Where would you put a stack of wands to store them?


Advice

Scarab Sages

I'm just debating if you had a stack of wands how would you store them if you weren't intending to use them any time soon? In a chest, sitting around lose, little wand stands for each individual one, the ever popular something else?

For reference its a castle with a wand of cure light wounds, 2 wands of magic missile and a wand of mage armour that they are putting in the armory for their guards use. Just debating how the wands would get stored in there.

Silver Crusade

Racked.


It feels like there is an easy dirty joke here, but that aside, I agree that either a rack or a slotted stand (like for a set of kitchen knives) makes the most sense. Something with some simple labels so the guards know what and they're grabbing. For a huge assortment, I would go with pre-loaded bandoliers.


In an efficient quiver, arrow slot probably. I'm planning on using my wands thanks :)


What kind of guards can use wands? Your typical guard is a low level warrior or maybe a fighter. Neither class has UMD as a skill and are unlikely to have a decent CHA score. I don’t think the chance of having a paladin, ranger or bloodrager as a guard is something likely to happen. Your typical 1st level guard is going to have a 10% chance of using the wand if they take a point in UMD, without it they have no chance. The wands seem to be from different casters spell list so would require multiple different casters for them to be used. Hiring a spell caster is usually pretty expensive so I also don’t see it likely for a spell caster to act as a guard.

Even if the guards can use the wands, using them is hardly economical. Mage armor gives a +4 AC and lasts 1 hour. You can buy about studded leather armor and shields for around 16 guards for the price of a single wand. You can also equip 15 guards with swords and light crossbows for the cost of a single wand of magic missile. Having your guards use wands does not seem economical.

The wand of cure light wounds could be useful for a chaplain (low level cleric follower) but should probably just be given to him for his use instead of stored in an armory.


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For military or home defense purposes, probably a rack. However, here's some other suggestions, just cuz:

1. In a cup, like paint brushes
2. Hovering in the air, with permanent Silent Image spells showing a sign around them so guards can ID them
3. Held in the mouths of statuary; bonus points if the stonework is actually another defense such as gargoyles or golems
4. In a vending machine
5. Laying on a shelf, but said shelf is locked behind a gate; NPCs need to have requisition paperwork filled out and approved, go to the gate guard, hand off that paperwork, then also sign out the wands on a daily log which is reviewed by their Sergeant at Arms on a weekly basis
6. in flatboxes; change the gate room in 5 to a shop and name the gate guard Voliander; he's a weird old man that seems to know WAY more about the requisitioner than he has a right to
7. In a pool of water that appears to be on fire (Legend reference)
8. In a lockbox accessible by playing musical notes on a keyboard
9. On a bandolier
10. scattered among hundreds of fake wands, all much fancier than the actual wands, upon several stone shelves in a cave; a holy knight meant to guard over the wands tells the entrants to choose, but choose wisely for the wrong choice will bring death


I’d store all those cure light wounds wands in a box… with that many of them, they may as well just grab one from the box when needed… the others stored on a wand rack for each type… maybe even have a wand rack with the cure wands for “recently used”


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Ooh, here's another one that's kind of half-serious: permanent Weaponwand spells! Essentially certain guards, say, elite soldiers with levels in a class to cast the spells on a given wand, are assigned specific weapons with a wand infused in them.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Even if the guards can use the wands, using them is hardly economical. Mage armor gives a +4 AC and lasts 1 hour. You can buy about studded leather armor and shields for around 16 guards for the price of a single wand. You can also equip 15 guards with swords and light crossbows for the cost of a single wand of magic missile. Having your guards use wands does not seem economical.

Use of the wands for armoring the guards may not be economical… but it would be a worthwhile investment for protecting delegates… when escorting delegates across the countryside a wand of mage armor could allow a guard to quickly armor a delegate should they need to. Even just 1hour of mage armor could be the difference between life and death should they come under attack by bandits.

Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Ooh, here's another one that's kind of half-serious: permanent Weaponwand spells! Essentially certain guards, say, elite soldiers with levels in a class to cast the spells on a given wand, are assigned specific weapons with a wand infused in them.

