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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    OK, this was directly inspired by Lordsmoothe over in the role-playing games subforum (here specifically. The idea was to give assorted mundane metals semi-magical properties, and so I decided to try to put something together. Note that this is done for the concept, and so balance issues will probably be rife, but I like fixing them.

    Iron, Cold
    This iron, mined deep underground, known for its effectiveness against fey creatures and magic, is forged at a lower temperature to preserve its delicate properties. Weapons made of cold iron cost twice as much to make as their normal counterparts, as does armour. Also, any magical enhancements cost an additonal 2000 gp per +1 equivalent.

    Items without metal parts cannot be made from cold iron. An arrow could be made of cold iron, but a quarterstaff could not.

    Whenever a person wearing cold iron armour is targetted by a spell, they gain a +2 to any save permitted and to any spell resistance that they possess, and may not voluntarily fail their save. Likewise, when they attempt to cast a spell any permitted saves or spell resistance get increased by one. This material also causes an additional 5% arcane spell failure chance.
    A double weapon that has only half of it made of cold iron increases its cost by 50%.

    Cold iron has 30 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 10.

    Steel
    Steel is the standard material from which metal armor and weapons are made. When a creature wearing steel armor is affected by a spell, they gain a +1 to any saves or spell resistance involved. Likewise, while wearing steel armor any creatures targeted by a spell cast by you gain this bonus. Each bonus may be bypassed by succeeding on a Spellcraft check with DC of 15+twice spell level.

    Steel has 30 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 10.

    Tin

    Tin is a metal which, strangely, has no effect on magic at all. Tin weapons and armor cost an additional 10 gp.

    Tin has hardness 5 and 30 hp/inch of thickness.

    Copper

    Copper is highly disruptive to magic. While wielding a copper weapon, there is a 10% chance that on any succesful hit you will dispel the most recent magic effect cast on a creature, or 50% on a critical hit.

    Copper weapons deal one point of damage less than a steel weapon of that type. They cost an additional 50% of the usual price. They may not be enchantment.

    Copper has hardness 5 and 30 hp/inch of thickness.

    More will follow when I get up in the morning. For now, thoughts?
    Last edited by Fortuna; 2009-11-28 at 06:42 PM.
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    Default Re: Magical Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    I'm probably killing catgirls here, but any weapon or armour made of tin or copper will rapidly become useless; relatively speaking, these metals are very soft.

    Also, historically speaking (yeah, more dead catgirls), "cold iron" referred to the quenching process used to make weapons-grade steel; essentially, it is the classical name for steel.

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    Default Re: Magical Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashtagon View Post
    I'm probably killing catgirls here, but any weapon or armour made of tin or copper will rapidly become useless; relatively speaking, these metals are very soft.

    Also, historically speaking (yeah, more dead catgirls), "cold iron" referred to the quenching process used to make weapons-grade steel; essentially, it is the classical name for steel.
    Nuuu! We can't have consistency or logic in here!

    Call it fey iron, or get real wild and make it the standard steel. After all, it's not fancy iron that hurt fey in lore, it's any worked metal on account of the fey are innately chaotic and natural. Worked metal was anathema because it was a pattern imposed on nature.
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    Default Re: Magical Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    Huh? Cold Iron already exists in 3.5, why are you making another one? Or is supposed to replace the other one?

    Further, why is Steel getting special stats if it's the default (which it is)? Shouldn't that be the one with the nominal values?

    Anyway, Tin and Copper have the problem mentioned by Ashtagon, but you can get around that by using the same thing that Alchemical Silver uses - it's just an amount of Silver/Tin/Copper alloyed with the normal Steel (which is mostly Iron with some Carbon in it, and occasionally other materials for various other properties).

    Finally, what does it mean that Tin has no effect on magic? So, like, it has the default values, and so you have to pay 10 gp more on items than normal to get the same effect if you want to use armor without having to take the penalty?

    Basically, why are you doing that? Armors already have Arcane Spell Failure, which, as far as I can tell, is supposed to already be indicating these kinds of things. Neither the check nor the 10 gp are particularly meaningful, which makes including either material... kind of odd. Just another set of rules without much purpose.

    I propose you stick to making Steel the default, matching in every way to the stats of the weapons and armors already listed in the books, and make alternative types of metals that actually offer new features. Penalties are fine, as long as they're offset by some kind of bonus; as is, I can't see why anyone would want to use your version, since they are strictly weaker, add more dice-rolling (for the Spellcraft check), and don't add anything new to the game, really. If you wanted to rebalance all the armors in the game to degrade magic, I guess that would make sense, but it seems strange to do that in a thread about new materials.

