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Construction Materials

There are a variety of metals and materials which can be used in the manufacture of weapons, armor, and so forth. For reference, this is a compendium of these substances. Some are an invention of Sulerin, others come from other sources, as noted.

Abyssal Bloodiron
Tainted metal harvested from the earth of the Abyss, where cataclysmic battles have been waged for eons and the earth has been saturated with iron, blood, and spent magic. It is mined from thin deposits of mixed blood and ferrous mineral, compacted over the years, then forged at a low temperature to preserve its innate powers. Weapons forges of the metal usually appear dark except for their cutting edges, which are as red as freshly spilled blood.
    A weapon forged of Abyssal bloodiron is treated as a cold iron weapon, except that its wielder also gains a +4 bonus when rolling to confirm a critical hit. Abyssal bloodiron has the same weight as iron or steeel. A weapon made of it costs an additional 10,000 gp, and any magical enhancements cost an additional 2,000 gp, just as with cold iron. Abyssal bloodiron has a hardness of 10 and 30 hit points per inch of thickness. (source: Planar Handbook)

Adamantine
Type
of Item
   
Cost
Modifier
   
Damage
Reduction
Ammunition  +60gpNA
Light Armor+5,000gp1/-
Medium Armor+10,000gp2/-
Heavy Armor+15,000gp3/-
Weapon+3,000gpNA

Found in meteorites and in rare metal veins in magical places. This weapon is prized for its hardness and its ability to cut through softer materials. Adamantine is flat gray in color and has a dull polish. Adamantine weapons have the natural ability to bypass the hardness of other objects, ignoring hardness of less than 20. Armor made from adamantine grants its wearer damage reduction. Objects built from adamantine have one-third more hit points than normal, thus an adamantine greatsword has 13 hit points instead of the normal 10 for steel. Adamantine has 40 hit points per inch of thickness and a hardness of 20. (source: Dungeon Master's Guide)

Astral Driftmetal
An extraordinarily rare mineral that is mined only on Tu'narath and other islands of matter floating in the Astral Plane. It is very similar to iron but has the remarkable feature of being fully effective against incorporeal attacks, as though it were made of force. Armor crafted from astral driftmetal retains its full armor bonus to Armor Class against incorporeal attacks. Astral driftmetal is not malleable enough to be worked into chainmail or scale mail; only a breastplate, shield, or any form of heavy armor can be made from it. A suit of driftmetal armor weighs the same as a suit of armor made of steel. Other statistics such as maximum Dexterity bonus, armor check penalty, and arcane spell failure chance are unchanged. Astral driftmetal has a hardness of 12 and 30 hit points per inch of thickness. Its market price modifier is +12,000gp or +500gp per pound. (source: Planar Handbook)

Aurorum
Luminous steel that gleams with varying hues of pink and indigo. An aurorum weapon, shield, or suit of armor that has been sundered can be reformed by bringing together its fragments (a full-round action). The broken pieces bond quickly and seamlessly, restoring the item to its previous state. The market price modifier for an aurorum weapon, shield, or suit of armor is +4,000gp. (source: Book of Exalted Deeds)

Baatorian Green Steel
Mined from the evil tainted mines of the Nine Hells of Baator, this rare metal is veined with green flecks. When alloyed into steal it creates weapons of amazing sharpness. Slashing and piercing weapons created with baatorian green steel have a natural enhancement bonus of +1 to damage. This bonus does not stack with any other enhancement bonus. The market modifier for such a weapon is +2,000gp. Baatorian green steel has a hardness of 12 and 30 hitpoints per inch of thickness. (source: Arms and Equipment Guide)

Bone
Bone weapons are often employed by primitive cultures which are still restricted to stone age technologies. Bone becomes brittle over time and makes a poor slashing weapon, but its vertical strength is greater than its lateral, thus it retains its piercing qualities for much longer. Bone armor, fashioned from a hodge-podge collection of rib bones, a skull for a helmet, and other bones, fastened together or sewn into a leather coat and pants, can make for crude, though effective, armor. Weapons made of bone have a -2 attack and damage penalty (with a minimum damage of 1). Bone has a hardness of 6 and 10 hit points per inch of thickness.

