Wizards, Staffs, and Towers

Everyone knows that wizards uses staffs. It makes them more powerful, or so the story goes. The wide variety of staffs used probably seem to be pure fashion or just meaningless appearance to some, but those steeped in the forces of magic know well that the specific form a staff takes serves a greater function. Despite the jesting of bards, staves are not just the wizards overcompensating for something,

Everyone knows that wizards build towers. It makes them more powerful, or so the story goes. The strange design and location of these towers probably seem like madness to most, but those learned in the arcane arts know well that both of these factors are highly important. The towers are not just places for the anti-social magicians wishing to hide themelves (or the occasional kidnapped princess) away from people.

Few people think about the similarities of the wizard’s staff to their tower. Indeed, it is often the case that they seem to be of the same material, and share common features. It’s not because of the wizard’s need to match his things (that’s a Fashion Wizard, don’t confuse them), but because of the Law of Sympathy. It’s easier to link things together with magic if they are similar. And this linking together is the key to the mystery.

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From the LotR movies, with minor edits.

It’s quite simple really. Towers are gather up magical energy from the lands, through their design and placement over power veins in the earth. They then transmit the energy to the staff (or staves) that are linked to it. And then, the wizard(s) can throw that power around, however they want to. This is why stealing a wizard’s staff is a good strategy to defeat him (and also to make him really pissed). Though if you want a more permanent (though not the most permanent) solution to the wizard, you should really take care of the tower itself.

On another note: while it’s true that there are wizards living in their towers, this is of secondary importance, and more of something of a convenience. Why build another house when you’ve already got this pretty tower, filled to the brim with magical radiation? It makes it quick to recalibrate the staff to the tower if the connection is broken, which is sometimes useful after a hard week spent adventuring. Though, as noted, these towers have a tendency to be located in rather strange places…

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3 thoughts on “Wizards, Staffs, and Towers

  1. Brilliant. But how should this play out in the game? Typically, players don’t acquire a tower or stronghold until about 9th level (earlier if they have the coin and the inclination). Does this mean we piggyback rules and limit staff creation (and use) to PCs above 9th-level? What about staves found as treasure? Are they useless without the tower or are they​ just limited to whatever power is in them at the time?

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    1. I though about this, and I considered simply expanding the definition of tower in this case. Most simple wizard staffs are not made of stone or metal, and thus you could have a “tower” that’s more or less a log raised in a place of power. You probably need larger and fancier towers in places containing more power, and thus drive wizard pc’s in their early levels to seek out / steal minor places of powers for their staves.

      And on the looted staff front, the way I pictured is was a bit like the tower beinga a radio mast sending magic power, and the reciever being the staff. This means that as long as the staff is whole and the tower stands, it would have some measure of power. Though this could potentially make places of power themselves more valuable than the staves….

      Though of course, you could limit magical staffs to high level characters, and have the low-level ones make do with wands and regular quarterstaffs.

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