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Are you allowed to use a Metamagic Rod (say Extend) with a spell cast from a scroll or other magical device?

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No, unless the GM rules otherwise of course. "The modifications made by these [metamagic] feats only apply to spells cast directly by the feat user. A spellcaster can't use a metamagic feat to alter a spell being cast from a wand, scroll, or other device."

And metamagic rods just let you act as if you have the feat a couple times a day.

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My understanding has always been no. A scroll is a spell which is already 99% "cast" and merely awaits the final word/gesture/etc to finish the casting. A metamagic rod needs to be a part of the entire casting of the spell.

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Artificers can use them while creating the scrolls. It's best if you have a wizard or cleric cast the spells as artificers often can't do the higher level metamagic such as persistent.

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