Weapons and armor can be crafted using materials that have innate special properties. If you make a suit of armor or a weapon out of more than one special material, you get the benefit of only the most prevalent material. However, you can build a double weapon with each head made of a different special material.
Each of the special materials described below has a definite game effect. Some creatures have damage reduction that makes them resistant to all but a special type of damage, such as that dealt by evil-aligned weapons or bludgeoning weapons. Others are vulnerable to weapons of a particular material. Characters may choose to carry several different types of weapons, depending upon the types of creatures they most commonly encounter.
Mined from rocks that fell from the heavens, this ultrahard metal adds to the quality of a weapon or suit of armor. Weapons fashioned from adamantine have a natural ability to bypass hardness when sundering weapons or attacking objects, ignoring hardness less than 20. Armor made from adamantine grants its wearer damage reduction of 1/— if it's light armor, 2/— if it's medium armor, and 3/— if it's heavy armor. Adamantine is so costly that weapons and armor made from it are always of masterwork quality; the masterwork cost is included in the prices given below. Thus, adamantine weapons and ammunition have a +1 enhancement bonus on attack rolls, and the armor check penalty of adamantine armor is lessened by 1 compared to ordinary armor of its type. Items without metal parts cannot be made from adamantine. An arrow could be made of adamantine, but a quarterstaff could not.
Weapons and armor normally made of steel that are made of adamantine have one-third more hit points than normal. Adamantine has 40 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 20.
|Type of Adamantine Item||Item Price Modifier|
|Ammunition||+60 gp per item|
|Light armor||+5,000 gp|
|Medium armor||+10,000 gp|
|Heavy armor||+15,000 gp|
A complex process involving metallurgy and alchemy can bond silver to a weapon made of steel so that it bypasses the damage reduction of creatures such as lycanthropes.
On a successful attack with a silvered slashing or piercing weapon, the wielder takes a –1 penalty on the damage roll (with a minimum of 1 point of damage). The alchemical silvering process can't be applied to nonmetal items, and it doesn't work on rare metals such as adamantine, cold iron, and mithral.
Alchemical silver has 10 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 8.
|Type of Alchemical Silver Item||Item Price Modifier|
|Ammunition||+2 gp per item|
|Light weapon||+20 gp|
|One-handed weapon, or one head of a double weapon||+90 gp|
|Two-handed weapon, or both heads of a double weapon||+180 gp|
The preserved skin of an angel retains a portion of celestial grace and can be crafted into leather, hide, or studded leather armor. Angelskin radiates a moderate good aura that masks malign auras. Any evil aura radiated by the wearer is reduced in strength by 10 Hit Dice. Auras reduced below 1 Hit Die can't be detected by means such as detect evil; the creature doesn't detect as evil, though this has no effect on other aspects of the creature's alignment. For example, a weak chaotic creature wearing angelskin armor detects as chaotic, but not evil.
Spells and supernatural abilities that have special effects when cast on or used against creatures with evil alignments (even beneficial effects) have a 20% chance of treating an evil wearer as neutral instead. Ongoing effects such as smite evil make this roll the first time they are used against the creature; if the effect treats the target as neutral, it does so for the remainder of the effect's duration. If the ongoing effect applies to an area and the wearer leaves that area, the percentage chance should be rolled again. Permanent magic items such as holy weapons always treat the wearer as evil. Armor constructed from angelskin is always of masterwork quality; the masterwork cost is included in the prices given below.
Angelskin has 5 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 5.
|Type of Angelskin Item||Item Price Modifier|
|Light armor||+1,000 gp|
|Medium armor||+2,000 gp|
Mysterious radiation deep below the surface of the earth warps once-ordinary quartz into blood-craving stone. If an attack with a piercing or slashing blood crystal weapon hits a target suffering from a bleed effect, the creature takes 1 additional point of damage from the attack as the blood crystal drains blood from the wound. This applies even if the creature was taking bleed damage before the attack with the blood crystal weapon. This does not increase the amount of the bleed effect.
