MINING

Miner (2, WIS-3 *):
The uses of this proficiency are primarily described and
expanded upon in the rules on mining (page 49). A character with
this proficiency is needed to find a site for a mine, and to supervise
the operations of the mine.
Equipment=750 gp, varies
* This proficiency requires a d20 roll for success each time it is used.

<
Mining may provide some detection abilities:
See gnome, mining skills.
See dwarf, mining skills.

Miners have 2-5 (female) or 2-7 (male) HP (DMG.88)
Miners have +1 to +3 STR (DMG.100)
>

Equipment: The amount of equipment needed by a miner varies
considerably with the type && size of the mining operation. A
character who simply intends to pan for gold in a stream needs little
more than a shallow pan and a container for his findings.

A tunnel mine involves a great deal more work && equipment.
Picks && shovels are needed to excavate the ore, and timbers,
hammers, and spikes are necessary to shore the tunnel. If the
tunnel is long, a few mining carts are probably needed to help
move the ore. As the tunnel grows, so does the need for equipment.
Cost: 750 gp
Space: Varies


1. Where to Mine
2. Types of Mines
3. Excavating a Tunnel Mine
3a. Shoring a Tunnel
4. Products of a Mine
4b. Quality of Mine Products
5. Calculating the Value of a Placer Mine
6. Smelting Ore
7. Finishing Stones
8. Duration of a Mining Site
9. Inherent Hazards of Mining
-
Mines
-
Blerred (god of mining)
Dungeoneer's Survival Guide
-
Underground Construction
-
Player's Handbook

Perhaps the most valuable of all natural underground
resources are the stones && metals found by miners. Mined
resources of the underworld contribute greatly to life on the surface.
Strong metals like copper && iron are necessary elements
of blacksmithing, while valuable stones and metals like emeralds,
rubies, and gold are all highly prized.

With the introduction of the miner proficiency, <e>
it is quite likely that some PCs will
take an interest in mining. As always, this is subject to the DM’s
wishes. Should a DM allow the PCs of a campaign
to initiate mining ventures, the rules of this section provide a
framework for governing the outcome of the enterprise.

Where to Mine

Patrick Keith - Deep Ore.jpg

A wide variety of regions could yield something of value to the
intrepid miner. As a general rule, a character with miner proficiency
stands a chance equal to his WIS score (plus his
miner proficiency modifier) of finding something of worth where
he elects to dig.

Certain areas do not yield anything of value, regardless of the
success of the proficiency roll. Examples of areas where mining
is a waste of time include regions of deep sand or dirt, or areas of
hardened lava. Of course, streams flowing through such regions
might have brought traces of a valuable ore or a gemstone, but
mining the ground itself is virtually guaranteed to yield nothing in
these areas.

If a character with miner proficiency seeks to mine an area that
the DM believes might yield valuable material, the character can
make a Proficiency Check after thoroughly searching the area.
Such a search requires at least a week of time under good
searching conditions, and generally covers an area about four
miles square.

Good searching conditions mean that the character cannot be
fending off bandits or hunting for food while he is searching. A

48


deep snow cover makes such a SEARCH impossible, while even a
thin coating of snow doubles or triples the time needed to search
an AREA. Steady rainstorms, rough terrain, and even the short
hours of daylight typical in wintertime can all interfere with the
would-be miner’s SEARCH.

When these or other adverse conditions exist, the DM must
decide how much additional time is required before the area is
suitably searched.

After this search is completed, the player is allowed to make a
Proficiency Check for his character. If the roll is unsuccessful, so
is the miner’s search. He can repeat his search of the same area
if he wants to, but the task grows more difficult.

The second time an AREA is searched by any character with
miner proficiency, the character’s chances of finding anything of
value are rolled with a -1 modifier to the Proficiency Check. In
addition, twice as much time is required to search the area the
second time. If the attempt is made a third time, a -2 modifier
applies to the Proficiency Check, and the search time is tripled.
An area can be searched as many times as desired, with corresponding
increases in penalties. Of course, after a certain point
the modified Proficiency Check automatically fails, and further
searches are fruitless.

If the Proficiency Check succeeds, however, the miner has discovered
something of value within the area searched. Exactly
what he has discovered is determined by Table 30: Mining
Products.
 

Types of Mines

The types of mines that are commonly encountered in a fantasy
world include placer mines && underground (or tunnel)
mines. The strip mining common in the modern age requires
heavy equipment not found in the typical AD&D game campaign.

* Placer mining involves sifting gravel, dirt, sand, and water from
a flowing stream or river. Most commonly employed above
ground, placer mining is a relatively simple mining operation. At
its most basic level, the only requirements are a character with a
shallow pan and a great deal of patience.

A placer mine gathers the mineral content of an underground
vein of metal that has been eroded by water and has flowed
downstream. It finally collects in some part of the streambed,
where the miner separates it from the water. Because only the
mineral wealth that has been eroded from the ground collects
along the streambed, placer mining is not the way to discover a
lode of significant value.

* Operating an underground, or tunnel, mine requires a great
deal more work than a placer mine--but the potential for wealth is
much greater. An underground mine consists of a tunnel excavated
into the earth. The rock that is dug from the tunnel is examined
for riches.

Because this book deals solely with the underground, the rules
on mining deal primarily with tunnel mining. Of course, placer
mining is still possible along underground streams, but underground
characters and creatures are much more likely to labor in
the lucrative tunnel mines.
 

Excavating a Tunnel Mine

Excavating a tunnel is hard and time-consuming, but is necessary
to remove the mineral wealth of the underdark. The rates for
excavating various types of ground and rock follow (reprinted
from page 106 of the DMG). These rates are given in cubic feet
per miner per eight hour period.

