Rods, Staves And Wands

These devices are relatively similar in nature, but vary in appearance and effect. Wands are the smallest of these, usually being about 1 ft long and narrow. Rods are the next largest, about 3 ft long and ¾ in thick. Staves are the largest, usually being 6 ft long and about 2 in thick. Wands and rods can be made of wood, metal, ivory, or any combination of these materials, and are most often found inside of a special case. Any staff will be made of wood, unless otherwise noted, with ornate carving and complex shape.

Most of these devices use charges, which can be restored by high level magic users. Should a device reach zero charges, it will disintegrate, thus rendering recharging impossible. These devices are found with the following charges, which should not be revealed to the players unless they are somehow able to divine this information:

Device Type Charges
Wands 101–1d20
Rods 51–1d10
Staves 26–1d6

Unless noted otherwise, these devices require a command word or magical phrase to trigger a magical effect. As such, the spell silence and similar effects can prevent these devices’ use.


Absorption (any)

This rod acts as a magnet, drawing spells into itself. The magic absorbed must be a single-target spell or a ray directed at either the character possessing the rod or his or her gear. The rod then nullifies the spell effects and stores their potential until the wielder releases this energy in the form of spells of his or her own. He or she can instantly detect the level of the spell as the rod absorbs its energy. Absorption requires no action on the part of the user if the rod is in hand at the time.

The player must keep a running total of absorbed (and used) spell levels. The wielder of the rod can use captured spell energy to cast any spell he or she has prepared in 1 segment without expending the preparation itself (i.e. he or she still has the spell in memory). The only restrictions are that the levels of spell energy stored in the rod must be equal to or greater than the level of the spell the wielder wants to cast, that any material components required for the spell be present, and that the rod be in hand when casting.

A rod of absorption absorbs a maximum of 50 spell levels and can thereafter only discharge any remaining potential it might have. The rod cannot be recharged. The wielder knows the remaining absorbing potential of the rod and current amount of stored energy.

Cancellation (any)

This dreaded rod is a bane to magic items, for its touch drains an item of all magical properties. The item touched must make a saving throw to prevent the rod from draining it. Contact is made by making an attack roll. Upon draining an item, the rod itself becomes brittle and cannot be used again. Drained items are not restorable even by wish. See the table below for magic item saving throws against this draining effect:

Item Type Save
Potion 20
Ring 17
Rod 14
Scroll 19
Staff 13
Wand 15
Artifact 13
Armour and Shields 11 (8 if +5)
Sword 9 (7 if a holy sword)
Miscellaneous Magic 12
Miscellaneous Weapons* 10

*Note that a single use of the rod of cancellation may drain many small magical items, if they are contained together. For example, a quiver of magical crossbow bolts.

Captivation (CDIM)

With the expenditure of 1 charge, all monsters and characters within a 20 ft radius are charmed by the wielder for 1 turn so long as they are at least minimally intelligent. All charmed beings will hold nothing but respect and awe for the wielder, and will seek to please him or her by doing nearly anything short of harming themselves or violating their alignment.

Lordly Might (FPR)

This rod has functions that are spell-like, and it can also be used as a magic weapon of various sorts. It also has several more mundane uses. The rod of lordly might is metal, thicker than other rods, with a flanged ball at one end and six stud-like buttons along its length. It weighs 10 lbs, and a strength of 16 or greater is necessary to wield this weapon. Any character with less than 16 strength suffers an attack penalty of –1 per point below 16.

The rod has the following spell-like functions, each of which costs 1 charge:

The following weapon functions of the rod do not require the use of charges:

The following other functions of the rod do not employ charges:

This rod may never be recharged. When the charges are expired, functions that require charges may not be used again, and neither may the rod be employed as a +1 flaming sword nor a +4 battle axe. These attributes are lost.

Resurrection (C)

This rod may be used to the same effect as the cleric spell resurrection, except the wielder does not age or need to rest after using the rod. The rod may resurrect both humans and demi-humans, including half-orcs and elves. This rod may be used only once each day. A quantity of charges will be expended to resurrect a character based on the character’s race and class. Refer to the table below, adding the charge cost for each of these variables together. Any character with more than one class will cost the higher quantity of charges for his or her classes.

