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 Post subject: elves and iron
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:32 am 
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Are elves supposed to be sensitive to iron WEAPONS as well as armor? Given that a sword hilt is usually wrapped in something (most likely not iron), or an axe would likely have a wooden handle, etc... would they not be able to use such a weapon because of the sensitivity?

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RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:25 am 
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Maybe its a sort of anti fey /elf 'radiation', and close proximity effects them?


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:03 am 
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Elves are supposed to be sensitive to iron period, weapons, armour, utensils, that gate over there, iron itself is what is poisonous to the elves. It's derived from mythology, where iron was poisonous to the fae, and could even deter them as they were loathe to touch it or even go near it. Think of it more like a supernatural bane and you're on the right track. It notes that even exposure (close proximity) is uncomfortable for elves, and that they train with (and start with) a mithril weapon too. It wouldn't bother to go that route if simply having a wooden shaft, leather hilt wrap, or pair of gloves made using iron weapons bearable. I think enforcing the discomfort (including potential penalties after a few rounds of very close proximity) and damage from iron are vital tools in helping balance the class.

Colin


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:33 am 
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That elves cannot abide iron is, of course, based on folklore and mythology, as Colin pointed out. It is also based upon the source materials from Appendix N (in turn, based upon that folklore and myth). You will definitely see this come up in the Poul Anderson works from Appendix N, for example, where elves not only cannot abide iron but also cannot abide daylight. Poul Anderson also has his elves use strange alloys without iron, that are known only to themselves.

The DCC RPG has made me go back and re-read the Appendix N stories I knew, and seek out those I did not. I am currently reading Jirel of Joiry by C.L. Moore, and I have recently read a few of the Poul Anderson novels, esp. Three Hearts and Three Lions and The Broken Sword. In comparison to Poul Anderson's elves, DCC elves have it easy.

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SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:45 am 
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Yeah, thanks. I think the balance argument is probably the most persuasive. But by the same token, I don't think it ought to be easy to obtain mithril stuff. (Sorta cheapens the iron sensitivity, doesn't it?)

I asked the question because I really hadn't given it any thought for my own campaign, heh. So now I figure I'll give my elves a much harder time, but I suppose that is easily balanced by the patron bond stuff that they can access at level 1.

_________________

RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:09 am 
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beermotor wrote:
Yeah, thanks. I think the balance argument is probably the most persuasive. But by the same token, I don't think it ought to be easy to obtain mithril stuff. (Sorta cheapens the iron sensitivity, doesn't it?)

I asked the question because I really hadn't given it any thought for my own campaign, heh. So now I figure I'll give my elves a much harder time, but I suppose that is easily balanced by the patron bond stuff that they can access at level 1.


If you have a chance to read any of the Poul Anderson stuff, I recommend doing so. First off, it clarifies the intent in the rules (and provides a non-JRRT view of elves). Second, there are some cool inspirational ideas to rip off....er....I mean, use. :D

And mithral is hard to get. The rules state that an elf can buy a suit of mithral armour and a mithral weapon at normal cost once. How that occurs within the context of the campaign milieu is left to the individual judge. I've come up with several answers to that one, many of which are supernatural, and others of which are natural.

_________________
SoBH pbp:

Cathbad the Meek (herbalist Wizard 1): AC 9; 4 hp; S 7, A 7, St 10, P 17, I 13, L 8; Neutral; Club, herbs, 50' rope, 50 cp; -1 to melee attack rolls. Hideous scar.


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:13 am 
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beermotor wrote:
But by the same token, I don't think it ought to be easy to obtain mithril stuff. (Sorta cheapens the iron sensitivity, doesn't it?)


Not really. Consider that they can only purchase one weapon and piece of armour in mithril at normal cost once, and that it's not really any better than normal iron rules-wise. Neither item is magical, but both items *are* desirable and expensive. Many magical weapons and armours are still going to be iron-based (and thus still deleterious to elves), plus anyone and everyone who knows what mithril is will take a very keen interest in the elven character, making them a likely target of thieves, thugs, and anyone else who desires mithril or recognizes its worth. Add in the risk of such mithril items getting lost, broken, confiscated, or otherwise removed from play, and the elf character is going to find that they are as much liability as benefit.


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:50 am 
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Colin wrote:
beermotor wrote:
But by the same token, I don't think it ought to be easy to obtain mithril stuff. (Sorta cheapens the iron sensitivity, doesn't it?)


Not really. Consider that they can only purchase one weapon and piece of armour in mithril at normal cost once, and that it's not really any better than normal iron rules-wise. Neither item is magical, but both items *are* desirable and expensive. Many magical weapons and armours are still going to be iron-based (and thus still deleterious to elves), plus anyone and everyone who knows what mithril is will take a very keen interest in the elven character, making them a likely target of thieves, thugs, and anyone else who desires mithril or recognizes its worth. Add in the risk of such mithril items getting lost, broken, confiscated, or otherwise removed from play, and the elf character is going to find that they are as much liability as benefit.


All excellent points. Wonder if any of my 0-level elves will survive tonight's exciting conclusion to Portal!

_________________

RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:19 pm 
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I think it is also worth specifically noting that an Elf character isn't likely to get the last weapon and armor that they will ever want to be able to use when they get their once ever mithril discount, since that is specifically an option they have at 1st level - I know my buddy that is playing an Elf (with a particularly high Strength and moderate Intelligence) has plans to quest for mithril plate mail which he couldn't possibly have afforded at 1st level... and he'll need more mithril to re-forge his sword if he shatters it on a fumble again.


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:32 am 
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So in my gaming it has been of great discussion that this hindrance could be quite hindering to an elf as they will likely not be getting many opportunities to obtain magical weapons like other members of the party.

