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Staffs




Staffs

A staff is a long shaft of wood that stores several spells. Unlike wands, which can contain a wide variety of spells, each staff is of a certain kind and holds specific spells. A staff has 50 charges when created.

Physical Description

A typical staff is 4 feet to 7 feet long and 2 inches to 3 inches thick, weighing about 5 pounds. Most staffs are wood, but a rare few are bone, metal, or even glass. (These are extremely exotic.) Staffs often have a gem or some device at their tip or are shod in metal at one or both ends. Staffs are often decorated with carvings or runes. A typical staff is like a walking stick, quarterstaff, or cudgel. It has AC 7, 10 hit points, hardness 5, and a break DC of 24.

Activation

Staffs use the spell trigger activation method, so casting a spell from a staff is usually a standard action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity. (If the spell being cast, however, has a longer casting time than 1 standard action, it takes that long to cast the spell from a staff.) To activate a staff, a character must hold it forth in at least one hand (or whatever passes for a hand, for nonhumanoid creatures).

Special Qualities

Roll d%. A 01-30 result indicates that something (a design, inscription, or the like) provides some clue to the staff’s function, and 31-100 indicates no special qualities.

Table: Staffs
Medium Major Staff Market Price
01-15 01-03 Charming 16,500 gp
16-30 04-09 Fire 28,500 gp
31-40 10-11 Swarming insects 24,750 gp
41-60 12-17 Healing 27,750 gp
61-75 18-19 Size alteration 29,000 gp
76-90 20-24 Illumination 48,250 gp
91-95 25-31 Frost 56,250 gp
96-100 32-38 Defense 58,250 gp
39-43 Abjuration 65,000 gp
44-48 Conjuration 65,000 gp
49-53 Enchantment 65,000 gp
54-58 Evocation 65,000 gp
59-63 Illusion 65,000 gp
64-68 Necromancy 65,000 gp
69-73 Transmutation 65,000 gp
74-77 Divination 73,500 gp
78-82 Earth and stone 80,500 gp
83-87 Woodlands 101,250 gp
88-92 Life 155,750 gp
93-97 Passage 170,500 gp
98-100 Power 211,000 gp

Staff Descriptions

Staffs use the wielder’s ability score and relevant feats to set the DC for saves against their spells. Unlike with other sorts of magic items, the wielder can use his caster level when activating the power of a staff if it’s higher than the caster level of the staff.

This means that staffs are far more potent in the hands of a powerful spellcaster. Because they use the wielder’s ability score to set the save DC for the spell, spells from a staff are often harder to resist than ones from other magic items, which use the minimum ability score required to cast the spell. Not only are aspects of the spell dependant on caster level (range, duration, and so on) potentially higher, but spells from a staff are harder to dispel and have a better chance of overcoming a target’s spell resistance.

Furthermore, a staff can hold a spell of any level, unlike a wand, which is limited to spells of 4th level or lower. The minimum caster level of a staff is 8th. Standard staffs are described below.

Abjuration

Usually carved from the heartwood of an ancient oak or other large tree, this staff allows use of the following spells:

Strong abjuration; CL 13th; Craft Staff, dismissal, dispel magic, lesser globe of invulnerability, resist energy, repulsion, shield; Price 65,000 gp.

Charming

Made of twisting wood ornately shaped and carved, this staff allows use of the following spells:

Moderate enchantment; CL 8th; Craft Staff, charm person, charm monster; Price 16,500 gp.

Conjuration

This staff is usually made of ash or walnut and bears ornate carvings of many different kinds of creatures. It allows use of the following spells:

Strong conjuration; CL 13th; Craft Staff, cloudkill, stinking cloud, summon monster VI, summon swarm, unseen servant; Price 65,000 gp.

Defense

The staff of defense is a simple-looking staff that throbs with power when held defensively. It allows use of the following spells:

Strong abjuration; CL 15th; Craft Staff, shield, shield of faith, shield of law, shield other, creator must be lawful; Price 58,250 gp.

Divination

Made from a supple length of willow, often with a forked tip, this staff allows use of the following spells:

Strong divination; CL 13th; Craft Staff, detect secret doors, locate creature, locate object, prying eyes, tongues, true seeing; Price 73,500 gp.

Earth and Stone

This staff is topped with a fist-sized emerald that gleams with smoldering power. It allows the use of the following spells:

Moderate transmutation; CL 11th; Craft Staff, move earth, passwall; Price 80,500 gp.

Enchantment

Often made from applewood and topped with a clear crystal, this staff allows use of the following spells:

Strong enchantment; CL 13th; Craft Staff, crushing despair, mass suggestion, mind fog, sleep, suggestion, hideous laughter; Price 65,000 gp.

