Proteum (3.5e Equipment)

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This illustrious metal carries a dark sheen, seemingly absorbing most of the light that falls upon it and reflecting but little. It carries a dark gray color, but behind its commonplace appearance lurks an ancient, forgotten power. In its raw state, proteum has the ability to draw forth substance from aether and protomatter, leading it to be a powerful catalyst to the natural formation of planes. Arcane physicists even theorize that this metal played a great part in the formation of the known cosmos itself due to its properties, and was therefore styled with the man-given name 'proteum', signaling that it may indeed have very well been the first metal, if not the first solid that ever existed. Regardless of its allegedly enigmatic origins, proteum's reputation as a super-rare, super-heavy and extremely potent material is well-deserved. Proteum is not very useful for creating weapons due to its extreme weight and rarity, but the power it contains and its extreme durability leads it to be used in the creation of certain powerful artifacts.

Properties: Proteum comes in raw form, and when molded is known to possesses two distinct allotropes. Raw proteum, otherwise known as mineral proteum, has the ability to draw in substance, either through a gravitational field or through the shaping of ethereal vapors and proto-matter, arcane energy. Refined proteum - the metal, otherwise simply called proteum - no longer has this ability, but is prized by all arcanists for its incredible ability to draw in raw arcane power from its surrounding environment instead. Proteum is able to tap into the Weave directly, and can store enormous amounts of arcane power as well as release it in desired quantities. The second known material state of proteum is rarest, and is known as crystalline proteum or energized proteum. In this state, the underling particles are aligned in a crystalline grid. Crystalline proteum is many times as capable of drawing upon the Weave as its normal counterpart and is used by more advanced arcane societies to power their cities. One pound of crystalline proteum (which about equates to half a cubic inch) harnessed in a generator can power most domestic arcane appliances in a small town. Larger quantities, although exceedingly rare, can even be used to keep a city-sized skyship airborne indefinitely. Because proteum in all its forms is merely a catalyst to draw forth arcane energy, as a power source it is theoretically indepletable.

Shaping Proteum via Wish: Manipulating proteum is beyond usual mortal capacity. Proteum can be called into existence or shaped via the use of a wish spell cast by a character or creature with a caster level of at least 21. If the proteum is created with the spell, a second wish is needed to shape it. Upward to 100 pounds of proteum plus 100 additional pounds for every 5 caster levels over 20 can be created or shaped in this way (in case of crystalline proteum, only 1 pound plus 1 pound per 5 caster levels over 20). No lesser spell can create or manipulate proteum; not even true creation, although epic spells might have that ability.

Shaping Proteum via epic crafting: An epic character can craft and manipulate even proteum with a successful Craft (metalworking) check. To do so, add a base +100 to the craft check. For every cubic foot of proteum thusly manipulated, the crafter expends 1,000 XP.

1 cubic foot of solid proteum weighs 4,000 lb. This makes it roughly eight times heavier than steel. When items that are usually made of steel are made of proteum, multiply the item's weight by a factor 8. Proteum items are always masterwork. To figure out the item's new price increment, take the usual masterwork price and add 1,000 gp for every pound of the item's new weight. Crystalline proteum is worth 100,000 gp per pound of weight. Proteum in any of its forms is largely unusable for the crafting of arms and armor, and any weapon so created would be an improvised weapon.

Raw, refined and crystalline proteum has 100 hit points per inch of thickness and a hardness of 100 that cannot be bypassed by any means, including with adamantine weapons.

Crystalline Proteum and Charges: Due to its unique ability to draw in arcana and filter it into the operation of magic items, crystalline proteum can actually help a charge-dependent item recover charges. For every pound of crystalline proteum imbedded into a charge-dependent item, the item recovers a number of charges equal to the charge requirement of the highest-level imbued spell every day.

Crystalline Proteum and Metamagic: The crystalline allotrope of proteum can be used as a material focus to aid in metamagic enhancement of certain magic items. One proteum crystal can imbue one designated spell with one designated metamagic enhancement. Crystalline proteum can emulate one effective spell level per pound of weight for the purpose of metamagic enhancement, so one proteum crystal used in this manner has a minimum weight in pounds equal to the increase in spell level that the metamagic normally requires. Spell levels emulated by proteum crystals do not count towards actual spell level.