I’m curious as to how that might work out… the weaponwand spell only says that it ejects the wand when the spell ends, it says nothing about when the wand is depleted or when the wielder chooses… so wouldn’t a permanent weaponwand permanently seal a wand into the grip of a weapon until dispelled? Meaning you’d have to get it dispelled and then pay for it to be permanent again each time a new wand is needed…


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Senko wrote:

I'm just debating if you had a stack of wands how would you store them if you weren't intending to use them any time soon?...

For reference its a castle with a wand of cure light wounds, 2 wands of magic missile and a wand of mage armour that they are putting in the armory for their guards use. Just debating how the wands would get stored in there.

4 wands...

The wands won't do anybody any good in the armory much less a bunch of first level warriors.

So be sensible. Give each wand to someone that can use it to defend the castle, that's 4 users. Likely court functionaries or trusted NPCs or apprentices with spell lists that suporrt usage without UMD.
Each wand should be physically marked, 'property of {}'.
Second, explain the 'plan' to the caretakers and have them agree to it. A 'castle' stylized spring loaded wrist sheath would be nice.
Lastly, inspect them to track usage every month.

Scarab Sages

Azothath wrote:
Senko wrote:

I'm just debating if you had a stack of wands how would you store them if you weren't intending to use them any time soon?...

For reference its a castle with a wand of cure light wounds, 2 wands of magic missile and a wand of mage armour that they are putting in the armory for their guards use. Just debating how the wands would get stored in there.

4 wands...

The wands won't do anybody any good in the armory much less a bunch of first level warriors.

So be sensible. Give each wand to someone that can use it to defend the castle, that's 4 users. Likely court functionaries or trusted NPCs or apprentices with spell lists that suporrt usage without UMD.
Each wand should be physically marked, 'property of {}'.
Second, explain the 'plan' to the caretakers and have them agree to it. A 'castle' stylized spring loaded wrist sheath would be nice.
Lastly, inspect them to track usage every month.

They're in the armory like swords and armour to keep them in a secure location for when they are needed.


If you want to have some sort of magic available to your guards wands are not the way to go. On the surface it looks like a cheap way to give them some magic but in reality, it does not work. As I pointed out most guards are going to be warriors or fighters so will fail to use the wand 90% of the time. To even get an attempt to use it requires them to be trained in UMD which is not a class skill, and likely they have a low CHA. Any character rolling a natural 1 on the roll cannot use the wand for 24 hours. Both fighters and warriors only get 2 skill points per level. Tying up half your guard’s skill points in something that has that high of a failure rate is a waste of resources. Putting those points into something like Intimidate, perceptions sense motive makes a lot more sense. Even putting them into climb or swim would be a better use of their skill points.

If you want to give you guards some magic potions are the way to go. They cost more than a wand, but the guards can actually use them. A portion of Mage Armor costs 50 gp, but anyone can use it. Being able to hand someone a potion and tell them to drink it only takes a round. Someone using a wand is probably going to be wasting several turns trying to get it functioning.

In reality an armory was used more to store extra weapons, or weapons that were not commonly used. Guards will usually have their personal weapons nearby even when sleeping. That way is something happens they can grab a weapon and do something. Having to go to a locked and secure room when something is attacking, defeats the purpose of having guards. In modern times it is not socially acceptable to go armed all the time, but in medieval times it was the norm.

Even if you have a spell caster follower able to use the wands they are probably better of using their spells to help than casting them on the guards. I could see using the wand of cure light wounds if you don’t have a character able to channel positive energy to heal. In that case it should be assigned to the character using it or it becomes useless for saving your troops. If one of your followers is down enough that they are in danger of dying they are going to probably bleed out before the wand can be fetched from the armory.


Senko wrote:
Azothath wrote:
Senko wrote:

I'm just debating if you had a stack of wands how would you store them if you weren't intending to use them any time soon?...

For reference its a castle with a wand of cure light wounds, 2 wands of magic missile and a wand of mage armour that they are putting in the armory for their guards use. Just debating how the wands would get stored in there.

4 wands...

The wands won't do anybody any good in the armory much less a bunch of first level warriors.

