Thoughts on Wands in 2E?


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I’m happy wands changed because I agree the 3.5/P1 wands were terrible fantasy, but I feel like with the new system we got the shaft (get it? Lel)

Am I reading this right: wands are basically 1 a day scrolls that only burn up, maybe, if you try to use them twice? That seems so ... lame.

I feel like there is a huge missed opportunity to mesh wand use with the Focus system, like whatever the wand spell is, if you use the wand, it’s considered a focus spell activated by focus. Plus the free use as is, and the overcharge. If that’s not a feat somewhere then it probably should be!

I feel like going from tapping people dozens of time to heal with a cute light wand is bad fantasy, but so is the idea that a wand can only work once maybe twice a day. I’m going to have PCs with bandoliers of utility wands smh


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm really happy about the way they're implemented, actually. While using a Focus point to enhance a wand's spell up to your Focus level would be interesting, it would be slightly overpowered since Focus spells are supposed to be weaker than normal spells.

The niche that wands occupy now as a reusable scroll makes them very attractive for casters, whereas in PF1 they were more for non-casters who happen to have UMD. Now wands offer in essence an extra spell slot. Scrolls are still better for spells you'll rarely use, but a spell you would be likely to use at a certain level every day is an ideal choice for a wand.

Along with Staves they fill the empty niche of the Pearl of Power, and in a manner that makes more sense, and is easy to introduce new players to.


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Specific use pearl of power is kinda what we got - but I wanded more (double lel)

I do agree as a focus item it would be more expensive, but maybe not as much as a staff which has versatility and a free highest level spell. Then again I want them to be pricier because I really dread the day my PC wizard unfurls his wiz-tool bag and it’s just a series of wands for all occasions.

Dark Archive

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I did not like them in the playtest and still don't. I was fine with how it was used in pf1. They where extra spells slots for a caster to extend what they could do each day but got used up. But I don't think the problem is Wands themselves but the nerfing of magic in general that made wands be so lackluster.

Edit: nerfing might not be the right word. But the design goals of this system for magic led to wands being designed badly IMO.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

I rather like D&D 5th edition wands, where a wand holds a specific spell, has X charges, casting the spell at the base level costs 1 charge, and the wand gets back (random roll averaging) about half its charges every day.

To do PF2 wands that way, and be balanced with the current system, I guess they would need to cost (current wand cost x half the max # of charges)?

5E wands also have an ability to Heighten the spell by paying more charges; that would need to be left out of the PF2 translation, because of how costs scale up. (Or else the wand would need to be priced based on the highest-level possible spell slot, and then it becomes prohibitive to use it for anything else...)


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Cintra Bristol wrote:

I rather like D&D 5th edition wands, where a wand holds a specific spell, has X charges, casting the spell at the base level costs 1 charge, and the wand gets back (random roll averaging) about half its charges every day.

To do PF2 wands that way, and be balanced with the current system, I guess they would need to cost (current wand cost x half the max # of charges)?

5E wands also have an ability to Heighten the spell by paying more charges; that would need to be left out of the PF2 translation, because of how costs scale up. (Or else the wand would need to be priced based on the highest-level possible spell slot, and then it becomes prohibitive to use it for anything else...)

This is the PF2 staves basically, you gain charges everyday to cast spells in the staff.

The difference is that prepared casters can spend a slot to increase the number of charges and spontaneous can use their spellslots to reduce the charge cost of the spell.


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Meh, I like how wands were implemented in PF2. One day use is used as a needed limit against, as others have mentioned, an extra spell slot, with the option of trying to use it one more time in desperate situations. Unlike in PF1, DC’s are dictated by the user, giving options past normal buff or healing wands of PF1, along with wands being able to contain above LV4 spells (—which actually gives a martial the ability to reliably, though limited way of casting high level spells through the ‘Trick Magic Item’ feat. Though you could get martials with bandoliers of wands as well.)

Over all, wands are like the illegitimate offspring of a scroll and a staff after a night of Binge drinking and poor life decisions. Taking a little bit from both, a wand help fill a niche between the two ‘parents’, in the overall role they play.


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I know I'm the minority on this issue, but I've generally disliked wands primarily being multi-use scrolls and still dislike it in PF2. Too much thematic overlap and generally just makes them better & more expensive scrolls.

As for the specialty wands, I dislike all of the ones which are "cast spell X, but better." The ones which can improve a type of spell are okay - but I kinda wish they were more like the old metamagic rods in that regard and modified spells of a certain type you casted rather than being limited to the single spell it was crafted with.

