Equipment and Materials

Posted by EarthDragon on 11th October 2015.

Special Materials

Most weapons, armor, and equipment in a D&D campaign are made using carbon steel. But in The Unification, some weapons and some equipment are made of unusual materials. Bronze armor is found among the richer Civilians or the poorer Citizens, but is otherwise uncommon. In areas controlled by tribal cultures, weapons are often made of stone, bone, wood, and other simple, natural materials. Weapons of glass (actually, glassteel) are used by those who can afford it, and have spread somewhat into other places, becoming something of a status symbol among some Citizens and even some Civilians .. there are even some that sometimes make armour of glassteel as well. In addition, red steel weapons are becoming popular, spreading throughout The Unification. Red steel is also used (albeit rarely) for armour.

Material Cost Weight Damage Attack
Steel 100% 100% -- --
Glassteel 500% 50% -- --
Red Steel 1,000% 50% -- --
Bone 30% 50% -1 -1
Stone 50% 75% -1 -2
Wood 10% 50% -2 -3

Special materials of The Unification are detailed in the following text. The attack and damage adjustments for special weapons are listed in the table above. The damage modifier is subtracted from the weapon's normal damage, to a minimum of 1 hit point of damage per hit. The attack modifler is subtracted from all attack rolls with a weapon of the given material, but does not apply to missile weapons. The chart also lists the relative weight and cost of weapons made of alternate materials. For the price and weights of other metals used for equipment, refer to Chapter 6 of the DMG. Weapons made with other metals cause the same damage as steel weapons, unless made entirely of a soft metal such as silver or gold. Soft-metal weapons are treated like wooden weapons in regard to damage and attack adjustments. Note that rules presented here take precedence over those presented in other sources.

Item or Material Price
Cinnabry l (per ounce) 1 tell
Cinnabryl amulet (eight ounces) 12 tell
Cinnabryl talisman (16 ounces) 32 tell
Crimson essence 200 tell
Crimson essence base 50 tell
Crimson essence ingredients 5 tell
Crimson essence vial 5 tell
Potion vial 3 tell
Red steel (per ounce) 2 shape
Smokepowder (per ounce) 1 tell
Steel (per ounce) 1 grint
Steel seed (per ounce) 1 shape
Vermeil (per ounce) 1 shape

Stone, Bone and Wood

The less technologically advanced peoples of The Unification are unable to work metal. Some prefer to use materials other than metal for weapons and equipment. Some have not yet learned the skills needed to make metal items; others can do fine metalwork, but do not smelt metal; a few are learning the skills of smelting and forging, but are still unable to make high quality steel weapons, and usually trade for steel weapons and equipment.

Weapons of natural materials are usually made using primitive tools . A tribe's weapon-maker might have a stone tool that is used to scrape wood into shape, or one to chip flint. Points of wooden weapons are typically hardened in a fire. In general, weapons of stone, bone, and wood are not as sturdy as their steel counterparts. Stone and bone weapons are brittle, and do not hold an edge well. Wood is typically more supple, so it breaks less often, but it does not hold an edge or point well, and it can be bent relatively easily. Whenever a bone, stone, or wooden weapon hits its target, roll 1d20. If the roll is a 1, the weapon breaks or is so badly damaged that it can no longer be used effectively. (This roll should not be made for blunt wooden weapons, such as the club or the quarterstaff, which do not break easily.)

Stone, bone, and wooden weapons are less effective than their metal counterparts. If a weapon (or weapon-head, in the case of spears, arrows, and so forth) normally constructed w ith steel is instead made from stone, bone, or wood, it has a worse chance to hit than normal, and causes less damage, as shown on the table above.

Note that some weapons-such as clubs, quarterstaves, bolas, and nonakas-are normally made with wood, stone, or bone. The modifiers in the table above do not apply to any of these weapons, and they need not be checked for breakage when they hit successfully. Making such weapons out of metal instead of natural materials does not give them any damage or attack bonuses, though it does increase their weight and cost. Steel versions of wooden weapons weigh twice as much and cost 10 times as much; steel versions of stone weapons weigh about a third more and cost twice as much.

