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Koury
2009-11-10, 08:33 AM
I was reading through the list of special materials in the DMG and noticed that none of them did anything particularly amazing for shields. Unless I am mistaken, adamintine DR doesn't apply to shields, mithral and darkwood would technically reduce check penalties, and dragonhide would do nothing except allow a druid to wield it.

So am I missing something? Is there a material to make shields out of that either raises AC or confers a bonus better then a reduced check penalty? In any book?

JellyPooga
2009-11-10, 08:38 AM
Pretty much the same could be said for armour. Aside from adamantine (and dragonhide for Druids), none of the core special materials really do anything for armour besides a slightly reduced ACP.

Even outside of core, special materials are largely focused on their properties when applied to weapons. They rarely even suggest the uses or cost of non-weapon/armour items...I imagine a Wildwood cart wheel, for example, would be of great use, but it only lists the cost for making armour out of it.

Koury
2009-11-10, 09:01 AM
Well, mithral also raises max dex by 2 and armors made from it are treated as one category lighter, both of which are pretty good, but like I said none of that helps with shields.

So there isn't really anything useful to make a shield from? Specifically something that helps a melee character stay alive, but really, I'm interested in anything that could be useful.

hamishspence
2009-11-10, 09:03 AM
Magic of Faerun had a few armour-materials- I'm not sure if they work on shields too.

They tended to grant very small resistance bonuses- like "-2 to all fire damage inflicted on you"

Kaiyanwang
2009-11-10, 09:13 AM
Adamantine (and Obdurium) remains in my opinion the best materials, because the shields are less likely to be sundered in that way.

Said this, Mithral for some Towershield could work for some build.

Magic of faerun resistance metals are sucky, but take a look to magic Gold and Platinum: if you don't mind armor check penalties, you can increase the damage of the shield with them (should stack with spikes/blades).

Just remember that a shield is a weapon with the special quality of increase your armor.

bosssmiley
2009-11-10, 10:31 AM
Disregard WOTC material here, it sucks. Try the Tome Series collection Races of War (http://www.tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?t=33294) by Keith and Frank, it has a section on armour special material effects you might ever actually care about.


Fantastic Armors
"I know it's stupid looking, but I get the best possible protection from having this duck sit on my head, so I'm going to let it do that."

People in Fantasy settings wear all kinds of crazy crap and call it protective gear. That's fine; we even encourage that sort of thing. What we don't encourage is people mixing and matching their metaphors. And yet, by having people keep track of separate materials and armor types that's exactly what happens. We've all seen Lord of the Rings, we know what Mithril Armor is supposed to be like, and what it is not supposed to be like. And making your plate mail out of Mithril isn't what things are supposed to look like you're supposed to get Mithril Chain. When was the last time anyone used Mithril Chain?

The fact is that materials naturally lend themselves to certain kinds of armor. Just as braided twigs are always going to make Wicker Armor and cured cow skin is always going to make Leather Armor, there's just a certain way that armoring yourself with Dragon Scales or Cloyster Shells is going to work. For the vast majority of materials, there is a known "right way" to wear it for protection and the only real choice is wearing more of it or less.

They then throw out a few fun ideas like armour made from woven cobwebs, giant bug chitin, elemental clay, living coral, etc, or shields made of magic ice, kappa shell or force ("...cannot be sundered by anything less than a completely arbitrary effect like a Sphere of Annihilation."). Oh, and the abilities of these armours all scale by level, becoming more magic as your character becomes more powerful.

WOTC who? :smallamused:

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-10, 11:29 AM
That force thing exists: Riverine, in Stormwrack. Chitin exists IIRC in some Eberron book, as cheaper dragonhide. Living coral exists as a single suit of armor, in either Stormwrack, Arms and Equipment Guide, or Races of Faerun. Magic ice exists in Frostburn and/or Fiendish Codex II. Elemental Clay is in either Arms & Equipment Guide or Planar Handbook. Kappa Shell is in Oriental Adventures IIRC. Woven cobwebs are just mediocre armor.

But the effects do tend to suck, mostly because they're overpriced.

I disagree with the premise that there is one "right way" to use a material. It just doesn't match with my understanding of things. While level-scaling armor may be a good idea, WotC has preferred to make you pay as you go to enchant your armor (for "balance"). I can't view the page ATM, sadly.

Starbuck_II
2009-11-10, 11:38 AM
Disregard WOTC material here, it sucks. Try the Tome Series collection Races of War (http://www.tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?t=33294) by Keith and Frank, it has a section on armour special material effects you might ever actually care about.


