Staff of Defense

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Hi all. I have 2 questions regarding this Wizard Class feature. First, it says to gain a +1 to Ac you must be wielding the staff. I'm not exactly sure what it means to "wield a staff." If anyone can tell me where it is explained that would be appreciated.

Second, the bonus to defense equal to your CON modifier, is this how it works:

Let's say an enemy needs a 15 to hit me and rolls a 16. Then rolls damage. I then say I want to use my Staff of Defense feature. My CON modifier is +2 making my defense 17. Does the Staff then negate all the damage?

Thank you.
I believe that you must choose to use the con mod boost to defense before it rolls damage.
Wielding a staff simply means you have a staff in hand, just like a wand or an orb. Since you're using it as an implement, it only requires one hand. (It takes two hands to use a staff as a *weapon*, though.)

As for your second question: I believe you apply the Staff of Defense modifier to your AC after the hit is rolled but before damage.
As for your second question: I believe you apply the Staff of Defense modifier to your AC after the hit is rolled but before damage.

Actually, it specificially says "You can declare the bonus after the Dungeon Master has already told you the damage total." PH p.157

In that case, the staff would negate the hit (although you may still take damage from a miss effect).
According to the PH: "You can declare the bonus after the DM has already told you the damage total." So how exactly would this work?

Also, if I'm just walking and holding my staff and I get surprised, do I still have the +1 to AC?

Thanks.
Wielding is ill defined.

However they DO make a distinction between wielding and holding.


Basically, to WIELD an implement means that it is ready for use. If you had to use a power at any given moment, would you legally be able to use that implement with that power?

If so, you are wielding the staff.


An example of NOT wielding would be if you have a light shield, and are using the same hand to HOLD a defensive staff. You gain the properties of the staff, but could NOT use it for a power. Hence, you are not wielding it.

If that was the only staff you had in your hands, you would also lose the +1AC, AND ability to use the Staff Interrupt.


In fact, that is really the ONLY example I can think of that you would be holding an implement but unable to wield it.
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What if I was a WoST using my longsword as a staff and my sword was in the sheath. Would I gain the +1 to AC on a surprise attack?
Also, if I'm just walking and holding my staff and I get surprised, do I still have the +1 to AC?

Yes. Just because you're surprised while holding an implement doesn't mean you're not wielding it at that moment. (Unless you've specifically stated that you've shifted it to an arm with a light shield attached.)

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

What if I was a WoST using my longsword as a staff and my sword was in the sheath. Would I gain the +1 to AC on a surprise attack?

If your sword is in the sheath you're not wielding it.
Wielding a staff simply means you have a staff in hand, just like a wand or an orb. Since you're using it as an implement, it only requires one hand. (It takes two hands to use a staff as a *weapon*, though.)

As for your second question: I believe you apply the Staff of Defense modifier to your AC after the hit is rolled but before damage.

Thats BS, Staff Implement/Weapon needs to be wielded in two hands, holding it in one hand does nothing for you.
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holding it in one hand does nothing for you.

Except allow you to have Small races use Staff of Defense.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Except allow you to have Small races use Staff of Defense.

A small race can't wield a staff, I don't make the rules I just follow em.
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A small race can't wield a staff, I don't make the rules I just follow em.

Wielding an implement staff only rrequires one hand, thus small races can wield staff implements.
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> Thats BS, Staff Implement/Weapon needs to be wielded in two hands,
> holding it in one hand does nothing for you.

Untrue. You only need one hand to wield a staff as an implement. You need two hands to wield it as a weapon. The Staff of Defense feature only requires you to be wielding it as an implement.
Thats BS, Staff Implement/Weapon needs to be wielded in two hands, holding it in one hand does nothing for you.

I direct you to this post.

Staffs (and quarterstaffs) can be used as an implement one handed.

I direct you to this post.

Quoting a staff member talking about an error in the character builder does not really help your case ;)
A small race can't wield a staff, I don't make the rules I just follow em.

When you are talking about house rules that you have made up, you should really point out that you are talking about house rules.

