What kinds of things would be in an Evil Wizard's Library room?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


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The group of seven lvl 10 PC's are about to go into a Dark Wizard's tower, and one of these floors is his extensive library and gallery of his various exploits and captured material (sculptures, artwork, books, scrolls/parchments, etc). The Wizard has placed all kinds of magical protections on the 1st floor (Forbiddance, Mage's Private Sanctum, Alarm, Explosive Runes, Symbol of Death, Major Images casting Shadow Evocations, etc.), but the 2nd floor of his tower is the library. Once the PC's are in his library, I'm planning on the library being guarded by Blood Golems who manifest each time a book is unshelved; but what kinds of books/sculptures/artwork would you find in a Dark Wizard's gallery/library?


Delicate watercolour paintings of landscapes? His taste in art doesn't have to be related to being a dark wizard at all, and unless he's possessed or something I wouldn't see how it could be related.

Probably a builder of blood golems has a few books on anatomy, philosophy and magic that touches on those. Depending on what his nefarious plans are there might well be some books related to those.


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I'm sorry to just pop in but I've had 8 hours of sleep in 5 days and I'm feeling kinda punch drunk. When I first glanced at the headline I thought it said "wizard's laundry room".

Carry on.


What makes a wizard evil is how he uses his magic, not the magic itself. Other than maybe some necromancy and summoning up lower planner creatures most of the magic an evil wizard uses is the same as any other alignment. That means that for the most part their library and art will be fairly similar to that of others wizards.

One area where they will be a little different is on philosophy. Even this should be kept subtle. Instead of outright evil books have his library filled with books leading to evil. Have books that are filled with the idea of the end justifies the mean. Prince by Machiavelli would be a good real world example. Books that contain useful information obtained by evil means would also be a good addition. Maybe something similar to the medical experiments of the Nazi’s during WW2. The idea is that the dark wizard did not originally start out evil, but kind of wandered into it by using questionable sources and means and was gradually corrupted.

One area where you can get creative is in his spell books. Have a lot of side notes in the margin about using normal spells of evil purposes. You could also have some shortcuts for some of his spells reflecting his evil nature. For example some of his spells may have alternative material components that would be considered evil that are slightly less costly than the standard ones. If done right a good wizard may feel like taking a shower after reading the captured spell books.

The last thing I would do is to choose a single perversion and have the wizard have an extensive collection related to that. Don’t be subtle here go for something that most people would find truly objectionable. Maybe he was a sadist with an extensive collection of books on bondage and torture. To make it even worse have the books be truly heinous, but actually quite valuable.


Maybe a librarian. An apprentice might be a good substitute in a pinch. The wizard might need some piece of information and someone to know where to look can make a huge difference. Also have someone to clean. The wizard might make a big mess when searching through books, maybe leaving them scattered on tables or on any flat surface.

The librarian doesn't have to be human or a member of any of the stock races. It could be an extraplanar creature, undead, or even construct.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

A unicorn's head mounted on the wall, maybe multiple with continual flame spells cast on the horn. A rug made from the skin of a celestial dire tiger or foo dog. A bound demon serving as a research assistant? Fun for roleplay. "I would dearly love to eviscerate the lot of you, fortunately for you, my terms of service are as researcher, not guardian. Now then, may I help you?"


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Maybe a journal filled with really bad attempts at poetry? ("Damn it! I could have been happy if I had been a bard...")


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Golem focused wizards? Could I suggest adding the various soul bound series of constructs for flavor and window dressing?

One of the essential details I focused on while making this suggestion- prestidigitation. As a wizard, I am sure your villain is more than familiar in the value it has when you are trying to keep a place clean and tidy, and wizards always value their libraries. While the wizard could do it himself... well... he is evil. So tearing out another creature's soul to do the job for you seems pretty basic. Also, the wizard might be off on various trips or locked in his lab for weeks, and he wants someone to keep the place clean.

Soul bound mannequins are at a good enough CR to be a minor addition to a fight at CR 10. They could serve well as butlers, and they can be the NPCs that serve as the face for this library based encounter.

However, those strong points might be downsides if you already have your encounters and setting planned. For something that just quietly sits in the background, you could use the far lesser Guardian Dolls. While these constructs are closely associated with white witches, I am sure you can write that off as "studying abroad". I suggest the guardian doll over the soulbound doll because these little guys keep some of the utility spell casting seen in the manequins. At a small CR 3, they are low enough that they can be safely ignored by the party, and they might even be instructed to avoid powerful intruders (Since the wizard doesn't want to have to go to the trouble of fixing them later).


