I finished The Scarlet Citadel for the first time, and it gave me an idea for a funny encounter in a D&D style game. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t say the name of who inspired this idea, but the encounter is with a headless wizard, stumbling through the countryside, searching for its severed head.
The headless wizard is a ragged figure, stumbling along, showing signs of wear and tear in its clothes and body. It was once a powerful wizard, and still has a few spells readied that do not require verbal components, but is clearly less formidable than it would be with its head.
Medium-sized humanoid, Chaotic Neutral
AC: 14 (robes provide mage armor)
HP: 115 hit points (19d8 +19)
Spellcasting (Attack +12, DC 20)
- At will: control flames, minor illusion, move earth
- 3/day: catnap, hypnotic pattern, mind spike
- 1/day: illusory dragon, mislead
Immunities: provided by the amulet of proof against detection and location
Attack: wand of lightning bolt – 5′ wide and 100′ long lightning bolt. DC 20 Dex save, 8d6 lightning damage. Either the body tries to aim the lightning bolt at the most recent attacker, or will choose at random – roll a d8 for direction. The wand has 1d6+1 charges when the headless wizard is encountered.
Illusory Dragon: the main defense the headless wizard has is to summon an illusory dragon. The wizard drags a Huge dragon from the Shadowfell and chooses its type. Each turn the wizard can move the dragon up to 60′, and the dragon breathes a 60′ cone of some kind of elemental damage – acid, cold, fire, lightning or poison. Those in the cone make a DC 20 Intelligence save to take half of the 7d6 damage. A character can use their action to inspect the dragon and make a DC 20 Intelligence (Investigation) roll. If they succeed, they realize that the dragon is an illusion and no longer take damage from it.