Depending on your generation, the rod of ropes (Complete Scoundrel 116) (4,000 gp; 4 lbs.) is either a Bat-claw, a hookshot, or both, but Dungeons and Dragons 3.5's attempt to simulate this complex mechanism with its rod of ropes was not without its issues.
The rod's Effect says that "no two functions can be used at the same time." If a wielder presses button one once to extrude 60 ft. of rope then presses button one a second time to stop the rope from extruding then presses button two once to activate the loops from one end and the hooks from the other, what happens? Pick a different scenario if its easier; in other words must the same button be pressed thrice before a different button can be pressed? (Note: I'm familiar with the hero-system, so you can reference a multipower if you want.)
The description of the rope effect says that the "rope has the same hardness and hit points as the rest of the rod." But this rod isn't given hardness and hp. The Dungeon Master's Guide on Rods says
Rods weigh approximately 5 pounds. They range from 2 feet to 3 feet long and are usually made of iron or some other metal. [...] These sturdy items have AC 9, 10 hit points, hardness 10, and a break DC of 27. (233)
Yet Complete Scoundrel describes the rod of ropes as specifically made "from the darkest teak and repeatedly stained until it holds a lustrous black shine." (And, if it makes a difference, the rod of ropes weighs 4 lbs. instead of the 5 lbs. of the typical magic rod.) Should the DMG's hardness and hp for a magic rod be used anyway, or are there better or more accurate statistics?
- If the rope the rod extrudes is severed, what happens to that length of rope? What happens to the rod?