Unusual Materials

Dragonscale

Many breathless stories are told of the wondrous properties of dragonscale armor. In addition to being superbly strong and almost as light as mithril, it is said to confer the same protections to its wearer as it did to the dragon in life. This protection is not merely because the scales themselves are resistant - in the case of green dragonscale, for example, it can even make the wearer more resilient against poison simply by wearing it.

Each set of dragonscale armor has a basic armor value, which depends on the age of the dragon it was taken from:

     
Dragon Age Armor Value Armor Yield
Hatchling +2 1/2
Fledgling +3 1
Juvenile +3 2
Adult +4 3
Old +4 4
Great Wyrm +5 6

Regardless of how tough the scales are against physical attack, wearing a set of dragonscale armor will also confer resistances against its element; red dragonscale protects from fire, white dragonscale from frost, and so on. Against its element, the armor value of a set of dragonscale is increased by 2. It also gives a +2 bonus on Trait rolls made to resist the element in question. For example, a set of red dragonscale would give you a +2 bonus to the Agility roll made to avoid a Burning Hands (Burst) power. A set of green dragonscale would give you a +2 bonus to Vigor rolls made to resist poison.

The amount of armor that can be made from a slain dragon depends on its size. A single set of armor covers the torso and legs of a human. With half the amount of hide, you can make a set of halfling or dwarf-sized armor; two sets of dragonscale vambraces to protect the arms; or two dragonscale helmets to protect the head.

Mithril

Mithril is a wondrous metal whose raw ore is worth ten times its weight in gold. Sources of it are very few; there are deep mithril-mines in some of the mountainhomes of the dwarves, but little comes forth from these places. It can be beaten like copper and polished like glass and never tarnishes or grows dim, and it shines with a brilliant white radiance by the light of the moon. It is said that pure mithril is the purest white there is, so much so that it is difficult to discern depth when looking upon it. Its true power, however, lies in its properties when alloyed with steel.

It is incredibly difficult to master the art of producing mithril steel, and even amongst the elves it is a rare ability that is said to take many years of training to be able to perform correctly. Many dwarves, too, have mastered the art, but overall the delicacy and skill required to make and work with the alloy creates a very high barrier to entry, along with the rarity of the material in the first place. Many dwarves prefer mithril in an unalloyed state, for its beauty. The secret of mithril weaponsmithing is known to a skilled few, and the time taken to master it means that it is rarely found amongst humans.

Whether in its raw state or as mithril steel, moonlight or starlight is collected or amplified by the metal. In weapons and armor, this causes them to shed a pale white light within 3”.

Mithril Steel

Anything made of mithril steel gains the following properties:

Newly forged weapons of mithril steel would simply have the properties listed above: they are light, strong, and shine in the light of moon or stars. However, mithril’s most desirable quality is the natural magic which suffuses it. A new-forged mithril weapon is simply waiting for the right wielder: in the hands of a hero, they often take on magical properties. The attention of a skilled mage is a far more reliable way to enchant them, but some of the most powerful artifacts were created “organically” in this way.

Adamantite

Adamantite is simply mithril that has been exposed to the corrupting energies of the Faerzress, which is found only in the Underdark and is used extensively by the drow. Instead of the usual bright silvery hue of mithril, it takes on a dull, purple sheen that does not catch or reflect the light. It has most of the properties of mithril - strength, lightness and so on - but with a few key differences.

Weapons made of adamantite are extremely hard and sharp, even compared to mithril. Even without enchantment, this is enough to give weapons made of the material a +1 bonus to hit and damage. Masterwork weapons can have as much as a +2 bonus, although making weapons of this quality requires a great deal of skill. Adamantite also shares mithril steel’s quality of being highly enchantable - if anything, it is even easier to make magic weapons and armaments from adamantite. As a result, magic items that would be treasured on the surface are commonplace amongst the drow.

There is a drawback, however. The radiation of the Faerzress that gives adamantite its unique properties will immediately fade if the metal is exposed to sunlight. Drow arms and armour will turn to dust as soon as they enter the light of day.

Zirithil

Known as “dwarven firegold”, this mystical metal is made only by the sect of Utharinn, a dwarven cult that imprints certain secret runes on an alloy of platinum and white gold to create a metal that radiates constantly with an intense heat, and will set light to anything it touches. Because it is so difficult to produce, it is usually mixed in with another metal such as copper or steel to produce amulets or suits of armour that can warm the wearer in wintry climes; these are frequently sold for prices up to 1000 silver. Wearing such an item will negate the effects of the Cold hazard, and give the wearer +1 armor against cold-based attacks, or a +1 bonus to Trait rolls made to resist them.

In some cases, zirithil is mixed into steel at a far greater ratio, producing weapons that are red-hot to the touch. These act as if they were a burning weapon, and have a chance of setting flammable objects alight. They must be kept in special sheathes to avoid burning their surroundings.