Mage Equipment

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Staff for a Day

Often spellcasters acquire a simple quarterstaff as a "prop" and never use it for anything else.  Throughout over a century of literature and a quarter century of RPG gaming, many wizards found more useful adaptations of the staff. Through careful crafting and some ingenuity new and useful staff selections have been made available to spellcasters who choose functionality.

Staff Cost Weight
Arcane 100 gp 5 lb.
Explorer's 15 gp 4 lb.
Extending 50 gp 10 lb.
Final Strike 150 gp 10 lb.
Fire 45 gp 5 lb.
Kestrel Stand 50 gp 4 lb.
Light 25 gp 5 lb.
Lightning Node 80 gp 9 lb.
Hollow Core 150 gp 7 lb.
Quick 1 gp 3 lb.
Sage 75 gp 3 lb.
Thunder 45 gp 5 lb.
Walking Stick 5 gp 1 lb.
War 355 gp 7 lb.

Staff, Arcane: Made from wood that is either naturally or stained black, this heavy staff has gold inscriptions on it. The inscriptions might be in Draconic but are more often simply impressive-looking nonsense. The narrow end has an elaborate metallic spike on it. The head will typically have either a stylized depiction of some animal (eagles and dragons are popular) or a massive, rough crystal. An arcane staff tends to break when struck firmly against something, but does provide a +1 bonus to any Bluff, Diplomacy or Intimidate skill checks to convince another person of your magical power.

Staff, Explorer’s: This smooth, hardwood staff has a few metal fixtures on it that makes it somewhat useful to the traveling spellcaster. Unlike many staves, it has a single, flat side making it possible to set it down without it rolling off. It has a heavy, metal loop attached near the middle of the staff, just above the handgrip. Furthermore, the staff can bear up to 200 pounds at its centre point, allowing it to be used as a brace, leaver, or even anchor without causing a huge amount of concern. Finally, the staff has a slotted foot to which a spike can be attached, providing a +2 circumstance bonus to Balance checks to keep footing on icy surfaces.

Staff, Extending: This item, when purchased, comes in the form of 10 one-foot sections of wood and a pair of metal caps. The sections of wood are set with metal on each end; one bears screw threads and the other is a sheath tooled to accept those threads. As many sections as desired can be put together, resulting in a staff as long as the bearer wishes. This has a number of mundane uses, but spellcasters might be interested in placing separate enchantments on each section. This would allow for a staff with spell powers that vary depending on what combination of parts are connected at any given time.

Staff, Final Strike: This heavy, metal staff is dangerous to use, dangerous to hold and deadly to be around. The surface of the staff is typically scored with a crosshatch pattern and around the middle of the shaft is a single, gold band. Despite its sturdy appearance, the final strike staff is actually hollow. Inside it is a dense pack of explosive powder. When the golden ring receives a sharp blow the staff explodes, doing 6d6 slashing damage to everyone within a 10-foot radius. Anyone in the area of effect may make a Reflex save (DC 15) to take half damage. If someone is holding the staff when it goes off they do not get a saving throw.

A final strike staff is a fragile item and any hard knock or sudden jerk could set the thing off. In any situation that the Games Master feels warrants it he may request that the staff’s wielder make a Reflex save (DC 13) to avoid setting off the staff. Additionally any time the staff is directly attacked or is used to strike another person it has a 30% chance of spontaneously exploding.

Staff, Fire: A fire staff is a hardwood staff with an expendable glass top and a gold-lined reservoir in the upper part of the shaft. The reservoir contains alchemist’s fire. The first attack made with a fire staff is a touch attack. If it succeeds the glass top shatters, spreading alchemist’s fire on the target. This causes the target to suffer 1d6 points of fire damage. If the first attack misses, the wielder may keep making touch attacks until he finally hits. Reloading a fire staff is a full round action that provokes an attack of opportunity.

Staff, Kestrel Stand: A specially-crafted staff with a foot-long, perpendicular rod attached with a hinge to its upper end, this item serves as a way for avian familiars and animal companions to rest within arm’s reach of their masters. A bird (or other familiar, as several different creatures might enjoy perching on a kestrel stand) counts as being in physical contact for purposes of shared abilities. Many kestrel stands have an attachment to mount a cuttle stone as a staff topper.

Staff, Light: This hardwood staff is typically made of a light-colored hardwood, such as maple or birch. It has a solid central shaft and tightly bound metal ends. The top end has a crystal cap, under which the wielder can fit a fuelless light source. This allows the wielder to carry a light source with him without compromising his ability to protect himself. It is possible to use the staff as a weapon without damaging the light source, so long as it is not used as a dual weapon.

