Eldritch Cabal

Wizards of the Eldritch Cabal think “forbidden” means “entry-level” and “insanity” is a synonym for “alternative perception.” Some call them “madbeards” and, truthfully, they’re too deep in the madness to care what people say about them. You learn tremendous power, creating eldritch variations on existing spells that far exceed their normal limits, but the cost is borne by your psyche. Try not to kill your friends in a bout of madness, they’re hard to replace.

As a wizard in the Eldritch Cabal, you prepare enhanced versions of common spells that are much harder to resist, facilitating control of the battlefield or the obliteration of your foes, as you see fit. These spells carry madness with them, warping your mind, but you learn to leverage that altered state to achieve an intellect beyond human limits, at the minor cost of what little sanity you have left.

Eldritch Cabal Features

Wizard Level Feature
2nd Eldritch Inscription, Strange Magic
6th Unhinged Inspiration
10th Eldritch Cantrip
14th Mad Genius

Eldritch Inscription

Beginning when you select this school at 2nd level, when you prepare a wizard spell you know of 1st level or higher, you can choose to apply profane knowledge and dangerous magic to the spell, creating an eldritch version of it. An eldritch spell is far more powerful than a normal spell of its type but is extremely hazardous to cast. You may have a single eldritch spell prepared at a time. At 6th level, 10th level, and 14th level, you learn to prepare an additional eldritch spell, up to a maximum of four at 14th level.

An eldritch spell has one of the following properties. If multiple properties could apply to that spell, select one.

  • If the spell forces one or more creatures to make a saving throw to resist its effects, the spell save DC for that spell is increased by 4 for the first saving throw each affected creature makes against the spell.
  • If the spell requires that you make one or more spell attack rolls, those attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 18–20.
  • If the spell has a cast time greater than an action, you may instead cast it as an action.

After you successfully cast an eldritch spell you immediately suffer a bout of eldritch madness. This madness is a magical affliction that lasts until you finish a long rest and cannot be preemptively cured by any treatment or magic short of a wish spell. The severity of the madness is dependent on the level of spell slot used to cast the spell. To determine the effect of the eldritch madness, roll on the appropriate madness table detailed in the “Eldritch Madness” section. Eldritch spells that use slots of 1st–3rd level roll on the lesser eldritch madness table. Eldritch spells that use slots of 4th–6th level roll on the greater eldritch madness table. Eldritch spells that use slots of 7th level and higher roll on the supreme madness table. If you would suffer the effects of an eldritch madness twice, you instead reroll on the table until you receive a madness you with which you are not currently afflicted.

Variant – Recurring Madness

Rolling on the eldritch madness tables several times in a single session may be tiresome for both Dungeon Masters and players. As an alternative, when you roll on a madness table for the first time, record what madness effect you suffer on your character sheet. The next time you would suffer a madness effect from that table, instead of rolling you suffer from the same madness you previously experienced. If you would suffer multiple madness effects from the same table, you can record additional madness effects and suffer those effects in the order in which you recorded them.

Strange Magic

Beginning when you select this school at 2nd level, when you find a non-wizard spell scroll of 1st level or higher, you can copy that spell into your spellbook. You must pay four times the normal gold amount and spend eight hours inscribing it into your spellbook. You may do this over the course of a long rest, but you gain no benefits of finishing a long rest if you do so. The spell becomes a wizard spell for you.

Unhinged Inspiration

At 6th level, your madness allows you to perform acts of extraordinary skill. While you suffer from at least one eldritch madness effect, you have advantage on Arcana checks. In addition, when you use your reaction to identify a spell and succeed, you immediately regain the use of your reaction.

Eldritch Cantrip

At 10th level, even your cantrips can benefit from your alien magic. Select one cantrip you know to become a special type of cantrip called an “eldritch cantrip.” When you cast an eldritch spell, you may also cast your eldritch cantrip as a part of casting that spell. When you gain a level in the wizard class, you may change your eldritch cantrip to another cantrip that you know.