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Mysterious Stranger wrote:

...

The last thing I would do is to choose a single perversion and have the wizard have an extensive collection related to that. Don’t be subtle here go for something that most people would find truly objectionable. Maybe he was a sadist with an extensive collection of books on bondage and torture. To make it even worse have the books be truly heinous, but actually quite valuable.

A couple of things.

I wouldn't bring in these kinds of elements unless your party is comfortable with it. Explicitly so.

Also, while it's obvious that torturing people is bad, you're straying pretty hard into the BDSM is evil trope. I'd be careful in what you call a "perversion". Not so many years ago being queer or having an interracial marriage was a "perversion".


Artofregicide wrote:
Also, while it's obvious that torturing people is bad, you're straying pretty hard into the BDSM is evil trope. I'd be careful in what you call a "perversion". Not so many years ago being queer or having an interracial marriage was a "perversion".

Yeah, if we are going to go evil obsession, go with something that very obviously inflicts harm. Like having a collection of elf ears on the wall, with little signs that meticulously notes the original owner and how they were acquired.

Making the little signs sound dry and clinical (like a boring museum sign) can help convey that the wizard thinks his behavior is natural and appropriate.

Shadow Lodge

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With only the information of evil and wizard, all you're going to get is standard tropes like dead things, pickled imps, demons, and the like.

What else can you tell us about this person, the more you know, the more that can inform your decisions on decor and style. What is their gender and race? Are they religious? What makes them evil? What is their villainous goal?


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Have some preserved dead pixies pinned to the wall like butterflies.


Blood Golems sound a little wet for library defense.

I'd consider spell scribed mummies with the "create treasure map" spell as their inscribed spell. This lets you leave piles of created maps from previous interlopers laying around the library cluttering the place a bit.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Raging Swan Press has a series of free articles on 'things you find (someplace). Searching for 'wizard' gives you this lovely set of ideas

Things To Find In A Wizard's Tower

That may give you some ideas that you can twist to fit your own setting. They give lists like '20 spell components' or 'books on a bookshelf' or decorations, minor magical effects, etc.

Other '20 Things' Posts


ErichAD wrote:

Blood Golems sound a little wet for library defense.

I'd consider spell scribed mummies with the "create treasure map" spell as their inscribed spell. This lets you leave piles of created maps from previous interlopers laying around the library cluttering the place a bit.

Thus my suggestion for prestidigitation based helpers.

Honestly, cleaning up blood after dealing with intruders would be something that would likely happen anyway, even in the best case scenario for the wizard. Unless you go for constriction or paralysis based defenses, I suppose.


Thank you very much for all the excellent suggestions and help all! Those are all great ideas and I'll do my best to use them all ;)

gnoams wrote:

With only the information of evil and wizard, all you're going to get is standard tropes like dead things, pickled imps, demons, and the like.

What else can you tell us about this person, the more you know, the more that can inform your decisions on decor and style. What is their gender and race? Are they religious? What makes them evil? What is their villainous goal?

This Dark Wizard is a male Votavi (in this homebrewed world, think of a Votavi like a blue/purple-skinned Drow except they don't live in caverns and their obsession is stealing/manipulating/obliterating souls for various purposes -- so they're extremely evil just because). This wizard isn't particularly religious (as Votavi aren't typically religious at all), and his "goal" is simply gaining power and achieving immortality.

The reason that the PC's are having to visit this particular wizard is because he's a specialized Gatemaster, and they need to find a demiplane of existence that nearly no one knows about. So it's not going to be a combat encounter (unless it becomes one), the PC's are going to have to either entice, intimidate, or pay this wizard into gating them to the appropriate dimension to grab the mcguffin and then trust him enough to gate them back.

So as far as the things that you might find in his library/gallery, it could come from any plane of existence. He's a Gatemaster (and he's much higher level than the PC's).

Shadow Lodge

So I'd give him trophies and artwork from his accomplishments, which is traveling the planes. So pick some planes and something representative from each. Maybe hes got some clockwork thing, some ball of protoplasm, a classic pickled imp, a taxedermied celestial animal, etc. Also maybe some things related to his soul studies. Like soul gems and maybe some arcane devices powered by souls.


I'm definitely loving the idea that the Wizard is gone when the PC's arrive, and for a specific amount of time they'll have to deal with the bound-demon servant who would love to eviscerate the group but cannot, I think that's perfectly genius. Also, the Soulbound Mannequins are perfect for this too... it would certainly create a proper ambiance for a "soul-based Votavi".

And when the Dark Wizard returns, he would scold the demon for allowing intruders into his home. And then, the PC's would have to essentially trick, pay, or intimidate the Wizard into gating them to this place.

