Staff of the Runemaster

This is a 5' long staff, 2" in diameter, and topped with a clear, prismatic crystal (gemstone is of unknown origins). Along the shaft are 3-5 empty jewel settings, inlaid with silver. The bottom of the staff is shod with gold, and unscrews to reveal a compartment containing 2d4 small jewels (1" diameter) of various types. Each jewel has a rune carved into its face, the carving inlaid with gold or other precious metals. When one of these runestones is placed in one of the settings on the shaft, the setting magically grasps the gem. The gem can be released from the setting by touching the gem and uttering the "release" command word.

At least one of the runestones found with the staff will be a special rune (see below).

When equipped to one of the jewel settings, each runestone can be activated to perform its specified function, when the staff is held and the rune's command word is spoken. The function of each runestone can duplicate any spell or affect the DM desires. All spells and affects are treated as if cast by a 9th level caster, or the minimum level required to cast such a spell, if it is higher.

Unlike other staves, the true power of this staff resides in the runestones themselves. Each runestone holds a maximum of 2 charges, or the number needed to power the spell, whichever is higher. Each rune replenishes itself at a rate of 1 charge per 6 hours. Activating a runestone consumes a number of charges equal to ½ the spell's level (rounded up).

Finding More Runes

Whenever the user of the staff comes across treasure which contains at least one magic item and one or more cut gemstones, the staff will react if any of the gems are actually a runestone. There is a 1% chance per gem in the treasure, that one of the magical items found is instead a runestone. To determine the maximum spell level of the runestone, and the value of the magic item to substitute, use the following table;

Spell
Level
Required
Base Gem
Value
Required
Magic Item
Value
  Spell
Level
Required
Base Gem
Value
Required
Magic Item
Value
1 200 1000 6 1200 21000
2 400 3000 7 1400 28000
3 600 6000 8 1600 36000
4 800 10000 9 1800 45000
5 1000 15000      

Special Runes

When a runestone is found, there is a 1-in-20 chance it will be a "Special" rune. When activated, these types of runes modify the behavior of spells cast by other runes equipped to the staff. Special runes hold a maximum of 3 charges, and replenish at a rate of 1 charge per 6 hours. The types of runes include, but are not limited to, the following:

Enhancement Rune Increases the caster level of a spell cast from the staff.
Requires 1 charge per caster level increased.
Conservation Rune Reduces the cost of a spell cast by another rune on the staff by 1 charge. Cannot reduce the cost below 1 charge.
Requires 1 charge per use.
Transmogrify Rune Converts an elemental spell cast from the staff (fire, air/electricity, water/frost, or earth/acid) to another element.
Requires 2 charges per use.
Requires 3 charges if converting the spell's element to its opposed element (i.e. converting fire to frost).
Metamagic Rune (D20 systems) Applies the effects of the rune's specified Metamagic feat to a spell cast from the staff.
Requires a number of charges equal to the spell level increase of the Metamagic feat.
Combine Rune* Combines the spells of two other runes into a single spell.
Requires 3 charges per use.

* Combined Spells
When two spells are combined, as per the Combine rune, the following rules apply: