Wands... Who Can Use Them?


Rules Questions


Excluding the Use Magic Devise skill, who can use a wand of cure light wounds & magic missile? In Pathfinder rules Wands are described as a spell trigger device, which our gaming group has assumed it needs a spell caster to activate. However we can't find the page number and as it stands we have a home rule that if it's not in your spell list you can't use the wand of (insert spell).

Ex. Could a 10th Level Wizard use a Wand of Cure Light Wounds?
Ex. Could a 10th Level Cleric use a Wand of Magic Missile?

Do you have to have the spell in your list to use the wand?
Do you have to be either an Arcane or Divine caster?

Please site the page or official ruling.

This is a point of contention for my group, half agree & half don't. We could use some help.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Check out the entry about spell trigger items here in the PRD:

PRD wrote:
Spell Trigger: Spell trigger activation is similar to spell completion, but it's even simpler. No gestures or spell finishing is needed, just a special knowledge of spellcasting that an appropriate character would know, and a single word that must be spoken. Spell trigger items can be used by anyone whose class can cast the corresponding spell. This is the case even for a character who can't actually cast spells, such as a 3rd-level paladin. The user must still determine what spell is stored in the item before she can activate it. Activating a spell trigger item is a standard action and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.


Yar!

Spell trigger is defined (as quoted above) in the CoreRulebok on page 458.

It is also defined HERE as well as at the above link.

^_^

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So long as you can hit a DC 20 Use Magic Device check you can use any wand you have as well. Anybody can put ranks in UMD for a 50/50 chance at success with a wand 5 will do, and for only 2,500gp you can get an item made that gives you a +5 bonus to that check as well.

Grand Lodge

So, by the definition of spell trigger, a delayed-casting class, such as paladin, can use a wand of CLW at 1st level without relying on UMD even though he does not YET have a caster level?

If that is true, then can a 1st level wizard use a wand of stoneskin without using UMD even though his caster level is too low to cast that spell

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TwilightKnight wrote:

So, by the definition of spell trigger, a delayed-casting class, such as paladin, can use a wand of CLW at 1st level without relying on UMD even though he does not YET have a caster level?

If that is true, then can a 1st level wizard use a wand of stoneskin without using UMD even though his caster level is too low to cast that spell

Yes.

Dark Archive Bella Sara Charter Superscriber

TwilightKnight wrote:

So, by the definition of spell trigger, a delayed-casting class, such as paladin, can use a wand of CLW at 1st level without relying on UMD even though he does not YET have a caster level?

If that is true, then can a 1st level wizard use a wand of stoneskin without using UMD even though his caster level is too low to cast that spell

Yes, but I think wands are capped at...3rd level spells? So, no stoneskin wand. A popular trick though is to have a ranger use a clw wand before they gain their spells.

Grand Lodge

Ross Byers wrote:
Yes.

Excellent. My 2nd level paladin is much happier about his survivability.


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Sebastian wrote:
Yes, but I think wands are capped at...3rd level spells? So, no stoneskin wand. A popular trick though is to have a ranger use a clw wand before they gain their spells.

From D20PFSRD:

A wand is a thin baton that contains a single spell of 4th level or lower.


Most of the answers are well covered above: you don't need a caster level to use a wand, just to have it on your class spell list.

Thus a 10th level cleric cannot use a wand of magic missile, and a 10th level wizard cannot use a wand of cure light wounds. A wand of hold person is usable by either, regardless of who crafted it (2nd level for cleric, 3rd for wizard).

Also a cleric with the Fire domain could use a wand of fireball.


Majuba wrote:

Most of the answers are well covered above: you don't need a caster level to use a wand, just to have it on your class spell list.

Thus a 10th level cleric cannot use a wand of magic missile, and a 10th level wizard cannot use a wand of cure light wounds. A wand of hold person is usable by either, regardless of who crafted it (2nd level for cleric, 3rd for wizard).

Also a cleric with the Fire domain could use a wand of fireball.

and a cleric 1/wizard 1 can use just about any wand in the game.


Charender wrote:
Majuba wrote:

Most of the answers are well covered above: you don't need a caster level to use a wand, just to have it on your class spell list.

Thus a 10th level cleric cannot use a wand of magic missile, and a 10th level wizard cannot use a wand of cure light wounds. A wand of hold person is usable by either, regardless of who crafted it (2nd level for cleric, 3rd for wizard).