Staff, Lightning Node: Another specialty staff, the lightning node staff bears an insulated handle of leather and cording around a shaft of steel or other conductive metal. The bottom end of the staff comes to an anchoring point and the top splits into a forking pair of tines. A lightning node staff is used by shoving it into the ground and releasing it before being struck by a ranged electrical effect, such as a lightning bolt spell. For the staff to work, it must be within five feet of the user when the effect occurs. Half of the spell’s potential damage is routed into the staff, discharging harmlessly into the ground. The other half continues on to the user, who benefits then from whatever other defenses (evasion, Reflex save, resist elements, etc.) may apply. A lightning node staff has a 50% chance of being destroyed when used in this way.

Staff, Hollow Core: These deceptively simple staves look like any other ordinary, fairly thick (three-inch-diameter), wooden staff. However, in reality they have a hollow, metal core and at least one way of accessing the central shaft. Detecting the access point is difficult (Search DC 25) and the access point may or may not be secured with spells or mundane traps. The staff can store a total volume equal to one cubic foot of material, so long as no part of the material is greater than ¾ of an inch wide. The staff is typically used to carry sensitive letters, illegal spell components and other small objects that the wielder would rather other people not see.

Staff, Quick: This ridiculous looking staff has dozens of strings attached to it. Attached to the strings are a vast array of small pouches, dried animal parts, plants, bird feathers and oddly-shaped rocks. While these staves are useless as weapons, they put the components for as many as 10 spells in the character’s hands. This means that the character does not have to spend any time locating the components of those spells.

Staff, Sage: A wooden or metal walking staff with a built-in podium on its upper end, these items are invaluable to scholars who find themselves reading while they travel. While they serve few other useful functions, the sage staff does provide a subtle focus for those who use them constantly. After one year of regular use, a sage staff grants a +1 circumstance bonus to Knowledge checks if a text applying to the skill in question can be placed within it and read while the check is made.

Staff, Thunder: This dark grey staff has a large, metal, animal claw (often a raptor talon) fitted at the top end, typically made of a somewhat ductile metal, such as copper, and large enough to hold a single thunderstone. Although useable as a weapon, the staff is more often used as a method of escape or distraction. As a standard action the wielder may swing the staff at the ground, detonating the thunderstone under the feet of an attacker in melee range.

Staff, Walking Stick: This short, stout, wooden rod is normally capped with a bronze or iron tip. While useless in combat, a walking stick provides a +2 competence bonus to Balance checks if its bearer uses a move-equivalent action to brace himself against the ground with it. The stick provides this bonus only if the Balance check was forced by unsteady ground, an earthquake, or similar event – the walking stick is useless when making a Balance check to walk a tightrope, for example.

Staff, War: This metal-bound masterwork hardwood staff is balanced and hardened for use in battle. It has a Hardness of 10 and 10 Hit Points. Many magicians who find themselves in the thick of battle appreciate the heft of these not-terribly subtle weapons.

Arcane Armor

Below is a listing of unusual armor (mainly robes) that can be worn by arcane spellcasters who wish to obtain protection without gaining the look of a warrior. Although Arcane Spell Failure is a problem with most of these armors, intelligent casters will know when to shed these armors for the more traditional attire.

Armor Cost Armor/Shield Bonus Maximum Dex Bonus Armor Check Penalty Arcane Spell Failure Chance (30 ft.) (20 ft.) Weight1
Armored Sleeves 5 gp +1 -1 5% 30 ft. 20 ft. 5 lb.
Bodysuit, Armored 125 gp +1 +6 5% 30 ft. 20 ft. 8 lb.
Chain Cloak 100 gp +1 +6 -1 10% 20 ft. 15 ft. 25 lb.
Concealed Armor 160 gp +1 +8 5% 30 ft. 20 ft. 10 lb.
Leather Coat 250 gp +3 +6 20% 30 ft. 20 ft. 20 lb.
Robe, Armored 55 gp +3 +3 -4 25% 20 ft. 15 ft. 30 lb.
Robe, Battle 2,500 gp +4 +4 -2 15 % 20 ft. 15 ft. 15 lb.
Robe of Yew Leaves 55 gp +2 +8 10 % 30 ft. 20 ft. 5 lb.
Shadesuit, Armored 500 gp +1 +6 5% 30 ft. 20 ft. 8 lb.
Skirt, Mithril 1,200 gp +2 -1 +8 lb.
Wizard's Armor +200 gp -2 -10% -5 lb.