Blue Ice
Type
of Item
   
Cost
Modifier
Light Armor+750gp
Medium Armor+3,000gp
Heavy Armor+7,000gp
Shield+750gp
Slashing Weapon+500gp
Other Items+400gp/lb.

Found only in the depths of the most ancient glaciers, this dark blue, opaque ice sparkles in light as if it were coated with a thin film of gemstones. It is cold and feels identical to regular ice upon casual inspection, but only melts under intense heat, similar to iron. It can be forged, shaped, and utilized as if it were steel, though it is much lighter than iron and when forged into a slashing weapon it keeps its edge much longer and is much sharper. Slashing weapons made of blue ice have a +1 enhancement bbonus on damage. Bludgeoning and piercing weapons do not benefit from blue ice construction. Blue ice isn't just useful to make slashing weapons though, it can be used to build anything that is normally built out of iron; items made out of blue ice weigh half as much as normal.
    Blue ice armor, while much lighter than normal armor, is uncomfortable to wear for creatures not immune or resistant to cold. Only armor normally fashioned from metal can be made of blue ice. Most blue ice armors (excluding Light armors) cound as armor of one lighter weight class. Spell failure chances are unchanged, except for spells with the cold descriptor which sugger no chance of spell failure. The maximum dexterity bonus is increased by 1 and armor check penalties are lessened by 2. Creatures that are not immune or resistant to cold suffer a -1 penalty on Reflex saving throws and initiative checks from general numbness caused by the armor. Blue ice has 20 hit points per inch of thickness and a hardness of 10. (source: Frostburn)

Bronze
Weapons of bronze are inferior to steel items. They are commonly crafted by creating an alloy of copper, zinc and tin. The addition of arsenic makes the bronze even harder and more durable. Bronze resists corrosion and metal fatigue better than steel, but because it is softer than steel it requires more frequent repairs when employed as a weapon or in armor. Bronze weapons have an attack and damage penalty of -1, a hardness of 9, and 20 hit points per inch of thickness.

Celestial Steel
Type
of Item
   
Cost
Modifier
Light Armor+20,000gp
Medium Armor+40,000gp
Heavy Armor+90,000gp
Shield+20,000gp
Other Items+1,500 gp/lb.

An extremely rare, white-tinted metal which only occurs naturally in the outer realm of Aelin. In these places the very fabric of reality is infused with positive energy and it permeates all the earth and metals therein. In that realm, in areas of great magic and where events of exceptional goodness have taken place, a vein of celestial steel may be born. Over centuries it then grows, fed by the positive energies of the plane. Celestial steel can only be shaped and forged by good aligned creatures. Legends state that in lost Dunnal Krannok rests a great mass of celestial steel that fell from the heavens.
    Celestial steel is lighter than mithral, yet as hard as adamantine. For armors, the chance of spell failure is reduced by 15%, the maximum Dexterity bonus is increased by 5, the armor weight class is reduced by one (to a minimum of Light) and the weight of such armor is one-third normal. Celestial weapons are effectively Good aligned for purposes of penetrating the Damage Reduction of evil outsiders (DR X/Good). Celestial steel has 40 hitpoints per inch of thickness and a hardness of 20. (source: World of Sulerin)

Cold Iron
Mined from deep underground, this iron ore is forged at lower tempreratures and is known for its effectiveness against fey creatures. Weapons made of cold iron cost twice as much to make as their normal counterparts and must be of mastercraft quality. Also, any magical enhancements cost an additional 2,000gp. Items without metal parts cannot be made from cold iron. An arrow could be made from cold iron, but a quarterstaff could not. Cold iron has 30 hit points per inch of thickness and a hardness of 10. (source: Dungeon Master's Guide)

Coral
Common among seafaring races such as merfolk and tritons. Armor and items built from this material are not so much created as they are grown over time and shaped for their particular task. Coral armor covers only the top half of a person, breastplate and bracers. It reduces their swim speed by 10 feet, but because of its design it effectively weighs 10 pounds less when in water. Wearing coral armor that was not specifically grown for an individual causes an additional -1 armor check penalty. Deep coral is sometimes used by underwater builders to erect deep sea palaces. When used for this type of construcvtion, coral automatically repairs 1 point of damage every minute. Treat coral as stone for purposes of blocking detection spells and the like. Coral has 15 hit points her inch of thickness, a hardness of 8, and a break DC of 20 +2 per inch of thickness. (sources: Arms and Equipment Guide, Stronghold Builder's Guidebook)

