Upon graduation, all guild mages receive the sigil of their academy and their mage’s staff. This iconic symbol of their social standing is part of their mages’ accoutrements and is often ornately decorated. Besides being a symbol of standing, the mage’s staff can be a powerful ritual item. The Binding of the Staff makes the item into a true mage’s staff, allowing it to be enchanted with several complex rituals to improve its utility. The number and power of staff enchantments you can cast depends on the staff’s volume. The mage bound to the staff (who must also be the one to infuse it with enchantments) is the only one who can activate the staff’s enchantments.
Typically, the staff enchantment ritual is cast in a room in a mage’s academy that has undergone several hours of special preparation. With a few days’ effort, some other magical place (such as a convergence of ley lines) can be made suitable for a staff enchantment ritual. If the requirements are met, casting the staff enchantment ritual is not too much work, and the mage doesn’t need to make a check. In game terms, staff enchantments are special abilities—activating a staff enchantment does not require a skill check.
Some staff enchantments build on other staff enchantments. For example, Sword of Flame can be cast only on a staff that already has Eternal Flame cast upon it. Once you cast a staff enchantment on a staff, it can never be removed.
You can cast multiple staff enchantments on a staff, but you normally cannot use more than one at the same time (though Binding of the Staff is one exception). If you turn your staff into a rope using Adept’s Rope, you cannot also set it ablaze using Eternal Flame. The two Focus enchantments (Power Focus and Property Focus) are also exceptions. More than one focus can be active at the same time, including at the same time as other staff enchantments.
If a staff enchantment’s effect is not permanent, activating it requires 1 action. Also, activating certain staff enchantments costs you AE. For purposes of resolving anti-magic effects, staff enchantments are considered spells with a QL of 2. A mage can abort a staff enchantment immediately by spending a free action.
Size and Volume
A staff’s enchantment capacity is measured in volume points, which are generally proportional to the staff's physical dimensions. Each special ability bound to the staff takes up a certain number of volume points. If you do not have enough volume points left, you can no longer bind staff enchantments into the staff. Staves typically have 18 volume points.
Staff Enchantments in Detail
The cost in permanent AE that you must spend to bind the staff appears under Binding Cost in the staff enchantment’s description. AE Cost is the cost you must pay whenever you activate the staff enchantment. The property of the staff enchantment is important when resolving antimagic countermeasures.