A few magical rods

Rod of Depth Sounding
When this rod is tapped against a solid surface it releases a tone. This tone is lower or higher based on the depth underground.

The tone is of a different pitch based on surface conditions. An acute user could figure out whether it’s daytime or night, stormy or calm, diseased/poisonous or safe, and whether the surface is land or a body of water. If the user has no musical skills he must roll a WIS check to determine depth within 10′ and surface conditions. Anyone can determine depth to within 100′.

Rod of Fire Extinguishing
This magic rod has a thumb-button that slides to three settings. Farther down the rod a mercury-filled vial is built in. As the rod empties charges, the mercury shrinks, so the amount of water left is obvious.

The first setting, closest to the holder, is “off”. The next setting is a thin stream of water that shoots 5’ and produces two gallons per round. The third setting is a powerful spray of water that shoots 20’ and produces ten gallons per round. The thin stream has no combat value. The spray knocks down anyone within 15’ along the path of the spray unless they make a STR check at a +2 bonus. The wielder of the spray function must hold the wand two-handed and be prepared for it; otherwise he must roll the same STR check at +2 or fall backward. If he falls, he must roll a DEX check or drop the rod, which skitters quickly away in a random direction.

The rod holds a charge of 200 gallons of water maximum. It refills itself 1 gallon per hour in a normal atmosphere, 2 gallons per hour in a damp one, or 10 gallons per hour if immersed in water. It will absorb only normal, nonmagical water. In a dry environment it recharges only 1 gallon per day, or none in a desert environment.

Rod of the Shimmering Net
When this rod is fired, a magical net of a glowing blue material spins out and travels along a straight line, up to 50 feet before fading away. The first thing struck must make a DEX check or the net entangles him. If the save succeeds, the net continues onward.

The entanglement counts as a -4 penalty to Dexterity. If Dexterity drops to zero, perhaps through multiple net entrapments, the victim is considered Held and unable to act normally. Breaking through the nets requires a Strength (-2 penalty per additional net) check. A successful check breaks all nets.

The rod requires both hands to employ. It features a special release that dissolves all nets from that rod immediately. Otherwise the nets last one turn. If a victim gains a new net, restart the duration for his nets – all the nets on a single victim will dissolve at the same time rather than one at a time starting with the earliest.

The rod can fire at most once per round.

Rod of Paranoia
When anyone is observing the holder of this rod, he will know it. The holder knows that a creature is watching him but not exactly who it is or how far away. He does know if the observation is direct, through a magical assistance such as a Crystal Ball or spell, or through psionic power. He also knows if he’s being observed by only creatures of animal intelligence (1) or if there are smarter creatures observing.

The rod is most useful for those trying to be sneaky, since otherwise it would be impossible to know if a stealth check failed or if an Invisibility spell is working properly.
Using the rod requires no concentration, but it must be the only thing held in a hand.

Rod of Air Swimming
The holder of this rod gains buoyancy in the air as if it were water. This means if he wears heavy equipment, he stays at the “bottom” and cannot swim upward. However, he takes no falling damage because of the resistance of the air in the same way a person falling through water takes no damage on hitting the bottom.

The buoyancy is equal to 250 pounds of lift. This means a character will float upward quite readily if he weighs less than 200 pounds. The character also has to deal with resistance on his weapons, so the DM should apply any underwater fighting rules to the swimmer. Missile fire and spell casting are unaffected though.

A light character could strip off his gear, floating upward quite quickly until he reached a great elevation, and then stick the rod in his belt to descend (at normal falling speed). If he grabbed the rod again in time, the air resistance would slow him down safely until he stopped moving downward and started upward again. In this way he could zip himself out of an outdoor fight and return when it was safe, perhaps hundreds of yards away depending on the wind.

It could be stuck in a pack mule’s mouth as a bit, which would allow the mule to carry an extra 250 pounds. But the mule would walk slower as if he were underwater.
This ring has no effect underwater or in a vacuum. The rod can be held in hand or in the teeth.

Rod of the Noble Sacrifice
This rod has a complex joint in the middle that requires a certain twisting motion while pushing a release catch. When you open the rod (which takes both hands) you choose to take 1d6, 2d6, or 3d6 points of damage. This damage cannot be resisted or reduced. It creates a positive-energy burst with the same damage in a 5′, 10′, or 15′ radius. The energy heals living creatures at 1/3 value and harms Undead at full value. The rod user is not healed (or harmed, if he’s Undead). It takes a second round to re-assemble the rod.

If some scheme allows the rod to open without someone giving up life energy, there is no energy burst.

Knockout Rod
This rod is six small stones connected telekinetically. The rod doesn’t bend but you can pass things between the stones. The rod absorbs 25% of any lightning damage that passes within 10′ of it. An electric sword that deals an extra 1d6 lightning damage on a hit would only give up 25% of its damage to the rod when it strikes, not just from being nearby. A Lightning Bolt passing by would do full damage until it passed within 10′, then would be diminished by 25% against those struck afterward. It absorbs energy only when wielded in hand. The wielder’s lightning magic can also be diminished. It fills up 10 points of damage per stone, each of which glows when full.

When you strike with the rod you can release one, two, or three stones worth of energy. Only full stones can be used.

One stone: The target must save vs. paralyzation or be stunned (he loses his next set of actions and movement but is not helpless).

Two Stones: As one stone, but the save must be rolled twice, each one representing one lost round.

Three Stones: As two stones, but if he fails both saves he falls unconscious for 1d6 rounds.

2 Responses to “A few magical rods”

  1. Greg Says:

    Nice stuff here. I especially like the Rod of the Noble Sacrifice. That’s my kind of magic! Also, the fine print is a nice touch.

  2. 1d30 Says:

    Thanks! I found a list of 4E magic item names and noticed the Clasp of the Noble Sacrifice. I was shaking them down for inspiration. Turns out it lets you give up a healing surge of your own to someone else.

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