Double Metamagic: Unlike many other effects, crystalline proteum possesses enough potency to stack a metamagic enhancement on top of a spell that is already enhanced with the same metamagic. For instance, an already empowered spell can be empowered a second time. A second application of the same metamagic feat increases the relevant values and modifiers of the spell in a similar amount and fashion. Even proteum can not apply the same metamagic feat more than twice. The table below details the difference in single application and double application metamagic spells with relation to the original, unenhanced spell.

Table: Proteum-Enhanced Metamagic
Metamagic Feat1 Effects Proteum Crystal Weight
Single Application2 Double Application
Empower Spell Numeric variable spell effects ×1½ Numeric variable spell effects ×2 2 lb.
Enlarge Spell Spell range ×2 Spell range ×3 1 lb.
Extend Spell Spell duration ×2 Spell duration ×3 1 lb.
Heighten Spell3 Increase effective spell level up to 9th Increase effective spell level above 9th 1 lb./extra spell level
Widen Spell Burst, emanation, line or spread ×2 Burst, emanation, line or spread ×3 3 lb.
Enhance Spell4 +10 (or +5) to spell damage cap +20 (or +10) to spell damage cap 4 lb.
  1. Maximize Spell, Quicken Spell, Silent Spell and Still Spell do not benefit from double metamagic.
  2. If single metamagic application boosts the effective spell level above 9th, the magic item is epic, has a caster level of 21st for 10th level or 2 levels
    over 20th for every cumulative spell level above 10th, and has the Improved Spell Capacity epic feat added to it.
  3. Double application of Heighten Spell is epic. To heighten a spell level above 9th, the item contains Improved Spell Capacity and must have a caster
    of at least 21st (see 1). Furthermore, double the weight of the proteum crystal and add the Improved Heighten Spell feat to the magic item.
  4. Epic metamagic feat. Item caster level must be at least 21st, and item must contain the prerequisite Maximize Spell feat.

Cost: Proteum-enhanced metamagic can only function inside magic items. In order for it to function properly, the magic item needs to contain the spell in question as well as the metamagic feat required for it to function, and the item's caster level must meet the caster level prerequisite of the metamagic feat in question. If the metamagic feat in question requires other metamagic feats as prerequisite, those must be added to the magic item as well. Adding a metamagic feat to a magic item is an enchantment that confers a base cost increase of +5,000 gp per additional effective metamagic spell level (for example +10,000 gp for Empower Spell). An epic metamagic feat multiplies this cost increase by 10. The cost of adding Heighten Spell to a proteum based magic item depends on the number of spell levels gained. To add epic spell levels, the spell in question must be heightened to 9th level with Heighten Spell, before adding Improved Heighten Spell at a cost of +50,000 for every spell level above 9th. Adding Improved Spell Capacity costs an additional 200,000 gp. Halve the costs in this paragraph if the magic item in question functions with charges.

To ascertain the cost a proteum based metamagic magic item, the costs attained from this section are added to the cost of the crystalline proteum, using both the item's caster level and the resulting spell level for the cost of the spell itself.

Example: Let's say epic wizard Bob is bored, and wants an epic rod that functions as a wand that shoots fireballs, and wants them to blanket a great area so that it can sate his lust for arson. He use double application of Widen Spell to attain a blast radius of 60 ft., as well as a single Enhance Spell to increase the damage cap of the spell to 25d6. Add Widen Spell (+15,000 gp), Maximize Spell (+15,000 gp) and Enhance Spell (+200,000 gp) to the item and give it Caster Level 25th to make use of our pumped-up damage cap. The combination of Widen Spell and Enhance Spell increases the effective level of the fireball spell to 10th, which is proportinally epic. Add Improved Spell Capacity (+200,000 gp). Since we're dealing with an item that works with charges, halve the costs of the interned feats. (+7,500 gp, +7,500 gp, +100,000 gp, +100,000 gp).

For double application of Widen Spell, a proteum crystal weighing 3 lb. is required (+300,000 gp). The crystal is attuned to the combination of the fireball spell and the Widen Spell metamagic feat contained within the rod and can only be used in respect to that combination. The proteum may or may not require a wish to shape.

The cost of the spell itself is the main enchantment and is dealt with as a wand. 750 × 10 (spell level) × 25 (caster level) × 10 (epic) = 187,500 gp. The cost of the proteum crystal is fixed, and remains at 300,000 gp. The other enchantments have their costs increased by one half (+11,250×2, +150,000×2). Bob's rod of epic blasting is ready for construction, and its value will be 810,000 gp (405,000 gp + 32,400 XP).

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