Adamantine weapon hardness


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Hobbun wrote:
MadBeard wrote:
Special material entries says what hardness is for what material so everything made from adamnatine is 20.

I do agree with you on this. It's the way we've always played it in our home game, and it's the way I feel it should always be. However, I can see why those would want the clarification in the FAQ due to the conflicting information.

I think the real problem with that is that a steel hafted weapon has a hardness of 5, even though steel has a hardness of 10. It seems there are four separate views on what that actually implies, but it's the source of the ambiguity.


Double weapons can benefit from heads made of different materials, so clearly the rules don't expect that the whole weapon is always treated as one material. What would help clear this up in regards to Adamantine specifically is to define the what weapons they consider "normally made of steel" and then specifically say they have hardness 20 to satisfy those that need everything literally spelled out.


Similar adamantine issue occurs at my table once in a while. Another issue is whether or not the "ignores hardness's of 20 or less" means just that. Whether it ignores the hardness, or actually cuts through it. Example, wall of force hardness 30. Ignore= still hardness 30 wall, adamantine does nothing vs. reduces by 20= wall has 10 hardness left.


Grizzly the Archer wrote:
Example, wall of force hardness 30. Ignore= still hardness 30 wall, adamantine does nothing vs. reduces by 20= wall has 10 hardness left.

If you're going by Super RAW then the first one.

If you going by what is probably RAI, then the second one.


Claxon wrote:
Grizzly the Archer wrote:
Example, wall of force hardness 30. Ignore= still hardness 30 wall, adamantine does nothing vs. reduces by 20= wall has 10 hardness left.

If you're going by Super RAW then the first one.

If you going by what is probably RAI, then the second one.

It says "ignoring hardness less than 20".

Less than. It doesn't ignore a hardness of 20.
If you try to sunder adamantine with adamantine, you still have to penetrate the full hardness. There is no reason to think the RAI is 'counts hardness as 20 lower'.


Magical weapons are much more common than adamantium. Considering magical items include +1 as well. So argueing +5 to cover all magical weapons I find misleading and deceptive.

Argueing that armor is the only material that has increased hardness is ignorant of RAW and selective reading. The rules ask you to review three charts in making the decsion of the hardness of an object. Relying solely on one breaking the rules(I quoted the rules above, if you do not know them and want a reference you should really read the hardness rules yourself). You are meant to review all three charts and make a ruling based on those three. If I need to know the hardness of a COMMON broom you would look at similar common weapons to decide the hardness. If I had a steel broom that would no longer have the common style of weapon and futher research would need to be made.

How you use a item will not change the hardness. If I punch someone with my addy gauntles that are part of my armor the hardness does nto diminish and restore when I am done punching. Objects have one contastant hardness.

Paizo Employee Official Rules Response

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FAQ: http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fm#v5748eaic9rb7

Adamantine: What's the hardness of a metal weapon made out of adamantine?

The answer depends on whether the weapon is entirely adamantine, or partly adamantine and partly some other material.

Table 7–12 on page 175 of the Core Rulebook lists common weapon hardness and hit points. The table assumes the weapon in question is made of leather, wood, and/or steel, as appropriate. According to Table 7–13, steel has hardness 10, which is why completely-steel weapons on the table have hardness 10.

Hafted weapon normally have a wooden haft rather than a metal haft. Even a steel-headed weapon such as a battleaxe has a wooden haft, so even though its head is made of a material with hardness 10, its weakest part is the haft, which has hardness 5, therefore the weapon is listed on Table 7–12 as having hardness 5 (because it is assumed that you're aiming at the weakest parts when trying to destroy an object).

For a weapon that is entirely made of one material (such as a one-handed blade), if that material isn't the standard material for that weapon, use that material's hardness from Table 7–13 instead of the default hardness on Table 7–12. For example, a wooden longsword has hardness 5, a glass longsword has hardness 1, and an adamantine longsword has hardness 20.

For a weapon that isn't entirely made of the same material (such as a wooden-hafted weapon with a metal head), if that material isn't the standard material for that weapon, use the hardness from Table 7–13 for the weakest material in the weapon instead of the default hardness on Table 7–12. For example, an ice-hafted (hardness 0) steel-headed (hardness 10) battleaxe has hardness 0 overall because it is only as strong as its weakest part. Likewise, an ice-hafted adamantine-headed battleaxe has hardness 0, just like its ice counterpart. ("Use the weakest material" is a relative term, as a battleaxe probably includes a small amount of leather, but its primary materials are wood and steel, so wood is its weakest material.)

Note that this "weak spot" of a hafted weapon doesn't affect the material properties of the weapon's head. A wooden-hafted adamantine-headed battleaxe still counts as adamantine for its attacks, is still of masterwork quality and has a +1 enhancement bonus to attack rolls, even if it is just as easy to sunder as a common steel battleaxe. The GM is also free to rule that damage to the weapon which only affected its head (such as dipping it into a shallow pool of acid) should use the head's hardness instead of the haft's hardness.

—Pathfinder Design Team, today


To be fair a +1 Battleaxe isn't as easy to sunder as a common steel battleaxe, because the enhancement increases both the hardness and the HP of the weapon.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

And, now we have rules answers for 'what good is darkwood on a polearm'.

It ups your minimum hardness. :)


Abraham spalding, the +1 enhancement to hit mentioned in the PDT's response above is from being Masterwork, not from being a +1 magic weapon.

Dark Archive

Yay dev team! :D


mdt wrote:

And, now we have rules answers for 'what good is darkwood on a polearm'.

It ups your minimum hardness. :)

Darkwood has exactly the same hardness as normal wood. It simply weighs less.

Ultimate Equipment p. 49 wrote:

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.


GreenMandar wrote:
Abraham spalding, the +1 enhancement to hit mentioned in the PDT's response above is from being Masterwork, not from being a +1 magic weapon.

Yup -- but I did specify a +1 battleaxe and not the battle axe in their example -- So I'll pretend I said something that didn't actually have any bearing on the conversation and look like an idiot that way rather than admit I misread something and look like an idiot that way.

What crow? I don't see any crow


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Darn, I thought it was harder. Oh well. Iron wood?

Mithral haft requests I foresee increasing.

Dark Archive

Luckily, PFS doesn't have to deal with such requests! I am so happy to have less table variation! :D


Sorry if this is covered earlier in the post, but I stopped reading and started skimming halfway through page 2.
If you look up special material: Adamantine on the Paizo website you see that "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." I know that the first part is not printed that way in the core rulebook,(I think it is in Ultimate Equipment) but it is on the Paizo website. I think this is how I will rule it in my game. As far as a hafted weapon goes, it's pretty simple. This game doesn't always get along with logic. If an item is mostly a material, such as an axe, it gets more harness and HP for being adamantine, after all it gets 1/3 more than the regular version not +40 from regular. And who is to say that the haft isn't inlaid with adamantine as part of the construction to increase strength without making the item more than a few oz. heavier?

Now for the fun part. Items of different sizes don't seem to change hardness. Light blades, 1H Blades, 2h Blades,... all the same hardness. So an all steel item has 10 Hardness, while a hafted weapon has 5. Now here at last is the only leap I will make in this argument that is not specified by a rule, the tables seem to indicate that you simply half the hardness for said item. Thus a normal sized adamantine greataxe has a Hardness of 10, and 13 HP. This seems like a very fair stating for a weapon. And I know someone will ask so here's one for a +1 adamantine greataxe. You take the 1/3 increase from a "regular version" as the rule states, then add the bonuses +1 enhancement. This gives you 23 HP and a hardness of 12.


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If you stopped reading there, then you missed the design team answering the question a few posts above yours.

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