Value of Metals in D&D
||Cost per lb.
||An alloy of adamant (a strong but brittle metal), silver and electrum. Adamantine is black, but has a clear green sheen in candlelight – a sheen that sharpens to purple-white under the light given off by most magical radiances and by will-o-wisps.
||A yellow-ish metal that somewhat resembles gold. An alloy of copper and zinc.
||A red-ish brown metal. An alloy of copper and tin
||Cold iron is iron found in a pure state (either meteoric iron or an especially rich ore) and is forged at a lower temperature to preserve its delicate properties.
||This well-known pure metal has a distinctive pinkish sheen.
||A natural alloy of silver and gold.
||This well-known pure metal is the softest of workable metallic substances.
||Iron is a silver-white malleable metal that readily rusts in moist air, occurs native in meteorites and combined in most igneous rocks. It is the most used of metals.
||Lead is a heavy, grey, soft, malleable, metal.
||This silvery-blue, shining metal is derived from soft, glittering, silvery-black ore.
||This light gray metal with very slight bluish tinge is strong, difficult to melt, and resistant to most chemicals.
||This relatively common valuable metal is the most associated with and suitable for magic.
||Steel is an alloy made out of Iron and Carbon.
||A soft, silvery-white metal that is often combined with other metals or used as a layer to protect various metals.
Most of the following information is from “VoLo’s Guide to All Things Magical”.
This is the pure metal form of the hard, jet-black ferro magnetic ore known as adamantite, from which the famous alloy adamantine is made. Adamant is rarely found in nature, but when it is, it is always be in large spherical pockets in hardened volcanic flows. Adamant is one of the hardest substances known, but it is also brittle. A sword made of adamant could slice through most metals but would snap off if struck by another blade or even a smartly wielded wooden cudgel.
This alloy, of five-eighths adamant to two-eighths silver and one-eighth electrum (itself a natural alloy of silver and gold) retains the hardness of adamant, but combines it with a rugged durability that makes adamantine so hard to shatter that it is the favored substance for the making of war hammer heads, the best nonmithral armor, and harbor chains. (By one of the miracles granted by the gods, adamantine can also be derived by combining steel and mithral if one knows how. Adamantine is black, but has a clear green sheen in candlelight a sheen that sharpens to purple-white under the light given off by most magical radiances and by will-o-wisps.
Adamantine is tricky to make, and must be forged and worked at very high temperatures by smiths who know exactly what they are doing and who have access to special oils to slake and temper the hot metal in. Almost all such expert smiths are dwarves, as the Deep Folk guard the secrets of working adamant jealously, but a priest or wizard seeking to enchant items can make use of finished adamantine items and need not necessarily have to work with a smith to create an adamantine work anew.
This well-known pure metal, with its distinctive pinkish sheen, is the best widely available purifier and amalgamator among metals. It is soft and easily worked, widely known. The wizard and especially the priest seeking to work with a substance or item not suited to his or her faith or purpose can make the offending item usable by adding at least half the item’s weight of copper to the item. (For example, by sheathing it in copper or adding a longer handle plated in copper, or similar means.) Holy or unholy water should not be stored for any length of time in copper vessels, because the metal will neutralize either in a few months, changing them to normal water.
This well-known pure metal is the softest of workable metallic substances, and one of the best conductors among them. Despite its high value, it is relatively common and is favored for use in ornamentation in the making of magical items, often being used as an inlay in graven runes or inscriptions, where meld magics can keep it from being damaged or falling out through rough handling. Gold has the important ability to hold multiple enchantments, even conflicting ones, and keep them from affecting each other or the stability of the gold-adorned item.
Known as truemetal to the dwarves, this silvery-blue, shining metal is derived from soft, glittering, silvery-black ore found in rare veins and pockets all over, from the depths of the Underdark to surface rocks. Mithral can be combined with steel (varying alloys of iron and carbon) to derive adamantine if one has no access to adamantite ore, but this process is both difficult and known only to a very few dwarves, who do not perform it for nondwarves unless there is a very good reason.
