1d6 Charge Wands


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


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5e introduced a change over the 3.x wands in that rather than 50 charges wands have a very small number of charges (1d6+1 per day, i believe) that refresh each day. What do pathfinder folks think of adapting this to Pathfinder over the 50-charges-and-then-it's-useless model?

Sovereign Court

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The 3.5 Eberron setting did introduce eternal wands, which were a 2-charge-per-day version of this idea.

I do kinda like the forever-useful aspect, as well as the unpredictable nature of "will it work, or am I out of charges for today?" ^_^


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I would honestly love this more for staves, gain 1d6+1 (or 1d4+1 or whatever) charges of the lowest level daily. Instead of having to manually recharge with 1 slot per day. It would allow users to still recharge higher spells for expended slots, but at a reasonably useful rate for their exorbitant cost.

And it would also mean users wouldn't be afraid to USE staves more often. Which has all kinds of other caster benefits, which in turn benefit the party (fewer 15 minute adventuring days, less 10 day downtime vacations, a reason to pick up craft Staff).

Wands are pretty cheap, costs would have to increase to balance this feature. And I really like knowing the spell will be there for the user (they are after all UMD item of choice for non-Slotted classes who are generally more gold dependent than castors).
I also Kind of like the idea of expended wands all over Golaron like empty shell casings (Or a Tediore gun from borderlands 2).


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Now I'm imagining Reaper from Overwatch tossing wands around, then pulling more out of his coat.


Personally, I would not like this. I like being able to use a fully charged wand as many times as I want in a single encounter is great, for a caster basically infinite actions is huge, yes once they are gone they are gone, but the wand is useful because it has perhaps 50 charges. Think about a wand of clw and healing a party at high levels, your wand has say 3 charges, yay! Or it has 50, you use them all, and buy a new one, like the responsible little adventurer you are.


All I can say is that Pathfinder actually sort of has an option for a mechanic like this: Mythic Craft Wand. It lets you craft wands with 3 uses/day (which admittedly is a bit low compared to 1d6+1/day but still.) While I would mostly argue against including Mythic rules in non-Mythic games, I think that allowing that option to be available as a part of Craft Wands wouldn't be too bad.


Hogeyhead wrote:
Personally, I would not like this. I like being able to use a fully charged wand as many times as I want in a single encounter is great, for a caster basically infinite actions is huge, yes once they are gone they are gone, but the wand is useful because it has perhaps 50 charges. Think about a wand of clw and healing a party at high levels, your wand has say 3 charges, yay! Or it has 50, you use them all, and buy a new one, like the responsible little adventurer you are.

Or you buy the new one, now you have 6 charges per day.


Darigaaz the Igniter wrote:
Hogeyhead wrote:
Personally, I would not like this. I like being able to use a fully charged wand as many times as I want in a single encounter is great, for a caster basically infinite actions is huge, yes once they are gone they are gone, but the wand is useful because it has perhaps 50 charges. Think about a wand of clw and healing a party at high levels, your wand has say 3 charges, yay! Or it has 50, you use them all, and buy a new one, like the responsible little adventurer you are.
Or you buy the new one, now you have 6 charges per day.

Or as few as 2, you would need to buy a whole bunch to reliably heal a party at high levels, you might as well craft a wondrous item that just casts cure light wounds at will, and it would be likely cheaper.

Same goes with a spamming spell, if I want to cast it say every round (which isn't that uncommon) of a combat, I would need about 5 wands in this format.

There are some spells that would benefit from 2-7 uses per day, like obscuring mist, but at that point save some money and buy a scroll with 3 uses for 75 gp.


I'm unfamiliar with 5e, but I personally would assume that the reason wands are limited this way is because gear isn't supposed to be as big a chunk of character power as it is in 3e/PF. You don't *need* a 50-shot wand; it's for emergencies, not 'I don't feel like casting a spell'.


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It might also be because they're trying to preserve the attrition effect, the idea that you have to conserve daily resources and can only fight a few battles per day. When wands don't have daily limits, four encounters in a day may not be enough to challenge the PCs.


Zhayne wrote:
I'm unfamiliar with 5e, but I personally would assume that the reason wands are limited this way is because gear isn't supposed to be as big a chunk of character power as it is in 3e/PF. You don't *need* a 50-shot wand; it's for emergencies, not 'I don't feel like casting a spell'.

If you mean in 5e you don't need a fifty shot wand, I couldn't say; I've never played. If you mean in Pathfinder you don't need a fifty shot wand, well no you don't. But beyond basic +1 magic weapons you don't need magic items. They just help.

A fifty shot wand is something to rely on, a one shot potion or scroll is for emergencies. Think about it, lets say you have say, 5 wands. They are cheap, so why not? Do you really thing though the course of a whole 1-20 campaign on slow progression there will be 250 emergencies?

