I'm running a traditional D&D 3.5E game. One of my players, a Ftr/Wiz/Eldritch Knight, uses a halberd as his primary weapon. He wants to know if he takes both the Craft Magic Arms & Armor feat and the Craft Staff feat, could he create a halberd that could be used as a staff with charges?

While I'm a firm believer that anything is possible in D&D, my short answer to him was no.

My longer answer was that such an item would be contrary to the spirit of the rules when it comes to distinct weapon categories as well as class weapon proficiencies. I accept that his character is both a melee fighter and a spellcaster, but that also doesn't allow the two distinct item creation feats to somehow blend together and bend the rules about how halberds and staffs (staves?) work or get created. I am, however, willing to hear his arguments and if he can devise a reasonable justification for how to do it (and pay whatever in-game costs necessary) I'm open to the possibility.

My question is: Are there any precedents in the official, published materials from Wizards of the Coast for creating such an item?


3 Answers 3


Even were a blade put on the end of a quarterstaff, a quarterstaff is not a halberd

Typically, weapons are discrete, and a weapon just doesn't and just can't function as another weapon without the DM or the game having made some sort of exception, whether because of the weapon itself (whether through description or magical properties), because of the wielder's special abilities (including feats and class features), or because of spells and the like.

A house rule allowing a halberd to function as a magic staff (which, by the way, the rules say must be at least a masterwork-on-one end quarterstaff), however, is unlikely to unbalance the game in any serious manner.

That said, to do this according to the rules anyway, the fighter/wizard/eldritch knight adds to his magic quarterstaff the following weapon special ability:

  • The magic weapon special ability morphing (MIC 39) (+1 bonus; 0 lbs.) allows the wielder to take a standard action to transform a melee or thrown weapon into another weapon of the same size and effort. A typical weapon transformed into a double weapon applies its enhancement bonuses and weapon special abilities to one of the new weapon's heads; a double weapon into a typical single weapon allows the wielder to pick which head's enhancement bonus and weapon special abilities apply to the new weapon.

The transformation continues until the weapon's transformed again, and magic quarterstaffs that are also magic staffs (and that's totally a real thing) should function normally when transformed.1

There's no precedent for a magic staff being anything but a magic staff

The vast amount of Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 material means I certainly may've missed something somewhere, but I know of no precedent for combining the feats Craft Magic Arms and Armor and Craft Staff to make a magic halberd that functions as a magic staff.

1 The 1st-level Sor/Wiz spell weapon shift [trans] (SpC 237) doesn't work on quarterstaffs (or any other double weapon).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Something to note is that per the DMG (p. 243), a typical magic staff is a "walking stick, quarterstaff, or cudgel." The only references in D&D 3.5 to "cudgels" that I know of is cases where they're interchangeable with "club" (examples include the starting equipment packages for classes in the PHB, many sample stat blocks, and the shillelagh spell). I believe this could be read as support for magic staves being things other than magic staves, or at the very least, support for them sometimes being magic clubs. It's not explicit RAW though. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 7, 2017 at 5:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Forrestfire The cudgel has a long history of creating confusion in D&D. I don't trust any mention of a cudgel that doesn't include a stat line. :-) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 7, 2017 at 12:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Like this one? I totally understand not trusting mentions of cudgels, but I figured I'd fetch it anyway (PHB p.37): i.gyazo.com/9266cb3f469750c03d76da72ecffa19c.png \$\endgroup\$ Nov 7, 2017 at 19:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Seems to be a druid thing to call them that, in any case. Can't find mentions elsewhere, despite remembering seeing some. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 7, 2017 at 19:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Forrestfire (Also mentioned in the short description of the spell shillelagh (PH 189). Hence double untrustworthy.) \$\endgroup\$ Nov 7, 2017 at 19:56

Absolutely possible. My wizard has been using a kwan dao as his magic staff for years. Just have to pay the appropriate costs, remembering that adding additional properties costs more.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the site. Take the tour. The guan dao—which Google images says is identical to the kwan do—is a guisarme variant (Arms and Equipment Guide 12), with which wizards aren't typically proficient. It's cool for an answer to include house rules, but explaining what those house rules are exactly and what kind of impact they've had on the game makes for a better answer. Thank you for participating and have fun. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 7, 2016 at 2:43

My character uses a halberd that has a magic focus embedded inside of it, the caveat is that I cannot use it as an option for physically attacking during a spell cast unless the spell is specifically used to increase the damage or add an effect to the weapon's physical attributes for a certain number of strikes. It is technically an artifact weapon at this point due to the amount of material I put in it running a few campaigns which allows me to block as I'm casting, but if I am to use its blades or piercing point I cannot cast with it during an attack phase and have to switch stances from casting to marshal and this takes an action.

It is doable but heavy restrictions are placed on weapons like this due to the ability for players to cheese things.

Can't even cast 3rd level spells with it so I have to use the old book and orb tactic.

That said, if you have one in the party with a player that knows how to use it then they are absolutely beautiful things to have on hand and can and will prevent TPKs due to being able to switch between stances so quickly and blocking attacks on casters with a caster.

I'd say a weapon like this would easily be as important in a party as a good protector archtype or a tank with slight magic capabilities depending on if they can use it correctly.


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