49



 
 

Table 27: MINING RATES *                  Type of Rock
Race of Miner Very Soft Soft Hard
Gnoll, Halfling, Human 75 50 25
Gnome, Kobold 80 60 30
Goblin, Orc 85 65 30
Dwarf, Hobgoblin 90 70 35
Ogre 150 100 50
Hill Giant 250 150 75
Fire Giant, Frost Giant 300 200 100
Stone Giant 500 350 175

    * Rates are in cubic feet/miner/eight hours.

The maximum number of miners that can work in a 10-foot wide
tunnel depends on race:
    Dwarf, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, Kobold: 16
    Hobgoblin, Human, Orc: 12
    Gnoll: 8
    Ogre: 6
    Giant (any): 4

A mine tunnel must follow the shifting vein of a mineral through
the earth. Such a path typically requires a 10-foot-wide by 10-
foot-high tunnel.

When a miner first discovers a mineral vein, roll 1d6. Multiply
the result of this roll by 10; this is how far down (in feet) the tunnel
must be dug to intersect the mineral vein.

Once the vein is discovered, mining can begin in earnest. To
determine the path of the vein, roll 1d4, with the result indicating
the direction of the vein’s path as follows:

Table 28: MINERAL VEIN DIRECTION
D4 Roll Vein Runs
1 North-South
2 East-West
3 Northeast-Southwest
4 Northwest-Southeast

The vein runs at least 20 feet in the direction indicated.

After each 20-foot section of tunnel is excavated, the DM should secretly roll 1d8 to determine the path of the vein.

Table 29: VEIN PATH ALTERATIONS
D8 Roll Changes
1 Steep descent
2 Shallow descent
3 Curves right (10-60 degrees)
4 Curves left (10-60 degrees)
5-6 Continues straight
7 Shallow ascent
8 Steep ascent

Q: How about some guidelines for
what constitutes a "shallow descent" and a "steep descent"
(Table 29, page 50 in DSG)?

A: A shallow descent is a slope of less than 15°.
A steep descent describes slopes steeper than this.
(118.58)

Miners who wish to continue working the mine must follow the
vein, even if it goes in a direction they would rather not follow. If
the path of the vein takes a course that makes it impossible to follow,
such as emerging into thin air through a sheer cliff face, that
particular course of the mine has run out. Of course, the miners
are free to follow the vein in the other direction.

If both directions of a vein end, the mine provides no more minerals.
This rule takes priority over the “Duration of A Mining Site
rules (see page 53).

In unusual circumstances, such as a vein ending in a cliff with a
facing cliff across a narrow gorge, characters may attempt to pick
up the vein again across the gorge. The success of such an
‘attempt is left to the DM’s discretion; generally, the probability of
such an occurrence is determined and a die rolled to see if the
miners are successful.
 

Shoring A Tunnel

A tunnel mine must be regularly protected with wooden or
stone support pillars, called shoring, or else sections of the tunnel
will almost certainly cave in. Shoring can be accomplished by
characters with carpenter, stonemason, or miner proficiencies.

As a general rule, each 10-foot section of tunnel requires two
side braces and a ceiling brace. If the tunnel is the standard 10
feet wide and 10 feet high, this takes 30 feet of bracing that is at
least one foot in diameter.

Each set of shoring supports takes four man-hours to construct.
Unless the character doing the shoring is extremely strong
(18/50 or greater STR), moving the braces into the mine
requires additional manpower or animal help.
 

Products of a Mine

When a miner successfully locates minerals, the player rolls
1d100 and finds the result on Table 30: Mining Products.

Table 30: MINING PRODUCTS
D100 Roll Product of Mine
01-30 Copper
31-40 Tin
41-66 Lead
67-84 Iron
85-92 Silver
93-97 Gold
98 Platinum
99 Mithril *
00 Gemstones **

* This indicates the possibliity of mithril, the material needed to create elven chain mail.
A mithril mine can only exist deep under the earth in the most solid layer of bedrock.
If the locale of the mine is in such an AREA, the player rolls 1d10 and compares the result to Table 31: Mithril Check;
otherwise, reroll on Mining Products Table.

** The player must roll on Table 32: Gemstones to determine what type of stones the mine yields.

Table 31: MITHRIL CHECK
D10 Roll Metal Discovered
1-5 Silver (highest quality)
6-8 Gold (highest quality)
9 Platinum (highest quality)
10 Mithril

50


Q: What are mithral and adamantite?

AMithral is a very rare metallic ore that has a cloudy silver luster
in mined form, but when refined and made pure becomes
brilliant and silvery. It is soft, as metals go, and is easily fashioned
into jewelry by dwarven, gnomish, human, and elven
craftsmen. However, it is primarily used in alloys with pure steel
to fashion weapons, shields, and armor; mithral/steel alloys
retain magical dweomers much better even than the purest iron,
and they may be enchanted to +4 quality.

< ( see Streams of Silver, R.A. Salvatore ) >

Adamantite is an even rarer ore that seems to come in several
basic hues: brown-gold, blue-silver, and green-silver; a few cases
are known of black adamantite ore (from drow enclaves).

