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Materials

Throughout From Stone to Steel each weapon has been given statistics describing its durability and material composition. As well, you have read about ways to damage items, and items that have particular vulnerabilities. As with every new rule set in this work, the Durability system is an optional rule set, but one which guided much of the philosophy of this work. All items degrade. Armor will rust, molder, or warp. Weapons will notch, bend, and skew. Bows will crack, and their strings will fray. Arrows and daggers snap. Shields will rot or split. Often these things happen by virtue of the materials they are constructed from. In the Materials segment you will find a number of real and fantasy materials, and their properties. Those properties can allow you to more realistically track item hit point loss for such things as rust, rot, heat damage, and so on.

A bronze sword does not do less damage than a steel sword simply because its material is more pliable. It does not hit less often, either. A bronze sword, instead, is more likely to blunt through regular use, and eventually it will loose its effectiveness as a cutting implement. This is because the hardness of a bronze item is lower than that of a steel item. In the current d20 system Hardness only usually comes up when someone is attempting to break down a door, or snap a sword. But in real combat, weapons, armor, and shields are put under constant stress. They degrade. They fall apart merely from use. The Durability system is a way to track that gradual decay, and to add some realism to your fantasy game. If you do opt to use the durability system, it is suggested that a second d20 is rolled with every strike roll. This d20 is called the effect die, and is used to determine what a strike really does when it misses. If a strike hits and is in the critical range, the effect die can double as the critical check die.

What happens when you miss?

Melee is not made of up of two men alternating sword strokes until one man collapses from his injuries. Melee may be frantic or deliberate, chaotic or brutally efficient, but it involves opposing forces seeking to bring each other down. People in combat do not miss each other half of the time. But the current strike system suggests that this is the case, since any roll from 1-10 is likely to miss the average character.

Missing happens quite rarely in real melee combat. Usually melee combatants strike something when they attack each other. Often the first thing they strike is the shield or weapon of an opponent. These are the first things in the way of an attack, and the trained combatant knows how to use weapon and shield to defend themselves. If the defenses of weapon and shield are bypassed, the next most likely thing one strikes is the armor. Armor is designed to diffuse the force of a blow, and impede it so as to protect the wearer. In order to determine what a melee attack really hits when a character misses, a strike table needs to be established. The strike table uses the effect die to determine where an attack strikes.

Creating a Strike Table:

On the roll of the effect die (the extra d20 mentioned above), the numbers 1 and 2 will always indicate a true miss. This is when a weapon strikes nothing, which is actually a somewhat rare event.

If a character has a positive dexterity bonus after their armor limitations, that bonus becomes the next few numbers, and they, too, indicate a miss. This kind of miss occurs because an agile opponent has avoided your strike. If constructing a strike table for a character with a +2 dexterity bonus wearing scale mail (max dexterity bonus of +3) their full bonus would be available and the numbers 3 and 4 and four would indicate misses. If a character had a +5 dexterity bonus, but was wearing a chainmail shirt (maximum dexterity bonus of 4), the character would only be able to use 4 points of their dexterity bonus, so the numbers 3-6 would indicate misses. If a character has a negative dexterity bonus, no penalty is applied on the strike table, but no extra miss spaces are added.

The armor worn comes next. Armor strikes indicate that the armor itself has been struck. Strikes to armor may damage that armor (see item damage, below), but only in very rare cases do armor strikes result in injury to the wearer. In the above example, the scale mail wearer would allot numbers 5-8 for armor, since scale mail confers a +4 armor bonus. The chainmail wearer above would allot numbers 7-10 to armor (since chainmail confers a +4 armor bonus).

The rest of the numbers on the strike chart are divided between the shield and the weapon, with the shield being struck on even numbers and the weapon being struck on odd numbers. If a character does not use a shield, but uses a secondary weapon, then the secondary weapon is struck on even numbers. If the character only wields a weapon, for example, a two-handed sword, then obviously only the weapon is struck after armor. In the rare case of a combatant only using a shield, then the shield is the only thing struck after armor. Again, strikes against shield or weapon may damage said item (see item damage, below), but only rarely results in an injury to the wearer.

Let's look at a strike chart: If our above scale mail wearer were carrying a small shield and wielding a dagger, their strike chart would look like the following.

1True Miss
2True Miss
3Miss
4Miss
5Scale mail
6Scale mail
7Scale mail
8Scale mail
9Dagger
10Small Shield
11Dagger
12Small Shield
13Dagger
14Small Shield
15Dagger
16Small Shield
17Dagger
18Small Shield
19Dagger
20Small Shield

As you can see, the odds favor the dagger or shield being struck most often, and there is an equal chance of a strike hitting the armor or missing.

A physical chart like the one above isn't necessary to figuring out what is struck. Simply use the following guidelines to keep quick track of the strike chart:

  • 1 and 2 are always misses
  • Next add the modified dexterity bonus
  • Next add the armor bonus
  • All the rest strike shield (or secondary weapon) on even, weapon on odd, or single item if only one item is carried.

Ranged combat has a slightly simpler strike chart. Thrown or shot missiles are more likely to completely miss. As well, it is extremely difficult to deflect a shot with a weapon in hand. To generate a strike chart for ranged combat, use the following guidelines:

  • 1-10 are always misses
  • All the rest strike either shield on even or armor on odd. If there is no shield, then all the rest strike armor.