Mad Genius

Beginning at 14th level, your Intelligence score increases by 2, and your maximum Intelligence score is now 22. Your Wisdom score decreases by 2, down to a minimum of 4.

Eldritch Madness Effects

The effects of eldritch madness are entirely contained within your psyche, as these tables represent beliefs that you adopt, not changes to reality. You may be convinced that some of them are completely real, but they are not, though they may influence you to take actions that have dramatic effects upon the world.

1 When you cast a spell or attempt an ability check, you narrate your actions in a booming, dramatic voice.
2 When you take damage, instead of pain you experience an extreme tickling sensation.
3 Your first instinct whenever you encounter a foreign substance is to taste it.
4 You feel strongly that everything looks more aesthetically pleasing when it is on fire.
5 You become convinced your spellbook is sentient and trying to sabotage your research by changing your writing when you aren’t looking. You constantly edit it and make corrections.
6 You refuse to blink, for if you do the world will disappear forever before you can open your eyes.
7 You are certain the goblin race is an advanced species from another dimension, and you must learn their secrets.
8 It must be true that creatures “killed” by your magic are not slain at all. Instead they are sent to a dimension where they are continually force-fed bread until they choke to death.
9 You have the false belief that one of your companions is a dragon in disguise. You will reveal this secret…for a price.
10 What if you are living in one giant illusion spell? You must ensure creatures and objects are real by poking them repeatedly.
11 Pineapples are deviant and must be purged.
12 You suddenly realize that your shoes are probably trying to eat you, starting with your feet. They must be removed immediately.
13 Unless absolutely necessary, you only communicate by passing handwritten notes, just in case they are listening.
14 If you collect the teeth of more than 100 different species, you believe you will achieve ultimate power. You might have to eat them, but you’re not sure.
15 You now believe that buildings are actually giant mimics waiting for the right moment to strike. The only protection is to taste terrible by not bathing.
16 You sleep standing up—it’s much more efficient that way.
17 Whenever a creature misses an attack against you, you feel terrible and apologize profusely.
18 You suspect that one day your hair will be worth millions. That’s why you routinely tear it out and keep it in a safe place.
19 You develop a secret handshake that you believe all true wizards already know. You are sure any wizard that doesn’t is a doppelganger trying to steal your spellbook.
20 There is no need for violence. You try to resolve conflicts with a sincere and meaningful hug.

1 That buzzing in your ears is unbearably distracting. You have disadvantage on saving throws to maintain concentration on your spells and abilities.
2 People should feel privileged to experience your magic. When you cast a spell that affects an area or multiple targets, you always try to affect as many creatures as possible.
3 Your fingers twitch and shake uncontrollably. When you cast a spell with a somatic component, you must succeed on a Constitution ability check with a DC of 10 plus the spell’s level or the spell fails, and your spell slot is expended.
4 You just can’t quite get some spells right. When a creature succeeds on a saving throw against one of your spells and would still suffer an effect, it instead suffers no effect.
5 You are eternally fearful of a fearsome creature you are convinced is right behind you. You have disadvantage on ranged spell attack rolls.
6 You are constantly dizzy. Before you cast a spell, you must sit down first, becoming prone.
7 You just want everyone to get along. When you roll initiative or gain this eldritch madness, you are considered charmed by the nearest hostile creature. The condition ends if that creature damages you.
8 Go big or go home! If you can cast a spell at higher levels, you always cast it using the highest-level spell slot you have available at the time.

1 Why is magic so hard? You may only cast a spell if you do not move and take no other actions on your turn.
2 Your spellcasting is sloppy and unprofessional. When you cast a spell, you must expend a second spell slot of the same level or higher. If you cannot, you instead take 1d10 necrotic damage per level of the spell slot you needed to sacrifice.
3 How is that possible?! When a creature succeeds on a saving throw against one of your spells, you become frightened of that creature for one minute.
4 Why are we stopping? While under the effects of this madness, you cannot gain the benefits of a short rest.

Ref: T&H p398-401