Franks never read the DMG because Celestial Armor is basically Mithral Full Plate with an extra enhancement to make it better than mithral.

ericgrau
2009-11-10, 12:22 PM
When your strength is low, mithral and darkwood are your friends for all items.

ghashxx
2009-11-10, 02:55 PM
When your strength is low, mithral and darkwood are your friends for all items.

As mentioned above, the nice thing about some of the special materials is they lower the weight. This allows a dexterity based fighter, or a rogue, or whatever that doesn't have a high strength, to still wear nice armor that also doesn't weigh a ton, thereby decreasing the chances to hit that terrifying "medium load" category.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-11-10, 02:58 PM
And rogues can use a darkwood shield for +2 AC despite lacking shield proficiency. Yay.

JonestheSpy
2009-11-10, 03:59 PM
I always thought dragonhide should have something going for it other than "plate mail for druids".

I mean, come on, it's from a frickin' dragon. That's got to make it ultrarare right there. At the very least it should confer some inherent resistance to whatever energy type the dragon it comes from was associated with.

jokey665
2009-11-10, 04:05 PM
I always thought dragonhide should have something going for it other than "plate mail for druids".

I mean, come on, it's from a frickin' dragon. That's got to make it ultrarare right there. At the very least it should confer some inherent resistance to whatever energy type the dragon it comes from was associated with.

Dragoncraft Armor, from the Draconomicon.

Starbuck_II
2009-11-10, 04:08 PM
I always thought dragonhide should have something going for it other than "plate mail for druids".

I mean, come on, it's from a frickin' dragon. That's got to make it ultrarare right there. At the very least it should confer some inherent resistance to whatever energy type the dragon it comes from was associated with.

There is a Dragon Craft armor pg 116 that grants that, but it is more expensive than Dragon hide. You need a Draconomicon feat called DragonCrafter to do this. basically Mithral (but no Dex improvement) for armor + Resist 5 (type of dragon).

Dimers
2009-11-10, 04:41 PM
Magic of Faerun had a few armour-materials- I'm not sure if they work on shields too.

Doesn't look like, no. I think the only benefit you could get from a MF special material in a shield is self-repair, via "living metal".

Darrin
2009-11-10, 04:47 PM
Said this, Mithral for some Towershield could work for some build.


Darkwood, actually. Tower shields are explicitly made out of wood per the description in the PHB. There is a steel version in Races of Stone, however... same stats except for weight, steel version weighs 100 lbs (50 lbs for mithral).

Person_Man has a section on special materials in his Guide to Shields (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=123630).

The two most common reasons for using a special material on a shield would most likely be 1) reducing ASF or ACP for spellcasters (twilight, mithral, blended quartz, feycraft, githcraft), or 2) you're using a spiked shield as a weapon.

I would think templates (DMGII) would be more common for shields, since they could be added as an armor or weapon ability. Affordable, doesn't drive your enhancement bonus through the roof, and most of the bonuses are untyped and thus easy to stack.

hamishspence
2009-11-10, 04:49 PM
I checked- platinum and gold definitely mention shields- and the penalties for having a shield made from them- spell failure, armour check penalty.

But it only speaks of "armor" when describing prices.

Maybe, in this context, "armor" means shield as well, since in the other entries, we see it broken up into Light, Medium. and Heavy?

Kaiyanwang
2009-11-11, 02:36 AM
Darkwood, actually. Tower shields are explicitly made out of wood per the description in the PHB. There is a steel version in Races of Stone, however... same stats except for weight, steel version weighs 100 lbs (50 lbs for mithral).


RAW core, they must be made of wood, but in races of stone there is an adamantine TS, in rase of the wild a mithral one. So, according to these splats, TS could be made by metal too. Exactly.

Nevertheless, I love the "metalwood" woods (there is a lot of them), because of druids, because of you can carry a dryad with you, because a lot of things.



I checked- platinum and gold definitely mention shields- and the penalties for having a shield made from them- spell failure, armour check penalty.

But it only speaks of "armor" when describing prices.

Maybe, in this context, "armor" means shield as well, since in the other entries, we see it broken up into Light, Medium. and Heavy?

Use the weapon prices. Light shield--->light weapon, large -- > one hand. After all, you use them as weapons if you built around shields your fighter.

Remember that a light shield made of gold is no longer a light weapon, so is better use it with a built with shields as main hand (agile shield fighter and some utility weapon as off-hand) or with OTWF.