Arcane Staff Spell List

Copyright Steve Kellison © 2010

Edited by Peter Mork for The Guild Companion

"Once a caster begins using an Arcane Staff, he quickly becomes accustomed to it, and begins to depend on it."

Closed Arcane
Arcane Staff
Lvl Spell Area of Effect Duration Range Type
1 Store Power * Staff C Touch U
2 Staff of the Apprentice Staff P Touch U
3 Arcane Light Staff 10min/lvl Touch U
4 Nodestaff I Staff C Touch U
5 Magelight varies 1min/lvl varies E
6 Staff of the Journeyman Staff P Touch U
7 Hold Spell I Staff 10min/lvl Touch U
8 Combination II * Staff 1 min Touch U
9 Lesser Mana Staff Staff 1rnd/lvl Touch F
10 Defender Staff Staff 1rnd/lvl Touch F
11 Staff of the Learned Staff P Touch U
12 Nodestaff II Staff C Touch U
13 Spell Break 1 spell - Touch F
14 Combination III * Staff 1 min Touch U
15 Hold Spell II Staff 10min/lvl Touch U
16 Sacrifice* varies - Staff F
17 Staff of the Master Staff P Touch U
18 Conduit Staff 1rnd/lvl Touch U
19 Greater Mana Staff Staff 1rnd/lvl Touch F
20 Combination IV * Staff 1 min Touch U
25 Lesser Arcane Staff Staff P Touch U
30 Greater Arcane Staff Staff P Touch U
50 Arcane Staff Staff P Touch U

1. Store Power — Allows the caster to store up to one power point per round into a staff created by the higher level spells on this list. The caster may use the power points at a later time, as long as he is holding the staff. For each power point stored in a staff, reduce the weapon strength by one as long as the power points are stored in the staff.

2. Staff of the Apprentice — Allows the caster to create an enchanted staff. Caster must cast this spell once per day for one week to complete the staff. Any spell failure during this time will destroy the staff, requiring the caster to start over. Casting this spell takes one hour of concentration. Once completed the staff will become a +5 quarterstaff with a base weapon strength of 65. This staff may store up to one power point per level for later use.

3. Arcane Light — The staff will glow with whatever intensity the caster desires, from the barest glimmer to a brilliant 20' radius light. Once cast, the caster must make a spell casting static maneuver to change the light level. Failure causes the light to flare up briefly before going out.

4. Nodestaff I — By planting the end of the staff into the ground within the radius of an earthnode, the caster may draw 1 power point per minute into the staff.

5. Magelight — Caster points his staff and "sprays" power in a cone, bathing the area in magical energy. This may either be a 100' cone with a 5'r base, or a 50' cone with a 10'r base. All spells in the area of effect become visible. (Or can be perceived using Power Perception with a +50 bonus.)

6. Staff of the Journeyman — As Staff of the Apprentice, but this spell creates a +10 staff capable of holding two power points per level, with a base weapon strength of 70. In addition, the caster gains +5 to all spell casting static maneuvers while using the staff.

7. Hold Spell I — Allows the caster to "hold" the next spell cast within the duration of this spell. A held spell can be cast at any time during this spell's duration, and does not interfere with normal spell casting. If not used before the end of this spell's duration, the held spell is lost. This spell costs the same number of power points as the held spell. Only one spell may be held at a time.

8. Combination II — Allows the caster to combine the effects of two spells cast within one minute of this spell. When the first spell is cast it is held within the staff until the second spell is completed, at which time the combined spell is released. The GM may rule that certain spell effects cannot be combined. The caster must pay the full power point cost of all combined spells, plus the cost of this spell.

9. Lesser Mana Staff — This spell infuses the staff with raw power. It will deliver an A Mana critical on any critical strike. Alternatively, it may be fired as a Mana Bolt (100' range) at any time during the spell's duration. The caster may develop directed spells skill.

10. Defender Staff — Disruptive energies flow along the staff, giving the caster a "shield bonus" of +1/level to resist or defend against all magical attacks (base and elemental). By using 100% activity, the caster may "parry" with a total bonus equal to his level, plus his skill level with Arcane Staff, plus the weapon bonus of the staff.

11. Staff of the Learned — As Staff of the Apprentice, but this spell creates a +15 staff capable of holding 2 power points per level with a base weapon strength of 90, and +10 to all spell casting static maneuvers.

