Adventurer’s Toolbox – Immovable Rods

Image by: SoulRider.222

I figured I would take some time away from my convention coverage to begin a new series. As I’ve played RPGs over the years, I have run across items that I begin to feel that any player/character with an innovating mind can use and use well. To that end, I’m going to call this series The Adventurer’s Toolbox, and in it I will place a number of items from the core rules of different games I have played.

To start with: The Immovable Rod (Dungeons and Dragons/Pathfinder)

Here’s the text about the Immovable Rod from the Pathfinder SRD:

Immovable Rod

Aura moderate transmutation; CL 10th

Slot none; Price 5,000 gp; Weight 5 lbs.

This rod looks like a flat iron bar with a small button on one end. When the button is pushed (a move action), the rod does not move from where it is, even if staying in place defies gravity. Thus, the owner can lift or place the rod wherever he wishes, push the button, and let go. Several immovable rods can even make a ladder when used together (although only two are needed). An immovable rod can support up to 8,000 pounds before falling to the ground. If a creature pushes against an immovable rod, it must make a DC 30 Strength check to move the rod up to 10 feet in a single round.

Requirements Craft Rod, levitate; Cost 2,500 gp

The Immovable Rod, perhaps more than anything else I will cover as a part of this series, is the gold standard of being an ultra-useful item.

1. It has multiple ways in which is can be used (some of which I will detail below).

2. The cost of the item is not exorbitant.

3. It is a very easy item to create.

Let’s break these three things down.

1. It has many ways in which it can be used

The Immovable Rod has two uses that could be considered to be its “primary functions.” The first is using it as a ladder, or other climbing device. Given that the rod can be fixed in any location in space with a Move Action, it is very easy to climb if you have a pair of them. As well, a single rod could be used to support a block and tackle (giving you a reason to actually buy a pulley system) to help less-able character to climb difficult cliff, walls, etc.

Its other “primary use” (having two things be primary involved the liberal use of quotation marks) is to hold things closed. Given that one needs a DC 30 Strength check to move the Rod up to 10 feet, even an Iron Golem (Str 32) is going to have to roll an 18 or better to move the Rod.

Beyond those two simple, but great, applications, the difficulty of moving a placed Rod makes for all kinds utility. Want to pin someone to the ground during a Grapple? Have the Rod ready and place the button towards their chest once you have them pinned. They set the button off and the Rod is the one doing the pin for you. Same goes for a door you need shut for a good, long time. Place the rod horizontally in a doorway so the entrance counts as difficult terrain. Or, use multiple Rods so Medium-sized and larger creatures have to Squeeze through, granting Attacks of Opportunity.

As well, the Immovable Rod can hold up to 8,000 pounds before falling. Need a more comfortable place to sleep? Get two and string up a hammock. Want to craft a devilish trap? Suspend a Rod near the top of a wall that has to be climbed. From the Rod, hang a rope net, or a bag of some type with almost 8,000 pounds of rock. A group of adventurers begins to climb, their weight passes the capacity of the Rod and it all comes tumbling down. Or, make it even more simple and just have a pressure plate at the top of the wall that triggers something that pushes the button and causes the Rod to fall. Falling damage sucks.

So you see, your imagination is the only limiting factor. Now, on to the cost.

2. The cost of the item is not exorbitant

At 5,000 GP, the Immovable Rod is probably one of the first Rods that a character can afford to own. A 4th level PC should have around 6,000GP worth of goods and items, so it’s not unreasonable to think that one Immovable Rod might be a part of that amount. As a character continues to advance, it only becomes more attainable. But what happens if your GM doesn’t happen to think that you need one of these dandy devices? Well, that’s where my next point comes in.

3. It is a very easy item to create

The Craft Rod feat is available to 9th-level casters, and since level 9 happens to be a level at which you can gain a feat, it’s pretty fortuitous. Crafting a Rod take a day for every 1,000 GP in its base price, so an Immovable Rod takes 5 days to make. And it only costs 2,500 GP in raw materials. The only spell the crafter needs to know is levitate. All in all, not a bad deal to get something so useful.

The Immovable Rod is the first of a series of items that I hope to cover with these articles. All of the item and rule information was gotten from the Pathfinder SRD at The OGL can be found here.

Soon to come in this series: The Handy Haversack, Gloves of Storing, and Feather Tokens.

[tags]rpg, rpgs, role playing games, Adventurer’s Toolbox, Pathfinder, D&D[/tags]

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