Mithral is a metal widely used in D&D games, books, settings and novels. Its name is derived from mithril, or silver-steel, a fictional metal introduced by J. R. R. Tolkien in his Lord of the Rings:

"Mithril! All folk desired it. It could be beaten like copper, and polished like glass; and the Dwarves could make of it a metal, light and yet harder than tempered steel. Its beauty was like to that of common silver, but the beauty of mithril did not tarnish or grow dim." (The Fellowship of the Ring, "A Journey in the Dark", in Gandalf's words).

The name of the metal was changed to avoid copyright mess, but it still frequently used in gameplay. The source of Tolkien's idea in the real world was most probably titanium, as this metal, while actually quite abundant as ore, was very expensive to produce in its metallic form (especially by medieval technology), and has some of mithril's properties of strength, bright silvery colour, corrosion resistance and light weight. Yet usually in D&D campaign settings mithral is given more magical role (and can even co-exist with titanium itself).


Cost modifiers Edit

Type of mithral item Item cost modifier
Light armor +1000 gp
Medium armor +4000 gp
Heavy armor +9000 gp
Shield +1000 gp
Other items +500 gp/lb.

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