Armored Sleeves (Light Armor): Strips of resistant material, usually chain links or exotic hides, can be sewn into the sleeves of any robe to offer protection to the wearer’s arms in much the same way as bracers. Heavier and bulkier than normal sleeves, these do have the drawback of slightly impeding arm movement, though the defense they offer can be quite valuable. Armored sleeves count as a shield for purposes of determining what armor their armor bonus stacks with. Their size and general inflexibility prevents a wearer from using them and another shield at the same time.

Bodysuit, Armored (Light Armor): This garment functions in most ways just like a normal bodysuit, except that it is made of leather and actually provides the wearer with limited armor protection. The armored bodysuit may be worn beneath other armor.

Chain Cloak (Light Armor): This is a man-sized sheet made of tiny interlocking metal rings, .t beneath two layers of quilt and wrapped in strong dark fabric. The cloak includes a thick collar of the same material, folded around the wearer’s neck and secured by a discreet, yet elegant silver clasp. The cloak can be entirely wrapped around a Medium-sized humanoid body. The chainmail sheet is crafted in such a way as to remain unnoticed by casual observers, although a successful Listen check (DC 15) discovers the clinking mail rings inside the apparently normal cloak.

A chain cloak gives the wearer a +1 armor bonus to his Armor Class. This bonus stacks with other armor bonuses. If the wearer wraps the cloak around his body (treat as performing the total defense action), the armor bonus increases to +2. A character cannot wrap the cloak around his body and use it as a shield (see below) on the same round.

A character with Shield Proficiency and at least one hand free can wrap the chain cloak around his arm, letting it hang in front of him. A chain cloak used in this fashion counts as an improvised shield, giving a +1 shield bonus to the wearer’s Armor Class in addition to its armor bonus. This shield bonus does not stack with other shield bonuses. A character using a chain cloak in this fashion suffers a –2 penalty on all attack rolls for the same round. A chain cloak cannot be used to perform a shield bash attack.

Notes: A chain cloak is not an armor suit per se, so it does not have an associated maximum Dexterity bonus. Instead, wearing a chain cloak reduces the maximum Dexterity bonus imposed from other armor suits by one. If the character wears no armor imposing a maximum Dexterity bonus, assume the chain cloak’s maximum Dexterity bonus to be +6.

Concealed Armor: Concealed armor is worked into a normal suit of clothes, generally a long sleeved shirt and trousers or a full-length dress. Cunningly incorporated sections of padding and resistant cloth strips are woven into a protective shell around the wearer’s body, without betraying their existence to the casual observer. While the suit only offers the same protection as padded armor, it is always considered masterwork armor and can be further enchanted as the wearer desires. The Spot check to see concealed armor for what it is has a of DC 25 and must be purposefully made – a passing glance is insufficient to detect concealed armor.

Leather Coat (Light Armor): This is a full-body leather overcoat, including a short cape over the shoulders and a high collar covering all the wearer’s neck up to the lower face. The suit includes a felt or leather cap and a pair of gloves. The coat features a great quantity of belts, pockets, buttons and buckles.

Designed for characters expecting both combat and a long journey, leather coats combine the best in light armor technology with fashionable weather protection attire. They are preferred by elite soldiers, overland couriers and secret agents. A leather coat offers excellent protection, while causing little or no penalties to the user’s movement. Leather coats are a relatively new fashion item, more common with every passing season.

In addition to armor bonuses, a character wearing a leather coat receives a +2 circumstance bonus on Fortitude saves and Survival checks made against the effects of stormy or cold weather.

Robe, Armored (Medium Armor): This mundane-looking garment appears as the typical robe worn by a wizard, priest or other scholar. Small, metal plates and thick leather padding sewn into the inner side of the robe provide protection without drawing undue attention to the wearer. Unfortunately, armored robes are both bulky and heavy, limited the wearer’s agility and speed.

Robe, Battle (Medium Armor): Another garment for battle-minded wizards, the elven version of the armored robe is not designed for stealth, but for the protection of a war wizard. Resilient fabric made from gossamer thread intertwines with mithril wire and small, iron plates, providing very good protection with few obstacles for spellcasting. There are versions of battle robes tailored as dresses and gowns, worn by elf ladies who go into battle as part of their noble duties.

Robe of Yew Leaves (Light Armor): Druids have long fashioned their own armor from the bounties of nature. This unique set of armor is no exception. Fashioned from the treated leaves of the yew tree and reinforced with thin strips of tanned leather, this armor is both functional and often quite beautiful.

Shadesuit, Armored (Light Armor): The armored shadesuit is, like the armored bodysuit, merely an armored version of the base item. The material of the armored shadesuit is leather, granting the wearer a +1 bonus to armor class. The armored shadesuit may be worn beneath other armor.