Adamantite
is extremely difficult to mine because of its hardness,
and must be made molten to be of any use at all. Usually only
dwarves, gnomes and humans have access to adamantite, since it
is found very deep in the earth and in very small quantities,
though drow are able to find enough of it to make their armor
and weapons. Adamantite must be alloyed with high-grade steel
to be usable in making items, primarily because it is too rare to
'waste' by making pure adamantite devices. Adamantite-alloyed
armor and weapons maybe enchanted to +5 quality. It may be
that pure adamantite can be enchanted to +6, but this is uncertain.
Drow-made adamantite weapons are ruined by exposure to
sunlight, because of the loss of special radiations that keep their
powers operating; normally, adamantite items suffer no such
problems. There are rumors that githzerai (see the FF Tome) house themselves in adamantite fortresses, but
this is extremely unlikely and is probably a rumor only; wasting
adamantite on making forts is hard to excuse, and it is just not
found in such quantities.
    There are no commonly circulated mithral or adamantite
coins; if there were, they would be almost unusable by virtue of
their great cost. A 1 g.p. weight of mithral would command
upwards of 50 g.p.; an equal amount of adamantite would be
much more expensive than that.
(76.62)

Table 32: GEMSTONES
D100 Roll Type of Stone
01-08 Bloodstone <link: H2?> 
09-18 Onyx
19-24 Turquoise
25-30 Agate <quartz.agate> 
<banded agate, eye agate, moss agate> 
31-36 Aquamarine
37-42 Garnet
43-48 Jade
49-54 Alexandrite <chrysoberyl.alexandrite>
55-60 Amethyst
61-66 Topaz
67-72 Jet
73-77 Opal
78-82 Ruby
83-87 Sapphire
88-92 Diamond
93-96 Emerald
97-99 Roll twice on this table
00 Roll three times on this table
<colours could be added>

If a 97 or greater is rolled, the player immed. makes the
additional rolls indicated. Any of these additional rolls that yields
a 97 or better again grants the additional number of rolls. Thus
there is no limit to the number of rolls that are possible if the
player is lucky.

If a result yields the same substance twice, this should be
noted (e.g., Jade x2). This means that the mine yields twice the
usual amount of that mineral. The same level of quality applies to
all of a single type of stone found in a mine.
 

Quality of Mine Products

Metals

The fact that gold has been found in a mine does not mean that
a character can immediately begin to gather up armloads of gp
and head for the moneychanger! First, the quality of the ore must
be determined. Even the highest quality metals usually require
some processing or purifying before they can be sold for their full
value.

If the product of a mine is a metal, the mine usually yields the
metal in its ore form; that is, heavily mixed with rock. A very pure
vein that yields nuggets of pure metal may occasionally be discovered,
but generally a character with smelter proficiency must
process the ore to its pure metallic state.

The quality of the metal or ore equals the number of coins that
can be produced from the metal mined by a single miner in a
week.
    For example, a copper mine with a rating of 200 cp means
    that a single miner working the mine for a week produces a pile of
    ore that, when smelted, yields a grand total of 200 cp.
To determine the quality of metal gained from a mine, roll ld10
and compare the result for the relevant metal on Table 33: Ore
Quality. The result is the number of coins of metal the mine yields
in one man-week.
 
 

Table 33: ORE QUALITY                                   D10 Roll
Type of Metal 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10*
Copper 100 200 250 300 350 400 500 750 1000 2000
Iron 200 300 500 700 900 1200 1600 2000 3000 4000
Silver 25 50 100 200 300 400 500 750 1000 2000
Gold 10 25 50 100 200 300 400 500 750 1000
Platinum 5 10 20 40 75 100 250 400 800 1000

* If a 10 is rolled when determining the metal’s quality, roll 1 d10
again. If another 10 results, the product of the mine is a pure vein
of metal, and requires no smelting to separate the metal from the
ore. If a 1-9 results, the metal must be smelted normally.

If a character attempts to sell the ore without smelting, the selling
price is no more than 25% of the value of the pure metal, and
might be as low as 5% of the pure metal worth. The asking price
depends on the difficulty that the buyer will have in transporting
the ore and having it smelted.

The amount of coinage indicates how much metal is produced.
This does not mean that the metal must be used to make coins.
This is particularly true in the case of iron. One thousand coins
worth of iron equals a full suit of plate armor, 100 spear points, or
500 arrowheads.
 

Bleredd (god of metal)
Fortubo (god of metals)
 

Gemstones

Just as the mined metal is in a rough form, gemstones fresh
from the mine are not nearly as valuable as they are after finishing.
Gemstones are rough and often unrecognizable when first
discovered. Characters with miner or jeweler proficiency can correctly
identify a stone after 1d6 turns of study; other characters
simply see another rock.

The quality of a gemstone mine depends on the number of
stones in the find and the value of each stone. As with metals, the
number of stones is the amount that one miner can excavate in a
week. The value of the stones is the average value for the finished
stones. Of course, some stones are more or less valuable
than this amount, but the average is accurate for calculating the
income from the mine.

If the stones are sold unfinished, the selling price is no greater
than 25% of the listed value, and might be as low as 10% of the
listed value. As with metal, the true value here is determined by
the difficulty that the purchaser will have in finishing the stones,
as well as the bartering skills that are used to role play the negotiations.
The value of a gemstone find does not remain constant.

Instead, the value is rolled each week to determine the worth of
that week’s output. However, the quality determined for the week
applies to all miners working that entire week. The number of
miners who work each week is determined before the dice rolls.

Table 34: GEMSTONE QUALITY
Type of Stone # per Man-Week Average Value
Bloodstone 2d10 20 + 10d6 gp
Amber <not noted @ T32> 1d10 6d100 gp
Onyx 3d10 10 + 10d6 gp
Turquoise 4d10 5d6 gp
Agate <see note @ T32> 4d10 5d6 gp
Aquamarine 1d10 10 x 5d6 gp
Garnet 1d10 100 x 1d4 gp
Jade 2d10 10 x 5d6 gp
Alexandrite 1d10 100 x 1d4 gp
Amethyst 1d10 100 x 1d6 gp
Topaz 2d10 100 x 1d4 gp
Jet 1d10 10 x 5d6 gp
Opal 1d10/3 * 200 x 1d6 gp
Ruby 1d10/3 * 200 x 1d8 gp
Sapphire 1d10/4 * 200 x 1d8 gp
Diamond 1d10/5 * 300 x 1d6 gp
Emerald 1d10/5 * 300 x 1d8 gp

* To calculate the number for these categories, roll 1d10, divide
the result by 3,4, or 5, as indicated, and round up.

