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In a Pathfinder campaign I'm playing a medium level rogue with one level in wizard who is impersonating a stronger wizard. In order to pull this deception off I'm trying to procure a magic item like a Staff of Power to help me fake it. My question is, when using the magic item to cast spells, is it obvious that the source of the spell is the magic item or can it look like it's coming from my character?

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Magic items don't cast spells; they grant the user the ability to cast the spells contained within them.

Staves, specifically, are spell trigger items.

Spell Trigger: Spell trigger activation is similar to spell completion, but it's even simpler. No gestures or spell finishing is needed, just a special knowledge of spellcasting that an appropriate character would know, and a single word that must be spoken. Spell trigger items can be used by anyone whose class can cast the corresponding spell. This is the case even for a character who can't actually cast spells, such as a 3rd-level paladin. The user must still determine what spell is stored in the item before she can activate it. Activating a spell trigger item is a standard action and does not provoke attacks of opportunity. (PRD, Magic Items)

You are always the "source" of the spell, so even though it is the Staff of Power that grants you the ability to cast the spell, you are still the one doing the casting. And since you have a level of wizard, there are no other requirements for you to cast those spells from the staff at the lowest possible CL for each spell contained within.

However, keep in mind that anyone who knows what a Staff of Power is will likely know what spells it can allow the wielder to cast, and may still see through your ruse. Your GM may optionally allow you to make a Bluff check to avoid the consequences of this.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ sorry just a clarification, whats UMD? \$\endgroup\$ – ArtaSoral Nov 15 '16 at 16:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ArtaSoral The Use Magic Device skill. It doesn't necessarily apply since you have a level in wizard, but is important to the answer. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Nov 15 '16 at 17:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ excelent ty very muc \$\endgroup\$ – ArtaSoral Nov 15 '16 at 17:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ArtaSoral Thanks for the accepted answer, but generally speaking it is best to wait a bit after asking before accepting. Even though my answer is good, another, better answer might come along after. If you accept the first answer quickly, it disincentivizes others to answer and may prevent other good answers from being written. Just a suggestion! :) \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Nov 15 '16 at 17:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think in this case UMD simply confuses the issue. As a Rogue with one level in Wizard, the character actually knows how to properly use Wizard spell trigger items. Without that level, you're spot on. \$\endgroup\$ – Joel Harmon Nov 15 '16 at 22:30
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Spells cast using a staff may originate from the staff's wielder, but the staff must still be held forth to be activated

Magic Items on Staves says, "To activate a staff, a character must hold it forth in at least one hand (or whatever passes for a hand, for nonhumanoid creatures)." So, unless the GM rules otherwise, holding forth the staff of power is necessary to activate its magical powers.

Wands says the much the same thing but adds that a wand's activator must "point [the wand] in the general direction of the target or area," so a staff needs to be held forth but—unlike a wand—probably need not be held forth in the general direction of the effect the magical staff creates! This may make the staff of power-wielding rogue/wizard's high-level wizard disguise easier to pull off.

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