Materials

Each of the materials described below has a definite game effect. Some creatures have damage reduction based on their creature type or core concept. Some are resistant to all but a special type of damage, such as that dealt by evil-aligned weapons or bludgeoning weapons. Others are vulnerable to weapons of a particular material. Characters may choose to carry several different types of weapons, depending upon the campaign and types of creatures they most commonly encounter.

The materials on this list are divided into categories of complexity, based on their relative rarity and how hard they are to process and work. Each category is described below.

Simple: Materials that are easy to gather, require little technological ability to forge (metals), and/or are fairly easy to work. Most items in this category are used in primitive cultures, or those that lack advanced metalworking techniques. Steel, as the "base" metal for this system, is also listed here.

Craft modifier: Up to +3

Time Modifier: x1

Examples: Bronze, iron, infernal iron, steel.

Moderate: Materials that are fairly easy to gather, but are slightly harder to work.

Craft modifier: +4 to +9

Time Modifier: x2

Examples: Adamantium, bulette hide, darkwood, mithril.

Difficult: Materials that are uncommon at best or require a bit of work to acquire; unusual alloys, or very hard metals.

Craft modifier: +10 to +14

Time Modifier: x3

Examples: Adamantine, moonsilver, solaurum.

Complex: Materials that are very rare and/or hard to acquire, or require magical processes to create.

Craft modifier: +15 to +18

Time Modifier: x4

Examples: Moonlight, shadow, sunlight.

Very Complex: Materials that are extremely rare (most people have never even seen them), are very hard to acquire and work, and cost a fortune for even a small amount.

Craft modifier: +19 to +20

Time Modifier: x5

Examples: Orichalcum.

The complexity classifications are used only for making items that can't be found on [| Table 4]] of the Craft section. Compare the item's complexity with that of the material from which it is being made, and use the higher of the two.

The Craft modifier is a modifier to the Craft DC for items made from that material. For items made from multiple materials, choose the one that makes up the largest portion of the item and use its modifier.

For example: Delana wants to make a suit of steel plate mail with mithril inlays. Steel makes up the largest part of the armor, but mithril has a higher rank requirement, so she uses that instead. The DM can assign Craft and cost modifiers based on how much mithril is being used – in this case, since it's only inlays, a +4 Craft modifier and x1.5 or x2 cost modifier should suffice.

The time modifier is multiplied by the item's crafting time to determine the total time it takes to make an item using the given material. This simulates the inherent difficulty of working with superior materials, even if the item isn't of superior craftsmanship. If you use the mastercrafting rules, an item's time modifier is the higher of either its material modifier or the craft level modifier. For example, adamantine has a time modifier of x3; adamantine items with a craft bonus of up to +3 would take 3 times longer than normal, but +4 would be 4 times normal.

Each material has a "minimum crafter level" – the crafter must have a number of ranks equal to the material's Craft modifier x1.5 (round down, minimum 1) in order to work with it. Materials with a +4 or better Craft modifier always have a minimum mastercraft bonus of at least +1 due to the quality of the material. Items can be made with any mastercraft bonus up to half the material's Craft modifier +3, or up to +1 for materials with a negative modifier (bronze, e.g.). If the item is made at the minimum level (i.e., with no mastercraft bonuses), the increased DC and cost are assumed to be included in the material cost; the time is still increased by 1.5 times, however.

For example: Adamantine has a +10 Craft modifier. A crafter needs at least 15 ranks in the relevant Craft skill (armorsmithing, weaponsmithing, etc.) to make items of any level with it; items made from adamantine can have a mastercraft bonus up to +8 (5 + 3 = 8).

So, a set of adamantine chainmail with no mastercraft bonus would require 15 ranks and be DC 30 (20 for the chain, +10 for material); and take 35 days to make (34.5, rounded up).

If the chainmail were to be expertly crafted (+5 bonus), it would require 21 ranks (because this is higher than the minimum 15 for adamantine), be DC 58 (20 for the chain, +10 for material, +28 for expert), and take 115 days (23 x 5) to make.