Crystal, Deep
These crystals of above-average quality are found at the hearts of large veins or deposits of mundane crystal. It is renowned for its strength and its psionically resonant nature. While a weapon made of deep crystal is no different from a mundane crystal weapon for a nonpsionic character, a psionic wielder of a deep crystal weapon can focus psionic power through it, increasing the damage that weapon deals. As a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity, the wielder can channel psionic power into a melee weapon or ranged weapon made of deep crystal. For 2 power points, the deep crystal weapon deals an extra 2d6 points of damage. The weapon will stay charged for 1 minute or until it scores its next hit. Bows, crowssbows, and slings bestow this power on their ammunition. All missile weapons lose this effect if they miss. However, they may be recovered and charged again.
    Any weapon made of deep crystal costs 1,000 gp more than its noncrystal counterpart. Any item could potentially be made out of deep crystal. Becase deep crystal armor is considered to be made out of metal, druids cannot wear it. Deep crystal has 30 hit points per inch of thickness and a hardness of 10. (sources: Expanded Psionics Handbook)

Crystal, Mundane
Mundane crystal can be used in place of metal in weapons or armor, using a special forging process. The fortified crystal possesses the properties of a similar masterwork steel weapon or armor, except for visual appearance. Weapons and armor made of mundane crystal cost the same amount to make as their masterwork counterparts. Any item could potentially be made with mundane crystal. Because mundane crystal armor is considered to be made out of metal, druids cannot wear it. Mundane crystal properly forged has 25 hit points per inch of thickness and a hardness of 8. (sources: Expanded Psionics Handbook)

Darkwood
A magical wood that is as hard as normal wood, but very light. Any wooden or mostly wooden item nade frin darkwood is considered a masterwork item and it weighs only half as much as a noraml wooden itemof that type. Items not normally made of wood or only partially of wood (such as a battleaxe) either cannot be made of darkwood or do not gain any special benefit from being made of darkwood. The armor check penalty of a darkwood shield is lessened by 2 compared to an ordinary shield of its type. A darkwood item costs 10gp per pound in addition to the price of a masterwork version of the item in question. Darkwood has 10 hit points per inch of thickness and a hardness of 5. (source: Dungeon Master's Guide)

Dendrit
Dendrit is grown from seed crystals deep underground, carefully tended until it has matured into the desired shape. Dendritic armor is never forged in flame and each suit is specifically tailored to the wearer. Dendritic platemail armor is socketed rather than rivited together, leaving almost no gaps or chinks; thus it protects better than full plate armor, but it is heavier and more cumbersome. Dendritic armor constantly grinds off crystal flecks and regrows itself into its original shape, allowing wearers of such armor to be more easily tracked. Removing such armor is difficult, requiring a Strength check (DC 25) to break ones way out. However, as long as at least five pounds of the original armor or item remains, it grows back to its intended shape in 8 hours or less. Dendrit has a hardness of 8 and 15 hit points per inch of thickness. (source: Arms and Equipment Guide)

Dragonhide
Recovered from the corpses of slain dragons, dragon scales can be fashioned into armor and shields of masterwork quality. One dragon produces enough hide for a single suit of masterwork hide armor for a creature one size category smaller than the dragon, a masterworked suit of banded mail for a creature two sizes smaller, a suit of masterwork half-plate for a creature three sizes smaller, or one masterwork breastplate or masterwork suite of full plate for a creature four times smaller. In addition, there is enough left over scale to produce a small or large masterwork shield in addition to the armor, provided the dragon was Large or larger. Because dragonhide is not made of metal, druids can wear it. Dragonhide armor costs double what masterwork armor of that type ordinarily costs, but it takes no longer to make than ordinary armor of that type. Dragonhide armor has 10 hit points per inch of thickness and a hardness of 10. (source: Dungeon Master's Guide)