Unfed blood crystal has a pale pink hue, darkening toward deep crimson as it becomes saturated with blood. Piercing or slashing weapons composed entirely or partially of metal can be made from blood crystal. Unworked blood crystal has a value of 500 gp per pound. Weapons made with blood crystal have one-half the normal hit points. Armor and shields cannot be made of blood crystal, as they would feed on the wearer's own wounds.
Blood crystal has 10 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 10.
|Type of Blood Crystal Item||Item Price Modifier|
|Ammunition||+30 gp per item|
This iron, mined deep underground and known for its effectiveness against demons and fey creatures, 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. Also, adding any magical enhancements to a cold iron weapon increases its price by 2,000 gp. This increase is applied the first time the item is enhanced, not once per ability added.
Items without metal parts cannot be made from cold iron. An arrow could be made of cold iron, but a quarterstaff could not. A double weapon with one cold iron half costs 50% more than normal.
Cold iron has 30 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 10.
Darkleaf cloth is a special form of flexible material made by weaving together leaves and thin strips of bark from darkwood trees, then treating the resulting fabric with special alchemical processes. The resulting material is tough as cured hide but much lighter, making it an excellent material from which to create armor. Spell failure chances for armors made from darkleaf cloth decrease by 10% (to a minimum of 5%), maximum Dexterity bonuses increase by 2, and armor check penalties decrease by 3 (to a minimum of 0).
An item made from darkleaf cloth weighs half as much as the same item made from leather, furs, or hides. Items not primarily constructed of leather, fur, or hide are not meaningfully affected by being partially made of darkleaf cloth. As such, padded armor, leather armor, studded leather armor, and hide armor can be made out of darkleaf cloth (although other types of armor made of leather or hide might be possible). Because darkleaf cloth remains flexible, it cannot be used to construct rigid items such as shields or metal armors. Armors fashioned from darkleaf cloth are always masterwork items; the masterwork cost is included in the listed prices.
Darkleaf cloth has 20 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 10.
|Type of Darkleaf Cloth Item||Item Price Modifier|
|Light armor||+750 gp|
|Medium armor||+1,500 gp|
|Other items||+375 gp/lb.|
This rare magic wood is as hard as normal wood but very light. Any wooden or mostly wooden item (such as a bow or spear) made from darkwood is considered a masterwork item and weighs only half as much as a normal wooden item of that type. Items not normally made of wood or only partially of wood (such as a battleaxe or a mace) either cannot be made from darkwood or do not gain any special benefit from being made of darkwood. The armor check penalty of a darkwood shield is lessened by 2 compared to an ordinary shield of its type. To determine the price of a darkwood item, use the original weight but add 10 gp per pound to the price of a masterwork version of that item. Darkwood has 10 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 5.
Armorsmiths can work with the hides of dragons to produce armor or shields of masterwork quality. One dragon produces enough hide to make a single suit of masterwork hide armor for a creature one size category smaller than the dragon. By selecting only choice scales and bits of hide, an armorsmith can produce one suit of masterwork banded mail for a creature two sizes smaller, one suit of masterwork half-plate for a creature three sizes smaller, or one masterwork breastplate or suit of full plate for a creature four sizes smaller. In each case, enough hide is available to produce a light or heavy masterwork shield in addition to the armor, provided that the dragon is Large or larger. If the dragonhide comes from a dragon that had immunity to an energy type, the armor is also immune to that energy type, although this does not confer any protection to the wearer. If the armor or shield is later given the ability to protect the wearer against that energy type, the cost to add such protection is reduced by 25%.
Because dragonhide armor isn't made of metal, druids can wear it without penalty.
Dragonhide armor costs twice as much as masterwork armor of that type, but it takes no longer to make than ordinary armor of that type (double all Craft results).
Dragonhide has 10 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 10. The hide of a dragon is typically between 1/2 inch and 1 inch thick.
This supple material offers as much protection as leather, but is more flexible and resistant to electricity. Leather, hide, or studded leather armor can be produced with eel hide. The armor check penalty of such armor is reduced by 1 (to a minimum of 0) and the maximum Dexterity bonus of the armor is increased by 1. Additionally, wearing eel hide grants the wearer electricity resistance 2. Armor crafted from eel hide is always considered masterwork, and the masterwork costs are included in the listed prices.
