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Old 06-24-2024, 10:14 AM   #11
David Bofinger
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: Unusual materials for items

A eusocial giant insect wraps its soldier caste in armour made of silk fibres in resin, both made by specialised castes. The armour thus created is perfectly shaped to the wearer and is similar in effectiveness to ballistic nylon or polythene. In game terms it is lighter than steel, shaped as well as fine plate, better in some ways than steel and worse in others.

Some cultures, who happen to have such insects living nearby, will repurpose parts of insect armour for their own protection.

More courageous and enterprising soldiers have taken to marinating themselves in soldier jelly then sneaking into a hive, lying in the place of a soldier larva and waiting for an armourer to come coat them. On leaving the hive only a few modifications are needed to make the insect armour practical to wear.

The method is risky: not everyone comes back out, and nobody knows why.
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Old 06-24-2024, 02:04 PM   #12
Shostak's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: New England
Default Re: Unusual materials for items

Brilliant! Stealing this for my campaign.
* * * *
Anthony Shostak
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Old 06-25-2024, 12:35 AM   #13
Steve Plambeck
Join Date: Jun 2019
Default Re: Unusual materials for items

Simply splendid David!
"I'm not arguing. I'm just explaining why I'm right."
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Old 07-07-2024, 09:25 AM   #14
Join Date: May 2024
Default Re: Unusual materials for items

One question to ask when considering new special materials is "What place does this new material have in my game-world?"

Is it to allow ordinary items and gear to look different, without real change in price or game-mechanical treatment?

Is it to allow the background manufacturing or acquisition processes of ordinary items or gear to look different, again without any real change in price or game mechanics?

Is it to shift the in-campaign cost-benefit calculations in a direction the GM prefers?

Is it to create a semi-isolated area that's different from the rest of the game-world, with the special material(s) being part or all of the reason for that difference?

Is it because the GM finds a particular special material cool and wants it to be common, famous, or both in his game?

Is it because the GM is running a "kitchen sink" campaign and is willing to throw in just about anything?

Is it something else?
I was denied tenure at IOU.
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Old 07-07-2024, 03:02 PM   #15
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Pacheco, California
Default Re: Unusual materials for items

Dungeonous Crabs

Many pray that whichever wizard created these giant crabs that act like ants had been eaten by them. A typical colony might have one queen crab, a half dozen workers, and a dozen juveniles, but this depends on environment and food sources. The colony will have a half dozen hex long corridor that goes from the bottom of a nearby source of water (an ocean, lake, or river) up to knee high water in the main tunnels. This then opens into the main chamber around the size of a Melee map which then has three to eight narrow tunnels extending out under the ground. At the end of each of these tunnels the crabs will have created an opening and then covered this up with dirt and vegetation over a latticework of sticks. These traps are 5/IQ to spot (Naturalist and Expert Naturalist reduce this by one die each), and if stepped on a 4/DX save is required to jump aside and not fall a dozen feet into knee high water. The fall itself is unlikely to cause any damage, but the vibrations will alert the worker crabs to come collect lunch.
Juvenile Crab ST 8, DX 11, IQ 4, MA 6/12 (Knee high water is navigated as if clear hexes)
Claw 1d-1, Shell stops 1 hit, and deflects physical attacks for a -3 to be hit.
Worker Crab, as above but ST 14, Claw 2d-1, Shell stops 2 hits.
Queen Crab, as above but a 3-hex figure with ST 30, Claw 2d+2, Shell stops 3 hits.
Alchemists can take the back shells of these crabs and turn them into small, large, or tower shields (depending on the size of the crab), which are twice as durable, weigh half as much, and deliver double the benefit for users with Shield Expertise as physical blows are deflected off them, if properly angled.
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