Equipment

Survival on Athas is a difficult proposition due to the scarcity of resources. Even the fundamentals of life — food and water — are difficult to acquire.

Money

Athasian currency reflects the realities of scarcity. While the city-states of the Tablelands do use metal coins, the rarity of metal means that few people ever see a coin of substantial value. Instead, most people trade in ceramic pieces, which are fired in kilns and imprinted with symbols or portraits as well as glazed dyes in order to discourage counterfeiting.

The ceramic piece (cp) is a common form of currency throughout the city-states. A ceramic piece can easily be broken apart into bits, for even smaller transactions. Any nonmetal item with a listed gold piece price in the Player’s Handbook can be purchased for an equivalent amount of ceramic pieces.

The traders and nobles of the city-states also use silver pieces and gold pieces, but these coins are particularly rare. Platinum pieces are generally found only in ancient hoards, and attempting to trade with such coinage will always bring the attention of avaricious robbers and templars.

Starting Funds

A starting 3rd level adventurer enters play with 150 ceramic pieces worth of gear and money.
A higher-level character has access to better gear:

Level Starting Gear
3 150 cp
4 900 cp
5 2700 cp

Metal Items

On Athas, metal is rarely used, because it’s hard to find, hard to work, and simply too valuable. Any item that can be made without metal typically is — whether it’s weapons, armor, or tools. Metal items are far superior, of course, but they are extremely expensive.

Any item made primarily of metal has its cost as shown in the Player’s Handbook. This means that a metal pot (cost 5 sp) has a price of 50 ceramic pieces — a full third of a starting adventurer’s funds! A two-pound iron pot would likely be melted down to make a weapon or shield.

Similarly, weapons or armor made of metal have their prices as listed. A metal long sword (15 gp) costs 1,500 ceramic pieces, a veritable fortune on Athas.

Inferior Materials

Simple practicality dictates that many tools, weapons, and armor are made from inferior materials. An item normally made from metal can sometimes be made from a less durable substance, at a reduced price but with similarly reduced effectiveness.

The following weapons, because they can be easily made without metal, can be purchased for one percent of their price in the Player’s Handbook and used normally: blowguns, all bows, clubs, all crossbows, harpoons, javelins, all lances, quarterstaves, scourges, slings, spears, staff slings, and whips. All other weapons cost the full listed price if made of metal, or some significant fraction of that price if made of non-metal materials. The increased cost of weapons made from inferior materials comes from the extra difficulty in crafting a useful and sturdy item out of such material.

Bone items are used for weapons and some tools, though bone tends to dry out and splinter. A bone item costs 30% of the listed price, so a bone long sword (normally 15 gp) would cost 4 gp and 5 sp, or a total of 450 ceramic pieces. Bone weapons suffer a -1 penalty on attack and damage rolls. Bone tools grant a -1 penalty on skill checks. Bone items have ½ the weight of metal items.

Stone or obsidian items are common among tools, like picks and hoes, as well as some arena weapons. A stone item costs 50% of the listed price, so a stone or obsidian long sword (normally 15 gp) would cost 7 gp and 5 sp, or a total of 750 ceramic pieces. Stone weapons suffer a -1 penalty on attack rolls and a -2 penalty damage rolls. Stone tools grant a -2 penalty on skill checks. Stone items have ¾ of the weight of metal items.

Wood is the least durable of the substitutes, and does not hold an edge well. A wooden item costs 10% of the listed price, so a wooden long sword (normally 15 gp) would cost 1 gp and 5 sp, or a total of 150 ceramic pieces. Wooden weapons suffer a -2 penalty on attack rolls and a -3 penalty on damage rolls. Wooden tools grant a -3 penalty on skill checks. Wooden items have ½ the weight of metal items.

Material Price Weight Attack Rolls Damage Rolls Skill Checks
Bone 30% ½ -1 -1 -1
Stone or Obsidian 50% ¾ -1 -2 -2
Wood 10% ½ -2 -3 -3
Metal 100% Full 0 0 0

Weapon Breakage

When a weapon made of inferior materials scores a powerful blow, it risks breaking from the shock. A hit that inflicts maximum damage (as rolled on the die) causes the weapon to break. Characters with Destiny points can spend a Destiny point to avoid shivering a weapon. Magical and masterwork versions of weapons are also not subject to breakage.

A PC who rolls a natural 1 on an attack roll may choose to break the weapon as a fumble. Doing so grants one Destiny point.

Nonmetal Armor

Many forms of armor can be constructed without using metal. Such armor has its cost in ceramic pieces at the price listed in the Player’s Handbook, instead of in gold pieces.

Armor that can be made with bone, chitin, or stone instead of metal includes: padded, leather, studded leather, hide, scale, and all shields.

All other forms of armor must be made with metal, and thus cost the listed value in gold pieces as shown in the Player’s Handbook.

Wearing metal armor penalizes the Fortitude save to avoid heat stroke in high temperatures. Apply the armor check penalty to the Fortitude save.

Piecemeal Armor

Warriors on Athas must often scavenge whatever armor they can find, many times in incomplete suits. Wearing partial armor provides limited protection, but it is often better than no protection at all.

Chest protection grants 50% of the Armor Class bonus of a full suit of the armor, at half the weight, and half of the armor check penalty. The price for chest protection is half the cost of a full suit.

