Mizzium Apparatus art from Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica
Art of the mizzium apparatus from Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica

The mizzium apparatus is an unusual arcane focus from Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica.  It allows the user to cast spells that they do not know or have prepared.  The spell must be on the spell list for their class.  In order to do so, they must pass an arcana check, 10 + twice the level of the spell. On a success the spell is cast normally.  On a failure, they cast a different spell.  The spell is determined by the d6 roll on a table according to the spell.

Using the Mizzium Apparatus in Your Game

If you have a player who likes chaos in their game, they may take on the mizzium apparatus of their own accord. More careful players are likely to avoid this.  I think you need two features in your game to really get this item in use in your game.

  1. You need a situation where the players need use of a spell or spells they don’t have.
  2. They need to be somewhere casting a fireball, cloudkill or heat metal, or similar spells will put them, their goals, or some innocent beings at risk.

For instance, what if the party is in a magical prison full of arcane locks.  The wizard never learned the knock spell, that’s what the rogue is for. Fortunately, they happen upon the mizzium apparatus.  Now he’s their only hope. The wizard attunes to it and is ready to bust some magic locks.  The first lock passes successfully, but on the second look, the wizard fails and blasts their nearest allies with a thunderwave. 

Everyone survives that little mistake.  Now they move on to a more closely guarded area of the prison.  The wizard makes the call to use dispel magic on the next lock, hoping to be quieter than knock. Another fail, and in close quarter there’s nowhere to throw the resulting fireball but up against a nearby wall.  The explosion hurts, and the freshly alerted guards are coming fast.

Expanded Mizzium Apparatus Tables                

The magic tables for the mizzium apparatus stop at five.  That’s not a lot of fun, so here’s some more tables to work with:

6th-Level Spells

1circle of death
2flesh to stone
3magic jar
4wall of ice

7th-Level Spells

1create magen
2delayed blast fireball
3finger of death
4reverse gravity

8th-Level Spells

3power word stun

9th-level Spells

9th-Level Spells

2meteor swarm
3time stop

We’ve also got prices for magic items including this one, and some ideas about which monsters are best.


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