51


In addition to the base value calculated for the stones mined in
a given week, a miner stands a chance of discovering an exceptional
stone. Roll ld100 each week the mine is operating. A result
of 00 means that an exceptional stone is unearthed.

If an exceptional stone is found, the character who unearthed it
can roll 1d100 and multiply the result by the average stone value
for that week. This yields the value of the exceptional stone. For
example, if the average value for the week’s output of a turquoise
mine is 20 gp, a result of 68 yields a turquoise stone worth 1,360
(20x68) gp.
 

Ulaa (goddess of gemstones)
 

Calculating the Value of a Placer Mine

As mentioned previously, placer mining generally yields less
profitable results than tunnel mining. For purposes of these rules,
the profitable mining of copper, iron, mithril, or any kind of gemstone
with a placer mine is impossible.

Characters who have discovered gold, silver, or platinum
deposits can try to mine these with a placer mine. To calculate the
value of these finds, follow the normal quality determination procedure
outlined on page 51. Then roll 1d4 and multiply the result
by 10. This number is the percentage of full value that can be
gained from a placer mine.

For example, if a gold mine is determined to yield 50 coins
worth of gold per man-week, and the d4 roll is a 4, the mine actually
yields 20 gp instead of 50 gp per man-week of mining.
 

Smelting Ore

A character with smelter proficiency can remove metal from
ore. As with mining, only one character with smelter proficiency is
required to run a smelting operation. Other, unskilled characters,
can work under the supervision of the character with the proficiency.

The smelting of ore requires a fairly extensive collection of
equipment. Because the ability to generate a very hot fire is crucial,
smelters must have a bellows system as well as several
unmeltable containers to hold heated ore. Most minerals require
a coal fire for smelting, but some can be smelted by wood fires.
A smelting operation produces much smoke and smell, so it is
almost impossible to conceal. If done underground, the ventilation
of the smelting area must be carefully attended, or the smelting
fire is likely to consume all of the oxygen in the area.
 

Finishing Stones

Gemstones rarely require the complicated procedures needed
to smelt ore from rock, although occasionally the application of
heat is necessary to remove excess minerals or rocks that are
crusted around the gemstones.

The usual finishing procedure for gemstones requires a character
with gem cutter proficiency to cut and polish the stones.
The drawback to this process is that a given character can only
finish 2d20 stones in a day. Consequently, the rate at which the
stones can be excavated usually greatly exceeds the rate at
which they can be finished.
 

Duration of a Mining Site

A given mine always contains a finite amount of mineral
wealth. Occasionally, this amount is enough to keep a mining
crew busy for a lifetime or more; much more frequently, however,
the mine plays out after a certain period of time.

To determine how long before a mine’s wealth is depleted, the
DM should secretly roll d100 at the start of the mining operation.
The resulting number equals the number of man-weeks that the
mine can be worked before depletion. If the resulting number was
doubles (e.g., 11, 22, 33, etc.), however, the mine has a much
longer duration. Roll d100 again, and this time read the result as
the number of man-months that the mine lasts, adding this figure
to the number of weeks already determined.

If this second d100 roll also yields doubles, roll d100 a third
time, and this time read the result as the number of man-years
before the mine is depleted. Further doubles rolls are also
rerolled to provide an additional number of years, until a d100 roll
is made without a doubles result.

For the sake of convenience, treat each month as four weeks
and each year as 48 weeks, or 12 months, when totalling up the
mine’s longevity. Note that man-weeks refers to the amount of
work that one human miner performs in a week. If 12 miners are
engaged in excavating a given mine, 12 man-weeks of the mine’s
lifetime are used up every week of the mining operation.

If the mine is a placer mine, disregard any doubles rolls for the
duration of the find. Thus, a placer mine is always depleted after
1-100 man-weeks of work.

Inherent Hazards of Mining


 
The Claim Hireling Loyalty Natural Hazards Unnatural Hazards Mining

Despite the tremendous amount of wealth that can be generated
from a successful mining operation, this is definitely not a
free lunch for avaricious PCs. Any mining operation
includes an inherent set of hazards, and every successful operation
attracts additional problems almost automatically.
 

The Claim

The piece of land to be mined is often referred to as a claim, in
that the miner claims the right to remove mineral or gemstone
wealth from the ground. If the miner, whether PC or
NPC, holds a clear and undisputable legal title to the ground in
question, the claim is usually not a problem initially.

Except in the most civilized and well-developed areas, however,
a clear and undisputable title to land is an uncommon occurrence
in a fantasy world. If anyone holds title to a piece of land, it
is usually a king or some other ruler who exhibits an understandable,
if selfish, interest in the wealth of his land.

It might be possible for a character to gain a mining charter
from a ruler, allowing the character to mine a given tract of land.
In this case, a hefty percentage of the mine’s profit must be
turned over to the ruler. Such arrangements might call for as little
as 25 or 30% to be claimed by the ruler, but more often require a
50% share to be turned over. The lower claims are only made if
the ruler has a weak grasp on his kingdom and wishes to avoid
conflict. A strong ruler always asks for 50% of the mine’s
products.

The ruler generally takes steps to insure that his fair share is
turned over to him. These steps may include such tactics as placing
a spy among the miners working the claim, surprise inspections
of the mining site, or discreet observation of the operation
from a relatively safe distance. Sometimes the character doing
the smelting or finishing is in the employ of the ruler and loyally
reports the exact amount of material processed.

If a miner is caught cheating his liege, the punishment is usually
death. If a ruler is inclined to show exceptional leniency, the
character might be allowed to live--perhaps even retaining all of
his body parts--but he will certainly not be allowed to continue to
operate the mine.

A claim made on a piece of wilderness land is free, at least initially,
of the need to negotiate a charter with a ruler, but Such
claims have attendant problems of their own. Consider that the
land is a wilderness most likely for one of two reasons: either the
land and its denizens are too savage for settlements to exist, or
no one has discovered any useful purpose for that piece of land.