Also, off-topic since I mention the rods, but I hate the magical rods I saw while glancing at some of the items in 2E (Rod of Negation & Rod of Wonder). They recharge after 2d6 or 1d4 hours, which is possibly the worst form of tedious tracking for an individual magic item.


Pathfinder Adventure, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I think the change to wands works pretty well with what I imagined. I felt like the Playtest tried to go two ways with them and didn't succeed at either. Wands can now also cast up to 9th level spells. Having more than one charge on them would be way overpowering in my opinion.

Dark Archive

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Charon Onozuka wrote:

I know I'm the minority on this issue, but I've generally disliked wands primarily being multi-use scrolls and still dislike it in PF2. Too much thematic overlap and generally just makes them better & more expensive scrolls.

As for the specialty wands, I dislike all of the ones which are "cast spell X, but better." The ones which can improve a type of spell are okay - but I kinda wish they were more like the old metamagic rods in that regard and modified spells of a certain type you casted rather than being limited to the single spell it was crafted with.

I actually would not have minded if wands became meta magic wands would have been an interesting way to go with them.


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I like wands in 2e more than 1e, but I'm still kind of lukewarm on them. The overcharge mechanic seems a bit too punitive, since, are you really going to risk a magic item to 45% of the time be destroyed, just for a second cast per day of a spell? Because you can just buy a scroll for 1/15th-1/10th the price of a new wand.


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Overcharge is for things like teleport or plane shift where you might not live if you wait another day for it to recharge.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I really like how wands use the caster's DC now instead of an incredibly low base DC. Almost every single offensive wand was useless in PF1.


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I like durable wands, I'm not really a fan of the overcharge mechanic.

I would weirdly prefer for wands to be strictly single-use per day with no overcharge than with. It feels like an option that is so unattractive it will be ignored or forgotten by my group until someone doesn't remember they already used it and I have to remind them/make them destroy their wand.

Like, say, in 1e, when technically you could choose to cast defensively OR provoke an AoO when casting in melee. The former was such a better option, the latter virtually didnt exist except when someone forgot to say "I cast this spell defensively" and I had to choose between either saying "Are you sure you don't want to cast defensively?" and saying "Okay you provoke an attack *roll*"

Is it really worth having a choice if that choice is worthwhile in 1 case every 2 years of play and any other time is just a trap players get caught in when they dont remember a rule.


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I figure the current system has much more room for design space than "50 charges and it's in the bin". I have to imagine we will see things that make overcharging better down the line someday.

Liberty's Edge

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I personally love the new design. I wish there were General Feats to increase the casting limit before Overcharge by 1/day and maybe some Class Feats that do something similar but there is plenty of time and room down the road for this kind of implementation outside of the CRB.

I say bury the old Wands in the same grave as BAB and Leadership, then build a lead monument over the top before blessing the site and banishing the whole 3sq mile area to a pocket dimension.

Edit: Cabbage you ninja!


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PF2 still has wands of cure light wounds; we just call them Paladins now.

But i do like the new wands; they fill a fun design space.


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I think the old use for Wands just got relegated to Staves. I'm not 100% on the new use for wands, but I think the overhaul for Wands made them something useful now. Aside from the Cure Light Wounds + Protection from Evil + Identify + a few other weak spells that you might need to spam option, that is. Staves can take that spot with my blessing, now that they're more accessible.

So color me tentatively hopeful.

The Concordance

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Some Kind of Chymist wrote:

PF2 still has wands of cure light wounds; we just call them Paladins now.

But i do like the new wands; they fill a fun design space.

I'm sorry we call them Champions now


Huh. This thread made me want to go read up on wands more now. See if non casters can use it.
or if someone taking a dedication for cantrips in a spell school use it.

cause I know nothing about wands yet. but I like how it sounds so far. I've never used a wand in P1. if we dropped one, we always sold it because we ~never~ truly rememeber we have one.

Also I feel like with the way they made Wands (from what it sounds like here) they'll be able to make a Wand Prestige Class. Some weird thing that specializes in weird unique or cool wand methodologies.
Which is just a really neat visual. SOme sort of psedo caster, specializing in using magical wands and staves instead of actual spell casting.
Would make a good dedication/prestige idea for many classes who wanted a bit (or deep depending on how much they devoted)


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Personally the old wands felt more like drug syringes visually wise...

Yeah, it's the Big-D-ism, but still...


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Zwordsman wrote:
See if non casters can use it.

