FAQ Request - Price of Silver Ammunition


Rules Questions

Liberty's Edge

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Looking through the forums there seems to be quite a bit of back and forth on the price of Alchemical Silver Ammunition. For those of you who have read through the various threads you are aware of the arguments for 3gp vs 41gp for 20 arrows, yet nowhere can I find an official answer nor is there a FAQ relating to this issue. Since by it it's very nature it is a frequently asked question it would seem appropriate to have a FAQ response to this issue.

If someone wishes to post here in an official capacity, that would be great.. I am NOT attempting to start another tirade of back and forth on the issue... merely looking for the official answer on this. I run PFS games and would like to make sure these costs are being recorded correctly. Again, not looking for personal opinions or hearsay... just the official Paizo ruling on the issue.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Might be nice to link the source/rule to show out each side gets to 3 gp and to 41 gp for 20?


All the rules stat is that:

Quote:

ilver, Alchemical: 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 Cost Modifier
Ammunition +2 gp
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

I'm assuming the problem is the ambiguity of whether the price is per piece of ammunition or for 20 arrows.

Since a bundle of arrows is normally 1 gp, if it is all arrows for +2gp then the total is 3. If it is per arrow, then 20*2+1 = 41 gp.

As far as I know it is not clarified.

But do keep in mind that it's 5gp for a silver weapon blanch that can be applied to 10 arrows. So it would be 10 gp for 20 arrows using a blanch. Now, blanches have the drawback of only being good for one attack, but thats not really a drawback on ammunition.

I would take this as guidance that 41 gp is probably the correct value, and the price is 2gp per piece of ammunition.

And for all that it's worth, that is the way HeroLab determines the cost of the arrows (I just checked).

Liberty's Edge

Let's keep personal opinions out of this and get an actual FAQ on the topic. I can argue both sides myself... pretty much all day long... and it won't resolve anything. For PFS purposes (and anything else) can we have an actual official ruling?


Blackfoot wrote:
Let's keep personal opinions out of this and get an actual FAQ on the topic. I can argue both sides myself... pretty much all day long... and it won't resolve anything. For PFS purposes (and anything else) can we have an actual official ruling?

Dude, you don't get it there are no official rules clarifying this. There are only personal opinions, and this not important enough to get FAQ'd. There are definitely more important things.

If you need resolution for PFS games, them your best bet is to raise the issue to PFS leadership (Mike Brock still in charge?) and they can give you an answer for how to run your games.

Liberty's Edge

There are FAQ's specifically for stuff like this.
If someone official responds, great, if not.. any and all personal opinion has already been sited in another thread. There are a ton of them on this point.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, PF Special Edition, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

Beginner Box states that a single silver arrow is 2gp. While there are many changes between BB and the full RPG, I don't believe this is one of them (in other words, I don't believe BB and RPG would have an order of magnitude price difference for the same thing).

If you don't want opinions in this thread, link to a corresponding discussion thread for opinions. Otherwise, a context-free FAQ thread seems less likely to be answered.


Don't use alchemical silver arrows (2.05gp per arrow).
Use Silver Weapon Blanch (0.55gp per arrow).

Sovereign Court

@Claxon: No need to be dismissive towards other people who have different priorities on what they'd like to see FAQ'ed. Nobody's forcing you to click the FAQ button to push this one to the top of the heap.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

This 2009 thread got an answer from SKR allegedly in 2012.

I've always used per arrow, and admantine arrows make it clear. There is no reason to have different ways to calculate it (adamnatine different than silver) as most of PF's job was clearing up different mechanics (cmb as an example) to make it more the "same".


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Ascalaphus wrote:
@Claxon: No need to be dismissive towards other people who have different priorities on what they'd like to see FAQ'ed. Nobody's forcing you to click the FAQ button to push this one to the top of the heap.

To be fair, his post was in response to someone basically telling everyone else to 'shut up' about their opinions.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

No, he was saying personal opinions have already been supplied in other threads, let's keep this one about getting an official answer.

Arguing who is right just gets the thread locked.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
No, he was saying personal opinions have already been supplied in other threads, let's keep this one about getting an official answer.

Which is:

1) a polite paraphrase of what I said, and

2) not how things actually work here

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

I refute your statement.


TriOmegaZero wrote:
I refute your statement.

An exception that proves the rule. Or do you really need me to post the dozens of similar threads, with hundreds of posts containing personal opinions and no official response in sight?

Care to guess at the ratio between threads like your link and threads that fit my description?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

So maybe you should stop turning this one into the latter category, as the OP asked?

I know I will be.

Liberty's Edge

I specifically asked for this thread NOT to start another volley of back and forth because it literally has been done over and over again. If you want references to arguments here are some of the threads I found with a quick search:
2009 http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2k2vw?Alchemical-Silver-and-Ammunition#1
2010 http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2kr2m?Silver-Ammunition#1
2010 http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2lilr?Special-Materials-and-Ammunition-Costs-An #1
2011 http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2m1cs?Silver-Arrows#1
2011 http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2mn29?Questions-concerning-advanced-firearms#1
2012 http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2o9q4?Price-of-alchemical-silver-ammunition#1
2012 http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2o1f8?Ammunition-Question#1
2012 http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2p6r1?Crafting-Ammunition-Firearms#1
2012 http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2njgp?Price-of-Special-Ammunition-calculation#1
2012 http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2og7l?what-are-special-material-ammunition-cost s#1
2013 http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2q3cb?Special-material-ammunition-cost-clarific ation#1
2014 http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2rf2r?Clarification-on-Special-material-ammunit ion#1
2015 http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2s5ha?Question-on-Masterwork-Silver-and-cold-ir on#1

OK.. that probably is enough to make the point. If you'd like to voice your opinion.. necro one of those threads and have at it.

Liberty's Edge

Oh.. and click the little 'FAQ' button on my first post... so hopefully we can get an official answer. :)


The short answer is that it is obvious.

Silver weapon blanch is 5gp per 10 arrows.

Silver arrows, which obviously have a higher silver content, can't possibly be 3gp per 20 arrows, as that's less than half the cost of the silver weapon blanch.

No FAQ needed.


_Ozy_ wrote:

The short answer is that it is obvious.

Silver weapon blanch is 5gp per 10 arrows.

Silver arrows, which obviously have a higher silver content, can't possibly be 3gp per 20 arrows, as that's less than half the cost of the silver weapon blanch.

No FAQ needed.

It would make sense that the blanch costs more not less. It's more versatile [can be used after ammo creation, can stack materials] than static ammo. If the cost is 41gp for 20 silver arrows then you might as well remove them from the listing as no one should ever buy them. The only possible reason to buy silver in this case would be silver Durable arrows.

So I can see an obvious answer but it doesn't match yours it seems.


Ascalaphus wrote:
@Claxon: No need to be dismissive towards other people who have different priorities on what they'd like to see FAQ'ed. Nobody's forcing you to click the FAQ button to push this one to the top of the heap.

I got dismissive because of the attitude I felt he was taking with me by telling me not to express my understanding of the rules. Besides FAQ threads don't work by not discussing the topic. In fact, the devs have stated previously that generating a lot of conversation about the topic helps to increase its priority in the FAQ queue.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There is never a good excuse for being dismissive and rude.

FAQ'd.


Ravingdork wrote:

There is never a good excuse for being dismissive and rude.

FAQ'd.

Fair enough.

I apologize for my part.

I hope the OP also sees how their actions provoked my response.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

I also think isn't important enough for FAQ.

We have a response from SKR (I posted above a link) from when all Dev comments were official.

We have herolab working the 41 gp way AND it used to work the other way then changed.

We have a lot of concensus that the 2 gp for 20 doesn't make sense with the blanches.

I'll FAQ, I guess I'd rather see more controversal issues answered.


SKR: A secondhand quote. Even a direct quote would have become un-official when forum post stance changed.

Herolab: not a rules source. For all I know, they used the secondhand 'quote' too.

Concensus: There has been? What reason could make the more versatile blanch cost 4 times LESS than the ammo's cost?

For me, it boils down to cost: Who buys silver arrows EVER? What could justify 4 times the cost? Maybe it was meant to work the 41 gp way at start but the existence of the blanch makes the current pricing unworkable and unsustainable.

EDIT: to add to the inequity, you can also put the blanch on any material ammo which means you can use stone, glass, obsidian, ect which means you can further drop the base ammo cost 75% and save 25% the weight on TOP of saving 75% the silver cost...

I'm REALLY failing to see the reason silver ammo takes up space in the books if it actually costs 41gp. Even if it turns out to be counted on a per arrow basis, they should reevaluate that cost as the current one doesn't work.


So the existence of an item in a spaltbook (weapon blanch) means no one buys silver arrows as they are too expensive? Then the problem isn't silver arrows being expensive - the problem is weapon blanch is too cheap.

Adamantine ammunition is priced individually. Why would silver ammunition be different? And masterwork pricing is also individual - 6gp per missile.

Why would anyone buy adamantine arrows? At 60gp each, 10 arrows would be 600gp. Or you buy a 100gp adamantine weapon blanch and spend a full round applying it.

So either it is intentional that weapon blanch is supposed to be cheaper than an equivalent number of actual arrows, or weapon blanch is priced too cheaply. (Cold iron arrows are actually cheaper than their weapon blanch, however. 10 cold iron arrows would cost 1gp, while the weapon blanch is 20gp. So at best weapon blanch pricing is messed up.)


Jeraa wrote:
So the existence of an item in a spaltbook (weapon blanch) means no one buys silver arrows as they are too expensive?

Yep. Or are you saying you go out of your way to buy more expensive, heavier versions of the same item? If a new splatbook made a version of platemail that had the same stats except that it weighed and cost 75% less, I'd say the same thing. Who'd buy the old version?

Jeraa wrote:
Why would anyone buy adamantine arrows?

The only reason is they don't have access to weapon blanch, like they are on a deserted island with only the core handbook? Or maybe they have too much money and like to throw it away as fast as they can? Who wouldn't want to spend 500gp more than they need to on a regular basis?

Jeraa wrote:
So either it is intentional that weapon blanch is supposed to be cheaper than an equivalent number of actual arrows, or weapon blanch is priced too cheaply.

Or the price of silver arrows it too much. Or you are figuring out the silver cost wrong.

Note the last sentence in my last post. "Even if it turns out to be counted on a per arrow basis, they should reevaluate that cost as the current one doesn't work." Either the cost of the blanch is too cheap or alchemical silver is too expensive.

My point has never been about which method is more in line with other materials, but which method is in line with similar items. It's why I'm inclined to group pricing as the end cost makes sense that way and why per item pricing IMO doesn't work. If we get a FAQ, hopefully they look at the pricing and fix them.


Jeraa wrote:
So the existence of an item in a spaltbook (weapon blanch) means no one buys silver arrows as they are too expensive? Then the problem isn't silver arrows being expensive - the problem is weapon blanch is too cheap.

Not sure I would call Ultimate Equipment a 'splatbook'. It is one of the major hardbacks. :)


I also think that most people don't care what the right answer is. So no, I would not FAQ this.


nicholas storm wrote:
I also think that most people don't care what the right answer is. So no, I would not FAQ this.

It'd be nice if the "right answer" was also the answer that makes sense. There should be pro's and con's to buying material ammo vs blanch but right now it's all pro blanch and con material, except cold iron it seems.