Mithral is the lightest and most supple of metals hard enough to be used in the making of armor; it is extremely valuable.
This relatively common valuable pure metal is known to the elves as “the sheath and shield of Art” because, of all metals, it is the most associated with and suitable for magic. Many dwarves use silver in various alloy formulae of their own devising or that have been handed down through clans for generations. Most of the beauty of metalwork down through the ages has been associated with the gleam and hue of mirror-polished, untarnished silver, and it has always been associated with the adornment of magical items.
Very Awesome information. I have looked for years for something translatable into D&D
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I am glad you like it. Feel free to make adjustments if needed to fit your particular campaign. Today I realized that I need to add information about how much each of these metals weigh. For instance, how much would a one-foot square, one inch thick, piece of adamantine weigh? I need to work this out for each of the metals. If you already have this information on any of these metals please share.
This will help.
Click to access weightspercubicfoot.pdf
Divide the values by 12 to get the weight of a 1’x1’x1″ piece of the material.
I’d guess that Adamantine weighs the same as Bronze, while mithral the same as aluminium.
Electrum is an alloy, so assuming it’s ~50:50 then it is 900 lb/cu ft
Excellent resource! Thank you very much. I will make this the bulk of my next post.
From The Dragon #17, August 1978, Adamanite is aprox. 4/5 the weight of iron. I couldn’t find
anything official more recent.
From the 3.5 SRD “An item made from mithral weighs half as much as the same item made from other metals. weapons.” so I’ll put its weight at half that of iron or steel.
Electrum can be from 40% gold up to 70% – I think 50% works just fine.
Excellent and glad to help. I even managed to do it without mentioning what a bloody stupid system the non-metric measurements are (oops!).
Useful info on Adamantine and mithral. I had assumed the latter was even lighter, but it’s closer to titanium than aluminium.
I hadn’t really thought about how much heavier metals are than stone before – aluminium weighs about the same as granite!
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In the PHB for 5e, the trade value of 1 lb. of copper goes for 5sp.
That would be correct. 50 coins weigh 1 pound (regardless of the type of coin). So 50cp = 5sp.
Refer to this post:
This is just perfect… perfect, i was in the process of creating a similar chart and then i tumble on this amazing work. Great work sir !
Thank you for letting me know. I am glad it helped.
“Gold has the important ability to hold multiple enchantments, even conflicting ones, and keep them from affecting each other or the stability of the gold-adorned item.”
Yet, nowhere can i find rules for enchantment for 5e. do you have any on hand or can show me any? I have been interested in expanding the playing field for players making their own weapons, and armor, and such.
Pardon my delay in responding to your post. I was on vacation.
You may have already found the answer to your question, but here is what I have to say.
5th edition does not have rules for creating magic items. It is more like 1st and 2nd edition in that magic items are intended to be found, not created, and perhaps not purchased. Note there are no prices for magic items in the PHB or DMG. 3rd and 4th edition had rules for creating and prices for magic items.
I like only finding magic items, but in a high magic campaign I would allow magic shops where old magic items could be purchased. I will still not allow PCs to create magic items and I would rule that the art of enchanting items was lost long ago.
The reason, as a DM, I like having only found magic items is that it gives me a lot more control over what magic items are available. They only get the items I want them to have. Also I don’t want my players spending a lot of game time creating their custom magic items.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t have house rules for creating magic items if you want that in your game. I would base that loosely on the 3rd and/or 4th edition rules. Here is a variant rule you might want to look at:
Personally I found that “Spocks guide to Grand Enchantments” to be a useful and relatively balanced 5e enchanting system, as well as a fantastic gold sink for late game!
I hadn’t heard of this before. I did a little search and found “Mordenkainen’s Manual of Magical Crafting” by the Reddit user “Spock_42”. It may not be the one you are referring to, but I like it! If this isn’t what you are referring to, please send me a link.
Here is a link to what I found:
Ask your DM for help with this. There are rules in the DMG for DMs to adjucate magic item creation. Your character can work on them during downtime.
