OSR: Biomancer Wizards

Biomancy is a forbidden art. The Authority's law is clear; mortals were meant to live for a time, then die and send their souls to an allotted afterlife. Life is temporary, fleeting, and inconsequential. Over and over, the Church calls on people to renounce the flesh and all worldly things in preparation for eternal life.

Some people chose a different path. Necromancers and Biomancers both seek immortality, but Biomancers are not content with merely living forever. They wish to become elevated creatures, leaving disease and frailty behind. They meddle with Creation's order, creating new creatures, driving others to extinction, and developing new potions, surgeries, and procedures. Some Biomancers disguise themselves as traveling doctors. Some impersonate wizards from other schools or hide in the wilderness. They attract many apprentices, but hoard their knowledge carefully. For every one apprentice who survives to learn a few spells, dozens are rendered into potions, slaughtered for ingredients, or accidentally killed. Biomancy spells are more "alive" than most spells; they have a tendency to vigorously mutate their casters.

Some ideas stolen from here.

Christopher Burdett

School: Biomancer

Perk: When you drink a potion, you have a 50% chance to recycle it via whatever orifice you prefer. You have 10 minutes to excrete the potion. You start with two black thumb rings (the secret mark of your profession) and a random potion.

Whenever you receive magical healing, Save or gain a mutation. The regeneration spell does not trigger this.

1. Transfer a blemish or cosmetic feature from one creature to another. You could swap eye colours with an elf or pull warts off a toad and put them on a princess. You cannot transfer significant effects (poison glands, wings, etc.).
2. Taste blood to tell what kind of creature it came from.
3. If you wish, your appearance will no longer age. Once you activate this, you will always look the same age. This may fail in times of dire stress.

The potion recycling perk is fairly useful, but your friends may not be willing to try the recycled potion. Magical healing is fairly rare in my setting so the drawback is less dangerous. The cantrips are a bit odd. If you'd like, roll 20+3d20 for your actual age.

Bogdan Rezunenko

Biomancer Spell List

1. Acid Arrow
2. Alter Self
3. Animate Potion
4. Extract Venom
5. Shrivel
6. Hand of the Hound
7. Infantilize

8. Monsterize
9. Regeneration
10. Blood Jelly
Emblem Spells
11. Wave of Mutilation

12. Mutate

1. Acid Arrow
R: 50' T: creature D: 0
Target takes [sum] damage, and [sum-4] damage over the next 2 turns unless washed.

2. Alter Self
R: 0 T: self D: [dice]x10 minutes
Alter your form to resemble that of another creature of your type (usually humanoid). You do not gain any special abilities from this transformation. 

3. Animate Potion
R: touch T: potion or liquid D: [sum] hours
You turn a potion into an obedient homunculus (HD 0). It is tiny (1' tall) and feeble (Str 1), but it can go where you direct and even bring you small items (like a single coin). The potion can be delivered by touch or by “drinking” the homunculus. Aware targets can swat the homunculus away to avoid the potion's effects. Works on any liquid except water.

4. Extract Venom
R: touch T: creature D: 0
You pierce a creature with a sharp object and draw all of the venom out, which then pools in your hand or a vial. If you use this to remove the poison from a poisoned creature, that creature gets a new Save with a +4 bonus. You can also use this to draw all of the poison out of a venomous creature. Unwilling venomous creatures may Save to negate this effect. Most biomancers keep one of their fingernails razor sharp for this purpose.

5. Shrivel
R. 50' T: [dice] creatures D: 1d6 rounds / permanent
Save negates. Target loses half of its current HP and loses 6 Strength (affecting the damage it deals). When the spell ends, the lost HP and Strength returns. If you cast this spell with 3 or more [dice] against a single target, the lost HP does not return, and the Strength damage is permanent. The apparent age of the target increases considerably for the spell's duration.

6. Hand of the Hound
R. self T: one or both hands D: 10 minutes
Your hand falls off and grows into a monstrous version of itself:
HD: [dice]
Attack [dice]+d10
Defense 14
Strength 16
You continue to control it, but if it dies, you don't have a hand anymore. Alternatively, you can have this affect both hands, but you’ll look quite foolish.

7. Infantilize
R: touch T: creature of [dice]x2 HD or less D: [sum] minutes
Target Saves or becomes an adorable, if slightly eerie, child version of itself. Creatures lose 1 HD (-6 max HP, -1 to hit, -1 to Save). The target's Strength is reduced by 5. The target is now so adorable that all who see it must Save the first time they try to harm it or hesitate. If they fail this Save, they can act normally the next round.

