Special Materials

All of the materials described on this page are Curiosities; Curiosities are are mostly used in the creation of moderate magic items, but the ones listed here have other uses as well, either because they have special interactions with monster weaknesses, mundane properties that are useful when crafting weapons and armor, intrinsic properties that can be used without crafting them into another form, or the like.

More About Curiosities

Only substances with some amount of intrinsic magic can be used as Curiosities. In general, only things originating from a world other than Midgard can be Curiosities, and their value is based on how rare and difficult to acquire they are—for instance, if one travels to Vanaheim looking for Curiosities, the body parts of powerful creatures and creatures that are very unlike Midgard creatures will be worth more than weak ones and ones similar to Midgard animals, and the grass/water/sand/etc. of a Vanaheim demesne will hold very little value unless it requires some effort to harvest, permission of a demesne’s ruler, and so forth.

There are three exceptions to the “nothing nonmagical and nothing from Midgard” rule: iron, silver, and wood. Those materials have symbolic significance and a special resonance with certain creature types, as described in the next section, so one can think of them as being Curiosities for the opposite reason that creature parts are.

Iron is tracked as a Curiosity instead of as part of Coffers, as iron’s rarity in a late Iron Age scenario gives it an inherent value. In addition to crafting moderate items with them, any items made partially or entirely of iron can explicitly use Iron instead of Coffers to avoid the normal 4x or 8x cost multiplier for crafting such items.

Silver is not tracked as a Curiosity, as silver is included in the general Coins category due to its use as currency. Silver can be used in moderate item creation, pulling funds from Coins rather than from Curiosities, only if the crafter has access to a plentiful source of silver (such as a silver mine, a recent large payment in silver pieces, or the like) to justify the Coins representing actual silver rather than other forms of wealth.

Wood is not tracked as a Curiosity, as wood is included in the general Coffers category due to its use as a building material. Wood can be used in moderate item creation, pulling funds from Coffers rather than from Curiosities, only if the crafter has access to a plentiful source of wood (such as a forest, a recent large shipment of lumber, or the like) to justify the Coffers representing actual wood rather than other substances.

Additionally, just using generic “wood” is not sufficient to count as a Curiosity; the crafter must have access to specific kinds of wood based on the mystical properties of the item in question. For instance, oak trees are associated with the Æsir, and elm trees are associated with femininity, so they could respectively be used in the creation of items that channel godly power or have thematic associations with vǫlur or valkyrja of course wood harvested from species of trees only found on other worlds would always count as a Curiosity.

Materials and Damage Reduction

Several mundane materials have special intrinsic properties that make them more harmful to creatures of certain kinds. The below is a general guideline about what materials can be expected to overcome the damage reduction of which creatures.

Iron
Iron is a dense, dead material that is wrenched from the earth by miners and forced into shape by smiths, so it is a symbol of human order and ingenuity and is therefore particularly effective against creatures heavily associated with nature or who hunt or manipulate humans. Iron also “grounds” energy of all sorts, such as heat, lightning, or magic, so it is also particularly effective against creatures that rely heavily on magic for their power or existence.

As a rule of thumb, Alfar, Jotuns, Landvættir, Levantran, and Lindwurms will have their damage reduction overcome by iron.

Silver
Silver is an inconstant, liminal material that can easily be cast into any shape desired, so it is a symbol of the border between the mundane and the magical and is therefore particularly effective against creatures who can change their form or have a partly-bestial nature. Silver also possesses many useful mystical properties such as preventing disease and reflecting light, so it is also particularly effective against creatures that do not possess a physical form.

As a rule of thumb, Djavlar, Flyktig, Hamingja, Tankande, and Trollar will have their damage reduction overcome by silver.

Wood
Wood is a flexible, natural material that can split stone with its growth and adapt to any environment, so it is a symbol of protection against malevolent forces and is therefore particularly effective against inherently malevolent creatures. Wood also retains an echo of the vitality of the plant from which it was harvested, so it is also particularly effective against creatures that have survived beyond a natural human lifespan.

As a rule of thumb, Aptrgangir, Dvergar, Einherjar, Huvuddyr, and Vadligjur will have their damage reduction overcome by wood.

Armor Materials

Some materials salvaged from various creatures can be used to craft armor with special properties. If the clan has discovered what properties such armor would have, the materials are listed below.