The ranged strike chart for the scale mail wearer above would look like this:

1True Miss
2True Miss
3True Miss
4True Miss
5True Miss
6True Miss
7True Miss
8True Miss
9Miss
10Miss
11Scale mail
12Small Shield
13Scale mail
14Small Shield
15Scale mail
16Small Shield
17Scale mail
18Small Shield
19Scale mail
20Small Shield

Item Damage

To determine if an item is damaged, simply roll the weapon damage, and then apply that damage to the hardness of the item it struck. If there is any damage left over, that damage is applied to the item's hit points. For most steel items, damage is likely to be minimal, but for older or more fragile materials, damage may not be infrequent.

But damage also occurs to weapons that strike as well. The same rolled damage should be applied to the striking weapon's hardness, and excess points should be subtracted from the weapon's hit points. A man with a bronze sword striking at a man in steel platemail will notice his sword blunting quickly, while the platemail will likely still look very solid.

Deterioration

Every time an item takes 25% of its hit points in damage, it deteriorates. In the materials section (below), roll on the appropriate deterioration chart (there are 2-3 for every material) to determine how the weapon has degraded. Items that have deteriorated loose their effectiveness, until they are repaired. This process will occur again at 50% of hit points and 75% of hit points. When all hit points are lost, an item is considered broken. Refer to the breakage description to see if anything special occurs. Items that are broken can usually be repaired (see the materials description to see if repairing or replacing is suggested). If someone wishes to use a broken melee or thrown item, its damage is halved before applying the 3 deterioration penalties it has accrued. Damage cannot be reduced below 1, and range increments cannot be negative. Missile weapons like bows or ammunition cannot be used if broken.

If an item has less than 4 total hit points, every point of damage requires a deterioration roll. As well, if an item receives enough damage to require multiple deterioration rolls, each roll must be made.

Durability, Strike a Weapon, and the Break DC

The Durability system requires a minor alteration of the rules for striking a weapon, as given in the Player's Handbook. The normal striking of a weapon is very common in combat, and isn't restricted to slashing weapons only. Under the durability system, any weapon may attempt to strike a weapon or shield, regardless of comparative size. Such an attack does not provoke an attack of opportunity because you need not drop your defense to attack a defending weapon or shield: the weapon or shield is being put in the way of any oncoming attack. In order to land such an attack, you and the defender must make opposed strike rolls, and if you succeed, roll damage and apply it to both your weapon and your opponent's weapon or shield as listed above.

One may also attempt to strike to break. Striking to break is an attempt to outright break an object with a heavy blow, and it requires you to focus all of your strength and attention on breaking the weapon or shield you are targeting. Because of your shift of attention, you do provoke an attack of opportunity for a Strike to Break. Striking to break requires the use of a slashing or bludgeoning weapon. In order to land such an attack, you and the defender must make opposed strike rolls, and if you succeed, roll damage and apply it to both your weapon and your opponent's weapon or shield as listed above.

In addition, you may now check to see if the attack break's your opponent's weapon. The break attempt is a strength check against the target weapon or shield, using its Break DC as the target. Use the following chart to determine any modifiers:

How to calculate the Break DC of a weapon or shield

The base Break DC of a weapon or shield can be hard to estimate. As a rule of thumb, take the item's hardness + half of its hit points (rounded up) and add a base of 2 (tiny), 4 (small), 6 (med) or 8 (large). That DC is further modified by the following:

  • +1/-1 for each size category larger/smaller your weapon is than the target weapon or shield
  • +1/-1 for each point of hardness your weapon has above/below the target weapon or shield
  • +1 for each level of deterioration already suffered by the target weapon or shield

To determine shield size a buckler is considered small, a small shield is medium sized, a large shield is large, and a tower shield is considered huge. Once all modifiers have been determined, roll to determine whether or not the item breaks.

Asuccess means that the target item is broken (its hit points have been reduced to zero). A defender may elect to drop the weapon or shield that is struck, rather than allow it to break. In order to do so, they must make a reflex save vs. a DC of 10 + your base attack bonus. If they succeed, they may drop the weapon or shield (which provokes an attack of opportunity), but the weapon or shield will not be broken. If they fail, they are unable to react swiftly enough to prevent the breaking of the weapon or shield.

If either weapon is broken through normal damage before a break check, no break check is made.

Material Properties

Each material listed below has unique properties that extend to any item made of that material. Whether a bone comes from a leopard or a mammoth, it shares certain properties when used in armor or weapons. Stone, from flint to granite, can have similar properties as well. The entries below indicate general properties that each material group shares and the various effects of damage on them as they degrade or deteriorate (see appendix). Note that some items or special materials have additional properties, which were noted in their chapter entries.

In a Fantasy Setting, one isn’t restricted to historical materials. Items of gold, silver, mithril, or adamantine are all possible, and have thus been included.

Bone and Teeth
Weaknesses
Bone is particularly susceptible to extreme heat or cold, and takes 2 times the normal damage from heat or cold based attacks. Bone is prone to fractures, and so does not hold an edge well. Slashing weapons made of bone have half the standard hardness. The primary exception to this is items made with teeth, which are particularly resilient, and so do not have this limitation. Such items will have this noted in their special information.

