D&D 5E 5E Economics - Armor, Cortine Steel & Elven Chain

Archade

Azer Paladin
And since I'm sitting at home relaxing, with time on my hands, here's a second part to my 5E Economics article, talking about regional armor variants, and creating options for players after 1st level and before magic armor might find their way into their world ... and expanding on the rarity ratings to make non-magical but useful exotic armors available in your game.

Cheers!

 

log in or register to remove this ad



Warren Ellis

Explorer
It's my own home-based Western Marches campaign world. I've played with versions of this world since university and my AD&D days ...
Is there a post or article that goes into more detail about the setting in general?

As for the prices, how come the rare armors are varied in cost like "501-5000 gp", for example? Like what causes the variety in price?
 
Last edited:

dave2008

Legend
And since I'm sitting at home relaxing, with time on my hands, here's a second part to my 5E Economics article, talking about regional armor variants, and creating options for players after 1st level and before magic armor might find their way into their world ... and expanding on the rarity ratings to make non-magical but useful exotic armors available in your game.

Cheers!

What is cortine steel? Do you mean corten steel?
 

Coroc

Hero
In my campaigns I tend to introduce a very detailed economic scheme, fitted for tech level.

For items like elven chain or other magic stuff there is only a pro forma pricing, like e.g. full plate: 800 $
Elven chain +1: 50.000 $* with the star in the price list meaning that you usually cannot buy this regularly.
 


Archade

Azer Paladin
Is there a post or article that goes into more detail about the setting in general?

As for the prices, how come the rare armors are varied in cost like "501-5000 gp", for example? Like what causes the variety in price?

My other blog articles go into some detail about my campaign setting. I've developed a 'gazeteer' doc that's a bout 200 pages of campaign world information... I'll try to share more as the pandemic goes on.

I may not have explained the range pricing well ... for a dagger, 10 gp might be the expected price, but with rare items there's no established market. One town might sell a mithral shirt for 500 gp, the same town a month later, or the next city over might sell it for 5,000 gp. By putting a range on it, it avoids the MagicMart expectations of 3E, and makes rare items a little more elusive ..
 

dave2008

Legend
Nope, Cortine is a city state in my campaign world famed for it's armor and weapons.
OK, then wouldn't be better (if you want other's to use it) just to call it "masterwork" armor or something similar? Then the city-state of Cortine can be known for its masterwork armor and weapons? I'm never going to use Cortine armor, but I would use something more generic.
 
Last edited:

Archade

Azer Paladin
OK, then wouldn't be better (if you want other's to use it) just to call it "masterwork" armor or something similar? Then the city-state of Cortine can be none for its masterwork armor and weapons? I'm never going to use Cortine armor, but I would use something more generic.

I could ... but it's a regional thing that ties it to the campaign. Would someone want masterwork bourbon, or Kentucky bourbon? It also infers it's not universal. Finding a good Cortine steel longsword in the northern reaches of Brael Mar is a lot harder than finding it in the City-State of Cortine itself ...
 

dave2008

Legend
I could ... but it's a regional thing that ties it to the campaign. Would someone want masterwork bourbon, or Kentucky bourbon? It also infers it's not universal. Finding a good Cortine steel longsword in the northern reaches of Brael Mar is a lot harder than finding it in the City-State of Cortine itself ...
It is not universal because there is no Cortine in my game or anyone else's game - that is what I meant.

Regarding Bourbon I will take your word on it, I don't drink alcoholic beverages and know next to nothing about them. I assume the concept is name brand is better than a standardized rating? That may be true for beverages, but in the construction industry (I'm an architect), performance standards are paramount. When I specify custom cabinets i don't say buy a brand, I tell them to build by the AWI premium grade standard. Similarly, steel is purchased based on its ASTM standard and not its brand (typically). Not sure how it would work for armor, but I could see it going both ways. The idea of a master swordsmith has a history in the genre. And the would be more like a "brand."
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Mithral Chain is the same tier as Mithral Plate, but seriously worse.

Make you proficient in it even if you only have medium armor proficiency. Or permit +2 AC from Dex like medium armor, but keep it heavy armor.

Elven Chain should be Elven Chain Shirt.

Mithral Shirt is near pointless. Give it a point of max dex modifier. Makes it compete with a Breastplate.

Ditto for Mithral Breastplate (+3 max dex).

Mithral half-plate is missing. It is statistically equivalent to Cortine Breastplate by RAW; I'd give it a +3 max dex bonus.

