Primordial Staff (5e Equipment)

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Staff, legendary (requires attunement)

A long staff made of unknown wood-like material, it's 7 ft long, weights 4 lb. and has a shiny orb on its top. There are 21 of them, one for each primordial element, and one for Heaven and one for Hell.

A long staff made of unknown wood-like material, its 7 ft long, weights 4 lb. and has a shiny orb on its top. There are 21 of them, one for each primordial element. These staves were created and used eons and eons ago by the first mages. The Orb emits a faint glow, so faint that you can hardly see it, even in complete darkness (it does not shed enough light to light up the area around it). The glow is always any color besides the actual color of the orb, the reason is unknown even for today's magicians. The orb changes color once per day at midnight until the element has been discovered.
The Eternity Staff
The most powerful of the staves is the staff of the eternity element. By itself, it does not do anything. It can however absorb the other staves, and gain the powers of the staves it absorbs. Once it has absorbed all of the other 20 staves, the first time it is used, it explodes causing the effects of all 126 spells at the same time, and the other staves are randomly distributed across the multiverse. The eternity staff will be pulled toward another staff within 1 mile. A strength of 6 or higher is necessary to keep the staff from moving in that direction by itself. An attuned wielder of the eternity staff will feel dissatisfaction until the other staves are all absorbed.
Which Staff
The dungeon master may choose or roll randomly for which primordial staff is found. Roll 1d20 if you want the eternity staff to be among the possibilities, or roll 1d20+1 or 2d10 if not. Use the table below. Or just pick a staff of one element.
Attunement, Discovery, and Control
  • Attunement - Attunement takes one month. During the attunement period, the staff will cast a random 4th level spell per day (midnight to midnight) at a random time of day. Roll 2d10 for a random element for that spell.
    • Once the staff is attuned, the wielder can try to discover which staff it is.
  • Discovery - When one of the 21 staves is found, the element of the staff is not revealed, it must be revealed:
    • By performing a great (8th or 9th level) magic of the same element or
    • By studying the staff for 1 year.
    • By rolling a d6 for a random spell, once per day. The columns are numbered 1 to 6. Each time the staff is used another random spell is rolled again.
  • Control - Once each of the spells of that element has been fired once, the wielder gains control of which spell to cast from then on.
    • The wielder may continue to use the staff to cast a random spell, but this is now rolled on a d12 with spells 7-12 being the planar spells shown in the eternity row.
Eternity Spells
  • Once the wielder attunes with and gains control of the staff, they may also use spells on the eternity row in the table below.
    • Spells such as conjure elemental and gate are limited to the element of the staff, for example the primordial fire staff can only conjure a fire elemental, and the infernal gate can only gate to an infernal plane.
    • Spells with this limitation are: Conjure Minor Elementals, Conjure Elemental, Plane Shift, Shapechange, Planar Binding, Planar Ally, and Gate.
    • All staves can use the eternity element spells once their nature is discovered.
    • The elemental spells draw creatures from the one of the 19 elemental planes or the plane of Heaven or Hell based on the staff, not just the earth, air, fire, water elements.
Six Spells Per Day
Once you control the staff, you may cast one spell per level every actual day. That is a 24 hour day from midnight to midnight, not the usual 'after a long rest'. The spell at each level may be the eternity spell or the specific staff spell. The staff only casts two spells per day until controlled, one 4th level as listed above, and one random one if the wielder decides to do this to discover the nature of the staff.

An attuned staff can ONLY cast spells that are based on its element as listed below.

d20 Element Color 1. Level 4 Element Spell 2. Level 5 Spell 3. Level 6 Spell 4. Level 7 Spell 5. Level 8 Spell 6. Level 9 Spell
1 Eternity changing 7. Conjure Minor Elementals 8. Conjure Elemental 9. Planar Ally 10. Plane Shift 11. Planar Binding 12. Gate
2 Order white Aura of Purity Circle of Power Globe of Invulnerability Crown of Stars Antipathy/Sympathy Foresight
3 Chaos orange Confusion Mislead Scatter Symbol Maddening Darkness Storm of Vengeance
4 Light yellow Greater Invisibility Dawn Sunbeam Prismatic Spray Sunburst Prismatic Wall
5 Shadow violet Shadow of Moil Creation Eyebite Forcecage Illusory Dragon Weird
6 Spirit pink Locate Creature Geas True Seeing Etherealness Glibness Astral Projection
7 Mind tan Compulsion Awaken Mental Prison Project Image Telepathy Psychic Scream
8 Earth brown Stone Shape Wall of Stone Move Earth Reverse Gravity Earthquake Shapechange
9 Air transparent Storm Sphere Cloudkill Chain Lightning Whirlwind Control Weather Invulnerability
10 Fire red Fire Shield Flame Strike Investiture of Flame Fire Storm Incendiary Cloud Meteor Swarm
11 Water blue Control Water Maelstrom Conjure Fey Plane Shift Tsunami True Polymorph
12 Cold cyan Ice Storm Cone of Cold Freezing Sphere Simulacrum Mind Blank Power Word Heal
13 Life green Aura of Life Animate Objects Heal Resurrection Clone True Resurrection
14 Death grey Blight Contagion Circle of Death Finger of Death Feeblemind Power Word Kill
15 Celestial pearl Death Ward Legend Lore Planar Ally Conjure Celestial Holy Aura Mass Heal
16 Infernal black Dominate Beast Infernal Calling Harm Power Word Pain Dominate Monster Blade of Disaster
17 Time indigo Dimension Door Hold Monster Flesh To Stone Sequester Demiplane Time Stop
18 Nature lavender Conjure Woodland Beings Commune With Nature Wall of Thorns Regenerate Animal Shapes Mass Polymorph
19 Space magenta Freedom of Movement Scrying Find the Path Teleport Maze Imprisonment
20 Complexity chartreuse Fabricate Modify Memory Programmed Illusion Mirage Arcane Mighty Fortress Wish
21 Void anti-light Banishment Destructive Wave Forbiddance Divine Word Antimagic Field Ravenous Void
  • The staff will cast any spell as if the wielder is using the 9th slot of magic.
  • The dungeon master may customize this item for their campaign, swapping out spells as they see fit.
  • The staff may be wielded by a cleric, druid, warlock, or wizard, but not a sorcerer.
  • If the staff is broken, the most recent user of the staff will NEVER be able to use spells of the element of the staff again. Once broken, the staff disappears to reappear whole again in the next 6 days, somewhere randomly in the multiverse.

Primordial Planes[edit]

As dungeon master you can of course do what you want with your cosmology and integrate this staff however you like.

If you have not constructed the layout of your elemental planes, this is a layout designed to go with the primordial staves:

A possible layout for the planes Credit: Jon Grover, 2020

Default elemental for each plane
Plane Default Elemental
Eternity Banshee
Order Coatl
Chaos Black Pudding
Light Cyclops
Shadow Cloaker
Spirit Ghost
Mind Intellect Devourer
Earth Earth Elemental
Air Air Elemental
Fire Fire Elemental
Water Water Elemental
Cold Young Rhemorhaz
Life Shambling Mound
Death Wraith
Heaven Unicorn
Hell Cambion
Time Rust Monster
Nature Otyugh
Space Roper
Complexity Chimera
Void Invisible Stalker

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