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Maleficence (Magical Calamity Table)

Stolen for my 5e game from a few sources, main one being sorcery is a sword without a hilt.  These are the triple roll disasters for sorcerers. 


  1. Your spell effect targets adjacent target instead (harms next nearest person, alters wrong thing, creates related but not identical item).
  2. Teleport 1d6x10′ in a random direction.
  3. A random wizard spell is also cast on your target.
  4. Take 1d6 damage of the same damage type used in the spell or a random type if the spell did no damage. You are flung 1d10′ in a random direction.
  5. Add +1 ID to all rolls for the rest of the day.
  6. Take 2d6 damage.  If reduced to 0 HP or below, explode a ball of viscera and bone in a 20-foot radius sphere for 3d6 damage (DEX save for half damage for creatures in AOE).
  7. A number of imps appear equal to the value of the highest instability die. Roll 1d4 to see what they want:
    1. Swords: They desire meat. Flesh. Blood.
    2. Pentacles: They want to get the shiniest thing. Then they want to throw it into a deep pit
    3. Cups: They want something to keep as a pet. (Woe to whatever they decide to “adopt.”)
    4. Wands: They crave the blood of sorcerers.
  1. The putrid stink of a mass grave fills the area. Everyone in the area (or current encounter) has disadvantage on their d20 rolls unless they have no sense of smell.
  2. Demonic flies begin buzzing. If the adventurers stay in the area (1 round), all perishable items will soon be consumed as the flies swarm into their packs, leaving behind demonic maggots.
  3. A chill, green fog rises. All exposed metal items the party carries rust and have -1d4 to-hit, AC and/or damage until they are repaired (half the items value to repair it). If you get this twice in the same encounter normal metal is ruined and magical items are useless until repaired.
  4. Wounds stop closing. Until all instability dice are cleared healing fails.
  5. The sorcerer begins to uncontrollably weep black oil. It’s hard to see anything through bloody tears (disadvantage on attacks and Perception). And, of course, it ruins your billowing robes. This condition persists until all instability dice have been cleared. Billowing robes will need to be repaired (half the original cot). If you get this twice in the same encounter the robe is ruined.
  6. An invisible mark appears on the forehead of the sorcerer. The sorcerer is the primary target of all undead creatures. They wish to talk to them, to touch them, to kiss them, to hurt them, to make them understand. This lasts until the mark is cleansed (per GM’s discretion).
  7. The sorcerer’s shadow departs to perform some mischief. It will return once it’s gotten into some sort of trouble. Until then, the sorcerer lacks a shadow and gains 1 instability die until the shadow returns (1d6+1 days).
  8. The sorcerer’s pupils become golden, like a wolf’s. This change is permanent.
  9. The sorcerer grows black, goat-like horns. These are permanent but can be sawed off without any pain. Just the stumps will remain.
  10. The sorcerer’s reflection (in mirrors and other reflective surfaces) begins to rapidly decompose. Eventually, he’ll only see his bleached white skull when he looks into a mirror. This effect is permanent.
  11. The hex (6 square miles) the sorcerer is in is blighted. Plants wither and die. Mothers yield only stillbirths. If this hex was near a place of civilization, there will be consequences.
  12. Shrieker mushrooms quickly bloom around the sorcerer. Any movement through the area raises a mighty ruckus that provokes a wandering monster draw on the Meatgrinder table.
  13. The weather goes from bad to worse. Cool nights become freezing cold. Warm days become blistering. Rains become hurricanes. If the sorcerer is currently in the Underworld (or some other underground area) the weather manifests physically around them—the caverns fill with torrential rains, blizzards, or typhoons.
  14. Grasping, thorny vines sprout and fill the sorcerer’s zone (30 feet), giving the Restrained effect to everybody therein. Everybody must take the time to untangle themselves by using an action if they wish to be free.This persists for the entire encounter.
  15. Any potions carried by the sorcerer explode. The bottles are destroyed. This causes anything written adjacent to them on the sorcerer’s character sheet to be ruined.
  16. All wooden objects (wands, doors, chests, staffs, torches, bows, etc.) within 90 feet of the sorcerer warp and twist, as if bent by a giant’s hands. All wooden objects in this area are destroyed. Traps on wooden doors or chests are triggered and affect whatever’s nearest them, as applicable. Wooden magic items get a saving throw vs the DC of the spell effect or are also destroyed.
  17. Lightning arcs out of the sorcerer’s body doing half the damage of the sorcery die that triggered this maleficence and wounds everybody carrying metal within three zones, friend or foe. The damage is electrical in nature.
