[RPG] What would be a fair price for mithral by the pound in 5th edition?


I was looking to create some mithral armor (breastplate) in a game that I have recently reached 3rd level fighter in.
In the DMG, it states that when creating a magical item, the material the item is made of would be required (+ 500gp, know-how and time), in this case mithral.

The mithral armor itself allows both the breastplate and chain shirt variants to be worn under clothes and the variants (e.g. plate) that normally impose a stealth disadvantage to forgo that disadvantage.

It may be that mithral is extremely rare or as common as quartz in the world, however based on the effect of mithral armor and from a purely game balancing perspective what would be a fair price for merchants to charge for the material mithral in weight?

Breastplate = 20 lbs

Plate = 65 lbs

Best Answer

RAW there is no price given for metals and nor should there be since it all depends on the rarity of said metal in your universe.

The DMG does however offer some tips on how to go about crafting magic items. To quote DMG p. 129:

An item has a creation cost specified in the Crafting Magic Items table. A character engaged in the crafting of a magic item makes progress in 25 gp increments, spending that amount for each day of work until the total cost is paid. The character is assumed to work for 8 hours each of those days. Thus, creating an uncommon magic item takes 20 days and 500 gp. You are free to adjust the costs to better suit your campaign.

Considering Mithral Armor is an uncommon item with a crafting value of 500 gp, unless your DM decides to set some special rules on the materials you need, the cost of crafting the item includes the Mithral ore and everything else you need for it.

This would however mean that crafting a Mithral breastplate would cost as much as a Mithral plate. This is entirely up to your DM and how he decides to rule on the cost of the whole item.

As a side note, on the DMG p. 135 there is a Magic Item Rarity table that sets the value of Uncommon Magic items as being between 101-500 gp. This could be something you can talk about if your DM decides to change the prices for crafting magic items.

Also worthy of note, Mithral is a lot lighter than steel, which would be used for most of the armor you have referred to. In the more rules heavy editions - 3.5e - Mithral was lighter, half as much as other metals. That is, however, not the case in 5e since this is not specified anywhere explicitly.