Eel hide has the same hit points and hardness as leather.
|Type of Eel Hide Item||Item Price Modifier|
|Light armor||+1,200 gp|
|Medium armor||+1,800 gp|
First crafted in the deeps of time by the titans and bestowed as gifts to monster-slaying heroes among the lesser races, Elysian bronze retains the brazen coloration of its namesake but is as hard as steel. A weapon made of Elysian bronze adds a +1 bonus on weapon damage rolls against magical beasts and monstrous humanoids; this damage is multiplied on a critical hit. After a creature uses an Elysian bronze weapon to deal damage to a magical beast or monstrous humanoid, the wielder gains a +1 bonus on attack rolls against that specific creature type (for example, against chimeras, not all magical beasts) for the next 24 hours, or until the weapon deals damage to a different kind of magical beast or monstrous humanoid.
Armor made of Elysian bronze also protects its wearer against the natural weapons or unarmed strikes of magical beasts and monstrous humanoids, providing damage reduction as if it were adamantine (1/— for light armor, 2/— for medium armor, or 3/— for heavy armor). It does not provide this protection against creatures of other types.
Elysian bronze has the same hit points and hardness as steel.
|Type of Elysian Bronze Item||Item Price Modifier|
|Ammunition||+20 gp per item|
|Light armor||+1,000 gp|
|Medium armor||+2,000 gp|
|Heavy armor||+3,000 gp|
Dwarves stumbled across the secret of crafting fire-forged steel in an effort to make forge-friendly tools. It didn't take them long to adapt its unique properties to arms and armor. Fire-forged steel channels heat in one direction to protect its wearer or wielder. When it is crafted into armor, heat is channeled away from the wearer, offering some limited protection. Armor crafted from fire-forged steel grants the wearer fire resistance 2.
Weapons crafted from fire-forged steel similarly channel heat away from the wearer; this does not grant the wielder energy resistance. Instead, the blade absorbs and channels heat to the parts of the weapon that contact enemies. If the weapon is exposed to 10 points or more of fire damage (such as from an opponent's fireball or by holding it in a campfire for 1 full round), the weapon adds +1d4 points of fire damage to its attacks for the next 2 rounds. If the wielder is wearing fire-forged armor and using a fire-forged weapon, this bonus damage increases to 1d6 points of fire damage and lasts for 4 rounds. This bonus damage does not stack with fire damage from weapon enhancements such as flaming.
Armor or weapons made from fire-forged steel are always considered masterwork, and the masterwork costs are included in the listed prices.
Fire-forged steel has the same hit points and hardness as steel.
|Type of Fire-Forged Steel Item||Item Price Modifier|
|Ammunition||+15 gp per item|
|Light armor||+1,000 gp|
|Medium armor||+2,500 gp|
|Heavy armor||+3,000 gp|
This material is the same substance as fire-forged steel with a subtle difference in the alignment of the metal during crafting. Instead of channeling heat away from the wearer, it channels heat toward the wearer. Frost-forged steel works similarly to fire-forged steel, except its effects apply to cold damage rather than fire damage. This means frost-forged steel weapons are less useful than their fire-forged counterparts, as there are few nonmagical sources of cold that can quickly imbue it with enough cold energy to deal bonus damage.
Armor and weapons made from frost-forged steel are always considered masterwork, and the masterwork costs are included in the listed prices.
Frost-forged steel has the same hit points and hardness as steel. Frost-forged steel costs the same as fire-forged steel.
The secret of greenwood lies in its harvesting. Each length is taken, with leaves still attached, from a tree animated by a treant and cut with care to avoid the death of the tree. A dryad then speaks to and shapes the wood, coaxing the living green of the leaves into the grain of the wood itself. The resulting wood remains alive as long as it is doused with at least one gallon of water (plus 1 gallon for every 10 pounds of the item's weight) once per week and allowed to rest for an hour in contact with fertile soil. Any wooden or mostly wooden item (such as a bow or spear) made from greenwood is considered a masterwork item. Items not normally made of wood or only partially of wood (such as a battleaxe or a mace) either cannot be made from greenwood or do not gain any special benefit from being made of greenwood.
