Wand Handbook
Disclaimer: All of the following information come from http://www.d20srd.org/

Wands
A wand is a thin baton that contains a single spell of 4th level or lower. Each wand has 50 charges when created, and each charge expended allows the user to use the wand’s spell one time. A wand that runs out of charges is just a stick.

Physical Description:
A typical wand is 6 inches to 12 inches long and about ¼ inch thick, and often weighs no more than 1 ounce. Most wands are wood, but some are bone. A rare few are metal, glass, or even ceramic, but these are quite exotic. Occasionally, a wand has a gem or some device at its tip, and most are decorated with carvings or runes. A typical wand has AC 7, 5 hit points, hardness 5, and a break DC of 16.

Spell Trigger:
No gestures or spell finishing is needed, just a special knowledge of spellcasting that an appropriate character would know, and a single word that must be spoken. Anyone with a spell on his or her spell list knows how to use a spell trigger item that stores that spell. (This is the case even for a character who can’t actually cast spells, such as a 3rd-level paladin.) The user must still determine what spell is stored in the item before she can activate it. Activating a spell trigger item is a standard action and does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Activation:
Wands use the spell trigger activation method, so casting a spell from a wand is usually a standard action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity. (If the spell being cast, however, has a longer casting time than 1 standard action, it takes that long to cast the spell from a wand.) To activate a wand, a character must hold it in hand (or whatever passes for a hand, for non humanoid creatures) and point it in the general direction of the target or area. A wand may be used while grappling or while swallowed whole.

Creation:
To create a magic wand, a character needs a small supply of materials, the most obvious being a baton or the pieces of the wand to be assembled. The cost for the materials is subsumed in the cost for creating the wand—375 gp × the level of the spell × the level of the caster. Wands are always fully charged (50 charges) when created.

The creator must have prepared the spell to be stored (or must know the spell, in the case of a sorcerer or bard) and must provide any focuses the spell requires. Fifty of each needed material component are required, one for each charge. If casting the spell would reduce the caster’s XP total, she pays the cost (multiplied by 50) upon beginning the wand in addition to the XP cost for making the wand itself. Likewise, material components are consumed when she begins working, but focuses are not. (A focus used in creating a wand can be reused.) The act of working on the wand triggers the prepared spell, making it unavailable for casting during each day devoted to the wand’s creation. (That is, that spell slot is expended from her currently prepared spells, just as if it had been cast.)
Crafting a wand requires one day per each 1,000 gp of the base price.

Points to take in consideration:
  • Wands are fragile and easy to sunder. Try to keep them safe, away from opponents' attacks.
  • No gestures or spell finishing is needed. You can use wands in armor without spellcasting failure.
  • Using a wand is a standard action or greater. That means that spells that normally require a swift or immediate action to cast aren't usually optimal to store in wands.
  • You don't provoke attacks of opportunity when casting from a wand. Casting from a wand can be handy when threatened.
  • You can use a wand while grappled or swallowed whole. Perfect for quick escape mechanisms.
Dorjes
A dorje is a slender crystal that contains a single power. Each dorje has 50 charges when created, and each charge expended allows one use of that power. A dorje that runs out of charges is just a simple crystal.

Physical Description:
A typical dorje is an elongated crystal of one color (or colorless), between 8 inches and 10 inches long and about ½ inch thick, which can weigh up to ¼ pound. Occasionally, a dorje is decorated with carvings or inscribed runes along a face of the crystal. A typical dorje has AC 7, 7 hit points, a hardness of 8, and a break DC of 18.

Power Trigger:
It requires the special knowledge of power manifestation that a character of the appropriate class would know, and the formation of the appropriate command thought. If a power is on a character’s power list, the character knows how to use a power trigger item that stores that power. The user must still determine what power is stored in the item before she can activate it. Activating a power trigger item is a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.

Powers stored in power trigger items are not augmented. Such powers are assumed to be stored in the item at the minimum manifester level necessary to manifest the power. However, certain items may specify a higher manifester level than necessary. If such an item holds a power that deals hit point damage, the power is assumed to be augmented to the maximum allowed by the power and the manifester level.