The brol (stone axe), hessta (bone-tipped dart), and maga (club lined with shards of stone or bone) are something of a special case. When constructed with metal, they do hit successfully more often and cause slightly more damage, as explained under their individual descriptions, later in this chapter. Also, weapons made of stone and shaped with the stone shape spell or the Shape Stone Legacy do not suffer any of the penalties normally attributed to stone weapons; they are less brittle and do not break as easily, and the better control of shaping allows them to attack and cause damage as metal weapons.

Buying and selling primitive weapons can be problematic. Most of the primitive tribes that trade in weapons either use a barter system or use "money" that has little or no value in Unification society, finding no value in the little bits of metal commonly used by their "civilised" counterparts. Characters who wish to buy a primitive weapon from a tribe member must offer something in trade with same approximate coinage value as that listed for the weapon (and, of course, the item must be something the tribe member desires). Tribe members trading for more advanced weapons pay by barter as well. Note that stone weapons are typically made using flint, though some use obsidian instead.


The eivonar construct weapons of glass, and cause them to acquire the properties of steel with the glassteel or minor glassteel spell (the latter is described in the pages on magic). Eivonar also make glassteel elven chain mail. Some eivonar wizards use the spells to enchant other glass items, such as tools or decorations, while the most skilled wizards of the eivonar homeland enchant large pieces of glass that are used to construct homes and other buildings. Note that the price adjustment for glassteel listed above is for glassteel items sold outside the eivonar lands, or to any one other than eivonar.

Items made of glassteel radiate magic. Weapons of glassteel are considered magical for purposes of striking beings that can be hit only by magical weapons, but grant no bonuses to attack or damage rolls unless enchanted for that purpose.

Red Steel

Items of red steel are a valued commodity in the lands of The Unification. The material is almost always used to forge weapons, because weapons of red steel can strike beings normally hit only by weapons of at least a +1 enchantment, as well as those creatures normally hit only by silver or cold iron. However, red steel weapons grant no bonuses to attack and damage rolls unless enchanted for that purpose.

Red steel is also sometimes used to make armor. Information on red steel armor can be found later in this section. General information on Red Steel is found in the section on The Red Curse.

Note that the price adjustment given above is the price at which red steel is available to most people. Inheritors can purchase the substance from other Inheritors at half that price. Since the Inheritors use so much cinnabryl, converting it into red steel, they seldom have difficulty locating a supply. An Inheritor never overcharges another Inheritor, even one from a different order, but might refuse to sell at all. When dealing with people outside the orders, Inheritors usually sell red steel for the price listed .

New Equipment

For complete descriptions of cinnabryl, crimson essence, smokepowder, steel seed, and vermeil, refer to the section on The Red Curse. Brief explanations of the items from the tables above follow. An ounce of cinnabryl is usually unshaped metal, though it might be pounded into a coinlike shape. Such a piece is usually carried in a pocket. An ounce of cinnabryl has a volume of slightly less than a cubic half-inch . This is the usual amount purchased by commoners, because it is the cheapest way to obtain the substance.

A cinnabryl amulet is cinnabryl crafted into a bit of jewelry, usually a bracelet or pendant, sometimes a necklace or brooch. These items are worn by wealthier people, such as merchants, nobles, and adventurers. An amulet weighing eight ounces protects the wearer for eight weeks (as explained in the section on The Red Curse). Eight ounces of cinnabryl has a volume of just under a cubic inch (a cubic inch weighs nine ounces - by comparison, a cubic inch of gold weighs approximately 11 ounces). An eight-ounce amulet is by far the most common size available, though larger amulets can be constructed at a cost of 15 sp per additional ounce. A depleted eight-ounce amulet provides two ounces of red steel.

A cinnabryl talisman is basically the same as an amulet, but is larger and has an empty space built into it to hold a vial for crimson essence. Talismans are almost always pendants (up to 16 ounces in weight) or bracelets (up to eight ounces), because these are the most secure holders. The vial compartment has a clasp to hold the vial in place, and usually the talisman is designed to hide its vial from view. Talismans are almost never smaller than eight ounces. They cost 2 gp per ounce.

