View Full Version : Please Explain Arrows

05-06-2011, 04:57 AM
ok i understand there are many kinds of arrows out there different materials and what not but i cant find anywhere that tells me what they DO im not talking about what its made of or what the properties are i want to know if say i fire a cold iron arrow at something do i get a + to a roll does it do more damage or does it just make the orc feel slightly chilly the types of arrows that im specifically looking at are
cold iron
alchemical silver
steel tipped
hell if u know any that i missed jot them down too
(much appreciated thank you)

05-06-2011, 05:32 AM
It depends on the material, and what you're firing at. Firing a cold iron arrow at an orc likely won't have any special effect, since they aren't susceptible to that material. However, fire it at a fey creature (like a dryad or pixie) and it would do additional damage to them. Its sort of like how if a creature is vulnerable to fire it means fire based attacks deal extra damage. Certain creatures are vulnerable to cold iron and alchemical silver.

For adamantine and steel tipped arrows the materials allow a master craftsman to better refine the arrow head. Which allows him to give it a much shaper and effective point. This means that the arrow can better penetrate both armor and flesh. In turn that lets the arrow deal more damage, so they would provide a bonus to hit and damage.

Thats been my understanding of it anyway.

05-06-2011, 02:43 PM
The way most of these materials works is depend on the system you are using. in 3/3.5 these creatures are usually resistant to normal weapons; they take less damage from common weapons of steel. When you use special material weapons, like silver against a werewolf, Cold iron against a Dryad, or adamantine against a iron golem, it bypasses their defenses; allowing more damage to get through.

Because arrows are cheaper to forge in those materials than a full weapon, it is usually a good idea if you have a bow to carry the variety of arrows for the different types of creatures you may encounter. Bypassing a DR (Damage Resistance) of 5 or 10 is very useful. In any case, arrows that are forged in this matter are considered masterwork weapons and garner a +1 to hit (though does not stack with enhancement or other masterwork bonuses from like a masterwork bow or +1 bow).

In 4e, where the mechanics are different, the use of materials is dependent on the creature or the magic item it reflects. For instance, use of silvered weapons against a werwolf prevent it from regenerating/healing for a round. Use of a cold iron weapon will do more damage when it hits a monster with the fey keyword.

05-06-2011, 04:29 PM
ok i think i understand now im a bit of a new player and i couldnt find the explanation in any book (available to me) thank you very much i was banging my head against things for a while there trying to figure it out lol

05-07-2011, 02:25 AM
Well, actually I think most "Special Material" arrows will give at the very least a +1 to attack as most of them are required to be of Masterwork Quality (iirc) but other than that, its pretty much the same, in most guides they will give you a general idea of what the bonuses are if any.

05-08-2011, 11:25 PM
you can find it in the dmg (book), and the srd (d20srd.org).