Activation:
Dorjes use the power trigger activation method, so manifesting a power from a dorje is usually a standard action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity. (If the power being manifested has a manifesting time longer than 1 standard action, however, it takes that long to manifest the power from a dorje.) The user must have the power on his class list, even if he knows the command thought. Additionally, to activate a dorje, a character must hold it in hand and point it in the general direction of the target or area to be affected.

Creation:
To create a dorje, a character needs a small supply of materials, the most obvious being a chunk of crystal or the crystal shards of the dorje to be carved from or assembled. The cost of the materials is subsumed in the cost of creating the dorje—375 gp × the level of the power × the level of the manifester. Dorjes are always fully charged (50 charges) when created.

If an augmentable power is incorporated into a dorje at a higher manifester level than the minimum level required to manifest the power, each discharge of the power from the dorje is augmented to the limit of that higher manifester level. Alternatively, if you want to have a higher manifester level in the dorje, you must pay for the dorje as if the power was one level higher for each additional two manifester levels you want. For example, energy missile is a 2nd-level kineticist power with a minimum manifester level of 3rd. If you wanted to make a dorje of energy missile with a manifester level of 8th (five higher than the minimum), you would pay for the creation of the dorje as if energy missile was a 5th-level power.

The creator must know the power or powers to be imprinted in the dorje (or must have the power available in some other form). If manifesting the power would reduce the manifester’s experience point total, she pays the cost (multiplied by 50) upon beginning the dorje in addition to the experience point cost for making the dorje itself. The act of working on the dorje costs a number of power points per day equal to the power point cost of the power that is being embedded in the crystal of the dorje.
Crafting a dorje requires one day for each 1,000 gp of the base price.

Points to take in consideration:
  • Dorjes are not as fragile as wands, but still they need protection.
  • Using a dorje is a standard action or greater. That means that powers that normally require a swift or immediate action to manifest aren't usually optimal to store in dorjes.
  • You don't provoke attacks of opportunity when casting from a dorje. Casting from a dorje can be handy when threatened.
  • Dorjes can store powers of any level.
Classes and Wands:

Bard: Bards are very good with wands. They have a nice spell list with a mix of arcane and divine spells and UMD as a class skill, while charisma is of great importance to them.
Cleric: The ability to use most divine wands in the whole d&d universe and some arcane ones (magic domain power, domain spells) is nothing to scoff at.
Druid: While not good as the previous two, these characters don't have to use a lot of equipment. Wands is are nice items to invest money in.
Paladin: Not the best wand user, but can act as a secondary healer.
Ranger: Ditto. Also note that rangers and paladins, as with other classes get some spells at earlier levels. (e.g. paladins get lesser restoration as a 1st level spell). That way they can provide the spell required for a wand to a creator.
Rogue: As with bards, this class has UMD as a class skill. However they don't have a spell list or need hos a high charisma, which makes them inferior. Note that you can use touch attacks spells to deliver sneak attacks. That way you can make use of 0 - spell level wands (acid splash, ray of frost, etc) to deliver sneak attacks as a ranged touch attack. The nice thing about this, is that sneak attack damage is of the spell's type. So if you deal cold damage with a ray of frost, your sneak attack damage will also be cold. That way, the extra damage may apply to creatures normally immune to sneak attack.
Sorcerer: The sorcerer's limited spell list makes wands a need.
Wizard: Most times wizards are wand crafters, due to their wide range of spells known and their earlier acquisition of spell levels (wizards get 2nd level spells at CL 3 and sorcerers at CL 4).
Artificer: Probably the best base class that can use wands. Lots of bonus feats, infusions, craft reserve, imbue item and UMD skill mastery.
Wu Jen: Has the ability to use eternal wands and has a pretty different spell list.
Favored Soul: This class greatly requires the use of wands due to his limited spell selection. Because the clerical spell list is huge, favored souls can use various powerful wands.
Spirit Shaman: Interesting class due to their unique spell acquisition system. The use of wands can open some retrieved spell slots to use with more spamming spells.
Shugenja: This class is so limited that even wands can't be a optimization step.
Warmage: Not the best class to use wands. Generally damaging spells aren't optimal on wands. Also no UMD.
Warlock: Has the ability to deceive item at early levels, is a charisma based class, has UMD class skill and later he can imbue item. Very good wand crafters and users.
Hexblade: Gets some interesting utility spells. Not a wand user per se, but hexblades use wands to expand their limited spells per day.
Spellthief: Not only they have a nice little list of spells, they are charisma based and have UMD as a class skill.
Healer: Again the limited selection and lack of UMD as a class skill makes this class bad for spending money on wands.
Factotum: Has the ability to cast different spells and has UMD as a class skill. Wands are very nice for factotums.
Beguiler: Limited spell list, but with some nice to use on wands and UMD class skill.
Duskblades: Not the best wand users since they don't have synergy with their notable class ability of arcane channeling. Still, they have a limited spell list and it isn't bad to expand it just a little.

