Lesser Counters, Saying Anything, and Walking Fine…

You can find the ever-growing list of “Better Than Nothing” items  over on the right. Read ’em, like ’em, share ’em, and comment.


“This one, oh… oh, yes. Eleven inches long, made of silbite wood–hearty stuff–with a bindlemoat core. A fine crafted piece of magic, would you care to try it?”


“The wand, sir, would you care to try it–test its balance?”

“Why would I need to test its balance?”

“Wands are like people, sir–they have their own moods and temperament. They are drawn to certai–“

“It’s a device, wandwright, not a shoe or a horse. What does it do?”

“I’m sorry?”

“What. Does. It. Do?”

“Do? Well… you mean to say, by itself?”


“Oh… well… not much of anything, I’m afraid. It actually, I suppose, can be instrumental in the undoing of minor effects.”

“…as in?  Undoing a curse?”

“Um… much more… er, modest effects, sir. But, I could tell you more about the length…”

System: Shanhighter is an old wand, made for an unknown purpose some four hundred years ago and on very few treasure hunters’ radar ever since. Likely used, primarily, as a tool in the hands of arcane crafters to defuse or strip minor properties from their creations during the testing phases, it has never been associated with any stories of adventure or folklorish valor.

Shanhighter serves as an arcane focus so long as its held in one hand and after attuning to it (short rest) it may be used to effect a Counterspell a number of times per day equal to the wandbearer’s Constitution modifier with two exceptions to that spell… first, it only auto-counters Cantrips when used; second, the DC for any spell first level or higher is increased by 5 (so, for a first level spell it would be DC 16).

Wand of the Sky

Broadways and Teller looked at each other grimly–this would be no picnic, afterall. Hunched in the darkness, four-hundred yards from the castle wall, it seemed impossible.

“Too much open ground, Brodie” the barbarian whispered. She’d taken on poor odds before, and her people were well-known for their lack of caution in the face of them–but there’s a difference between bold and foolish and a near quarter-mile of flat and clear ground with bowmen on the walls? That was suicide, even if they could manage to not be seen, the ground was a frost and snow crusted expanse. The noise alone would give them away.

“Not enough cover” the old paladin grimaced. There was no choice… live or die, this wa–

“Cover? Do you need cover?” the piping voice of their gnomish companion broke the grave quiet. Both Teller and Broadways slumped a bit in their crouch. It’d work, they knew, and the tinkerer had been looking for a reason to use the thing for weeks…

System: The Wand of the Sky is a switch of green willow, ever preserved and pliable–smelling faintly of the moment it was first cut from the tree. At nearly two feet long, it is difficult to handle and stow easily, doing so takes to draw or stow actions to properly retrieve or tuck it away.

However, when brought to bear in the world, it wields the truly awesome effect of bringing the rains and clearing the sky. Attunement to the wand requires a rest under the open sky for a full 8 hours after which the wand begins with 1+1d4 charges each day (it changes from day-to-day). Any given time of day is either cloudless, typical, overcast, raining, or torrential (note this does not account for wind or thunder or lightening, only precipitation). The wandbearer may use one charge (as an action) to move the condition of the sky one direction either way. As an example, it would take four actions and four charges to turn a cloudless day into a torrential downpour or vice-versa.

Passtaff of the Wandering Brother

His feet were hardened leather, dark from years of sun and road. The sands of Elos were hot for most feet–even through shoes. The tundra of the north was cold for most. The rocks of the Kakidela peaks were hard and sharp. The marshes of the far continent were harsh and teeming.

Through it all, the old man passed. He passed the towns and the people and the hopeful and the foolish. He walked from one sunset to another and then another. He saw the great cities of the world, he saw the cursed ruins in the corners. He walked. And his stick propped him up over the years and miles and decades and leagues.

He was old, true, but healthy and wirey. Clear eyed and not yet done with this life. Destiny and the gods, always another people behind the next rise.

System: The Passtaff came from a tree planted in the dark and rich soil of the fifth heaven, where the gods muse on the wonders of life. Crafted by divine hands and placed in the care of a wandering priest an age ago, it has served as the true companion of many since.

The Passtaff appears to be nothing more than a five-foot long stick, twice as thick as a man’s thumb, with a clever bend in the upper third, giving it the illusion of always angling forward. Attunement requires a journey between two cities, but afterward, the staff opens itself to its bearer.

First, it serves as a +0 magic staff–it may be used as a versatile improvised weapon requiring no proficiency to use one’s full bonus, 1d4 (1d6); second, so long as it is in hand, one does not suffer exhaustion or fatigue from unassisted travel (walking, running), and is advantaged in saves against disease and poison (natural ones).

In order to keep attunement to the Passtaff, it must be carried to a new population center each month or it loses its properties for that invididual (though not for new ones) after.


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