Effects of damage
Bone chips or cracks when damaged. When a bone melee weapon deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–5-1 damage
6-1 to hit

When a bone missile deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–2-1 to hit
3–4-1 damage
5–6-5ft range increment

When bone armor deteriorates, reduce the Armor Bonus by 1

Breakage
Bone tends to snap when it breaks, although extreme blows may cause splintering. If a bone item takes 5 more points of damage than needed to reduce its hit points to zero, it shatters into splinters.

Repair
Damaged wholly bone weapons cannot be repaired and must be replaced. If a weapon contains bone, among other materials, the bone portions must be completely replaced as part of the repair process. Wholly bone armor does not require complete replacement, but instead requires replacement of only damaged portions.
Cord
Weaknesses
Cord is flammable, and should be considered to have half its hardness versus fire attacks. If it is damaged by a fire, (by exceeding the hardness of the item) it will catch on fire. Such an item will take another 1d6 damage (ignoring the hardness) each turn until the character can put the fire out. The character may also catch on fire, as per the rules in the DMG. Spells, or specific treatments mentioned in the text may increase the cord item’s resistance to catching on fire.

Cord may begin to rot if it is not appropriately dried after submersion or soaking. If an item is submersed, soaked, or otherwise immersed in water for at least 15 minutes, there is a 15% chance the cord will begin to rot. If rotting cord is not dried correctly, it will take 1 point of damage a week, from both the current and maximum hit points. Rotting causes the item to permanently grow weaker. Correctly coating a cord item with oil or wax will reduce this risk to 1%, and will require reapplication after submersion or 1 month, whichever comes first.

Effects of damage
Cord frays when damaged. When a corded missile deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–2-1 to hit
3–4-1 damage
5–6-5ft range increment

When corded armor deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–4-1 Armor Bonus
5-1 Maximum Dexterity Bonus
6+1 Armor Check Penalty

Breakage
Cord splits when broken. There is no adverse effect of cord breakage.

Repair
Damaged cord items are best replaced, rather than repaired. Good maintenance can restore 1–2 hit points of damage for a corded item, but no more. If a weapon contains cord, among other materials, the cord portions must be completely replaced as part of the repair process. Armor made from cord does not require complete replacement, but instead requires replacement on only damaged portions.
Dragon Hide, Scale, and Tooth
No creature in fantasy literature has so many items worked from it as the Dragon has. Dragon Hide may be used to create armors or weapons that normally require leather. Dragon scale can be used to make plated items. Dragon teeth may serve as arrowheads, spearheads, or blades for swords or knives. From time to time the nature of the dragon who contributed the material has an effect on the way the item functions.

Properties
Dragon is highly flammable, and should be considered to have half hardness versus fire attacks, unless the dragon it came from was immune to heat damage. If it is not immune, and damaged by a fire, (by exceeding the hardness of the item) it will catch on fire. Such an item will take another 1d6 hit points of damage (ignoring the hardness) each turn until the character can put the fire out. The character may also catch on fire, as per the rules in the DMG. Spells may increase the Dragon Hide item’s resistance to catching on fire.

Dragon Hide from a dragon not native to marsh or aquatic regions, or from a dragon who does not possess water breathing may begin to rot if it is not appropriately dried after submersion or soaking. If an item is submersed, soaked, or otherwise immersed in water for at least 15 minutes, there is a 15% chance the Dragon Hide will begin to rot. If rotting dragon hide is not dried and treated properly, it will take 1 point of damage a week, starting the first weak after contracting rot. Rotting causes the item to permanently grow weaker. Correctly coating a dragon hide item with oil will reduce this risk to 1%, and will require reapplication after submersion or 1 month, whichever comes first.

Dragon teeth are particularly susceptible to extreme heat or cold, unless the dragon they came from is immune to heat or cold-based damage. Non-immune teeth take 2 times the damage from heat or cold-based attacks.

Items made from dragon hide, scales, or teeth are immune to any type of attack the original dragon had immunity to. This immunity is not conferred to the wearer. Items made from a dragon that had a subtype such as cold or fire also possess that subtype.

Effects of damage
Hide cracks, splits, or frays when damaged. Scale and Teeth crack or chip when damaged. When a dragon-material melee weapon deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–3-1 damage
4–6-1 to hit

When a dragon-material missile deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–2-1 to hit
3–4-1 damage
5–6-5ft range increment

When dragon-material armor deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–2-1 Armor Bonus
3–4-1 Maximum Dexterity Bonus
5–6+1 Armor Check Penalty

Breakage
Hide tends to tear when it breaks. Scale and Teeth tend to snap or shatter. Extreme blows may cause Dragon Tooth items to splinter. If a Dragon Tooth item takes 5 more points of damage than needed to reduce its hit points to zero, it shatters into splinters.

Repair
Damaged Hide items are best repaired, but scale and tooth items need to be replaced when broken. Good maintenance can restore 1–3 hit points of damage for a hide item, but no more. If a weapon contains scale or tooth, among other materials, the scale or tooth portions must be completely replaced as part of the repair process. Armor made from multiple scales does not require complete replacement, but instead requires replacement on only damaged portions.
Fabric
Weaknesses
Fabric is highly flammable, and should be considered to have half hardness versus fire or heat attacks. If it is damaged by a fire or heat, (by exceeding the hardness of the item) it will catch on fire. Such an item will take another 1d6 hit points (ignoring the hardness) each turn until the character can put the fire out. The character may also catch on fire, as per the DMG. Spells, or specific treatments mentioned in the text may increase the fabric item’s resistance to catching on fire.