Feats for Wands:

Craft Wand PHB: Not only this is required for a wand crafter, it is usually listed as a requirement for wand feats.
Double Wand Wielder CA: Requires two-weapon fighting. You can activate both wands using a full round action, but your off hand wand expends one additional charge. Useful if you are blasting with your wands or activating a particular combo.
Reckless Wand Wielder CA: Expend one additional charge to increase caster level by 2. This feat will be discussed later.
Wandstrike CA: Attack with your wand and activate it as a part of the attack. This is useful actually, with both offensive and defensive options. If activating your wand requires the expenditure of one additional charge, this feat's functionality decreases though.
Magic Device Attunement CM: Useful for low level UMD wand users.
Metamagic Spell Trigger CM: This is an extremely useful ability. Remember that you expend additional charges equal to the spell level increase, which with certain feats like Arcane Thesis and various metamagic reducers, can be reduced to zero.
Consecrate Spell Trigger BoED: Expend a turn undead attempt to apply the consecrate spell metamagic feat to the triggered spell. Nice feat for blasters, but you do need to be able to turn undead to use it.
Purify Spell Trigger BoED: Again useful for blasters. If you are in a all-good party, you can trigger area spells and still not harm your teammates. Also deals extra damage to evil creatures. Requires turn undead though.
Channel Charge LEoF: Very useful feat. Especially if you get a wand of a spell that has an expensive material component and/or experience component, this will let you lose practically only a spell of a level higher.
Item Reprieve LEoF: Choose a prohibited school. You can use not spell completion and spell trigger items from that school normally. Especially useful for those low level spells from popular prohibited schools (evocation, illusion, enchantment).
Arcane Schooling PGtF: Choose an arcane spellcasting class. You can activate spell trigger magic items from that class. Important for characters who want to use wands without actually taking levels in spellcasting classes. Ironically, you can't use eternal wands with this.
Magical Artisan PGtF: Make item for 75% item creation costs.
Magical Training PGtF: This is the alternative to Arcane Schooling. Enables you to use eternal wands, but not regular ones, except for a few.
Wand Mastery ECS: This opens up posibilities for blasting with wands. Especially for high level wands, this is powerful, as every little bit of caster level costs a lot.
Cull Wand Essence MoE: Produce damage rays from expended charges. The target must be within 60ft and spell resistance applies. That makes it sub optimal.
Prophecy's Artifex MoE: When in prophetic favor you can activate wands as a swift action.
Wand Surge MoE: Spend an action point instead of a charge to trigger the item. As channel charge but better, due to spells like unfettered heroism. This is a must have for Eberron wand-users.
Classes and Dorjes:

Psion: Psions get fewer "spells" than even a sorcerer. They have a pretty good list, so dorjes are important to psions to fill in the blanks. Shapers get UPD as a class skill.
Psychic Warrior: As with psions, they have a nice power list, but only get a few to use. Dorjes help expand their lists. Unfortunately, no UPD.
Wilder: If you want to ever play this class, better back up with tons of dorjes.

Spells for Wands

This is a list of the best spells to hold in a wand. Generally try to use spells with nice duration/caster level and no spell resistance. Saving throws can also be a problem for wands.

Legend
N: Normal wand.
E: Eternal wand.

