View Full Version : New material: Metal Babble equipment

Manly Man
2012-06-24, 06:33 PM
For those of you who are veterans of decent experience with the Dragon Quest/Warrior series, you will all know what exactly I'm talking about. For those of you who don't, here's a quick read. (http://dragonquest.wikia.com/wiki/Liquid_metal_slime)

One of the main reoccurring gear themes in the series is the Metal Babble (or, in more recent translations, 'Liquid Metal') material, something described as unbelievably hard. However, depending on what piece of equipment it's used to make, it has slightly different qualities, such as the shields casting Snub when used as an item, and Metal Babble Armor cutting all breath weapons' damage in half, which can make the innate properties of the material itself hard to determine, other than the fact that they're very strong.

So, what I've been thinking, is to have a bit of a brainstorm on what exactly the material should do, and ideas on what it should cost, etcetera. What I figure should be done for the straight material itself is that it should be treated, for the most part, like adamantine, but it has little quirks when it gets enchanted.

For example, a weapon made out of metal babble would do something like ignore three points of damage reduction of any kind, even if it's a non-epic weapon for DR X/epic, or DR X/-, for each point of enhancement bonus it has, i.e. a +1 metal babble sword would bypass three points, +2 would bypass six points, +3 for nine, and so on.

What I've been considering with armor and shields made with it is that, if you make it normally, it's treated just like adamantine, but when you're still forging the stuff, if you have it available, you can temper it with other special materials. Looking at the effects metal babble armor and metal babble shields have in the Dragon Quest games, I need to come up with something that would make sense in either reducing the damage from breath weapons or negating spells. The breath-reducing one might go something like having a few drops of blood, saliva, or any other body fluid from a creature that has a breath weapon, and it protects you from breath weapons of the same energy as whatever creature you got it from. That means you could get the blood of a brass dragon, and it would add defensive capabilities against not just brass dragons, but red and gold dragons, pyrohydras, magma mephits and such. You can put in more than one kind of tempering material, adding things like cryohydra blood, water mephit ichor, and blue dragon blood would all add into the protection, adding the same protection as the brass dragon blood, but with all corresponding elements. Maybe for each element that you add into it, you have to also add another two thousand gold pieces or something. The stuff going into the material has no effect until it's magical though, and what I figure should be the effect is that for each point in enhancement bonuses the armor or shield has, that number is multiplied by the amount of dice used for rolling the breath weapon's damage. Again with dragons as an example, a +1 metal babble shield/armor would take twenty points of damage off of an ancient blue dragon's breath, +2 would take forty, etcetera, so that it scales. This also applies only to damage, not breath weapons with alternate effects, like sleeping or paralyzing gas.

I'm not sure what to have as the necessary tempering material for the other effect, but I know what particular effect I'm thinking of. While it's still nonmagical, the equipment is treated like adamantine, but when it's given an enhancement bonus, for each point it has, you can, as an immediate action negate one spell or effect that has you as a target, although it only works when you are specified as a target, or spells that divide the number of monsters effected by their Hit Dice or hit points, like Power Word: Kill, Circle of Death or Sleep. You can only do that once per day for each point of enhancement bonus the equipment has.

These are just a few ideas, and I'd like to hear your thoughts on them. Tell me if you like them or not, what can be done to fix them, or throw in your own suggestions entirely. Anything constructive is welcome!

Manly Man
2012-06-25, 07:22 PM
An unabashed bump. I would, at least, like a shared opinion or two about it.

2012-06-26, 09:50 AM
10,000 gp to have your +5 armor also give you scaling resistance against almost all hit-point damaging breath-weapons* is a VERY good deal for anyone who runs into breathweapons much. I would have the cost scale with the bonus of the armor somewhat. Not nearly as much as making it a +1 equivalent enchantment (like Arrow Catching or Light Fortification), but something that still scales exponentially. Note that this means that the incremental cost for the improvement to this effect MUST be paid when upgrading existing armor unless you want to make it a separate enchantment that just happens to be capped by the enchantment bonus of the armor.

I was also going to say that you shouldn't let the resistance from an armor stack with that from a shield, but IF you were planning on giving them both the anti-breathweapon option then go ahead, because shields are generally considered weak options in D&D.

*Enough to reduce a great wyrm white dragon's breath weapon to having an 11% chance to do NO damage, and a 4.6x10^-10 chance of doing all of 12 damage at a maximum.... granted whites are the weakest dragons, but still... even with Reds it would more than halve the damage (since, at the maximum die roll it gets halved).

As for the anti-magic ability, the closest mechanic I can think of would be Globe of Invulnerability(and the Greater version), Spell-Turning, or Absorption (a spell in splat-books the replicates the effects of a Rod of Absorption (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/rods.htm#absorption)). Spell Immunity (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/spellImmunity.htm). In any case it is a very powerful effect, and quite worthy of at least a +2 equivalence (and I WOULD go with that over a static cost or some special progression).

Manly Man
2012-06-26, 01:16 PM
Thanks for your input on this. One of my main goals with this stuff, other than the fluff of wearing armor made of Metal Babbles, was to develop something that would make having an enhancement bonus on armor and weapons worthwhile, as opposed to getting the necessary +1 and then spending the other nine slots on special abilities.

I was actually going to make it so that you could enchant a suit of armor or a shield with whatever particular bit that you wanted, so you could have a shield that reduced the breath weapons and armor that negated magic, or have both function for anti-magic, or any combination thereof. Considering how amazingly useful it already would be in, say, a dragon-based campaign, I don't think it would be something fair to stack up with, as having a +5 suit of metal babble armor and a +5 metal babble buckler, even, would render one of the most fearsome weapons of the biggest dragons out there completely ineffective. I could decide against this if I do something to make the price fit something so useful better.

Perhaps something like this:

One energy: 2,000 gp.
Two energies: 5,000 gp.
Three energies: 10,000 gp.
Four energies: 18,000 gp.
Five energies: 30,000 gp.

It would be far more cost-efficient, and most likely more effective, to go against a dragon wearing a suit of +5 armor with an extra thirty thousand gold pieces spent on it to make the breath of pretty much any dragon you can encounter laughable, especially if it's something that one would allow to stack, compared to getting a static thirty points taken off of any single energy for sixty-six thousand. I guess, if it did go like that, you'd be paying one hundred and ten thousand gold pieces to make yourself immune to damaging breath weapons, so it does seem about fair like that, since this is for breath, not all sources of damage that deal whatever energy. I'm still up in the air about whether or not a piece of armor and a shield should stack like that, so if anyone else would put in a thought or two about that, it would be most appreciated.

With your suggestion about the anti-magic, another goal I had was to make this material have some unique properties, exclusive to the actual metal. I'm going to be adamant about the usage of it being 1/day per enhancement bonus point, but perhaps you're right about it being an enchantment. But as I said, I want to keep it as something for metal babble equipment only. If you think it would be better off as a general enchantment though, I imagine it would be alright, but to have it take up three slots instead of the two you suggested for the metal babble equipment. Again, I'm still a little uncertain on this one, but that's mostly because this one is an ability that pretty much everyone and their mothers would want to have, I would think, so making it fair is a bit hard. And again, thanks for your input.

Any other thoughts?

2012-06-26, 06:30 PM
I'm going to be adamant about the usage of it being 1/day per enhancement bonus point, but perhaps you're right about it being an enchantment.
They are hardly mutually exclusive.

I don't have any other thoughts at this time (remodeling is TIRING, and being tired does a number on my brain).