The Magic Staff in the Weapons and Equipment chapter of the 4e handbook sounds like something I'd want as a Lv. 6 Wizard, but I'm unclear as to how exactly it's bonuses are applied and what to. Here's the info in the book:

Magic Staff Level 1+

A basic staff, enchanted to channel arcane energy.
Lvl 6, +2, 1,800 gp
Implement (Staff)
Enhancement: Attack rolls and damage rolls
Critical: +1d6 damage per plus

My questions are: does this apply to the atk roll as a +2 to hit and does it also add +2 damage (it sounds like it does). Also, does the bonus apply to all attacks, only melee attacks, or only certain types of attack spells?

Could someone give me an example of how I can apply the bonus? (They Intellegence score for my character is 21, so my INT. Modifier is +5)

I'm still fairly new to d&d and want to make sure I'm playing out my attacks correctly. Thanks in advance.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Have you read the section on how implements work? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 19, 2013 at 14:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ It gives +2 attack and +2 damage on any attack with the implement keyword. \$\endgroup\$
    – Oblivious Sage
    Jul 19, 2013 at 14:43

2 Answers 2


Some basic math, but first a rule

From compendium:

Staff (implement)

A staff is a shaft, usually of wood, that is typically as tall as or slightly taller than its wielder. Staffs are sometimes crowned with decorative crystals or other symbols of magical power. This implement also counts as a quarterstaff. Even a creature who doesn’t have proficiency with the staff as an implement can use it as a weapon, but if the staff is magical, the creature cannot use its properties or powers, only its enhancement bonus and critical hit effect.

Staffs (and other implements that are weapons) can apply their enhancement bonuses to regular weapon attacks made through the weapon (but powers and properties tend to be tied to implement attack powers.)

Thus you get the +2 to hit and +2 to damage on both implement attacks and weapon attacks made with the Magic Staff +2.

Math example: Implement attacks using your Int would be Int Mod + half level + enhancement bonus. Damage-wise its usually Mod Dam + feat + enhancement. Assuming you are level 6: 5+3+2+? = your bonus to hit. Assuming you have no feats (like expertise feats or damage focus feats) thats a +10 to hit and a +7 to damage.

  • \$\begingroup\$ My DM said I can use a +2 Magic Staff with bonuses to melee and 'Implement' spells for both attack and damage, so yay! \$\endgroup\$
    – John W
    Jul 19, 2013 at 19:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JohnW RAW (for staffs at least) supports any enhancement bonuses (vs. properties or weapon powers) for both melee and implement attacks even if the magic weapon is a staff(implement) vs a regular staff. Also, if you think this was the best or most helpful answer please select it as such (or Wax's). \$\endgroup\$ Jul 22, 2013 at 14:50

Basic magic weapon and implement rules:

  • The enhancement bonus applies to attack and damage rolls
  • If the item is L1-5 you get a +1 ehnancement bonus, if it's L6-10 you get +2 and so on (every 5 levels).
  • If you are proficient with a weapon as an implement you get the bonus for weapon and implement attacks. If the implement can be used as a weapon and you a proficient with it as such you get the bonus for weapon attacks.
  • This isn't in your PHB because it was introduced later but there are three item rarity classes, Common (basic magic items), Uncommon (slightly more advanced) and Rare (very advanced). Common items are available for sale, Rare and Uncommon items are only available through adventuring. (See the Rules Compendium treasure tables for how to determine what rarity of item to award in a treasure parcel).
  • Common items sell at 20% of value, uncommon at 50% and rare at 100%.
  • Daily Item power restrictions have been errata'd in favor of item rarity

Now. As to how the bonus is applied, if you are Level 4 (which would the minimum level you could be and have an int of 21) then you'd likely have a +1 magic staff.

This means your attack bonus on implement powers that use intelligence would be as follows:

 Int (+5) + 1/2 Level (+2) + enhancement bonus (+1) + other modifiers

And your damage if the power includes Int in the damage equation would be as follows:

 Die + Int (+5) + enhancement bonus (+1) + other modifiers

This is all explained on page 274 of the PHB, there is a nice example there

Example: Melech, a 7th-level tiefling wizard, attempts to hit three enemies with fireball, an Intelligence vs. Reflex attack. His attack roll against each target gets a +10 bonus, which includes +3 for one-half his level, his +5 Intelligence modifier, the +1 feat bonus from Hellfire Blood, and the +1 enhancement bonus from his +1 wand of witchfire. He could add a +2 bonus from his Wand of Accuracy class feature against one of his targets and a +1 racial bonus against any bloodied targets from his Bloodhunt racial trait.

there are several other examples in this section that illustrate similar concepts.


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