of the Many Wizards. Is old as Hell, hates children and dogs, and his wheelchair must be carried over gaps and up cliffs.
  6. Quimbly Fethers, first-level Fighter. Grandniece of the Archchancellor and something of the black sheep of the family for her choice of occupation. Grants a +2 initiative bonus to the Many Wizards, and once per scene can step forward to block 1d6 damage with her sturdy shield. Wants to rescue a prince and settle down.
  7. Krx Krx Come In Krx, first-level Radiomancer. He knows Annihilation. Refuses to leave his hazard suit, or to say anything except his own name through the suit's comms.
  8. Dread Tiger, first-level Tech. He knows Door: Electrify, which requires no power. Fell through a wormhole from a cyberpunk world but has adapted quickly. Assumes other people are also robots until corrected.
  9. Two Accountants, first-level Geometer. They know Package Neatly and some basic algebra. Two Accountants is actually one person who only thinks they are multiple people. Imagine that! What a wild concept!
  10. Radamandafandalaster, first-level Numismancer. He knows Vault. Terrifically agoraphobic, and always votes on casting his spell as soon as possible.
  11. Killchester Cherrybones, first-level Architect. He knows Wardline. Loudly comments on nearby bits of civil engineering to let everyone know he went to an expensive school.
  12. Zapdar the Fearsome Lord of Death, first-level Gastropomancer. He knows Wall of Cabbage, which he considers rations and everyone else hates. His late mother (G_d rest her soul) named him for his warlord father. He is usually a sweetheart but gets very prickly about his parents or his name.
  13. Mssr. Pongo, first-level Monkey Dad. He has a 12 in every stat and gives the Many Wizards all relevant bonuses. Communicates through "ook"s and expressive physical violence. As a scene-action, can perform a remarkable feat of strength.
Some Semblance of Order
    The wizards consider it inhumane, even violating, to have to carry around all these expensive cheeses and smelly bedrolls. That's why they hired a bunch of muledrivers, torchbearers and porters to do it for them. There are now 4d6+6 of you if it matters, and you can carry a full 10 slots of inventory without losing anything. You can "rent" the service of any mundane item (torches, buckets, rope &c) for double its usual cost, though it only lasts for a single scene. The Archchancellor is a second-level wizard.
Further Additions
    At this level, and at every subsequent level, roll for another Additional Staff. The Archchancellor is now a third-level wizard.

Group Spells:
  1. Summon Greater Pig
    R: 5' T: n/a D: permanent
    Summons a large sow or boar (your choice) with [sum] HP and +[dice] to-hit and damage. The pig is not grateful and is not loyal. When killed, withers into [sum] pounds of bacon-scented clay.
  2. Enlighten Peasantry
    R: [dice] miles T: up to [sum] humanoids with 1 HD or fewer D: [dice] days.
    Targets become convinced of any nonsensical "scientific fact" you can come up with an explanation for. Bats are birds because "bat" is a shoddy translation of Latin for "definitely a bird". Sharks cause lightning because the mist from their blowholes is electrically conductive. At the end of the duration, targets make an intelligence check to realize it's all made up, or else continue to believe your facts until corrected.
  3. Open Doorway
    R: [dice]*5 miles T: a place the Many Wizards have visited in person D: [sum] minutes.
    Opens a circular viewing portal (radius 10') to the targeted area. Can be seen through in both directions, but does not allow sound, gas or solid objects to pass through. Does count for spells with line-of-sight limits.
  4. Raise Tower
    R: n/a T: the area around the Many Wizards D: permanent
    Raises up a stone tower [dice]*10 feet in height over a course of [sum] minutes. Tower is empty inside, but does have a platform around the inside of the top with a ladder allowing access. Has [dice]*10 hitpoints with a DR of 6, and disappears with a pop when dispelled or "killed".
  5. Bother Deity
    R: n/a T: a powerful spirit or demon, or a minor g_d D: [dice] questions
    This spell allows communion and communication with a targeted supernal being. They are under no obligation to help you and may be irritated, but you can ask questions like "How can we repay you for your time O Big One?" to perhaps smooth things over.
  6. Magic Missive
    R: [dice]*10 miles T: a person the Many Wizards have spoken to in person D: n/a
    Sends a message of 2+[sum] words to the target creature. Arrives like a loud voicemail from a tech-illiterate aunt, and can be heard by nearby creatures.
  7. Silence Urchins
    R: sight T: [sum] minors of 1 HD or fewer D: [dice] hours
    Targeted children can only respond to direct questions for the duration. Has a casting time of 1 round if a single annoying child is the target, in which case the MD is burnt.
  8. Protection from Beggars
    R: n/a T: selves D: [dice] hours
    For the duration of the spell, the Many Wizards appear to be comically destitute. Their hats are pried open as if with a can opener, the soles of their boots flap behind them like sad banners, their clothing is threadbare and grimy, and their valuables are rendered invisible. Moderately convincing.
  9. Protection from Mildew
    R: [dice]*5' T: a circular area around the Many Wizards D: see below
    The targeted area becomes clean, dry, as well-lit as plausible, and remains so for the duration. Lasts for [sum] hours at one MD, [sum] days at two, [sum] years at three MD and is permanent at four.
  10. Power Word: Boo
    R: n/a T: a creature of [dice]+1 HD or fewer D: [dice] days
    One of the Many Wizards memorizes a dangerous word in an elder tongue. An elf or a g_d or something would instantly kill the target by speaking this word; your wizard just inflicts a failed morale check. The MD used to cast this spell do not return to the pool until the Power Word is spoken.
  11. Delayed Blast Lightning Bolt
    R: n/a T: n/a D: n/a
    What's with all those n/a's? Well, you see, this spell is part of the classic "Cheap Wand of Lightning" scam. It creates [dice] rods of lightning. These can be used to cast a Lightning Bolt spell with 1 MD by a wizard (save or take a point of damage), or by a non-wizard who passes a save (on a fail, deals full damage to them and blasts into the sky). Each such wand has a 1-in-6 chance of going off on its own every day. These are good for a lot of money in towns which have never heard of the Many Wizards.
  12. Ray of Tape
    R: 60' T: an object which wants some taping D: permanent
    Enshrouds the target with several layers of electrical tape, aluminium foil and glue. Holds up [dice]*20 pounds indefinitely. Can be cast on door hinges, padlocks, pressure plates and other things to gum them up quite badly.


  1. Clearly the only sensible thing to do is to cast open door proceeding to bicker among yourself about whether or not that is you up ahead.

    Beautiful post.

    1. That's how it begins, how it will continue, and probably how it will end. Thank you for your comment.

  2. The Additional Staff is really great. :)

  3. This is magnificent - I shall be deploying this for the background staff at my local magical university post-haste.

  4. Reading through this with one eye closed because it won't look at things right at the moment - you done good here "Grrr Mike", you done good.