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I dont think you got your prices right for metal per lb, it should be 5gp for 1lb of silver, & 5sp for 1lb of copper
You are absolutely right. Thank you. I fixed it and also reduced the price of steel to 4 gp. because I think that silver should cost more than steel.
It is hard to believe that this post has been here for over a year and you are the first one to catch that.
Adamantine isn’t ferrous, as it does not contain iron. also, saying it has both silver and electrum is redundant as electrum is a silver/gold alloy.
otherwise, this chart will help me greatly
A little redundancy never hurts, but I try to avoid an overabundance of redundancy 🙂
I am glad you like my chart.
I see your point about Adamantine not being ferrous because it does not contain iron. However, who is to say that the definition of ferrous couldn’t be expanded to include metals that contain adamant? I would argue that in the D&D multiverse adamant is a metallic ore that has many properties in common with iron. Specifically that it is effected by a rust monster’s antennae attack, is attracted to magnets and can become magnetized. It has so many properties in common with iron in this regard that it is considered another ferrous metal.
Of course, as the DM of your D&D game, you can have Adamantine non-ferrous if choose. It is not a game breaking change in any case.
Great information here! I’m just curious on your sources for the Adamantine and Mithral? I’m trying to put a crafting spreadsheet together and the prices just seem far to high?
I’m sorry but I can’t recall where I got those numbers. They probably came from an earlier version (before fifth edition). However, if you find a source with better values please let me know. Remember that, although Adamantine is about the same weight it as steel, Mithral is half that weight. At any rate, feel free to change any of this for your own campaign.
You may indeed be correct in that they are both way over valued in regard to the current edition of the game. “Xanathar’s Guide To Everything” has Adamantine weapons 500 gp more than their normal versions. That would place the value of Adamantine at about 200 gp/lb. [I divided the 500 gp value by 3 lbs. which is the weight of a long sword, to get 166.66 which I rounded up to 200 gp.]
Mithral is harder to put a value on. I have it set at half that of Adamantine, but it could easily be more valuable because of it’s rarity. I might price Mithral armor as if it were a rare magical item – DMG Page 130. Note that Mithral is not typically used for weapons.
Thanks Ronny for the posting this helps detailing my campaign – fleshing out resources for my host village with a highly skilled Master Blacksmith – was researching medieval access to steel – since in DnD it seems steel is highly common, so I figure my village would import most of it. Thanks again for the info.
Thanks Earl for letting me know how you are using this. I am glad that it helps.
Only issue I have with this is the mithral/adamantine prices, this would put a suit of armor of either of these metals at an INSANE price/value, despite being a common/rare item?
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Now you could make the argument that adamantine weapons/armor are only lined with it, but mithral armor is supposed to be mithral.
D&D Beyond (which I don’t use) lists both Mithral and Adamantine Armor armor as uncommon.
The per pound price of Mithral doesn’t matter much, because it is so light. The cost per pound of Adamantine doesn’t matter much for armor because it is only reinforced with it.
My rule is that the adamantine version of a suit of armor, or a melee weapon or of ten pieces of ammunition costs 500 gp more than the normal version, whether the weapon or ammunition is made of the metal or coated with it. And that the mithral version of a suit of armor or a melee weapon costs 200 gp more than the normal version.
Check out my post on non-standard weapon/armor materials here:
really interested to learn what other minerals and ores are available across the planes. I have an artificer who swears he can make synthetic rubies from chromium and aluminium oxide powder and a plasma generated from high voltage electrical arc. the science checks out, and it stands to reason that those components would exist somewhere given that rubies exist. It’s also been pointed out that mercury is listed as a spell component but not on the list of metals…
I would assume that all of the materials and ores that exist in our world would exist somewhere in the world of D&D baring any DM edict. But combining materials and using high energy beams would be beyond the technology available to PCs. It would fall under alchemy, the study and philosophy of how to change basic substances (such as metals) into other substances. It also studies how substances (and how they are changed into other substances) are related to magic and astrology.
