D&D 5E Orichalcum?

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
I have orichalcum in my game.


Too fiddly for my taste. Also, having armor and weapons be automatically +1 seems a bit much- it makes this metal more combat-effective than adamantine. That said, if neither the fiddliness nor the comparison to adamantine bother you, this could work.

In my campaign, orichalcum is a coppery metal. It's a true metal on its own, not an alloy or compound. It's not especially hard; it is useful in that it interferes with scrying, divination, and teleportation.
I have a high tolerance for fiddliness.
 

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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
5e has largely gotten away from materials intrinsically adding properties to mundane items. Instead, they are ingredients used in the recipes for crafting items of particular properties. You don't hand mithral or adamantine to just any smith and get special armor. You give mithral to a smith who knows the recipe for mithral armor, and they can make you the magic item known as Mithral Armor, using the crafting rules for making the item.

So, instead, you'd have the items
Orichalcum Armor
Orichalcum Sword
Orichalcum Spell Focus

Each with their respective magic item properties, and rarity (and thus cost and time to create) based on how potent they are.
Level Up makes extensive use of both material properties and special items as magic item ingredients. It's amazing, and proof you don't have to follow "official" magic item guidelines to have a fun, evocative system.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Level Up makes extensive use of both material properties and special items as magic item ingredients. It's amazing, and proof you don't have to follow "official" magic item guidelines to have a fun, evocative system.

sigh.
Nobody needs "proof" of that.
 


EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I really like it. Orichalcum isn't used in fantasy gaming nearly enough, and your take is consistent with historical beliefs in its legendary properties.
Same. Oricalcum, hihi'irokane, and a handful of other such materials are sadly kind of under-used today. I love mithril, don't get me wrong, it's one of my favorites. But it does seem to suck all the air out of the "mythically-strong material" space, and whatever's left is usually gobbled up by adamant(ium/ite).
 

Incenjucar

Legend
Orihalcum is used extensively in manga/anime fantasy and RPGs from Japan, to the point I expect more people have heard of it from those sources than not. Ironically I first heard the term from the anime of Slayers, which is inspired by D&D rather directly.
 


EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
I wonder why I always spelled it Orichalcium?
I mean, they aren't far apart, and plenty of metals (and non-metals too!) get -ium instead of just -um. I always (erroneously) spelled it "oricalcum," no h, because that's how the characters in Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis pronounce it even though it's still spelled orichalcum.

Orihalcum is used extensively in manga/anime fantasy and RPGs from Japan, to the point I expect more people have heard of it from those sources than not. Ironically I first heard the term from the anime of Slayers, which is inspired by D&D rather directly.
Yeah, I've seen it in some JRPGs, so I'm not surprised. I just almost never see it in Western media....which is funny, given it comes from one of the most famous (and obsessively-reused!) bits of Greek mythology.
 

Shadowdweller00

Adventurer
5e has largely gotten away from materials intrinsically adding properties to mundane items. Instead, they are ingredients used in the recipes for crafting items of particular properties. You don't hand mithral or adamantine to just any smith and get special armor. You give mithral to a smith who knows the recipe for mithral armor, and they can make you the magic item known as Mithral Armor, using the crafting rules for making the item.

So, instead, you'd have the items
Orichalcum Armor
Orichalcum Sword
Orichalcum Spell Focus

Each with their respective magic item properties, and rarity (and thus cost and time to create) based on how potent they are.
Certainly a sensible interpretation. It's just that then I'd have had to write a number of different rambling, poorly edited descriptions for each item instead of just one tortured, general explanation of orchicalcum-ness. And I'm all about not working that hard 😁
 
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