So be sensible. Give each wand to someone that can use it to defend the castle, that's 4 users. Likely court functionaries or trusted NPCs or apprentices with spell lists that suporrt usage without UMD.
Each wand should be physically marked, 'property of {}'.
Second, explain the 'plan' to the caretakers and have them agree to it. A 'castle' stylized spring loaded wrist sheath would be nice.
Lastly, inspect them to track usage every month.

They're in the armory like swords and armour to keep them in a secure location for when they are needed.

of course...


Chell Raighn wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:

Even if the guards can use the wands, using them is hardly economical. Mage armor gives a +4 AC and lasts 1 hour. You can buy about studded leather armor and shields for around 16 guards for the price of a single wand. You can also equip 15 guards with swords and light crossbows for the cost of a single wand of magic missile. Having your guards use wands does not seem economical.

Use of the wands for armoring the guards may not be economical… but it would be a worthwhile investment for protecting delegates… when escorting delegates across the countryside a wand of mage armor could allow a guard to quickly armor a delegate should they need to. Even just 1hour of mage armor could be the difference between life and death should they come under attack by bandits.

Mark Hoover 330 wrote:
Ooh, here's another one that's kind of half-serious: permanent Weaponwand spells! Essentially certain guards, say, elite soldiers with levels in a class to cast the spells on a given wand, are assigned specific weapons with a wand infused in them.
I’m curious as to how that might work out… the weaponwand spell only says that it ejects the wand when the spell ends, it says nothing about when the wand is depleted or when the wielder chooses… so wouldn’t a permanent weaponwand permanently seal a wand into the grip of a weapon until dispelled? Meaning you’d have to get it dispelled and then pay for it to be permanent again each time a new wand is needed…

I mean, as a GM I'd just use the principles of wayfinders. Each weapon with the Weaponward spell also carries a command word. You speak the word, the current wand is ejected and a new one can be loaded. Only 1 slot per weapon though to avoid "resonant powers" or whatever.

If that doesn't do it for folks, just invent a slotless wondrous item. Let's call it a Stock of Bumping. This device holds a wand and can be magically attached to any weapon, melee or ranged, delivering the Weaponwand spell effect for, say, 3 minutes/day. Each minute need not be consecutive. It takes 1 round to affix the Stock of Bumping to your weapon but, once affixed, a user needs to speak a command word to actually enact the weaponwand bonding for a 1 minute period. CL3, Cost... IDK, 6k maybe?

Scarab Sages

Mysterious Stranger wrote:

If you want to have some sort of magic available to your guards wands are not the way to go. On the surface it looks like a cheap way to give them some magic but in reality, it does not work. As I pointed out most guards are going to be warriors or fighters so will fail to use the wand 90% of the time. To even get an attempt to use it requires them to be trained in UMD which is not a class skill, and likely they have a low CHA. Any character rolling a natural 1 on the roll cannot use the wand for 24 hours. Both fighters and warriors only get 2 skill points per level. Tying up half your guard’s skill points in something that has that high of a failure rate is a waste of resources. Putting those points into something like Intimidate, perceptions sense motive makes a lot more sense. Even putting them into climb or swim would be a better use of their skill points.

If you want to give you guards some magic potions are the way to go. They cost more than a wand, but the guards can actually use them. A portion of Mage Armor costs 50 gp, but anyone can use it. Being able to hand someone a potion and tell them to drink it only takes a round. Someone using a wand is probably going to be wasting several turns trying to get it functioning.

In reality an armory was used more to store extra weapons, or weapons that were not commonly used. Guards will usually have their personal weapons nearby even when sleeping. That way is something happens they can grab a weapon and do something. Having to go to a locked and secure room when something is attacking, defeats the purpose of having guards. In modern times it is not socially acceptable to go armed all the time, but in medieval times it was the norm.

Even if you have a spell caster follower able to use the wands they are probably better of using their spells to help than casting them on the guards. I could see using the wand of cure light wounds if you don’t have a character able to channel positive energy to heal. In that case it should...

This is why they're there wands are not going to be a common use item and your not just going to leave them lying around where anyone can grab them so they're in the armory till such time when they're needed and can be given to the court mage or the like as a suppliment for their spells. If they were going to see common usage it'd be a different matter. As it is they need to go somewhere they can be kept under lock and key so its either the armory or the treasure vault and the armory seemed more appropriate.


