Magic Items 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.


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Ilya Yefimovich Repin (1844-1930) Portrait of an archdeacon. Oil on canvas. 125.5 × 97.5 cm. The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.
Ilya Yefimovich Repin (1844-1930) Portrait of an archdeacon. Oil on canvas. 125.5 × 97.5 cm. The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow.

Few items are associated with women as the distaff. The distaff is used to hold wool or flax when spinning thread. It is longer than the typical wand but usually shorter than the average staff. Typically 2′ to 4′ long. The top is usually crowned to hold the material for spinning, but some are also flat with a rough surface.

A witch can opt to use a distaff instead of a staff, since there is nothing out of the ordinary of a woman carrying a distaff, but a staff might draw attention.

Production requirements and costs for a magical distaff are the same as for a staff. The differences in size and amount of materials is offset by the rarity of magical distaffs. Otherwise any magical staff might be used as a magical distaff. The exception of course is the Staff of the Warlock which will never be found in distaff form. Of course certain female warlocks might create one of their own.

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.

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.

Medium Major Staff Market Price
01-15 01-03 Staff of Charming 16,500 gp
16-20 04-08 Staff of Fire 17,750 gp
21-30 09-10 Staff of Darkness 24,000 gp
31-40 11-12 Staff of Swarming Insects 24,750 gp
41-60 13-17 Staff of Healing 27,750 gp
61-70 18-19 Staff of Size Alteration 29,000 gp
Staff of Holy Pleasure 29,800 gp
71-80 20-21 Staff of the Blade 31,000 gp
Staff of Purity 33,000 gp.
81-90 22-24 Staff of Illumination 48,250 gp
91-95 25-31 Staff of Frost 56,250 gp
96-100 32-38 Staff of Defense 58,250 gp
39-43 Staff of Abjuration 65,000 gp
44-48 Staff of Conjuration 65,000 gp
49-53 Staff of Enchantment 65,000 gp
54-58 Staff of Evocation 65,000 gp
59-63 Staff of Illusion 65,000 gp
64-68 Staff of Necromancy 65,000 gp
69-72 Staff of Transmutation 65,000 gp
Staff of the Sexually Perverse 69,850 gp
73-74 Staff of Pestilence 70,000 gp
75-76 Staff of Divination 73,500 gp
77-78 Staff of Rapture 73,800 gp
79-82 Staff of Earth and Stone 80,500 gp
83-85 Staff of Woodlands 101,250 gp
86-87 Staff of the Warlock 150,000gp.
88-92 Staff of Life 155,750 gp
93-95 Staff of Passage 170,500gp
96 Sunstaff 173,300 gp
97 Staff of Corruption 192,000 gp
98-100 Staff of Power 211,000 gp

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