Runestaffs; (somewhat) new kind of items for 5.5E


Runestaffs would be items for spellcasters that would add to "spells known" number for spellcasters.
It would give versatility within certain theme for spellcaster that uses the runestaff.
every staff would give 2 cantrips and 2 spells from level 1 to level 5, similar how cleric domains work.

Runestaff, rare, requires attunement by spellcaster,
Provides spells known from the items list,
Every spell(except cantrips) must be cast with casters spell slots.
Staff provides for Somatic and non costly Material components that are consumed with casting while in hand.

type of runestaffs;

cantrips; resistance, spare the dying
level 1; cure wounds, healing word
level 2; lesser restoration, healing spirit
level 3; mass healing word, revivify
level 4; Aura of light, death ward
level 5; mass cure wound, raise dead

cantrips; chill touch, toll the dead
level 1; false life, inflict wounds
level 2; blindness/deafness, ray of enfeeblement
level 3; animate dead, summon undead
level 4; blight, shadow of moil
level 5; dance macabre, enervation

cantrips; eldritch blast, mage hand
level 1; magic missile, shield
level 2; levitate, kinetic jaunt
level 3; fly, haste
level 4; Mordekainen's faithful hound, Otiluke's resilient sphere
level 5; animate objects, telekinesis

cantrips; guidance, mage hand
level 1; expeditious retreat, longstrider
level 2; misty step, vortex warp
level 3; thunder step, gaseous form
level 4; dimension door, find greater steed
level 5; passwall, teleportation circle

cantrips; primal savagery, thorn whip
level 1; entangle, fog cloud
level 2; spike growth, pass without trace
level 3; plant growth, summon fey
level 4; guardian of nature, summon elemental
level 5; insect plague, wrath of nature

cantrips; firebolt, greenflame blade
level 1; burning hands, hellish rebuke
level 2; scorching ray, heat metal
level 3; fireball, ashardalon's stride
level 4; fireshield(fire), summon elemental(fire)
level 5; immolation, summon draconic spirit(fire)

cantrips; friends, mind sliver
level 1; charm person, dissonant whispers
level 2; hold person, suggestion
level 3; enemies abound, fear
level 4; charm monster, phantasmal killer
level 5; dominate person, modify memory

cantrips; message, minor image
level 1; disguise self, minor image
level 2; invisibility, mirror image
level 3; hypnotic patter, major image
level 4; greater invisibility, hallucinatory terrain
level 5; dream, seeming

cantrips; bladeward, sword burst
level 1; absorb elements, armor of agathys
level 2; aid, blur
level 3; counterspell, dispel magic
level 4; banishment, freedom of movement
level 5; bigbies hand, dispel good and evil

make some of your own themed runestaffs:

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Personally I’d be more inclined to want to give them to half-casters-to-martials rather than full spellcasters, expanding their limited or nonexistent spell lists rather than raising the high even higher.

Spellweapon staff
Green Flameblade, Shillelagh.
1st lvl: Compelled Duel, Zephyr Strike.
2nd lvl: Blur, Spiritual Weapon.
3rd lvl: Conjure Barrage, Elemental Weapon.
4th lvl: Mordenkainen’s Faithful Hound, Staggering Smite.
5th lvl: Steel Wind Strike, Swift Quiver.


I would like to reduce the number of prepared full-list casters.

The wizard approach is better to me. I could see Runestaffs and equivalent that just add to the "spells you can prepare" instead of adding "prepared spells".

That gives you design room to make these staffs do more than just add known spells as a bonus. Like +DC on the spells in the staff, or similar.
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This kind of item can be a reward for a boss fight at 1st level even.

because it scales by level, there is no spike in power like you would get with Staff of Healing, that would give you 10 castings of Cure wounds per day.

As this burns your own resources, having Runestaff of the Healer at 1st level wizard is no problem.
Yes, wizard gets 2 more spells as an option to cast, but still has only 2 1st level slots and no spells are better(attack, DC, damage).


Great concept!

Similar in function to FOCUS items from an old dragon magazine but updated to 5E. Both ideas made you use your own resources, so it stays balanced.

I like it.

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