Frystalline
A mineral that grows in the icy mountain caves of Eronia, the second layer of the Blessed Fields of Elysium. Its resilient, pale-gold crystals contain divine energy that emanates from a god that sleeps beneath the mountains. Any weapon made of frystalline is treated as good-aligned for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction. The market price modifier for such a weapon is +2,000 gp. Frystalline has 15 hp per inch of thickness and a hardness of 10. (source: Book of Exalted Deeds)

Gehennan Morghuth-Iron
A volcanic mineral unique to the mountains of the Bleak Eternity of Gehenna, where it is occasionally mined. it forges poorly, making items which appear pocked and pitted. Weapons crafted from it have a -1 attack and damage penalty, but they are extremely toxic. Slashing and piercing weapons made from gehennan morghuth-iron is naturally poisonous. The weapon delivers its poison (Fort DC 12) with each successful attack. Initial damage is 1 point of temporary Dexterity; the secondary damage is 1d4 points of temporary Dexterity damage. The market price modifier for a weapon made of morghuth-iron is +4,000gp. Gehennan morghuth-iron has a hardness of 9 and 20 hit points per inch of thickness. (source: Arms and Equipment Guide)

Mithral
Type
of Item
   
Cost
Modifier
Light Armor+1,000gp
Medium Armor+4,000gp
Heavy Armor+9,000gp
Shield+1,000gp
Other Items+500 gp/lb.

A rare, silvery, glistening metal that is lighter than iron, but just as hard. Most mithral armors are one category lighter than normal, to a minimum rating of Light. Additionally, the chance of spell failure while wearing mithral armor is reduced by 10%, the maximum Dexterity bonus is increased by 2, and armor check penalties are lessened by 3 to a minimum of 0. Items made of mithral weigh half as much as their iron equivalent. The size category of weapons crafted from mithral does not change, nor does the weapon become easier to use. However, mithral armors and weapons are harder to damage than their iron counterparts. Mithral has 30 hit points per inch of thickness and a hardness of 15. (source: Dungeon Master's Guide)

Obdurium
Type
of Item
   
Cost
Modifier
   
Damage
Reduction
Ammunition  +120gpNA
Light Armor+10,000gp1/-
Medium Armor+20,000gp2/-
Heavy Armor+30,000gp3/-
Weapon+6,000gpNA

An incredibly rare and hard metal that represents the pinnacle of nonmagical strength. Even dwarven metallurgists speak of obdurium as more legend than fact. Devices crafted from obdurium are treated as though they were adamantine, except that their hardness is 30, they have 60 hit points per inch of thickness (or twice as many hit points as a typical item, whichever is greater), and their price is twice that of adamantine. (source: Stronghold Builder's Guidebook)

Pearlsteel
Type
of Item
   
Cost
Modifier
Light Armor+500gp
Medium Armor+1,000gp
Heavy Armor+1,500gp
Shield+500gp
Weapon+1,500 gp

A metal crafted by secretive aventi metallurgists who work near volcanic vents deep in the ocean. It is a gleaming, shining metal covered with a blue-white sheen, like mother of pearl. Created from fine steel and rare silvery pearls found only in the ocean depths, this steel is prized by all undersea races. It is very light, especially in water. Pearlsteel items weigh 25% less than their normal counterparts. It also sliced more smoothly through the resistance that water presents. When a slashing weapon made of pearlsteel is used in water, its damage is reduced by -1 rather than the normal -2 for fighting in water with a slashing weapon. Likewise, damage dealt underwater by a bludgeoning weapon made of pearlsteel is reduced by -2 rather than by half. (source: Stormwrack)

Rimefire Ice
Type
of Item
   
Cost
Modifier
Weapon  +750gp
Other objects+500gp/lb.

This form of ice is found only in icebergs ubhabited by rimefire eidolons. It is pale blue ice which glows softly, providing illumination equal to that of a torch. Rimefire ice is especially cold and any creature that comes into contact with it takes 1 point of cold damage per round of contact. Most unusual is that rimefire ice is approximately as flammable as wood; it does not melt when heat is applied to it. Burning rimefire ice does not deal fire damage, though, even if it is ignited by an open flame. Rather, burning rimefire ice deals cold damage to anything unfortunate enough to get too close.
    Rimefire ice cannot be used to make any appreciable armor, but it can be used to create any weapon that is normally made out of wood; such weapons deal +1 point of cold damage on each successful hit. Since rimefire is workable as wood, it can also be used to build any object that can normally be made of wood.
    Rimefire ice brought into warmer climates does not melt into water; it melts into thick white clouds of water vapor with great rapidity. Each minue it is exposed to temperatures above 40F it takes 1d6 points of damage (this damage overcomes the ice's hardness and is not halved, as is most energy damage applied to objects). For each additional 10 degrees hotter than this the ice takes an additional 1d6 points of damage per round. Rimefire ice has 5 hit points per inch of thickness and a hardness of 3. (source: Frostburn)

