Long story short, our party (4 members) was in a combat against a couple of magical creatures.

The only thing that we had that could deal damage was a wand of magic missiles (because of previous events of the day).

Only two of our members could use magic items.

They stood next to each other and each turn they used their standard action to use the wand and their move action to give the wand to the other. (they did that for a couple turns)

Is that legal? Is there a cool down for wands or something preventing that exchanging it twice per turn?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ RE: They used "their movement to give the wand to the other." Was it the GM's decision to allow a PC to take a move action to get an object from another PC or did the players put forth that idea with support from the rules? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 16:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I edited to replace "attack" with "standard action" and "movement" by "move action" as it seems more clear to me and I think it made @HeyICanChan misunderstand it. You can rollback my edit if you don't like it, I won't take offense :) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 16:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's this question that addresses the action economy of hand-offs. Can this question ask specifically about magic item cool-downs? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 17:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the edit, that is what I meant! \$\endgroup\$
    – M. Bahdine
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 17:16

3 Answers 3


Maybe this is legal

Wands in Pathfinder don't have a cool-down. If both PCs can use the wand, either natively or by making a successful Use Magic Device checks, they can both use the wand on their turns.


The GM must allow the PCs to pass the wand for free and receive it using their move actions. While this GM would allow that, the rules aren't clear on this.

…And this isn't as strong as you think

During this process, neither PC can actually move, so, presumably, they'll soon be surrounded by enemies. There is also a reasonable argument that receiving the object provokes an attack of opportunity from foes that threaten the receiver, just like retrieving a stored item and picking up an item both provoke.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also see this Paizo messageboard thread. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 17:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, love the thread. I've heard about Commoner Railgun, but sharing a longbow between 100 archers is a novelty... and it directly ties into the question on the larger scale. \$\endgroup\$
    – Draco-S
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 10:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I see. And I totally agree that it put us at a great disadvantage , it was a last resort move. With hindsight, the "real" role-playing action would have been to run away. \$\endgroup\$
    – M. Bahdine
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 17:14

This is legal.

It is also very likely to be seeable as gamesmanship with the rules, and any dungeon master may decide to make an ad-hoc ruling that this is an exploit of the rules.

This is a judgement call that you should raise with the dungeon master of the group, but strictly according to the rules, as far as I can tell, it's legal.

Maybe the cool down is on the spellcasters and not the wand.

I would like to ask how you plan to handle the initiative count as it passes them by. I think that if they have to take their turns one at a time whoever gets the wand last has to wait for the initiative count to roll over to the next round.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I reference to the rules would be perfect, even if I am convinced your answer is correct. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 17:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps this rule link might help d20pfsrd.com/gamemastering/combat/#TOC-Manipulate-an-Item \$\endgroup\$
    – YogoZuno
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 21:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your answer. I agree that it could be an ad-hoc ruling. \$\endgroup\$
    – M. Bahdine
    Commented Jan 31, 2019 at 17:12

It’s legal to use a wand twice in one round, but I would argue against allowing this particular tactic.

There is nothing in the rules about a cool down period for wands, and the rules allow for one specific case in which a wand might be used twice in one round: the expenditure of a hero point in exchange for an extra standard action. A character with a hero point may use a wand, spend the hero point for an extra action, and use it again in that same round.

The problem here is one of time.

A round is six seconds long, and actions generally are understood to take place simultaneously with the high initiative characters getting their action in just a hair sooner. If I use a wand (3 seconds) and a move action to hand it off (another 3 seconds) then time is up for that wand in that round. Handing it off should put the wand into the next round. If we don’t look at time this way then we have to assume that 50 characters standing in a line could use use a wand with 50 charges 50 times in the space of six seconds (roughly 8 discharges per second) all while handing the wand a distance of 250 feet. Look at it as limiting the wand (or any other item) to the same number of actions to which the character initially handling it is limited--either one use and a handoff, or two uses (with hero point) and a handoff.

The rules are up for interpretation, but I would disallow the tactic on these grounds. The situation your characters are in is why they have offensive cantrips like ray of frost.


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