Crimson essence is a potion that grants a Legacy to the person who drinks it (the potion's precise effects are detailed under magic items below) . A single dose of crimson essence is one fluid ounce of liquid. Crimson essence base is the liquid initially placed in a vial; after being subjected to the magical radiance of cinnabryl for a time, the base becomes potion (see The Red Curse section for details). Crimson essence ingredients are the materials required by an alchemist to make crimson essence base. These ingredients include an amount of vermeil weighing one ounce, plus pure water, a pinch of a special herbal mix, and a few more esoteric ingredients known only to alchemists.

The vial required to brew crimson essence from its base is special. It is actually double walled, and the potion base is poured between the two. This leaves the center of the vial full of air, which helps gather the magical radiance of cinnabryl so that it evenly permeates the potion base. The glass used in this type of vial is heavy, being made with about an ounce of steel seed melted into it.

The price of a standard potion vial, made of leaded glass and able to hold between two and four fluid ounces of liquid, is listed in the table for comparison with the crimson essence vial.

Similarly, the prices for unworked steel and red steel are provided for comparison as well. This indicates how much a cinnabryl amulet can be sold for once it has depleted into red steel. Note that an ounce of red steel has twice the volume of an ounce of steel, because red steel weighs only half as much. Since red steel costs 10 times as much as normal steel, by mass, an ounce of red steel costs 20 times as much as an ounce of steel. For comparison, a cubic inch of normal steel (specifically the carbon steel used in weaponry of the area) weighs about four and one-half ounces, and a cubic inch of red steel weighs two and one-quarter ounces.

The price given for vermeil is required if the material is purchased. A character can gather vermeil, at a rate of about an ounce per hour, and remove impurities at a rate of about half an hour per ounce (so obtaining a clean ounce of the material requires about an hour and a half).

Steel seed is found in cinnabryl mines and must usually be purchased for the price indicated. Mixed together and heated properly (by an alchemist), two ounces of vermeil and one ounce of steel seed make two ounces of smokepowder. An ounce of smokepowder is one charge of that material, sufficient to cause 1d2 points of damage or to launch a bullet from a wheellock pistol.

New Weapons

War claws

These are sharp claws attached tightly to the hands and fingers with gauntlets and leather straps. These are always worn one per hand. Tiny characters or smaller cannot use war claws, and no one without the war claws proficiency can make effective use of the weapons. War claws are considered metal gauntlets in punching attacks and always do their listed damage, the punches can't be "pulled" for lesser damage.

A character wearing a pair of war claws can make one extra attack each round. If the character has a natural claw attack, neither attack is made with penalties; otherwise penalties are normal for fighting with two weapons. War claw damage supersedes natural claw damage, rather than adding to it. Proficiency with claws as a natural weapon also gives a character proficiency in war claws, which are an exotic weapon.

Wheellock pistols

The wheellock is a firearm with a spring-wound wheel, similar to that on a modern cigarette lighter. Pulling the trigger releases the wheel, which spins against a flint, spraying sparks into a priming pan to ignite smokepowder. Wheellocks are always made with metal and wood, though stone, bone, and ivory are often used as decoration. Wheellock bullets are always metal.

The belt pistol is small enough to be carried stuck through a belt or waistband, often concealed beneath a cloak. In Illendre and H'rekkan, the belt pistol is a popular weapon of personal defense.

The horse pistol is larger than the belt pistol, up to 18 inches long. It is intended for use by riders, who can sling a holster across their saddles. At the cost of 2 gp, a large metal ball can be added to the bottom of the grip, making it less likely for the user to drop the weapon when it is drawn. The ball adds an extra pound to the weapon's weight, and allows the weapon to be used as a club.

It takes time to load a pistol, so a fire rate of more than one bullet per round cannot be achieved without some sort of magical enhancement to speed. Having more than one pistol ready at the start of a round allows more than one to be fired in that round, however, it would then be impossible to fire more than one per round after that due to the time it takes to reload each one. Of course, this is an area for technical improvement, leaving the way open for arms research to improve upon the weapon for the future.