Riverine
Type
of Item
   
Cost
Modifier
Light Armor+9,000gp
Medium Armor+16,000gp
Heavy Armor+25,000gp
Shield+4,000gp
Other Items+2,000 gp/lb.

An unusual material made from water under extremely high pressure, usually obtained from the Elemental Plane of Water, but sometimes from blackwater trenches far below the ocean's surface. The water of riverine flows continuously, sandwiched between fields of magical force. Half of the Armor Class bonus from armor and shields made from riverine is a deflection bonus (round down). For example, a suit of riverine chainmail would provide a +2 armor bonus and a +3 deflection bonus to AC. Riverine is sometimes used to create walls and even containers. Being enclosed in magical force, it is immune to all damage and is unaffected by most spells. However, a disintegrate immediately destroys an item made of riverine, as does a rod of cancelation, a sphere of annihilation or a Mordenkainen's disjunction spell, causing the water to spill out in a sudden rush. Walls of riverine block ethereal travel, breath weapons, and spell effects, just as a wall of force does. However, armor and shields made of riverine do not form a complete enclosure, so breath weapons still affect the wearer. (source: Stormwrack)

Serren Wood
Serren trees grow on Arvandor, the uppermost of Arborea's three layers. The trees serve as vessels for nature spirits and any branch that falls from a serren tree can be fasioned into a wooden item imbued with a portion of the tree's spirit. Serren bows, arrows, and other items have the ghost touch special quality, althought his property is not magical. The market price modifier for a serren weapon is +4,000gp. Other serren wood items are +800gp per pound. Serren wood has the 10 hit points per inch of thickness and a hardness of 5. (source: Book of Exalted Deeds)

Solanian Truesteel
Mined from the fourth layer of the Seven Mounting Heavens of Celestia, this iron needs no alloy treatment and it shines with a silvery gleam. When forged into a weapon it gives the wielder a +1 bonus ont eh confirmation roll for a critical hit. The market price modifier for such a weapon is +1,000 gp. Solanian truesteal has a hardness of 11 and 25 hit points per inch of thickness. (source: Arms and Equipment Guide)

Stone
Used primarily as a building material, yet also manufactured into weapons by primitive cultures or even into unwieldy, armoring slabs which can be secured by rope. Stone weapons have a -2 attack and damage penalty (with a minimum damage of 1), a hardness of 8, and 15 hit points per inch of thickness.

Stygian Ice
Type
of Item
   
Cost
Modifier
Weapon  +6,000gp
Other objects+2,000gp/lb.

This extraplanar ice comes from Stygia, the fifth layer of Hell. Infused with soulless evil and the magical waters of the river Styx, stygian ice is black and constantly crawls with a thin layer of pale blue mist. Stygian ice is much colder than normal ice, and it melts slowly in nonfreezing environs. The coldness it exudes is magical in nature, and freezes the mind much more rapidly than flesh.
    Stygian ice deals 1d6 points of cold damage per round of contact. Worse, if a creature takes damage from this supernatural cold, it must make a DC 12 Will saving throw or take 2 points of Wisdom damage as its memories are slowly frozen. If a creature's Wisdom is reduced to 0, further contact causes Constitution damage. A creature whose Constitution is reduced to 0 by stygian ice rises as a wraith in 2d4 rounds.
    Stygian ice has 5 hit points per inch of thickness and a hardness of 3. Magical fire damage is not halved when applied to stygian ice. An object made of stygian ice takes 1 point of damage per hour it exists in an environment above 40F; this damage overcomes the ice's hardness. As it melts, the ice gives off foul vapors that nauseate anyone within 5 feet who fails a DC 12 Fortitude saving throw. (source: Frostburn)

