Mithril Chain Mail - do you use it? Who can wear it?

Hey all. I was curious if anyone uses Mithril Chain, or “Elven Chain” as 1e calls it, in your games. And if you do, who can wear it? It is typically described as very light and subtle, like wearing a typical over shirt rather than any form of armor.

So, would you allow a character normally restricted to leather armor wear something like Mithril chain as a unique property of the armor or would you limit it to those who’s class gives them the ability to wear chain?

I am always curious how people view this sort of rare and valuable material in their game or if you even use it?

I was thinking of incorporating it into my campaign and just curious how other ACKS and Classic games use it, if at all.

I was going to include Mithril, Stygian Iron (its steel can affect insubstantial and the undead/dead to greater effect), Adamantine (its origins are rare and confusing, some think it fell from the skies while others claim it is found in the heart of mountains/stone).

Search for “elven armourer” in the first post of Chronicles of the Grim Fist III. I pretty much stole that wholesale :-).

You could probably do something similar for the others.

Mithril armor is characterized as being significantly stronger and less encumbering than normal armor. This is exactly what magic armor does. You could treat mithril armor as being mechanically identical to enchanted +1 ARMOR with the following changes:

  1. To make mithril armor, one needs an amount of mithril ore (or processed/recyled mithril) equal in value to the normal requirement of monster parts instead of the monster parts.

  2. The magical/alchemical processes to forge and shape mithril (as simulated by the magical research roll) is not a persisting enchantment and it therefore does not detect as magical (though it will have a faint residual aura for d6 weeks after enchantment from its creation). Any character with an appropriate proficiency or who is a dwarf can instantly recognize mithril and even the untrained can tell that the armor is strangely light from handling it.

  3. A non-caster character with 3 levels in craft(armorer) and at least 1 level in alchemy can craft mithril armor. The character still needs the same amount of mithril, a workshop just as a caster would (this workshop may or may not be compatible with a mage’s workshop), and a special formula for non-magical mithril working known to few. Without the formula, mithril items can still be forged, but it costs 3 times as much as it would for a caster making the same item without a formula (re-inventing non-magical mithril forging from scratch is HARD).

  4. A sample of processed Mithril (such as a piece of armor reduces the cost without a formula to 2*non-formula crafting (there is still a lot of trial and error to figure out the formula, but the careful experimentation and analysis of the sample quickens the process). Using a sample in this way requires the crafter to roll craft armorer with a failure destroying the item (the crafter still gets the benefit from the sample, he just loses the valuable item, good thing he can now replace it :slight_smile: ).

Sounds good?

If I forgot to mention it, the magical research roll of a qualified non-caster crafter is the same as a caster of the same level adding one per proficiency level of craft(armorer) (i.e. +3) and does not add intelligence. I’m debating whether there should be a small bonus for being a dwarf or elf.

I also haven’t done magical mithril items. I would be the cost of an item with the total bonus (so mithril (+1) chain with an additional +1 enchantment bonus would cost and act the same as +2 armor but would detect as +1 armor, assuming there is a magical detection effect that differentiates +1 and +2 armor).

Don’t forget that using rare metals and other materials adds +1 to a magic research roll per 10,000gp. While modeling mithril can be interesting, if you’re not eager to add a bunch of rules about it, you can simply assume that magic armor given a sufficient bonus from mithril would be made out of mithril (since, as others have pointed out, being magical has the same general effect). The next easiest implementation would be, as others have pointed out, to let mithril stand in for monster parts, perhaps 1gp of mithril per 1xp of monster parts. This makes mithril extremely valuable as a way to circumvent a lack of a particular type of part for a recipe, so limiting it to things mostly made of metal would be fairly important.