As far as the gallery/library is concerned, I love all of it. I really like the idea of watercolor paintings that aren't necessarily evil but rather aesthetically pleasing. I'm especially infatuated with a Machiavellian approach to his book collection and topics where the "ends justify the means" style of books.

The continual flame unicorn's head, dead pixies pinned like butterflies, and celestial dire tiger pelt throw-rug are a nice touch too.

Special thank you to CrystalSeas for the link to Raging Swans, that's perfect.

These are all exceptional suggestions all, thank you again. :)


For reference, the 1st level is nothing but a common room that is full of magical protections, and the 2nd level is his library.

His 3rd level is where he keeps all of his permanent Gates, and the 4th level is the top of the tower and this is his own private sanctum where even his servants aren't allowed.

If you guys have any input on the 3rd and 4th levels, I'd love to hear it.


books, more books, and even more books, and some scrolls yess some more scrolls.

he could have enchanted smut books about golems that summon illusionary golems.....

atlases books that once a passage is read has a change to teleport the reader to where ever the area the book is about. So the book of KAtheer would send the reader to KAtheer.....

Spell books

animated rope, animated books, animated Broomsticks, animated rugs and curtains

15 journals

1 crystal ball
a magic mirror just to ask who the wisest of them all is

an autographed painting of Seoni( worth about 500 gold)
a book entitled Bridges over troubled waters
450 gold
5 diamonds worth 25 gold pieces each
5 wands of various spells
5 staves of various enchantments

an enchanted globe of golarion that when spit on will transport the tower and its inhabitants to where the spitter spit at.
( nobody said the evil wizard couldnt have a childish immature side)

maps of various places
Astrology charts
a Ouija board ( you moved it)
16 enchanted daggers all +1 and some odd number of other enchantments

a painting of the inside of a Calistran Temple .painting is a 1 way portal to said temple.


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1. A novelty scroll case bearing the inscription "World's Best Wizard"
2. A stuffed weasel with a brass plaque that reads "Trouser, Familiar #4"
3. Guidebook entitled "Top 20 Haunted Mansions of Ustalav"
4. Architectural plans for a wizard's tower labeled "Wizard Willy's Extendable Erection"
5. A "Wizard's Weekly" magazine, with a succubi centerfold.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

You see the terrible visage of a glabrezu before you, an ancient tome grasped in it's large pincer claws. Perched upon it's maw filled with razor sharp teeth is a set of small spectacles. It turns toward you and exposes it's glistening fangs...
"Welcome to my master's tower. I can only attack an obvious threat or if I am defending myself ... 'Obvious' is undefined, would you like to draw a weapon, I could use some fun.”


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Tea, but like, evil tea


Furnishings: Comfy chairs. Good (magical) lamps. A music source (construct/bound outsider/ undead for the truly freaky). A refreshments area (wine or other spirits, snack foods like nuts). Art has been mentioned.

WRT to the rest of the tower, don't put (presumably) hijackable gates next to your sanctum sanctorum. Put a guard post/fortification of some sort between.

Consider partial levels, ie. if you enter at level 1, you can go up to level 2a, but then have to go to 3 and back down to get to level 2b.

Consider the following:
lvl 1 public rooms
level 2a (access from 1 and 3) Guard post
level 3 inner common spaces (shared with minions/servants but not public)
level 2b (access from 3) General Library
Level 4a (access from 3) Guard post
level 4b (access from 4a) Sanctum (include small reading room/really private library) (access only from 4a)
Level 4c bolthole/escape route (access only from 4b)
Lvl 0 (underground) Guardpost/Dungeon Complex (access from 3)
Lvl -1 (deeper underground) Gates and experimental spaces. (access from lvl 0)


Inside of the wizards inner sanctum is a gateway to a demiplane he has created. The demiplane is a magic dead zone. If a ritual is performed in the correct area two portals appear. The obvious portal is a return to the inner sanctum. The hidden portal leads on to another demiplane where time is slowed and the wizard stores his most personally valuable treasures.

Some of the treasures include a bed which reverses aging by 1 day for every 8 hours its used, a small display case containing labeled soul stones, a book that can show the contents of any book in his library, and an alchemical labratory featuring a large glass container that holds a strange green liquid with a female body floating in the bubbling liquid. The body appears to be incomplete, though you aren't sure if it is in a state of decay, or if the body is being assembled.

There are also extensive notes on how to bargain with Pharasma mixed in with the alchemy research material.