53


It is not at all unlikely that a piece of land, thought for centuries
to be worthless, could become highly sought after by many different
rulers, should the land be discovered to contain valuable mineral
resources. In this case, the PCs might find themselves
embroiled in a war for control of the land. Whichever ruler ends
up in control will no doubt wish to exact a tribute from the miners
on his land. If the PCs have aided the winning ruler during the
course of the conflict, it is quite possible that they will be allowed
to continue to operate the mine with taxes going to the ruler. If the
PCs actively opposed the winning ruler during the course of the
war, there is very little likelihood that their claim will be recognized.
At best, they might manage to flee with their lives and
some small profit from operations up to that point.

Savage denizens present a fairly obvious hazard to would-be
miners. Raiding monsters show no particular favor to PCs perceived
to be trespassing on the monsters’ territory. Of course, if
the monsters are somewhat intelligent and not inclined to take
over mine operations themselves, it may be possible for the PCs
to negotiate some kind of arrangement with them, similar to the
charter that might be signed with a ruler. However, monsters, particularly
chaotic ones, have notoriously little respect for such
agreements; they might easily cancel the agreement with no
more notice than a battle-cry or surprise attack.

Even if an area is presumed to be wilderness, there is no telling
who or what might think that they own it. To such landlords, legal
or not, any kind of operations on their land are perceived as trespassing.

Another hazard of wilderness mining operations is that the
characters have no legal protection for their claim. Such a claim
is generally owned by whichever creature or party is most capable
of holding it against other interlopers or claim-jumpers. The
number of claim-jumpers climbs in direct proportion to the profitability
of the mine, since the more money it makes, the more
attractive it becomes to others. A mine that is producing considerable
wealth might attract distant creatures or high-level characters
whose only purpose is to try to take over the mine by force.

A commonly attempted but rarely successful tactic for preventing
these headaches is for the miners to attempt to conceal the
mine. This virtually never works in a settled area, and has only a
limited chance of success in the wilderness.

Several problems must be overcome in order to conceal a mine
from unwanted discovery. First, the mine itself must be hidden in
such a way that it cannot be discovered by a creature that happens
to pass nearby. Secret doors and piles of brush and twigs
are commonly employed to hide a mine’s entrance.

The tailings, or unwanted refuse from the mine’s excavation,
often give away the location of a mine. The standard procedure is
to simply dump excess rock at the mouth of the mine and go back
in for more. If characters exert great care, they might be able to
spread the tailings over a large area and keep the mine’s location
a secret. The tailings could also be dumped into a river, lake, or
deep pit. This requires more effort than the actual digging of the
mine, however; if miners attempt to scatter the tailings, the rate of
mining is no more than 25% of what it could be if all of the workers
were actually mining.

The noise involved in chipping away at the stone of the mine
can provide clues to its location, especially to creatures of the
Underdark. Few things are as disconcerting to a group of miners
as to have a bulette burst into the tunnel between the miners and
the outside world.

If the mine is located next to a smelter, the characters had better
abandon all hope of concealing the mine. The smelter produces
such clouds of smoke and such a pervasive odor that
concealing the claim is all but impossible except in the most
remote and uninhabited areas.

Even if the miners manage to operate the mine in complete
secrecy, amassing a considerable fortune in mineral wealth, the
disposal of this wealth becomes a problem in itself. Characters
who brazenly stroll into town, visit the moneychanger, and ask to
convert 100 pounds of solid gold into coinage are certain to raise
a few eyebrows. Such reactions might be even more pronounced
in the case of a gemstone mine. Any NPCs getting wind of the
valuable claim could attempt to follow the characters back to their
mine, or take other steps to learn its location.
 

Hireling Loyalty

In all likelihood, a PC or group of PCs cannot run a mining operation
by themselves. Even if the party has a character with miner
proficiency to supervise the work, finding enough strong arms to
excavate a large mine usually requires hired help.
In fact, if the mine’s claim is one of questionable legality, or if a
sudden attack by monsters is a possibility, skilled adventurers
are better used as scouts && guards for the mine, while low-level
laborers perform the actual excavation.

Hireling loyalty is not a significant problem in an iron || copper
mine, but if a precious metal or gemstone find is being exploited,
employees are presented with a great opportunity to steal from
their employers. A hireling NPC’s reaction to this temptation is
made through the standard Loyalty Check procedure outlined in
the DMG on page 36.

For this Loyalty Check, treat the foreman of the mining operation
as the liege when determining modifiers to the roll. Additional
modifiers of + or - 10% can be applied to reflect the state of the
mine’s security. For example, if all miners must submit to a
search after a shift of work, the check would gain a + 10% modifier,
since this would deter the NPCs from theft. If, on the other
hand, no PCs are present as the miners leave the mine after a
shift, their loyalty rating might suffer a -10% modifier.

54


For purposes of loyalty modification, the evaluation of the
NPC’s pay should be based on the value of the mine. If a miner
excavates 1,000 gp worth of diamonds in a week and gets paid 20
gp--even though this might be a very good wage--the NPC is
likely to feel that he is underpaid.

If the Loyalty Check fails, this does not mean that the NPC
immediately fills his pockets with whatever valuables are at hand
and makes a break for the high country. The DM must consider
the Intelligence of the NPC and concoct a suitable plan for the
theft. Only workers with low Intelligence, perhaps 8 or less,
attempt a theft with no planning. If the NPC has exceptionally
high Intelligence, he will go to great lengths to prepare for the
theft and to either ensure his getaway or conceal the fact that the
theft has occurred. The thief steals 1d6 x 10% of his daily output.
 

Natural Hazards

Some potential problems are inherent in any kind of underground
excavation, and mining is no exception. Prominent
among these are the twin dangers of flooding, and cave-ins.

