10 Remarkable Wands

One-dimensional, unremarkable treasure is boring. Adding interesting descriptions to treasure adds depth, detail and verisimilitude to the GM’s campaign.

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

By William McAusland (Outland Arts)

 

Of course, a GM doesn’t have time to slavishly detail every piece of treasure in his campaign. That’s where the list below comes in handy.

The GM can use these descriptions to bring to life the wand wrenched from the corpse of a defeated foe, as a wizard PC’s bonded item or as a gift from a grateful patron or master. However they are used, the descriptions below are inherently more interesting that, “It’s a wand.”

Use the table below, to determine the wand’s appearance or pick a description from the list that best suits the wand’s powers. For example, a wand of fireball is a particularly good match for #1.

  1. This two-foot long length of scorched oak is burnt almost to charcoal at its tip. It yet feels warm to the touch.
  2. Of plain, unadorned iron this short but heavy wand has a large violet crystal set at its tip. Strange shadows move sluggishly within the crystal.
  3. Intricate carvings of geometric shapes and esoteric glyphs decorate this long, slender wand of willow. Picked out with pigments of many hues the glyphs and shapes stand in stark relief to the plain white wood.
  4. Holes of various sizes pierce this oaken wand. (The wand weighs only half as much as normal). Several red strings and a single length of faded yellow twine are woven through the holes.
  5. Although it appears to be rotten almost to the point of collapse this wand is as tough as iron. The faint smell of mould hangs in the surrounding air. When the wand’s powers are called forth, the wand’s already dark hue deepens noticeably and small pieces of wood flake away.
  6. Made of cast iron, this long wand has been polished to a high sheen. Tapered to a wicked point at one end, it could easily be used as a weapon in extremis.
  7. This iron wand comprises four strands of metal braided together in a style reminiscent to rope. At one end, the four strands come together to create a basket of sorts, which contains a lump of mottled grey granite.
  8. Carved from the leg bone of some undoubtably vicious (and certainly large) beast this wand is obviously old. Yellowed by age and use, the bone is brittle.
  9. Wrapped with strips of multi-coloured silk this wand is of obvious exotic artifice. Crafted from some sort of tremendously light wood it is easy to wield.
  10. Crafted from a magically preserved icicle about the length of a man’s forearm, this wand does not melt no matter how hot the surroundings become. Cold radiates from the wand and it shimmers and gleams in the light.

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10 thoughts on “10 Remarkable Wands

  1. Palavirea, the Burning Green

    Palavirea is an 18″ long piece of fire maple (something like sugar maple in eastern Canada, but the leaves are almost always red, even when not burning), very pale gold in color and always warm to the touch. There are seven ‘buds’ on the wand, one large one on the end and six more spaced irregularly along and around the wand. When fully charged, each bud is replaced by an emerald. As charges are consumed, the buds unfurl into red leaves and then dissolve into smoke.

    The fireballs produced are a brilliant green color (a little darker and richer than this Green Fire) and smell of burned maple syrup. A sticky residue is left behind that smells much the same and might taste sweet if it weren’t burned.

    This is a fairly simple device. Fully-charged it has six charges (10d6 fireball, following the normal rules), plus one charge of a 20d6 delayed blast fireball (the largest emerald, on the end).

    An individual bud may also be removed and used as a 10d6 delayed blast fireball (including being set to go off after a certain amount of time up to five rounds, or thrown over a wall).

    There is a limited ability to recharge this wand. A smaller bud that has been used can be replaced by holding an emerald worth 500gp or more to the now-empty bud location for one minute, at which point the wand will incorporate the new bud. One day after this has been done, the bud will be empowered and usable as a charge. The largest emerald cannot be so replaced, and once the largest emerald has been used the wand is still usable, but the other charges can no longer be replaced. [‘limited ability to recharge’ will change; as long as there is at least one charge left you can recharge the discharged spells by replacing the associated emerald, including the big one, but I need to work out the cost –kjd]

    • Recharge paragraph replacement:

      There is a limited ability to recharge this wand. A smaller bud that has been used can be replaced by holding an emerald worth 500gp or more to the now-empty bud location for one minute, at which point the wand will incorporate the new bud. One day after this has been done, the bud will be empowered and usable as a charge. The largest bud can also be replaced, but requires a 2,500 gp emerald and one week for the charge to take. The wand can only be recharged as long as there is at least one charge (of either kind) remaining; if all charges are spent the wand can no longer be recharged.