All wands and staves have a number of charges, which is rolled when a character takes possession of the item. Typically, a wand has 1-8 charges and a staff has 1-12 charges. Discharged wands accumulate 1-4 charges per week in the hands of a magic-user, or 1-2 charges per week in the hands of any other class that can use wands.
One charge can be spent to cast a memorized spell with a 2-in-6 chance of retaining the spell after casting.
In addition, many (but not all) wands and staves also have a secondary power, which is rolled randomly. It costs 1 charge to activate this power.
- Quickness – Act at +1 initiative.
- Power – Next saving throw against this wand is at -1.
- Dueling – Gain +1 to a saving throw.
- The Serpent – Requires contact (to-hit roll). Save vs. poison or die*.
- Vitality – Gain +1d4 hit points (once per day).
- The Heavens – Cause +1 damage against demons, undead, or summoned creatures.
- Awareness – Surprised only a roll of 1 (lasts all day).
- Deflection – +1 AC versus missile attack.
* Affects creatures up to 4 HD. Above that, the poison inflicts 1d4 points of damage each round, with a saving throw allowed each round to end the effect.