Sean K. Reynolds with some more excellent thoughts on game design! Read it!
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 a wand of enemy detection, magic detection, or 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 101–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 are wands limited to a small set of specific abilities, they could hold any useful spell.
2) Wands are the most efficient way to purchase charges (a potion…
View original post 1,028 more words