Skirt, Mithril (Light Armor): This skirt of interlocking mithril rings straps to the wearer’s waist and reaches no lower than the knees, giving additional protection to any armor worn. It fits easily over any armor except full plate and, though it adds weight to the character, it does not interfere with spellcasting. A mithril skirt gives a +1 armor bonus to a mount’s AC.

Wizard’s Armor (Heavy, Light, or Medium Armor): An enhancement that may be added to an existing type of armor rather than a class of protective gear of its own, wizard’s armor is created by taking a typical armor design and modifying it to allow for greater freedom of movement. An existing suit of armor may not be modified in this manner. Instead, wizard’s armor must be created from scratch. To calculate the cost and effectiveness of wizard’s armor, select a base armor type, such as chainmail, and determine the cost and characteristics of a masterwork version. Then, increase the cost by 200 gp, decrease its armor bonus by 2, drop its weight by 5 pounds and reduce its arcane spell failure by 10%. A suit of wizard’s armor is considered to be the same armor type as its original armor. For example, wizard’s chainmail counts as medium armor.

Wizard's Work

Item Cost Weight
Balance, small golden 10 gp
Balance and Weights    
     Small measures 50 gp 50 lb.
     Large measures 150 gp 400 lb.
Barrister Case 250 gp 15 lb.
Beaker 3 gp
Book, False 30 gp 2 lb.
Brazier 15 gp 3 lb.
Case, map or scroll 1 gp 1/2 lb.
Component Ring 20 gp
Decanter, ceramic 6 cp 1 lb.
Decanter, silver 4 gp 1 lb.
Diamond Dust 100 gp
Familiar Carrier (iron)    
     Diminutive 15 gp 18 lb.
     Fine 8 gp 8 lb.
     Medium 120 gp 200 lb.
     Small 60 gp 90 lb.
     Tiny 30 gp 40 lb.
Familiar Pack] (small familiars) 90 gp 4 lb.
Familiar Pack, plated (small familiars) 150 gp 10 lb.
Funnel 4 sp
Hourglass 25 gp 1 lb.
Incense, common 5 gp 1 lb.
Incense, exotic 15 gp 1 lb.
Leeches, per jar 10 gp 1 lb.
Lens, concave/convex 5 gp
Magnet, small 10 gp 1 lb.
Magnifying glass 100 gp
Marbles 2 sp 2 lb.
Mirror, small steel 10 gp 1/2 lb.
Pestle and Mortar 5 gp 1 lb.
Portable Writing Desk 30 gp 8 lb.
Prism 10 gp
Scale, merchant's 2 gp 1 lb.
Scrollcase, Leather 1 gp 1/2 lb.
Scrollcase, Watertight 5 gp 1/2 lb.
Scroll organizer 5 gp 1/2 lb.
Scroll Dispenser 150 gp 2 lb.
Spell component pouch 5 gp 2 lb.
Spellbook, blank 15 gp 3 lb.
Surgeon's Kit 65 gp 2 lb.
Tongs 4 sp 1 lb.
Tubing, glass (per foot) 3 sp 1/10 lb.
Tweezers 5 sp
Walking Staff, Ash (carved) 8 gp 2 lb.
Waterclock 1,000 gp 200 lb.