Align Weapon N: Handy when fighting enemies with specific damage reduction.
Alter Self E, N: This is one of the best spells of its level. Very useful in combat and extremely versatile outside.
Animal Messenger N: Get a ranger provide the spell for you. Nice duration and useful. Ranger 1
Arcane Sight E, N: Nice duration and abilities. Trapsmith 1
Bear's Endurance and similar E, N: Nice "on the fly" buffs handy at low levels. Trapsmith offers them at lower level. Chained spell applied to these spells can help buff your party using less charges.
Bless N: The duration is nice and this can buff a lot at low levels.
Bless Weapon N: Ok duration and nice abilities.
Blur E, N: Miss chance, concealment and a protection from sneak attacks.
Charm Person E, N: Nice for non combat situations, especially when used on merchants. Nice duration.
Command Undead E, N: Great duration and when used on mindless undead no saving throw.
Comprehend Languages E, N: Usable by both clerics, wizards and bards, ok duration
Consecrate/Desecrate N: Big duration, no saving throw/SR and great benefits.
Continual Flame E, N: Permanent duration and handy in times of need. Sorcerer/Wizard 2
Cure Wounds E, N: Thanks to bards, this can make it to eternal wands. They are usable by many different classes.
Darkvision E, N: Nice utility spell if you haven't already darkvision and nice duration. sorcerer/wizard 2
Daylight N: Duration, no SR, no saving throw. Nice spell, but you usually don't want to keep it memorized all the time.
Detect Spells maybe E, N: Useful so that you don't have to memorize them.
Dimension Door E, N: Great spell, you can use it for an escape mechanism as triggering a wand doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. Trapsmith 2
Disguise Spell E, N: Nice spell, cheap and good duration.
Dispel Magic E, N: Trapsmiths get this spell at first level. Normally to fully benefit from this wand, you would have to spend 10 caster levels. That would be 10 CL * 3 spell level * 375 = 30 * 375. But with trapsmith you get it for the same benefit at 1/3 of the price: 10 CL * 1 spell level * 375 = 10 * 375.
Dispel Magic, Greater N: Normally can't make it into a wand, but trapsmith helps here again. You need to spend 20 caster levels so that makes it a: 20 CL * 3 spell level * 375 = 60 * 375 = 22.500. Not bad for 50 charges of full caster level greater dispel magic.
Divine Favor N: Nice bonuses and the duration is probably going to last the whole battle. To benefit you would need 18 caster levels for only 6.750. Because of the low spell level you can use channel charge to save money. Also extend spell applied to this lasts two minutes, more than any battle will last.
Divine Power N: Very nice buff for wand users. Huge bonuses and you will probably need to make it persistent somehow after casting it on yourself (such as with incantatrix's metamagic effect).
Enlarge Person E, N: Again a useful buff. Chained spell applied can save you charges.
Expeditious Retreat E, N: Great duration and level.
False Life E, N: Nice benefit for low level casters. Can come handy and isn't really dependent on caster level.
Find Traps N: Transforms a UMD and search user to a trapfinder.
Fireball N: I am just listing it to show that it's bad to get in a wand. Low saving throw, SR and needs high caster level. This is too expensive to be effective.
Flame Blade N: Nice spell which lets you to make melee touch attacks. You can persist it if you want and it doesn't care for your caster level really or your strength modifier. Nice for skill monkey - gishes with low BAB. You can use metamagic feats to change the elemental damage.
Flame Arrow N: If you've got an archer in your party, this might be useful. Doesn't care about caster level and other variables.
Fly N: This comes handy in times of need and it helps you not memorizing it.
Fog Cloud E, N: Nice duration, no SR, saving throw.
Gaseous Form E, N: Trapsmith 1st level spell. Nice and useful. 2 minutes are more than enough.
Gentle Repose N: Nice duration and handy for clerics who raise a lot.
Glibness N: Very nice spell with a huge unnamed bonus.
Glitterdust E, N: One of the best spells of its level. Unfortunately the duration is bad, but can be used to reveal people hiding.
Good Hope N: Nice buff with +2 morale bonus to nearly everything.
Grease E, N: Very nice for sneak attackers. If the target doesn't have 5+ ranks in balance he is considered flat footed. Pretty cheap, too.
Guidance N: +1 bonus to a single check is very nice. It's competence though but can help it important rolls since it has 1 minute duration.
Gust of Wind E, N: Keep just one of these in an eternal wand to blast area effects and clouds away in times of need.
Haste E, N: Very nice buff for battle, mobility and protection. Trapsmith level 1 spell level.
Heroism E, N: +2 morale bonus to some rolls. Nice duration and can make it into an eternal wand.
Identify E, N: To use with channel charge / wand surge tricks.
Invisibility E, N: Useful and its duration is ok. Nice for sneak attackers.
Keen Edge N: Great for buffing up pre-combat. Can be chained to save charges. Ok duration.
Knock E. N: Very nice to put on a wand because it doesn't depend on caster level. Trapsmiths get this at spell level 1.
Leomund's Tiny Hut N: Nice to provide a place to stay when adventuring. You can use channel charge/wand surge tricks to keep your charges for a permanent mobile home. The duration is 5 (caster level required) * 2 = 10 hours, more than enough to rest and prepare spells.
Levitate E, N: Doesn't depend on caster level, can be chained and it's a nice buff.
Locate Creature/Object E, N: Nice durations and caster level pretty irrelevant.
Longstrider N: Counts as an enhancement bonus, but the duration is very nice.
Mage Armor E, N: Nice duration and effect.
Magic Weapon/Fang N: Requires high caster level, but it can be chained and use channel charge/wand surge to keep charges.
A +5 weapon costs 50.000. A magic weapon, greater wand of 20 caster level costs 22.500 and a 4th level slot each day. And is usable on different weapons.
Magic Missile E, N: This is mentioned because it does force damage. You can use metamagic feats like fell drain, fell weaken, fell animate, which have great effects.
Magic Stone N: As above, only to greater effect. By applying fell drain for example, you get three stones that bestow -4 penalty to strength with just one casting. With fell animate this becomes sick.
Magic Vestment N: Not that useful as with weapons, but still, you save money. Remember that you must spend spells (to channel charge or action surge) to make this work. A suit of +5 armor costs 25.000.
Mirror Image E, N: Nice buff and duration.
Mount E, N: Can be chained and has great duration.
Obscuring Mist E, N: Usable by many classes, no SR/saving throw, nice duration and can be used as a tactical spell.
Pass Without Trace N: Nice duration and great spell.
Ray of Enfeeblement E, N: No saving throw but SR. Not really depends on caster level 1d6 + 1 is more than enough for a 1st level wand. Unfortunately it's strength penalty. A wand of fell weaken ray of frost does the same job with definite results.
Resistance E, N: Cute little buff with nice duration if you don't have a resistance bonus to saving throws.
Restoration, Lesser N: Great if you get a paladin to provide it for you.
Rope Trick E, N: Provides shelter. If you want one for 9 hours it would cost 6.750 gp. Then you can use channel charge/wand surge tricks to keep your charges.
See invisibility E, N: Nice buff and duration.
Shatter E, N: Great when facing crystalline creatures and for destroying stuff, like armor, shields, locks.
Shield Other N: Has some uses. It seems that damage reduction applies twice if both you and the spell's target have. Nice duration.
Spider Climb E, N: Nice duration and keeps you away from danger until you find a way to get a fly speed.
Summon Monster I E, N: Nice utility spell. Creatures can flank, provide cover, activate traps.
True Strike E, N: Nice spell. You can quicken it and provide a way to lower the metamagic cost of quicken spell to make it into a wand quickened, so that you can trigger it as a free action.
Undetectable Alignment E, N: 24 hours duration.
Unseen Servant E, N: Nice duration and effect. Unseen servants can be used in various ways.