Limb protection counts a ⅛ of the Armor Class bonus of a full suit of the armor, at ⅛ of the weight, and ⅛ of the armor check penalty. The price for protection of one limb is likewise ⅛ the cost of a full suit.

To determine the total protective value of the armor, include all fractions until all of the pieces are added up, then round the final total down. Do the same to determine weight and armor check penalty, but retain fractions on weight and round to the next lower negative number for armor check penalty. Piecemeal armor of multiple types has the maximum Dexterity bonus and spell failure chance from the least favorable piece.

Wearing medium or heavy armor on half of the body or more (chest or two limbs) reduces movement speed.

Example: Sienna wears a studded leather jerkin with leather sleeves and scale leggings. The studded leather jerkin has an Armor Class bonus of ½ the value of a full suit of studded leather armor, or 1.5. The leather sleeves count as ¼ of a full suit of leather armor, for an Armor Class bonus of .5. The scale leggings count as ¼ of a full suit of scale armor, for an Armor Class bonus of 1. The total Armor Class bonus is 1.5 + .5 + 1 = 3.

The studded leather jerkin weights ½ the amount of a full suit, or 10 lb. The leather sleeves and scale leggings weigh ¼ the weight of a full suit, or 3.75 lbs. and 7.5 lbs, respectively. The total weight for the armor is 21.25 lbs. — slightly heavier than a full suit of studded leather armor for the same protective value, but Sienna must take what she can get.

The total armor check penalty is ½ of -1, or -0.5 for the studded leather, plus ¼ of -4, or -1 for the scale mail, for a total of -1.5, rounded down to -2. Again, the armor check penalty for the piecemeal armor is worse than a full suit of studded leather for the same protective value, but scavengers can’t be choosers.

The maximum Dexterity bonus is 3 and the arcane spell failure chance is 25% for Sienna’s piecemeal armor. Since the scale leggings are medium armor over two limbs, Sienna’s base movement rate of 30 ft. is reduced to 20 ft.

New Weapons

Athasian combatants use a wide range of strange weapons, some made for exciting arena battles, others dictated by the nature of readily-available materials. All of the weapons listed below are considered easy to find in any city-state, at no additional material cost.

Dark sun weapons

1. Dragon Paw; 2. Trikal; 3. Carrikal; 4. Chatkcha; 5. Wrist Razors; 6. Cahulaks; 7. Alhulak; 8. Gouge; 9. Dejada; 10. Tortoise Blade; 11. Lotulis; 12. Gythka

Simple Weapons

Cost Dmg (S) Dmg (M) Critical Range Increment Weight Type
One-Handed Melee Weapons
Quabone 3 cp 1d4 1d6 x2 4 lb. Piercing
Ranged Weapons
Blowgun 5 cp 10 ft. 4 lb.
Blowgun needles, 20 1 cp 1 1 x2 4 lb. Piercing
Pelota 2 cp 1d3 1d4 x2 10 ft. 1 lb. Bludgeoning

Martial Weapons

Cost Dmg (S) Dmg (M) Critical Range Increment Weight Type
Light Melee Weapons
Macahuitl, light 20 cp 1d4 1d6 19-20/x2 2 lb. Slashing
One-Handed Melee Weapons
Alak 7 cp 1d4 1d6 x3 6 lb. Piercing
Alhulak 40 cp 1d4 1d6 x3 9 lb. Piercing
Carrikal 10 cp 1d6 1d8 x3 6 lb. Slashing
Impaler 8 cp 1d4 1d6 x4 5 lb. Slashing
Macahuitl 35 cp 1d6 1d8 19-20/x2 5 lb. Slashing
Two-Handed Melee Weapons
Gouge 20 cp 1d8 1d10 x3 12 lb. Piercing
Macahuitl, Great 50 cp 1d10 2d6 19-20/x2 12 lb. Slashing
Trikal 10 cp 1d6 1d8 19-20/x2 7 lb. Slashing

Exotic Weapons

Cost Dmg (S) Dmg (M) Critical Range Increment Weight Type
Light Melee Weapons
Bard’s Friend 20 cp 1d3 1d4 18-20/x2 1 lb. Piercing
Singing Stick 10 cp 1d4 1d6 x2 1 lb. Bludgeoning
Talid 40 cp 1d4 1d6 19-20/x2 4 lb. Piercing
Widow’s Knife 50 cp 1d3 1d4 x3 2 lb. Piercing
Wrist Razor 15 cp 1d4 1d6 18-20/x2 2 lb. Slashing
Two-Handed Melee Weapons
Cahulak 120 cp 1d4/1d4 1d6/1d6 x3 12 lb. Piercing
Dragon’s Paw 80 cp 1d4/1d4 1d6/1d6 19-20/x2 9 lb. Piercing
Gythka 60 cp 1d6/1d6 1d8/1d8 x2 25 lb. Slashing
Lotulis 115 cp 1d6/1d6 1d8/1d8 19-20/x2 9 lb. Slashing
Ranged Weapons
Chatkcha 20 cp 1d4 1d6 x2 20 ft. 3 lb. Piercing
Dejada 20 cp 30 ft. 2 lb. Piercing
Pelota, dejada 2 cp 1d4 1d6 x2 1 lb. Piercing

Equipment

The Water Margin JesseHeinig