A staff is a long shaft of wood that stores several spells. Unlike wands, which can contain a wide variety of spells, each staff is of a certain kind and holds specific spells. A staff has 50 charges when created.
Physical Description: A typical staff is 4 feet to 7 feet long and 2 inches to 3 inches thick, weighing about 5 pounds. Most staffs are wood, but a rare few are bone, metal, or even glass. (These are extremely exotic.) Staffs often have a gem or some device at their tip or are shod in metal at one or both ends. Staffs are often decorated with carvings or runes. A typical staff is like a walking stick, quarterstaff, or cudgel. It has AC 7, 10 hit points, hardness 5, and a break DC of 24.
Activation: Staffs use the spell trigger activation method, so casting a spell from a staff is usually a standard action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity. (If the spell being cast, however, has a longer casting time than 1 standard action, it takes that long to cast the spell from a staff.) To activate a staff, a character must hold it forth in at least one hand (or whatever passes for a hand, for nonhumanoid creatures).
Special Qualities: Roll d%. A 01-30 result indicates that something (a design, inscription, or the like) provides some clue to the staff ‘s function, and 31-100 indicates no special qualities.
Staffs use the wielder’s ability score and relevant feats to set the DC for saves against their spells. Unlike with other sorts of magic items, the wielder can use his caster level when activating the power of a staff if it’s higher than the caster level of the staff.
This means that staffs are far more potent in the hands of a powerful spellcaster. Because they use the wielder’s ability score to set the save DC for the spell, spells from a staff are often harder to resist than ones from other magic items, which use the minimum ability score required to cast the spell. Not only are aspects of the spell dependant on caster level (range, duration, and so on) potentially higher, but spells from a staff are harder to dispel and have a better chance of overcoming a target’s spell resistance.
Furthermore, a staff can hold a spell of any level, unlike a wand, which is limited to spells of 4th level or lower. The minimum caster level of a staff is 8th.