PS: I also noticed another plus for silver blanch: It just counts as silver for DR so it ALSO deals more P and S damage along with the other bonuses. I feel bad for people trying to sell alchemical silver ammo... :(

If the only thing an FAQ does is state that it's per item then I'd agree that most people wouldn't care: Go blanch! If they actually fix the pricing, I think the amount of people that'd be interested would greatly increase.

Gauss: I forgot it was in that book. I'm so used to using online sources I don't notice these things. ;)


The way I look at it, every time something comes up for FAQ, you are taking away time they might spend on answering something relevent to more people.

This is as interesting to me as a developer correcting the price of rope in the CRB. Lets say the OP said to his players ok it costs 3gp. Who cares? It's not like the 38gp difference is going to make much of a difference to his players.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Jeraa wrote:
Why would anyone buy adamantine arrows?

I always go for durable adamantine arrows for 61gp each so I never have to buy them again and just make sure I retrieve them after the combat is over.


graystone wrote:
Jeraa wrote:
Why would anyone buy adamantine arrows?
The only reason is they don't have access to weapon blanch, like they are on a deserted island with only the core handbook? Or maybe they have too much money and like to throw it away as fast as they can? Who wouldn't want to spend 500gp more than they need to on a regular basis?

So, you admit that adamantine blanch is far more cost effective, and yet when the same argument is applied to figure out silver ammunition cost, you think that means the interpretation is wrong?

Why would silver blanch be more expensive than silver arrows when adamantine blanch is FAR, FAR cheaper than admantine arrows?


_Ozy_ wrote:
graystone wrote:
Jeraa wrote:
Why would anyone buy adamantine arrows?
The only reason is they don't have access to weapon blanch, like they are on a deserted island with only the core handbook? Or maybe they have too much money and like to throw it away as fast as they can? Who wouldn't want to spend 500gp more than they need to on a regular basis?

So, you admit that adamantine blanch is far more cost effective, and yet when the same argument is applied to figure out silver ammunition cost, you think that means the interpretation is wrong?

Why would silver blanch be more expensive than silver arrows when adamantine blanch is FAR, FAR cheaper than admantine arrows?

Cold iron blanch is already far more expensive than cold iron arrows. So silver blanch being the same wouldn't necessarily be out of line. As I said before, the weapon blanch pricing is off. Adamantine blanch is cheaper than adamantine arrows, but cold iron blanch is more expensive than cold iron arrows. So silver blanch/silver arrows could go either way.


How much does an arrowhead even weigh? If a solid silver arrow cost was essentially 1sp, that means it must weigh less than 1/50th of a pound, otherwise people would just melt down their arrowheads to recover the silver.

I doubt that is true.

Historically, iron arrowheads were 0.5 - 2 ounces, and silver is 33% denser, which would mean ~0.7 - 2.7 ounces, so just by weight you're looking at ~2-8sp worth of silver.

Add in the extra labor and boutique pricing, and +2gp per arrowhead seems a lot closer to reality. Remember, this has to also work for other ammunition types, like throwing stars (1-5oz), or bolts (1-2oz).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
_Ozy_ wrote:
Remember, this has to also work for other ammunition types, like throwing stars (1-5oz), or bolts (2-4oz).

And bullets, don't forget bullets!

I may want my gunslinger to be like the Lone Ranger! :)


Hendelbolaf wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Remember, this has to also work for other ammunition types, like throwing stars (1-5oz), or bolts (2-4oz).

And bullets, don't forget bullets!

I may want my gunslinger to be like the Lone Ranger! :)

True. That and sling bullets, which are 8oz each. Wouldn't mind paying an extra 2gp for 10 lbs of silver bullets...


_Ozy_ wrote:
graystone wrote:
Jeraa wrote:
Why would anyone buy adamantine arrows?
The only reason is they don't have access to weapon blanch, like they are on a deserted island with only the core handbook? Or maybe they have too much money and like to throw it away as fast as they can? Who wouldn't want to spend 500gp more than they need to on a regular basis?

