Similarly to the question How would it make sense that spellbooks or grimoires teach only one spell? I was thinking about typical RPG games and how to design the magic system therein.

While thinking about this topic I came across the fact that weapons enhance abilities. For most weapons and your normal Fighter-type characters this makes a lot of sense to me. Of course it would be easier to fight with a sword made of material that is able to withstand more and of course the sharpened tip of a spear is better than the old dull one. A well-balanced weapon is easier to handle and reducing the weight would increase the speed with which you could handle the weapon.

But why would a staff increase the magical abilities of my mage?

Weapons are supposed to increase a characters stats as a simulation of increasing their combat performance. But most of the time magical attack power is a stat, too. And it gets increased like every other stat by equipping a better weapon, most often a staff.

In my world magic is supposed to be the typical high-fantasy kind of magic for the normally rare magic users:

  • you have a mana pool that you use to cast spells
  • you learn spells through experience and on special occasions, such as reading a grimoire
  • you can throw around fireballs, create walls of earth, fly through the sky, ...
  • your spells do more damage the more you know about magic and how to use it efficiently - represented by a stat like Intelligence
  • your equipped staff increases your magical attack power

I am looking for a sensible in-universe explanation as to why a staff would increase my magical attack power. This should have an analogue in real weapon usage that is represented by a set of stats as you see in most RPG games, which are increased when equipping a better weapon.

I just don't know why a staff would have any impact on for example my mental stats, such as Intelligence, or Magical Attack Power, or any other specific name you might want to use that I would be able to explain the increase in magical power by equipping a better staff. This also means I don't know how to narrate what a better staff is. Is it lighter? Heavier? Fancier? Mundane?

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    $\begingroup$ @Secespitus yeah, though I wouldn't be surprised mages studied naturaly pathways and made internal and external alterations. The highest quality goods may be artificial(even made of metal), though they probably still cant beat apex being material like world tree wood or dragon bone. Natural pathways would really just be complicated arrays. Anyway, need to leave a way for magic swordsman $\endgroup$
    – Necessity
    Oct 16, 2017 at 13:59
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    $\begingroup$ Well, if he has lots of people working for him, then that would make him more powerful... oh, wait, you didn't mean that kind of staff? :-D $\endgroup$
    – Simba
    Oct 16, 2017 at 14:04
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    $\begingroup$ How does a magnifying glass increase the power of light? If focuses it to a point... Or it splits light into colors, allowing you to then use your choice of light (or combo of choices... and then focus them to a point). A staff would be no different. It would allow you to split, focus or otherwise manipulate powers based on what its made of and how it's built. $\endgroup$
    – WernerCD
    Oct 16, 2017 at 15:17
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    $\begingroup$ A mage's staff, if consisting of well-trained personnel, could help to answer phone calls, set up appointments, take care of paperwork, and perform other administrative tasks, which would give the mage more time to focus on magic. $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2017 at 17:59
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    $\begingroup$ A staff is either a battery, conduit/focus, or tool/weapon (a knife or gun doesn't increase your strength or dex, but it sure does make it easier to hurt people). Wands and staffs are to magic, what knives or guns are to combat, except that because this is a MIND-based thing, the effect might not be seen as directly. Headology. It's for witches. $\endgroup$ Oct 16, 2017 at 18:24

32 Answers 32


Your body draws in mana from your environment to replenish your pool. the staff acts as an antenna to draw in more mana or access it directly. bonus points for particular types of wood or engravings to enhance the draw potential for your staff. when dealing with magic, "because magic" is always an acceptable answer.


Magic exists all around us.

Like water, you can push it with your hand, but you will push faster with a stroke of an ore.

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    $\begingroup$ This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. - From Review $\endgroup$
    – Ash
    Oct 17, 2017 at 10:41
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    $\begingroup$ We have a Be Nice policy, PStag. Please adhere to it. @Ash was trying to give you some constructive criticism. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Oct 17, 2017 at 15:13
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    $\begingroup$ This does provide a perspective. Although it may not directly answer all aspects of the question, I recognize the perspective as successfully providing some information that essentially does answer much of the question (albeit rather indirectly). $\endgroup$
    – TOOGAM
    Oct 23, 2017 at 6:44

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