|2 people marked this as a favorite.|
I wonder if staves and wands are more boring now because they have been made almost entirely into spell-trigger items. It's a spell-gun with charges and (with rare exceptions) that's all it does.
Back in 1st/2nd ed, staves and wands often did things that spells could not, or had extra functions besides just a spell effect.
This is why I prefer 1st/2nd ed magic items.
Was updating the Dungeon module "The Pit" (issue 17, excellent mod) from 1st ed to 2nd ed for a mini-tournament I'm running this weekend. Was looking at the loot in the dungeon and equipping the premade characters with magic items. In doing so I revisited a ton of 1st ed/2nd ed items and was looking at the Wand of Fire (as an example) - It was a very cool mid level utility (for combat) item!
The counting of 1s as 2s for the fireball effect, the fixed damage for the Burning Hands, fixed rounds without the need for required concentration for the Wall of Fire effect, different IN speeds for different spell uses, etc. It felt like a magic wand, not something the exactly replicated an ability my wizard could already do.
The small quirky features and deviations from listed spells made those items feel special and not just a spell multiplier (3rd ed). Same goes with potions. Same goes with everything actually.
I think magic items should be similar to existing spells, but I think they should also get a detailed entry with some small variations, perks, drawbacks or limitations that make them distinct from listed spells.