Material  Hardness  HP per
Inch
  Max
Dex.
  Armor
Check
Penalty
  Arcane
Spell
Failure
  Weight  Break DC  Special
Abyssal Bloodiron  10  30  NA  NA  NA  NA  26 +2/inch  Harms fey; +4 to confirm critical hit rolls
Adamantine  20  40  NA  NA  NA  NA  34 +2/inch  Grants natural DR
Astral Driftmetal  12  30  NA  NA  NA  NA  26 +2/inch  Naturally ghost-touched.
Aurorum  10  30  NA  NA  NA  NA  26 +2/inch  Easily repaired when sundered.
Baatorian Green Steel  12  30  NA  NA  NA  NA  26 +2/inch  +1 natural weapon damage bonus
Blue Ice  10  20  +1  -2  NA2  50%  26 +2/inch  +1 bonus to slashing damage, cold
Bone  6  10  +4  -3  +5%  125%  15 +1/inch  Can be worn by druids.
Bronze  9  20  NA  NA  NA  NA  23 +1/inch  -1 to attacks and damage rolls.
Celestial Steel  20  40  +5  -3  -15%  33%  34 +2/inch  Reduced weight class, good aligned
Cold Iron  10  30  NA  NA  NA  NA  26 +2/inch  Harmful to fey.
Coral  8  15  NA  -2  NA  NA  20 +2/inch  Self-repairing, weighs less underwater
Crystal, Deep  10  30  NA  NA  NA  NA  26 +2/inch  Can be charged with psionic power.
Crystal, Mundane  8  25  NA  NA  NA  NA  20 +2/inch  Can be charged with psionic power.
Darkwood  5  10  NA  -2  NA  50%  11 +2/inch  Only used in place of wood built items.
Dendrit  9  20  -1  +2  +5%  120%  25 +1/inch  +1 AC bonus, wearable by druids.
Dragonhide  10  10  NA  NA  NA  NA  24 +2/inch  Can be worn by druids.
Frystalline  10  15  NA  NA  NA  NA  20 +2/inch  Penetrates X/Good damage resistance.
Gehennan Morghuth-Iron  9  20  NA  NA  NA  NA  23 +1/inch  -1 attack/damage penalty, poisonous
Mithral  15  30  +2  -3  -10%  50%  29 +2/inch  Reduced weight class
Obdurium  30  60  NA  NA  NA  NA  48 +4/inch  Grants natural DR
Pearlsteel  10  30  NA  NA  NA  75%  26 +2/inch  Easier to use underwater than steel
Rimefire Ice  3  5  NA  NA  NA  NA  15 +1/inch  weapons deal +1 cold damage, sheds light
Riverine  -3  -3  NA  NA  NA  NA  -3  Employs magical force. Wearable by druids.
Serren Wood  5  10  +2  -3  -10%  50%  13 +1/inch  Ghost touched.
Solanian Truesteel  11  25  NA  NA  NA  NA  27 +2/inch  +1 bonus to critical hit confirmation rolls.
Stone  8  15  -4  +4  +15%  150%  14 +1/inch  -2 attack and damage roll penalty.
Stygian Ice  3  5  NA  NA  NA  NA  15 +1/inch  Deals cold and Wisdom damage

Unless otherwise noted, max Dex., armor check penalty, arcane spell failure, and weight columns represent an adjustment of the base armor in question. Thus a Medium sized suit of stone half-plate would weigh 75 pounds (150% more), have a maximum Dexterity bonus of +0, an armor check penalty of -14, and an arcane spell failure of 65% when compared to a traditional steel half-plate armor. Masterwork considerations are not included in the above values.
    A little common sense needs to be applied when building armor or other items from alternative materials. Most of the above presume that a Medium or Heavy armor, normally crafted from iron, is the base armor.
    NA indicates No Adjustment.
    1 Not a substitute material. For example, you can not build a suit of platemail from cord. Thus the armor values of max Dex., armor check penalty, and arcane spell failure represent an actual suit of armor built from that substance.
    2 Blue ice incurs no chance of spell failure for spells with the Cold descriptor.
    3 Riverine is indestructable, affected only by disintegration and similar magic.