Spell Components

Spell Component Cost
Bar, Alum 3 gp
Bar, Flint 4 cp
Bar, Magnet 2 sp
Bar, Silver 5 gp
Bead, Crystal 2 cp
Bead, Glass 1 cp
Bell, Crystal 18 gp
Bell, Tiny 4 cp
Bitumen, Vial 2 cp
Blade, Iron 3 sp
Blood, Human 4 sp
Blood, Umber Hulk 22 gp
Bone, Small 2 cp
Bone, Undead Creature 3 gp
Brackish Water, Vial 2 cp
Chain, Silver 12 gp
Cloth, Ghoulfs 6 gp
Coal 1 cp
Cocoon 4 cp
Cone, Crystal 3 gp
Cone, Glass 1 gp
Cord, Silk 2 gp
Cotton Cloth Square 2 cp
Dung, Bat 4 cp
Dung, Bull 2 cp
Egg, Rotten 1 cp
Essence, Will-of-wisp 60 gp
Eye, Umber Hulk 75 gp
Eyelash, Basilisk 100 gp
Eyelash, Human 1 cp
Eyelash, Ki-Rin 37 gp
Eyelash, Ogre Mage 26 gp
Feather, Exotic Bird 8 gp
Feather, Hummingbird 1 gp
Feather, White 6 cp
Fur, Bat 2 sp
Fur, Bloodhound 2 cp
Fur, Bull 5 cp
Fur, Cat 2 cp
Fur, Fleece 3 cp
Fur, Horse 2 cp
Fur, Wool 2 cp
Gauze 7 cp
Glass Eye 6 gp
Glove, Heavy Cloth 8 sp
Glove, Leather 1 gp
Glove, Snakeskin 2 gp
Glove, Soft Cloth 7 sp
Gum Arabic 3 sp
Heart, Chicken 3 sp
Hemisphere, Crystal 2 sp
Hide, Chameleon 8 sp
Honey, Vial 6 cp
Honeycomb 2 cp
Horn, Small 6 sp
Incense 1 gp
Ink, Lead-Based 50 gp
Insect, Cricket 2 cp
Insect, Fire fly 4 cp
Insect, Fly 1 cp
Insect, Glowworm 3 cp
Insect, Grasshopper 2 cp
Insect, Spider 3 cp
Iron from Iron Golem 4 gp
Key, Brass 1 sp
Leaf, Ivy 2 cp
Leaf, Skunk Cabbage 1 sp
Leather Bellows, Tiny 2 gp
Leather Strip, Displacer 8 gp
Leather, Arm Thong 3 sp
Leather, Cured 1 sp
Lens, Glass 30 gp
Lens, Ruby 1,650 gp
Lens, Sapphire 1,500 gp
Lodestone 2 gp
Loop, Small Golden 3 gp
Marble, Crystal 1 gp
Marble, Polished 4 sp
Miniature Cloak 3 gp
Miniature Musical Instrument 12 gp
Miniature Sword, Platinum 250 gp
Molasses, Vial 6 cp
Mushroom Spores 3 cp
Petal, Rose 1 cp
Phosphorescent Moss 1 sp
Pin, Silver 2 sp
Plaque, Ivory 50 gp
Pork Rind 2 cp
Pot, Clay 3 cp
Powder, Amber 10 gp
Powder, Animal Hoof 2 cp
Powder, Black Pear l500 gp
Powder, Brimstone 8 cp
Powder, Carbon 4 cp
Powder, Carrot 1 cp
Powder, Charcoal 2 cp
Powder, Coloured Sand 4 cp
Powder, Corn Extract 4 cp
Powder, Crystal 15 gp
Powder, Diamond 200 gp
Powder, Dirt from Ghoul 3 gp
Powder, Dry Tinder 1 cp
Powder, Dust 1 cp
Powder, Garlic 2 cp
Powder, Gold 25 gp
Powder, Granite 2 cp
Powder, Grave Dirt 1 sp
Powder, Herring Scales 1 gp
Powder, Iron 2 cp
Powder, Jade 250
Powder, Lime 2 cp
Powder, Mica 1 gp
Powder, Peas 1 cp
Powder, Phosphorous 1 gp
Powder, Rhubarb Leaf 3 cp
Powder, Ruby 50 gp
Powder, Salt 1 cp
Powder, Sand 1 cp
Powder, Silver 5 gp
Powder, Soot 1 cp
Powder, Sulphur 4 sp
Powder, Talc 1 gp
Prism, Crystal 8 sp
Prism, Mineral 1 gp
Quartz 8 sp
Quicksilver (vial) 10
Reed 2 cp
Rod, Amber 8 gp
Rod, Crystal 2 gp
Rod, Glass 8 sp
Rod, Iron 2 cp
Rod, Iron Pyrite 3 cp
Rod, Phosphorescent 6 gp
Rod, Silver 1 gp
Root, Liquorice 3 sp
Sheet, Iron 2 sp
Shell, Egg 1 cp
Shell, Nut 1 cp
Shell, Tortoise 1 gp
Shell, Turtle 15 cp
Silk Square 7 sp
Snake Scale 2 cp
Sphere, Clay 2 cp
Sphere, Crystal 3 sp
Sphere, Glass 1 sp
Spider Web 1 sp
Sponge 3 sp
Spoon, Silver 4 sp
Statuette, Ivory 4 gp
Statuette, Jade Lair 25 gp
Statuette, Wax 1 gp
Statuette, Wood 1 gp
Stomach, Adder 3 gp
String 1 cp
Strip, Ivory 7 sp
Sunstone 5 gp
Sweat, Barbarianfs 5 sp
Sweet Oil (vial) 1 sp
Tallow 4 cp
Tentacle, Giant Octopus 28 sp
Tentacle, Giant Squid 32 sp
Tongue, Snake 5 sp
Vinegar (vial) 3 cp
Wax 1 cp
Whistle, Silver 6 sp
Whitewash (vial) 2 sp
Wire, Copper 2 cp
Wire, Copper 2 cp
Wire, Gold 2 gp
Wire, Silver 2 sp