Also a cleric with the Fire domain could use a wand of fireball.

and a cleric 1/wizard 1 can use just about any wand in the game.

and so could a cleric 1/wizard 1/x class of x level if you don't mind the exp penalty. which might be worth it lol

Scarab Sages

Robert Young wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
Yes, but I think wands are capped at...3rd level spells? So, no stoneskin wand. A popular trick though is to have a ranger use a clw wand before they gain their spells.

From D20PFSRD:

A wand is a thin baton that contains a single spell of 4th level or lower.

What's the difference between a wand and a staff that has only one spell in it that would use up one charge per casting? Either in cost or in use? As I see it, you could have a wand with a spell up to 9th level -- ok so technically it may be called a staff, but it could be a staff sized for Yoda.


The main difference between a wand and staff of one spell is the feat needed to create the item.


Also note that the caster level of a wand is locked in, while if you use a staff you can use your own caster level and abilities for greater effect. And a staff might use any number of charges for its spell and can be recharged.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
RunebladeX wrote:
and so could a cleric 1/wizard 1/x class of x level if you don't mind the exp penalty. which might be worth it lol

XP penalties are so 3rd edition. ;-)

Just a reminder, Pathfinder does not have a multiclass XP penalty like the previous editions (you just don't get the awesome +1 SP or HP).

Scarab Sages

Three questions:

Why is the DC for activating a wand set at a flat 20?
It's been that way since 3.0, but I've never seen an explanation.
Surely a wand of a level 4 spell should be harder to control than one with a level 1 spell, just like scrolls?

What happens when using a wand, when two or more criteria aren't met? Do you:-

a) roll once, and apply that result simultaneously to all target DCs?
b) roll separately to beat each DC in turn?
This matters when PCs have Action Points or other re-rolls, or can apply a stat/skill bonus x/day.
In some cases (eg low-level wands), it makes a missing pre-requisite a non-issue, eg, any roll to match a min casting stat (even for a cantrip) automatically beats the DC to use a wand by default.
I believe b) is the intent, but if so, needs spelling out.
The wording for scrolls specifies that a separate roll is required to emulate the minimum ability score. Why would this be different with wands?

What happened to caster level checks, to cast spells of levels higher than you can normally cast?
Under these rules, there is nothing stopping a level 1 PC using a scroll of a level 9 wizard spell. As long as he has Int 19 (easy enough, given the default PC generation), no roll appears to be required.
Is this intended?


Snorter wrote:

Three questions:

Why is the DC for activating a wand set at a flat 20?
It's been that way since 3.0, but I've never seen an explanation.

Because you only need to emulate having the spell on your classes spell list. With scrolls, you have to emulate having the spell AND having a higher enough caster level to cast the spell. A level 1 wizard can use a wand of ice storm. A level 1 wizard cannot use a scroll of ice storm.

Snorter wrote:


Surely a wand of a level 4 spell should be harder to control than one with a level 1 spell, just like scrolls?

Nope, a wand casts the spell for you, you just have to trigger it. With a scroll, you actually have to read the entire spell, and "finish" casting it. That is the difference between spell trigger(wands and staves) and spell completion(scrolls).

Snorter wrote:


What happens when using a wand, when two or more criteria aren't met? Do you:-

a) roll once, and apply that result simultaneously to all target DCs?
b) roll separately to beat each DC in turn?
This matters when PCs have Action Points or other re-rolls, or can apply a stat/skill bonus x/day.
In some cases (eg low-level wands), it makes a missing pre-requisite a non-issue, eg, any roll to match a min casting stat (even for a cantrip) automatically beats the DC to use a wand by default.
I believe b) is the intent, but if so, needs spelling out.
The wording for scrolls specifies that a separate roll is required to emulate the minimum ability score. Why would this be different with wands?

The only requirement to use a wand is to have the spell on your classes spell list. You don't have to need the emulate a high enough caster level or casting stat.

Snorter wrote:


What happened to caster level checks, to cast spells of levels higher than you can normally cast?
Under these rules, there is nothing stopping a level 1 PC using a scroll of a level 9 wizard spell. As long as he has Int 19 (easy enough, given the default PC generation), no roll appears to be required.
Is this intended?

Yes and no.

