and before I could begin my useful incantations to stop the brain from rambling, I was half way into this post. The cleric spell Command came to mind: the caster says one word that makes sense as a command (jump, sleep, talk, bake, etc), and this affects one creature for one round. There's no d30 fanciness to apply and it's only one round and then the target's back to normal. If you say “die” the target just passes out for one round. So if you can't really think of something deadly to do with it (like make someone “plummet” off a cliff), then what could you do?
Early this morning, my addled brain thought, well if you could command a hobgoblin to "Spaz-out!" or just "Spaz!" what would that look like? Hmm. That’s pretty wide open, covering a wide range of literal and figurative spasms.
Almost immediately this random table materialized (I want to give the d12 some real game time). I figure you Command "Spaz!" and roll d12 twice, and the following effects occur, which are cumulative:
1. Arms flail wildly
2. Legs dance and kick wildly
3. Total appendage flail with headbanging
4. Grotesque contorting convulsions in place
5. Loss of bowel control, violent defecation
6. Loss of bladder control, wets him/herself
7. Projectile vomiting 20' range
8. Screaming nonsense babble at top of lungs
9-10. Spaz with berserker rage directed at foes , +2 to hit and damage
11-12. Spaz with berserker rage directed at allies, +2 to hit and damage
All effects last one round total. All results occur immediately after the spell is cast, no initiative is rolled, no other actions can be taken outside of the normal Save vs. Spells. Generally, results occur simultaneously. If you have a 9 and a 12, the target will attack twice -- once against foes, once against allies – before any other actions can occur. When in doubt, the GM can fall back on each effect takes half a round. Convulsions in place may occupy the first half round, followed by Projectile Vomiting, and so on. But, when not in obvious contradiction, effects are cumulative: two 11s equals 1 strike at +4 to hit and damage, not two strikes at +2.
This seems good for creating diversions, or just adding some zaniness to the average combat encounter. And it has the potential for negative outcomes for the caster, so it's not just a gimme.