Value of Adamantine & Mithral by the pound?


First Post
What is a pound of adamantine worth?

What is a pound of mithral worth?

I'd like to include some of this special material in a treasure horde. I'd expect the PCs would use the material to have a weapon or something crafted of the material, but what value should I put on it if they decide to sell the material off instead (a real possibility)?

Copying from the SRD:

Ammunitions = +60gp
Light armor = +5,000gp
Medium armor = +10,000gp
Heavy armor = +15,000gp
Weapon = +3,000gp

Light armor = +1,000gp
Medium armor = +4,000gp
Heavy armor = +9,000gp
Shield = +1,000gp
Other = +500gp/lb.*

*This per pound price does not match the prices given before it. So a mithral longsword would be 1,315gp, a mithral greatsword would be 2,350gp. But using the 500gp/lb, a chain shirt (25lb/2 = 12.5lb) would be way over 5,000gp. Not the 1,250gp listed for light armor.

What would you suggest as a price per pound for these special materials found in bar form? I'd like to avoid the old "iron pot" problem.


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First Post
Quasqueton said:
What is a pound of adamantine worth?
What is a pound of mithral worth?


(blatant plug for house rule system upcoming)

There are four reasons for the discrepancy:

1> You have to separate "raw material cost" from "finished item cost", usually.
According to the Craft skill, raw materials are 1/3rd the item's cost. So, if heavy Mithral armor costs +9000 gp, that means the Mithral itself should only cost 3000, and the other 6000 is the labor needed to use it. The problem with this, of course, is that under the core rules Mithral isn't any harder or more time-consuming to work with than masterwork steel, so the labor costs shouldn't vary for armor and weaponry.

2> You have to separate "raw material weight" from "finished item weight"
When you're making plate armor, relatively little of the metal is lost in the crafting process. When you're making a tiny trinket, a lot more is lost. So, a small item (like most of what falls into that "other" category) will, on a pound-by-pound basis, cost more.

3> When they say "500 gp/lb", do they mean the listed PHB weight for that item type, or the actual weight (reduced by 50% for Mithral)? When they say "+4000 gp" for medium armor, do they mean for items normally treated as medium armor (Breastplate, for example), or things that are medium armor because of the material (Mithral Full Plate)?
It's not an obvious thing. For the first question most people would say "duh, the second answer", but when you get to the second you see the flaw in this. There are no actual "heavy" mithral armors, since it reduces all weights by one category, so the fact that they bothered to list a price for it means they mean weight class BEFORE the characteristics of mithral are taken into effect. Meaning a Breastplate is +4000, not +1000. Which then implies that the 500/lb means BEFORE the 50% weight reduction, not after...

4> Items aren't made entirely from one material. A "Mithral breastplate" isn't all mithral; there's leather for the rest of the body, padding under the breastplate itself, and chain for the joints, and it's probably trimmed with other metals. So, while the mithral may weigh 50% less, the item as a whole probably shouldn't drop by quite as much. Maybe half of the total weight will be the material used for the breastplate itself.

Now, for the plug:
Use a house rule system. You'll be happier in the long run, and a lot of these headaches go away. There have been plenty listed on the House Rules forum, or in books like the Artificer's Handbook, or whatever. If you go to the House Rules forum and ask, I'm sure someone *cough* could help you out.

For example, the system I use gives every material a cost in gp/lb, a DC modifier for the Craft check, and then a list of bonuses. Then, there are two fairly small tables that say how much material a weapon or armor actually uses, based only on its effectiveness (average damage, AC, etc.). To make a longsword might require 12 pounds of metal, to make a dagger might require 8, even though the finished products weigh far less. So, you find out how much material is needed for creation, pay by the pound, then you're done.


First Post
It's all relative... How common are these materials, in your world?

In LotR, Gandalf said that Bilbo's/Frodo's Mithril Chain Vest was worth more than the entire Shire, and Aragorn said that, if people knew Hobbits had such skin, they would be hunting them down for it.

Of course, in Middle Earth, there was a single source for Mithril, and it was closed (by the Balrog). Hence, relative worth was more than many villages full of Hobbitses! ;)


First Post
3e (not sure about 3.5) said there were 50 coins to a pound (actually, there were 48, but let's not quibble). So, a 1# bar of gold was worth 50 GP, and a 1# bar of platinum was worth 500 GP. Oops! So much for the prices of Mithral & Adamantium!

I'd say using 5,000 GP/# for Mithral, and 50,000 GP/# for Adamantium would be logical, but certainly not consistent with the item pricing! :p


We always used to play Mithril as 50x as valuable as gold, and Adamantium as 100x as valuable as gold, by gp weight.

An adamantine ingot was thus a nice loot haul:)


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