Fabric may begin to rot if it is not appropriately dried after submersion or soaking. If an item is submersed, soaked, or otherwise immersed in water for at least 15 minutes, there is a 15% chance the fabric will begin to rot. If rotting fabric is not dried and treated properly, it will take 1 point of hit points a week, starting the first weak after contracting rot. Rotting causes the item to permanently grow weaker. Correctly coating a fabric item with oil will reduce this risk to 1%, and will require reapplication after submersion or 1 month, whichever comes first.

Effects of damage
Fabric tears when damaged. When fabric armor deteriorates, reduce the Armor Bonus by 1

Breakage
Fabric tears completely when broken. There is no adverse effect of fabric breakage.

Repair
Damaged fabric items are usually best repaired, rather than replaced. Armor made from a fabric can be sewn or patched.
Gemstone
Besides use as a display of wealth, gemstone items may be desirable as a cultural status symbol or, in the case of diamond, for specific material density. Historically, gemstone items were rarely made, but in a fantasy world it’s possible one might find gemstones of sufficient size to craft large items. Perhaps in a fantasy world a specific type of gemstone may be related to a specific kind of enchantment, which might necessitate its use in a weapon or suit of armor.

Properties
Gemstones retain heat. A gemstone item heated in flames will inflict an extra +1 of heat damage. This effect lasts 1 round for every 3 minutes of exposure in flame. After a gemstone has been exposed to flames for 1 hour, it has reached its greatest retention of damage, so the maximum time a gemstone item can retain this kind of heat for is 20 rounds, or 2 minutes. A gemstone object that is struck by intense heat from an attack will similarly do 1d6 damage to whatever touches it in the round it is struck, and in the next round.

Effects of damage
Gemstones flake or crack when damaged. When a gemstone melee weapon deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–5-1 damage
6-1 to hit

When a gemstone missile deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–2-1 to hit
3–4-1 damage
5–6-5ft range increment

When gemstone armor deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–3-1 Armor Bonus
4–5-1 Maximum Dexterity Bonus
6+1 Armor Check Penalty

Breakage
Gemstone tends to snap or shatter when broken. If a gemstone item takes 5 more points of damage than needed to reduce its hit points to zero, it shatters into shards.

Repair
Damaged wholly gemstone weapons cannot be repaired and must be replaced. If a weapon contains gemstones as a major material portion, among other materials, the gemstone portions must be completely replaced as part of the repair process.

Wholly gemstone armor does not require complete replacement, but instead requires replacement on only damaged portions.
Glass
Items crafted of glass are fragile, but may be preferable for certain special uses. Glass items are perfect for carrying poison or acid, as they are not susceptible to this damage. Glass daggers, glass darts, and glass arrowheads might well be desirable in advanced and complex societies

Properties
Glass is particularly susceptible to extreme temperatures, and take 2 times the damage from heat-based and cold-based attacks. In addition, if a glass item takes damage from heat, its hardness is halved for 1 minute per point of heat damage it takes. Glass takes no damage from poison or acid attacks.

Effects of damage
Glass cracks or splinters when damaged. When a glass melee weapon deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–5-1 damage
6-1 to hit

When a glass missile deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1-1 Armor Bonus
2–5-1 Maximum Dexterity Bonus
6+1 Armor Check Penalty

Should you wish to employ glass armor, it deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–3-1 Armor Bonus
4–5-1 Maximum Dexterity Bonus
6+1 Armor Check Penalty

Breakage
Glass tends to snap or, in extreme cases, shatter. If an glass item takes 5 more points of damage than needed to reduce its hit points to zero, it shatters into shards.

Repair
Damaged glass weapons are best replaced, rather than repaired. If a weapon contains glass, among other materials, the glass portions must be completely replaced as part of the repair process. Armor made from a single piece of glass, such as a helmet, will require full replacement to completely repair, but items made from multiple pieces of glass only require damaged portions to be replaced.
Ice
Items crafted of ice are fragile and heat sensitive, but may allow resource poor ice-bound tribes to produce slashing and piercing weapons.

Properties
In temperatures above freezing, ice will melt, taking one point of damage per round until the temperature drops to below freezing. Ice in contact with skin will melt as above, due to body heat. Ice is particularly susceptible to extreme heat, and take 2 times the damage from heat-based attacks. Ice takes no damage from coldbased attacks.

Effects of damage
Ice cracks when damaged. When an ice melee weapon deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–4-1 damage
5–6-1 to hit

When an ice missile deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1-1 to hit
2–4-1 damage
5–6-5ft range increment

When ice armor deteriorates, reduce the Armor Bonus by 1

Breakage
Ice tends to snap when it breaks, although extreme blows may cause splintering. If an ice item takes 5 more points of damage than needed to reduce its hit points to zero, it shatters into splinters.

