Players can find many magical items around the Forgotten Realms to enhance their abilities and grant them boons beyond their wildest dreams.
For example, the Staff of the Woodlands is a Druid-specific Quarterstaff that gives bonuses to attack rolls and damage and allows players to cast powerful spells using its charges.
What Is the Staff of the Woodlands?
The Staff of the Woodlands is a Rare magical quarterstaff that can only be attuned to a Druidic character. Druids who attune to the Staff of the Woodlands will gain several boons from attuning to the staff.
Requires Attunement by a Druid
This staff can be wielded as a magic Quarterstaff that grants a +2 bonus to Attack and Damage Rolls made with it. In addition, you have a +2 bonus to spell Attack rolls while holding it.
The staff has 10 Charges for the following Properties. It regains 1d6 + 4 expended Charges daily at dawn. If you expend the last charge, roll a d20. On a 1, the staff loses its Properties and becomes a nonmagical Quarterstaff.
Spells: You can use an action to expend 1 or more of the staff’s Charges to cast one of the following Spells from it using your spell save DC:
- Animal Friendship (1 charge)
- Awaken (5 charges)
- Barkskin (2 charges)
- Locate Animals or Plants (2 charges)
- Speak with Animals (1 charge)
- Speak with Plants (3 charges)
- Wall of Thorns (6 charges)
You can also use an action to cast the Pass without Trace spell from the staff without using any Charges.
Tree Form: You can use an action to plant one end of the staff in fertile earth and expend 1 charge to transform the staff into a healthy tree.
The tree is 60 feet tall and has a 5-foot-diameter trunk, and its branches at the top spread out in a 20-foot radius.
The tree appears ordinary but radiates a faint aura of Transmutation magic if targeted by Detect Magic.
While touching the tree and using another action to speak its Command word, you return the staff to its normal form. Any creature in the tree falls when it reverts to a staff.
Is the Staff of the Woodlands Good? How Do You Use It?
Right away, the Staff of the Woodlands grants a +2 bonus to Attack rolls and Attack damage – a very potent ability, and it’s given immediately upon attunement.
This bonus alone makes the Staff of the Woodlands quite strong. It’s essentially a +2 Sword but for magic.
Additionally, the Staff of the Woodlands has charges that can be used for many different spells that allow Druids to choose more thoroughly combat-centric spells to prepare each day.
They will be able to use the Staff’s charges for most of their utility spells like Speak with Animals and Locate Animals or Plants.
Furthermore, the Staff of the Woodlands allows players to cast Awaken without the material components needed and without the necessary cast time.
Players who are particularly conscientious Druids may find that they can amass an army of trees if they keep the trees they make on their good side.
Lastly, the Staff can turn into a tree, which can be an excellent option for traveling since it doesn’t require any charges. The Staff’s tree form is a great way to create shelter and enrich the lives of your companions.
It’s worth noting that if you have some companions who love tree climbing, they will fall out of the tree if you transform the Staff back into its Staff form while they’re climbing the tree.
How Much Does the Staff of the Woodlands Cost?
Item costs in Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition are determined by rarity. Using these rules, the Staff of the Woodlands costs 5,000 gold pieces.
This is a steep cost decrease from the 3.5 costs, which would have been determined by the item’s functions, exceeding 8,600 GP, which is the base price for a +2 Quarterstaff.
When Should I Introduce the Staff of the Woodlands to My Party? How Do I Do It?
The Staff of the Woodlands is a Rare Magical weapon that is not meant to be introduced to the party at early levels.
Seeings as the Staff provides the ability to cast level 5 and 6 spells instantaneously, you’ll want to wait until your party can organically access these spells in order to avoid overpowering them with their own gear.
If your party’s gear is too strong for them, they may lose interest in the campaign since the campaign won’t be challenging for them.
Additionally, they may feel like the sideshow to their own gear! Overall, you want to ensure the staff isn’t over or underpowered for their relative levels.
Once they go past the 15th level or so, they should be seeking out more powerful items than the Staff of the Woodlands. Its usefulness will wane based solely on the fact that your party has outgrown it.