For you casting stat, you need to have 10 + spell level, no 10 + caster level.
To use a scroll, you have to be high enough level to actually cast the spell, so to use a fireball scroll, you must be at least a level 5 wizard. The scroll can be from a level 5 caster to a level 20 caster, it doesn't matter as long as you are high enough level to cast that spell.
If a level 9 wizard scribes a level 1 spell, then yes a level 1 wizard can use it, but you have to remember than the cost of a scroll is based on spell level times caster level, so that scroll will be 9 times more expensive than a level 1 scroll of the same spell. So the increased benefit comes at the cost of more money spent on the item.

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Moff Rimmer wrote:
Robert Young wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
Yes, but I think wands are capped at...3rd level spells? So, no stoneskin wand. A popular trick though is to have a ranger use a clw wand before they gain their spells.

From D20PFSRD:

A wand is a thin baton that contains a single spell of 4th level or lower.
What's the difference between a wand and a staff that has only one spell in it that would use up one charge per casting? Either in cost or in use? As I see it, you could have a wand with a spell up to 9th level -- ok so technically it may be called a staff, but it could be a staff sized for Yoda.

In Pathfinder, Staves have 10 charges and can be recharged. Wands have 50 charges and cannot.


Ross Byers wrote:
Moff Rimmer wrote:
Robert Young wrote:
Sebastian wrote:
Yes, but I think wands are capped at...3rd level spells? So, no stoneskin wand. A popular trick though is to have a ranger use a clw wand before they gain their spells.

From D20PFSRD:

A wand is a thin baton that contains a single spell of 4th level or lower.
What's the difference between a wand and a staff that has only one spell in it that would use up one charge per casting? Either in cost or in use? As I see it, you could have a wand with a spell up to 9th level -- ok so technically it may be called a staff, but it could be a staff sized for Yoda.
In Pathfinder, Staves have 10 charges and can be recharged. Wands have 50 charges and cannot.

Also, wands are a fixed caster level. Staves use the staff caster level or the wielder's level whichever is higher.


Ross Byers wrote:
In Pathfinder, Staves have 10 charges and can be recharged. Wands have 50 charges and cannot.

Also:

PRD wrote:
Staves use the wielder's ability score and relevant feats to set the DC for saves against their spells. Unlike with other sorts of magic items, the wielder can use his caster level when activating the power of a staff if it's higher than the caster level of the staff.

Wands use just the caster level they were crafted with and the base DCs for effects from magic items (10 + spell level + minimum spellcasting modifier needed to cast the spell). Unlike staves, a wand can only have 4th level or lower spells.

Edit: ninja'd!


what if your using a word-caster then do they refer to their class list or their word list?


Wands are pretty awesome.
And with the UMD DC for activation a flat 20, easy to use as a non-caster. For anything beyond first level spells though they tend to be a rather significant investment. It had better be a spell you're going to cast all the time.


I'm fairly new to Pathfinder and I'm still a little confused on why a wizard is not able to use a Wand of CLW.

It is essentially a 1 use item. When the charges are gone then it's just a stick.

I would totally understand the situation where he would have to do a Use Magic Device check to make sure he's using it correctly, saying correct activation words, ect.

The item I don't understand is why is the Use Magic Device based on a Charisma check instead of a Intelligence or Wisdom check.

What does how well someone perceives/likes you have to do with knowing the intricacies of a device?

Any help would be appreciated.


Greetings!

Here's almost everything you really need to know about how wands work.

And here's everything to know about using magic items that you normally shouldn't be able to.

Wands are spell-trigger items. That means that if you have that spell on your spell list, even if you couldn't normally cast the spell, you can easily cast it from a wand. So a wizard can use a wand of fireball even if they aren't high enough level to cast fireball, but they can't use a wand of cure light wounds normally because cure light wounds is not on the wizard's spell list.

A character who is trained in the Use Magic Device skill, however, can attempt to activate magic items they normally could not. Use Magic Device is a Charisma-based skill because it models activating magic items through sheer force of will. Using the skill essentially involves "convincing" the item that you're allowed to use it when you really aren't. The skill doesn't care whether you're a wizard, a cleric, a fighter, or a bard, so your casting stat doesn't even come into play.

That said, if that model of fooling magic devices doesn't suit you, a character with the Pragmatic Activator trait can use Intelligence instead of Charisma when attempting to activate an off-class wand.

Hope this helps!


Sure does....

Thanks for the help

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