Those of us using the real rules to the game would appreciate it as it causes less confusion. If in your game implements are treated like two handed weapons, that is fine, but please dont post as if it is a game rule.
Quoting a staff member talking about an error in the character builder does not really help your case ;)

hmm I guess saying 'staff' might have been a bad idea, because now I am guessing some people reading that are going to think I was talking about the staff implement/weapon group, since for some reason they think every use of the word 'staff' means the exact same thing. ;P
When you are talking about house rules that you have made up, you should really point out that you are talking about house rules.

Those of us using the real rules to the game would appreciate it as it causes less confusion. If in your game implements are treated like two handed weapons, that is fine, but please dont post as if it is a game rule.

Its not a house rule at all, a staff is a two handed implement until the rules say otherwise, its a two handed weapon there for its a two handed implement. Its also basic common sense and until there is an actual rule thats how we play it. A house rule would be saying that you can wield a staff one handed even if your a small race.

If you could point out in the PH where it says a staff is a one handed implement and that small races can use it I will of course retract my statement.
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Its not a house rule at all, a staff is a two handed implement until the rules say otherwise, its a two handed weapon there for its a two handed implement.

Small characters can't use two-handed weapons, but there's nothing that says a Small character can't use two-handed implements.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Its not a house rule at all, a staff is a two handed implement until the rules say otherwise, its a two handed weapon there for its a two handed implement. Its also basic common sense and until there is an actual rule thats how we play it. A house rule would be saying that you can wield a staff one handed even if your a small race.

If you could point out in the PH where it says a staff is a one handed implement and that small races can use it I will of course retract my statement.

Two Handed is a weapon description not a implement description.
If your going to use the weapon descriptions for the implements then besides holy symbols where does it say that the rest of them only use one hand?
Its not a house rule at all, a staff is a two handed implement until the rules say otherwise, its a two handed weapon there for its a two handed implement.

wow wow wow ... run that logic by me again please ... AFAIK there is no such 2 handed weapon called staff ...

- there is a two handed weapon called quarterstaff - not that I want the discussion here if you can use a quaterstaff as a implement)
- there is a rule saying you can use a staff as a quarterstaff - emphasis on 'can', not must

IIRC there is a CS ruling saying you can wield a staff with 1 hand ..
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Quoting a staff member talking about an error in the character builder does not really help your case ;)

An error in the character builder where it does not reflect how the game should function...

Yeah, I see no actual correlation there
Its not a house rule at all, a staff is a two handed implement until the rules say otherwise, its a two handed weapon there for its a two handed implement. Its also basic common sense and until there is an actual rule thats how we play it. A house rule would be saying that you can wield a staff one handed even if your a small race.

If you could point out in the PH where it says a staff is a one handed implement and that small races can use it I will of course retract my statement.

Hey, do whatever you want in your game. I understand that there is a lot of confusion due to the lousy wording of the PHB. A simple sentence that explained that it is usable as a weapon with two hands, BUT is usable as an implement 1handed would have helped a lot!

However, the general concensus is that staves are 1 handed when used as implements. Staff members have confirmed this.

They specifically CHANGED the character builder that previous only allowed two handed use of a staff. Now it is usable one handed. They fixed this because it was percieved to be a bug.
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Its not a house rule at all, a staff is a two handed implement until the rules say otherwise, its a two handed weapon there for its a two handed implement. Its also basic common sense and until there is an actual rule thats how we play it. A house rule would be saying that you can wield a staff one handed even if your a small race.

If you could point out in the PH where it says a staff is a one handed implement and that small races can use it I will of course retract my statement.

Your house rules appear to be applying weapon classifications to implements, where the game rules do not. There is no such thing as a one handed or two handed implement. Implements take one hand because the rules dont say how many hands they take and that is one answer that customer service has always been consistant on, implements take one hand.
Character Builder says that the Staff Implement qualifies as off hand, and I wield a Staff of Ruin +2 in my main hand and a +2 Tome in my off hand for stupid damage with Dual Implement Spellcasting. According to Character Builder, it works just fine. Character builder also gives me the +1 AC from Staff of Defense when I do this.
...whatever
Sorry to dig up and old thread, but does Staff of Defense take into account the level modifier?