Repair
Damaged wholly ice weapons cannot be repaired and must be replaced. If a weapon contains ice, among other materials, the ice portions must be completely replaced as part of the repair process. Armor made from a single piece of ice, such as a helmet or breastplate, will require full replacement to completely repair, but items made from multiple pieces of ice only require damaged portions to be replaced.
Leather
Weaknesses
Leather is highly flammable, and should be considered to have half hardness versus fire attacks. If it is damaged by a fire, (by exceeding the hardness of the item) it will catch on fire. Such an item will take another 1d6 hit points (ignoring the hardness) each turn until the character can put the fire out. The character may also catch on fire, as per the DMG. Spells, or specific treatments mentioned in the text may increase the leather item’s resistance to catching on fire.

Leather may begin to rot if it is not appropriately dried after submersion or soaking. If an item is submersed, soaked, or otherwise immersed in water for at least 15 minutes, there is a 15% chance the leather will begin to rot. If rotting leather is not dried and treated properly, it will take 1 point of hit points a week, starting the first weak after contracting rot. Rotting causes the item to permanently grow weaker. Correctly coating a leather item with oil will reduce this risk to 1%, and will require reapplication after submersion or 1 month, whichever comes first.

Effects of damage
Leather cracks or is cut when damaged. When a leather melee weapon deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–3-1 damage
4–6-1 to hit

When leather armor deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–5-1 Armor Bonus
6+1 Armor Check Penalty

Breakage
Leather splits when broken. Usually portions of the armor fall to the ground.

Repair
Damaged leather items are best replaced, rather than repaired. Good maintenance can restore 1–3 hit points of damage for a leather item, but no more. If a weapon contains leather, among other materials, the leather portions must be completely replaced as part of the repair process. Armor made from a leather can be sewn or patched.
Metal (Adamantine)
Appearing as steel (although sometimes with a white or green luster), adamantine is an extremely rare, hard metal found in certain fantasy worlds. Items made of adamantine are considered masterwork but gain a +2 enhancement bonus for attack rolls, rather than the usual +1 for masterwork items (this bonus does not stack with enchantments).

[N.B. from the wiki editor: The adamantine rules presented here are based on the 3.0 D&D System Reference Document. If playing 3.5 one need only remove the enhancement bonus and replace it with the usual rules about ignoring hardness of objects. However, the wiki editor feels this was a ridiculous change in the first place, as adamantine is not some sort of magical lightsaber-like energy. Use whichever you prefer.]

Properties
Adamantine retains heat. An adamantine item heated in a normal fire will inflict an extra +1 of heat damage. This effect lasts 1 round for every 20 rounds of exposure in flame. After an adamantine item has been exposed to flames for 1 hour, it has reached its greatest retention of damage, so the maximum time a adamantine item can retain this kind of heat for is 120 rounds, or 12 minutes. An adamantine object that is struck by intense heat from an attack will similarly do +1 damage to whatever touches it in the round it is struck, and in the next two rounds. Note that the wielder must wear a protective glove or automatically suffer the heat damage himself.

Adamantine is conductive, although not as conductive as other metals. The AC bonus of adamantine armor should be halved versus electrical attacks that require an attack roll (such as an electrically charged weapon). If a shield is also adamantine, it, too, will add only half the AC bonus (rounded up) when rolling to hit directly. However, direct strikes against adamantine shields or armor with electricity will do only ½ times the usual damage, but will ignore the materials hardness and also do direct damage to the victim.

Effects of damage
Adamantine dents and warps when damaged. When an adamantine melee weapon deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–3-1 damage
4–6-1 to hit

When an adamantine missile deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:

1–2-1 to hit
3–4-1 damage
5–6-5ft range increment

When adamantine armor deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–3-1 Armor Bonus
4–5-1 Maximum Dexterity Bonus
6+1 Armor Check Penalty

Breakage
Adamantine snaps, rends, or staves when broken. If adamantine armor takes more than three points of damage than what is needed to reduce its hit points to zero, it staves or rends. This can be quite dangerous. The excess damage is applied to the victim that turn, and every turn afterwards the character receives one less point of damage, until the armor is removed or the damage falls to zero. Clerical spells or other healing will only heal damage done, but after the healing spell is cast, the wound will reopen, due to the adamantine still in their flesh, and this damage progression will begin again.

It is suggested that a character remove staved or rended armor immediately, preferably with the help of others, as per the section of the Player’s Handbook, Getting Into and Out of Armor, and Table 7-6. Any plated armor also has leather buckles that can be cut to reduce removal time by half, but destroy the usability of the armor.

Repair
Damaged adamantine items are usually best repaired, rather than replaced. Good maintenance can restore 1-6 hit points of damage for an adamantine item, but no more. If a weapon contains adamantine, among other materials, the other portions must be completely replaced as part of the repair process. Broken adamantine items can be repaired, sometimes to full ability. Adamantine armor whose leather straps have been cut will require the straps to be replaced.

Metal (Copper, Bronze, Iron)
Weaknesses
Metal retains heat. A metal item heated in a normal fire will inflict an extra +1 of heat damage. This effect lasts 1 round for every 10 rounds of exposure in flame. After a metal item has been exposed to flames for 1 hour, it has reached its greatest retention of damage, so the maximum time a metal item can retain this kind of heat for is 60 rounds, or 5 minutes. A metal object that is struck by intense heat from an attack will similarly do +1 damage to whatever touches it in the round it is struck, and in the next two rounds. Note that the wielder must wear a protective glove or automatically suffer the heat damage himself.