12. Nodestaff II — As Nodestaff I, but allows 2 power points per minute.

13. Spell Break — (RR -20) The caster may attempt to disrupt the pattern of one spell, forcing the other spell to resist or be dispelled. The caster must touch the spell/area of effect with the staff.

14. Combination III — As Combination II, but allows the effects of three spells to be combined. Note there is still a one-minute time limit, which may prohibit some spells from being combined due to longer casting times.

15. Hold Spell II — As Hold Spell I, but allows the caster to hold a Combination spell cast within the duration of this spell. This spell costs as many power points as the total cost of the spells held (not including the cost of any Combination spell used).

16. Sacrifice — This spell destroys the Staff in a violent release of arcane power resulting in a Mana Ball attack centered on the Staff. The Mana Ball attack has a bonus of +5 and a radius of 5' for every 10 power points (or portion thereof) contained in the staff. The blast has a concussion damage multiple of x1 per 30 power points (or portion thereof). The caster is not immune to this effect.

17. Staff of the Master — As Staff of the Apprentice, but this spell creates a +15 staff capable of holding 3 power points per level with a base weapon strength of 110, and +15 to all spell casting static maneuvers.

18. Conduit — When planted into the ground of an earthnode or ley line, the staff will absorb one power point per round without concentration, allowing the caster to continue casting spells while the staff draws power. If the caster allows the staff to draw power in excess of its capacity, there is a cumulative 5% chance (per point over maximum) the power will destroy the staff. This is rolled each time the stored power increases to a value above the allowed maximum. (When the power level decreases, there is no need to roll, even if the power level is still beyond the maximum.) This is a dangerous -- some say reckless -- way of drawing power from a primal source. Any spell failure -- of any spell -- while this spell is active causes the caster 1d10 hits per power point in the failed spell, and adds an additional +50 to the spell failure roll.

19. Greater Mana Staff — As Lesser Mana Staff but delivers C Mana criticals. The power may be used to fire two Mana Bolts (the first reducing the effect of this spell to that of a Lesser Mana Staff), or one 10' radius Mana Ball, all with a 100' range. If fired in the same round, the two Mana Bolts must be fired at different targets, and the caster only gets his Directed Spells bonus on one of the attacks.

20. Combination IV — As Combination III, but allows the effects of four spells to be combined.

25. Lesser Arcane Staff — As Staff of the Apprentice, but this spell creates a +15 staff capable of holding 4 power points per level with a base weapon strength of 120, and +20 to all spell casting static maneuvers.

30. Greater Arcane Staff — As Staff of the Apprentice, but this spell creates a +20 staff capable of holding 5 power points per level with a base weapon strength of 120, and +20 to all spell casting static maneuvers. This staff only loses one point of weapon strength for every two power points stored.

50. Staff of Power — As Staff of the Apprentice, but this spell creates a +25 staff capable of holding 5 power points per level. The staff has a base weapon strength of 120, which is not reduced by the power stored in the staff. This staff gives a +25 bonus to all spell casting static maneuvers.

Spell Notes:

See attached page for notes on this list.

Notes on Arcane Staff:

Terminology: The term "Arcane Staff" or "Arcane Staves" refers to any type of staff created by the spells on the Arcane Staff spell list.

Unrefined or Unstable Magic: Arcane magic does not easily lend itself to the creation of permanent enchantments. The many refinements needed to support permanent enchantments were introduced after the "split" into three realms. While it is possible for arcane magic to form a permanent enchantment, it is not easy; only the most powerful arcane casters are able to overcome the inherent instability of arcane magic. For this reason Arcane Staves are generally considered "unstable" magic items. This is represented in the spells on this list as a tendency for the violent release of power when the staff is destroyed, and also in the reduction of item strength caused by stored power.

Weapon Strength: The instability of arcane magic makes an Arcane Staff more vulnerable to damage. As the staff holds more power it becomes less able to resist damage. This is reflected in a temporary reduction to the "weapon strength" of the staff. Significant disruptions of the physical form of the staff (i.e., combat damage) can cause the power held in the staff to be released in an uncontrolled manner, destroying the staff. Once the power held in the staff is reduced, the lost "weapon strength" returns.

