Boccob, God of Magic

It’s been a while since I’ve shown any tidbits from my 5th Edition Greyhawk material, so in honor of the announcement of two new 5th Edition settings that aren’t Greyhawk, I thought I’d give you all a taste of another deity, including a custom clerical domain. This time we have the Uncaring One, Boccob.

BOCCOB
“The Uncaring”
Pantheon: Common
Alignment: Neutral
Sphere: Magic
Rank: Greater god
Symbol: Pentagram with an eye inside

Boccob the Uncaring, Archmage of the Gods, is the greater god of magic, arcane knowledge, divination, and balance. He is common to all of the pantheons of the Flanaess, and is famed for his aloofness. He has little or no interaction with any of the other gods, save his own apprentice, Zagyg and on very rare occasions the Suel goddess of magic, Wee Jas. He does actively oppose the return of Tharizdun to power, as the evil god of entropy is responsible for the gradual and nearly-imperceptible decline of magic in the world. His interests in regards to the mortal world revolve around the art of magic; not only seeing it maintained, but expanded. As such, he has access to any arcane spell invented by mortals, and is said to have a copy of every magic item (save artifacts) and every alchemical formula in his palace. He dwells on the plane of Concordant Opposition, in the fabled Library of Lore.

Boccob appears as an archetypical wizard; middle aged with white hair, and wearing a purple robe covered with golden runes and sigils that seem to twist and change on the edge’s of one’s gaze. He is immune to many spells. He wears a variety of magical amulets, the fearsomely powerful disc of concordant opposition, and carries the original staff of the magi that also has a multitude of other magical powers as well.

WORSHIP AND WORSHIPERS

Boccob is venerated by seers, astrologers, and the like, but takes little heed of those who worship him. His temples are usually in the form of a tall thin tower, and are in remote locations that discourage interruptions and idle visitors. Worship services involve intensely intricate rituals, the recitation of exquisitely complex formulae, and readings from holy books that fetishize knowledge as an end unto itself. Holy days revolve around complex calculations predicting alignments of stars and planets, as well as the day of Great Discovery in the month of Fireseek, where the priests of Boccob report their findings and discoveries to other temples. Worshipers can be of any alignment and can be found in most lands of the Flanaess.

PRIESTHOOD

Clerics of Boccob, what few of them there are, devote themselves to arcane study, divination, and the discovery, exploration, and protection of magical artifacts and locales. In places that the priests of Boccob perceive to have moved too far away from the path of balance and neutrality, they will then work to move the land more in the direction of neutrality. Clerics must be of any neutral alignment, but the majority are chaotic neutral.

Clerics of Boccob have access to the knowledge domain or the special domain of their god.

With all due respect to Mike Bridges!

BOCCOB’S DOMAIN

DOMAIN SPELLS

1st level cleric – detect magic, identify
3rd level cleric – arcane lock, magic weapon
5th level cleric – counterspell, dispel magic
7th level cleric – arcane eye, Boccob’s rolling cloud (new spell, see below for details)
9th level cleric – commune, scrying

DIVINATION SPECIALTY
When you choose this domain at 1st level, you can cast divination spells as a bonus action. You must still expend a spell slot as normal.

WIZARDLY WAYS
Also at 1st level, you can select four wizard cantrips and add them to your own spell lists.

CHANNEL DIVINITY: SCRYING MASTERY
Clerics of Boccob do not have the ability to turn undead. Instead, at 2nd level, when using scrying devices such as crystal balls, your Channel Divinity allows you to they have advantage on any rolls necessary to make them function or which determine their efficacy, range, etc. (if applicable).

CHANNEL DIVINITY: ARCANE LORE
Starting at 2nd level, you can use your Channel Divinity to have advantage when making Intelligence (Arcana) checks.

MAGIC SKILLS
Starting at 6th level, you can replace one spell in your spell list with a wizard or sorcerer spell of equal level. You can do this for every level of spells you can cast. Thus, at 6th level, you can replace one 1st level spell, one 2nd level spell, and one 3rd level spell. As you become able to cast higher-level spells, you may continue this process. Once switched out, you cannot switch back, or change your selection.

MAGIC ITEM FACILITY
Starting at 8th level, clerics of Boccob are able to use magic items normally only usable by wizards, sorcerers, and warlocks.

CHANNEL DIVINITY: DISC OF CONCORDANT OPPOSITION

Starting at 17th level, you can hurl forth a version of Boccob’s own Disc of Concordant Opposition. The disc has a range of 30 feet and will affect but a single creature. If the target has a CR of 6 or less, or 6 or fewer levels, it is destroyed. If the target has a CR of 7 or higher, or 7 or more levels, it is entitled to a saving throw. Failure means it takes 80 hit points of force damage, and success means it takes half damage. You must have Boccob’s holy symbol on your person to produce this effect.

Know that which is known
Learn that which is unknown
Seek that which is knowable
Create that which is unknowable
– Boccobian koan

BOCCOB’S ROLLING CLOUD

4th level evocation
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 0
Components: V, S, M (red, blue, violet, and gold stones)
Duration: Instantaneous

This spell is normally available only to clerics of Boccob, but it could be found on magic scrolls. It creates a churning cone-shaped cloud 10 feet high, 50 feet long, and 10 feet wide at the base, emanating out from your position. The cloud is filled with red, blue, violet, and gold sparks and flashes. All creatures in the area of effect will take 9 (3d6) hit points each of fire, lightning, necrotic, and radiant damage. In addition, they must make a Constitution save. Those who fail are stunned for 1 round.

Written by 

Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

2 thoughts on “Boccob, God of Magic

  1. Excellent archetype. Fully agree with the spell selection. Although not sure what to make of electricity and pos/neg energy damage since these are not 5E-compliant. Alternate versions of necrotic and radiant damage? Also feels like the inability to turn undead is a considerable weakness for this domain, but in-line with Boccob’s dislike of anything death-related. But to compensate I think the 4 wizard cantrips at level one is very strong. Anyway, great job on this deity. I truly recognized the Boccob I know. Hope to see more soon! Thanks,

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