So, you admit that adamantine blanch is far more cost effective, and yet when the same argument is applied to figure out silver ammunition cost, you think that means the interpretation is wrong?

Why would silver blanch be more expensive than silver arrows when adamantine blanch is FAR, FAR cheaper than admantine arrows?

The cost of blanch vs materials is messed up. For adamantine/silver, using the cost for a grouping of ammo is much more balanced vs blanches.

graystone wrote:

"Even if it turns out to be counted on a per arrow basis, they should reevaluate that cost as the current one doesn't work." Either the cost of the blanch is too cheap or alchemical silver is too expensive.

My point has never been about which method is more in line with other materials, but which method is in line with similar items. It's why I'm inclined to group pricing as the end cost makes sense that way and why per item pricing IMO doesn't work. If we get a FAQ, hopefully they look at the pricing and fix them.

If you had just read all my posts, you'd have had you answer without making your last post. Jeraa also makes an excellent point that the cost of blanches aren't reliable guideposts as adamantine ammo is hugely more expensive while cold iron blanch is the one that's overpriced.

IMO blanches should be more expensive than material ammo per piece as both are 1 use and the blanch is much more versatile. If an answer comes around where that isn't the case, it makes me question how correct the answer can be. Why make silver/adamantine ammo if the only reasonable use is to make durable arrows? [and even in that case, you deal 1 less damage with the durable silver arrow]

_Ozy_ wrote:
How much does an arrowhead even weigh?

What does it matter? For Alchemical Silver it's "a complex process involving metallurgy and alchemy can bond silver to a weapon made of steel" So the weight of the arrowhead, throwing star, bullet ect is meaningless. I see NO reason to assume that the amount of silver is any greater in alchemic silver than it is in a blanch. It's 'plating' vs blanching...


Also, if silver weapon blanch is so much more expensive than Alchemical Silver, then why is it much cheaper to coat a sword with blanch, than to get an Alchemical Silver weapon?


graystone wrote:
What does it matter? For Alchemical Silver it's "a complex process involving metallurgy and alchemy can bond silver to a weapon made of steel" So the weight of the arrowhead, throwing star, bullet ect is meaningless. I see NO reason to assume that the amount of silver is any greater in alchemic silver than it is in a blanch. It's 'plating' vs blanching...

Fair enough, but then why is plating a weapon so much more expensive than blanching it? It's the same plating process in each case, it's the same blanching process in each case.


_Ozy_ wrote:
Also, if silver weapon blanch is so much more expensive than Alchemical Silver, then why is it much cheaper to coat a sword with blanch, than to get an Alchemical Silver weapon?

LOL 1 use item vs a permanent one. Apples and oranges. Durability. When you don't have to build something to last it's always cheaper than something that only works once.

_Ozy_ wrote:
graystone wrote:
What does it matter? For Alchemical Silver it's "a complex process involving metallurgy and alchemy can bond silver to a weapon made of steel" So the weight of the arrowhead, throwing star, bullet ect is meaningless. I see NO reason to assume that the amount of silver is any greater in alchemic silver than it is in a blanch. It's 'plating' vs blanching...
Fair enough, but then why is plating a weapon so much more expensive than blanching it? It's the same plating process in each case, it's the same blanching process in each case.

As above, durability. Plating is a process meant to last being put on a one use item. It's like asking why a durable arrow cost SO much more than a normal arrow. It's not alchemic silver's fault that it's being put on an item that only lasts once. For ammo you really wouldn't need plating when a quick dip in silver would work once since you don't care about reuse. Who cares if the silver peels off after it's shot?


graystone wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Also, if silver weapon blanch is so much more expensive than Alchemical Silver, then why is it much cheaper to coat a sword with blanch, than to get an Alchemical Silver weapon?

LOL 1 use item vs a permanent one. Apples and oranges. Durability. When you don't have to build something to last it's always cheaper than something that only works once.

