Last Updated on January 30, 2023
What Is a Rod of Lordly Might in DnD 5e?
A Rod of Lordly Might is a legendary item that serves as a sort of magical multi-tool in Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons. This rod can be transformed into a number of weapons, each of which provides a particular bonus. It also provides a number of benefits that are consistent no matter which form the rod is in.
Rod of Lordly Might
Rod, legendary (requires attunement)
This rod functions as a magic mace that grants a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with it. The rod has properties associated with six different buttons that are set in a row along the haft. It has three other properties as well, detailed below.
Six Buttons. You can press one of the rod’s six buttons as a bonus action. A button’s effect lasts until you push a different button or until you push the same button again, which causes the rod to revert to its normal form.
- Button 1 – The rod becomes a Flame Tongue (you choose the type of sword).
- Button 2 – The rod becomes a magic battleaxe that grants a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with it.
- Button 3 – The rod becomes a magic spear that grants a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with it.
- Button 4 – The rod transforms into a climbing pole up to 50 feet long, as you specify. In surfaces as hard as granite, a spike at the bottom and three hooks at the top anchor the pole. Horizontal bars 3 inches long fold out from the sides, 1 foot apart, forming a ladder. The pole can bear up to 4,000 pounds. More weight or lack of solid anchoring causes the rod to revert to its normal form.
- Button 5 – The rod transforms into a handheld battering ram and grants you a +10 bonus to Strength checks made to break through doors, barricades, and other barriers.
- Button 6 – The rod assumes or remains in its normal form and indicates magnetic north. (Nothing happens if this function of the rod is used in a location that has no magnetic north.) The rod also gives you knowledge of your approximate depth beneath the ground or your height above it.
Drain Life. When you hit a creature with a melee attack using the rod, you can force the target to make a DC 17 Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the target takes an extra 4d6 necrotic damage, and you regain a number of hit points equal to half that necrotic damage. This property can’t be used again until the next dawn.
Paralyze. When you hit a creature with a melee attack using the rod, you can force the target to make a DC 17 Strength saving throw. On a failure, the target is paralyzed for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success. This property can’t be used again until the next dawn.
Terrify. While holding the rod, you can use an action to force each creature you can see within 30 feet of you to make a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, a target is frightened of you for 1 minute. A frightened target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. This property can’t be used again until the next dawn.
Note: The above description is shortened from the official text. While all mechanical language should be retained, some flavor additions may need to be gathered from an official source. This item can be found in the Dungeon Master’s Guide.
How Does the Rod of Lordly Might Work in DnD 5e?
The Rod of Lordly Might has a lot of different pieces to worry about. So, we’ve broken them down and will explain their benefits and utility one by one.
Normal Form Rod – Mace
Even in its normal form, the rod provides a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls. While it isn’t quite shaped like a mace, it is treated as one since the bludgeoning damage and general shape most closely resemble a mace.
As is, this is a bang-up weapon that anybody would be happy to equip. A mace may only deal 1d6 damage, but it’s enough to be useful in a pinch. Plus, the activated abilities can still be used while the rod is in its normal form, so it actually has benefits beyond a slightly more powerful melee weapon.
Button 1 – Flametongue
The first button allows the rod to transform into another magical weapon, a flame tongue. A flame tongue is a fiery sword that sheds bright light in a 40-foot radius and dim light for an additional 40 feet. While ignited, the blade deals 2d6 fire damage to any target it hits.
A blade of this caliber is impressive on its own, but you do lose the +3 to attack and damage rolls in this form. Since you can choose any sword, you’ll be going for something you have proficiency in.
Likely, this means utilizing a rapier (1d8 finesse) or a greatsword (2d6 heavy, two-handed). These will guarantee you the best bang for your buck. Since this can potentially total out to 4d6, the +3 to damage isn’t something to be missed.
Button 2 – Battleaxe
The second button allows us to transform the rod into a +3 battleaxe. This essentially increases the damage from 1d6 to 1d8 (or 1d10 if held with two hands), meaning it’s virtually useless. That is, this is the clear form you’ll want to use if you don’t aim for the flame tongue, but it’s certainly not anything fancy.
Button 3 – Spear
Again, the transformation into a spear isn’t impressive, although it has its benefits. None of the other weapons are made to be ranged, but you can throw a spear, making this an efficient option for long-distance engagements.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t have any “returning” ability, so once you throw it, it’s out of your hands. This won’t end your attunement, but it will mean collecting it if you want to continue using it in combat, which is a hassle no one really wants to deal with.
Button 4 – Climbing Pole
A climbing pole can be extremely helpful, allowing you to get out of sticky situations without having to hope that your rope-based plan is good enough.
Button 5 – Battering Ram
Most parties are adequate at picking locks, but sometimes brute force is a good option. A +10 to strength checks may seem like a lot, but it’s basically necessary to make a battering ram functional in 5e.
Button 6 – Compass
As a sort of makeshift dousing rod, the compass feature of this magic item is actually quite useful in the right campaigns. The reality is that getting lost isn’t something that will happen at every table.
If the adventures you partake in involve exploration that can result in you losing your way, this is a great fast ticket home or toward your destination.
The activated abilities Drain Life, Paralyze, and Terrify are all essentially the same ability with different outcomes. “Force a creature to make a DC 17 saving throw so that something bad happens to them; use this once a day.” It’s a great formula that allows you to come out on top in many different situations.
Of these, Drain Life is the only option that benefits you. Everything else is helpful to exert a bit of battlefield control.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Rod of Lordly Might a Good Item?
Yes. It’s hard to have a bad legendary item. Perhaps this should only count as Very Rare, but the distinction at such a high rarity tier is basically unimportant. What is important is that this item is useful in such a wide range of scenarios. Plus, at the very least, it’s a good weapon.
How Much Does the Rod of Lordly Might Cost?
It should cost 50,000 GP or more. Check out our Magic Item Price Guide for more information on pricing.
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As a kid, I was often told to get my head out of the clouds and to stop living in a fantasy world. That never really jived with me, so I decided to make a living out of games, stories, and all sorts of fantastical works. Now, as an adult, I aspire to remind people that sometimes a little bit of fantasy is all you need when life gets to be too much.