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What does it cost per pound to make non-combat items out of adamantine? I can't find any specific number anywhere. Mithral has a price per pound but adamantine does not.

The closest I've been able to find are specific examples of tools made of adamantine, but the prices don't agree enough to come up with a common number per pound.

Dungeonscape has:

Tool Price Weight
Adamantine drill 200gp 1 lb.
Adamantine Hacksaw 600gp 1 lb.
Adamantine Manacles 2,000gp 5 lb.

I could have sworn I saw a set of adamantine thieves' tools somewhere, but I just went searching and couldn't find them.

Do anyone have a definitive answer this this? Or a firm way to extrapolate the answer?

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    \$\begingroup\$ 10' adamantine section of vehicular armor plating is listed as 5,000gp and 5,000lbs. \$\endgroup\$
    – nijineko
    Aug 15 at 18:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @nijineko Yeah, I saw that, but I disregarded it, since that works out to one gold piece per pound which is ridiculous. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kuro_Neko
    Aug 16 at 0:52
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The only answer I could find

2,000 gp per lb.

This comes from A Magical Society: Silk Road, and while this may not be a first-party source from Wizards of the Coast, there does not seem to be any materials from them on the matter. I also could not find any other published third-party materials that list a price per pound for adamantine,to compare with.

If this value is too rich, or not rich enough, for you/your DM's taste, then read on as the rest of this answer will be dedicated to coming up with some alternative numbers and the calculations I have used to justify them.

Method 1: Average Item Weight

The first method is to find the cost of all items that can be made with the table that we are given in the Special Materials section, subtract the base cost of the item, divide by the item's weight, and average all these values of the same item type to come up with a value.

I performed this process both with and without the additional step of removing the item's masterwork cost before dividing by weight. The result was a range of values from 157 gp to 1,027 gp.

Method 2: Mithral Comparison #1

Looking at the prices for mithral we see that the price per pound is a half of light armour or shields, an eighth of medium armour, and an 18th of heavy armour. Applying these proportions to the values of adamantine items of these types gives us a range of 833 gp to 2,500 gp.

Method 3: Mithral Comparison #2

If we take the price per pound of mithral, multiply by the weight of an item that can be made of mithral, and then divide by the usual cost increase for that item we come up with a value which we will refer to as that item's Cost Efficiency Ratio (or CER).

For example, a mithral chainshirt:

\$CER = 500 \text{ gp/lb} \times 25 \text{ lb } / \text{ } 1000 \text{ gp}\$

\$CER = 12500 \text{ gp } / 1000 \text{ gp}\$

\$CER = 12.5\$

Assuming the CER is consistent between mithral and adamantine, we can rearrange the equation and change the mithral prices for adamantine ones to get the price per pound of adamantine for the item:

\$PPP = CER \times \text{light adamantine armour } / \text{ item weight}\$

\$PPP = 12.5 \times 5000 \text{ gp } / \text{ } 25 \text{ lb}\$

\$PPP = 62500 \text{ gp } / \text{ } 25 \text{ lb}\$

\$PPP = 2500 \text{ gp/lb}\$

Doing this for all armours and shields we can make from mithral gives us a range of 857 gp to 2,500 gp.

Method 4: Relative Masterwork Cost

This method was saved for last as it does not give a fixed value to work with, and requires there to be a masterwork version of the item you wish to create to compare costs with.

The additional cost of a masterwork weapon or ammunition is 300 gp and 6 gp, respectively. The additional cost of an adamantine weapon or ammunition, which includes masterworking, is 3,000 gp and 60 gp; ten times regular masterwork. This same comparison can be done for each of the armours, coming out at 33 and a third, 66 and two thirds, and 100 times masterwork for light, medium, and heavy respectively.

Therefore, for any item that can be made masterwork, you can choose whatever is deemed to be an appropriate multiplier, from 10 to 100, and simply multiply the masterwork cost by this value to determine its cost to make an adamantine version.

For example: thieves' tools normally cost 30 gp but masterwork ones cost 100 gp, a difference of 70 gp. By this method adamantine theives' tools would cost somewhere from 730 gp to 7,030 gp.

Method 5: Reclassification

While researching for answering this question I stumbled across the adamantine shears in the Pathfinder SRD. These are basically hedge trimmers with adamantine blades. They are described as being able to cut through things like a scimitar, which would explain their 3,000 gp increase over their regular steel counterpart.

Thus, this method is simply to ask yourself "does adding adamantine to this tool make it a weapon, armour, shield or ammunition?" and if it does, simply use the apporpriate price.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Whether or not you downvoted, I appreciate that you took the time to provide constructive feedback to help me improve the answer. It is honestly a little disheartening that there are people who have downvoted the answer after I spent hours researching, calculating and writing, but have not left what they felt was a better answer or a comment to indicate why it is deserving of being downvoted. \$\endgroup\$
    – Magnetude
    Oct 13 at 11:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ They may simply have agreed with me, and not felt it was necessary to add more comments saying so. Perhaps they will now change their vote. Anyway, another question: for your methods, you talk about taking the average across many items, but you then wind up with a range. I’m a little unclear what that range signifies. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 13 at 11:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ "average all these values of the same item type" so I averaged all weapons, all ammunition, all light armour, etc. but I did not average weapons AND ammunition together, for example. I did this because the different item types have different cost increases (a weapon is +3000gp vs. heavy armour being +15000gp), so if they were averaged together they would contribute unequally to the average. I probably could find total average for that method, but I don't think I saved the spreadsheet I was using, so I would have to reconstruct it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Magnetude
    Oct 14 at 13:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ OK, that seems fair, but it needs to be clearer in the answer. It might be helpful not to just give the range but the individual values themselves, if you have the data. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Oct 14 at 14:23

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