It is the role of the DM to determine what is and is not available to the players. As an example, I do not allow gunpowder in my games. It is true that all of the components are available, but the PCs do not have the knowledge required to create it. You must always keep Player knowledge and PC knowledge separate – not always easy.
Remember that the “science” of the D&D world is not our modern science, but is more like that of the pre-Newtonian world.
Refer to this post, it might help put you in the right mindset: https://olddungeonmaster.com/2017/10/04/dd-5e-laws-of-motion/
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RA Salvatore’s newest book introduces (I think it’s new) a new metal called ‘Icaridon’. Not sure on spelling, listening to an audio book. Sounds like ee-car-id-on. Shiny, ‘lustrous’, valuable metal, good for making armor. Resists Fire, Lightning and Acid. Mined by the sverfneblin.
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What about energone
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As far as I can tell, energone was never a metal in the D&D universe.
There were monsters classified as energons in previous versions, but I don’t think they ever became official fifth edition monsters.
There is a living metal called energon (without an “e” on the end of the name) that Transformers are made of, but if you are playing a Transformer game using D&D rules I am afraid that you are on your on.
If anyone has any additional useful information regarding energone, please let me know.
energone is a living metal that comes from the planes of irian and mabar
look at the website the folowing;energon eberron wiki fandom.
I am sorry but I still can’t find the energon metal you are talking about. A google search for “energon eberron wiki fandom” takes me to this site:
But I looked at that site before and it only talks about Energons that are “sentient energy that has coalesced into an alien form of life.” These are creatures and not metal. If this is not the site you mean, please post a link to the site you are referring to.
also if you need to give your characters a cool magic item you could check out the book of vile darkness in the dungeon masters guide.
o i thought that was the thing you were seching for sorry ill try to find something else
sorry i cannot find enything sorry
im not so sure there is a metal called energone
If it was you, posting as Anonymous, that asked the original question regarding energone, why would you ask your question on this post on METALS? I have spent a lot of time trying to find any reference to an energone metal in D&D. I had assumed your inquiry was serious.
Sorry for fuming. I do appreciate everyone’s interest but it would help if everyone would take a second to make a simple google search before posting a question.
no it wasint me
Then I apologize for the rant. That is one problem with anonymous posts. Thank you for your help in clearing up this topic.
In 5e the lore about combining mithril and steel to create adamantine is considered to be false and non-canon. Just saying in case you want to use it for a session in adventure league.
Thanks for pointing that out. I guess that I need to make it clear that nothing on this site is endorsed by Adventures League, or by Wizards of the Coast for that matter.. I have never participated in Adventures League in any way but I do recognize that it is a great way for many to play in games where they may otherwise not have a game available.
Dumb question but the AC listed here is the difficulty for mining / extracting them or is the AC of the itens made using these metals?
It is the Armor Class of items made with this metal.
F.Y.I. For Difficulty Class I would have typically used DC instead of AC, but I can understand your confusion. I have had a problem with this all along. It should be used as a guide. For instance, not everything in the Player’s Handbook that is made of steel has an AC of 19. So you should use this as an indication of the metal’s relative AC. You could take armor or a weapon that is made of steel (which is the typical metal that they are made of) and ask:
“Chain mail in the Player’s Handbook is AC 16, What would it be if it were made out of Tin? ”
In my table Tin’s AC is 12, steel’s AC is 19.
Using a little high school algebra:
What do we have to multiply 19 (the AC of Tin) by to get 12 (the AC of Steel)? or 19*X=12.
To solve for X, divide both sides by 19 which gives us X=12/19 or X=0.631578947368421 We can round this off to 0.6. So we can then multiply the Steel Chain mail’s AC of 16 by 0.6 to get 11.4 We round that down to get a Tin Chain mail AC of 11.
Sorry for the confusion. I hope this helps.
For more on non-standard weapons and armor refer to this post:
I’m about to play a forge cleric in an upcoming campaign and this chart has been a huge help, thank you
That’s great. Thanks for sharing.