I think this places (a) a gap between each armor price point, and (b) makes all of the armor at a given price point interesting compared to your alternatives.

Mithral:
Elven Shirt: Noprof, 14(+2), Rare
Mithral Shirt: Light, 14(+2) Uncommon
BP: Medium, 14(+3) Uncommon
1/2P: Medium, 15(+3) Rare
Chain: Heavy, 16(+2) Rare
Plate: Heavy, 18(+1), Very Rare

Elven Shirt is a Mithral shirt with extra enchantments on it.

If Plate was +0 Dex it would be strictly better than Mithral Chain (other than rarity). Giving it +1 dex makes it strictly better than mithral chain and maybe worth the rarity bump.
 

Archade

Azer Paladin
Nice analysis!

Mithral Chain is the same tier as Mithral Plate, but seriously worse.

Make you proficient in it even if you only have medium armor proficiency. Or permit +2 AC from Dex like medium armor, but keep it heavy armor.

Elven Chain should be Elven Chain Shirt.

etc
 


TheSword

Legend
And of course the real world medieval equivalent of Damascan steel. I like the flavor of naming things by place. In my pathfinder equivalent I use Numerian Steel.

I do think there is a lot of resource out there for home brewing items that straddle the border between magic and mundane. There is a lot of inspiration in 3e.

this list is a good start.
 

Warren Ellis

Explorer
Similarly, steel is purchased based on its ASTM standard and not its brand (typically). Not sure how it would work for armor, but I could see it going both ways. The idea of a master swordsmith has a history in the genre. And the would be more like a "brand."
True. But people often place emphasis on a brand for quality and standard.

Cortine steel probably has earned a good reputation over the years for quality, workmanship, & beauty (I assume Cortine steel has a kind of pattern akin to the pattern attributed to Damascan steel in our history) and thus people consider it of higher quality than say a longsword made by the village blacksmith you could say.

Essentially it was able to get good "branding."
I could ... but it's a regional thing that ties it to the campaign. Would someone want masterwork bourbon, or Kentucky bourbon? It also infers it's not universal. Finding a good Cortine steel longsword in the northern reaches of Brael Mar is a lot harder than finding it in the City-State of Cortine itself ...
Since your setting is after an empire fell, are most of the main polities or nations in your setting more akin to city-states?
 

dave2008

Legend
True. But people often place emphasis on a brand for quality and standard.

Cortine steel probably has earned a good reputation over the years for quality, workmanship, & beauty (I assume Cortine steel has a kind of pattern akin to the pattern attributed to Damascan steel in our history) and thus people consider it of higher quality than say a longsword made by the village blacksmith you could say.

Essentially it was able to get good "branding."Since your setting is after an empire fell, are most of the main polities or nations in your setting more akin to city-states?
I don't disagree with what your saying, but I was suggesting the a more universally applicable mechanic would be more interesting and get more response from posters. I don't care about Cortine steel because Cortine is not relevant to my game. But the idea of masterwork or similar armor or weapons is something that could have a broader appeal.
 

Archade

Azer Paladin
Since your setting is after an empire fell, are most of the main polities or nations in your setting more akin to city-states?

Or fractured kingdoms …. In my campaign the Verdraaken Empire fell 1600 years ago, so some of the former provinces have formed their own principalities (Tellmarch, Aldermarch, Wymarch), there are some independent but small kingdoms (Gnelland, Arcavia, Nordell), and inbetween them all city-states or loose alliances of city-states (the Jewel Cities, the Magelands, etc).

Glad you like the peek into my campaign world!
 

Archade

Azer Paladin
Mithral Chain is the same tier as Mithral Plate, but seriously worse.

Make you proficient in it even if you only have medium armor proficiency. Or permit +2 AC from Dex like medium armor, but keep it heavy armor.

Mithral Shirt is near pointless. Give it a point of max dex modifier. Makes it compete with a Breastplate.

Ditto for Mithral Breastplate (+3 max dex).

Gave it some thought, you are absolutely right … made the following changes, since Mithral armor counts as one armor weight class less:

Mithral Shirt is now 13 AC plus Dex (no max since it's light armor)
Mithral Breastplate is now 14 AC plus Dex (no max since it's light armor)
Mithral Chain is now 16 AC plus Dex (max +2), min Str 11
Mithral Plat is now 18 AC plus Dex (max +2), min Str 13

Thanks for catching that! Blog has been updated ...
 
Last edited:

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top