Table 1: New Materials

Material Craft DC Weight Cost Special
- Weapons
Special
- Armor
Adamantine +10 x1 x10 Bypass hardness DR /-, fortification1
Adamantium +6 x1 x3
Bronze -2 x1 x3/4
Bulette hide +6 x1.25 x4 N/A +5 hp
Bulette plate +10 x1.5 x6 N/A Durable (1)
Cold iron +1 x1 x1.5 Antimagic
Darkwood +6 x1/2 x2 Light Light (+1)
Dragonhide Special2 Special2 Varies2 N/A Energy resistant1
Dwarven steel +5 x1.5 x2.5 Durable (2) Durable (2), heavy (-2)
Elven steel +6 x3/4 x2.5 Light (+1)
Infernal Iron +2 x1 x5 Bypass DR /good DR /good
Iron -1 x1 x3/4
Ironwood +6 x2 x5 Durable (2), heavy Durable (2), heavy (-1)
Mithril +8 x1/2 x5 Cold affinity1 Light (+2)
Moonlight +17 x1/4 x20 Ghost touch1 Etherealness1
Moonsilver +12 x2/3 x15 Bane lycanthropes1 N/A
Shadow +15 x1/2 x20 Shadow affinity1 Shadow
Silver +1 x2 x3 Bane vs. lycanthropes N/A
Solaurum +13 x1 x15 Special N/A
Starlight +17 x1/2 x25 Bypass DR /good
Steel +0 x1 x1
Sunlight +16 x1/4 x20 Holy Negative energy resistance1, shining

1 Items with the listed ability do not automatically gain it. Due to the inherent properties in the material, however, they can be enchanted with that ability for one plus of market value less (if the enchantment is a +1 bonus, it costs only 500 gp for armor or 1,000 for weapons). Items that have energy affinity or energy resistance can also be enchanted with the greater version for one plus less than normal (or half price if the ability is already +1). For example, a suit of red dragonhide armor could be enchanted with fire resistance for 500 gp, or improved fire resistance for a +2 bonus.

2 See material description for more details.

Craft DC Modifier: The number added to the Craft DC to make items of that material.

Weight Modifier: How much the weight of an item made from this material is modified from the norm. For example, a suit of half-plate (normally 50 pounds) made from elven steel weighs about 38 pounds.

Cost Modifier: If an item is made from a variant material, take the price modifier from Table 2 and multiply it by the material's cost modifier. This number is then added to the item's base price.

For example: Jalya wants to buy a set of elven steel half-plate. Half-plate (600 gp) is heavy armor (+500 gp); elven steel has a cost multiplier of x2.5. The end price is 600 + (500 x 2.5) = 1,850 gp.

Table 2: Cost Modifiers By Item

Item Modifier
Light armor, tower shield +100 gp
Medium armor +250 gp
Heavy armor +500 gp
Ammunition +15 gp
Light weapon, buckler +25 gp
One-handed weapon, light shield +50 gp
Two-handed weapon, heavy shield +75 gp
Other items +50 gp/lb.

Mastercraft items add their multiplier, which is multiplied by the mastercraft bonus and the material multiplier. For example, the elven steel half-plate from the above example made as superb armor would be 600 gp (base) + (500 [heavy armor] x 2.5 [elven steel] x 9 [superb]) = 11,850 gp.

Special Properties: These special properties are automatically included in a mastercraft weapon, armor, or shield, and should be factored into the cost when or if the item is enchanted. New abilities are explained below.

DR: Weapons made from this material bypass 1 point of the DR type listed per 2 points of the craft bonus. Armor made from this material grants DR x/y, where x is 1 per two points of the craft bonus, and y is listed in the description (good, evil, hardness, etc.). For example, a superb infernal iron sword bypasses 2 points of DR /good; a superb set of infernal armor grants DR 2/good.

Heavy: Armor made from this material is heavier than normal (+10% for -1 or +20% for -2) and restricts its wearer's movement. The Dex and Concentration check penalties are increased by 1 and 2 (for heavy -1) or 2 and 4 (heavy -2), and the max speed is reduced by one step for -2 only (from x5 to x4, or x4 to x3). It also grants DR 2/- for medium armor or 4/- for heavy armor, and has +20% of the base item's hit points (round up) for both types.

Light: Armor made from this material enables its wearer to move more freely. The Dex and Concentration check penalties are reduced by 1 and 2 (for light +1) or 2 and 4 (light +2), and max speed is increased by one step for +2 only (from x3 to x4, or x4 to x5). This is in addition to any mastercraft bonuses. Light armor has 10% fewer hit points than normal.

N/A: The material cannot be used to make items of this type.

Shining: Items made from this material give off light as a faerie fire spell (this cannot be suppressed, but it can be masked by magical darkness effects).



