A staff allows you to cast many spells quickly. Unlike a charm that can only be used once prior to waiting for a recharge, or a wand with a limited number of valuable charges, staves dole out magic at a relatively fast and furious pace. This is a result of their ability to quickly build up and store multiple charges, and expend them rapid-fire, or as as the user sees fit. The maximum number of charges a staff can contain is equal to its enchantment level.
Recharging: Most staves fully recharge over the course of 500 turns, so highly enchanted staves recover individual charges more quickly (500/enchant_level). A staff of blinking or obstruction takes twice as long to recharge. Wearing an enchanted ring of wisdom will hasten the recharging process. A scroll of recharging will fully recharge all staves (and charms) in your inventory instantly. A scroll of enchantment increases the maximum and current number of charges by one as well as increasing the power of each application.
Application: A staff will generally target another creature, with the following exceptions: A staff of blinking affects the user, a staff of tunneling affects the dungeon, and a staff of obstruction can target just about anything solid.
Targeting: When applying (using) a staff, the nearest appropriate creature is targeted by default. Pressing the tab key will target the second closest, followed by the third, and so on. It may not be possible to directly target a creature, but you often can still hit such a target by manually aiming beyond the target using the mouse or keyboard.
Identification: If a potion of detect magic has been applied, staves which inflict a harmful effect on the target will be marked as benevolent (blue). Those which grant a helpful effect will be marked as malevolent (red). It is safe to test blue staves on your enemies and red staves on your allies.
Staves are generated with between 2 and 4 charges, but will about 4% of the time have more.
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