Arms and Armour Materials
Arms and Armour
Unless stated otherwise, you can assume that any metallic armor your character encounters is made from bronze scales, rings, or plates, and that any metallic weapon your character finds is likewise made of bronze. Since the great majority of Thule’s warriors are armed and armored in bronze, there is no special penalty or bonus in most combat situations.
The Atlanteans were masters of metallurgy and machines,but their influence did not penetrate to the deepest jungles of Thule. In general, the savage peoples of this land make do without metal arms or armor, while the peoples of the city-states are skilled in working copper and bronze. Barbarians who have any regular contact with civilized folk are able to equip themselves with bronze arms and armor too, whether through trade, tribute, or pillage.
People (and intelligent monsters) who have little con- tact with civilization generally wield weapons of stone, bone, and wood. In many cases, these inferior materials are still quite sufficient to do the job—an arrow with an obsidian point is nearly as lethal as one with a hard metal point, as long as the target isn’t wearing armor made from better materials. Naturally, few adventurers insist on using primitive weapons when better weapons are available, so even the most savage hero usually gets his hands on a bronze spear or sword early in his career once he begins interacting with more civilized folk.
Weapons and armor made from iron are rare. The only people in Thule who know the secret of working iron are the dwarves, and they do not simply sell their prized arms. In fact, most dwarves assume that anyone carrying an iron weapon murdered a dwarf and stole it, and treat the bearer accordingly. When dwarves do make a gift of an iron sword or shield to a worthy recipient, they usually put a “mark of iron” on the recipient—a small tattoo or brand of the smith’s rune, indicating that the bearer has the right to carry that weapon. Of course, many raiders and marauders carry iron weapons looted from dead heroes and don’t have any such mark. But dwarves are not above hiring thieves or assassins to get these weapons back when they learn of one.
The mages and craftsmen of Atlantis also knew the secret of working iron, of course, and a number of strang- er and more mysterious alloys as well—steel, mithral, adamantine, orichalcum, and others. It is possible that these secrets may still survive in some Atlantean ruins, but for the most part this knowledge has vanished from the world. A small amount of Atlantean weapons and suits of armor can be found in the treasuries and vaults of Thule, and they are generally regarded as priceless. Only the greatest of princes or kings own such marvels.