When damp and in contact with fertile soil, living greenwood heals damage to itself at a rate of 1 hit point per hour, even repairing breaks and regrowing missing pieces. If the weapon has the broken condition, it is repaired during the first hour of contact with fertile soil. Greenwood items take only one-quarter damage from fire.
To determine the price of a greenwood item, use the original weight but add 50 gp per pound to the price of a masterwork version of that item. Items made from darkwood cannot be made into greenwood.
Greenwood has the same hit points and hardness as wood.
This rough-spun cloth, ranging in color from golden-brown to brown-black, is woven from the mane of leonine magical beasts, primarily griffons but also chimeras and manticores, and is exceptionally strong and light. Wearing a cloak, robe, clothing outfit, or padded or quilted armor made from griffon mane grants a +2 competence bonus on Fly checks. If an item made of griffon mane is magically given the ability to fly, the cost to add that specific magical property is reduced by 10%, though this does not reduce the cost of any other abilities the item has.
Griffon mane has twice the number of hit points of normal cloth and hardness 1.
|Type of Griffon Mane Item||Item Price Modifier|
|Light armor||+200 gp|
|Other items||+50 gp/lb.|
Some trees suck up potent minerals through their roots the same way others draw water from the ground. Though these trees blunt saws and axes used to hew them and shrug off fire, they eventually succumb to time or the elements. When properly harvested, these fallen trees produce nuggets of a metal called living steel. This glossy green metal slowly repairs itself. An item made from living steel repairs damage to itself at a rate of 2 hit points per day, or 1 hit point per day if it has the broken condition. Items not primarily of metal are not meaningfully affected by being partially made of living steel.
Armor and shields made from living steel can damage metal weapons that strike them. Whenever the wielder of a metal weapon rolls a natural 1 on an attack roll against a creature wearing living steel armor or wielding a living steel shield, the item must make a DC 20 Fortitude save or gain the broken condition. If the weapon already has the broken condition, it is instead destroyed. Living steel cannot damage adamantine weapons in this way.
Living steel has 35 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 15.
|Type of Living Steel Item Item||Price Modifier|
|Ammunition||+10 gp per item|
|Light armor||+500 gp|
|Medium armor||+1,000 gp|
|Heavy armor||+1,500 gp|
|Other items||+250 gp/lb.|
Mithral is a rare, silvery metal that is lighter than steel but just as hard. When worked like steel, it can be used to create amazing armor, and is occasionally used for other items as well. Most mithral armors are one category lighter than normal for purposes of movement and other limitations. Heavy armors are treated as medium, and medium armors are treated as light, but light armors are still treated as light. This decrease does not apply to proficiency in wearing the armor. A character wearing mithral full plate must be proficient in wearing heavy armor to avoid adding the armor's check penalty on all his attack rolls and skill checks that involve moving. Spell failure chances for armors and shields made from mithral are decreased by 10%, maximum Dexterity bonuses are increased by 2, and armor check penalties are decreased by 3 (to a minimum of 0).
An item made from mithral weighs half as much as the same item made from other metals. In the case of weapons, this lighter weight does not change a weapon's size category or the ease with which it can be wielded (whether it is light, one-handed, or two-handed). Items not primarily of metal are not meaningfully affected by being partially made of mithral. (A longsword can be a mithral weapon, while a quarterstaff cannot.) Mithral weapons count as silver for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Weapons and armors fashioned from mithral are always masterwork items as well; the masterwork cost is included in the prices given below.
Mithral has 30 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 15.
|Type of Mithral Item||Item Price Modifier|
|Light armor||+1,000 gp|
|Medium armor||+4,000 gp|
|Heavy armor||+9,000 gp|
|Other items||+500 gp/lb.|
This deep green volcanic glass is similar to obsidian but is formed when molten rock is tainted with anomalous trace minerals from deep beneath the earth whose emanations are toxic to living things. It can be fragmented to razor sharpness, but even a tiny amount of viridium contacting the bloodstream can pass on a wasting sickness.
