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Tuesday Magic Item – Staff of Reason

10 November, 2020

Is it Reason?Gollaon frowned.  “I must say, I do not trust fervent believers,” he said quietly as they made their way through the festival.

Voddick nodded.  “It is a short step from fanaticism to oppression.  We had best be careful.  You will have to restrain your biting wit,” he added with a smile.

“You would think people who devote themselves to what they call reason would be more . . . reasonable.”

“That is exactly what I was warning about.”

Staff of Reason

These staves are made from ivory or white wood with silver fittings, nothing seems to be able to stain them and dirt and muck just falls away from their surface.  The original creator of the staves is unknown but them seem to appear wherever someone is trying to suppress religion or superstition in the name of the public good.

The bearer of the staff gains a +4 resistance bonus against mind-affecting spells and abilities and a Spell Resistance 13 against divine magic.  If the bearer has an official position in a government hierarchy, the Spell Resistance increases to 15 and they become immune to fear.  However, the bearer cannot voluntarily lower the Spell Resistance provided by the staff.

The staff allows use of the following spells:

  • Dispel Magic (1 charges) with a +2 bonus to caster level checks against divine magic
  • Slow (2 charges)
  • Break Enchantment (4 charges) with a +2 bonus to caster level checks against divine magic
  • Dismissal (4 charges) with a +2 bonus to checks to overcome Spell Resistance if the being is the servant of a divine or infernal power

Additionally, the bearer of the staff gains a +4 competence bonus to any skill roll used to criticize, oppose or demean organized religion or belief in a higher power.

Aura strong abjuration; CL 13th
Slot none; Price 75,000; Weight 4 lbs
Construction Requirements
Create Staff, break enchantment, dismissal, spell resistance; Cost 37,500

For D&D 5E:

Staff, very rare (requires attunement by a bard, sorcerer, or wizard)

First paragraph as above.

The bearer of the staff gains advantage to saving throws against mind-affecting spells and abilities and a Resistance to damage from divine magic.  If the bearer has an official position in a government hierarchy, the bearer becomes immune to fear.

The staff has 10 charges. While holding it, you can use an action to expend 1 or more of its charges to cast one of the following spells from it, using your spell save DC: dispel magic (1 charge), counterspell (2 charges), slow (2 charges), or banish -only against beings from other places- (4 charges).

The staff regains 1d6 + 4 expended charges daily at dawn. If you expend the last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the staff turns to light and is destroyed.

Additionally, the bearer of the staff gains advantage to any attribute check used to criticize, oppose or demean organized religion or belief in a higher power.

Notes: Inspired by the fact that on this day, in 1793, a Goddess of Reason is proclaimed by the French Convention at the suggestion of Pierre Gaspard Chaumette.  Sadly, part of the motivating factor of the Cult of Reason was anti-clericalism.

Image “The old cathedral of Strasbourg as temple of the neo-french Reason.” found on Wikimedia Commons and is in the Public Domain.

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