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    Default Re: Magical Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    That was in fact the intention. If you feel that this is a stupid idea entirely, please say so.
    If I creep into your house in the dead of night and strangle you while you sleep, you probably messed up your grammar.

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    Default Re: Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    I've never understood why a quarterstaff couldn't be made out of metal, or at least given a metal sheathe or metal ends. I hear they've even been made out of stone.

    Likewise, you could probably replace the iron/steel in a weapon with hardened wood and/or stone. Admittedly, the druids with a wooden greatsword would look awfully silly, and all the fighters with Improved Sunder would look at him with a wicked gleam in their eyes.
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    Default Re: Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Demented View Post
    I've never understood why a quarterstaff couldn't be made out of metal, or at least given a metal sheathe or metal ends. I hear they've even been made out of stone.

    Likewise, you could probably replace the iron/steel in a weapon with hardened wood and/or stone. Admittedly, the druids with a wooden greatsword would look awfully silly, and all the fighters with Improved Sunder would look at him with a wicked gleam in their eyes.
    Yeah i've never liked that ITS WOODEN NO METAL EVER rule either. Though granted a solid pole of iron is going to be heavy, it's gunna do some damage too.

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    Default Re: Magical Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Random_person View Post
    That was in fact the intention. If you feel that this is a stupid idea entirely, please say so.
    Not particularly, I simply misunderstood the intent. I think you should maybe introduce them that way to reduce confusion? I wasn't really sure what you were getting at.

    At any rate, I'm not sure I like the particular implementation here. Mostly because the penalties are fairly minor, and 10 gp isn't that much, so it's almost a non-issue. My concern is largely level 1-3 Paladins and Rangers, actually - if the character does not know they are going to be getting spells (which could very likely be the case), it may be difficult for a player to come up with a decent reason why his character is spending extra money on tin, when steel's penalty doesn't affect him, and it sucks to have to re-buy the armor at 4. But it breaks immersion if he pays up for armor that doesn't benefit him, unless he has a reason to suspect it may benefit him in the future. And again, outside of that case, the differences in the armor is really minuscule, so it doesn't really add a lot to the game to include them, I think.

    Metal interfering with magic is a pretty common idea in fantasy, and it's not a bad idea to try to include it. Cold Iron did it a bit, but a lot of fantasy includes all things made from iron, not just the special iron, and that includes steel. So it's not a bad idea. I'm just not convinced that this particular way of statting it is the best way to do it.

    Oh, and I do completely agree about the inability to buy various weapons made from different materials.

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    Default Re: Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    I definitely see what you mean. Do you have any suggestions for ways to make it better? I could perhaps see a special treatment to nullify the dampening properties, costing some pitiful amount. In fact, perhaps rather than basing this off of multiple metals I could start with steel and cold iron how they are and give options for special treatments to make them more or less resistant to magic of various kinds. How does that sound as an idea?
    If I creep into your house in the dead of night and strangle you while you sleep, you probably messed up your grammar.

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    Default Re: Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    At least some of the properties of these metals should be derived from their metallic dragon counterparts. Perhaps likewise, metallic dragons should inherit some properties from their corresponding metal.
    Belkar's Bad to the Bone.
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    Default Re: Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    How does this sound: Steel and Cold Iron will have magic-dampening effects, and there can also be a property which removes those effects (either making it cost less or more, not sure which). As well as that, another treatment can produce "Dragontouched" iron, which will have properties related to the type of dragon used regarding magic.
    If I creep into your house in the dead of night and strangle you while you sleep, you probably messed up your grammar.

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    Default Re: Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    The ablity to dispel enchantments on allies by hitting them with a copper rod is utterly broken at high levels. On enemies isn't QUITE as bad, but still very very powerful.
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    Default Re: Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    Is that a bit better? I could also make them more expensive.
    If I creep into your house in the dead of night and strangle you while you sleep, you probably messed up your grammar.

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    Default Re: Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    Make some metals only work on arcane or divine?

    Or make specifically mastercrafted armors that allow the wearer to ignore the shortcomings if they're beneficial to them (except spell failure of course)

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    Default Re: Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Latronis View Post
    Yeah i've never liked that ITS WOODEN NO METAL EVER rule either. Though granted a solid pole of iron is going to be heavy, it's gunna do some damage too.
    A metal quarterstaff wouldn't bend properly. Metal caps, on the other hand...

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    Default Re: Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Latronis View Post
    Yeah i've never liked that ITS WOODEN NO METAL EVER rule either. Though granted a solid pole of iron is going to be heavy, it's gunna do some damage too.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruyi_Jingu_Bang

    of course, the wielder would need to be ridiculously strong.

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    Default Re: Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    Many quarterstaves would actually be iron-shod or similar, so yes, a cold iron quarterstaff would be perfectly acceptable.