I am curious when a module says something lthat the players find is say a +1 mace or sword how do others handle this do you make a roll to see if it has the potential to be constructed of mythril? Do you provide opportunities for your elves to mine mythril and possibly have the jangle coated of reforged?

I am just trying to consider ways because it can really seem that an elf is stuck between classes where they really aren't a great fighter because they don't get deeds but if they wear armor they can't be a great spell caster pecause of penalties.


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:11 am 
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Unless an item is described ad being made of something that's distinctly "not iron/steel" then I assume it's iron/steel, but I haven't used any old modules for DCC yet, so haven't really encountered the "generic +1 weapon" approach. I'd probably rule that 90% of such items are iron/steel-based, with the rest being made of unusual metals, alloys, or other substances. Then again, I'm not fussed about life being tough for elves; they can fight, wear armour, and wield magic, so while not distinctly the best at any of those things, they do have versatility and choice on their side. I think the difficulties caused by the iron bane are great for roleplaying too; really helps make the elves feel less human.


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:22 am 
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Hmm... this gets me thinking what other kind of materials that an Elf would be able to use other than Mithril. Are there any other effective materials that at not iron/steel? As useless as a gold sword would be in battle, it would *appear* cool. hehe


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 10:03 am 
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mindshadow2k wrote:
I am curious when a module says something lthat the players find is say a +1 mace or sword how do others handle this do you make a roll to see if it has the potential to be constructed of mythril? Do you provide opportunities for your elves to mine mythril and possibly have the jangle coated of reforged?

I am just trying to consider ways because it can really seem that an elf is stuck between classes where they really aren't a great fighter because they don't get deeds but if they wear armor they can't be a great spell caster pecause of penalties.


I am with Colin and think iron bane is good for roleplaying and making an actual distinction between humans and elves. So I don't mind if the elf character needs to hunt a little harder or possibly even quest for weapons and armor.

With that said, if you as judge think the magic weapon in a module is a good fit for an elf and the timing seems right by your eyes, then that is pretty easy to just change in-place to a mithril weapon. The judge ultimately will control how difficult or easy it is for an elf to gain mithril weapons and armor.


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:36 pm 
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bitflipr wrote:
Hmm... this gets me thinking what other kind of materials that an Elf would be able to use other than Mithril. Are there any other effective materials that at not iron/steel? As useless as a gold sword would be in battle, it would *appear* cool. hehe


Bronze. There's a reason it was used as the standard material for arms and armour for thousands of years; it was very effective. :) If your setting follows largely Earth-like development in terms of metallurgy, you could rule that some truly ancient magical items are made from bronze rather than iron or steel.

Colin


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2012 6:47 pm 
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For good metals ideas, play Dwarf Fortress, or look at the metals mining and smelting and alloying stuff on the wiki. Bronze is a good one, but copper is plentiful, too. Also, you could skip metals entirely... Flint arrowheads, shark's teeth clubs, stuff like that. Some of the best DF weapons were obsidian short swords, because obsidian has conchoidal fracture like Flint/quartz.

_________________

RoM pbp:
Hamun Ry (Wiz 4)
Str 10 Agi 15 (+1) Sta 11 Per 11 Int 17 (+2) Luc 10 (Unholy House). Align: C. AC: 14. HP: 13. Melee +1, Ranged +2. Crit: d8, I. Save: Ref +5, Fort +3, Will +4.
Spells: 1: Choking Cloud, Comprehend Languages, Detect Magic (odd crystal growths), Magic Missile (mirror images), Runic Alphabet (Mortal) (ravenously hungry), Ventriloquism (rain of frogs)
2: Detect Invisible, Levitate (extremely difficult, d14), Mirror Image (20% chance to raise/lower luck by 1d3 points).
Equip: Ring of the Sand Djinn: +2 AC/saves, Invisibility for 1min/spellburn point, or unmake for great, unknown effect. Padded Armor, Longsword, Longbow, quiver w/20 steel-tipped arrows, 10 silver-tipped arrows, backpack, spellbook, quill and ink, sturdy parchment (10 sheets), 5 days rations, high leather boots, belt w/ belt pouch, gray robe, dark gray hooded cloak. Also carries 3 small mechanical toys: wind-up mouse, wooden puzzle cube, small jewelry box that plays a little tune.


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 6:27 pm 
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mindshadow2k wrote:
I am curious when a module says something lthat the players find is say a +1 mace or sword how do others handle this do you make a roll to see if it has the potential to be constructed of mythril?


I haven't run across this because no one has rolled up an elf yet, but what if the chance of a weapon being mithril was equal to the chance of a character being an elf.

Neatly enough, that chance is exactly 1 in 10.


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:07 pm 
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Colin wrote:
Bronze. There's a reason it was used as the standard material for arms and armour for thousands of years; it was very effective. :) If your setting follows largely Earth-like development in terms of metallurgy, you could rule that some truly ancient magical items are made from bronze rather than iron or steel.
Colin


Brilliant... I hadn't considered historical progress in metallurgy for ancient equipment. Might not even need to make it necessary by age and technology - it could be a feature of local geography being abundant in tin and either lacking in iron, or lacking in high-temperature forge fuel (coal, coke) required for steel.

I'm always on the lookout to incorporate different aspect's of Goodman's 'medieval economy' (I omit feudal, as I expect economies to have some regional variance)


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 Post subject: Re: elves and iron
PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:49 am 
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PretentiousMoniker wrote:
Might not even need to make it necessary by age and technology - it could be a feature of local geography being abundant in tin and either lacking in iron, or lacking in high-temperature forge fuel (coal, coke) required for steel.


Very true. There's a strong argument for the case that iron didn't become prevalent because it was superior (at least initially) because early iron certainly wasn't, but because of a shortage of the tin needed to create bronze and the expense in obtaining it.

Colin


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