d10 Arcane Special Effects

William T. Thrasher

We all know what a fireball looks like and what it does. But magic shouldn't be a bland Point A to Point B affair. Magic should live and breath, and great game masters know how to give arcane energies that special flare. For everyone else, there's this handy table of random Arcane Special Effects. Each Arcane Special Effect is an unusual, unpredictable, and evocative side effect that comes with part and parcel with a mages spellcasting, accompanying their spells like a familiar accompanies a witch. GMs can roll on this table once for each spellcasting PC or NPC to give their magic a signature flare, or roll each time a spell is cast for wyld magicians and settings where the arcane is a truly unpredictable force. Not get out your d10 and get rolling!


  1. Arcane Eyes: The spellcaster's eyes turn into ivory white orbs that shine like a full moon. This change persists for 1d4 rounds, or possibly longer when casting spells of exceeding potency.
  2. Rune Halo: Arcane runes describing the spell in question swirt around the spellcaster's head, hands, or entire body.
  3. A Distant Thunder: A bolt of prismatic lightning strikes in the distance, sending a sinister thunderclap echoing around the spellcaster.
  4. Arcane Aura: A prismatic aura shimmers around the spellcaster, her spell target, or both (choose randomly).
  5. Words of Power: The sonorous chanting of sinister voices echo in the air around the spellcaster.
  6. The Singes: The fringes of the spellcaster's hair, clothing, and possessions spark and smoke momentarily, leaving them singed.
  7. Static: Static electricity crackles over the spellcaster's body and the scent of ozone taints the air. The nearest person to the spellcaster, regardless of distance, becomes statically charged.
  8. The Withers: Flowers close, grass withers, and leaves turn brittle and brown within 30 feet of the spellcaster.
  9. Coppertongue: The spellcaster and everyone within 30 feet of her taste metal, as if they had just bitten down on a bad penny covered in tin foil.
  10. Arcane Winds: An unnerving wind smelling of cloistered studies and old parchment swirls the air within 30 feet fo the spellcaster. However, the though the wind can be felt, it does not disturb open flames.