Special materials for weapons and armor seem like a ripoff


Rules Discussion


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Special materials for weapons and armor seem like a ripoff. They are exorbitantly priced, and they have to constantly be upgraded in order to accept higher-level runes.

Take something simple: a cold iron or silver polearm. A low-grade cold iron or silver polearm costs 48 gp. That is a large amount. A vanilla +1 polearm costs only 35 gp. A low-grade cold iron or silver +1 polearm costs 83 gp!

But it gets worse. "Low-grade items can be used in the creation of magic items of up to 8th level, and they can hold runes of up to 8th level. Standard-grade items can be used to create magic items of up to 15th level and can hold runes of up to 15th level. High-grade items use the purest form of the precious material, and can be used to Craft magic items of any level holding any runes. Using purer forms of common materials is so relatively inexpensive that the Price is included in any magic item."

In other words, a low-grade cold iron or silver weapon can never be a +2 weapon, and a standard-grade cold iron or silver weapon can never be a +3 weapon.

A standard-grade cold iron or silver polearm costs 1,056 gp. A vanilla +2 striking polearm costs 1,000 gp. A standard-grade cold iron or silver +2 striking polearm costs 2,056 gp.

A high-grade cold iron or silver polearm costs 10,800 gp. A vanilla +3 greater striking polearm costs 10,000 gp. A high-grade cold iron or silver +3 greater striking polearm costs 20,800 gp.

These prices seem astronomical to me. This is effectively doubling the price of magic weapons, just to help them attack cold iron and silver weaknesses. Bow- and crossbow-users have it a little better at higher levels, though it can be very pricey at low levels; a single piece of low-grade cold iron or silver ammunition costs 4 gp.

I am unsure of how doubling rings interact with special materials. Can doubling rings bypass the need for higher-grade special materials? If not, then any two-weapon-wielder is going to be in for a rough time if they want special materials.

Armor is possibly even worse off. Cold iron and silver armor effectively double the price of magic armor, simply for a very narrow benefit against certain monsters. And then adamantine armor demands a ludicrous price just to make the armor more resilient against a select few armor-damaging effects.

I cannot be the only one seeing how clunky this is. Some humble steel weapon purchased at 1st level is worthy of +3 greater striking, but an exorbitantly priced standard-grade mithral weapon? That is a no go for +3 greater striking, nope. (1,680 gp just for a standard-grade mithral polearm that weighs 1 less Bulk!)


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I stopped looking at them once I saw everything except cold iron and silver were at least uncommon so it's not something I'm going to buy but find as treasure...

Shadow Lodge

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Oh cool, you actually have to spend money on maintenance now.


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I would like to note that weaknesses are pretty nasty in this edition which is likely why the costs of materials that would trigger them are more pricey this go round.


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I'm perfectly fine with materials for weapons being both more expensive and more rare, because as Kaid said the weaknesses are nasty in this edition.

What I'm not okay with is that I can't find a usage for adamantine armor; it doesn't seem to do anything other than add to price, unless I was grossly misreading the entry (I do not have the book with me so correction is welcome!)


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There is no real substitute for cold iron, it seems, but silversheen costs 6 gp.

6 gp gets you an hour of silver on your weapon. That is probably not too cost-effective at lower levels, but it definitely beats the huge price tag of, say, a standard-grade silver weapon.

As for cold iron, it sure is nice to hit cold iron weaknesses, but it is an even bigger pain to shell out for that daunting price tag.

Adamantine armor adds hardness and hit points to the armor, which is a very narrow benefit that applies only against certain monsters.


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Well, to upgrade a sword from low-grade to standard-grade, you only need to pay the difference. Weaknesses are a B**** to have proc on the end of the monster, especially since (as we saw in OO) Weakness doubles on a crit, so that's INSANELY strong, plus you "Some humble steel weapon purchased at 1st level is worthy of +3 greater striking" remark is a bit wrong, since "Using purer forms of common materials is so relatively inexpensive that the Price is included in any magic item." You still need to improve the item, it's just simplistic/cost efficient to do so. I do agree the extreme level of price hiking is absurd, I just think that some of your complaints are a bit overblown when the backend of the engine is taken into account.


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There is a strange phenomenon wherein upgrading steel is so trivial that it is cost-free as part of scribing runes, but upgrading any other material becomes exorbitantly expensive, raising the total price to double or more.

Do weaknesses really double on a critical hit? I am looking at page 453, and I can find no such rule.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Weaknesses are doubled simply because they aren't extra damage dice or comes from a crit trigger or requirement.

At least, so far that's the case unless told otherwise.


Eltacolibre wrote:

Weaknesses are doubled simply because they aren't extra damage dice or comes from a crit trigger or requirement.

At least, so far that's the case unless told otherwise.

