A Different Take on Wands in D&D/PF

Sean K. Reynolds with some more excellent thoughts on game design! Read it!

Sean K Reynolds

Part 1: The History of Wands in the Game

Wands and staves in Basic, Expert, 1E AD&D, and 2E AD&D were pretty similar: there were a few with detection effects (like aย wand of enemy detection,ย magic detection, orย metal detection), a few that were specific attack effects (fire, frost, or magic missiles), a few that were just weird (negation, wonder). In Basic they had 1d10 charges, in Expert they had 2d10, 1E AD&D they had 101โ€“d20, and in 2E they had 1d20+80.

In 3rd edition D&D (and Pathfinder), wands have 50 charges when fully charged, and they can hold any spell up to level 4. Which is a huge change:

1) No longer areย wands limited to a small set of specific abilities, they could hold any useful spell.

2) Wands areย the most efficient way to purchase charges (a potionโ€ฆ

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