Introducing the Staff of the Woodlands depends on the setting in which your players are playing.
If there are a lot of Druidic influences in the world in which they’re adventuring, consider having a relatively powerful Druid who owns a Staff of the Woodlands.
The most logical place for a Staff of the Woodlands to be is in the hands of a Druid, but that doesn’t mean that the only place you can find one is with a Druid.
You could also have the Staff in the hands of someone who has recently accosted a Druid and come out the victor.
Perhaps a Monk who defeated a Druid and took his Staff without knowing what powers the Staff held or a brigade of anti-magic protestors who confiscated the Staff from a Druid.
Your Army of Awakened Trees and You
One thing that pernicious Druids can do is start amassing an army of trees.
Not only does the Staff of the Woodlands bypass the material costs of the Awaken spell (which can be rather steep if you don’t have the Staff!), but also the Staff bypasses the 8-hour casting time of Awaken and allows a player to cast the spell instantaneously.
5th level Transmutation
- Casting Time: 8 hours
- Range: Touch
- Target: A Huge or smaller beast or plant with either no Intelligence score or an Intelligence of 3 or less
- Components: V S M (An agate worth at least 1,000 gp, which the spell consumes)
- Duration: Instantaneous
- Classes: Bard, Druid
After spending the casting time tracing magical pathways within a precious gemstone, you touch a Huge or smaller beast or plant.
The target must have either no Intelligence score or an Intelligence of 3 or less. The target gains an Intelligence of 10. The target also gains the ability to speak one language you know.
If the target is a plant, it gains the ability to move its limbs, roots, vines, creepers, and so forth, and it gains senses similar to a human’s.
Your GM chooses statistics appropriate for the awakened plant, such as the statistics for the awakened shrub or the awakened tree.
The awakened beast or plant is charmed by you for 30 days or until you or your companions do anything harmful to it.
When the charmed condition ends, the awakened creature chooses whether to remain friendly to you, based on how you treated it while it was charmed.
Since Awaken is also an Instantaneous cast, there is no duration for which the tree is “Awakened.” Instead, the tree permanently comes to life until killed as a sentient creature.
An Awakened Tree has the following stat block.
Huge plant, unaligned
- Armor Class: 13 (Natural Armor)
- Hit Points: 59 (7d12 + 14)
- Speed: 20 ft.
- STR: 19 (+4)
- DEX: 6 (-2)
- CON: 15 (+2)
- INT: 10 (+0)
- WIS: 10 (+0)
- CHA: 7 (-2)
- Damage Vulnerabilities: Fire
- Damage Resistances: Bludgeoning, Piercing
- Senses: Passive Perception 10
- Languages: One language known by its creator
- Challenge: 2 (450 XP)
- Proficiency Bonus: +2
False Appearance: While the tree remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a normal tree.
Slam: Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target.
Hit: 14 (3d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage.
The key to making a thriving army of trees is that your Staff of the Woodlands Druid can’t make more than one per day.
Since the Staff of the Woodlands gains back 1d6 + 4 charges at dawn, the Staff’s charge uses and gain will always zero out as long as making a tree is the only thing the Druid does with the Staff that day.
Since Awaken costs quite a few charges, save the Awaken spell until the end of the day when you know whether you can safely use those charges.
Additionally, the Awakened Trees made by the Awaken spell are charmed by the caster for 30 days. So as long as you and your party members treat the trees well, you’ll have a consistent flow of tree allies.
Final Thoughts About the Staff of the Woodlands
The Staff of the Woodlands is an excellent addition to any Druid’s kit. It provides excellent boons to the already strong skillset afforded to Druids and allows for more depth of play for the Druid who is attuned to it.
The Staff of the Woodlands has a lot of potential as a damage and utility-boosting item for mid-leveled parties.
However, as always, the most important thing for any game is that you and your party are having fun! Don’t be afraid to make changes or bend the rules to improve the play experience for you and your party; homebrew exists for a reason!
Good luck, have fun, and happy questing!