Material Descriptions

Adamantine: This rare and costly metal is mined deep underground. It is a grayish metal in its natural form, but lightens slightly when cast and can be buffed to a dull shine. It is renowned for its hardness – it is one of the strongest materials known to man. Weapons fashioned from adamantine have a natural ability to bypass hardness when sundering weapons or attacking objects, ignoring hardness less than 5 (for light weapons), 10 (one-handed) or 15 (two-handed). Armor made from adamantine grants its wearer damage reduction of 1/- for light armor, 2/- for medium armor, and 3/- for heavy armor. The fortification property can also be added to adamantine armor for one plus of market value less than listed (+500 gp for light, +2 for moderate, or +4 for heavy).

Items without metal parts cannot be made from adamantine. An arrow could be made of adamantine, but a quarterstaff could not. Only weapons, armor, and shields normally made of metal can be fashioned from adamantine. Items made of adamantine have one-third more hit points than normal.

Adamantine has hardness 20 and 40 hit points per inch.

Adamantium: Adamantium, more properly called adamantine steel, is a variation of normal steel – iron with small amounts of titanium and adamantine mixed in. It is often called "the poor man's adamantine" for this reason; it is stronger than steel, but can't bypass hardness like pure adamantine.

Adamantium has hardness 15 and 35 hit points per inch.

Bronze: Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. It is seldom used in civilizations capable of forging iron, though suits of magical bronze armor or magical bronze weapons may turn up from time to time in ancient ruins. Bronze often forms a greenish patina when exposed to oxygen, similar to silver, but does not corrode like iron and can be polished to a dull sheen. It has a lower melting point than iron and is thus easier to work with, but is slightly heavier.

Bronze has hardness 8 and 30 hit points per inch.

Bulette Hide: The hide of a bulette can be made into a suit of hide armor. A single bulette can make a suit of armor sized for a Medium being; two or more are needed to make anything larger. While it is slightly heavier than normal, it also provides more protection – a suit of bulette hide armor provides a +2 natural armor bonus to AC, which stacks with a creature's inherent natural armor.

Bulette hide has hardness 4 and 8 hit points per inch.

Bulette Plate: The plates on a bulette's back are too large to be made into armor, but they can be crafted into shields, which are sometimes used by druids or others who avoid (or are prohibited from) using metal for whatever reason. Bulette plate shields do not provide a natural armor bonus like bulette hide, but they are stronger than normal – a light shield is hardness 7 and 17 hit points; a heavy shield is hardness 8 and 25 hit points.

Cold Iron: Cold iron is merely normal iron that has been cold-forged (i.e., hammered into shape at a lower temperature). Cold iron weapons are brittle and have a 5% noncumulative chance to shatter on a critical hit; objects made from cold iron shatter if someone attempts to break one and rolls a natural 20 or if they roll a natural 1 on Fort saves against physical attacks. Cold iron weapons can, of course, bypass certain fey and outsider DR; magical enhancements also cost 150% more (a +2 cold iron longsword would cost 12,000 gp instead of 8,000 gp to enchant).

Darkwood: This rare magic wood is much harder than normal wood but very light. Any wooden or mostly wooden item (such as a bow, an arrow, or a spear) made from darkwood weighs only half as much as a normal item of that type. Items not normally made of wood or only partially of wood (such as a battleaxe or a mace) either cannot be made from darkwood or do not gain any special benefit from being made of darkwood. The Dex penalty of a darkwood shield is lessened by 2 compared to an ordinary shield of its type.

Darkwood has hardness 5 and 10 hit points per inch.

Dragonhide: Armorsmiths can work with the hides of dragons to produce armor or shields of masterwork quality. One dragon produces enough hide for a single suit of hide armor for a creature one size category smaller than the dragon. By selecting only choice scales and bits of hide, an armorsmith can produce one suit of banded mail for a creature two sizes smaller, one suit of half-plate for a creature three sizes smaller, or one breastplate or suit of full plate for a creature four sizes smaller. In each case, enough hide is available to produce a small or large wooden shield in addition to the armor, provided that the dragon is Large or larger. Because dragonhide armor isn’t made of metal, druids can wear it without penalty.

The Craft modifier for dragonhide is the dragon's age category x1.5; the weight modifier is 25% of the age category; and the price modifier is equal to the age category. For example, a hide from an Old dragon has a Craft modifier of +12, a weight modifier of x2, and a cost modifier of x8.