Flooding can occur in a mine if the excavators accidentally tap
into an underground body of water, or if the depth of the mine
drops below the water table. The chance of digging into an underground
body of water depends, of course, on the proximity of
such bodies. The best way to adjudicate this possibility is for the
DM to have a carefully drawn map of the area around the mine,
including any concentrations of water. As the characters excavate
and expand the mine, the progress of the various tunnels
should be noted with care on the DM’s map. If one of the tunnels
should drive into a body of water, the mine floods rapidly. Any
characters below the level of the water have a very difficult time
escaping. Characters at the level of the flow have to race the
water to the nearest exit, while characters above it should be able
to make an escape with relative ease. After this kind of disaster, a
mine is very difficult to work unless some means can be found to
drain or pump the water away.

Any mine that reaches down to the water table or lower slowly
fills with water. While this situation is not life-threatening, it is serious
enough to close a potentially rich mine unless some means
of removing the water faster than it flows in can be devised.

Cave-ins can be partially prevented by proper shoring of the
tunnel, but cannot be eliminated entirely. A tunnel that has been
shored at every 10-foot interval stands only a 2% chance per
week of suffering a cave-in. A tunnel with no shoring whatsoever
runs a 50% weekly chance of suffering a cave-in. If the tunnel has
been partially shored, the DM must calculate a percentage
chance of cave-in based on these two extremes.

External forces can occasionally increase the chances of a
mine caving in. An earthquake might add 1d4 x 10% to this
chance, while a heavy rain or flood would increase the chance by
1d3 x 10%. Burrowing creatures such as umber hulks and
anhkhegs increase the chance by 1% per hit die of intruding
monsters. The location of the cave-in is randomly determined.
The DM designates one end of the mine as 01, and the other as
100, and rolls d100. The resulting number indicates where along
the path of the tunnel the cave-in occurs. For example, if 01 is the
tunnel mouth and 100 is the terminus of the shaft, 1200 feet into
the earth, a dl 00 roll of 30 indicates a cave-in about 360 feet from
the entrance to the mine.

Cave-ins automatically bring down a section of ceiling 20 feet
long and 10 feet thick. Chain reaction cave-ins should be
checked for normally.
 

Unnatural Hazards

A common element of most fantasy campaigns, and particularly
those that focus on the Underdark, is the unnamed evil lurking
lurking deep within the earth. The exact nature of this encounter is a
matter for the DM or designer’s creativity, but it should be remembered
that many things are possible in a world where magic is
common.

Perhaps the excavation of the mine has penetrated some long-forgotten
burial ground, awakening its hideous undead denizens.
Maybe deep-dwelling monsters have become concerned about
the penetrations of surface dwellers so far under the earth. Of
course, races of the Underdark such as the drow and the duergar
tend to regard its mineral wealth as their own and look jealously
upon any blatant attempts by outsiders to exploit this wealth. In
this case, the threat of intervention goes up in direct proportion to
the value of the mine.

Although gates to other planes are not generally open for characters
to simply pass through, it is possible that the vigorous
efforts of miners might discover such a gate. The miners might
inadvertently pass through to another plane or--much more
likely--some horrid denizen of the lower planes might find itself a
path into the world through the convenient avenue of a deepplunging
mine tunnel.


MINING (Summary)

MINER
Slots=2
Ability=W-3
Equipment=750 gp, varies
* This proficiency requires a d20 roll for success each time it is used.
* The uses of this proficiency are primarily described and expanded upon in the rules on mining (page 49).

1. WHERE TO MINE
* The second time an AREA is searched by any character with miner proficiency, the character's chances of finding anything of value are rolled with a -1 modifier to the Proficiency Check.
* If the attempt is made a third time, a -2 modifier applies to the Proficiency Check, and the search time is tripled.

* Exactly what he discovers is determined by Table 30: Mining Products.

2. TYPES OF MINES

3. EXCAVATING A TUNNEL MINE
* The rates for excavating various types of ground and rock follow (reprinted from page 106 of the DMG).

Table 27: MINING RATES *                  Type of Rock
Race of Miner Very Soft Soft Hard
Gnoll, Halfling, Human 75 50 25
Gnome, Kobold 80 60 30
Goblin, Orc 85 65 30
Dwarf, Hobgoblin 90 70 35
Ogre 150 100 50
Hill Giant 250 150 75
Fire Giant, Frost Giant 300 200 100
Stone Giant 500 350 175

    * Rates are in cubic feet/miner/eight hours.

The maximum number of miners that can work in a 10-foot-wide tunnel depends on race:
    Dwarf, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, Kobold:  16
    Hobgoblin, Human, Orc:  12
    Gnoll:  8
    Ogre:  6
    Giant (any)  4

* Such a path typically requires a 10-foot-wide by 10-foot-high tunnel.

* When a miner first discovers a mineral vein, roll 1d6.
* Multiply the result of this roll by 10; this is how far down (in feet) the tunnel must be dug to intersect the mineral vein.

* To determine the path of the vein, roll 1d4, with the result indicating the direction of the vein's path as follows:

Table 28: MINERAL VEIN DIRECTION
D4 Roll Vein Runs
1 North-South
2 East-West
3 Northeast-Southwest
4 Northwest-Southeast

* The vein runs at least 20 feet in the direction indicated.
* After each 20-foot section of tunnel is excavated, the DM should secretly roll 1d8 to determine the path of the vein.

Table 29: VEIN PATH ALTERATIONS
D8 Roll Changes
1 Steep descent
2 Shallow descent
3 Curves right (10-60 degrees)
4 Curves left (10-60 degrees)
5-6 Continues straight
7 Shallow ascent
8 Steep ascent

<refer to WSG slope rules for definitions of steep & shallow>

* This rule should take priority over the "Duration of a Mining Site" rules (see page 53).