Equipment

Glove of Storing DMG: Storing or retrieving an item is a free action and you get an unlimited amount of free actions per turn. That means that this glove does a very good job protecting your wands. Use a free action to retrieve the wand, trigger it and then put it away again.
Heward's Handy Haversack DMG: If you are using wands a lot, this is a nice way to store them. This is useful even in stressful situations because retrieving an item from the haversack doesn't provoke attacks of opportunity. So, for example, someone can retrieve his Dimensional Door wand and trigger it to get away from danger.
Rod of Many Wands CM: This is a very interesting item, but it is not well written at all. First, it seems that you can use the rod regardless of your class, which indeed is very powerful for non-casting non-UMD classes. Second, you activate them all at once by spending more charges. How channel charge or metamagic spell trigger would interact with this?
Metamagic Wandgrip CM: With this you buy a feat (metamagic spell trigger) for 6.000. The only problem is that is usable only some times per day. Still you can buy multiples of this item.
Wand Chamber DS: Especially useful to characters who use weapons or shields a lot, this nonmagical modification allows you to have a single wand readied to be activated, without having to drop your shield/weapon. Also the wand is protected against sunder attempts. The cost is only 100 gp.
Wand Bracer DS: A mundane item that stores wands. They can be retrieved as a swift action and then activated. 300.
Casting Glove MIC: It functions like a glove of storing, but glove of storing or wand chamber is strictly better and cheap.
Quiver of Elhonna DMG: Can be used to store many wands. Handy and cheap.

