Dark Iron (3.5e Equipment)
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Dark Iron (D&D special material)
Found in the dead magic planes and some meteors, Dark Iron is a soft type of metal that is utterly unaffected by magic. Its most common use is in armor, where it is alloyed with steel to create a suit of armor that grants its wielder SR 10+armor bonus. It is worthy of note however, that such a suit of armor cannot be enchanted by any means. It is for this reason as well as its high cost that such a suit of armor is almost always masterwork. A suit of armor must be primarily made of metal to benefit from this material, thus a suit of chain mail is acceptable, but hide armor cannot be made of it. A suit of armor of this material has an additional -1 to armor check penalty that is negated by the masterwork quality.
The next most common (and rather more insidious) use is to make an arrowhead or crossbow bolt purely of this material. Upon entering the body of a living corporeal target, the projectile breaks apart, splintering into the wound. As pure Dark Iron (and a small area around it, though not more than a centimeter or so) is treated as under the effect of an Antimagic Field, the wound cannot be healed by magic; and it is so lodged in the wound, that natural and magical healing cannot function. It requires a DC20 heal check and a full hour of work to clean out the fragments of metal from a wound, after which magical and natural healing may take place. Failing this check deals 1d4 points of damage but otherwise affords no penalty. A projectile made of such a substance may not be enchanted in any way, and suppresses the magical properties of a magic weapon so long as it remains loaded in the weapon. A projectile made of this material has a -1 to attack and damage rolls due to its heavy weight and weak nature. (Using this substance in this manner is considered by some to be an evil act, whether this is so or not depends ultimately on the DM, but as a DM myself, I would recommend that it be treated similarly to poison, an unpleasant act that paladins and others of such high moral standing might reject, but the morality of its use is truly dependent on who it is used on.)
Martial weapons either purely constructed or alloyed with this material gain no benefit to normal weapons of their type.
Pure DarkIron has 15 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 8. Alloyed DarkIron has 25 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 10.
Armor cost- Light: 3,000gp Medium: 6,000gp Heavy: 8,000gp
Projectile weapon cost- 300gp
DM’s note: this material of mine is an attempt to reduce the haughty “I’m totally invincible, watch me take on entire armies without fear with my quickened cure light wounds spells” air that many adventurers develop as they raise in levels. My games tend to expose my PC’s to more mortal peril then they might otherwise come into contact with; and they tend to center on realism, namely that going about wantonly slaughtering monsters is a rather dangerous business, and that the death toll will be high. I also find that I like my games to have something of a dramatic touch, and that effect is somewhat ruined if my PC’s run about instantly healing terrible wounds, growing new limbs like weeds, and even death requires no more than dropping a mid-level spell, a level, perhaps some xp, and a wee bit of coin, and boom! There goes the horror of Gandalf getting killed off, Darth Vader just regrows his limbs with regenerate, and never mind that he just was horrifically scared by the emperor’s force lightning, all he needs is a cure critical wounds! But I digress. Try to shake up your characters with this when their arrogance is starting to get on your nerves, and they will be rather more fastidious with their hit points forevermore.