Ok honestly, I've been thinking about this all wrong then Senko. I thought the reason why they were in the armory was specifically b/c you wanted anyone capable of using the wand to grab them.

Like, wands are really expensive compared to, say, longspears or even crossbows, and they generally require either extremely charismatic folks with extensive training (Use Magic Device +10 or more) or someone with spellcasting, so obviously not EVERYONE is going to be grabbing these off the rack, but I thought you were planning this as like "every castle 'warband' of guards of 10 also contains an NPC with 1 level in Wizard or 2 levels in Adept for wand use."

In other words, I figured you were going to have enough generic troops that putting the wands in a central location accessible to a lot of people would make sense. If it's a handful of wands meant to supplement the spells of a unique NPC like a "Court Mage or the like," why wouldn't those individuals just carry them on their person?

Mage Armor x1, Magic Missile x2 is three wands; presumably most castle guards have mass produced armor such as studded leather or possibly chain shirt or chainmail, so Mage Armor would be useless to them. A Court Mage would want this at hand just in case they're ambushed within the castle, or to tap unarmored members of the nobility which they are charged with protecting.

I would think that a Court Mage wouldn't balk at having to carry an extra... what, 3, maybe 4 lbs worth of gear on a bandolier at their waist? Especially when a +4 AC and several unerring Force darts could make the difference in the survival of their boss?

The 1 CLW wand, why would that possibly be locked up in a central locale if it was going to be for a unique NPC? Like, again, if you've got a bunch of Adepts, 1 for every 10 troops or more frequently, who are going to grab it then run the wand up and down the bulwarks to their fellow adepts, making sure to hand out healing where needed, then put it in the armory.

Otherwise, I'd suspect if the castle has a Chapel and said Chapel has a High Priest, Chaplain, or something akin to a Court Mage, this religious official has access to the wand or has it on their person, again, to supplement their spells as you describe.

That's my 2CP anyway. Bottom line, IMO if lots of people need access to the wands, put them in a central location; if only 1 or 2 people will be using them, give them to those people, either on their person or in their personal area of the castle.

Oh, and 1 more reason to put the wands with responsible individuals: money. The common foot soldier makes, what, 1GP/Day? If everyone that needs a longspear has access to the armory and 1 of the dozens, if not hundreds of foot soldiers has gambling debts, drinks away their pay, or is just generally a nefarious individual, being able to swipe a wand worth 375 GP and quit your post to sell it in town could be pretty tempting.


If you have s spell caster capable of using the wand, I would simply assign the wand to the spell caster so, he has it when he needs it. This is the equivalent to assigning a company cell phone and laptop, or a police officer a department issued gun. You are going to want them to have easy access to any combat related magic items, not having to spend minutes going to a secure room and checking them out. The only thing that would be stored is extra items or those that are rarely used. Those are more likely to be in a vault than the armory. Too many people have access to the armory.

Scarab Sages

Hmmm fair points, I suppose part of it is my personal twitchiness every time I have a wand on my character that I'll trip and break it by falling badly. Admitedly that's not something a GM is ever likely to do but all I can think of is "the X spell item is just a wooden stick . . . "

I can see the court mage carrying it with them I guess just would have thought they'd be stored against major situations rather than just being handed to someone in case an assasin kills them then steals it. Again personal experience that. Still I shall think on this.


Fear that someone's going to steal the wand: Alarm, Magic Mouth, spell traps, Arcane Lock and more are all ways the Court Mage COULD protect the wand on their person. Most of these would simply delay the thief but Sepia Snake Sigil or Explosive Runes or something might actually injure or slay their assailant.

Falling and breaking the wand: This is one thing I miss about not having a subscription to Dungeon or Dragon magazine anymore. Every once in a while they'd come out with random tables like 10 alternatives to potions or 10 unique wand designs or something. There's a witch NPC in my homebrew of Karnoss that bakes up "potions" in the form of meat and fruit pies; generally Diminutive sized pastries, like bite sized muffins, that are fully consumed by the user but upon consumption impart the spell effect like a potion.

