How to Design a Wizard’s Tower the Marvel(ous) Way

The wizard’s tower is one of the classic settings for fantasy adventures. It ranks up there with the haunted castle, the cave, the swamp, and of course, the dungeon. However, while Dungeons & Dragons has a lot to say about designing dungeons and stocking dragons’ hoards, it has very little to say on the subject of wizard towers. This supplement is intended to assist the Dungeon Master in designing a proper tower for a wizard (or any spellcaster) to reside in. As with any project of this scope, it’s impossible to address all the possible variations such a tower might take, but hopefully the materials within will act as inspiration for individual developments.

This supplement is intended to be used alongside the Dungeon Master’s Guide and other official books that are mentioned throughout. It contains sixteen tables and lists as well as two brand new to fifth edition spells related to constructing buildings Construction, a second edition spell updated to fifth edition that helps certain spellcasting classes build magical buildings, and Expansion, a new spell based on Construction that allows those same classes to expand a space beyond its normal limits.

The process outlined in this supplement is systematic, intended to take you from one logical step to the next

  1. First, who was the wizard who built the tower, and what was their personality? This more than anything would influence the final structure.
  2. Second, where is the tower located? The wizard would have chosen a particular spot for a reason.
  3. Third, what is the design of the tower, its exterior and its interior? Is it built of standard building materials, or is it built with something dramatic, like a tower of chattering giant skulls (suitably packed with mud to keep the weather out. Perhaps windows in all the eye sockets?)?
  4. Fourth, is the tower still occupied by its original owner, or has it been abandoned?
  5. Finally, what kind of influence does the tower have on the surrounding area? Wizards perform all sorts of magical experiments in their towers, and this build up of ambient magical energy can bleed off into the surrounding area, causing all sorts of strange effects all of which would reflect the type of magic the wizard is practicing.

Following these basic steps will give you the basic structure of a wizard NPC and their tower. After that, it’ll be up to you as the Dungeon Master to furnish it, decorate it, cast it into ruins, and inhabit it with monsters, constructs, and minion NPCs.

And if your players are anything like mine, it’ll then be up to you to watch as they bypass the place entirely in favor of having the bard cast leomund’s tiny hut until the storm passes.

Included here are two files a pdf with artwork and a text only pdf that hopefully will work with screen readers.

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