All staves created by this list, except the Staff of Power, are vulnerable to this effect. Although the creation process -- especially in the higher level Arcane Staves -- attempts to reinforce the integrity of the staff, storing large amounts of unstable power can still make a staff vulnerable to damage. GMs should determine if there are special substances in his world that would give a bonus or penalty to the base weapon strength for a staff.

Destruction of a Staff: If an Arcane Staff is broken, there is a chance equal to 1% per power point stored in the staff that it will explode in a 10' radius Mana Ball attack, centered on the staff. Anyone holding the staff will suffer +35 on this attack.

Unlike the Sacrifice spell, which attempts to magnify this destructive effect, the explosion does not normally increase beyond the normal 10' radius, regardless of the power held in the staff.

The GM might also wish to use "wild" or "random" magic effects -- caused by the sudden release of power - %as appropriate to the campaign.

One Staff: The caster may only have one staff created by this list at any time. If the caster's staff is lost or destroyed, he must make spell casting static maneuvers on all spell casting attempts for one month (see Dependence, below), after which he may begin creating another staff.

Dependence: Once a caster begins using an Arcane Staff, he quickly becomes accustomed to it, and begins to depend on it. When casting spells without his Arcane Staff, the caster must always roll a spell casting static maneuver (even if no penalties apply to the spell casting attempt).

Order of Creation: All of the staff creation spells must be cast in order. For example: in order to make a Staff of the Learned, the caster must first create a Staff of the Apprentice, then spend a week turning it into a Staff of the Journeyman, before going on to cast Staff of the Learned. Any spell failure during the staff creation process destroys the work in progress, along with all of the materials.

Spell Casting Bonus: In order to gain the bonus to spell casting static maneuvers, the staff must be used to supply at least one power point for the spell.

Access to Power: The caster may access any or all of the power points stored in the staff at any time, but must be touching the staff.

Separate Power Supply: Although the power stored in an Arcane Staff is available for immediate use, it is considered a separate source of power and tracked independently from the caster's "intrinsic" power points.

When casting a spell, the caster may choose to use power from his "intrinsic" power points, the staff, some other available source, or some combination of these, as he sees fit.

Not a Store: While the arcane staff has many similarities to a Store from the Closed Arcane list Power Manipulations, or the Arcanist Base list Power's Master, the staff is not a Store, and does not prevent the caster from creating, possessing, or using a Store.

Not a Source: While an Arcane Staff can hold a large supply of power, it is not considered a "source" for spells from the Power Manipulations or Power Focus lists. The power contained in an Arcane Staff cannot be used to re-charge a caster's "intrinsic" power points.

Earthnodes and Ley Lines: The GM should strongly consider using the rules for Earthnodes and Ley Lines as they are detailed in the Arcane Companion, sections 3.1 and 3.2.

Combining Spells: All of the Combination spells on this list have a strict time limit. After casting the Combination spell, the caster must complete all of the spells to be combined within one minute. At higher levels this means the caster will not be able to combine higher level (class II or III) spells because of the required casting time. If the spells to be combined are not complete, the caster can choose to lose the entire combined spell (and power points) or cast the portion that has been completed normally.

Sacrifice: The GM may wish to set an upper limit on the damage potential of the Sacrifice spell. A 50th level Arcanist who Sacrifices a fully-charged Staff of Power would be the closest thing to a nuclear suicide bomber that can be represented in the game. (Also consider that you don't become a 50th level Arcanist by doing suicidal things.)

The GM should closely consider any attempts to use the Sacrifice spell that involve delaying the spell or removing it from the immediate area of the owner before the spell takes effect. The spell is intended as a last-ditch, desperation move. It is not intended to be used as a hand grenade or demolition charge.

Conduit and Nodestaff: The GM should be careful where and how the Conduit and Nodestaff spells are used. These spells can give the caster access to nearly-inexhaustible supplies of power. While arcane spell users are generally known for having access to large power sources, this should not be overly abused.

Play balance can be achieved by limiting access to earthnodes or ley lines, or by placing an exhaustion point cost on the use of these spells. The rules on the corruption of arcane magic found in the Arcane Companion are also a great way to balance out the power level of the game.

Also note that the Conduit and Nodestaff spells draw power into the staff, not the caster.

Editor's Note

This spell list is also available as a pdf for your convenience.