Why does ore like adamantine cost way more than the armor made out of that material?
These prices are just recommendations, feel free to change them in your game.
The price for one pound of metal listed above is not the price of one pound of ore but rather the price of a solid chunk of metal. The value of the ore is much less. Typically one tenth or less.
Most armor is made from steel. In D&D 5E, Plate armor for example weighs 65 pounds and cost 1,500 gp. Where 65 pounds of steel, according to the table above, would only cost 260 gold pieces. The difference is the manufacturing cost. True, 65 pounds of pure Adamantine would cost 325,000 gp. But Adamantine plate is only steel plate that has a thin coating of Adamantine. This is referred to as being “plated” in Adamantine. The same is true for Gold, Electrum, Platinum and Silver armor and weapons.
If you want weapons or armor in your game to be made of solid Adamantine you can either greatly increase the cost of those items, or reduce the cost of one pound of Adamantine.
If these prices don’t correspond to the cost of Mithral, Bronze or any other weapon or armor in your game you should adjust the prices per pound accordingly. Be sure to allow for the additional cost of manufacture. Some of these metals may be difficult, or nearly impossible to make into weapons or armor.
It may also not require as much of a stronger metal to make a similar item. Refer to this post for weights of different metals:
Good question, Thanks.
We’ve had official costs for Adamantine since 2018. It costs 100 gp per lb (a 10 lb bar is worth 1000 gp).
Can you me know where you found this information? I can’t find it. 100 gp per lb would make it less expensive than Mithral or Platinum. I think it should be more expensive than either of these, but perhaps not as expensive as I nave here.
Here is what I did find:
In the “Tomb of Annihilation” (printed in 2017), on page 64 it says “Each adamantine ingot is worth 10 gp and weighs 1 pound.” So a 10 lb bar would cost 100 gp.
In “Xanathar’s Guide to Everything” (also printed in 2017), on page 78 it says “The adamantine version of a melee weapon or of ten pieces of ammunition costs 500 gp more than the normal version, whether the weapon or ammunition is made of the metal or coated with it.”
And, I wouldn’t consider this official, but in Oct 4, 2018 on D&D Beyond, “Initiate of the 3rd Circle” posted in a thread called “The Value of Ores in 5e” Adamantium cost 25 gp per lb.
You will notice that my post was made in 2016. I may have Adamantine over priced for 5E, but I would like some source to reference. I think ToA has it priced way too low as well.
hey there is rarer metals
such as destructonium made by the famous necromancer DEATH
This was my take on metals available in a typical D&D campaign. If I were to try to include all fantasy metals from all sources, it would be a never-ending task.
If “Death” is the name of a necromancer in some published D&D book, tell me where I can find it. I am afraid that I am not familial with it. If this is the name of a character of yours, tell me all about destructonium . I’m interested.
destructonium is a metal infused with souls of any being the more powerful the soul the more powerful the destructonium
What is the source, book or whatever? Where can I find this information?
it is most commony found in the staff of a powerful lich or necromancer
the color of destructonium is the color of the of the soul it is infused with
If you are just making this up, fine, but please let me know.
My mind holds all of this info
Cool. I like it. How about some more information?
First; who is DEATH? How and why did he create destructonium? If “destructonium is a metal infused with souls of any being the more powerful the soul the more powerful the destructonium”, in what way is destructonium powerful? Can powerful weapons be made with it, or is it a magical substance such as could be made into a magical talisman of some sort? What benefit does the inclusion of souls in the metal provide? Where do the souls come from? How can they be liberated form the metal? How do you determine how powerful the soul is?
1) Cost per lb. (If it can’t be purchased, how can it be obtained or created?)
2) Is it Ferrus?
3) What is its AC?
4) How about a description? (color, shiny/dull,can it be melted and cast?, can it be worked by fire and anvil?, what it is typically used for?)
5) Weight per cubic foot
6) If a weapon or armor was made of it, what would would be its weight (relative to steel)?
7) How common or rare is it?
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