Unlike wondrous items that require GM approval if a player wants to invent something new (because it can become easy to completely break the game otherwise), wands and staves are mostly left to the player to decide what spell(s) to use in their creation.

Then I found some spells with peculiar material components :

  • some vary depending on the exact effect the caster wants (beast shape requires a piece of the creature the caster wants to assume the form of) ;
  • some vary in gp value depending on the target(s) affected (masterwork transformation depending of the item type, communal nondetection depending on the number of targets) ;
  • some are extremly specific and cannot possibly be prepared beforhand (create treasure map requires a piece of the target's dead body) ;

As creating a wand or a staff requires the creator to provide the material components of spells, does it mean that these spells cannot be used to create staves or wands ?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe as an addition to this question (or a separate one altogether), it might be interesting to learn A) if published adventures have included staffs and wands incorporating such spells, and B) if so, have those items come with any conditions or limits on their use. (Full disclosure: I've an interest in this question, having asked my own weird-spell-in-a-wand question.) \$\endgroup\$ Feb 25, 2017 at 17:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Huh... I was under the impression that Pathfinder used the same rule as 3.5rd edition for this, but because that rule was baked into 3.5rd edition's random magic item tables rather than stated in the text, it looks like it may have been left out when Pathfinder was being written. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Feb 25, 2017 at 22:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan There are examples in official Pathfinder published adventures of items that by the rules couldn't exist, so that wouldn't even make a point. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 27, 2017 at 11:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AnneAunyme O, sure, the game introduces new wacky stuff all the time. I get that. But my point is that the descriptions in published adventures of items like those in the question should indicate that the items met with some degree of editorial approval in their presentation. That is, if a wand of beast shape I in a published adventure lacks a description of creatures a user can change into, it's decent evidence of the game's expectations as to how a GM should adjudicate such an item in his own campaign. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 27, 2017 at 11:20

1 Answer 1


I can divide your question into parts:

  1. Can wands, potions, and scrolls of spells with material components exist.
  2. Do those items have limitations on them?
  3. What do those items cost?

To answer the first part: From the Brew Potion rules: "You can create a potion of any 3rd-level or lower spell that you know and that targets one or more creatures or objects." (Emphasis Mine)

Edit: Potions with a range of personal are specifically excluded. Magic Items: Potions

From the Craft Wand rules: "You can create a wand of any 4th-level or lower spell that you know." (Emphasis mine)

So read as written, any spell can work. For magic items with spell components, the spell components are consumed when the item is prepared.

You specifically bring up a few spells. I have not been able to find any clarifications for exactly how those should work. I can think of several interpretations that are consistent with the rules.

  1. You could place limits on how effective an item can be. Example: A scroll of masterwork transformation that was created using 150GP cannot transform a weapon, but it can transform armor or a tool. This is somewhat similar to setting the caster level of a wand when you create it.
  2. You could force the creator to pay the maximum cost.

I will say that I think you are reading Create Treasure Map wrong. It is a spell cast on a piece of a dead creature's body. It doesn't use that skin as a spell component. The spell components are "powdered metal and rare inks worth 100 gp."

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Actually there are hidden rules about brewing potions that state you can't brew a potion for a spell with a personal range (see here) \$\endgroup\$ Feb 28, 2017 at 8:42

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