My point is: a wand doesn't have to be a stick with a rock on top. It could be a stone dowel, a metal tube, crafted from ceramic, and so on. For a castle looking for durable devices, perhaps their "wands" are dagger hilts with no blade attached. In place of the blade is a short, perhaps 2" Cold Iron rod. A GM would be hard pressed to say that snapped in half when the Court Mage fell over.


Magic Mouth is such an underappreciated spell. People often think it is a waste of time until you cast it on a magic item you want to protect from being stolen. I had a gnome who would put it on items that would scream they were being stolen when someone other than him drew them. If you put it on the sheath of the item, you can give the item to someone else. It also works for pouches where you keep your coins.


As long as we're talking about just the four wands you mentioned, it makes sense to give them to specific NPCs who can reliably use them. However, if this is just the start of a larger stockpile, I still think the armory idea could be fun, depending on the type of campaign and settlement you're dealing with. A realm with surplus wealth and/or high magic might very well choose to train their guards in basic magics. Maybe the court smiths are all mage smiths, or the Court Wizard has a whole coterie of apprentices whose primary job is to crank out basic consumables.

Also, I'm not really solid on the RAW of Pathfinder magic items, but can't wands be built with keyword activation? If not, I'm down for some house rules if they fit the story. I also like the idea of recharging wands. I hate to see something that pretty, well crafted, powerful, and/or expensive be consumable.

Scarab Sages

Sysryke wrote:

As long as we're talking about just the four wands you mentioned, it makes sense to give them to specific NPCs who can reliably use them. However, if this is just the start of a larger stockpile, I still think the armory idea could be fun, depending on the type of campaign and settlement you're dealing with. A realm with surplus wealth and/or high magic might very well choose to train their guards in basic magics. Maybe the court smiths are all mage smiths, or the Court Wizard has a whole coterie of apprentices whose primary job is to crank out basic consumables.

Also, I'm not really solid on the RAW of Pathfinder magic items, but can't wands be built with keyword activation? If not, I'm down for some house rules if they fit the story. I also like the idea of recharging wands. I hate to see something that pretty, well crafted, powerful, and/or expensive be consumable.

There is precedent one of the traits in wrath of the righteous grants you the ability to recharge wands.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
Magic Mouth is such an underappreciated spell. People often think it is a waste of time until you cast it on a magic item you want to protect from being stolen. I had a gnome who would put it on items that would scream they were being stolen when someone other than him drew them. If you put it on the sheath of the item, you can give the item to someone else. It also works for pouches where you keep your coins.

Now I’m tempted to have a character cast magic mouth on a magic sword and have it shout “Fool” constantly when someone other than its owner tries to hold it.


Unless you use Permanency, it will only work once.

You do need to be fairly precise in the circumstance that triggers the magic mouth. Having someone touch something usually ends up with it being discharged prematurely. I have had better luck with indirect triggers. Also, since it is not an abjuration you can have multiple instances on the same item. Cast one on your pouch to trigger if it is stolen and another if someone other than you takes something from it.


Mysterious Stranger wrote:
If you want to have some sort of magic available to your guards wands are not the way to go. On the surface it looks like a cheap way to give them some magic but in reality, it does not work. As I pointed out most guards are going to be warriors or fighters so will fail to use the wand 90% of the time.

Where are you getting the idea that all games operate at your level of magic availability or familiarity?

Was there something I missed in the OP?


Carrauntoohil wrote:
Mysterious Stranger wrote:
If you want to have some sort of magic available to your guards wands are not the way to go. On the surface it looks like a cheap way to give them some magic but in reality, it does not work. As I pointed out most guards are going to be warriors or fighters so will fail to use the wand 90% of the time.

Where are you getting the idea that all games operate at your level of magic availability or familiarity?

Was there something I missed in the OP?

Unless specified otherwise I always assume that a campaign matches what is listed in the books. The core rule book lists the cost of hiring a trained hireling as 3 sp per day. It also lists the cost of a 1st level spell cast by a 1st level caster as 10 gp. That makes it pretty clear that hiring a spell caster is by default a lot more expensive than hiring a non-spell caster. Nothing in the original post suggested the campaign was anything out of the ordinary.

In a latter post Senko confirmed my assumption by stating the wands would be given out to the court mage or the like when needed.

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