Race Charges Class Charges
Human 1 Fighter 2
Half-elf 2 Paladin 1
Half-orc 4 Ranger 2
Halfling 2 Magic User 3
Elf 4 Illusionist 3
Dwarf 3 Thief 3
Gnome 3 Assassin 4
Cleric 1
Druid 2

The rod of resurrection is not rechargeable.

Rulership (FPR)

This rod looks like a royal sceptre. The wielder can command the obedience and fealty of creatures within 120 ft when he or she activates the device. Creatures totalling (1d4×100)+100 hit dice can be ruled, but creatures with intelligence scores of 15 or higher and levels or HD equal to or greater than 12 are entitled to a save vs magic to negate the effect. Ruled creatures obey the wielder as if he or she were their absolute sovereign. Still, if the wielder gives a command that is contrary to the nature of the creatures commanded, the magic is broken. The rod can be used after 5 segments from activation, and each charge expended allows the rod to be used for 1 turn. The rod crumbles to dust once all charges are expended. It may not be recharged.

Striking (CDIM)

A rod of striking deals 1d8+3 hp damage, and functions as a +3 weapon of magical nature. When this rod is used against golems, it always costs 1 charge per successful hit in combat, and deals 2d8+6 hp damage. Note that when employed in this way against a golem, a successful roll of 20 will instantly annihilate the target. In addition, this rod may deal increased damage to night hags, devils, demons, and other infernal beings from the outer planes. When attacking these monsters, a successful attack roll of 20 causes the expenditure of a charge and the rod deals triple normal damage.


Unless otherwise noted, all staves perform spell-like effects as if cast by a character of the 8th level of experience. Further, a staff may be used to effect in 2 segments when first used, but requires 8 segments for additional uses, as the staff gathers its energies for a new discharge.

Compulsion (CM)

A staff of compulsion has three primary uses, which are variable in effect and availability depending on whether the staff is wielded by a cleric or a magic user. First, the staff can replicate the effects of a potion of plant control when wielded by a cleric. Plants may be controlled for up to 1 turn in a 10 ft square area per 1 charge expenditure. Second, the staff may replicate the effects of a ring of humanoid control. This costs 1 charge per use. Finally, the third use of the staff replicates the effect of a potion of animal control when wielded by a cleric, and replicates a ring of mammal command when wielded by a magic user. Both of these effects cost 1 charge for use of a period of up to 1 turn increments. For example, 2 turns would cost 2 charges, or 1 turn plus 2 rounds would also cost 2 charges.

Healing (CD)

This staff can cure the following conditions, two times each per day: blindness, disease, injury (3d8+3 hp), and insanity. This staff may only be employed on an individual humanoid one time per function, per day. For example, the wielder could cure a victim of all conditions the staff can address, but only once for each condition in one day. This staff may be recharged.

Power (IM)

The staff of power is a very potent magic item, with offensive and defensive abilities. Each of the following spell-like powers cost 1 charge: magic missile, ray of enfeeblement, continual light, darkness 15 ft radius, levitate, lightning bolt, fireball, and cone of cold.

The staff of power has the following additional spell-like powers, each of which costs 2 charges: paralysation, globe of invulnerability, and shield (5 ft radius).

The wielder of a staff of power gains a +2 bonus to AC and saving throws. The staff is also a +2 quarterstaff, and its wielder may use it to smite opponents. If 1 charge is expended, the staff causes double damage for 1 round. This effect may not be stacked.

A staff of power can be used for a retributive strike, as the staff of wizardry. A staff of power may be recharged.

Serpent (CD)

Two forms of this staff are known to exist, a python form (60%) and a viper form (40%). Neither form uses charges.

The python strikes as a +2 quarterstaff. If the user throws the staff to the ground, it grows to become a giant (25 ft long) constrictor snake by the end of the round (90 ft move, AC 3, 49 hp). The python obeys all commands of the owner, and constricts any opponent it successfully attacks for 1d6+3 hp damage per round. The serpent returns to staff form (a full-round action) whenever the wielder desires. If the snake form is killed the staff is irreparably lost.

The viper strikes as a +1 weapon for 1d4+1 hp damage. Once per day, upon command, the head of the staff becomes that of an actual serpent for 1 turn (20 hp, AC 9). During this period, any successful strike with the rod deals its usual damage and also poisons the creature hit. A victim must succeed in a saving throw vs poison or die. The viper only functions if its possessor is evil.