Any successful hit with a viridium weapon causes the target to contract leprosy (Fortitude DC 12 negates). On a successful critical hit, a tiny fragment of viridium breaks off within the target, affecting it as though with greenblood oil (Fortitude DC 13 negates).
A creature carrying a viridium weapon must save every 24 hours or contract leprosy unless the weapon is kept inside an extradimensional space (such as an efficient quiver) or a scabbard lined with lead.
Oozes, plants, and outsiders are immune to the deadly emanations of viridium.
Viridium weapons have half the hardness of their base weapon and have the fragile quality. Viridium can be magically strengthened at an additional cost of +1,000 gp for a weapon or +20 gp for ammunition. This removes the fragile quality from the item but does not otherwise affect its abilities.
|Type of Viridium Item Item||Price Modifier|
|Ammunition||+20 gp per item|
Vanara woodworkers craft this extremely flexible material in a time-consuming process. Whipwood is actually a composite of several bendable wooden fibers woven and fused together to form a flexible but sturdy unit. Only wooden weapons or weapons with wooden hafts (such as axes and spears) can be made out of whipwood. A creature wielding a whipwood weapon gains a +2 bonus to its CMD when defending against sunder attempts against the weapon. A whipwood weapon's hit points increase by +5. Whipwood loses its special qualities if under the effect of an ironwood spell. Whipwood weapons cost 500 gp more than normal weapons of their type.
The root of the wyrwood tree has a peculiar quality. When a weapon constructed of wyroot confirms a critical hit, it absorbs some of the life force of the creature struck. The struck creature is unharmed and the wyroot weapon gains 1 life point. As a swift action, a wielder with a ki pool or an arcane pool can absorb 1 life point from the wyrwood weapon and convert it into either 1 ki point or 1 arcane pool point. Most wyroot weapons can only hold 1 life point at a time, but higher-quality wyroot does exist. The most powerful wyroot weapons can hold up to 3 life points at a time. Any unspent life points dissipate at dusk.
Wyroot can be used to construct any melee weapon made entirely of wood or a melee weapon with a wooden haft. Constructing a wyroot weapon that can hold 1 life point increases the weapon's price by 1,000 gp, constructing one that can hold up to 2 life points increases the weapon's price by 2,000 gp, and constructing one that can hold up to 3 life points increases the weapon's price by 4,000 gp.
The standard Pathfinder Roleplaying Game campaign takes place in a time period similar to the medieval and early Renaissance age of iron and steel. But even in fantasy campaigns set in this era, some cultures lack steel, and some lack metalworking entirely. Sometimes this deficit is due to geographical remoteness, lack of resources, repression by a strong overlord, or societal taboos. Other campaigns might be set before the medieval era, or in a dark future where apocalypse survivors eke out livings with the best tools they can scavenge. Some might even choose a lower level of technology as a point of pride, for religious reasons, as an assertion of superior martial prowess, or even to honor ancestral warriors by using their bones to make weapons, allowing them to symbolically keep fighting for their tribe or family from beyond the grave.
Primitive campaigns can be broken into two broad categories based on the level of technology. The first is the Stone Age, where worked metals are all but unknown. The second is the Bronze Age, where metal weapons appear but iron and steel have not been mastered or are rare.
The following section presents general rules for armor and weapons made of bone, bronze, gold, obsidian, and stone. Most of these materials aren't as strong as steel and refer to the fragile quality for weapons and armor.
Items made from these materials can be magically strengthened at an additional cost of 100 gp per pound. See the individual material descriptions for the effect this has on the material's properties.
Bone can be used in place of wood and steel in weapons and armor. Other animal-based materials like horn, shell, and ivory also use the rules for bone weapon and armor. The cost of a bone weapon or bone armor is half the price of a normal weapon or armor of its type.
Light and one-handed melee weapons, as well as two-handed weapons that deal bludgeoning damage only, can be crafted from bone. Hafted two-handed weapons such as spears can be crafted with bone tips, as can arrowheads. Other two-handed weapons cannot be constructed of bone.