Dragonhide armor can be enchanted with energy resistance of the same type as the dragon it came from, for one plus less than normal. For example, red dragonhide armor could be enchanted with greater fire resistance (15) for a +4 bonus instead of +5. Lesser energy resistance costs +500 gp.

Dragonhide has hardness 10 and 10 hit points per inch.

Dwarven Steel: Dwarven steel is much the same as normal steel, except that it is thicker and heavier than normal – it is widely rumored that the dwarves include minor percentages of a few other metals, but the dwarven smiths aren't talking. Few besides dwarves are strong enough (or willing) to wear it; dwarven defenders prize it for its ability to withstand damage, and they often have a set or two of dwarven steel armor handed down through their family lines.

Dwarven steel is heavy, often battered in appearance, and slightly darker than normal; it cannot be polished beyond a dull glow, for some reason (and can't have the reflective property applied to it). Items made from dwarven steel are utilitarian in appearance, often with only a crafter's mark, though the simple lines have an aesthetic beauty of their own for those who can appreciate it.

Dwarven steel has hardness 12 and 35 hit points per inch.

Elven Steel: In contrast to the dwarves, elves have perfected a method of making steel stronger than normal, yet lighter at the same time without sacrificing its strength. The secret of making such items is jealously guarded (it is – probably truly – rumored that it contains small amounts of mithril), and elven steel weapons and armor often fetch a high price on the open market. Elven steel is fairly distintive - it is more silvery than normal steel, and is often decorated with runes or etcthings of leaves, trees, and other forest-type things.

Elven steel has hardness 10 and 30 hit points per inch.

Infernal Iron: This blackish metal can only be found on the Lower Planes; it has most of the properties of iron (density, magnetism, melting point, etc.), but it also infused with evil energy from its location, and is often used by denizens of the lower planes. As such, iron or steel weapons crafted from it can bypass DR /good (1 point per 2 points of the craft bonus), and armor grants DR /good to the wearer (same bonus). For example, a superb sword would bypass DR 2/good; superb plate would have DR 2/good. Cold-forged infernal iron has the same properties as normal cold iron, in addition to its other properties.

Infernal iron has hardness 10 and 30 hit points per inch.

Iron: Crude iron, or unprocessed iron, is seldom used by itself in weapons and armor in most fantasy cultures, unless they are more primitive. It is often used in simple items like horseshoes, nails, banding for doors, etc., as they are cheap and easy to make.

Iron has hardness 10 and 30 hit points per inch.

Ironwood: Ironwood is a very heavy, dense wood taken from trees found in old-growth forests and semi-tropical jungles. It can be used for wooden shields, though it is often not, since it weighs twice as much as normal. It is sometimes used for wooden weapons like staves or even bows (such bows are always mighty due to the strength required to draw them, and can only be longbows), but its most common use is in defensive items - doors, gates, and even mantlets. An item made of ironwood has +4 hardness and +20 hit points, making an ironwood door or gate an effective defense. Its density makes it hard to work, however, and the added weight makes it harder to ship, both of which increase the price accordingly.

Ironwood has hardness 7 and 12 hit points per inch.

Mithril: Mithril is a very rare, silvery, glistening metal that is lighter than iron but just as hard. When worked like steel, it becomes a wonderful material from which to create armor and is occasionally used for other items as well.

An item made from mithril weighs half as much normal. In the case of weapons, this lighter weight does not change a weapon’s size category or the ease with which it can be wielded (whether it is light, one-handed, or two-handed). In the case of armor, the maximum running speed is increased by one step. Items not primarily of metal are not meaningfully affected by being partially made of mithril. (A longsword can be a mithril weapon, while a scythe cannot.) Mithril weapons can be enchanted with the frost or icy burst properties for half the normal cost.

Mithril has hardness 15 and 30 hit points per inch.

Moonlight: Through various magical processes known to very few (mostly elves), moonlight can be captured and turned into a semi-liquid form similar in appeance to dark liquid silver which, when treated with spells and combined with secret ingredients, hardens into a lightweight but tough material - not metal, but something similar. Moonlight is rarely used in the creation of melee weapons because they tend to bend or break easily (a natural 1 on an attack roll against a solid object or creature means the weapon has been damaged and must be repaired); more often it is made into projectiles (arrors, slingstones, etc.) or smaller melee weapons like daggers. Even then, moonlight projectiles are one-use items - a hit means the tip is misshapen beyond repair, and the item must be reforged. Moonlight is more often made into cloaks or light armor (the equivalent of padded or leather); it offers the same armor bonus, and can be enchanted with the etherealness ability for half cost.

