Staves / Rods / Wands
The main difference between a Staff, Rod or Wand is the intended purpose. A wand, technically, only possesses a single spell within its matrix. They are more easily created because they are designed to only hold a single spell. A rod, as it is large enough to accomodate a larger gem in the eye and a more sturdy shaft, may hold up to three seperate spells within its matrix without causing decay within the object. A staff, for much the same reason that a Rod is able to accomodate additional spells within its matrix, is able to hold up to six seperate spells.
It may be easier for a caster to turn out a series of simple, Enchanted objects rather than a fully charged rod or staff depending on how often they will need the spell within it.
Another difference between the enchanting of staves versus wands is that wands can only handle spells up to third level. Anything higher and there is an increased chance that the structure of the wand would not be able to contain the energy necessary to fuel the spell and risk release the stored energy at all once - in the form of a large explosion.
Should a wizard attempt to channel too much energy through the eye of the staff, it will be destroyed and, depending on how much energy was being conducted, may cause serious damage to the caster and those nearby. Damage inflicted is: (Spell Level) minus (Material Limit) times (d10) for 20 feet in diameter to the caster.
A staff created in this fashion is not the same as the "Create Staff" feat and so is imperfect in its ability to retain the charges stored within it. Each day at dawn, the staff may loose a bit more of its magic and will be drained completely if not recharged by the wizard depending on the materials used in the staff.
Evolution of a Wizard's Staff
Later in the wizard's life, as they find more rare gems, the Eye and the shaft may be replaced or the staff replaced entirely.
It should be noted that as a wizard progresses in their studies and replaces their staff, there is still a trace of magic left within the object even once they have drained it of its energy. Like a magical fingerprint, the staff will retain a bit of their essence for a time and can be used against them if found by other wizards. For this reason, many wizards destroy or conceal old staves for a time until their 'signature' has faded; usually within one to two moons from being drained. Most wizards who take apprentices will keep these empty staves around to be used by their apprentices as it would save them the expense of having to create their own from scratch.
Each material used in the shaft, the crest and the eye impart certain characteristics to the magic of the wizard using them. Wizards prize the rarest of materials in order to create a synergy of materials within their staff. This material bonus is only applied once the proper materials have been combined.
Normally this material bonus is in the form of resistance to certain types of magic, but it can also provide enhancements and unique qualities to one's spells.
Types of Staves
Some staves favor particular types of magic.
Some staves have been passed down from Master to Apprentice for so long that they have acquired a name for themselves and usually enough power to warrant such a name.
See Also: Named Staves