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From the Murphys Rules:
(1d18 or 2d9, five times)
1 The Big Little Book of Magic
2 The Book of Punch-Out Golems
3 1001 Things a Boy Can Do With Human Skin
4 Fantasy Forest
5 My Picture Book of Conjured Monsters
6 The "I Hate to Spell" Spell Book
7 Jane's Book of Monsters
8 Dick's Book of Demons
9 Spot's Book of Spririts
10 Understanding Traveller
11 Now We Are Tree: A Druidical Primer
12 The Big Book of Giants
13 The Little Book of Leprechauns
14 Papers and Paychecks
15 The Chaotic Evil Coloring Book
16 Naked Elf Women and How to Find Them
17 Plane Truth, the Magazine of the Astrally Alert
18 The D-18 Dice Chart: Theory and Application
- Worcester War Gamer's Collective
Space Gamer 74 May/June 1985

They should make a new complilation with modern RPGs and their stupid/funny rules. Actually the falling damage rule was silly in AD&D and it is silly still.


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Bag of peanuts. Evil wizards have to eat too, you know. Could be a magic, ever-full, bag of peanuts.


  • two sets of servants quarters, labeled Disposable Servants & Irreplaceable Servants. The Irreplaceable Servants always send the Disposable Servants with the Bad News.
  • Animated Books that attack anyone that takes a book off the shelves, but not anyone shelving books.
  • Wizard's Familiar's Opulent Quarters.
  • Room/Small Closet for Familiar's Servant.
  • Multiple Portraits of Wizard & Familiar. The Wizard can scry through each of the portraits' eyes.
  • Magical 'Nemesis' Mannequins that resemble the PC's down to wounds & scars. All equipment is non-magical but accurately labeled.
  • Trap= Ever-Winding Staircase.


  • One of the last campaigns I ran in 3.5 featured an evil wizard's tower. He was a transmuter obsessed with planar bindings, building constructs, and creating hybrid monstrosities. His lair included the following areas:

    * A dungeon full of "breeding stock" for his hybridization experiments, and some of his more successful results. (The latter used the amalgam template from Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary.) This part of the complex connected to some of the local catacombs, with that entrance guarded by a bound bebelith.

    * A golemworks with a recently-finished flesh golem, and a bound kyton who maintained the magical machinery used to power the process.

    * A succubus cohort who guarded his private quarters. [Insert speculations about succubus grappling here...]

    * A library guarded by a handful of animated pieces of furniture (a desk and a couple large candelabra) and a number of animated, flying books. His homunculus familiar typically kept watch here, too.

    * A couple of "tamed" aberrations, such as a charmed mimic who posed as a door in one of the many workshops.


    Squeakmaan wrote:
    Tea, but like, evil tea

    I think this should be taken more seriously than it was probably intended. It really goes to the setting of the room IMO.

    If the wizard is chaotic evil, you can reflect that (or hint at that) by having the books be poorly maintained and disorganized. If the wizard is lawful evil, the books can be meticulously organized.

    Tea is (or is viewed as) sophisticated, and imparts a sense of routine and ceremony to the library. You can have a devil sitting there wearing glasses and brewing blood tea, surprised by the PCs because he was expecting the Evil Wizard for Evil Book Club. The third member can be a talking book, whose author was trapped inside the book. Weird and creepy and a little humorous, but says a lot about the wizard's character.


    Some sort of lockbox or storage facility filled with hundreds or thousand of gems. The gems have been filled with souls created from Soul Bind, Soul Transfer, and Trap the Soul. The wizard uses these souls in conjunction with Soul-Powered Magic feat and to trade with Devils (or other evil outsiders).

    Outside of this specific space, the wizard's library looks like any other normal wizards, with research books on magic and different things, nothing obviously evil.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

    If the wizard is evil, maybe he also has one or more self-serving hobbies, like drug and alcohol use, scantily-clad servants (sex slaves), taxidermy or anatomical studies based on sentient races, etc, and the various paraphernalia associated with these hobbies. Such things could be a useful weakness for PCs to take advantage of.

    Nice thread, BTW.


    Maybe on one of the tables is a half-eaten sandwich and a half-filled mug of tea, indicating that the wizard had to pause in his studies for a bit to address something but will be back soon?


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    Boxed set of the "Twilight" book series?


    Books. Bookshelves. Maybe a step ladder. Armchairs. Tables. Bookmarks. A card catalog. Maybe a nice collection of teas. (Edit: I see "tea" has been covered already.)

    Oh, and a cat. Can't have a relaxing read in your personal library without a cat.


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    HeHateMe wrote:
    Boxed set of the "Twilight" book series?