Tricks

Familiar Wand Users:

You can have your familiar use wands. This is very important, as you can have the same effect (since triggering a wand offers usually the same effect), but without expending your actions.
To use a wand a familiar must:

Hold it in hand (or something that passes for a hand, so claws, hoofs, etc must be ok).
Speak a single word. This is a problem, as most familiars can't speak. You can have a raven familiar however, which speaks a language. Moreover you can cast a tongues spell, or similar effect, to your familiar to make it able to speak.
Spell Knowledge. This is the biggest problem. Your familiar doesn't have a spell list to provide, so it can't really activate the wand. There are several ways to bypass it:
  • Use Magic Device: Your familiar and you share ranks in skills. So if you have a decent amount of use magic device ranks, it will probably be able to trigger the spell.
  • Spell-Linked Familiar (PHB II): This is a feat with little to no requirements. In effect your familiar gets to cast a small amount of spells ranging from level 0 to 2. Consult with your DM if this actually is sufficient for it to activate a normal wand. However, note, that this actually works for eternal wands.
  • Imbue with spell ability and similar effects: Again as above, but cheaper, since this is only a spell. It may or may not give your familiar the ability to use normal wands, but it can use eternal ones without doubt.
Channel Charge Tricks:

Channel Charge, a feat from lost empires of faerun, lets you expend a spell slot one level higher instead of a charge. That is useful in many ways:
  • First and foremost, spending a slot doesn't cost any money, so for a full caster that is very nice. However you must be aware that it needs a pretty high UMD roll, so watch out for that, too.
  • When creating wands that need expensive material components, you must provide it 50 times to make it work. That significantly makes each charge more expensive. So spending a spell slot is more optimal.
  • Same as above, but with XP components.
Sample spells are continual flame, legend lore, identify, Stoneskin, Animate Dead (if you provide a large amount of material components to cover a lot of HD of undead with each charge, this can be very good for necromancers), create magic tattoo.

Create Magic Tattoo: Especially for the last spell, create magic tattoo, you need 13 caster level to gain all the benefits it offers. It is a second level spell and it lasts 24 hours, no matter what.
A newly created wand would cost: (13 caster level x 2 spell level x 375) + (50 * 100) for the material components.

That's a grant total of 14.750, pretty expensive for a 2nd level wand. But look at the bonuses (choose 3 from the following list):
  • +2 resistance bonus on saving throws.
  • +1 luck bonus on attack rolls.
  • +2 competence bonus on attack rolls.
  • +1 deflection bonus to AC.
  • 10 + 1/3 caster levels SR (14).
  • +2 enhancement bonus to any ability score.
  • +1 spellcaster level (for level based spell variables).
As you can see, even a ring of arcane might costs 20.000 gp or a +2 enhancement bonus to an ability score costs 4.000. A cloak of resistance is also 4.000. Because this is a spell it doesn't cost a body slot.
All these benefits cost just one 3rd level slot. Sure, you are weak against dispelling effects, but you can just recast the tattoo.

Beget Bogun: Beget bogun is a spell widely used in nanobot creation. To create a wand of Beget Bogun, you must provide both the mannequins for the creation of the bogun and the xp required for each casting. So casting spells from a wand without expending charges with channel charge, you effectively create boguns out of thin air. Any spell that is higher than 1 can be expended to create the effect.
The cost of this wand would be: 1 caster level x 1 spell level x 375 gp + mannequin cost x 50 gp. The xp cost would be: 15 xp + 25 * 50 xp = 1265 xp
Sure, that can be much, but now you can get your free nanobots and don't care if anything happen to them.

Last Breath: A druid spell that is effectively a true resurrection if the target has died within 1 round. Has an expensive material component of 500 gp. If you can create a wand of last breath (cost: 7 caster level x 4 spell level x 375 + 500 * 50 = 35.500) or buy a used wand, you can last breath fallen teammates until you have no 5th and higher level spells left.

