I'm making a sorcerer for a 5e game, and I'm taking the Wild Magic route. The Wild Magic Surge table is pretty cool, but I'm hoping for an even bigger selection of unpredictability. Are there other tables out there I can use as a supplement?


4 Answers 4


Not homebrew, but not 5e, either:

AD&D 2e Tome of Magic Table 2: Wild Surge Results.

It's a d100 table with 100 entries; while some overlap with the PHB5e's wild surge table, there are at least 50 entries in the 2e table not on the 5e table.

Given the closeness in 'feel' of 5e to 2e (as opposed to 3, 3.5, or 4) it seemed reasonable to pull material from 2e.

For a little bit of flavor, here are the first few entries:

01 /Wall of Force/ appears in front of caster
02 Caster smells like a skunk for spell's duration
03 Caster shoots forth eight non-poisonous snakes from fingertips. These snakes do not attack.
04 Caster's clothes itch (+2 to initiative)
05 Caster glows as per a /light/ spell. 
98 Target changes color (cancelable by /dispel magic/)
99 Spell has a minimum duration of 1 turn (i.e. a /fireball/ creates a ball of flame that remains for one turn, a /lightning bolt/ bounces and rebounds for one turn, etc.)
100 Spell effectiveness (range, duration, area of effect, damage, etc.) increases 200%

I've been running 2e modules and monsters in 5e with no real hang-ups--although I have gotten very good at subtracting from 20! To the extent that 5e's design had a bit of 'back-to-basics' feel to it, I've had good luck using 2e material.

I've recently been using this table in 5e and my wild magic sorcerer loves it. In his words having a player-rolled table in the PHB makes it feel a little 'ho-hum,' a little of another chore to do. Having it come from the GM, from a 'secret' table makes it really feel like a wild surge.

As @CrusaderJ points out, 2e initiatives come from a paradigm that 'high=slow', so you might want to rewrite #04 to read "-2 to initiative"; likewise attack and Armor Class bonuses 'point' in the other direction. But almost all of the entries are playable-as-is; entries with mechanics just need to be thought through. But I don't even do that: it's a wild magic table, so who cares if the random buff to initiative becomes a random de-buff? Somewhere else there's a negative that'll turn into a positive. Or not. Haven't looked that closely =)

Disclaimer: Mearls and Crawford surely knew of this table, yet chose not to use it. Perhaps it was just to cut down on space, perhaps this will ruin your campaign.

  • \$\begingroup\$ There's another issue with porting the initiative modifiers; initiative in 2E was rolled per round, so it was expected that such a wild magic effect would take effect immediately. In 5E, it's rolled once per encounter. If you want to track initiative rolls and adjust the caster's position in the ordering based on the now -2 modifier for the next round, that's cool, but it's more than just the numbers here; the rules changed how you'd interpret such a rule by default. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2022 at 18:06

Hackmaster 4th Edition Spellslinger's Guide to Wurld Domination has an excellent Wild Magic Surge table. It also has a Bloodmage class with a similar disaster table. It is well worth getting this out-of-print book on eBay or elsewhere.

The Wild Mage table has 100 unique entries.

Hackmaster is based on 1st and 2nd edition AD&D. There are too many web sites to list which cover conversion for 1e or 2e to 5e. However, I have just now skimmed over the charts, and there is little need for any preplanned conversion work. I estimate that any experienced DM can adjust on the fly to the table results.

Here are some entries which seem game specific, but I think are easy to convert:

  • 44: "Caster acquires stutter (+2d20 to casting time on spells with verbal components)
    • Conversion: It sounds like casting a spell now takes longer, right? Caster must take Cast a Spell action 2 turns in a row to cast a single spell.
  • 92: "Target acquires random mental quirk from PHB Table 6F"
    • Conversion: A mental quirk is probably a non-debilitating psychosis, right? Think of a phobia or delusion for the target and role-play it.
  • 96: "Target sprouts leaves, losing 5 Honor..."
    • Conversion: Honor sounds like it has something to do with CHA, right? Role-play it and assign a CHA penalty.
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ Could you comment (in your answer, via an edit) on how compatible with D&D 5e the table's results are, or how much adjustment will be necessary? \$\endgroup\$ Dec 21, 2015 at 2:56

Totally Random Magical Effects Table is awesome!
This table has a lot of very interesting and unique effects, whereas the Net Libram just seems to take each idea and repeat it 10 times in variations.


I found this one to be really fun.


It has different amounts of really good or really bad in it, and has 300 items on it!


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