  18. Every animal on the random encounter table for this region/dungeon is drawn towards the sorcerer. The next short or long rest is an automatic encounter with every animal in the area.
  19. The sorcerer’s clothes and gear catch on fire. The sorcerer takes ¼ of the sorcery die used that triggered this maleficence as fire damage and the sorcerers’ billowing robes are ruined. The sorcerer must put themselves out or they will continue to burn (an action). For the most part, this effort should be automatically successful. The DM should arbitrate how effective the method is, and what secondary effects it might have. For example, rolling on the ground might smash delicate items in their pack (clayware pipes or glass bottles). Submersion in water might destroy rations or scrolls.
  20. An earthquake shakes the area within one mile of the sorcerer. Structures not built to last are destroyed. Otherwise, this acts as an earthquake spell is triggered centred on the sorcerer.
  21. The sorcerer begins to bud with thick, meaty fungus that grows like an insipid cancer on their skin. This effect is permanent until the disease can be cured. Those who dare can try to eat the fungus. It has the taste and texture of human flesh. It is delicious and causes all those who eat of it become addicted.
  22. The sorcerer’s legs turn backwards and grow fur, reminiscent of a goat’s. This effect is permanent.
  23. The sorcerer is inflicted with the Curse effect of lycanthropy – roll randomly for the type of lycanthrope. When the moon shines, the sorcerer undergoes a change: it is messy, uncontrolled, and violent.
  24. The sorcerer and their entire party are now subjects of the Wild Hunt, as per the arcane pronouncements of the semi-divine fay queen, the Witchmother. A withered gnome politely informs the party that they now have a one-day head start before an army of fey does their very best to try and kill them the next night. Good luck.
  25. The sorcerer loses their voice. Until the instability die are cleared, the sorcerer is Silenced. Later, the sorcerer’s friends and relatives will have sworn they could have heard the sorcerer’s voice calling to them from the darkness.
  26. Nightmarish idols of Jungian manifestations are rapidly built by invisible hands out of any available material near the sorcerer: floorboards, stones, leaves, fallen branches, mushrooms, snow, etc. Everybody in the sorcerer’s zone (including the sorcerer) must immediately make a WIS saving throw. All those who fail fall asleep and gain the unconscious condition. They may be awoken by a sharp slap (or worse). If this happens during a hostile encounter and everyone falls asleep have each creature continue to make saving throws to see who wakes up first.
  27. Everybody in the sorcerer’s zone (including the sorcerer) immediately become inspired (advantage on all d20 rolls for 1 minute) so long as they roleplay the inspired emotion appropriately (DM’s discretion). Determine the emotion inspired randomly:
    1. I-II: Anger,
    2. III-IV: Distaste,
    3. V-VI: Sadness,
    4. VII-VIII: Joy,
    5. IX-X: Surprise,
    6. Page-Knight: Trust,
    7. Queen-King: Fear
  1. A mouth appears on the back of the sorcerer’s skull. It babbles in Sidh. The GM immediately delivers a rumour to anybody who can understand its talk. The mouth – which offers unhelpful and sarcastic advice – remains until all instability dice are reset. The distraction imposes a -1d4 on all damage rolls.
  2. The sorcerer’s skin, organs, and muscles become invisible. Until all instability dice are reset, the sorcerer appears to be an animate skeleton with an interwoven system of nerves and veins. It’s creepy. You elicit horrified reactions by default.
  3. The sorcerer becomes a living illusion. An illusion is nothing but a hologram—you do not produce smell, sensation, or sound (thus, no casting spells). You cannot interact with the plane of Flesh, but you can see and be seen. However, anything illusory is real to you. An illusory sword can cut you. An illusory dragon can eat you. This condition persists until the instability dice are reset to zero.
  4. The sorcerer is no longer able to speak except in rhyme. Everything they say in character must be in the form of rhyming couplets. This effect lasts until after the next long rest.
  5. The sorcerer’s worst nightmare manifests in the Material Plane during the next long rest.
  6. The sorcerer grows a third eye in the centre of his or her forehead. Whenever they cast a divination spell, this eye opens. Otherwise, you can keep it closed and it is all but unnoticeable. This effect is permanent.
  7. The sorcerer’s colouring pales. Their hair, skin, and irises become milky white. This effect is permanent.
  8. A hekatephage manifests and begins following the sorcerer. A hekatephage is invisible and intangible (but maybe seen through second sight). A hekatephage devours magic.