Metal is highly conductive. It’s AC bonus should be ignored versus electrical attacks that require a to hit roll (such as an electrically charged weapon). If a shield is also metal, it, too, will not add to the AC when rolling to hit directly. Strikes against metal shield or armor with electricity will only do half the normal damage, but will ignore hardness and also do direct damage to the victim.

Effects of damage
Metal dents, cracks, warps, or splits when damaged. When a metal melee weapon deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–3-1 damage
4–6-1 to hit

When a metal missile deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–2-1 to hit
3–4-1 damage
5–6-5ft range increment

When metal armor deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–3-1 Armor Bonus
4–5-1 Maximum Dexterity Bonus
6+1 Armor Check Penalty

Breakage
Metal snaps, rends, or staves when broken. If metal armor takes more damage than needed to reduce its hit points to zero, it staves or rends. This can be quite dangerous. The excess damage is applied to the victim that turn, and every turn afterwards the character receives the same damage less one, until the armor is removed or the damage falls to zero. Clerical spells or other healing will only heal damage done, but after the healing spell is cast, the wound will reopen, due to the metal still in their flesh, and this damage progression will begin again.

Metal (Gold or Silver)
Noble metals like gold or silver may be popular to display the wealth of the wearer. Gold is immune to acid, while Silver is often useful against specific creatures.

Properties
Gold and silver retain heat. A gold or silver item heated in a normal fire will inflict an extra +1 of heat damage. This effect lasts 1 round for every 10 rounds of exposure in flame. After a gold or silver item has been exposed to flames for 1 hour, it has reached its greatest retention of damage, so the maximum time a gold or silver item can retain this kind of heat for is 60 rounds, or 5 minutes. Agold or silver object that is struck by intense heat from an attack will similarly do +1 damage to whatever touches it in the round it is struck, and in the next two rounds.

Gold or silver is highly conductive. It’s AC should be ignored versus electrical attacks that require a to hit roll (such as an electrically charged weapon). If a shield is also gold or silver, it, too, will not add to the AC when rolling to hit directly. Strikes against metal shield or armor with electricity will only do half the normal damage, but will ignore hardness and also do direct damage to the victim.

Gold takes no damage from acid.

Effects of damage
Gold or silver dents, cracks, warps, or splits when damaged. When a gold or silver melee weapon deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–3-1 damage
4–6-1 to hit

When a gold or silver missile deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–2-1 to hit
3–4-1 damage
5–6-5ft range increment

When gold or silver armor deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–3-1 Armor Bonus
4–5-1 Maximum Dexterity Bonus
6+1 Armor Check Penalty

Breakage
Gold or silver snaps, rends, or staves when broken. If gold or silver armor takes more damage than needed to reduce its hit points to zero, it staves or rends. This can be quite dangerous. The excess damage is applied to the victim that turn, and every turn afterwards the character receives one less point of damage, until the armor is removed or the damage falls to zero. Clerical spells or other healing will only heal damage done, but after the healing spell is cast, the wound will reopen, due to the gold or silver still in their flesh, and this damage progression will begin again.

It is suggested that a character remove staved or rended armor immediately, preferably with the help of others, as per the section of the Player’s Handbook, Getting Into and Out of Armor, and Table 7-6. Any plated armor also has leather buckles which can be cut to reduce removal time by half, but destroy the usability of the armor.

Repair
Damaged gold and silver items are usually best repaired, rather than replaced. Good maintenance can restore 1-6 hit points of damage for a gold and silver item, but no more. If a weapon contains gold and silver, among other materials, the other portions must be completely replaced as part of the repair process.

Broken gold or silver items can be repaired, sometimes to full ability. Gold or silver armor whose leather straps have been cut will require the straps to be replaced.
Metal (Mithril)
Mithril is a silver-blue iron-like material found in certain fantasy settings. Light, durable, and easier to maneuver in, Mithril items are rare and treasured. Creation and repair time for mithril items is treated as if the item were masterwork, but the masterwork enhancement bonus or armor check penalty bonus is not applied to mithril items.

Properties
Mithril retains heat. A Mithril item heated in a normal fire will inflict an extra +1 of heat damage. This effect lasts 1 round for every 20 rounds of exposure in flame. After a mithril item has been exposed to flames for 1 hour, it has reached its greatest retention of damage, so the maximum time a mithril item can retain this kind of heat for is 120 rounds, or 10 minutes. A mithril object that is struck by intense heat from an attack will similarly do +1 damage to whatever touches it in the round it is struck, and in the next two rounds.

Mithril is conductive, although not as conductive as other metals. Its AC bonus should be halved versus electrical attacks that require an attack roll (such as an electrically charged weapon). If a shield is also mithril, it, too, will add only half the AC bonus (rounded up) when rolling to hit directly. Strikes against a mithril shield or armor with electricity will only do half the normal damage, but will ignore hardness and also do direct damage to the victim.

Effects of damage
Mithril dents and warps when damaged. When a mithril melee weapon deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–2-1 to hit
3–4-1 damage
5–6-5ft range increment

When a mithril missile deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–2-1 to hit
3–4-1 damage
5–6-5ft range increment

When mithril armor deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–3-1 Armor Bonus
4–5-1 Maximum Dexterity Bonus
6+1 Armor Check Penalty

Breakage
Mithril snaps, rends, or staves when broken. If mithril armor more that three points of damage than needed to reduce its hit points to zero, it staves or rends. This can be quite dangerous. The excess damage is applied to the victim that turn, and every turn afterwards the character receives one less point of damage, until the armor is removed or the damage falls to zero. Clerical spells or other healing will only heal damage done, but after the healing spell is cast, the wound will reopen, due to the mithril still in their flesh, and this damage progression will begin again.