    Even Evil Has Standards.

    Dark Archive

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    A mahogany desk holds a series of pages ready to be bound into a tome, gathered from his researches. Each details a 'true name' for a fiend that *didn't* work, or a variant binding circle that failed to contain what was called up, and the grisly results thereof (many simulacra gave their fake worthless lives for this research, but it was all for science!).

    On this same table is a currently completely accurate book on summoning, with one vital page magically erased, which he's currently retranscribing with a fatally flawed procedure. When he's completed this forgery, he'll sneak the book back to the arcane academy he borrowed it from, to make things more... interesting for aspiring conjurers from his old alma mater.


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    DungeonmasterCal wrote:

    I'm sorry to just pop in but I've had 8 hours of sleep in 5 days and I'm feeling kinda punch drunk. When I first glanced at the headline I thought it said "wizard's laundry room".

    Carry on.

    Thanks a lot. Now you've got me thinking that the PCs are going to find dirty socks and underwear strewn all over the library . . . .


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    So I've been fleshing this tower out, and I want to have a couple of bound demons that are in the tower. Based on your suggestions, I want to have a Mohrg-Lich who is sort of like the "librarian/researcher" who is helping this wizard gain Lichdom and he'll say something akin to "I'd love to eviscerate you but that's not my purpose here" sort of thing, a glabrezu who's the "guardian" and repeatedly taunts/antagonizes the PC's with "I can only attack an obvious threat or if I am defending myself ... 'Obvious' is obviously undefined, would you like to draw a weapon?” and "c'mon puny, bring it, the master isn't even here, he'll never know", and finally a sheepish, always-terrified, anxious little imp, and I'm going to roleplay him with a comically-annoying, squeaky voice and this guy is in charge of making sure that all the master's rules are followed while the master is gone (the last imp who was the "rulekeeper" is now pickled in a glass jar). I think it would be absolutely hilarious if the imp is incessantly rattling off the list of "rules" that is a mile long as if his life depended on it (and it does definitely depend on it), and the Mohrg-Lich and the Glabrezu are constantly "SHAAADDAAAAAP stupid wretch!" and the imp literally begs them both (and any guests) to not break any rules.

    So can you guys think of a funny (but practical) list of rules this wizard might have? If the "rule" tells a "story" without the story actually being told, the better :) The master has already created rules like:

    1) no fighting in my library
    2) no fighting in my laboratory
    3) no eating sugary or salty food in the library (except the master can eat his peanuts)
    4) no sandwiches made with rye bread anywhere in the tower
    5) no casting animate dead on the master's dead pixie collection
    6) do not hold any poisonous frogs while sitting in the master's armchair
    7) no wind spells near the bookshelves
    8) no donut-shaped food anywhere in the tower
    9) no cats, at all
    10) no elvish ceremonial dances or music
    11) any creature with 4 legs MUST WALK (cannot run) over the celestial dire tiger rug (and the rug has a small tear in it that for some reason cannot be mended)
    12) no touching the ever-bag of peanuts while wearing dirty lab gloves
    13) no water spells near the flaming unicorn horn
    14) if you have recently handled any chimera feces, no perusing the master's books without washing your hands first
    15) no talk about the new human king to the south, nor any mention of his name
    16) Hands off my succubus, I don't care "if" she was in fact “begging” you or not
    17) Absolutely NO zombies can handle my books, scrolls, and parchments, EVER
    18) aaaaannd... go!


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    19. Absolutely no glorifying spellcasters other than the master in the tower.
    20. Scrolls are to be delivered to the silver plate in the antichamber. They are not to be brought into the library or read before being examined by a qualified being.
    21. Nobody is allowed to carry both a bag of holding and a portable hole. If you enter with both in your possession, the portable hole must be left with an attendant.
    22. No racing of any kind.
    23. Conjuration is prohibited except in designated areas.


    24. No unauthorized viewing of the Oppara Standardized Humanoid Intelligence Test answers -- the Master has had to deal with a cheating scandal recently.
    25. No breaking wind when a Fortitude Adaptability and Resilience Test is in progress -- it skews the results.
    26. No putting squirrels down your pants for the purposes of gambling.

    Sovereign Court

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    blahpers wrote:
    HeHateMe wrote:
    Boxed set of the "Twilight" book series?
    Even Evil Has Standards.

    Even the worst villain wont stoop so low as to use a maze spell on a message board!


    3rd floor: A Soulgate.

    This is like a stargate, but is powered by a soul, and it sends you to the plane that a soul is bound to go where it would have gone upon death.

    /cevah


    27. No smoking
    28. No steaming

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