Withering (CDIM)

A staff of withering acts as a +1 weapon that deals 1d4+1 hit points of damage. In addition, if the wielder chooses to spend 2 charges on a hit, the victim will age 10 years. Spending 3 charges requires the victim to instead save vs magic, or a limb withers into a desiccated, worthless member. The specific limb struck is determined randomly. Note that effects from the staff are stacked, such that a victim hit with the staff when 3 charges are spent will have a limb wither and he or she will age as well.

Wizardry (M)

The staff of wizardry is a powerful device, granting several spells at the wielder’s disposal. The staff may be used to effect the following spell-like abilities: detect magic, enlarge, hold portal, light, and protection from good (evil). These abilities do not require the expenditure of charges.

In addition, the staff has the following abilities that cost 1 charge per use: dispel magic, fireball, ice storm, invisibility, knock, lightning bolt, passwall, pyrotechnics, wall of fire, and web. The following powerful abilities cost 2 charges per use: conjure elemental, plane shift, telekinesis, and whirlwind (as a genie).

The wielder of the staff receives a bonus of +2 for saving throws vs magic. This staff may be recharged, but only by absorbing magical energies that are cast at the wielder. When a spell is cast at the wielder, he may choose to absorb these energies, at a rate of 1 charge per spell level of the spell directed at him. Note that taking this manoeuvre is the sole action of the staff for that round, and it may not be used for other effects in the same round it absorbs energy. Each staff has a maximum number of possible charges, and it will only safely absorb charges to this limit. The wielder will not know the limit, or how many charges have been used, unless some magical means is employed to discover this. The staff does not reveal this information. Should the staff collect energy in excess of its limit, it detonates in the same manner as in a retributive strike, as described below.

A staff of wizardry can be used for a retributive strike, requiring it to be broken by its wielder. The breaking of the staff must be intentional and declared by the wielder. All charges currently in the staff are instantly released in a 30 ft radius. All within 10 ft of the broken staff take points of damage equal to 8 × the number of charges in the staff, those 10 ft to 20 ft away take 6 × the number of charges in damage, and those 20 ft to 30 ft distant take 4 × the number of charges in damage. All those affected can make saving throws vs magic to reduce the damage by half.

The character breaking the staff has a 50% chance of travelling to another plane of existence, but if he or she does not, the explosive release of spell energy destroys him or her. Only the staff of wizardry and the staff of power may be used for a retributive strike.

After all charges are used up from the staff, it remains a +2 quarterstaff. Once empty of charges, it cannot be used for a retributive strike.


For the purposes of calculating duration, damage, range, and other effects, wands function as if a character of 6th level produces their magical effects. Some small percentage of wands, at the GM’s discretion, are cursed to either direct their effects at the user or produce some other misleading or harmful effect.

Detecting Magic (CDIM)

When activated, this wand will vibrate and point to the most powerful magic within 30 ft of the wand wielder. If used continuously for more than 1 round, in further rounds the wand will reveal additional sources of magic, in approximate descending rank of their relative power. Should the wielder use a round focusing the wand on a source of magic, the wand will reveal the form of magic it is (such as illusion or charm). This wand may be used for 1 continuous turn per charge spent. However, for each continuous round of use (after the first round) there is a 1% cumulative probability that the wand will offer information that is opposite to the reality. In this case magic items will appear mundane, or non-magical items will seem to radiate magic.

Detecting Minerals and Metals (any)

Like other wands of detection, this wand will vibrate and point to the item it is enchanted to detect, in this case, the largest quantity of a mineral or metal within a 30 ft range. The wand may also be used to detect all samples of a specific mineral or metal within range, such as gold or diamonds. The wielder of the wand becomes aware of the quantity of the item when detected. This wand requires 1 round per use, and may be used continuously for 1 turn per charge spent. The wand of detecting minerals and metals can be recharged.

Detecting Traps and Secret Doors (any)

The wielder of this wand may choose, each round, to detect traps (range of 30 ft) or a secret door (range of 15 ft). The wand will vibrate and point to the desired object. Each round of use requires 1 charge, and it is rechargeable.

Enemy Detection (any)

A wand of enemy detection can, at the expenditure of 1 charge, detect any being with harmful or unkind intentions toward the wand wielder, within 60 ft. The wand will throb in the user’s hand and point in the direction of such a being. The being need not be in obvious sight, and the wand can detect it even if it is hiding, invisible, or otherwise outside of normal space, such as when in astral or æthereal form. A wand of enemy detection may be recharged.

