Full Item Description
While the description of these staves varies from staff to staff, they all share a common power, the ability to expend charges to Summon Servants. Considered a relatively minor spell, once contained in a staff that can be used by others besides wizards, the spell becomes more useful. A wizard or other non-divine spellcaster can expend a spell to empower the staff, activating it's summoning power without expending charges from the mana resevoir.
As a general rule, the servants summoned are unable to speak, and cannot fight even to defend themselves. They can interact with the world around them, but are generally intended for doing menial tasks, hard labor and the like. The duration of a summon is generally one hour, though a summon can be sustained by spending charges at the rate of one per two hours, or once per in game scene, whichever is more. Most staves summon 1D6 servants of minimal skill. Advanced and skilled servants come at 1D4, while servants capable of fighting are summoned one at a time. A staff can only be used to cast one summoning, and cannot cast again until the previous summoning is destroyed, dispelled, or time expires. This means that a staff can only summon 1D6, not 1D6 this round, and another 1D6 the next round and so on.
Most of the Staves of Servants assume generic summons each time. Like the realm of Summoning, a staff can be used to continually summon the same servant. Though this servant will not grow in persona, they can become recognizeable. Thus a Staff of Horrors might summon a generic menagerie of ghouls, one continually used by the same wizard could start summoning the same cadre of ghouls each time, starting with a ghoul that looks like the wizard's ex-wife, then the bully who beat him up as a kid all the way until there are six or seven who regularly appear when summoned. This is purely optional.
The Staff of the Viceroy
This six foot silver rod allows the Viceroy or similar state official to alternately summon unseen attendants of some skill, observers who are partially visible in the manner of ghosts, or spectral soldiers in service to the state. The number of semi-tangible servants summoned is entirely dependant on the type summoned.
Summoning run of the mill servants with basic valet skills and no combat ability generally conjures 1D6+1 servants. Such arcane assistants can do anything that a normal peasant educated in castle and state affairs can do, but do not speak, and cannot defend themselves.
Spectral Watchers (1D4 per summoning) are faster and can move through solid objects to spy at the whim of the Viceroy or other commanding official. They are stopped, however, by presentation of the Seal of the State, an icon of the state, or can be dismissed by officials higher ranking than the summoner. Like the mundane servants, the Watchers cannot defend themselves, but are able to communicate via pantomime and writing in misty mirrors or in a loose media like sand on a board.
Spectral Soldiers, 1 per summoning, are the equivalent to a low level but not inexperienced fighter. Unable to speak, these are among the few summoned servants that are able to fight and defend themselves. Damage is moderate, regardless of the type of weapon being wielded by the Spectral guard. All deal lethal damage equal to that of a longsword, if it is a ceremonial shortsword, halbard, or battleaxe, it is all the same. This damage is considered magical for defeating creatures immune to mundane weapons.
Staff of Horrific Servants
While items such as the Staff of the Majordomo summon invisible servants, the SoHS allows the mage of the staff to summon a number of leering, demonic, rotting zombies, etc, servants to appear to do his tasks as directed. Despite their vile and terrifying appearances, the servants are harmless spirits of burden.
Each Staff of Horrific Servants is unique in it's own fashion, as it summons the same general troop of beasts and monsters at the whim of the summoner. So a staff that conjures ichor dripping zombies and flyblown corpses is always and only going to summon such horrors. There is some variation from user to user though, one summoner might get withered and dry corpses, another might get dripping wet shufflers, and another might drawn forth mold and moss covered elfin dead.
Sample Horror Categories
Zombies and rotting undead
Skeletons and dry undead
Giant insect people
Apparitions of leering Flame
The Staff of the Well-Dressed Servant
There have been a great variety of staves created with the power to create unseen servants, menial spirits to perform menial tasks. Each of these invariably increases the power of the servant and their designated function. This particular stave conjured the standard non-combative spirit servant, but instead of being invisible, these spirits appear as young pages clad in grey robes and white undershirts.
Unlike other summoned servants, the Well-Dressed servant is also rather more intelligent and able to do more than menial tasks. These servants can do tasks that require reading, writing, and other fine skills. While their writing is far from ornate, it is legible. Favorites of Axiomancers, sages, and court viziers, these servants are among the easiest to dismiss. Simply indicating that a servant has failed in it's task, or it's appearance is unsuitable is enough to cause the servant to evaporate in a puff of smoke.
Staff of Earthly Delights
This staff is always gold and capped with a large red stone, usually a ruby. The end of the staff also is adorned with either the form of a naked woman, or an erect phallic image. These staves summon concubines made of magic for the most carnal of uses. A staff will summon 1D4 sensual servants, though most are keyed to summon either only women (85%), both sexes (10%) or rarely only men (5%).
Most often these summoned toys fall between the bawdiness of street whores and the refined aura of the geisha. A general rule of thumb is what would a sultan have in his harem, then adjusted to fit the desires of the staff-holder.
Staff of the Masons
This useful staff can help speed the construction of fortifications and the like, though a skilled engineer is still required. It is generally made from sturdy oak, capped on both ends by bright steel bands. When invoked, 1-4 skilled masons (often of dwarvish appearance) are brought forth to labour under skilled direction.
Tools do not need to be provided, the servants producing whatever tool is necessary for the task at hand, though the domain is limited to stonework.
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? Responses (11)
Okay. I do like this - these are wonderful for adding color without being uber-powerful.
Some of these are rather ...creative.
This is a very good post but I can't comment as much as I want to because I feel so tired today.
Now, where is the Staff of Muscle, the rather massive piece usable in melee combat, which produces an equally massive bodyguard servant, with small vocabulary, but also usable in melee?
Nice thematic collection!
How about this one? Good inspiration Manfred and thank you
Happy to inspire something to life!
So, let's see what is still missing... you explored the direction of more power/material reality -> less servants. How about looking at the opposite vector?
You could have a staff, that summons a flock of birds, that would behave like a flock - but following the whims of the caster. And so it could sweep upon a target, or stay menacingly around a place, or even the user. (Of course it would be purely illusory.)
A similar option is to have a human crowd available - doing nothing of importance, but a crowd can be useful, too.
Staff of the Verizon Wireless horde of technicians?
You could rent the staff for business openings, on the theory that crowds attract crowds.
What val said! These staves are growing on me!
A nice item for adding colour to a world.
*Commented on for the Commenting Challenge