Evocation

Usually very smooth and carved from hickory, willow, or yew, this staff allows use of the following spells:

Strong evocation; CL 13th; Craft Staff, chain lightning, fireball, ice storm, magic missile,

shatter, wall of force; Price 65,000 gp.

Fire

Crafted from bronzewood with brass bindings, this staff allows use of the following spells:

Moderate evocation; CL 8th; Craft Staff, burning hands, fireball, wall of fire; Price 28,500 gp.

Frost

Tipped on either end with a glistening diamond, this rune-covered staff allows use of the following spells:

Moderate evocation; CL 10th; Craft Staff, cone of cold, ice storm, wall of ice; Price 56,250 gp.

Healing

This white ash staff, with inlaid silver runes, allows use of the following spells:

Moderate conjuration; CL 8th; Craft Staff, cure serious wounds, lesser restoration, remove blindness/deafness, remove disease; Price 27,750 gp.

Illusion

This staff is made from ebony or other dark wood and carved into an intricately twisted, fluted, or spiral shape. It allows use of the following spells:

Strong illusion; CL 13th; Craft Staff, disguise self, major image, mirror image, persistent image, project image, rainbow pattern; Price 65,000 gp.

Illumination

This staff is usually sheathed in silver and decorated with sunbursts. It allows use of the following spells:

Strong evocation; CL 15th; Craft Staff, dancing lights, daylight, flare, sunburst; Price 48,250 gp.

Life

Made of thick oak shod in gold, this staff allows use of the following spells:

Moderate conjuration; CL 13th; Craft Staff, heal, resurrection; Price 155,750 gp.

Necromancy

This staff is made from ebony or other dark wood and carved with the images of bones and skulls. It allows use of the following spells:

Strong necromancy; CL 13th; Craft Staff, cause fear, circle of death, enervation, ghoul touch, halt undead, waves of fatigue; Price 65,000 gp.

Passage

This potent item allows use of the following spells:

Strong varied; CL 17th; Craft Staff, astral projection, dimension door, greater teleport, passwall, phase door; Price 170,500 gp.

Power

The staff of power is a very potent magic item, with offensive and defensive abilities. It is usually topped with a glistening gem, its shaft straight and smooth. It has the following powers:

The wielder of a staff of power gains a +2 luck 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 (as a free action), the staff causes double damage (×3 on a critical hit) for 1 round.

A staff of power can be used for a retributive strike, requiring it to be broken by its wielder. (If this breaking of the staff is purposeful and declared by the wielder, it can be performed as a standard action that does not require the wielder to make a Strength check.) All charges currently in the staff are instantly released in a 30-foot radius. All within 2 squares of the broken staff take points of damage equal to 8 × the number of charges in the staff, those 3 or 4 squares away take 6 × the number of charges in damage, and those 5 or 6 squares distant take 4 × the number of charges in damage. All those affected can make DC 17 Reflex saves to reduce the damage by half.

The character breaking the staff has a 50% chance of traveling to another plane of existence, but if he does not, the explosive release of spell energy destroys him. Only certain items, including the staff of the magi and the staff of power, are capable of being 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.)

Strong varied; CL 15th; Craft Staff, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, magic missile, heightened ray of enfeeblement, continual flame, levitate, heightened fireball, heightened lightning bolt, cone of cold, hold monster, wall of force, globe of invulnerability; Price 211,000 gp.

Size Alteration

Stout and sturdy, this staff of dark wood allows use of the following spells:

Faint conjuration; CL 8th; Craft Staff, enlarge person, mass enlarge person, reduce person, mass reduce person, shrink item; Price 29,000 gp.

Swarming Insects

Made of twisted dark wood with dark spots resembling crawling insects (which occasionally seem to move), this staff allows use of the following spells:

Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Staff, insect plague, summon swarm; Price 24,750 gp.

Transmutation

This staff is generally carved from or decorated with petrified wood and allows use of the following spells:

Strong transmutation; CL 13th; Craft Staff, alter self, baleful polymorph, blink, disintegrate, expeditious retreat, polymorph; Price 65,000 gp.

Woodlands

Appearing to have grown naturally into its shape, this oak, ash, or yew staff allows use of the following spells:

The staff may be used as a weapon, functioning as a +2 quarterstaff. The staff of the woodlands also allows its wielder to pass without trace at will, with no charge cost. These two attributes continue to function after all the charges are expended.

Moderate varied; CL 13th; Craft Staff, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, animate plants, barkskin, charm animal, pass without trace, speak with animals, summon nature’s ally VI, wall of thorns; Price 101,250 gp.