Using Staffs & Wands

Is casting a spell from a staff or wand a normal action or a spell casting action? What I mean by that, is (in combat) if you plan on casting a spell from a staff do you…

Have to declare this before initiative is rolled
Risk losing the spell (i.e. charge) if you are hit before you cast it
Are unable to move in the round you activate the item

Or, is casting from a staff or wand just a “normal” attack action?

I have searched the ACKS-CR’s text to no avail and then, finally, hiddena t the end of the book:

ACKS CR p.257: (3) Act on Initiative: according to this table, you can move before using a wand and using a wand is not linke casting a spell in that your action can be disrupted. The same can also be assumed of rods and staffs, although it is not explicitely stated.

That’s a good find there, Beastman. I think your assumption has to be accepted as the intention unless we hear otherwise from an official source. Thanks!

p. 103, Casting Spells.
p. 104, Other Actions.

Wands is listed under Other Actions. There is no implication that I can find that using a wand is the same as a spellcaster casting a spell.

It is also worth noting that the text for scrolls (in the magic items chapter, p. 216) describes the result as casting a spell from a scroll; the wands, staffs, and rods entry (p. 217) describes the result as “triggering an effect.”

Thomas and Beastman are correct. Using a wand, staff, or rod is not the same as casting a spell. You are permitted to use a wand, staff, or rod without declaring such before the initiative roll, and you can move and then use the item. 

Thus, a mage with a wand of fireballs can step around the corner and fireball his opponent, whereas a mage casting a fireball spell would have to begin the round with line of sight on his opponent, since he can't move and cast.



and, perhaps more or as important(ly), you cannot be disrupted when triggering a spell-effect from a rod/staff/wand, since you do not “begin” using a rod/staff/want from the start of a round and the effects the triggers on your initiative count as it is with spells…

That makes everything nice and clear. Thanks, all.

Thanks from me, too.