Optional Rule Set for Wizards
These rules are for the Avalon Hill classic, Wizards.
It's a strange game in that it's not a competition between
the players, but together they need to stave off evil. As
written, however, it's too easy. Just about every group
who plays Wizards regularly has come up with tinkers
to make it more of a challenge.
Below the optional rules are also some tinkers and clarifications
to the regular rules. We've attempted the mildest fix possible
for the endgame. Don Woods took another approach to
tinkering with the endgame.
Give Evil a Chance
My favorite tinker to give evil a chance is to allow demons
to stack. In the original game, only one demon was allowed
per hex. No more. Moreover, a player may only use his
Demon Dispell spell once per hex, so if he hits a stack,
he may dispell the first demon, but after that, he's on
his own. If a player is transported to a new space, he
may use a demon dispell spell in the new space. Transporting
also resets lair time. This can be quite important, as the
Dragon's Lair sometimes fills up with demon stacks. Encountering
these can cause "Demon Surfing."
Fortnights are too long. After the 2nd fortnight (shortening
these two makes it nearly impossible to become a druid or
sorcerer), change the length of the fortnights to one of:
Four experienced players should win more than 90% of the time
at 10 day fortnights. The first two fortnights, again, should
be 14 days. (The 14th day is Demonday, of course.) Lair time
should be calculated as if fortnights were 14 days. (This is
easy if fortnights are 7 days long.)
- Challenging: 7 days
- Agressive: 8 days
- Experienced: 9 days
- Comfortable: 10 days
The number of tasks to gain a thwart should be a function
of the number of players. Make it three times the number
of players. As a result, a four-player game will usually
see only two thwarts.
Give Druids a Chance
Being a druid is just too frustrating. We allow druids
to be able to (assuming they have the movement points)
walk onto the sacred circle. That ends their movement.
They still have to roll to see Ruktal.
Many quests provide Magical Items. But they don't do
anything. No more. Players hold onto Task cards if an item
is useful. If their Magical Items are stolen, these items
are lost as well. Note that these rules give a moderate (but
not as much as you might think) advantage to the players.
Items are not usable by the players until the task is completed,
no matter whether or not the item is in the player's possession.
(He hasn't been told the magic word that activates it.) If
anyone has a good set of clip art to make good cards for
some or all of these items, I'd be glad to collect it and give
credit where due.
"One Use" items are just that. Once used, they are discarded.
Some items are very powerful; they are marked with an asterisk (*).
If you feel that they are too good, some lesser versions are listed
below. I'd go with the good version. Typically, magic items don't
stay around all that long anyway. Magic items cannot be traded between
players. Tasks with items that are for one class only are discarded
if drawn by the wrong class. If this is overlooked, the item is
powerless. If the Task is traded to a player of the wrong class,
it can be completed, but the item is useless. Any item that provides
a spell, but doesn't specify otherwise, requires the normal roll (1-5)
for success. The item, however, can be used outside the normal
requirements. Animal Summoning may not be performed if an animal
- 1. Sacred Book: May enter Sacred Circle as Druid. 1 Use
- 2. Magic Amulet: May avoid all dragon encounters.
- 4. Charmed Bracelet: Swiftness through mountains and woods. 1 Use
- 5. Stargild: Demon Dispell spell. Once 6 points are gained from use,
transport to Starcrest immediately and return Stargild. Encounter
Starcrest as normal.
- 7. Ancient Runesword: Never fail Demon Dispell spell. Permanent. *
- 9. Magical Book: Boat Summoning Unlimited. 1 Use
- 10. Wand of Corruption: Immediately when task is drawn, provided that
it is possible that it can be fulfilled, the next appropriate island
sinks. (Use the normal rules for choosing which island sinks.) This
Task MUST be completed or the players lose the game. If
the spell of spells is cast while this task is in play, the spell fails.
If the items that begin this task are ever stolen, or the task is lost
from play incomplete by any means, the game is lost. Evil Wins. Suggestion:
don't start this until at least 3rd level. (*)
- 11. Wild Herbs: Heal Demondazed. 1 Use
- 12. Jeweled Sword: No harm results from Common Town encounter rolls 1-3 to the owner.
- 18. Jeweled Crown: +1 movement spell, permanent. Works on 1-3 on D6.
- 19. Sacred Bells: 5 points of any type. May be split. Use immediately.
- 21. Golden Harp: +1 spell rolls (so most spells are automatic). Permanent.
Druids Only. (*)
- 22. Four Magical Rods: Add 1 movement before roll. 4 uses.
- 24. Magic Vial and Vase: -1 Elf encounter. 1 Use
- 25. Three Parchments: Take an optional Task. 1 Use
- 26. Wizard's Letter: Take an optional Task. 1 Use
- 27. Two Coins and a Singing Lyre: Animal Summoning. 1 Use
- 28. Sack of Gold: Result 5 in Common encounter. Use before roll. 1 Use
- 14, 29. Magic Sword: Demon Dispell spell. May be used on multiple demons
in a turn.
- 31. Crystal Ball: Choose island to sink. 1 Use
- 32. Swan which lays Silver Eggs: Animal Summoning. 1 Use
- 34. Staff of Windstar: +1 movement in sorcerous mountains. Permanent.
