D&D 5E Magical Metals and Alloys: We Need More

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I had a strange, contrarian thought when I read this. One that is negative, but I will share because I think it might help you think more clearly about what you want to achieve:

What is the point?

What's the point of having all these magical materials. So what? Does it add anything to the game? Most importantly: what are you trying to achieve?

Now this sound like me poo-pooing your idea, but I think that if you can answer that clearly, especially the last question, it may help you achieve said goal better. There may be other ways to accomplish said goal.
 

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MarkB

Legend
I had a strange, contrarian thought when I read this. One that is negative, but I will share because I think it might help you think more clearly about what you want to achieve:

What is the point?

What's the point of having all these magical materials. So what? Does it add anything to the game? Most importantly: what are you trying to achieve?

Now this sound like me poo-pooing your idea, but I think that if you can answer that clearly, especially the last question, it may help you achieve said goal better. There may be other ways to accomplish said goal.
Special materials have a lot of good uses in game terms. One that's been discussed here is that it allows non-spellcasters to reasonably craft magical items. Another is that they can be a good stepping-point along the way for a character to craft a truly personalised magic item, one for which they've sought out specific ingredients and found particular places and/or techniques to craft them into something unique.

They can also be useful non-singular MacGuffins, with a party being tasked to gather a specific material that is useful in combating a particular type of foe. It can also act as a soft 'gate' against the PCs heading off to face tougher foes than they can take on, by giving them a tangible in-universe reason why that foe is currently out of their league.

They can be good signifiers of a particular faction. Nation A has a lot of material X, and so tends to work it into the weapons and armour of their higher-tier soldiers. So you'll more easily recognise them on sight, you'll know they have certain unusual capabilities, and if you come across someone at random who wields similar items, you know that person most likely has some connection to this faction.

And finally, they just add a little extra flavour to the world, giving it the feeling of being a more fantastical place from the ground up, so to speak - even some of the basic raw materials of this world are substances that wouldn't be found in our mundane reality.
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
Special materials have a lot of good uses in game terms. One that's been discussed here is that it allows non-spellcasters to reasonably craft magical items. Another is that they can be a good stepping-point along the way for a character to craft a truly personalised magic item, one for which they've sought out specific ingredients and found particular places and/or techniques to craft them into something unique.

They can also be useful non-singular MacGuffins, with a party being tasked to gather a specific material that is useful in combating a particular type of foe. It can also act as a soft 'gate' against the PCs heading off to face tougher foes than they can take on, by giving them a tangible in-universe reason why that foe is currently out of their league.

They can be good signifiers of a particular faction. Nation A has a lot of material X, and so tends to work it into the weapons and armour of their higher-tier soldiers. So you'll more easily recognise them on sight, you'll know they have certain unusual capabilities, and if you come across someone at random who wields similar items, you know that person most likely has some connection to this faction.

And finally, they just add a little extra flavour to the world, giving it the feeling of being a more fantastical place from the ground up, so to speak - even some of the basic raw materials of this world are substances that wouldn't be found in our mundane reality.
Well said indeed.
 

Pathfinder has their 7 starmetals. described in book 1 of the Shattered Star adventure path (Shards of Sin I think)

As said earlier Magic of Faerun had about a dozen special alloys including a living metal. It also had lots of really nice properties of gems when used in magic items!
I keep Magic of Faerun easily accessible for this exact reason. Weapons and armor made out of the special materials usually give a small amount of damage (usually +1) or resistance (usually 2, although for 5e I'd move it down to 1) of a certain energy type without being magical, so they are nice to give out at lower levels as treasure.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
The word for the metal "adamantine", comes from English "adamant", ultimately from Greek adamas (gen. adamantos). It literally means "invincible", "non-conquerable". The Greeks used the term "adamas" to describe the hardest substance in existence. This adamas is actually gem, a crystal. It is probably the corundum, relating to sapphire and ruby typically clear but can be about any color of the rainbow. The corundum is almost as hard as diamond, but is much tougher than diamond, and more resistant to fire.

It would be cool to see weapons and armors, made out of transparent crystal gems, including rubies and sapphires of various colors.

The gem would have to have the crystal grow into the desired shape. Once attained, the shape could never be altered because the gem itself is indestructible.

The adamas could be a normal corundum, or some inherently magical gem resembling it.
 




CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
How about some non-metal materials?

Armor made from Ironwood, chitin, various types of beast hides and scales, all would be welcome additions to the game. Particularly for druids...it's my preferred method of addressing the non-metal armor restriction of druids. (Which is being discussed in great detail over in this other thread.)
 
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