• doug.radmore

Your D&D Character Just Found a Rod of Rulership. What Now?

Malthus stood, aghast at the man that he had called his friend, his wrists chained and face ruddy from the prison. As he was brought into the courtroom, the Baron stood from the judges' seat.

“Kneel before the court, so that we might pass judgment upon you,”

The man in chains spat blood onto the floor in blatant disrespect.

“So be it,” the Baron grinned, lifting a black rod topped with a gold crown and aimed it at the man.


The Rod of Rulership is a rare magical item in Dungeons & Dragons. It is used to take control of enemies and bend them to your will! It lasts eight hours and requires them to pass a DC15 Wisdom Save.

Is it Evil?

The Rod of Rulership allows you to convince an NPC or Monster that you are their trusted leader and commander. This magical item grants you power and control over them, making it easier for you to get your way! You could use this rod to compel a complete stranger or your greatest enemy into committing crimes, even murder, on your behalf, granting you plausible deniability. The moral question of bending someone to your will remains!

Paladin’s Friend

Paladins are often seen as stalwart defenders of justice and those that stand up for the weak. Using a Rod of Rulership to enforce this sense of justice may be a natural use of its ability, as you can now non-violently stop potential wrongdoers. This motive is particularly relevant to Paladins, as the class is typically the front-line tanking class. Usually, the Paladin is unable to force many Wisdom saves from enemies while in combat. With the few spell slots you have, your Paladin most likely wants to use their limited slots for high-impact Divine Smites or spells like Hunter’s Mark.

The Rod could be used to take control of a fiendish enemy or a criminal that you and your party are chasing down. Because of its long-range, 120ft, it will be challenging for anyone fleeing to escape a forced saving throw. Alternatively, you might use this magical item to order a confession out of the local, capricious, fey trickster, and demand they explain why they have been tormenting a small township. You can effectively use the Rod to enforce your will and justice. As it lasts eight hours, you will often have time to bring the culprit into custody after activating the Rod.

The Old Control Wizard

Wizards have a fine array of spells, as we all know. In previous editions, wizards were known as a Controller class, capable of putting out a lot of Crowd Controlling abilities. These abilities involved using spells to create difficult terrain or stunning enemies from afar. Controllers as such, use their abilities to stop enemies from performing actions they’ve planned during combat. With the use of Concentration in Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons, Wizards are less capable of these more substantial feats. However, a Rod of Rulership is helpful in this regard for two simple reasons:

The Rod is a non-concentration item. As such, not having to concentrate on what is a weakened version of Dominate Person, your wizard is free to cast a concentration spell such as Slow or Black Tentacles and allow the chaos of these abilities to disrupt the battle around them. Even if the Rod is used on a key enemy to tell them to leave the fight or stand still, it can remove them from the scenario for a full 8 hours!

The Rod has no limit on the number of people it can affect. If you wish to hold it aloft and declare that all enemies within 120ft of you are going to have to make a Wisdom Save, then that is what happens! If only a few of them fail, then you have still turned the tide of any given encounter without even spending a spell slot!

Warlocks, Pets, and Friends!

Everyone knows that Warlocks are typically a morally questionable lot. Whether it is making pacts with Arch Devils or casting Witch Bolt at 5th level because they didn’t like what you said to them in the tavern, Warlocks have a habit of doing whatever they feel like.

Pact of the Chain Warlocks are often focused around their familiar and exerting their influence over others; this is also true for those with an allegiance to a Great Old One. Using their abilities often comes down to taking control of or influencing allies. The issue that most Warlocks run into, however, is limited spell slots. As the class only ever has two slots at a time, they often need magical items to help them pick up the slack.

The Rod of Rulership fits perfectly into this niche, allowing them a control-based ability that does not consume one of their valuable spell slots. In addition, as the Rod does not cast a spell, it is not susceptible to Counterspell or Dispel Magic.

Overall, the Rod of Rulership is a useful item that helps in a fight, often being capable of incapacitating or recruiting low-level, enemy minions in a single turn. The Rod could also be used in non-combat encounters to get precisely what you want out of an interaction with an NPC or during a fleeing chase sequence to cause townsfolk to break lines of sight.

This makes the Rod of Rulership a precious item to those that manage to get ahold of it. However, you must be careful as power corrupts, and this kind of power? It corrupts absolutely.

Has your party used this item before? Tell us about it below!


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