3a. SHORING A TUNNEL
* As a general rule, each 10-foot section of tunnel requires two side braces and a ceiling brace. <A1 image?>
* If the tunnel is the standard 10 feet wide and 10 feet high, this takes 30 feet of bracing that is at least one foot in diameter.

* Unless the character doing the shoring is extremely strong (18/50 or greater strength), moving the braces into the mine requires additional manpower or animal help.

4. PRODUCTS OF A MINE
* When a miner successfuly locates minerals, the player rolls 1d100 and finds the result on Table 30: Mining Products.

Table 30: MINING PRODUCTS
D100 Roll Product of Mine
01-30 Copper
31-40 Tin
41-66 Lead
67-84 Iron
85-92 Silver
93-97 Gold
98 Platinum
99 Mithril *
00 Gemstones **

* This indicates the possibliity of mithril, the material needed to create elven chain mail.
A mithril mine can only exist deep under the earth in the most solid layer of bedrock.
If the locale of the mine is in such an AREA, the player rolls 1d10 and compares the result to Table 31: Mithril Check;
otherwise, reroll on Mining Products Table
<Streams of Silver, R.A. Salvatore>

** The player must roll on Table 32: Gemstones to determine what type of stones the mine yields.

Table 31: MITHRIL CHECK
D10 Roll Metal Discovered
1-5 Silver (highest quality)
6-8 Gold (highest quality)
9 Platinum (highest quality)
10 Mithril

Table 32: GEMSTONES
D100 Roll Type of Stone
01-08 Bloodstone <link: H2?> 
09-18 Onyx
19-24 Turquoise
25-30 Agate <quartz.agate> 
<banded agate, eye agate, moss agate> 
31-36 Aquamarine
37-42 Garnet
43-48 Jade
49-54 Alexandrite <chrysoberyl.alexandrite>
55-60 Amethyst
61-66 Topaz
67-72 Jet
73-77 Opal
78-82 Ruby
83-87 Sapphire
88-92 Diamond
93-96 Emerald
97-99 Roll twice on this table
00 Roll three times on this table
<colours could be added>
 

* If a 97 or greater is rolled, the player immediately makes the additional roll indicated.
* Any of these additional rolls that yields a 97 or better again grants the additional number of rolls.

* If the result yields the same substance twice, this should be noted (e.g., Jade x2).

QUALITY OF MINE PRODUCTS \ METALS
* For example, a [copper] mine with a rating of 200 cp means that a single miner working the mine for a week produces a pile of ore that, when smelted<l>, yields a grand total of 200 cp.

* To determine the quality of metal gained from a mine, roll 1d10 and compare the result ofr the relevant metal on Table 33: Ore Quality.

Table 33: ORE QUALITY                                   D10 Roll
Type of Metal 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10*
Copper 100 200 250 300 350 400 500 750 1000 2000
Iron 200 300 500 700 900 1200 1600 2000 3000 4000
Silver 25 50 100 200 300 400 500 750 1000 2000
Gold 10 25 50 100 200 300 400 500 750 1000
Platinum 5 10 20 40 75 100 250 400 800 1000

* If a 10 is rolled when determining the metal's quality, roll d10 again.
If another 10 results, the product of the mine is a pure vein of metal, and requires no smelting<> to separate the metal from the ore.
If a 1-9 results, the metal must be smelted normally.

* If a character attempts to sell the ore without smelting, the selling price is no more than 25% of the value of the pure metal, and might be as low as 5% of the pure metal worth.

* One thousand coins of iron equals a full suit of plate armor, 100 spear points, or 500 arrowheads.

QUALITY OF MINE PRODUCTS \ GEMSTONES
* Characters with miner or jeweler proficiency can correctly identify a stone after 1d6 turns of study; other characters simply see another rock.

* If the stones are sold unfinished, the selling price is no greater than 25% of the listed value, and might be as low as 10% of the listed value.

Table 34: GEMSTONE QUALITY
Type of Stone # per Man-Week Average Value
Bloodstone 2d10 20 + 10d6 gp
Amber <not noted @ T32> 1d10 6d100 gp
Onyx 3d10 10 + 10d6 gp
Turquoise 4d10 5d6 gp
Agate <see note @ T32> 4d10 5d6 gp
Aquamarine 1d10 10 x 5d6 gp
Garnet 1d10 100 x 1d4 gp
Jade 2d10 10 x 5d6 gp
Alexandrite 1d10 100 x 1d4 gp
Amethyst 1d10 100 x 1d6 gp
Topaz 2d10 100 x 1d4 gp
Jet 1d10 10 x 5d6 gp
Opal 1d10/3 * 200 x 1d6 gp
Ruby 1d10/3 * 200 x 1d8 gp
Sapphire 1d10/4 * 200 x 1d8 gp
Diamond 1d10/5 * 300 x 1d6 gp
Emerald 1d10/5 * 300 x 1d8 gp

* To calculate the number for these categories, roll 1d10, divide the result by 3, 4, or 5, as indicated, and round up.

* Roll 1d100 each week the mine is operating.
* A result of 00 means that an exceptional stone is unearthed. <font=UA?>

* If an exceptional stone is found, the character who unearthed it can roll 1d100 and multiply the result by the average stone value for that week.
* For example, if the average value for the week's output of a turquoise mine is 20 gp, a result of 68 yields a turquoise stone worth 1,360 (20x68) gp.

CALCULATING THE VALUE OF A PLACER MINE
* To calculate the value of these finds, follow the normal quality determination procedure outlined on page 51. <l>
* Then roll 1d4 and multiply the result by 10.

* For example, if a gold mine is determined to yield 50 coins worth of gold per man-week, and the d4 roll is a 4, the mine actually yields 20 gp instead of 50 gp per man-week of mining.