These weapons can also cause extra damage when they hit. If the damage roll is an 8 or 10, roll the damage die again and add the new result to the old. Each time an 8 or 10 is rolled, the die is rolled again and added to the previous total. For example, if two consecutive 8s are rolled and then a 3, a belt pistol would cause 19 points of damage. A horse pistol might do 32 points of damage, if an 8 is rolled, followed by two 1Os, followed by a 4.

A firearm can also punch through armor. At short range, all armor is ignored; the target's AC depends on dexterity, cover, and magic. At medium range, the target's AC is penalized by 5. At long range, the target's AC is penalized by 2. These penalties apply only to that portion of a character's AC that comes from armor. Dexterity and magical bonuses are unaffected. The penalty cannot make a target's AC worse than it would be if the target were wearing no armor. In terms of cover, not that many things that would stop an arrow will stop a bullet, particularly at short range. Characters must get behind more substantial barricades to qualify for a cover bonus rather than concealment.

For various reasons, firearms sometimes fail to fire. If the attack roll with a firearm is a 1, the weapon does not fire at all. It cannot be fired again until 10 rounds are spent clearing the ruined charge from the barrel and cleaning and reloading the piece. Because of the nature of these weapons, and of the smokepowder of The Unification, these wheellocks need not check for backfires, hanging fire, or fouling.

Tiny or smaller creatures cannot use wheellocks, except possibly in the same manner in which they use crossbow: By attaching a frame and wheels, and providing a crew of at least three, they could use a pistol as a sort of cannon.


The no-mori is a martial weapon similar to a curved short sword which is one of the traditional badges of the Citizen caste. It is also one of the traditional blades of the karamatsu-toh, though it has less significance than the kun-zat. In spite of this, it is traditionally only worn by karamatsu-toh, shokatsu and (rarely) other Citizens.


The kun-zat is the traditional blade of the Citizen noble, and is regarded as the traditional badge of the karamatsu-toh. As a result, karamatsu-toh take a dim view of others wearing the blade and will usually challenge any non-karamatsu-toh (and certainly any non-Citizen) wearing one to combat. The blade is an exotic weapon and may be wielded one-handed or two-handed and most closely resembles a bastard sword.

Weapon Cost Dmg (S) Dmg (M) Critical Range Increment Weight Type
War Claws 3 tell 1d3 1d4 20 -- 1/2 lb. Slashing
Wheellock Belt Pistol 100 tell 1d8 1d8 19-20 20 ft. 3 lb. Piercing
Wheellock Horse Pistol 200 tell 1d10 1d10 18-20 30 ft. 4 lb. Piercing
No-mori 300 tell 1d6 1d6 19-20/x2 -- 3 lb. Slashing
Kun-zat 400 tell 1d10 1d10 19-20/x2 -- 6 lb. Slashing

New Magic Items

Red Steel Armour: Armour of Change

Armour can be constructed of red steel by any competent redsmith who is also an armourer. A san-li of high enough level can enchant such armour in all the ways other armour can be enchanted. In addition, red steel armour can be enchanted with a polymorph self spell.

Red steel armour enchanted in this fashion is commonly called chain mail of change, plate mail of change, etc. It changes shape and even size with its wearer - such as when the caster is affected by a Legacy or a spell that alters shape - and continues to offer the same protection as before.

Crimson Essence

This is the potion that grants Legacies permanently to Inheritors (the process is detailed in the description of the Inheritor prestige class). If used by someone other than an Inheritor, or by an Inheritor who is not ready to accept a new Legacy permanently, crimson essence grants a Legacy temporarily to the user.

The Legacy gained is determined by region (roll 1d20 and check the Legacies by Region table in The Red Curse section). The imbiber can use the Legacy a maximum of three times in the next 24 hours, with the same restrictions as usual for the Legacy. When the Legacy is first temporarily gained, the drinker of the potion must make a successful DC 25 Fortitude saving throw instantaneously suffer the Legacy's detrimental effects (except for ability score loss). These effects remain until the potion wears off (at the end of the Legacy's third use, or after 24 hours, whichever comes first).

The preparation of crimson essence is covered in the description of the Inheritor prestige class. If the potion is consumed before it is fully ready, it has no beneficial effect. In addition, someone who drinks crimson essence before it is ready must make a successful Constitution check or fall ill, becoming weak and helpless for 2d4 hours.