    While the hekatephage is manifested, no spells may be concentrated on in the proximity of the caster; their durations immediately end as the hekatephage eats them. This even ends spells with no set durations (like malediction). A hekatephage does not go away on its own. The sorcerer must find some way to banish or defeat it.
  9. The sorcerer is permanently under the Silence effect. However, anything the sorcerer speaks manifests as illusions of text that hover over their head for a few moments; this is somewhat reminiscent of speech balloons. Luckily, this effect allows the sorcerer to cast spells.
  10. Divine locusts swarm; these locusts are golden in colour, with hard metallic shells and heads reminiscent of human faces. The locusts destroy all foliage and plant life in the sorcerer’s hex but also target the sorcerer’s enemies.
  11. Painful boils rise on the sorcerer’s skin, a side effect from undiluted celestial radiation. The sorcerer suffers 1d4 exhaustion levels.
  12. All rations in the sorcerer’s hex (6 square miles) become strangely tainted: water turns to blood and dried meat becomes pulsing half-living flesh. Only rations made purely from vegan sources are unaffected.
  13. The players that sit to the left and the right of the sorcerer have all of their hit-points healed. The sorcerer suffers the same amount of hit-point damage.
  14. An angelic chant manifests around the sorcerer. The music is beautiful but somewhat loud. Stealth is impossible for the sorcerer while it continues. However, the chant heals 1 hit point per minute to good sorcerers. The chanting will subside the next time the short or long rest.
  15. The sorcerer manifests the magical wounds of Hecate – the wound appears as starry night sky. The sorcerer losses 10 hit points from their maximum and the wound cannot be healed until they enter a Temple of Hecate (any Titan will also suffice). While thus hurt, the sorcerer also suffers one level of exhaustion.
  16. Greed is a vile sin. Precious coins and gems on the sorcerer’s person instantly and permanently become scarabs. This golden scarab swarm will obey the sorcerer until the next long rest or until destroyed.
  17. All non-magical weapons (except those explicitly made of iron) being carried in the sorcerer’s area (60 feet) are permanently transformed into tools of a similar size or shape. For example, a sword might be transformed into ploughshares or a spear into a pruning hook.
  18. The sorcerer’s brow is lit with a halo. Everybody is suitably impressed, except for spirits. A spirit (of any of the far realms) has an automatic negative reaction to the sorcerer and, in combat, will target them above all others. This halo lasts until the sorcerer enters a temple of Hecate (a church of the Cult).
  19. A ghostly hand manifests nearby and begins scribing a prophecy in Celestial on a nearby surface. The prophecy foretells of some doom that will befall the sorcerer and their companions unless a very specific, and unlikely, set of requirements are fulfilled.
  20. A golem is born from the living earth. It looks almost exactly like the sorcerer, except that it’s made of stone. Its only mission is to kill and replace the sorcerer.
  21. You cast slow.
  22. You cast faerie fire.
  23. You are stunned until the start of your next turn, believing something awesome just happened.
  24. You cast gust of wind.
  25. You cast detect thoughts on the target you chose. If you didn’t target a creature, you instead take 1d6 psychic damage.
  26. You cast stinking cloud.
  27. Heavy rainfalls in a 60-foot radius centred on the target. The area becomes lightly obscured. The rain falls until the start of your next turn.
  28. An animal appears in the unoccupied space nearest the target. The animal isn’t under your control and acts as it normally would. Roll a d100 to determine which animal appears. On a 01–25, a rhinoceros appears; on a 26–50, an elephant appears; and on a 51–100, a rat appears.
  29. You cast lightning bolt.
  30. A cloud of 600 oversized butterflies fills a 30‐foot radius centred on the target. The area becomes heavily obscured. The butterflies remain for 10 minutes.
  31. You enlarge the target as if you had cast enlarge/reduce. If the target can’t be affected by that spell, or if you didn’t target a creature, you become the target.
  32. You cast darkness.
  33. Grass grows on the ground in a 60‐foot radius centred on the target. If grass is already there, it grows to ten times its normal size and remains overgrown for 1 minute.
  34. An object of the GM’s choice disappears into the Ethereal Plane. The object must be neither worn nor carried, within 120 feet of the target, and no larger than 10 feet in any dimension.
  35. You shrink yourself as if you had cast enlarge/reduce on yourself.
  36. You cast fireball.
  37. You cast invisibility on yourself.
  38. Leaves grow from the target. If you chose a point in space as the target, leaves sprout from the creature nearest to that point. Unless they are picked off, the leaves turn brown and fall off after your next long rest.
