Requested Criticism for Dragonhide Armor

Homebrew and House Rules

Hey, all,

I recently made a post about homebrew dragonbone weapons, and I'm looking to do a similar thing with dragonhide armor, because I feel like Pathfinder's version is just horrendously lame.

Here's the same Backstory and Rules of the other thread.


I've always loved the idea of dragonhide armor having natural abilities beyond simply being tough or energy resistant, and in the world in which I DM dragons are very magical creatures. Since they're also rare, I'd like for dragonhide to be its own special material, similar to adamantine or mithral, with its own bonuses and such.

Put simply, I'd like such armor to be special. They won't be available for purchase to players, generally; they'll only be available to players if they actually slay a dragon (which they recently did).

Unfortunately, I find Pathfinder/3.5's rules on such things to be decidedly lackluster. Balanced, yes. Impressive, interesting, fun, or special? Not really. :\

If any of you are interested, I would really appreciate some criticism on what I've so far created (criticism without needless cruelty, heh). What I have so far is a rough draft that came to me today after reading the entry in the Draconomicon, so I would really appreciate some refinement, especially in regards to pricing.


Ideally, what I want out of this is the following:
1) It should be thematically appropriate. I chose to go with dragons' natural magic-ness due to DR and their energy type, but other themes could work, too.
2) It should be special/fun/interesting and have the potential to make the players actually want it more than adamantine, mithral, or whatever else is out there.
3) It should be mechanically and logically sound. I play with three engineers...
4) Ideally, I would like for it to be cost appropriate. This is harder and thus more fluid than the others. I don't mind making it overly expensive if necessary to maintain points 1 and 2, but it would definitely be ideal it was 1, 2, 3, AND affordable along the lines of other special materials, keeping in mind that slaying one dragon nets the potential for multiple weapons and that dragons already have a lot of treasure for their CR...

Dragonhide Armor


Armor of most types can be crafted from the scales, hide, and bones of a dragon. Crafting such armor requires a DC 30 Craft (Armorsmithing) check and requires the choicest scales from a dragon’s hide. Any such armor crafted from dragonhide is always masterwork and has an armor bonus one higher than normal. In addition, the armor itself remains immune to energy damage of the same type as the breath weapon of the dragon that supplied the hide. If such armor is magically enchanted at a later point, it grants additional bonuses – for each +1 enhancement bonus that the armor gains, it grants energy resistance 2 (of the same energy type as the breath weapon of the dragon that supplied the hide) and DR 1/magic to the wearer. These bonuses stack with any other energy resistance and DR/magic that the _armor_ may later gain through enhancement, but does not stack with other sources of energy resistance, as normal.

A dragon’s wings and the soft scales of its underbelly can be crafted into a fine leather that is sufficient for making padded armor, leather armor, or hide armor. Dragonleather has 2 hardness and 10 hp per inch of thickness, plus an additional amount of hardness equal to the damage reduction of the dragon from which the leather came.

The rest of a dragon’s scales are hard and tough as steel (or tougher, in the case of some dragons). Such scales can be used for making scale, splint, or banded mail; breastplates; full or half plate; or even light or heavy shields. Dragonscale has 8 hardness and 20 hp per inch of thickness, plus an additional amount of hardness equal to the damage reduction of the dragon from which the leather came.

The amount of dragonscales that can be salvaged from a single dragon’s corpse varies based upon the dragon’s size, as detailed below. Harvesting the scales of a dragon requires a DC 30 survival check ( or a DC 25 profession check directly related to skinning) and magically enchanted skinning tools. In lieu of magically enchanted tools, a light or one-handed magical blade can be used at a -2 penalty. Attempting to skin and separate the parts of a dragon without a magical weapon forces a -4 penalty on the check. Failing this check reduces the usable number of harvested dragonscales to the next lowest size category. Failing this check by 5 or more reduces the usable number of harvested dragonscales by two size categories.

Dragonhide Armor
Dragon Size|Dragonleather|Dragonscales|Shield

The number in each column corresponds to the number of suits of medium-sized armor that can be crafted using a slain dragon’s corpse. Fractional numbers indicate that only a size smaller than medium can be made (though dragonhide could be saved up from multiple dragons to craft a larger armor than normal – in this case, the youngest dragon’s hide determines the magical properties overall). ½ indicates a small creature, ¼ indicates tiny, and 1/8 indicates diminutive. Dragonleather refers to padded, leather, studded leather, and hide armor. Dragonscales refers to scale, splint, or banded mail; breastplates; and full or half plate. Shield refers to light or heavy shields. Columns are cumulative, not exclusive. That is, a single large dragon can craft two suits of dragonleather, one suit of dragonscales, and a single shield.

It is worth noting that dragons do not look kindly upon those that slay their kin and kind.

I always thought along similar lines though my ideas were that dragon hide armor crafting is a complex alchemical and magical process.

That many cultures and groups had their own distinctive ways of retaining the special properties of the dragon.

Making dragon hide an extremely flexible material to work with.

I definitely don't want to go that route. Thank you for the input, though. :)

They have dragon hide on the srd, you could just make it also apply to the metal (base) armors and add some small benefits or buff the existing ones.

[Edit: Here is a link to it. My recommendation is make it so that the energy resistance applies to the wearer already (immunity goes to 30), Make whatever enchantment bonus you give it (like Dragon Fullplate +2) apply to ray touch attacks, and, since you are already using huge craft DCs, use your own number made/dragon. (Also, maybe make it so every time you fail by an increment of 5 or more, you lose another half of the remaining scales; Colossal dragon with a skinning roll of 22 only gets you 2|3/2|3/2.)

I like what you have done here, not overpowered, but nice enough to want it.

good work.

AwesomenessDog: Yes, I'm aware of the core rules for dragonhide. As mentioned in my post, I think it's quite worthless and very lame. Almost never worth having over some other material type.
I like your proposed rules, but they're too powerful, to be honest. That's a huge number and amount of bonuses that makes it hands down better than anything else out there.

Thanks,alexd1976. That was generally the goal. In the end, I've decided to drop the flat armor bonus so that it's not simply better than other armors, and also to lower the price a bit, otherwise it's exactly the same.

If anyone can help me with the pricing, that would be lovely. :)

I thought powerful than other stuff was wanted, sorry; I also was intending that you would pick and choose what you think you like instead all of it.

I'd help with pricing but I don't know what you are using for your abilities.

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