Holy Water: This is a quick way to get money, but not the best one i suppose. The trick is to have lots of unused spell slots of second level or higher. Of course you'll need and a market to sell all this holy/unholy water created. A wand of Holy/Unholy Water, you must expend 1 caster level x 1 spell level x 375 + 25 * 50 = 1125 gp. Assuming that you must be able to cast 4th level spells to get channel charge, you can create at least 100gp of holy/unholy water and maybe even more if you aren't currently adventuring. It isn't much, but it's a bonus to your unused spell slots at the end of the day.

Restoration: Restoration has a costly material component, but it is widely used. It helps very much spending higher level slots and keeping loot.

Dirty Metamagic Tricks:

Metamagic Spell Trigger, a feat from complete mage and usual class ability, lets you burn extra charges for adding metamagic effects to the spell triggered. This benefits a spellcaster in quite a lot of ways:
  • Augment a spell (quicken spell, extend spell, persistent spell). This way of persisting a spell is probably the easiest, requiring only a feat and the wand in question, but is also very painful to your income. Still it can prove very helpful. NOTE: Using a quickened version of a spell in a wand makes it a free action to trigger per DMG 283.
  • Benefit from the metamagic effect (fell animate, fell drain, fell frighten, fell weaken). You don't actually care for the spell you cast, it is the effect of the metamagic feat you are using that's powerful. As an example, you can use most of the fell metamagic feats with a cheap ray of frost or similar 0 level wand.
  • Benefit from the metamagic by saving charges (persistent spell, chain spell). Persisting a spell that lasts for rounds/level can keep you from casting over and over again in a single day. Chaining a spell to buff your friends can save charges (e.g. if you apply chain spell to a 5 CL 3rd level spell magic weapon, greater wand, you can choose up to 5 targets with only 4 expended charges. Normally you would have to activate the wand 5 times, so you save a charge). 
Comparisons

This part is about testing, comparing feats and abilities that may seem bad or unoptimized.

Reckless Wand Wielder CA: Spend an extra charge to add +2 to your caster level.

So is this feat any good? Let's assume a wizard makes a Wand of Magic Missile. Since it is a first level spell, it requires only 1 caster level to make it. So the final price would be:

1 caster level x 1 spell level x 375 gp = 375 gp and 15 XP for 50 charges.

If he would apply reckless wand wielder to each activation of the wand he would get:

25 castings of Magic Missile at caster level 3.

But how much does a caster level 3 1st level spell costs? That would be:

3 caster level x 1 spell level x 375 gp = 1125 gp and 45 XP for 50 charges.

We used 25 castings so the price for a wand with only 25 charges would be:

1125/2 = 563 gp and 23 XP

So we profit!
Let's compare higher level spells:

2nd level:
Minimum level: 3 caster level x 2 spell level x 375 gp = 2250 gp and 90 xp.
Minimum level +2: 5 caster level x 2 spell level x 375 gp = 3750 gp and 150 xp.
2250 gp and 90 xp for 25 castings of 2nd level spells at 5 caster level with reckless wand wielder
1850 gp and 150 xp for 25 castings of 2nd level spells at 5 caster level normally

3rd level:
Minimum level: 5 caster level x 3 spell level x 375 gp = 5625 gp and 225 xp.
Minimum level +2: 7 caster level x 3 spell level x 375 gp = 7875 gp and 315 xp.
5625 gp and 225 xp for 25 castings of 3rd level spells at 7 caster level with reckless wand wielder
3938 gp and 315 xp for 25 castings of 3rd level spells at 7 caster level normally

As you can see, raising caster level for low level wands with reckless wand wielder is optimal. As you go up in spell levels however, each charge costs more.

Builds
Wand User/Crafter: Beguiler 6/Incantatrix 10/+4

1: Able Learner 3: Magic Device Attunement retrained to Extend Spell 5: Still Spell 6: Craft Wand 7: Chain Spell 9: Channel Charge/Wand Surge 10: Fell Drain 11: Metamagic Spell Trigger 12: Reckless Wand Wielder 13: Fell Frighten/Fell Animate 15: Magical Artisan[Craft Wand] 16: Persistent Spell 18: Wand Mastery/Open 20: Still Spell
  • Max UMD.
  • Use of dirty metamagic + metamagic spell trigger effects.
  • Channel charge tricks.
  • Reckless Wand Wielder tricks.
  • Quite the skill monkey and trap finder.
  • Full caster.
  • Significantly helps other casters.
  • Gains Iron Will by Otyugh Hole. 
Note: You can use metamagic effect AFTER you have cast a personal-range spell from a wand. You don't have to metamagic spell trigger the effect all the time.

