Last Updated on October 31, 2023
Few magic items in Dungeons and Dragons have inspired the creativity, the laughter, and the outright silliness of the immovable rod. Back in the days of old-school DnD, an immovable rod was just that – immovable. There was no DC 30 strength check or weight limit. It simply Did. Not. Move.
But here we have the current version:
This flat iron rod has a button on one end. You can use an action to press the button, which causes the rod to become magically fixed in place. Until you or another creature uses an action to push the button again, the rod doesn’t move, even if it is defying gravity. The rod can hold up to 8,000 pounds of weight. More weight causes the rod to deactivate and fall. A creature can use an action to make a DC 30 Strength check, moving the fixed rod up to 10 feet on a success.
Item Tags: Utility
Basic Rules, pg. 175
Cost: Our Pricing Guide values the Immovable Rod at 4,000 gp
As you can see, the Immovable Rod is now movable!
This post is your guide to how to use the Immovable Rod in your game, both as a player and as a DM, and make it realistic because that’s what we want in Dungeons and Dragons. Realism. 😉
What Is an Immovable Rod in Simple Terms?
An Immovable Rod is an Uncommon Magic Item that takes an action to activate. Once activated, the rod can not be moved except by a DC 30 Strength check (move 10 feet in one direction). It has a maximum weight of 8,000 pounds.
Who or What Can Move the Rod Consistently?
A creature with a Strength score of 30 will get a +10 to any Strength check, meaning that the strongest monsters in the game will still need to get a natural 20 to move this rod.
However, the Aid Another action grants a +2 to any skill or ability check; so, provided everyone can get a hand on it or on a rope tied to it, 15 peasants are guaranteed to move the rod 10 feet in one direction if they work together.
Honestly, with enough rope and leverage, you and a few friends can move anything, with enough peasants, at least. Alternatively, the rod can be deactivated when it experiences 8,000 lbs. of pressure.
Common and Uncommon Uses for an Immovable Rod
Stop a Vehicle: The Immovable Rod can act as an anchor to stop a ship or wagon.
Tear a Hole in a Monster: One thing you can find online is players asking if they can be swallowed by a monster and then activate the rod.
Well, my take is, assuming you have it with you and are still capable of activating it: sure. It would prevent the monster from moving unless it can make a DC 30 strength check (or put 8000 lbs of force on it).
Climb Like a Ladder: Yes! Yes, you can! This is a very simple and actionable course to take. This is easier with two rods, as you can switch between the two while you climb.
Remember, it takes an action to use the item, so you almost have to have two rods for this, unless you can hold yourself in place via something like levitation.
Stop a Fall? My take: Yes. However remember that after 6 seconds of falling, the sudden stop will put all of that falling damage on whatever limb you are using to hold the rod.
This can easily strip the rod from your grasp or dislocate your shoulder or tail.
Black Citadel Homebrew Immovable Rod Attachments
The following is a list of homebrew magic items that take the idea of an Immovable Rod and make it more usable in specific situations.
Immovable Rod Net
Rare, Cost is equal to number of rods included.
This is a 10- to 40-foot series of chains that can link immovable rods, which can then be activated in part or whole as an action. The chains can be arranged in a 10-foot by 10-foot net or a 40-foot line and can hold up to one Immovable Rod per 5 feet. Use this to spread out the force of a large moving object or to swing a creature or object through a space.
Immovable Rod Spear
Anchor the rod into this spear-tipped housing. Any creature or object pressing into it will instead take piercing damage as if it were falling onto the rod instead of applying any of the 8,000 lbs. of force required to deactivate it.
Immovable Rod Harness
When properly attached to this harness, the Immovable Rod will arrest a fall as an action without tearing out of a creature’s grasp or clothing. Using the rod this way still requires an action and a free hand to activate, but the creature may hang indefinitely.
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Rich is an avid D&D player and DM. He has been playing since the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st and 2nd editions. He has run campaigns of various editions with family and friends for over 20 years. Playing DnD 5th Edition in person at local game stores and online with VTT’s over the past 10 years has provided a consistent connection to how the game has grown. He strongly believes in understanding the source material, but catering the games to your individual players. Feel free to ask anything in the comments or drop him an email: [email protected].