  39. A stream of 1d4 × 10 gems, each worth 1 gp, shoots from your fingertips as part of the spell in a line 30 feet long and 5 feet wide. Each gem deals 1 bludgeoning damage, and the total damage of the gems is divided equally among all creatures in the line.
  40. A burst of colourful shimmering light extends from you in a 30‐foot radius. You and each creature in the area that can see must succeed on CON saving throw or become blinded for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
  41. The target’s skin turns bright blue for 1d10 days. If you chose a point in space, the creature nearest to that point is affected.
  42. If you targeted a creature, it must make a CON saving throw. If you didn’t target a creature, you become the target and must make the saving throw. If the saving throw fails by 5 or more, the target is instantly petrified. On any other failed save, the target is restrained and begins to turn to stone. While restrained in this way, the target must repeat the saving throw at the end of its next turn, becoming petrified on a failure or ending the effect on a success. The petrification lasts until the target is freed by the greater restoration spell or similar magic.
  43. Summon:You summon forth a tiny blue rabbit that sounds like a frog and smells like a cat.
  44. Sticky: The caster’s skin becomes sticky, like powerful glue.  The caster must make a PP saving throw to drop an object that they are holding.
  45. Beard: You grow a beard, 2 ft long, permanent.
  46. Forgetfulness: As you feel the ripple of the magic energies swirling through your conscious mind, something goes wrong.  You forget the incantation for 1d4 weeks.  The desired spell works as it should’ve, it has 5x the effect and adds three additional instability dice.
  47. Scale growth: The caster grows scales all over their body.  Roll 1d6 to determine the colour of the scales 1=blue, 2=black, 3=green, 4=red, 5=yellow, 6=brown.  Scales last 1d10 weeks and then the caster is overcome with unbearable itchiness and is compelled to scratch at them unless they make a successful PE roll.  PB is temporarily reduced by 1d6 during the moult.
  48. Energy bolt: An energy bolt (4d6 dam) suddenly shoots out from your left ear and hits the person/creature sitting/standing directly to your left (DEX for half).
  49. Hummingbird: The target gains the ability to levitate for brief periods.  The ability to levitate lasts for 10 minutes, but the person can only hover 1 foot off the ground at most and can only hover for 1 minute.
  50. Warm to Drink: A random something warm to drink is immediately provided to everyone in a 100-foot radius from the caster.
  51. You gain magic resistance for 1 day.
  52. You gain an additional sorcerer die. It is consumed once used but can be stored indefinitely.
  53. A flying elephant suddenly appears in front of you, explains that he’s very sorry he didn’t show up earlier and wanders off humming.
  54. Bonus…sort of: The spell reduces your instability dice pool by half and has quadruple effect, but it also affects you and 1d4 other creatures.
  55. Let’s Dance: A faeries dance affects your closest friend wherever s/he is (1 hour, WIS save to end).
  56. Singing: The caster must succeed at a ME roll or be compelled to sing until her next action.  The singing prevents the person from casting spells, unless they are trained to cast by song.  If the player actually sings for a song they gain a boon (+1d6).
  57. Belch of Titans: The caster belches once with the same effect as thunderwave The spell level is equal to the number of instability dice the sorcerer currently has to a maximum of 9.
  58. Oracle: You instantly know the answer to the next 1d10 questions anybody will ask you, and the answers are all right.
  59. Heal: Caster is healed of all non-fatal damage incurred thus far.
  60. Rain: Heavy rainfall (5 ft radius) centred on you, lasts for 1d3 days.  The cloud is constantly 30 feet directly above your head.
  61. Mask of Terror: The caster emits the effects of a fear spell on creatures within 30 feet for the next 1d8 hours.
  62. Loud Voice: The caster is unable to speak in a whisper, and his speaking voice becomes louder than normal.  Both effects last for the next hour.
  63. Bug: A monster insect appears within 20 ft and attacks the nearest person.
  64. Bonus: the laws of reality forget the spell’s cost and you don’t have to incur any instability die casting it.
  65. True Name: The true name of a random nearby creature is revealed, but s/he also get to know yours. Knowing the creatures true name grants advantage on all rolls – good or bad – against the creature whose true name you know.
  66. Stop: Absolutely nothing happens (time stops for 1d4 rounds, 100 ft radius, the sorcerer is not affected but otherwise the standard time stop rules apply).


Posted in 5e, Class, Dungeons & Dragons, House Rules, The Ninth World

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