Human Spellthief 1/Beguiler 5/Unseen Seer 10/Arcane Trickster 4

Human: Able Learner 1: Wandstrike 3: Craven 6: Craft Wand 6: Still Spell 9: Master Spellthief 12: Wand Surge 15: Practiced Spellcaster 18: Wand Mastery
  • Triple threat: Sneak Attacker, skill money - trap finder, full caster.
  • Great skill points and int - based caster.
  • Hunter's Eye can be used to capitalize sneak attack.
  • Uses wands of lesser orbs to do elemental damage, that may affect creatures normally to sneak attack. The default is the orb of sound, lesser or the orb of force, lesser.
  • Can function even in melee combat with wandstrike and flank.
Posted by
On Friday, January 1, 2016 at 6:58 AM

2 comments:

  1. (Tempest here. Dunno why it isn't identifying me.)

    The Rules Compendium made a very, VERY important point on wands that I didn't notice until very recently, and it's something that is misrepresented here.

    Specifically, activating a wand of a swift- or immediate-action spell is a swift or immediate action, not a standard action (RC 8-9, note 2 - "Activating [a spell trigger] magic item takes the same amount of time as casting the spell the item’s power duplicates.". See also RC 85, "Activating a spell trigger item takes the same amount of time as the casting time of the spell that the item stores, but activating the item doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity."). Thus, a spell trigger wand of a swift action spell takes a swift action to activate.

    Naturally, this DRAMATICALLY expands the list of spells that are desirable for wands. However, the list of swift-action spells as a whole seems skewed toward warrior-support-style spells, suggesting it actually has a bigger effect on gish builds. With wand chambers, this doesn't slow them down even if they're TWFing or sword-and-boarding.

    This is an absolute godsend for classes designed earlier in 3.5's life, before WotC got a handle on how effective the swift action was as a balance tool, as swift wands are a cheap way give these guys something to do with their swift actions, provided they have a way to activate them. A trivial example is a TWF/UMD rogue with a Wraithstrike wand in a chamber in one of the blades. Although RAW it's harder to do, slotting a weapon with a chamber holding a dorje of Hustle can produce interesting results, essentially amounting to buying Travel Devotion for a few thousand GP for anyone who can activate it.

    Another example: We've got a 6th-level team going right now that has a Jeanne d'Arc team-leader style crusader with a splash of bard, dedicating almost all of her feats to maxing out Inspire Courage and focusing her maneuvers on White Raven. (This is feat-intensive, so she didn't take Power Attack, but White Raven charges come with very good damage anyway. Since that damage is constant even with a one-hander and comes with a charging AC penalty, she opted to carry a shield. This effectively gives an extra "slot" for wand chambers and augment gems over a two-hander.) The shield has a wand chamber loaded with Inspirational Boost, while the sword has a chamber with Swift Expeditious Retreat. (The standard spell would be better, but this game isn't known for getting a lot of buff time - every action counts, so swift was better for our purposes.) These wands have let her pull out quite a few surprises - 100' Battle Leader's Charges in heavy armor, Inspire Courage +4 at ECL 6, and so on - and they can be interchanged as we find better wands. The total cost for this, or any other two-1st-level-wands-in-chambers trick you can imagine, is only 1700gp, which is a downright steal even at low levels.

    Wand chambers or similar always-in-hand items are also amazing augments for immediate-action wands, since you always have the wand in hand when the trigger condition comes up, but I'm not going to get into that here.

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  2. As the aforementioned 6th level Bard/Crusader I have to chime in here. Swift wands allow for so many more options in combat. Going from 20'-50' movement as a swift action is a giant surprise for opponents. Especially when combined with skill tricks like Twisted Charge and Nimble Charge. Between my boosts/counters and inspiration I'm left a bit swift action starved. Something I've never seen in a party until this one really, and my character isn't the only one left with more options round by round than swift actions to use them.

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