_Ozy_ wrote:
graystone wrote:
What does it matter? For Alchemical Silver it's "a complex process involving metallurgy and alchemy can bond silver to a weapon made of steel" So the weight of the arrowhead, throwing star, bullet ect is meaningless. I see NO reason to assume that the amount of silver is any greater in alchemic silver than it is in a blanch. It's 'plating' vs blanching...
Fair enough, but then why is plating a weapon so much more expensive than blanching it? It's the same plating process in each case, it's the same blanching process in each case.
As above, durability. Plating is a process meant to last being put on a one use item. It's like asking why a durable arrow cost SO much more than a normal arrow. It's not alchemic silver's fault that it's being put on an item that only lasts once. For ammo you really wouldn't need plating when a quick dip in silver would work once since you don't care about reuse. Who cares if the silver peels off after it's shot?

Where does it say that the process is different for ammo compared to alchemical silver? If I have a durable alchemical silver arrow, that plating better stay on hit after hit after hit. And it does, because that's what the rules say.

Yet, for some reason, you think this plating process is 'cheap' for durable arrows, and 'expensive' for weapons.

Why? It's the exact same process.


_Ozy_ wrote:
graystone wrote:
_Ozy_ wrote:
Also, if silver weapon blanch is so much more expensive than Alchemical Silver, then why is it much cheaper to coat a sword with blanch, than to get an Alchemical Silver weapon?

LOL 1 use item vs a permanent one. Apples and oranges. Durability. When you don't have to build something to last it's always cheaper than something that only works once.

_Ozy_ wrote:
graystone wrote:
What does it matter? For Alchemical Silver it's "a complex process involving metallurgy and alchemy can bond silver to a weapon made of steel" So the weight of the arrowhead, throwing star, bullet ect is meaningless. I see NO reason to assume that the amount of silver is any greater in alchemic silver than it is in a blanch. It's 'plating' vs blanching...
Fair enough, but then why is plating a weapon so much more expensive than blanching it? It's the same plating process in each case, it's the same blanching process in each case.
As above, durability. Plating is a process meant to last being put on a one use item. It's like asking why a durable arrow cost SO much more than a normal arrow. It's not alchemic silver's fault that it's being put on an item that only lasts once. For ammo you really wouldn't need plating when a quick dip in silver would work once since you don't care about reuse. Who cares if the silver peels off after it's shot?

Where does it say that the process is different for ammo compared to alchemical silver? If I have a durable alchemical silver arrow, that plating better stay on hit after hit after hit. And it does, because that's what the rules say.

Yet, for some reason, you think this plating process is 'cheap' for durable arrows, and 'expensive' for weapons.

Why? It's the exact same process.

Ah... I said "you wouldn't need plating". Where did I say the process was actually different? For some reason it IS the same, which doesn't make a lot of sense but that's the way it is. Note I said "It's not alchemic silver's fault that it's being put on an item that only lasts once" IE lasting process on an expendable item and suggested a cheaper method could be used [not that it WAS used].

As for as 'cheap' vs 'expensive', isn't it? I thought the cost for ammo was cheaper than that for weapons? Is that wrong? For instance a .5 lbs kestros dart costs +2 per item while a .25 lbs small dart costs +20gp. the ammo SEEMS a lot cheaper to plate even when plating twice as much...

SO it's cheaper even though it uses the same process but COULD use an even cheaper process as it doesn't have to last. I think that the imbalance I see with the blanches is the conversion rate of materials to once use ammo.


I'm a bit confused. I thought you were arguing that the plating for ammunition was +2gp for the whole batch, rather than +2gp per piece of ammo, and justifying this ridiculously cheap price by suggesting that the plating only lasted for 1 hit.

An issue is that ammunition 'breaks' on use, but a reasonable DM might allow the character to retrieve the arrowhead material, and recraft arrows for significantly less than the special materials cost.

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