Magical Item

Immovable rod

School Transmutation
Aura moderate
Value 5,000 gp
Slot none
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


10 – The Ladder: This is probably the most obvious use of a pair of immovable rods (it’s written in the item’s descriptive text), but, what happens when you only have one immovable rod? Well, that’s when you’ll have to unlock your inner ninja warrior and climb the salmon ladder. Once you are hanging from the rod in mid-air, using upper body strength, release the rod from its current position and force it upwards, to a slightly higher position, and then lock it in its new position. Repeat until you reach your desired height.

To emulate this in the rules, I would suggest using an acrobatics (jump) check to determine the starting height of the salmon ladder. Then, with a DC 15 climb check, as a full round action, you can “climb” 5 feet higher (you don’t want to roll for every individual salmon hop). Every additional 5 feet requires another full round action and increases the climb DC by 5 for every previous round of salmon ladder climbing. If you fall, a DC 20 climb check is required to bring the rod with you. You can then arrest your fall with a climb check (DC equal to the last salmon hop attempted) 10 feet below the height at which you fell.

9 – Hammock: The non-wizard’s version of rope trick.

8 – Shelter: Immovable rods make it easier to create impromptu shelters since they can be used as supports, tent pegs and so forth. Reduce the survival check DC for providing shelter against severe weather (when using the stationary option) by 1 for every immovable rod at your disposal.

7 – Barricade: An Immovable rod can be used to quickly barricade a door. This won’t hold out the zombie horde indefinitely, since the door can eventually be destroyed, but it should buy enough time to move the piano into place (see below).

6 – Traps: Immovable rods provide portable support points for trip lines, fulcrums in a lever system to topple boulders, the upright supports for a giant slingshot or even the axle in the pulley system of a piano drop trap.

5 – Anti-Trap: Immovable rods can be used to jam almost any type of mechanical trap, but is probably best suited for one trap type in particular – the trash compactor (descending ceilings or moving walls). Immovable rods, may not completely stop the trap (remember weight capacity/strength check to move), but can still buy valuable time.

4 – Castle in the Sky: Immovable rods can be used in the foundations of a flying building. I leave the exact requirements/maths up to the player crazy enough to build her own flying castle.

3 – Time Stop: With a nod of acknowledgement to Superman, imagine a fantasy super eco-villain that travels the globe, placing immovable rods in strategic positions and angles with a final goal of arresting planetary rotation causing unimagineable geological and climate-related disasters.

2 – Easy Pin: When grappling, you have the option of using a length of rope to tie up your opponent. Fair enough, but I’d say that you could use an immovable rod in a similar fashion – in fact, I’d say it’s easier to pin somebody down with the rod than it is with a rope (+2 bonus to the bind check). Shoving a rod into the mouth of a spellcaster (breaking some teeth in the process) or across the throat would also effectively silence her. There is the issue of the handy release button on the rod, but clever placement of the rod, or trapping arms against the body etc. should prevent easy release, thus still requiring an escape artist check to escape. (Bonus: the strength check to move the rod is greater than the break DC for most common bindings.)

EDIT: There’s been some IM argument about this one. So, for now, I’m going to strike it off the list – as using the rod in this manner would actually be too situational.

2 – Play Fetch: Throw the rod away from you. Command your familiar/animal companion to ‘fetch’. Cast mage hand and activate rod. Keeps the party entertained for hours.

1 – Death from Within: Even after being swallowed whole, the intrepid adventurer can still help her companions. By simply locking an immovable rod in place within the swallower, you can arrest its movement. Pick a square occupied by the swallower. Until the rod is released from its locked position, the swallower may still move around provided that at least part of the swallower occupies that square at all times. The swallower can move the immovable rod with a successful strength check, as described above, but doing so deals 2d6 damage to the swallower. This damage cannot be prevented or reduced.

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