Special Materials

Player’s Guide


Mined from rocks that fell from the heavens, this ultrahard metal adds to the quality of a weapon or suit of armor.

  • Bypass hardness when sundering/attacking objects (if Hardness is under 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.
  • 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 Cost Modifier
Ammunition +60 gp per missile
Light Armor +5000 gp
Medium Armor +10,000 gp
Heavy Armor +15,000 gp
Weapon +3000 gp


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.
  • 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 for 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.

Cold Iron

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.


Mithral is a very rare silvery, glistening metal that is lighter than steel but just as hard. When worked like steel, it becomes a wonderful material from which to create 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.
  • 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 or 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 Cost Modifier
Light Armor +1000 gp
Medium Armor +4000 gp
Heavy Armor +9000 gp
Shield +1000 gp
Other Items +500 gp/pound

Alchemical Silver

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.

  • –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 Silvered 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

Special Materials

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