You will want the "Trick Magic Item" skill feat and an appropriate amount of training in Arcana, Nature, Occultism, or Religion. Bonus, with expert in one of those skills you can also cast rituals. Everyone's a caster now!


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I don't mind the idea of PF2 wands but I wouldn't mind having PF1 wands back either. In fact, I wouldn't mind wands that let you substitute the spell in the wand for one of your slot spells so you can cast the wand spell with our slots. So I'd rather there was lots of different kinds of wands vs any single type.

PS: PF2 wands are pretty much a repainted Eternal wands from eberron except those were 2 uses per day and they had no option to blow them up trying to overuse them.


I'm not a fan of the overcasting mechanic either. I'm not a huge fan of consumables so I loved the change to make wands reusable, but I don't really like tempting players into damaging themselves in the long term by losing a sizable investment. I feel similarly about shields potentially being not only broken but utterly destroyed - for something that's supposed to be taking damage, it feels a bit excessive to take an expensive magic shield away from a player forever because of a nasty crit.

I can see why that just breaking wands wouldn't be enough of a deterrent to not use overcharge since reparing only takes 10 minutes and costs nothing, but item loss is arguably worse than HP damage - you can heal HP damage out of combat like it never happened, after all.

I don't think overcharge will come up often, and I don't expect players who use it in situations that aren't already dire are going to be particularly popular with others. Pathfinder players tend to not like getting behind on WBL because someone keeps junking their stuff.


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I would prefer a wand a wizard would have in hand frequently. The whole "I have a tool for this," [takes out wand, casts, and puts wand away for the rest of the day] doesn't match anything I envision when thinking about a wand.

The wand could be associated with a single spell (say, magic missile) and the wizard could spontaneously burn some other spell to turn it into a magic missile of the same level as the burned slot. That would give the wizard more versatility because they wouldn't need to prepare magic missile anymore, so it's valuable enough to keep in hand, but they wouldn't actually get any additional spell slots with this variant. I wouldn't make them dedicate a slot to the wand during preparation.

I'd go a little further, though, and give the wizard +1 focus point if a focus spell (magic missile in this case) matches that of the wand. That's the +1 spell per day wands currently grant 1/encounter instead, but you can only get it if you match a wand to your focus. I like that it would encourage wizards to double down on what they are good at instead of preferring wands that do things they are not good at. The focus point is because I think wizards are kind of weak, though. If I thought they were as good as fighters, I would just give them the versatility without the extra focus point.


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I like the Staff much more than the Wand for "the thing the Wizard just carries around all day".


Thanks for the opinions! I will say I think the new staff rules look awesome. I’m apprehensive about wands, but it will still need to be playtested with my local group.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:


You will want the "Trick Magic Item" skill feat and an appropriate amount of training in Arcana, Nature, Occultism, or Religion. Bonus, with expert in one of those skills you can also cast rituals. Everyone's a caster now!

Neat! that c ould be pretty cool. I'll look that up.

Since we're alll talking about how wands work differnetly now...

What are some of the spells people would l ove to have on one of these new wands?


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Can't believe 28 replies and nobody's done this...:

Liegence wrote:
I feel like going from tapping people dozens of time to heal with a cute light wand is bad fantasy

I disagree. I think cute characters makes for good fantasy, even if the cute is light.


Zapp wrote:

Can't believe 28 replies and nobody's done this...:

Liegence wrote:
I feel like going from tapping people dozens of time to heal with a cute light wand is bad fantasy
I disagree. I think cute characters makes for good fantasy, even if the cute is light.

Fat fingers ;)


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
I like the Staff much more than the Wand for "the thing the Wizard just carries around all day".

The staff is one hand, half a dozen wands are in this holster opposite the free hand.


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Xenocrat wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I like the Staff much more than the Wand for "the thing the Wizard just carries around all day".
The staff is one hand, half a dozen wands are in this holster opposite the free hand.

Bandolier holds 8.


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graystone wrote:
Xenocrat wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:
I like the Staff much more than the Wand for "the thing the Wizard just carries around all day".
The staff is one hand, half a dozen wands are in this holster opposite the free hand.
Bandolier holds 8.

Quick draw wizard duels.

I've always liked the idea of a character that pulls out and uses wands/bombs/scrolls/devices/etc. a wizard with a bunch of wands fits that nicely. You, max out at 10 per day though if you don't wear any magic items [12 if you grab a feat and have a high charisma]


With the bandolier thing, I'm just imagining Unlimited Wand Works, like Mami Tomoe/Wolfwood's infinite single shot pistols, but with these tiny sticks shooting like, Acid Arrow or something. A wand is a GREAT thing for something like Mage Armor or Conceal Alignment, where it's a last whole day spell that you don't wanna burn a slot on preparing because why would you? I feel liking expending a Focus to make a wand not explode on a second casting actually sounds rather straightforward and useful, and gives it a flavorful feel/use. I would also like wands that function like 5e Ebberon's Imbued Wood staves, where you get an item bonus to dmg with a given damage type spell cast through it. Also, RAW you can't imbue prepared spells with a wand (like Smoldering Fireball Wand and Ezren's prepared FB slot) even though Mark said RAI you can, that's a fun typo :P


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Some Kind of Chymist wrote:


I've always liked the idea of a character that pulls out and uses wands/bombs/scrolls/devices/etc. a wizard with a bunch of wands fits that nicely. You, max out at 10 per day though if you don't wear any magic items [12 if you grab a feat and have a high charisma]

Good news, wands aren't invested, and would be much, much worse if they were.


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Yeah, wands kind of went from 'boring, but abusable' to just 'boring'.

Since 1st Edition (before really), we've seen much influential fantasy, esp. Harry Potter, that makes wands far more interesting. A personal item that a spell caster wants in their hand just as much as a warrior wants a sword. An expression of their personality and casting style.

Rules wise I don't know what that would mean off the top of my head that would be balanced, this is still a really new edition to most of us. Something like a, I dunno, wand of embers that grants bonuses with all fire spells and either adds 'Produce Flame' to your cantrip list or further improves it if you already had it something? Something more than a durable wooden scroll.

I really don't see myself ever going out of my way to buy or craft one with the current rules.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Uchuujin wrote:

Since 1st Edition (before really), we've seen much influential fantasy, esp. Harry Potter, that makes wands far more interesting. A personal item that a spell caster wants in their hand just as much as a warrior wants a sword. An expression of their personality and casting style.

How would you feel about a staff shaped like a wand?


nick1wasd wrote:
Also, RAW you can't imbue prepared spells with a wand (like Smoldering Fireball Wand and Ezren's prepared FB slot) even though Mark said RAI you can, that's a fun typo :P

Can you please elaborate what exactly this means I'm not sure I understand (Also a link or something to what mark said would be nice though I can probably look for it myself once I have more context.)

Dataphiles

The 2E wands work like something they had in 3.5's Eberron setting. They were 1/day spells on a stick that Artificers would use for crafting if they needed a casting of a specific spell. They were also good for adventuring parties.

It's not a new idea. The only thing really new is the ability to try and push them for an extra cast each day at the possibility of breaking them.


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I like the idea of a wizard carrying around a box full of wands shaped like wrenches and screwdrivers and hammers and whatnot and referring to it as the magic toolbox.

Also, I'm glad wands won't burn out under normal circumstances, that is something that always bugged me for reasons I can't place. I'd appreciate seeing some support for wands later, like a feat for wizards augmenting using wands as arcane bonds or something.


totoro wrote:

I would prefer a wand a wizard would have in hand frequently. The whole "I have a tool for this," [takes out wand, casts, and puts wand away for the rest of the day] doesn't match anything I envision when thinking about a wand.

The wand could be associated with a single spell (say, magic missile) and the wizard could spontaneously burn some other spell to turn it into a magic missile of the same level as the burned slot. That would give the wizard more versatility because they wouldn't need to prepare magic missile anymore, so it's valuable enough to keep in hand, but they wouldn't actually get any additional spell slots with this variant. I wouldn't make them dedicate a slot to the wand during preparation.

I'd go a little further, though, and give the wizard +1 focus point if a focus spell (magic missile in this case) matches that of the wand. That's the +1 spell per day wands currently grant 1/encounter instead, but you can only get it if you match a wand to your focus. I like that it would encourage wizards to double down on what they are good at instead of preferring wands that do things they are not good at. The focus point is because I think wizards are kind of weak, though. If I thought they were as good as fighters, I would just give them the versatility without the extra focus point.

The problem is that focus spells are weaker than normal spells, so it would immediately become optimal for wizards to get a powerful wand and sink all their focus into using it.


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Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I wonder if it's possible to upgrade a wand's level by paying the difference or something like that.


Yep. I want a wand prestige class archetype thingy. Open for martial or mage.


