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5E Dragonscale armor question

daddystabz

Explorer
This question is in regard to pg 129 in the DM guide: If we already have the dragon scales by slaying a dragon will it still cost us 50,000 gold to craft dragonscale armor OR would it more logically mean that we have the rare part of what is needed to craft the armor and should have a steep discount on crafting it, since we do not have to purchase the dragon scales?
 

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Coredump

First Post
Sorry, but that is an "ask your DM" kind of question. Personally, I would give you a discount, but I think the workmanship is the expensive part, not the actual dragon scales.
 

spinozajack

First Post
Because dragonscales are so easy to come by. Just pick up a few at Walmart on your way from the tavern :)

Nah, the hard part is killing the dragon, obviously.
 

redrick

First Post
Hmm. Premium ingredients generally bring significant markups to labor costs. So, if you are paying an armorer to make you a dragonscale suit of armor, expect to pay him or her a lot.

Without anything else to go on, I've generally charged 25% of the base cost to repair a suit of armor, and another 25% to refit that suit of armor. So, if you pull a suit of plate mail off a fallen foe, you'd pay about 50% of the listed price to get that suit of armor refitted for yourself. I've taken the same approach with magic armor, with the idea that working with the magic armor requires a far greater skill in craftsmanship. I might apply the same idea here to dragonscale armor, so 25,000, if you provide the scales. (Not many people know how to make armor out of dragon scales.)

But I would definitely absolutely defer to the DM.
 


steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
A discount? Yes. Sure, I'd do that.

A "steep discount"? No. Not necessarily. As someone else eluded, people capable/skillful enough of taking/working with the scales to make it armor are probably not your every village smith. You are going to pay for the rarity of the material and the rarity of the skill needed for the labor, even if you are supplying the the rare material.

So I, personally, would discount it yes. But if you tried to sell me on "Well, we got the scales, so I can just pay a little over the normal armor price, right?" That's going to be a big fat "Nice try."

Of course, always, and ultimately, only your DM can decide what is going to fly in their campaign/setting/game.

Whatever your DM says, goes.
 


Well done, you brought the scales. But to stitch them together needs dragongut strings. You left them behind? Ah. Tell you what, mate. How.about we call it 30k and I'll be done in a month? I can't make.anything else while I'm.making this for you so it's got to pay for the wife and little Timmy, know.what I mean?
*spits on hand*
*offers handshake*
 

Coredump

First Post
I'm not as nice I guess. I don't think I would give a 40-50% discount just for some of the materials. Maybe more like 20%.

There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to the scales such as 'tanning' them and cutting them to correct size, plus purchasing other materials, plus the specialized tools needed to do the work..... then all the expert labor needed to put is all together.

Lets put it another way, how much would you be willing to pay for some dragon scales someone just brought into town? Because if you believe that just a few scales is worth 20-25,000 gp, then dragon hide is worth more than the treasure hoard by a long shot.
 


redrick

First Post
I'm not as nice I guess. I don't think I would give a 40-50% discount just for some of the materials. Maybe more like 20%.

There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to the scales such as 'tanning' them and cutting them to correct size, plus purchasing other materials, plus the specialized tools needed to do the work..... then all the expert labor needed to put is all together.

Lets put it another way, how much would you be willing to pay for some dragon scales someone just brought into town? Because if you believe that just a few scales is worth 20-25,000 gp, then dragon hide is worth more than the treasure hoard by a long shot.
I guess the test would be to bring a fine cut of steak to your local fancy restaurant. See how much of a discount they'll give you. Extrapolate into dragonscale economy.
 

Oh, hi. Yeah. It's me again. This armour you want, yeah, you're gonna need to hang around for the month so I.can fit it right. I don't care about the drow threat your mates are going to stop, if you want this kit you're staying in town with me...
 

Hussar

Legend
Oh, hi. Yeah. It's me again. This armour you want, yeah, you're gonna need to hang around for the month so I.can fit it right. I don't care about the drow threat your mates are going to stop, if you want this kit you're staying in town with me...
That's a tad extreme for my tastes. After all, it's not a problem, per se, with the players having the dragon scale armour, at least, that's the sense I got from the OP. The players just want a discount. Not unreasonable. And I love the idea of bringing enough for two sets and getting a whacking great discount if you leave the other set with the smith/leatherworker. So, again, 50% isn't too far out there. That's still 25000 gp for armour with no bonus and gives you resistance to a specific kind of energy attack. We're not exactly talking Holy Avengers here.
 

AmerginLiath

Explorer
Part of the question is the issue of labor. Dragonscale strikes me as a hard material to work with without ruining much of it. As a DM, I wouldn't want to ruin the work that PCs put into slaying a dragon and actually thinking of doing something with the corpse besides moving onto the next challenge (too often in 5e, the complaint it "what to do with the money?," so any interaction with the larger economy should really be rewarded). Still, a party having a dragon's corpse and looking for someone who can make armor is fodder for a fun minor quest. Nothing too crazy, but a matter of fighting out who has the skills and where they are while trying to guard and move the bulk of a dragon's remains from Point A to Point B safely (scaling the dragon properly would be part of the process of making the armor, in all likelihood). The DM shouldn't worry about trying to get the full gold amount, but rather the full story amount – by taking the hard road of moving a dragon's corpse to the smithy to save on gold, the characters are telling a story worth its own weight in gold!
 

S

Sunseeker

Guest
Dragon Scale armor seems unreasonably priced for it's benefits or basically being a Dragonborn.
 



William Hola

Villager
It really depends. If you are a spellcaster with the fourth level spell Frabicate then making dragonscale armor would be a walk in the park and I would suggest an 75-90% discount. If you are not a spellcaster then I suggest you take a 50% discount. I agree that you should always consult with your DM because they all have their own opinion.
 

Phazonfish

B-Rank Agent
It really depends. If you are a spellcaster with the fourth level spell Frabicate then making dragonscale armor would be a walk in the park and I would suggest an 75-90% discount. If you are not a spellcaster then I suggest you take a 50% discount. I agree that you should always consult with your DM because they all have their own opinion.
Wow, nice necro post.

A few relevant details: Fabricate cannot be used to make magic items, which I think the armor may still be classified as. Even if its not, anything that requires a good deal of skill to craft requires you to have proficiency in the relevant tool to create with Fabricate.
 

Mort

Hero
Supporter
It really depends. If you are a spellcaster with the fourth level spell Frabicate then making dragonscale armor would be a walk in the park and I would suggest an 75-90% discount. If you are not a spellcaster then I suggest you take a 50% discount. I agree that you should always consult with your DM because they all have their own opinion.
Fabricate is a 4th level spell plus the spellcaster casting it would have to have skill as an armor smith. Unless you happen to have such in your party, it's not easy to find such a person and they would likely come at a premium, not a discount.

That's assuming your DM rules the Dragonscale is nonmagical - Fabricate can't work with/craft magical items. Looking at the discription of Dragon Scale armor, I'd certainly say it was magical for my game (heck, it requires attunement, unlike even basic magic armor)

To answer the question, the scales seem like a good portion of the cost. I'd give a steep discount (50% or so) or, more likely,l:

If I have the Smith, recognizing the group's capabilities of the party, I'd have some kind of trade or task/quest assigned to work off the armor.



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