This is taken from the description of the Staff of the Woodlands (emphasis added by me):

You can use an action to expend 1 or more of the staff's charges to cast one of the following spells from it, using your spell save DC

What does "using your spell save DC" mean?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Hi FoXpoX, and welcome to the site. You've accepted my answer pretty quickly, so I feel like I should make sure you know: if another answer comes along that you feel explains things better or is more useful to you, you have the ability to un-accept mine and accept another. In any case, enjoy the staff and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Aug 27, 2017 at 13:35

1 Answer 1


From the DMG at "Activating an Item" (p. 141):

A magic item, such as certain staffs, may require you to use your own spellcasting ability when you cast a spell from the item. If you have more than one spellcasting ability you choose which one to use with the item. If you don't have a spellcasting ability... your spellcasting ability modifier is +0, and your proficiency bonus does apply.

(Emphasis mine.)

Thus you calculate your DC as normal: 8 + proficiency bonus + spellcasting ability modifier.

If you don't have a spellcasting ability - and thus have no spellcasting ability modifier - then your spell save DC is just 8 + proficiency bonus + 0. (For the Staff of the Woodlands, which requires attunement by a druid, this is likely only possible for 13th-level Thief rogues, who have the Use Magic Device feature and can thus ignore class requirements on the use of the staff.)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Since the item in question is Staff of the Woodlands, I think we can assume that the character is a Druid and that the spell save DC is 8 + prof. + WIS. \$\endgroup\$
    – wzbillings
    Aug 27, 2017 at 17:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've just glanced at the DMG (since other questions claimed proficiency bonus does apply), and indeed it says "your proficiency bonus does apply" (emphasis mine). So I think in fact the DC for non-spellcasters should be 8 + proficiency bonus. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vigil
    Jul 12, 2018 at 17:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ @vigil good catch. I'm afk and afb for the weekend-any chance you can edit it in? \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Jul 12, 2018 at 22:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nitsua60 sure, done :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Vigil
    Jul 13, 2018 at 0:09

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