But weaknesses aren't damage that the attacker deals, it's extra damage from a property of the monster. At least, that's how I read it.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
lordcirth wrote:
Eltacolibre wrote:

Weaknesses are doubled simply because they aren't extra damage dice or comes from a crit trigger or requirement.

At least, so far that's the case unless told otherwise.

But weaknesses aren't damage that the attacker deals, it's extra damage from a property of the monster. At least, that's how I read it.

Mostly right now, if you read it by RAW:

Quote:


Benefits you gain specifically from a critical hit, like the flaming weapon rune’s persistent fire damage or the extra damage die
from the fatal weapon trait, aren’t doubled.

It is somewhat silly and honestly didn't think much about it. But adding the weakness damage does qualify on the first part of the critical section.

Quote:


When this happens, you roll the damage
normally, adding all the normal modifiers, bonuses,
and penalties. Then you double or halve the amount as
appropriate (rounding down if you halved it). The GM
might allow you to roll the dice twice and double the
modifiers, bonuses, and penalties instead of doubling
the entire result, but this usually works best for single target attacks or spells at low levels when you have a
small number of damage dice to roll.

As you would literally just add the weakness damage to your total. As you can see above, it doesn't matter if the bonuses or penalties come from an external source for the crit (as in a bonus provided by an ally or penalties provided by a monster).

It is very strong and would even say ridiculous. It might get an errata in the future but for now, if you are obsessed with reading what's written in the book...yeah it seems to be legit.

Liberty's Edge

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Colette Brunel wrote:

There is a strange phenomenon wherein upgrading steel is so trivial that it is cost-free as part of scribing runes, but upgrading any other material becomes exorbitantly expensive, raising the total price to double or more.

Do weaknesses really double on a critical hit? I am looking at page 453, and I can find no such rule.

I'm working off the SRD, so I don't know page numbers, but under "Doubling and Halving Damage" in the "Playing the Game" section, it states:

"Sometimes you’ll need to halve or double an amount of damage, such as when the outcome of your Strike is a critical hit, or when you succeed at a basic Reflex save against a spell. When this happens, you roll the damage normally, adding all the normal modifiers, bonuses, and penalties. Then you double or halve the amount as appropriate (rounding down if you halved it). "

Basically, the only damage that doesn't get doubled on a crit is damage that only applies on a crit.

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

On a funny side note...critical with weaknesses being a thing, I can't help but think of the Witcher lol.


well the question on weakness is, do you apply resistance before doubling for a crit? If you do, then you apply weakness first as well. Otherwise, you don't

EDIT: Also, resistance and weakness is in step 3, while the doubling damage, like from a crit, is in step 1. pgs 450-453

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

You do.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
kitmehsu wrote:
EDIT: Also, resistance and weakness is in step 3, while the doubling damage, like from a crit, is in step 1. pgs 450-453

In the subsections along with increasing dice through runes and Persistent Damage, which Weakness/Resistance also apply to.

Criticals are something you do at the end, they don't interrupt the damage process.


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This would be clearer if they had positioned the rules for doubling damage where it actually happens - at the end, rather than at the end of step 1, before weaknesses are applied in step 3.

Are we sure this is how it works?

The text for doubling damage says to include all normal modifiers, bonuses and penalties. Which might have made it clear, except that the rules text for weaknesses and resistances don't mention those specific terms.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

The critical is a side thing, which is why it's brought up early.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
kitmehsu wrote:
EDIT: Also, resistance and weakness is in step 3, while the doubling damage, like from a crit, is in step 1. pgs 450-453

In the subsections along with increasing dice through runes and Persistent Damage, which Weakness/Resistance also apply to.

Criticals are something you do at the end, they don't interrupt the damage process.

Where in the rules is it stated that criticals happen at the end?

As kitmeshu pointed out, doubling damage for a crit is listed as part of step 1 while applying weakness/resistance is part of step 3. Unless there's another rule somewhere saying you do step 3 before step 1, you double damage for a crit before applying weakness/resistance.


Poit wrote:
Rysky wrote:
kitmehsu wrote:
EDIT: Also, resistance and weakness is in step 3, while the doubling damage, like from a crit, is in step 1. pgs 450-453

In the subsections along with increasing dice through runes and Persistent Damage, which Weakness/Resistance also apply to.

Criticals are something you do at the end, they don't interrupt the damage process.

Where in the rules is it stated that criticals happen at the end?

As kitmeshu pointed out, doubling damage for a crit is listed as part of step 1 while applying weakness/resistance is part of step 3. Unless there's another rule somewhere saying you do step 3 before step 1, you double damage for a crit before applying weakness/resistance.

Agreed, crits are doubled in step 1, subject to "bonuses and penalties," but that appears to mean things like Inspire Courage bonus damage - weaknesses and resistances are in step 3 and don't fall in a bonus/penalty damage category subject to crit.

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