Grendel Hide
Categories: Hide Round Shields or Hide Kite Shields
Benefits: Shields made of grendel hide count as two categories heavier for determining the damage reduction or energy resistance they grant and increase their granted armor class bonus by +4, but these benefits are halved in indirect sunlight and lost in direct sunlight.

Sea Serpent Scales
Categories: Hide or Scale Armor
Benefits: Armor made of sea serpent scales allows its wearer to take 10 on all Swim checks despite distractions or water dangers, does not count its weight against encumbrance while in the water, and grants its wearer DR W/piercing.

Smoldering Linnorm Scales
Categories: Hide or Scale Armor
Benefits: Armor made of smoldering linnorm scales counts as both hide and scale armor for armor benefits and proficiencies instead of just one or the other, grants +5 Hide and Move Silently while in foggy or smoky conditions or while in mostly-gray or -white surroundings, and improves any concealment its wearers gains by +10%.

Woolly Mammoth Fur
Categories: Cloth or Hide Armor
Benefits: Armor made of woolly mammoth fur allows its wearer to Hide in Plain Sight in very snowy or icy surroundings, turns the first 2W lethal damage dealt against its wearer by each attack into nonlethal damage, and grants its wearer a +2W bonus on saving throws against cold or wind effects.

Weapon Materials

Some materials salvaged from various creatures can be used to craft weapons with special properties. If the clan has discovered what properties such weapons would have, the materials are listed below.

Armor and Weapon Materials

Some materials salvaged from various creatures can be used to craft either armor or weapons with special properties. If the clan has discovered what properties such items would have, the materials are listed below.

Alfurjarn
The metal known as alfurjarn, or “elf-iron,” is a light but incredibly strong metal similar to both iron and silver whose exact properties are unknown.
Armor Categories: Mail or Scale Armor
Armor Benefits: Currently Unknown
Weapon Categories: Axes, Mauls, and Swords
Weapon Benefits: Currently Unknown

Magical Substances

Some materials salvaged from various creatures can be used as they are to take advantage of their special properties. If the clan has discovered what properties such items would have, the materials are listed below.

Liquid Music
This shining liquid looks like molten silver but flows like water, and originates from the demesne of the Fossergrim King on Vanaheim. A tiny sip of it will grant the drinker an improved ability to produce and appreciate music for 10 minutes: their singing voice will improve, they will have a more discerning ear for musical subtleties, and they will gain better facility with playing any musical instrument they know. A larger swallow lasts for an hour and will grant perfect pitch, a flawless singing voice, a keen ear for any sort of sound, and the ability to play any instrument held when the liquid music is drunk. A full vial of liquid music lasts for an entire day and grants the ability to instantly master any instrument, compose and improvise amazing music at will and at length, and the ability to hear beyond the drinker’s normal capabilities.

A sip consumes a negligible amount of liquid music and grants a +2 insight bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Listen checks, the ability to take 10 on any of those checks even if distracted or threatened, and if the drinker is a bard it increases his effective bard level by +2 for the purposes of Skaldic Music. A swallow consumes 2 sp worth of liquid music and grants a +4 insight bonus to the same skills, the ability to take 15 instead of taking 10 on those skills, +4 effective bard levels for Skaldic Music if the drinker is a bard, and Skaldic Music as a 2nd-level bard if he is not a bard. A vial of liquid music consumes 5 sp worth of liquid music and grants a +8 insight bonus to the same skills, the ability to take 20 on those skills without requiring any extra time, +8 effective bard levels for Skaldic Music if the drinker is a bard, and Skaldic Music as a 4th-level bard if he is not a bard.

When used as a Curiosity, liquid music can be used to craft any item associated with sound, perception, speech, or emotions.

Liquid Starlight
In the light this liquid is inky black with tiny pinpoints of white light floating in it, while in darkness it grows cloudy and shines with a bright white light, and it originates in a remote demesne in Vanaheim. A single drop of liquid starlight shines as brightly as a candle, a palmful shines as brightly as a torch, and a vial radiates a blinding brilliance.

A full vial of liquid starlight sheds light as a daylight effect, though it does not count as daylight for any purpose. Any creature within 10 feet who looks at the light must make a DC 23 Fortitude save when they come that close or start their turn that close; failure renders the creature blinded for 1 round.

When used as a Curiosity, liquid starlight can be used to craft any item associated with light, dawn and dusk, the sky, navigation, and finding things and places.

Special Materials

Saga of the Northlands PsychicTheurge