Wands are not meant for emergencies Staffs, perhaps, wands no.

If as I said you meant 5e then you can safely ignore this post.


I feel like a 1d6/day wand is going to hurt lower level players.

Specifically a wand of cure light wounds costs 750gp. This wand will likely get an entire party to level 5 or so with it's out-of-combat healing. It's a good investment for a party, so they can get it fairly early and it means nobody has to play the "heal-bot".

With 1d6/day that wand will last them all the way till level 20, but some days they just won't have the healing. At low levels this could be the difference between a TPK and a healthy happy party ... or more likely the difference between your party following the plot hook you made for them, or deciding to head back to the inn for the night (It's not like that werewolf is going anywhere right?)

At higher levels people can afford enough wands that it won't matter, or have other means of healing/etc. but at low levels you want that wand to do it's thing.

Staves are a different matter, they're high level anyway. I think going 1d6 charges per day would make them more desirable even if they do end up slightly weaker, so it'd be worth looking at there.


This change is 100% intended to force players to rest more - it's not meant to make the game smoother so much as clunkier. Easy/Smooth =/= good.


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It would take about 12 'adventuring days' of fully using a multi-use wand as you describe to get to around 50 charges. That is probably about 3 levels worth of advancement. Most 'in combat' wands would end up being obsolete by that point, (the actions are no longer worth spending compared to other options) but a few, something like enlarge person might remain relevant and start to be a good deal.

Most healing, as others have said, will end up requiring purchased of more and more wands I high level party can burn through a couple CLW wands in a day pretty easy, having the same capacity for healing would require carrying dozens of these wands, and while it might eventually pay off, it still takes the same 12 'adventuring days' for a single replenishing wand to start paying for itself.

That said, there are some advantages here. One is that a wand could be resold for full price, which would be pretty nice. Many people also emotionally better spending a resource that will return even if the total cost of ownership isn't mathematically in their favor, so many of your players are likely to like it.

Also, long term 'prebuffs' will generally be a pretty good deal. If you have 1d6+1 charges of mage armor a day, every day you can pretty much always have it on without worry, especially if you spend just enough to get the duration up to 2-3 hours a pop.

All in all I don't think it would ruin the game, but it would change it some. I might consider a sliding scale of charges based on duration, with shorter ones getting more, so 1 hour/level might get 1d4+1 , 10m/level 1d6+1, min/lvl 1d8+1 and rnd/lvl and instant 1d10+1. That would probably average out closer to actual use value compared to current wands.


Why would you want a system that promotes resting more? Players resting too quickly is already one of the bigger complaints people have, since it takes away the most common balancing force against casters (limited spell slots.)


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Shinigami02 wrote:
Why would you want a system that promotes resting more? Players resting too quickly is already one of the bigger complaints people have, since it takes away the most common balancing force against casters (limited spell slots.)

I tend to run a lot of dungeon crawls and time sensitive adventures - i give my players reasons they DON'T want to rest.


Like I said, I think in 5e, gear is intended to be a smaller percentage of the 'character pie'.


Shinigami02 wrote:
Why would you want a system that promotes resting more? Players resting too quickly is already one of the bigger complaints people have, since it takes away the most common balancing force against casters (limited spell slots.)

It promotes resting more by increasing that balancing force on casters (limited daily spell slots). Pathfinder has unlimited-daily-use wands, which reduces the balancing force against casters.

But you need some story-incentive not to rest after every battle or it doesn't matter either way.


5e does not encourage that much resting, since there can be only one long rest per 24 hrs, and so many abilities (and hit points) depend on long rests for renewal, short rests are of much less interest... unless you're a warlock and systematically use your few spell slots in a fight (though in my experience, depending on circumstances and known spells, their being used up in every fight is far from systematic)


Filthy Lucre wrote:
Shinigami02 wrote:
Why would you want a system that promotes resting more? Players resting too quickly is already one of the bigger complaints people have, since it takes away the most common balancing force against casters (limited spell slots.)
I tend to run a lot of dungeon crawls and time sensitive adventures - i give my players reasons they DON'T want to rest.

There is already a very strong incentive mechanically to rest very frequently, and they way wands exist right now allow a party to deal with emergencies and low impact fights easier. It sounds like the low impact fights aren't an issue, but rather your players are in a constant state of emergency. Instead of gimping your players ability to respond to your narrative, maybe modifying your narrative away from code-red-at-all-times would be a better way to get your players to rest more.

If your players are in such an emergency mode that they are relying on wands to the point that it's actually somehow a problem, and you take away wands (which is more or less what you propose), and don't decrease the level of emergency, they won't rest more, they will fail.

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