Fear (CDIM)

Once per round, by spending 1 charge, this wand will emit a ray of sinister purple light that takes 1 segment to appear. The ray is shaped as a cone 20 ft wide at its terminal end and 60 ft long. Any being within the area of effect must succeed in a saving throw vs wands or fall under effects identical to the cleric spell fear. A wand of fear is rechargeable.

Fire (DM)

A wand of fire produces several spell-like effects, and may only produce one effect per round. The following effects require the expenditure of 1 charge: burning hands shoots forth a triangular cone of fire 12 ft long with a 10 ft ending width. It takes 1 segment for this effect to manifest, and it lasts but a moment. Any being within this area of effect suffers 6 hp damage. Pyrotechnics may also be produced from the wand, and take 2 segments to appear. This effect exactly mimics the spell of the same name.

The wand of fire may produce the following effects with the expenditure of 2 charges: a fireball may be shot from the wand, performing exactly as the spell of the same name, as if cast from a 6th level character. It deals 6d6 hp damage to all within the area of effect (save vs wands for half damage). Any result of 1 on a damage die is treated as a 2. A wall of fire may be produced in 3 segments, like the spell of the same name cast from a 6th level character. The wall may be formed into a 22 ft diameter circle surrounding the wand wielder.

This wand is rechargeable.

Ice (DM)

A wand of ice produces several spell-like effects, and may only produce one effect per round. The following effects require the expenditure of 1 charge: an ice storm (as the magic user spell) wreaks its cold havoc to a distance of 60 ft, and appears in 1 segment; a wall of ice can be brought into existence, taking 2 segments to appear. It always has a thickness of 6 in, but may have any surface area as commanded by the wand wielder to a maximum of 600 sq ft (for example, 25 × 24 ft or 10 × 60 ft).

The wand of ice may produce a cone of cold with the expenditure of 2 charges. The cone is 20 ft in diameter at its maximum length of 60 ft. This effect manifests in 2 segments, and is present for only a moment. Nonetheless, it deals 6d6 hp damage to all within the area of effect (save vs wands for half damage). Any result of 1 on a damage die is treated as a 2.

The wand of ice is rechargeable.

Light (CDIM)

A wand of light produces several spell-like effects, and may only produce one effect per round. The following effects require the expenditure of 1 charge: dancing lights as the magic user spell, which appears in 1 segment, and light as the magic user spell, which appears in 2 segments.

The wielder may spend 2 charges to create continual light, which takes 2 segments to manifest. Finally, by spending 3 charges, the wielder may create a ray of intense sunlight. This effect manifests in 3 segments. The bright golden-yellow light lasts only a moment, has a range of 120 ft, and forms a 40 ft diameter sphere of light. Any being within the area must save vs wands or be blinded and stunned for 2d6 segments. The golden sphere of light has a devastating effect on all undead, dealing 6d6 hp of damage, with no saving throw allowed.

Illusion (IM)

This wand is capable of producing both visual and audible illusions, each requiring a charge per round the illusion is maintained. The illusory effect worked by the wielder manifests in 3 segments, and requires full concentration to maintain. The wielder may not engage in any combat or complex action, but may move at normal speed. This wand is rechargeable.

Lightning (DM)

If the wielder of a wand of lighting hits an opponent (in melee) with the wand and spends 1 charge, he or she may deliver an electrical charge to his or her victim, which inflicts 1d10 hp damage. No saving throw is permitted, and for AC purposes a victim wearing metal armour has an AC of 10, regardless of magical armour bonuses. Non-metal armour and items such as a ring of protection do apply, however.

By spending 2 charges, the wielder of this wand may produce a lightning bolt, similar to the magic user spell, to inflict 6d6 hp of damage. Any result of 1 on a damage die is treated as a 2. A save vs wands is allowed for half damage.

A wand of lightning can be recharged.

Magic Missiles (M)

This wand may fire 1 or 2 magic missiles (wielder’s choice), as the spell, each round. Each missile requires 1 charge and 3 segments before it manifests. These magical bolts deal 1d4+1 hp damage each.

Negation (CDIM)

This device negates the spell or spell-like function or functions of magic items. The wielder points the rod at the magic item, and a pale grey beam shoots forth to touch the target device or being after 1 segment. The ray negates any function of all wands, and any other target item or magical effect (including spells cast by the target) has a 25% chance of resisting the negation. Each use of the wand costs 1 charge, and may be used one time per round. A wand of negation can never be recharged.