It is suggested that a character remove staved or rended armor immediately, preferably with the help of others, as per the section of the Player’s Handbook, Getting Into and Out of Armor, and Table 7-6. Any plated armor also has leather buckles that can be cut to reduce removal time by half, but destroy the usability of the armor.

Repair
Damaged mithril items are usually best repaired, rather than replaced. Good maintenance can restore 1-6 hit points of damage for a mithril item, but no more. If a weapon contains mithril, among other materials, the other portions must be completely replaced as part of the repair process. Broken mithril items can be repaired, sometimes to full ability. Mithril armor whose leather straps have been cut will require the straps to be replaced.
Stone
Weaknesses
Stone retains heat. A stone item heated in flames will inflict an extra +1 of heat damage. This effect lasts 1 round for every 3 minutes of exposure in flame. After a stone has been exposed to flames for 1 hour, it has reached its greatest retention of damage, so the maximum time a stone item can retain this kind of heat for is 20 rounds, or 2 minutes. A stone object that is struck by intense heat from an attack will similarly do one point of heat damage to whatever touches it in the round it is struck, and in the next round.

Effects of damage
Stone flakes or cracks when damaged. When a stone melee weapon deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–5-1 damage
6-1 to hit

When a stone missile deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–2-1 to hit
3–4-1 damage
5–6-5ft range increment

When stone armor deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–3-1 Armor Bonus
4–5-1 Maximum Dexterity Bonus
6+1 Armor Check Penalty

Breakage
Stone tends to snap or shatter when broken. If a stone item takes 5 more points of damage than needed to reduce its hit points to zero, it shatters into splinters.

Repair
Damaged wholly stone weapons cannot be repaired and must be replaced. If a weapon contains stone, among other materials, the stone portions must be completely replaced as part of the repair process. Wholly stone armor does not require complete replacement, but instead requires replacement on only damaged portions.
Wood
Weaknesses
Wood is flammable, and if it is damaged by a fire or heat attack, (by exceeding the hardness of the item) it will catch on fire. Such an item will take another 1d6 hit points (ignoring the hardness) each turn until the character can put the fire out. The character may also catch on fire, as per the DMG. Spells, or specific treatments mentioned in the text may increase the wooden item’s resistance to catching on fire.

Wood may begin to rot if it is not appropriately dried after submersion or soaking. If an item is submersed, soaked, or otherwise immersed in water for at least 15 minutes, there is a 15% chance the wood will begin to rot. If rotting wood is not dried correctly, it will take 1 point of hit points a week, from both the current and maximum structural rating. Rotting causes the item to permanently grow weaker. Correctly coating a wooden item with oil or wax will reduce this risk to 1%, and will require reapplication after submersion or 1 month, whichever comes first.

Wood is fibrous, and does not take an edge well. Slashing weapons made of wood have half the listed hardness.

Effects of damage
Wood cracks, splinters, or warps when damaged. When a wooden melee weapon deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–3-1 damage
4–6-1 to hit

When a wooden missile deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–2-1 to hit
3–4-1 damage
5–6-5ft range increment

When Wooden armor deteriorates, roll 1d6 and consult the following chart:
1–3-1 Armor Bonus
4–5-1 Maximum Dexterity Bonus
6+1 Armor Check Penalty

Breakage
Wood tends to snap or, in very extreme cases, splinter. If a wooden item takes 8 more points of damage than needed to reduce its hit points to zero, it shatters into splinters.

Repair
Damaged wooden weapons are best replaced, rather than repaired. Good maintenance can restore 1–3 hit points of damage for a wooden item, but no more. If a weapon contains wood, among other materials, the wood portions must be completely replaced as part of the repair process. Armor made from a single piece of wood, such as a helmet, will require full replacement to completely repair, but items made from multiple pieces of wood only require damaged portions to be replaced.

Maintenance and Repair

It is assumed that if a character is trained in the use of a weapon or armor, they know the proper methods of maintenance and treatment. Usually maintenance requires tending to items for about 5-15 minutes after they’ve been used, although if they are used multiple times a day, this time frame is not increased. Use a day period as a rule of thumb. If an item has been in use during the day, 5-15 minutes must be spent at the end of the day to make certain it stays in top form. Using proper maintenance will restore structure as noted above.

Use the rules in the Players Handbook under the craft skill to repair items. Note that the appropriate skill must be had to work the appropriate materials and items. A character trained as an armorer, for example, will know how to fashion metal armors, but will also need training as a tanner to work leather into armor. Primitive materials usually require a special sub-skill, like bone carving or stone masonry. Several skills may be applicable for repairing an item: An iron sword may be correctly repaired by a metalsmith, weaponsmith, or blacksmith, but the weaponsmith would be the best at it, and have all the appropriate tools. When a repair attempt fails, deduct 1–3 hit points permanently. This loss should not exceed the number of hit points actually being repaired. Otherwise, the process may be repeated as often as desired, following the limitations given in the Player’s Handbook.