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Zwordsman wrote:
Yep. I want a wand prestige class archetype thingy. Open for martial or mage.

A wandslinger?


lordcirth wrote:
The problem is that focus spells are weaker than normal spells, so it would immediately become optimal for wizards to get a powerful wand and sink all their focus into using it.

What about instead of "get a second use, no explody" it was a +5 on the roll and/or if you fail the check the wand becomes "broken" instead of "destroyed" (stipulation that it can't be used again for 48 hours even if repaired)


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Wands seem good for things that have 24 hour duration or "until your next daily preparations." (Also good for the Wizard's Scroll Savant feat if you have these in your spell book.)

24 hours

Contingency - gold standard, take Trick Magic Item for non-arcane casters
Energy Aegis - need to compare to the cost in gold and investment slots for having a fistful of energy resistance rings
Item Facade - probably not this one
Magnificent Mansion - great if you can get one
Private Sanctum - probably not this one
Sanctified Ground - I guess you could use it for a 1/day buffed fortress area
Spell Immunity - a great choice

Daily Preparations

Charm(4+) - sure, why not
Darkvision(5+) - need to check against permanent darkvision items
Detect Scrying - I guess
Dominate - if you can get one
Endure Elements - if you need one your probably need four
False Vision - probably not
Feet to Fins(6+) - uh, useful in Ruins of Azlant, I guess. But what about breathing?
Gentle Repose - a cheap "in case we need it" once you're at the level of affording a Raise Dead
Hallucination(6+) - probably not
Hallucinatory Terrain - I guess if you found one
Mage Armor - hell yeah, but compare to magic items granting this plus runes/talisman options
Magic Aura - great if you have access and you're playing the right campaign
Mind Blank - amazing if you can afford it and you have access
Misdirection - good for intrigue campaigns
Resplendent Mansion - you're not spending this much money on this
Undetectable Alignment - another great in certain campaigns but uncommon option


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Xenocrat wrote:

Wands seem good for things that have 24 hour duration or "until your next daily preparations." (Also good for the Wizard's Scroll Savant feat if you have these in your spell book.)

24 hours

Contingency - gold standard, take Trick Magic Item for non-arcane casters
Energy Aegis - need to compare to the cost in gold and investment slots for having a fistful of energy resistance rings
Item Facade - probably not this one
Magnificent Mansion - great if you can get one
Private Sanctum - probably not this one
Sanctified Ground - I guess you could use it for a 1/day buffed fortress area
Spell Immunity - a great choice

Daily Preparations

Charm(4+) - sure, why not
Darkvision(5+) - need to check against permanent darkvision items
Detect Scrying - I guess
Dominate - if you can get one
Endure Elements - if you need one your probably need four
False Vision - probably not
Feet to Fins(6+) - uh, useful in Ruins of Azlant, I guess. But what about breathing?
Gentle Repose - a cheap "in case we need it" once you're at the level of affording a Raise Dead
Hallucination(6+) - probably not
Hallucinatory Terrain - I guess if you found one
Mage Armor - hell yeah, but compare to magic items granting this plus runes/talisman options
Magic Aura - great if you have access and you're playing the right campaign
Mind Blank - amazing if you can afford it and you have access
Misdirection - good for intrigue campaigns
Resplendent Mansion - you're not spending this much money on this
Undetectable Alignment - another great in certain campaigns but uncommon option

Maybe I'm just getting hung up on the shape of the wand, but why would you put these spells on a stick? They feel like they belong on a figurine or gemstone in almost every case. I would reserve the word "wand" for something other than a thing you rub once a day.


Uchuujin wrote:

Since 1st Edition (before really), we've seen much influential fantasy, esp. Harry Potter, that makes wands far more interesting. A personal item that a spell caster wants in their hand just as much as a warrior wants a sword. An expression of their personality and casting style.

Rules wise I don't know what that would mean off the top of my head that would be balanced

Casting action replacement like the bard's musical instrument or the cleric's divine focus.

Bard replaces somatic components with a focus component. Clerics replace material components with the focus component. To be different, that leaves wizards replacing verbal components with the wand focus. Though I am not sure that being different would be important.


Also, just checking...

Where the rules for wands and staves say 'your spell list', they are meaning the entire list of spells from the spell tradition that you have access to, yes? Not just the ones that you have learned.

So using a wand or staff you could cast spells that you otherwise couldn't because you haven't learned those spells yet.

I'm reasonably sure that is correct, but thought I would check with the group too.


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The wizard already has feat options to replace verbal and material components, though.

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