Paralysation (CDIM)

A wand of paralysation may fire a ghoulish green beam of energy once per round, to a range of 60 ft. The beam will paralyse any one victim who fails a save vs wands. The effect has a duration of 5d4 rounds. The beam of energy manifests after 3 segments. This wand is rechargeable.

Polymorphing (DM)

By pointing the wand and giving a command, the wielder may fire a crackling beam of pure black energy at a target. If the victim fails a saving throw vs wands, he or she is affected as if by the magic user spell polymorph other, to transform into any creature the wielder desires. Instead, the wielder may strike a being with the wand, which surrounds the subject in flickering black shadows and causes him or her to be affected as if by the magic user spell polymorph self. In this case, the wielder pronounces the name of the creature into which the victim will transform as he or she touches the opponent. A saving throw is permitted, but a willing subject may choose to forgo the save.

Summoning (CDIM)

The wielder of this wand, when holding the wand by hand (not when it is packed away) is able to instantly identify spells of a conjuration or summoning nature, either when seen written or actively cast. The wielder may spend a charge to cast the spells unseen servant or monster summoning. To cast monster summoning, the wielder must be of sufficient level to cast the version employed (I, II, III, IV, V or VI), and it requires 5 segments. When casting monster summoning, the wielder may spend up to 6 charges, to stack the effects as if more than one spell were cast. For example, the 6 charges could be spent to cast monster summoning VI, or they could be used to cast monster summoning I six times, monster summoning II and IV, or any other combination totalling 6.

A wand of summoning can produce the effects of a prismatic sphere (it may be formed into a wall). However, unlike the spell, the wand may only produce a single colour type at a time, per use each round. Each use costs 1 charge, and takes 5 segments to appear.

The wand is also capable of bringing into existence a veil of darkness, by spending 2 charges. This effect takes 5 segments to cast. This veil can occupy a space equal to 600 ft squared, and can take any dimensions equalling this amount (20 × 30 ft, 15 × 40 ft, etc.) No light may pass through the veil, but other magical effects and physical objects may pass through it normally.

A wand of summoning is rechargeable.

Wonder (any)

A wand of wonder is a strange and unpredictable device that randomly generates any number of weird effects each time it is used. Each use costs 1 charge. In some cases a saving throw is appropriate. The effects should be considered typical of those possible, but the GM may adjust these or create new effects depending on the situation. Typical powers of the wand include the following:

d% Wondrous Effect
01–05 Slow creature pointed at for 1 turn.
06–10 Faerie fire surrounds the target.
11–15 Deludes wielder for 1 round into believing the rod functions as indicated by a second die roll (no save).
16–20 Gust of wind, but at twice the power.
21–25 Wielder learns target’s surface thoughts (as with ESP) for 1d4 rounds.
26–30 Stinking cloud at 30 ft range.
31–33 Heavy rain falls for 1 round in 60 ft radius centred on wand wielder.
34–36 Summon an animal—a rhino (01–25 on d%), elephant (26–50), or mouse (51–100).
37–46 Lightning bolt (70 ft long, 5 ft wide), 6d6 damage.
47–49 Stream of 600 large butterflies pours forth and flutters around for 2 rounds, blinding everyone (including wielder).
50–53 Enlarge victim if within 60 ft of wand.
54-58 Darkness, 30 ft diameter hemisphere, centred 30 ft away from wand.
59–62 Grass grows in 160 ft square area before the wand, or grass existing there grows to ten times normal size.
63–65 Vanish any nonliving object of up to 1,000 lb mass and up to 30 ft cubed in size.
66–69 Reduce wielder to 1/12 height.
70–79 Fireball, 6d6 damage, as wand.
80–84 Invisibility covers wand wielder.
85–87 Leaves grow from target if within 60 ft of wand.
88–90 10–40 gems, value 1 gp each, shoot forth in a 30 ft long stream. Each gem deals 1 point of damage to any creature in its path: roll 5d4 for the number of hits.
91–95 Shimmering colours dance and play over a 40 × 30 ft area in front of wand. Creatures therein are blinded for 1d6 rounds.
96–97 Wielder (50% chance) or target (50% chance) turns permanently blue, green, or purple.
98–00 Flesh to stone (or stone to flesh if target is stone already) if target is within 60 ft.