How to Generate Stats for Items:

Weapon Statistics
The Damage, Critical Range, and Range Increment, and Damage type for a weapon will not change for any material, except in the following cases:

  • Adamantine adds a +2 enhancement bonus on attack rolls

for any weapon.

  • Folded steel items are automatically considered masterwork
  • Pattern welded items, Damascus steel items, and Obsidian add +1 to damage rolls.

Armor Statistics
The Armor Bonus, Maximum Dexterity Bonus, Armor Check Penalty, Arcane Spell Failure, and Speed will not change for any material, except for Mithril. Mithral confers the following changes:

  • Mithril armors are one category lighter for purposes of movement (Heavy moves as Medium, Medium moves as Light. Light has no modification.)
  • Arcane Spell Failure is reduced by 10%
  • Maximum Dexterity Bonus is increased by 2
  • Armor Check Penalty is reduced by 3
Table 9-1: Weight
The base weight of an item is its weight in steel. Follow the below chart to determine exact weight:
MaterialWeight Modifier
Dried Clay-.5 to -2 lbs (small or tiny items are -.5, all others are -2)
StoneNo modifier
Obsidian-.5 to -1 lbs (small or tiny items are -.5, all others are -1)
Wood, Soft-.5 to -1 lbs (small or tiny items are -.5, all others are -1)
Wood, NormalNo modifier
Wood, HardNo modifier
Wood, Iron+.5 to +1 lbs (small or tiny items are +.5, all others are +1)
LeatherNo modifier
Boiled Leather+.5 to +1 lbs (small or tiny items are +.5, all others are +1)
HideNo modifier
FabricNo modifier
Copper+.5 to +1 lbs (small or tiny items are +.5, all others are +1)
Bronze+.5 to +2 lbs (small or tiny items are +.5, all others are +2)
Iron+.5 to +1 lbs (small or tiny items are +.5, all others are +1)
Lead+.5 to +1 lbs (small or tiny items are +.5, all others are +1)
Early SteelNo modifier
Middle SteelNo modifier
Late SteelNo modifier
True SteelNo modifier
Pattern-Welded SteelNo modifier
Damascus SteelNo modifier
Folded Steel+.5 to +1 lbs (small or tiny items are +.5, all others are +1)
Ice-.5 to -1 lbs (small or tiny items are -.5, all others are -1)
Glass-.5 to -2 lbs (small or tiny items are -.5, all others are -2)
Gold+.5 to +2 lbs (small or tiny items are +.5, all others are +2)
SilverNo modifier
MithrilNo modifier for armor, weapons are half normal weight
Adamantine+.5 to +1 lbs (small or tiny items are +.5, all others are +1)
Dragon HideNo modifier
Dragon ScaleNo modifier
Dragon Tooth-.5 to -1 lbs (small or tiny items are -.5, all others are -1)
DiamondThese items are +.5 lbs for small or tiny, +2 lbs for all other weapons, and +4 for armor
Pearl, Shell, AmberThese items are half weight
Other GemstonesNo modifier
Weight for barding is determined by multiplying the weight by 2 for horse barding or by 3 for elephant barding.

Hit Points
To determine the hit points of an item, multiply the item weight by the following:

Table 9-2: Hit Points
Item TypeMultiply Weight
Normal Melee Weapons, Shields and ArmorX2
Non-gun Missile Weapons and Thrown weapons (but not ammunition)X3
Guns and GrenadesX2
AmmunitionX1
Masterwork Missile WeaponsX3.5
Masterwork Melee WeaponsX3
Masterwork Shields or ArmorX2.5

The following modifiers may be applied to hardness:

  • Items that are structurally weak or top-heavy have their hit points modified by -2
  • Items that are particularly solid and sturdy have their hit points modified by +2
  • Damascus Steel items gain +3 hit points for their superior manufacture
  • Boiled Leather items are more brittle than normal, and their hit points are modified by -2.
  • Half hit points are rounded up
Table 9-3: Hardness
The hardness of an item is based on its primary material (the first material it’s made from). Use the following chart to determine hardness:
MaterialHardness
Clay1–2
Stone3–4
Obsidian2
Wood, Soft1–2
Wood, Normal3–4
Wood, Hard5–6
Wood, Iron7
Leather3–4
Boiled Leather4–5
Hide5
Fabric (Exception: Jigap [2])1
Copper2
Bronze3–5
Iron5–6
Early Steel7
Middle Steel, Lead8
Late Steel9
True Steel10
Pattern-Welded Steel9
Damascus Steel10
Folded Steel11
Ice2
Glass2–3
Gold5
Silver8
Mithril15
Adamantine20
Dragon Hide6
Dragon Scale10
Dragon Tooth10
Diamond16
Ruby, Sapphire, Chrysoberyl8
Aquamarine, Emerald, Topaz, Garnet, Tourmaline7
Agate, Amethyst, Bloodstone, Chalcedony, Citrine, Jasper, Onyx, Peridot, Tiger's Eye, Quartz6
Jade, Lapis-Lazuli, Moonstone, Turquoise5
Coral, Fluorite, Malachite, Pearl, Shell4
Amber2
The following modifiers may be applied to hardness:
Fire hardening increases the hardness of wood by 1
Lacquering increases the hardness of leather by 1
Viking-made Pattern Welded Steel hardness is increased by 1
Primitive stone arrowheads have a hardness of 1
Masterwork items have their hardness increased by 1

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