I'm blessed/cursed with a creative player who received the Staff of Adornment (XGE, p. 139). I originally assumed it was a mostly decorative minor magical item but it became their favorite toy. (The sole ability of the Staff of Adornment is that the player can hover three one pound objects just above it's tip while holding it)

Things he wants to do with the staff include (but aren't limited to):

  1. Use the end of the staff to pick small items up off the ground.
  2. Use the staff to catch rats and keep them floating above the staff.
  3. Picking up lumps of meat to use as a "staff of bait"
  4. Use it to hold 3 lamps and argued their 'lampstaff' should shine three times as far as a regular lamp as the bullseye lamp shines twice as far than a regular lamp and they both just use oil.
  5. Cast the Magic Stone cantrip (make 3 pebbles magical) to charge their melee attack with an extra 3 magical pebbles damage as they are on the business end of the staff.
  6. Put three daggers on calling it their magical trident, saying it will "add an additional three daggers of damage".
  7. Placed three vials, one of holywater, one of acid and one of alchemists fire arguing that a melee attack should break all three vials on the the enemies head, naming it 'the staff of f*ck up undead'.
  8. Players found a crystal ball and he thought it would be cool to have it hovering over the top of the staff. I looked it up and said it's too heavy as crystal balls weigh 3 pounds. The player argued it can hold three one pound objects so it could still work.
  9. Picking up "three one pound liquid spheres" of lava without touching them.
  10. Catching incoming projectiles and throwing them back.

The list goes on, but they all touch on the same basic idea: What, mechanically, can a character actually do with the Staff of Adornment and its affected items?


Lets start from the top.

  1. The Staff of Adornment doesn't specify that it requires an action to put something at the top of the staff. As such, I would say that this requires an Interaction with an object - a special kind of activity on your turn that you can use to stow or draw a weapon, pick something up, etc. It also specifies that you must place the item at the top, and that each item must be 1 lbs or less.
    RAW, doesn't specify if you are able to pick small objects off the ground - although I like that idea so as a DM, I'd allow it.

  2. Rats are not objects. They are creatures and creatures cannot be picked up by this staff. Dead rats, sure. Live rats, no.

  3. Picking up lumps of meat - if they weigh less than 1 lbs each, I have no problem with this. Of course, the monsters may just ignore the meat, going for the flesh of his crew instead - maybe rotting meat isn't to their taste...

  4. The lampstaff idea. Personally, I think this is quite an ingenious way to use it. The bullseye lantern is so bright because the light is all focused in one direction, similar to how a laser works. This however would still be shining light in every direction. I would certainly make the light go further - maybe an additional 10 ft for each additional lamp, but remember that it's also creating a beacon that monsters can see from further away too.

  5. No. Unless you have the Magic Stone cantrip, you cannot cast magic stone. The magic stone cantrip infuses the stone with magic - this just lifts them a bit. If that player has the cantrip this would be a good way to use it - although the spell still requires the caster to touch each of the three pebbles first.

  6. If your player wants to try and poke everything with the tip of their stick, why didn't they take a spear? Staffs deal bludgeoning damage, and are used to hit people with the brunt of the stick, not the pointy end. If you did decide to hit them with the pointy end, and you had some daggers there, I would just rule that the daggers drop to the floor or move out of the way, and the attack carries on as normal.

  7. Holy water costs 25 gp per vial. Alchemists Fire costs 50 gp per vial. I'd imagine acid costs somewhere similar. If you want to spend ~100 gp on one attack, be my guest.
    RAW though, I'd have it work the same as the daggers. Either you use an interaction to take one down and throw it, or if you try to poke the end into the creature, the objects move out the way or fall down.

  8. Putting a crystal ball on the top - rule of cool. RAW it's not allowed, but I like the idea and see no harm in allowing it, personally. RAW specifically states that each object must be 1 lbs or less though, so if you wanted to go that route, the rules are behind you.

  9. Same as the rat one, really. Liquid isn't itself an object that can be affected by the spells that solely affect objects. You're also pushing into the Magic Stone area and the "pick stuff off the floor" area again, since the cantrip you need to lift liquid would be Shape Water. RAW Shape Water wouldn't even pick up lava.
    A vial of lava is a discreet object, and could be held by the staff easily. Additionally, you would have to put it there manually - you wouldn't be able to magically pick it up from the floor.

  10. Catching incoming projectiles. No. Unless you're a monk and you want to flavour your Deflect Missiles class feature that way, no. Again, RAW says that you have to put the object there. Additionally, using the interaction rules, it would have to be done on your turn - and catching a missile would be a reaction for sure.
    If you think about it as if you can pull the object out of the staff to use, then a projectile would be able to pull itself out of that area with ease as it travels towards your munchkin face.

  • You can't replicate other cantrips or other class features with this staff - unless you have the class feature/cantrips and want to flavour them this way.
  • You can't pick objects up off the floor, or catch them in the air - it requires an interaction where you put it there on your turn.
  • Objects hovering won't obstruct or improve any attack.
  • You can only hold objects, not creatures or liquids.
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  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ On #5: The querent isn't asking if the spell lets them cast Magic Stone. They're casting Magic Stone separately, and them putting the pebbles at the end of the staff. Magic Stone requires that you throw the stones, so that probably shouldn't work by RAW. \$\endgroup\$ – DuckTapeAl May 19 '19 at 2:02

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