Iridium (3.5e Equipment)
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Iridium is a very rare, silvery-white metal that is often mistaken at first sight for platinum, though where platinum is soft, ductile and more suited to jewelry and coinage, iridium is incredibly hard and brittle.
Iridium is roughly 10 times as rare as platinum, and generally used in magitechnological applications.
Iridium is roughly 10 times as rare as platinum and therefore 10 times as valuable. Certain advanced civilizations press talans, which are square iridium coins with a hole through the middle that are valued at 10 platinum pieces (100 gold pieces). Wealthy merchants and businessmen from Asarr keep their talans on a cord as a sort of safety measure against theft.
Armor and Shields
In its pure form, due to its brittleness and massive weight iridium is not useful for armor. It is massively ungainly, reducing the wearer's Dexterity bonus to armor by 3 to a minimum of -3, and increasing the armor check penalty by 6 points. When wearing pure iridium armor, you are always treated as carrying a heavy load. Armor does confer high resistance to acid (10 for light, 20 for medium, and 30 for heavy) and its AC bonus increases by +3, but any successful attack damaging enough to bypass the iridium's hardness by even 1 point permanently reduces the armor's AC bonus by 1 point until treated by an armorsmith (DC 30).
Like armors, pure iridium is also highly impractical for weapons, being prohibitively expensive both in base price and maintenance. The heavy weight makes any weapon go up by one category, from light to one-handed and one-handed to two-handed. An already two-handed weapon becomes one effective size category larger for the purpose of wielding, requiring feats like Strong Grip just to wield it without a -2 penalty. The damage of the weapon increases by one size category. Unfortunately, the backlash of any successful attack dealing more damage than the weapon has hardness will add 1 point to the strain counter to the weapon. When that strain counter reaches the weapon's hardness, it breaks. Treatment by a weaponsmith (DC 30) resets any strain incurred by the weapon.
Due to the sheer weight behind the projectile, arrow tips and bullets cast from iridium deal +2d6 points of extra damage and ignore hardness lower than that of adamantine (or damage reduction based on that hardness). However, the range increment of any weapon is reduced by half when employing iridium ammunition.
A DC 20 Knowledge (architecture and engineering) check allows a character to recognize iridium and a DC 25 check reveals the following properties.
- Iridium is the most corrosion-resistant naturally occurring mundane metal known. It is impervious to any sort of non-epic acid effect and completely ignores any effects that corrodes ordinary metal, such as a rusting grasp spell, and its high melting points gives it a resistance equal to its hardness against fire effects.
- Iridium has a density of roughly 22.6 metric tonnes per cubic metre, making it roughly 3 times as dense as steel. As such, an item crafted from pure iridium weighs three times as much as the same item would when crafted from steel.
Successfully smithing pure iridium requires a DC 30 masterwork element.
Iridium has 5 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 19.
Steel can be alloyed with iridium to create high quality iridium steel. Iridium steel maintains the ductility of steel, and has 25 hit points per inch of thickness at 14 hardness. It functions as steel, but is corrosion resistant and takes no acid damage like pure iridium. Iridium steel is 20% heavier than regular steel.
Weapons fashioned from iridium steel are powerful, rigid and impacting. When made of iridium steel, a slashing weapon is naturally cutting, a piercing weapon is naturally stabbing, and a bludgeoning weapon is naturally smashing. Weapons that are a combination of physical damage types also have the corresponding qualities; a gnome hooked hammer's hammer end is naturally smashing and its hook is naturally stabbing, while an iridium steel lucerne's beaked hammer, which deals damage that is simultaneously bludgeoning and piercing, counts as either smashing or stabbing depending on what is more beneficial to the wielder at the time.
Armor and Shields
The armor check penalty of armor and shields fashioned from iridium steel is increased by 2, and the arcane spell failure chance goes up by 10%. Furthermore, armor fashioned from iridium steel gives resistance to acid. This resistance is 3 for light armor, 6 for medium armor, and 10 for heavy armor. Iridium steel armor grants damage reduction 1/adamantine if light, 3/adamantine if medium, and 5/adamantine if heavy.
Pure iridium costs 150 gp per projectile (arrow or bullet), and otherwise is valued at 500 gp per pound. This also includes weapons, shields and armor.
Iridium steel armor has the cost of six times the cost of the base armor.
Iridium steel weapons have the cost of the base weapon +4,000 gp.
Iridium steel items are always masterwork.