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    Default Re: Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Latronis View Post
    Yeah i've never liked that ITS WOODEN NO METAL EVER rule either. Though granted a solid pole of iron is going to be heavy, it's gunna do some damage too.
    If you want to know what it would be like, get a basic weight bar, and, with a LOT of clear space, try using it like a basic quarterstaff (or bo or whatever Asian language term you prefer).

    I have done this, and it is pretty much what could be expected:
    1. It is heavy, especially compared to even a simple, untapered, hardwood staff, making basic manipulations a lot more difficult.
    2. It has a lot of inertia, making both basic and advanced manipulations a lot more difficult.
    3. Because of both, it makes certain functions difficult to impossible, most especially any technique predicated on using your own body to check the motion of the weapon. Generally speaking you do not want to do this even with a hardwood staff, but it becomes particularly absurd to even contemplate with a full metal staff. Naturally, if your core training focuses on using arm strength rather than body mass to check the motion this is somewhat less of an issue, but it is still a factor that must be kept in mind.
    4. Likewise as a consequence it is very exhausting to use. 60 minutes of moderate clashing with wooden staves will leave you tired and your arms sore, rubbery messes the next day. Being able to even lift a steel weight bar to a basic defensive position after 2-3 low speed exercise routines over 10 minutes is a major task. You might be able to manage a duel with one, but taking it to a mass combat would be a very bad choice.

    Additional notes:
    1. The techniques I practiced were traditional Okinawan weapon forms.
    2. I have very poor upper body strength. Someone with greater strength would have a much easier time with most manipulations, but from observing others doing the same training the basic difficulties I had were still relevant.
    3. I was using a hollow weight bar. I would have serious doubts about the ability of anyone to effectively manipulate a solid, 6' metal cylinder, no matter their strength.

    As others have suggested, iron caps, or iron-filled ends (the reverse of corking a baseball bat) would be manageable, but a full iron staff is going to be something only for the strength training room.

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    Default Re: Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    A basic weight bar is an improvised weapon resembling a quarterstaff. =P
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    Default Re: Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiktakkat View Post
    If you want to know what it would be like, get a basic weight bar, and, with a LOT of clear space, try using it like a basic quarterstaff (or bo or whatever Asian language term you prefer).

    I have done this, and it is pretty much what could be expected:
    1. It is heavy, especially compared to even a simple, untapered, hardwood staff, making basic manipulations a lot more difficult.
    2. It has a lot of inertia, making both basic and advanced manipulations a lot more difficult.
    3. Because of both, it makes certain functions difficult to impossible, most especially any technique predicated on using your own body to check the motion of the weapon. Generally speaking you do not want to do this even with a hardwood staff, but it becomes particularly absurd to even contemplate with a full metal staff. Naturally, if your core training focuses on using arm strength rather than body mass to check the motion this is somewhat less of an issue, but it is still a factor that must be kept in mind.
    4. Likewise as a consequence it is very exhausting to use. 60 minutes of moderate clashing with wooden staves will leave you tired and your arms sore, rubbery messes the next day. Being able to even lift a steel weight bar to a basic defensive position after 2-3 low speed exercise routines over 10 minutes is a major task. You might be able to manage a duel with one, but taking it to a mass combat would be a very bad choice.

    Additional notes:
    1. The techniques I practiced were traditional Okinawan weapon forms.
    2. I have very poor upper body strength. Someone with greater strength would have a much easier time with most manipulations, but from observing others doing the same training the basic difficulties I had were still relevant.
    3. I was using a hollow weight bar. I would have serious doubts about the ability of anyone to effectively manipulate a solid, 6' metal cylinder, no matter their strength.

    As others have suggested, iron caps, or iron-filled ends (the reverse of corking a baseball bat) would be manageable, but a full iron staff is going to be something only for the strength training room.
    I doubt you have a strength in the high 20's, that's not that unlikely for a melee character in DnD with a good chunk of levels under his belt

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    Default Re: Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by hiryuu View Post
    A metal quarterstaff wouldn't bend properly. Metal caps, on the other hand...

    No but a tightly wrapped, 6 foot metal coil would be hollow and therefore lighter in weight, and have a nice bend to it as you smash an ogre's teeth through the back of it's head. Although you'd have to wrap it in leather, otherwise it has a nasty tendency to pinch.
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    Default Re: Rewriting Metals [3.5, PEACH]

    Quote Originally Posted by Latronis View Post
    I doubt you have a strength in the high 20's, that's not that unlikely for a melee character in DnD with a good chunk of levels under his belt
    Heh.
    I don't have a strength in the low 10's! That is why I included the caveat.
    I do have a good chunk of levels though.
    Still, strength differentials aside, that is what using a metal staff is like. I would still avoid one unless you have a way to overcome the raw inertia.

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