Saga of Jaraah
Weapons and Armor
Iron is scarce in the Shomaal and the charcoal required to refine and forge it is understood to put too large a burden on forest stocks. Therefore, iron working is heavily restricted by all kingdoms in the Shomaal. Most iron implements are scavenged from the south, but over the past 500 years, all of the nearby stocks have been depleted and the excursions to retrieve iron implements are getting longer and more dangerous. As a consequence, most armor is made of leather (from reindeer), hides (from bears), or chitin (from Claacos). This means most fighters wear leather armor (AC 8), studded leather armor (AC 7), hide (AC 6), and chitin plate mail. Chitin plate mail has an AC one worse than the Claacos from which it was made. Near the Shomaal, soldier Claacos have AC 4, so the most common chitin plate male in the Shomaal has AC 5. See Creatures of Jaraah for more information on soldier Claacos. In game mechanics terms, this means all prices are normal, but Chitin armor is extremely inexpensive compared to steel armor.
|Chitin Banded Mail||5||40 lbs||100 gp|
|Light Chitin Plate Mail||5||45 lbs||50 gp|
|Medium Chitin Plate Mail||4||50 lbs||65 gp|
|Heavy Chitin Plate Mail||3||55 lbs||450 gp|
|Full Chitin Plate Mail||2||65 lbs||1250 gp|
Iron weapons are still generally available, normal PH prices.
Crossbows: In the interest of making crossbows more … interesting, crossbow damage is higher to make them more competitive vs. bows.
Hand Crossbow: The hand crossbow is not a smaller version of a crossbow. Instead, it is roughly tubular in shape and ~18 inches long. The quarrel is launched using a spring that is compressed with a screw. A trigger releases the spring which propels the missile. Damage and range are modest, but a thief character with proficiency gains his backstab bonuses when using it on unsuspecting targets even when facing them. The thief just needs baggy sleeves in which to hide the weapon. Simply raising his arm as if to shake hands is all that is necessary to aim the weapon in close quarters. Of course the thief’s backstab bonuses apply under normal circumstances as well. When combined with poison, the hand crossbow is a lethal assassin’s weapon. The spring and screw mechanism are very challenging to make. That plus the general illegality of the weapon, it is favored by assassins and hit men, explain the exceptional cost of the device.
In some cities, there are armorers and weaponsmiths who are able to craft the highest quality of armor and weapons. There are two dimensions to exceptional quality. The first is functional: lighter weight, lower AC for armor; attack and damage bonuses for weapons. The second dimension is cosmetic: precious metal inlay, tooling, mounted gems, exotic materials.
Craftsmen specialize, so not every weapon or type of armor is available in exceptional quality in every city where exceptional craftsmen exist.