Moonlight has hardness 4 and 12 hit points per inch.

Moonsilver: Also known as truesilver, moonsilver is a combination of moonlight and silver (and is treated as silver for purposes of bypassing DR). It has a glistening, almost liquid appearance, and can be polished to a high sheen. It is lighter and stronger than silver, and can be used to make any item that can be made of alchemical silver, typically weapons (but only light or one-handed weapons - anything larger is too likely to bend or break); moonsilver is almost never used to make utilitarian armor, as it is too soft to be effective, though some rich/powerful people have ceremonial sets of moonsilver chainmail.

Moonsilver has hardness 7 and 15 hit points per inch.

Shadow: Shadow items are created from pure shadowstuff, which is a dusky gray-black substance that is cool to the touch. Shadow cannot be fashioned into melee weapons other than Light ones, or armor heavier than Light; consequently, armor and weapons of this material are primarily used by rogues and assassin-types. Also, shadow degrades in sunlight (or its equivalent); for each hour or part thereof a shadow item spend in direct sunlight, it loses 1 point of hardness and 2 hit points. These points can be regained by leaving the item(s) in complete darkness for one hour per hour they spent in the light. If someone wearing/carrying a shadow item fails a save against a spell or effect that duplicates sunlight (sunbeam, sunburst, etc.), the item suffers damage as if it had spent a full hour in the sun (a successful save means no damage to the item); unattended items are automatically affected. Shadow armor automatically grants the shadow property; improved and greater shadow can be added for half cost. Shadow weapons can have the shadow or shadowstrike abilities added for half cost.

Shadow has hardness 5 and 12 hit points per inch.

Solaurum: Solaurum is an alloy of gold and sunlight. It is too soft for most weapons or armor, and is most often used to make holy items, symbols in particular. A holy symbol made of solaurum grants a +2 bonus to turning checks; if the wielder is a paladin of the sun god or a cleric with the Sun domain, the bonus is increased to +4. Solaurum can be used to make projectile weapons like arrows and bolts; in this case, the holy ability can be added for a +1 price modifier instead of +2. Whether or not the weapons are enchanted, they deal +1d6 damage to undead. Projectile weapons made from solaurum are one-use items, however - once they hit, the tips (or the whole item, in the case of sling bullets) are too badly misshapen to be of use and must be reforged.

Solarum has hardness 3 and 10 hit points per inch.

Starlight: Some elven master smiths know of the methods and magic used to capture starlight and turn it into material form. In its natural state, it is a thick, dark liquid with motes of light floating through it. When various processes are applied, it solidifies into a lightweight, semi-metallic form that can be shaped. Because of its relative softness, it is rarely used for weapons, and then only small ones – arrowheads, sling bullets, and daggers. Such weapons can bypass DR /good, and they deal double damage against undead. Starlight is useless as armor, but it can be woven into cloaks, along with spidersilk and small amounts of silver and gold threads. Starlight cloaks are highly prized and almost never seen outside of elven communities; they grant resistance 10 against negative energy and a deflection bonus equal to half the craft bonus (round down).

Steel: The "base" metal used for the majority of arms and armor, and many other items besides. Steel is simply iron with a small amount (around 1%) of carbon; it can contain trace amounts of other metals (chromium, titanium, vanadium) for strength.

Steel has hardness 10 and 30 hit points per inch.

Sunlight: Sunlight, like moonlight, is a rare material whose creation is known to only a few (again, mostly elves). Sunlight in its natural (pre-"forging") state looks much like molten gold, though it gives off no heat. When solidified through use of magic and the addition of other ingredients, it looks like pure gold. Sunlight is rarely used in the creation of weapons or armor, as it is too soft (softer even than moonlight) - a natural 1-3 on an attack roll against a solid object or creature with a melee weapon means the weapon has been damaged and must be repaired. More often it is made into projectiles (arrows, slingstones, etc.) or smaller melee weapons, like daggers. Even then, sunlight projectiles are one-use items - a hit means the tip is misshapen beyond repair, and the item must be reforged.

Sunlight is often woven into cloaks or other pieces of clothing; in this case, the item can be enchanted with the negative energy resistance property for one plus less than normal.

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