View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other New Material: Thaumium

2014-12-11, 12:02 AM
First time poster and all around noobie to D&D. Take everything here with a grain of salt if ye be so kind.

The likelihood of someone finding magical equipment that has enhancements they like and is something they can actually use seems quite low most of the time if you're being a realistic DM. If you're using random generation it's even less likely. You could place things in the path of the party that they'd find useful, but that seems a little hand-wavy to me. Lowering the price of magic could easily make the party powerful. Not doing anything means having an entrance fee that higher than I'd like.

So I needed a way to regulate access to magic equipment that is rendered obsolete through the progression of the characters. To this end I had the idea of Thaumium. Thaumium is a specially created and treated metal that is especially easy to impregnate (quit giggling!) with magic. It reduces the cost of any enhancements that are added to it, including XP. Fewer materials are needed for the spell due to Thaumium's nature, and because it is receptive to the spell it's easier for the caster, meaning that they would charge less for services rendered. I hold XP as just that, experience, and the growth the character makes in all areas because of it. Because the spell is cast easier the caster need not give so much of themselves to affect the wanted result. However, the method of its creation is difficult, which makes purchasing it quite pricey. Without anything attached to it Thaumium runs the same price as Mythril.
Thaumium is a dull matte purple, marginally harder than gold

So it's effectively handing one or more of the characters a discounted means of making magical equipment. By the time they can afford to simply buy it they can afford magic on normal equipment. Hopefully this will allow me better and justified control of equipment progression.

Now for the actual stats of the stuff:
-Thaumium armour cannot be Padded, (Studded) Leather, or Hide.
-Thaumium can be made from unrefined metals, meaning it is close enough to stone to let Druids use it without repercussion.
-The maximum effective enhancement bonus on Thaumium equipment is +5, reduced from +10.
-Any weapons or armour created from Thaumium can be made Masterwork at no additional cost because of its malleability.
-Any equipment made from Thaumium costs the same amount as if it were made of Mythril.
-Any non-magic weapon made from Thaumium has -2 damage until enchanted, at which time it is reduced to -1. This is due to its malleability.
-Any non-magic armour made from Thaumium has -2 AC until enchanted, at which time it is reduced to -1. This is due to its malleability.
-If the wearer of Thaumium armour casts arcane spells they may sacrifice one spell slot each day to lessen the arcane spell failure chance. The level of the spell slot is multiplied by 2.5, rounded down. This is the percent decrease.
-Cost is decreased by 33% (1/3) and XP needed is decreased by 50%.
-If the character who sacrificed the XP uses the equipment they can recoup up to 50% of the XP lost at a rate of 1%. This means they can recover 25% of the XP normally needed over the course of 50 days of use.
-Thaumium has hardness 17 and 15 hp/inch. This leaves it particularly susceptible to Sundering.

Now for its identification and creation:
-A single person or a pair must have at least a caster level of 15, and at least 18 ranks in Appraise/Craft (Metal) in order to craft Thaumium.
-If the creators do not have explicit instructions or do not know how to make it themselves there is a 75% they will fail, losing material cost.
-To make an Appraise check you must have a combined modifier of +25 between Appraise/Craft (Metal) and Knowledge (Arcana). The difference between your combined modifier is and 25 is doubled and added as a penalty if it is lower. If the combined modifier exceeds 25 nothing happens.
-To successfully identify it, or 'discover' it you must succeed on a DC 35 Appraise check with the combined modifier from above.
-A critical failure results in the Thaumium being identified as Steel Ore. (If you know metallurgy at all you know how dumb that is.)
-If the combined modifier is dominated by Appraise/Craft (Metal) a result of 31 will show the attack/AC penalties. A result of 33 will show the masterwork trait.
-If the combined modifier is dominated by Knowledge (Arcane) a result of 31 will show the Arcane Spell Failure reduction. A result of 33 will show the XP decrease for adding enhancements.
-If the combined modifier is balanced both kinds of results are given.

So, any thoughts on balance tweaks (or complete overhauls) would be welcome. I haven't rolled this out yet.
Also, what exactly does PEACH stand for?

2014-12-12, 05:00 PM
So... it's as cheap is Mithril, rather difficult to make yourself, and significantly easier to enchant? There is a small penalty to AC or to damage, but the cost savings are tremendous. I don't think this will end up doing what you intend; players will stick with their mid-level equipment longer but they will still sell all the random junk. Your stated goal is to control equipment progression, but I think what will happen instead is an accelerated progression. At high enough levels the limit to enchanting weapons and armor will steer people to steel, mithral, or adamantium as normal but this is a significant power boost.

There are a couple of rules that might help you out here, and remove the need for this homebrewed material.
1) You can add additional enhancement (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/creatingMagicItems.htm#addingNewAbilities)s to existing items. So if a PC likes their ancestral sword, they can have it improved. This does take a while, but it's an option.
2) You can buy magic items. The tables are in the DMG for how expensive of items are available in what size of town, but the assumption is that magic items are for sale. So the party gets more than their wealth by level in random items, can sell them for half price, and then buys what they actually want. It's similar to finding gemstones or art objects and selling them.
3) Check out the Artificer in the Eberron Campaign Setting. They can drain magic items and use the power to create different ones.