FINISHING STONES
* The drawback to this process is that a character can only finish 2d20 stones in a day.

DURATION OF A MINING SITE
* To determine how long before a mine's wealth is depleted, the DM should secretly roll d100 at the START of the mining operation.
* If the resulting #number# was doubles (e.g., 11, 22, 33, etc.), however, the mine has a much longer duration.
* Roll 1d100 again, and this time read the result as the number of man-months that the mine lasts, adding this figure to the #number# of weeks already determined.

* If this second d100 roll also yields doubles, roll d100 a third time, and this time read the result as the #number# of man-years before the mine is depleted.
* Further doubles are also rerolled to provide an additional #number# of years, until a d100 roll is made without a doubles result.

* For the sake of convenience, treat each month as four weeks and each year as 48 weeks, or 12 months, when totalling up the mine's longevity.
* If 12 miners are engaged in excavating a given mine, 12 man-weeks of the mine's lifetime are used up every week of the mining operation.

* Thus, a placer mine is always depleted after 1-100 man-weeks of work.

THE CLAIM
* Such arrangements might call for as little as 25 or 30% to be claimed by the ruler, but more often require a 50% share to be turned over.
* A strong ruler always asks for 50% of the mine's products.

* This requires more effort than the actual digging of the mine, however; if miners attempt to scatter the tailings, the rate of mining is no more than 25% of what it could be if all the workers were actually mining.

* Characters who brazenly stroll into town, visit the moneychanger, and ask to convert 100 pounds of solid gold into coinage are certain to raise a few eyebrows.

HIRELING LOYALTY
* A hireling NPC's reaction to this temptation is made through the standard Loyalty Check procedure outlined in the DMG on page 36. <l>

* Additional modifiers of + or - 10% can be applied to reflect the state of the mine's security.
* For example, if all miners must submit to a SEARCH after a SHIFT of work, the check would gain a +10% modifier, since this would deter most NPCs from theft.
* If, on the other hand <OTOH>, no PCs are present as the miners leave the mine after a SHIFT, their loyalty rating might suffer a -10% modifier.

* If a miner excavates 1,000 gp worth of diamonds in a week and gets paid 20 gp--even though this might be a very good wage--the NPC is likely to feel that he is underpaid.

* Only workers with low Intelligence, perhaps 8 or less, attempt a theft with no planning.
* The thief steals 1d6 x 10% of his daily output.

NATURAL HAZARDS \ CAVE-INS
* A tunnel that has been shored at every 10-foot interval stands only a 2% chance per week of suffering a cave-in.
* A tunnel with no shoring whatsoever runs a 50% weekly chance of suffering a cave-in.

* An earthquake might add 1d4 x 10% to this chance, while a heavy rain or flood would increase the chance by 1d3 x 10%.
* Burrowing creatures such as umber hulks and anhkhegs increase the chance by 1% per hit die of intruding monsters.
* The DM designates one end of the mine as 01, and the other as 100, and rolls d100.
* For example, if 01 is the tunnel mouth and 100 is the terminus of the shaft, 1200 feet into the earth, a d100 roll of 30 indicates a cave-in about 360 feet from the entrance to the mine.

* Cave-ins automatically bring down a section of ceiling 20 feet long and 10 feet thick.


SILVER


Quote:
Originally Posted by haakon1
Hi Gary -- I have would like to access your encyclopedic knowledge of fantasy for a query on silver.

That is, what would the magical uses of silver be? In particular, I'm thinking of the material component for Protection from Evil 10' Radius (sprinkled in the appropriate way) and anti-werewolf material. Anything else come to mind?

I'm trying to think of a good reason my villain is interested in a secret silver mine/making silver weapons.

It helps if you figure out the plot before you begin the adventure . . . but the PC's weren't supposed to find this anyhow!


You are spot on.
In folklore, silver is indeed valued for its proctetive qualities against evil.
The use of silver against were-creatures is an example of how it an an inimical metal to creatures of evil, just as cold iron is reputed to be inimical to denizens of the Fairy realm.

Cheerio,
Gary
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gentlegamer
In Dungeons & Dragons, there is no metal that will protect you from Gary Gygax.


Ah but...

...that tests the participants mettle 

Cheers,
Gary
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuStel
Ouch! Please alloy my fears and take that back ferrous.
Ore are you too vein?
 


You tinhorn!
That took a lot of brass.

Put some iron in your backbone and steel yourself for more golden puns.
I might be a bit rusty, but there is a mine of them just waiting to be dug up, refined, forged into shape, polished, and spun forth here.

I'll leave off here so as to offer plenty of similar elements so you can as-say them.

Cheers,
Gary
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuStel
Au, I guess I should pick my fights more carefully; you can obviously shovel out more puns than I can, you silver-tongued devil! Pb-Pb-Pb-Pb-Pb-Pb-t! 

Cu later!
 


Love the golden exclamation with which you open your reply, nor can I police-up the closing.

A very refined response--lodes of puns therein.

Cheers,
Gary
 


Quote:
Originally Posted by haakon1
Thanks. But what is cold iron, to you? At first, I was thinking it was iron forged and then cast into the snow to crystalize it fast. Then I was thinking something spectacular, like meteor iron or iron formed without heat, using only the skill of burly and very patient dwarves? :\

Or perhaps it's just iron from the Iron Range . . . gets kinda cold up there, I hear.

IMC, there's a metal that's super elvish stuff from ancient times -- sort of an everything alloy, that has all the cool properties rolled into one item.
And of course, it glows blue and brightens higher in the presence of orcs and other ancient evils, since I like to steal from Tolkien. 

COLD IRON


AFAIK,

Cold iron is that hammered into shape on the forge without heating.
Cold wrought iron.

Cheers,
Gary
 


Errr...

Can you say, WEAK?

It is as if he is strontium to find elemental puns when they are so elementary!


Gary