D&D 3.5 Homebrew Item – Wand of the Warrior

By Ken Wai Lau

Screwdriver Wand

It can fix anything…
Photo © by Praeclarus Wands

I’ve been around a few forums and discussions about +X weapons and it seems as though many players want +X weapons to die a quick, painful and final death for D&D Next – or for any D&D edition.

Personally, I think it was never going to happen and while +X weapons can be a bit underwhelming as treasure once you’ve seen them all, I don’t feel it would quite be D&D without. In my (admittedly limited) experience with D&D, the +X paradigm has always been unmistakably D&D.

Perhaps it’s too standardised. As your character evolves, you might find a +1 weapon, then a +2 (possibly with special abilities such as flaming) and so forth. Each time you find a new weapon, you dispose of the previous one by selling it off or giving it away.

The ‘Magic Mart‘ or ‘Ye Olde Magick Shoppe‘ – whatever you want to call it – only adds to that problem. Perhaps this is something we have to deal with, at least until you find that ultimate weapon when you hit level 20 (if you get that far).

But then I came across the photo above and came up with an idea: make +X weapons consumable.

Wand of the Warrior

This metal wand resembles a sword and will morph into a magic weapon on command. The wand can morph into any weapon you are proficient with and the wand stays in this form for 9 hours or until it is deactivated or sundered. In the latter case, the wand is destroyed like any other item. This use of the wand expends one charge and is activated with a free action.

By spending 2 charges, the wand can morph into a magic cold iron or silvered weapon. By spending 3 charges, the weapon morphs into an adamantine weapon. In both cases, the duration is 9 rounds.

Special abilities can be added to the weapon if it has an enhancement bonus higher than 1. For example, a +3 wand can morph into a +1 holy greataxe. As usual the weapon created must have an enhancement bonus of at least +1 before any special abilities are added.

Each wand has 10 charges.

Moderate conjuration and transmutation; CL 9th; Craft Wondrous Item, Craft Magic Arms and Armour, fabricate, greater magic weapon, major creation; Price 1,150 gp (+1), 4,000 gp (+2), 9,000 gp (+3), 18,000 gp (+4), 25,000 gp (+5).; Weight N/A.

More Than Just Expelliarmus

If you wanted to make the wand sound more interesting or ‘cool’, I guess you could call it Wand of the Soldier, Wand of the Sargeant, Wand of the Captain, Wand of the General or Wand of the Warlord – depending on the enhancement bonus of the item.

The idea behind this item is that it can take all your +X weapons and combine them all into one handy, disposable item, which can be considered standard issue for the local militia in a high powered campaign. An item like this could be traded in your campaign’s equivalent of eBay, but truly unique and serviceable permanent magical weapons might not, due to it’s rarity.

This method of distributing +X weapons might be more in line with how common these items actually end up being in the game. But hopefully when a permanent magic weapon is found, it will be considered more than just a piece of scrap metal. In any case, such weapons should be made interesting enough that the players will want to keep hold of them.

It’s also useful for when you don’t want to carry a golf bag of weapons since the wand can morph into any weapon you like, essentially giving you access to all three damage types (slashing, piercing and bludgeoning) and three special material properties in one item.

Since the charges are limited, any character carrying the item should still carry a permanent weapon, whether it’s a masterwork weapon or a unique magic weapon (which should not be discovered easily).

This wand would technically have to be a wondrous item, since wands are only capable of holding and casting one 4th level or lower spell according to the rules. Another problem is that wands can only be used by spellcasters, which is no good for characters with no magical ability at all such as fighters.

Obviously, there are already items in the game such as the oil of magic weapon and wands that carry the magic weapon spell, but this item as presented is hopefully a more versatile and interesting alternative.

Let me know what you think of this idea? Is it good, bad, or simply pointless?

Feel free to steal…


4 Comments

  1. Scott Kennan March 29, 2014 5:35 pm  Reply

    I like it. There are player behaviors I’m not thrilled with, like the golf bag and “item leasing” ™ syndromes you touch on above, and like you, I prefer finding a way to subvert these behaviors to the setting rather than fighting them head on. Finding a way to make these behaviors flavorful works better than getting adversarial about them.

    • Ken Wai Lau March 29, 2014 8:10 pm  Reply

      Agreed. I wish I thought of it earlier, actually. It’s definitely something I would look to use if I start a new campaign.

      Also, the wand works best if the raw materials for crafting permanent magic items are difficult to locate, worthy of a quest on it’s own. Not only should the crafted weapon mean something, it’ll ensure that these wands won’t become obsolete just because someone can throw money at the craft magic arms and armour feat.

      Anyway, glad you like it.

  2. Jason April 9, 2014 9:49 pm  Reply

    A wand that turns into a weapon? Interesting. If it turns into a sword, it would be like a lightsaber…

    • Ken Wai Lau April 15, 2014 11:55 am  Reply

      You could achieve that effect if you morphed the wand into a brilliant energy weapon ;).

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