Bone weapons have half the hardness of their base weapons and have the fragile weapon quality. Masterwork bone weapons also have the fragile quality, but magic bone weapons do not. Bone weapons take a –2 penalty on damage rolls (minimum 1 damage).
Studded leather, scale mail, breastplates, and wooden shields can all be constructed using bone. Bone either replaces the metal components of the armor, or in the case of wooden shields, large pieces of bone or shell replace the wood.
Bone armor has hardness 5 and has the fragile armor quality. Masterwork bone armor also has the fragile quality, but magic bone armor does not. The armor/shield bonus of bone armor is reduced by 1, but in the case of studded leather, the armor check penalty is also reduced by 1 (to 0). Magically strengthened bone does not have the fragile quality or reduced armor/shield bonus.
Before the advent of iron and steel, bronze ruled the world. This easily worked metal can be used in place of steel for both weapons and armor. For simplicity's sake, similar or component metals such as brass, copper, or even tin can use the following rules, even though in reality bronze is both harder and more reliable than those metals.
Light and one-handed weapons can be crafted from bronze. Likewise, spear points, arrowheads, and axe heads can be crafted from bronze, even those that are parts of two-handed weapons. Bronze is too weak to be used for two-handed weapons made entirely out of metal, and cannot typically be used to craft polearms, with the exception of the rhomphaia.
Bronze weapons have the hardness of their base weapons but also have the fragile quality. Bronze weapons deal the same damage as steel weapons of the same type, and have the same cost and weight.
Bronze can be used to create any medium or light armor that are made entirely of metal or that have metal components. Bronze armor protects a creature as well as steel armor does, but it has the fragile quality. Bronze armor has the same cost and weight as normal steel armor of its type. Bronze armor has hardness 9. Magically strengthened bronze does not have the fragile quality and can be made into heavy armor.
Typically only used for ceremonial weapons and armor and for display, metal equipment made from gold is fragile, heavy, and expensive.
Often golden armor is gold-plated rather than constructed entirely from gold. Gold-plated items triple the base price of weapons and armor and have the same properties as the item the gold is plating. Items constructed purely of gold cost 10 times the normal price for items of their type. Gold items weigh 50% more than typical weapons or armor of their type.
Gold is often too soft to hold a decent edge, but light weapons that deal piercing or slashing damage can be constructed of gold or some nearly gold alloy. They take a –2 penalty on damage rolls (minimum 1 damage).
Gold weapons have half the hardness of their base weapons and also have the fragile quality.
Gold can be fashioned into light or medium metal armor. The softness and the weight of the metal decrease the armor/shield bonus by 2, and increase the armor check penalty by 2. Gold armor has hardness 5. Magically strengthened gold is the equivalent of steel and can be made into any armor or weapon that can be made of steel.
This black volcanic glass is extremely sharp, and can be shaped into a variety of weapons that deal piercing and slashing damage. Bits of obsidian inserted into a length of tempered wood create effective swords called terbutjes.
Obsidian weapons cost half as much as base items of their type, and weigh 75% of what base items of their type do.
Obsidian can be used to craft light and one-handed weapons that deal piercing or slashing damage, as well as spear tips and arrowheads.
Obsidian weapons have half the hardness of their base weapons and have the fragile quality.
The fragile glass nature of obsidian is perfect for creating sharp points and blades, but those same qualities make it unsuitable for creating armor. Armor cannot be constructed from obsidian. Magically strengthened obsidian does not have the fragile quality, and can be made into any armor or weapon that can be made of stone.
Stone Age weapons almost always utilize stone in some way. From rocks lashed to wooden hafts to create early maces and axes, to flint knives and stone arrowheads, these primitive weapons are still deadly.
Stone weapons cost a quarter as much as base items of their type, and weigh 75% of what base items of their type do.
Light and one-handed bludgeoning weapons, spears, and arrowheads can all be made of stone.
Weapons made of stone have half the hardness of their base weapons, and have the fragile condition. With a few exceptions (such as stoneplate), armor cannot usually be constructed from stone. Magically strengthened stone does not have the fragile quality.