- 35. Staff of Power: +1 spell rolls. Permanent. Wizards Only. (*)
- 37. Jaded Brooch: Only object stolen. 1 Use
- 38. Old Manuscript: Learn Animal Summoning Spell
- 39. Starsparks: Add one to movement rolls aboard boats. 1 full trip only
- 40. Lorebook: retrieve one Task Marker. 1 Use
- 43. Bark from Birch Tree: +5 Boat Summoning, if spell known
- 44. Magical Spice: Heals demondazed. 1 Use
- 52. Healing Ointment: Heals demondazed. 1 Use
- 53. Fruit: Animal Summoning. 1 use
- 54. Dragon's Egg: Dragon Taming. 1 use
- 61. Six Rare Herbs: Heals Demondazed. 1 Use
- 62. Magic Crystal Chalice: Other players encountering you
also encounter Shrineheart Abbey.
- 64. Dragon's Teeth: Successful Dragon Taming spell, no roll. 1 Use
- 65. Ancient Elven Crown: -1 Elven encounters. Permanent.
- 66. Love Potion: +2 Common or -2 Hamdrel encounter. Use before roll. 1 Use
- 71. Three Magical Rods: +1 movement after roll. 3 Uses
- 73. Four Magic Stones: Reroll movement roll. 4 Uses
- 74. Mist, et al: 2D6 movement on boat. 1 Use
- 75. Rare Protective Spices: Evade a Trap (not transporting) 1 Use
- 76. Shell, etc: Random transport to a non-dragon's lair coastal space. 1 Use
- 78. Wizard's Staff: +1 spells, Wizard only (*)
- 80. Precious Relic: May encounter demons from 1 space away
- 81. Chest of Flame: +1 spells, Sorcerer only (*)
- 87. Jewel of Light: No Island you are on will sink unless it is
the last of its type. Another will instead.
- 89. Windstone: +1 space (not roll) movement, boat travel only. Permanent.
- 90. Staff of Fire: +1 demon encounters, permanent. Sixes are still illegal
after a failed spell.
- 91. Sacred Engraved Ring: May summon Hound if no animal.
- 92. Amulet of the Sun: Choose results at High Hollow
- 93. Sacred Veil: Roll each turn no random, specific, or animal
encounter. On a 6, encounter Shrineheart Abbey. Permanent.
- 95. Magic Oil Lamps: Reroll '1' movement rolls. Permament.
- 96. Precious Silks: +1 Common encounters. Permanent.
Lesser Versions of Best Items
- 7, 21, 78, 81. Spells fail only on a 0 on a D10 instead of never.
- 10. Skip the "must complete to avoid losing" part.
Everyone obtains gems the same way. A player must
have an encounter with a high wizard, either through
the deck or by finding one on the board and visiting
him. He casts Gem Summoning. On a six, the spell
fails and the High Wizard leaves. On a five, the
spell succeeds, and if the Wizard is the False Wizard,
he fails to steal gems. Otherwise, the spell is successful;
if the Wizard is not the False Wizard, the player obtains
the appropriate gem. If he is, he steals all the player's
gems. The player is not permitted to let this event be
known to others by word, gesture, etc.
Rules Clarifications and Tinkers
Stranded: A player is defined to be Stranded either if he
is trapped and losing turns, in which case, he
must be helped if another player encounters him
and so chooses, or if he's stuck on an island or
islands without boats. The island(s) must not
be within swimming distance of a valid target,
nor contain one. A valid target is any of
Hamdrel, Ruktal, or the player's mentor. In
the case of Wizards, the mentor is any Elven
island. Note that if one builds a world with
Hamdrel's Cottage two or more spaces from any
other land, a player may be stranded there without
any recourse. Important safety tip: don't do that.
A player may be helped by requesting it if he meets
the stranded criteria above. Once requested, he
may not retract the request unless he leaves the
island(s) on which he was stranded and lands on
Transporting: A player who transports as his
movement rolls the encounter die upon landing. The
Druid spells that give an extra turn void this encounter.
Demon dispell spells may be re-cast once a player is
Multiple Specific Encounters:
Players who have any type of other encounter
(player/player, High Wizard, Task Marker, etc.)
in a Common Town or Elven Dwelling do not also
encounter the Town or Dwelling. All other specific
encounters are normally encountered, even if higher
priority ones are in the space. They are encountered
in the order printed in the rules. Multiple player/player
encounters are resolved clockwise from the phasing player.
Repeating Specific Encounters:
Before having a specific encounter in a space a second
time, a player must leave the space of the encounter.
Before having it a third time, he must leave the tile.
The only exception is Hamdrel. At Hamdrel's, one may
stay three turns, then leave the space, then three more
before leaving the tile. If one is not eligible for an
encounter, but stays in the space, no encounter occurs.
If one was in the space the previous turn for some reason
and didn't encounter the specific encounter, then one
may encounter it without moving.
Animals: If one gets an animal for N days, that's N turns,
no matter how many turns one gets in those days. The
card that provides a Flying Horse for four days really
means just two turns.
Six Rare Herbs: The task that requires finding six rare
herbs, requires finding them from six RANDOM magical spaces.
(Yes, it's a hard task.)
Multiple Task Markers: Some tasks can have parts
fulfilled immediately upon
the task's granting, even if Task Markers have already
been encountered during the turn. New Task Markers are
encountered immediately after the current encounter is
resolved. Note, however, that if the encounter
is a High Wizard, Sorcerer, or Ruktal, and that encounter
gave the player the task, he may only fulfil part of it
if he is the player's mentor. Specific encounters who
are not the player's mentor can normally only perform
one service for the player per encounter. An exception
is to fulfil multiple task markers. Even a mentor can
do nothing more for a player if he is healing the player.
Player/player result 5: In order for tasks to
be transferred, a player must be higher level and
have more optional tasks than another.
Player/Player Encounters: No encounter happens
if either player is not level one or higher.
Jan. 19, 1999