Dark Sun features weapons and armour made from a variety of unusual materials – bone, obsidian and the like – all of which are covered in the Dark Sun boxed set.
But the setting also features more exotic materials – chitin, ivory, drake hide, dasl, and more. This week we’re compiling and presenting some rules for these other substances and giving you rules for using them in your Dark Sun games.
Agafari is a blue-hued wood from the Crescent Forest, known for its resilience and suitability as a substitute for metal. Agafari is as hard as bronze and used for a wide variety of purposes, not least to fashion weapons. Although versatile, agafari does not hold an edge well, and agafari weapons cannot deal slashing damage – all damage from agafari weapons is either bludgeoning or piercing.
Bronze weapons are softer than steel but about as heavy. They strike at –1 to hit and cost 75% of the price of steel weapons. Bronze is not an inferior material and will not break accidentally.
Chitin and shell are used for a variety of weapons and armour. Inix and braxat shell are used in armour, and the carapace of a flailer is a favoured source for a shield. Flailer shell is also used to make daggers and arrowheads – the carapace of the conashellae can be used for similar purposes.
Most prized among chitin weapons are those made from boneclaw, megapede, and black mastyrial chitin:
Boneclaw: Chitin from the greater boneclaw can be used to make slashing and piercing weapons that deal +1 damage, with a 5% chance of dealing 1 bleed damage per round for 1d10 rounds. There is a 50% chance that boneclaw chitin weapons shatter when used. Boneclaw chitin weapons cost 50% of the price of steel.
Black Mastyrial: The chitin of the black mastyrial can be used to craft slashing weapons that are treated as steel in terms of attack and damage rolls. For purposes of weapons affected by the inferior materials rule, these weapons are considered inferior. Black mastyrial chitin weapons cost 75% of the price of steel.
Megapede: The claws of the megapedes can be used to craft chitin arrows that are treated as steel in terms of attack and damage rolls. For purposes of weapons affected by the inferior materials rule, megapede chitin is considered inferior. These arrows cost 75% of the price of steel.
When it comes to shields, the finest chitin comes from the death watch beetle and the dreaded bulette:
Bulette: The head plates of the bulette are extremely durable and can be fashioned into small or medium shields that grant an additional +1, +2 or +3 to the shield’s normal AC bonus. The cost to fashion the tough chitin in this way is 1,000 cp per +1 bonus.
Death Watch Beetle: The wing carapace of the death watch beetle can be fashioned into a body shield that grants an additional +1 bonus to the shield’s normal AC bonus. It costs 1,000 cp to craft such a shield from the beetle’s chitin.
Dasl is a crystalline material created by thri-kreen and often used to manufacture their weapons. An item made from dasl is treated as if it was made from steel and is not considered to be made from inferior materials. An item made from dasl costs half as much as one made from steel.
Drake hide can be crafted into leather, hide, or scale armour. This costs 500 cp and takes one month. The armour receives an AC bonus equal to the drake’s AC minus 20 (ie, leather is AC +2; if made from the hide of an air drake with AC 22, then the air drake leather armour would have an AC bonus of +4).
A drake produces enough hide to make three suits of leather, two suits of hide, or one suit of scale armour.
Fire Drake: Anyone wearing fire drake hide needs only half their usual amount of water per day. Fire drake hide adds +2 to saving throws against all fire-based attacks (save for half or quarter damage) and will not burn if exposed to non-magical flames. The heat ray from burnflowers can’t penetrate the protection of a fire drake hide.
Magma Drake: Magma drake armour adds +2 to saving throws against any fire-based attack (save for half or quarter damage) and allows the wearer to pass without trace at all times.
Silt Drake: Silt drake armour gives a +2 on saves against any form of choking, suffocation, or dust storm, and reduces damage from such sources to a half if the save is failed, or a quarter if the save is successful. Its wearer is immune to the Gray Death condition caused by airborne silt.
Rain Drake: Anyone wearing rain drake armour only needs half as much water and receives a +2 bonus on rolls against any form of drowning. Damage from aquatic sources is halved if the save is failed, or a quarter if the save is successful.
Water Drake: Anyone wearing water drake armour never suffers from dehydration and can breathe underwater so long as he wears the armour.
Drawn from claws and horns of Athas’ many beasts, ivory is a well-used resource. Ivory weapons are treated as bone weapons and are considered inferior materials for the purposes of weapon breakage Erdlu, sloth, and z’tal claws are used to make daggers, erdlu beaks are used to make spears, and dune freak claws are used for bladed weapons of all sizes. The ivory of the kirre, takis, and drake are prized above all other types:
Drake: Weapons made from drake ivory are treated as non-magical +2 bone weapons. A drake ivory weapon costs as much as a steel weapon of the same type. It costs 100 cp and takes two weeks to craft a drake ivory weapon.
Kirre: The kirre’s horns and tail spike can be used to craft bone piercing weapons that are treated as steel weapons in terms of attack and damage rolls. Kirre ivory weapons cost 75% of the price of steel weapons but weigh as much as bone.
Takis: The bony ivory of the takis tail can be used to craft bone bludgeoning weapons that are treated as steel weapons in terms of attack and damage rolls. Takis ivory weapons cost 75% of the price of steel but weigh as much as bone.