In my current campaign, the PCs are up against a technologically advanced foreign Empire – one of their main…

In my current campaign, the PCs are up against a technologically advanced foreign Empire – one of their main…

In my current campaign, the PCs are up against a technologically advanced foreign Empire – one of their main advantages is “grey steel”, which is harder and lighter than regular steel. For example, their soldiers fire “grey steel” crossbow bolts which have piercing 2 (the players got their hands on some of this ammo, they now have piercing 2).

Now here’s my question: What qualities should “grey steel” armor have? Reduced weight? Increased armor? The thing I’m really unsure about is whether they should negate the piercing effect of grey steel bolts. Seems like something unusual in DW, but it could be fun.

Players, DMs… What do you think?

12 thoughts on “In my current campaign, the PCs are up against a technologically advanced foreign Empire – one of their main…”

  1. Well armor made out of grey steel wouldn’t have the clumsy tag maybe (although this means all your PCs will likely wear it)? You could also have fictional stuff like, it’s easier to hide grey steel armor under your clothes, or you can put it on faster, and sleep in it.

  2. Piercing aside, you could simply allow for grey steel scale mail (or some equivalent with Armor 2) that does NOT have the “Clumsy” tag (since it’s lighter). Spell-casters with 2 armor… oh my. 🙂

  3. Reduced weight makes alot of sense – it’s already part of the fiction that grey steel is lighter.

    I feel like removing the clumsy tag negates one of the advantages of being a fighter or paladin, or acts as a use of “multiclass dabbler” by another class to gain that advantage. It’s not a bad idea, but it would make the item much more valuable.

  4. No argument. And I’d never do that for plate, but scale only might not be too bad.

    It could be easier to hide chain armor, perhaps? Thinner, lighter metal that lets you get by with wearing it more casually. When travelling, when moving around a city, etc.

  5. Is ‘Grey Steel’ crafted of specific carbons?  Maybe scrying magic detects the wearers as animals, making the army (or a small band of heroes) much harder to detect?

  6. Huh, that’s a fun idea. Scry-resistant material. Now I see gryphons with grey steel barding flying undetected above enemy territory, dropping Abjuration-Bombs.

    More of my concern was letting one item monkey with the piercing ability of another. But my players will probably care about it as much as you guys do 🙂

  7. Should there even be grey steel armor? Perhaps it’s too rare and valuable for that.

    Or can only be forged in advanced magical furnaces in the other country, and form-fits the intended wearer.

    Or, perhaps it has unpleasant qualities as well, like being forged out of summoned demons that whisper maddening thoughts into the wearer’s head in their sleep.

  8. Without going into too much detail, how much of an edge do you want to grant the foe? With the 2d6 curve and the various damage baselines, a faction unique modifier can really skew the game towards unfun. Well unless you are running dorf fortress style. 🙂

    As a suggestion perhaps grant the armor one of the advantages. That is standard protection at reduced weight, or say grey steel piercing negation but without a weight benefit. Though if it is in use as common soldier ammo, does not appear rarity would be applicable.

    One more thought…players being the clever folks they are, what happens when they get their hands on grey steel and figure out how to duplicate the process?

  9. Granting the Empire piercing 2 ranged attacks helps to show (mechanically) how they’re really a different kind of threat from other petty kingdoms (their fictional strength). That’s worked out pretty well – even the armored monster fighter takes cover when bolts start flying.

    I do want the players to get their hands on the stuff and figure out how to replicate it. Their oft-stated goal is the defeat of the Empire, and that’s no mean feat; I’m happy to give them any edge they can justify having if they’re taking on the big bad. Plus, that’s an adventure all on it’s own – reverse engineering a metal/finding an expert metallurgist (maybe free him from prison?) or break into an Imperial Manufactorum and steal their recipes. Either way it’ll be a gas.

    I agree that armor shouldn’t have too many tags or bonuses. I like the idea that it either has similar protection at reduced weight (a thinner version of normal armor) or extra protection at the same weight (a thicker version of normal armor).

    I think I’ll avoid the piercing negation – I’ll just increase the protection value of thick grey-steel armor (maybe 3 armor for mail, 4 armor for plate). Because of the cost of grey-steel, making thick, cumbersome armor of it will be expensive, difficult, and (dare I say) dangerous…

    Thanks for the feedback guys. It really helped clear my head of the buzzing crunchflies distracting me from the awesome fiction 🙂

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