8. Monsterize 

R: touch T: creature with 0 HD (vermin) D: [sum] minutes
Target vermin (rat, scorpion, termite, etc) becomes huge and aggressive.
HD: [dice]x2
Attack: [dice]+d10
Defense: 12
Monstrified vermin attack the nearest foe, and casters usually throw the vermin as they cast this spell. Works on goblins and other low HD monsters. There is a 1-in-10 chance that this spell will be permanent. If you invest 4 [dice], the creature also mutates.

9. Regeneration
R: touch T: creature D: [dice] hours
Target regenerates 1 HP every 10 minutes. If a sufficiently magical object (a troll heart, a unicorn horn, an aboleth eye, etc.) is used in the casting, target also regrows missing limbs or damaged organs.

10. Blood Jelly
Adapted from here.
R: touch T: meat (1 ration's worth) with some of your blood on it and the blood of up to [dice] other people D: permanent
You touch dead meat or a pool of blood and create a tiny blood jelly. It starts as the size of a thimble. It's is transparent with a red spidery nucleus. It won't harm anyone who contributed blood to its creation.

The blood jelly will react the same way you do to any potions or items fed to it. It's a great guinea pig. If it stays small and you feed it an entire potion, you can consume it to also gain the potion's effect.

The more you feed a blood jelly, the larger it grows. They lose 10% of their weight each day, and gain 10% of whatever they eat in weight, and it takes an hour to eat something as big as they are. They have 1HD per doubling past 100 pounds and their default attack is sucking 1d4 points of blood per HD they have. Given 1000 pounds of meat, a fist-sized jelly takes about a day and a night to reach 100 pounds and 1HD. The more magical and unusual things you feed to it, the stranger it will become. 

11. Wave of Mutilation
R: 30' T: objects D: 0
Everything in a 30' cone takes [sum] slashing damage. This spell leaves dozens of deep cuts. It shreds clothing, paper, and other fragile items.

12. Mutate

R: touch T: creature D: permanent
 Save negates. Save once per mutation. Target gains [dice] random mutations. If the creature chooses to fail its Save, roll double the number of mutations, and the caster chooses which half are gained. 

Mechanical Notes on the Biomancy Spell List
The spells on this list are very powerful. The chances of a biomancer surviving long enough to make full use of them is low. Biomancers are notoriously short-lived, despite the regeneration spell. They tend to mutate hideously or create something they can't control.

Georgios Dimitriou

1. MD only return to your pool on a 1-2 for 24 hours
2. Take 1d6 damage
3. Random mutation for 1d6 rounds, then Save with a -4 penalty. Permanent if you fail.
4. Agony for 1d6 rounds.
5. Ravenously hungry. Cannot cast spells until you eat 1 ration.
6. Slough skin. Takes 1d6 rounds to remove. Is disgusting.

Doom of the Biomancer
1. Your appearance shifts and randomizes for one day
2. Save at the start of each day or gain a mutation. Save at the end of each day or that mutation becomes permanent.
3. You become a Chaotic Psychoplasm.

This doom can be avoided by eating the hearts of 100 species, or by falling in love with the same doppleganger three times, or by tattooing rare fixative runes all over your body. 


  1. Shouldn't Hand of the Hound and Monsterize grant Attack [dice] + 10 rather than [dice] + d10?

    1. Considering the duration, I feel that would make them too powerful and predictable. Sometimes, you're going to get a dud giant moth. Also gives you a good incentive to sink more [dice] into the spell. And I'm sure, given mutations and captive vermin, Attack is going to be one of the least interesting bits of having a giant hand and/or giant creature.

  2. What are you random mutation tables of choice?

    1. Currently writing my own. It'll be up soon enough.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. So I figure any biomancer worth his sludge will, upon reaching 4th level, immediately take Mutate and cast it on himself with four dice. Just for curiosity's sake, I decided to roll the results of such an attempt on your mutation table. I wound up with:

    079 Frog Tongue. As a whip.
    090 Extra Lobes. +1d6 Intelligence.
    290 Vigorous Soul. +2 to Save vs Magic. You gain an ironclad ego.
    150 Stinging Skin. Anyone you touch must Save or be Stunned for 1 round. ...Maybe. This is great for the dedicated murderhobo (fuck anything that tries to grab/eat me), less so for anyone who wants to feel human touch ever again. Depending on how dedicated this biomancer is, he might go with Unstable (who cares what happens once you're dead) or Head Crest (fun at parties) instead.

    in any case, niiiice! This mutation thing is really paying off. He'll probably try it again tomorrow.