Enchanted Realms Rulebook

 GM Aide 


In the previous lists,as well as mentioned in several feat skills, is the idea that there is standard forging and construction; however, those with the proper skills can craft those same items out of stranger substances. The standard craftings would be iron, cow-hide leather, and wood like oak, pine or spruce. Stranger substances are things like darkleaf for goluka, or iron-skin leather from wyverns and the like. Even the furnace-blasting of iron with charcoal to make steel is considered a special material.

The reason this is important pertains to how the lifesong integrates with objects worn and carried. Remember, an object, especially armor or a weapon, has several components to it consisting of shape, material and trueform. As such, the material used to create armor and weapons become very important when crafting them. As a sword is created, it stops being formless ore, and through the process of creation is defined cosmologically as a sword in its trueform.

Consider the special material steel. It is a higher quality metal than iron. It is created through a special process of adding charcoal to iron while smelting at a higher temperature that results in a stronger alloy. To forge with steel, a metal-worker must have the enhanced metals skill; thus, not just any blacksmith can create steel objects. This is why the odds of steel in smaller communities is lower.

However, when creating an armor from steel rather than iron, the base armor component of the protective suit increases by one point. So, that chain shirt made from steel instead of iron goes from AC 14 to AC 15. Of course, the purchase price increases as well -- remember the primary economic rule of supply and demand. Likewise, when looking at weapons, one made from steel rather than iron gains +1 to hit on all its d20s. In the end, this is a simple example of how material can alter the properties and value of an object.

Another example is silver. Weapons are not forged from pure silver. That would be inefficient in cost, especially when compared to other mythical ores. However, a silver weapon can be produced by a weaponsmith who also has the enhanced metals skill. This allows the smith to coat an ordinary iron weapon with a plating of silver. While this process does not add to the chances to hit or wound a creature, it will inflict harm to many monsters that are resistant or immune to ordinary metals, such as iron or even steel.

By this point, someone reading this has considered silver-plating a steel weapon to gain the best of both methods. Unfortunately, the physics and chemistry of the fantasy world is not like that of earth. As such, the silvering process does not work on steel objects. To forge a weapon that can strike special creatures, like lycanthropes and demons, one must find a metalworker who can forge with enchanted metals.

However, even non-magical metals can have some special properties. There are several other materials that could become important to a character in the fantasy world. Copper is a precious metal; on the low end, but coins are minted in copper. Tin and zinc are other important metals, even though they are not thought of much as their use for armor and weapons are limited. However, tin mixed with copper creates bronze, while zinc mixed with copper creates brass. This is important as bronze has be shown to block magical sensors and x-ray vision. The GM can give more details if it becomes relevant. Further, brass has been known to protect against certain forms of psychic attacks. The point is even normal, non-magical metals have special properties that can be harnessed.

Further, one should remember metals have different properties, density, malleability, etc. Thus, a pound of iron does not fill the same volume as a pound of steel, gold or mythril. Below is a chart to compare a 1.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 cube of various metals, as that is the base of one pound of iron. This is important for magical effects like the dwarven transmute metal incantation.

MetalDimensionsWeightRatioDetects as MagicKnown Properties
Stone1.5 x 1.5 x 1.510 oz60%No-1 Bonus, +1 to Initiative
Cold Iron1.5 x 1.5 x 1.51 pound100%No+1 to Damage against Fey
Iron1.5 x 1.5 x 1.51 pound100%NoNone
Steel1.5 x 1.5 x 1.514 oz90%No+1 Bonus, Strikes as Normal
Electrum1.5 x 1.5 x 1.514 oz88%Yes+1 Bonus, Strikes as Silver
Orichalcum1.5 x 1.5 x 1.511 oz70%Yes+1 Bonus, +1 to Init, Strikes as Magical
Meteore1.5 x 1.5 x 1.51 pound, 8 oz150%Yes+2 Bonus, Strikes as Magical
Scarletite1.5 x 1.5 x 1.51 pound100%Yes+2 Bonus; potential fire properties
Mythril Alloys1.5 x 1.5 x 1.59 to 12 ouncesVaries by alloyYes+2 or better, +1 to Init

One of the things that makes these rarer, higher-quality metals sought after is not just the bonuses to weapons and armor, but they also allow special enhancements. For example, orichalcum permits Agility modifiers to be used in heavier armors constructed with this ore. Thus, those metal armors which normally receive no AC modifiers can use Agility when made from orichalcum. Meteore is a door-kicker’s dream metal for armor, as it uses Strength modifiers to adjust the wearer’s AC.