The only quests available with the Dragons of Norrath expansion are those to acquire the starting material to make the cultural armors that are available with the DoN expansion. Do not confuse these with "old" cultural, which involves no questing and has blue diamonds as a primary ingredient. That is completely different.
There are four sets, or "tiers" of DoN cultural armor available, with four corresponding sets of augment "symbols" that dramatically improve the quality of the armor. Each tier of symbols has a different minimum level required to be able to make it, in addition to different recommended and required levels for wearing it. We're talking about the level of your character, not the level of skill in tradeskills. (The different tiers of armor can be made at any level.) You can make the journeyman tier symbols at level 15, the expert at level 35, the master at level 55, and the grandmaster at level 65. Only the grandmaster tier symbols require access to the Dragons of Norrath expansion. (Grandmaster tier armor may also require drops from DoN.) The lower tiers can be done completely without DoN.
The Depths of Darkhollow expansion (that followed DoN) added the cultural charms to the DoN cultural armor system. They are included in the information presented here because they depend on the same quests, even though they were added a bit later. The charms are pottered rather than smithed or tailored, but otherwise are integrated into the same system, as part of the process that creates the seals you use to augment the armor.
You start the whole shebang by going to the city where your race starts. Those races that can start in several different cities may only have one or two cities to quest from. The only difference is where you'll be sent to accomplish the tasks; the rewards are identical either way. For each race in the starting city, there is an npc who will give you the quests needed to make the tiers of armor available to you. The quests result in two different types of books. The first of those books, the "ancestral book", is used to make the molds (for smithed chain and plate) or patterns (for tailored leather and silk) for the armor. This book can only be used ten times before it wears out and you must repeat the quest for another. However, as the book it is used for making all of the different tiers of cultural armors for your race, the quest should be within reason for anyone level 15 and up (perhaps with help while still close to 15).
The other books, hereafter referred to as the "symbol books", are used to make the charms and the symbol augments for use on the cultural armor. The symbols can only be used on cultural armor but improve the stats of the armor substantially. The augments are deity-specific, covering every possible deity for each race, including agnostics. The stats are very similar for every deity, apparently varying only in minor ways to suit the races and classes that deity generally attracts.
The quest givers for each city (available via the Find function - /bug them if not):
Click on the race to go to the specific book quest details for that race. Further details about each race's ingredients will also be forthcoming.
Note that the quests have CHANGED from what is in the links below. Please submit the new quests in the forums.
In addition, the tradeskill combines have changed. Please check the item page for your race's armor to see the new recipes. This guide will be updated as time permits, or you can submit a new guide for inclusion in the site by posting it in the forums.Barbarian: Kjell Sunrunner (Halas)
Dark Elf: Dosan Vis`Moor (Neriak Commons)
Drakkin: Artisan Irisi (Crescent Reach)
Dwarf: Yar Shiverbrow (South Kaladim)
Erudite: Gorion Telld'mare (Erudin) or Korzan Virimove (Paineel)
Froglok (Guktan): Skekta Froreki (Rathe Mountains)
Gnome: Vidi Cogsworthy (Ak'Anon)
Half Elf: Vor Westrider (North Qeynos) or Nala Goldenthorn (Kelethin)
Halfling: Bill Whistletop (Rivervale)
High Elf: Elistar Vorann (North Felwithe)
Human: Tar Cordell (North Qeynos) or Vivian Selgan (West Freeport)
Iksar: Sieeva Koan (East Cabilis)
Ogre: Garth Okken (Ogguk)
Troll: Zermak (Grobb)
Vah Shir: Vuro Padfoot (Shar Vahl)
Wood Elf: Calian Silverlake (Kelethin)
Outline of the Steps
(Additional, vendor-bought materials and very simple steps are needed beyond what is listed here.)
Quest for the Ancestral Book
This quest gets you the book to make molds and patterns to make the cultural armor. You must complete this quest to proceed, as the book is an actual ingredient for making the molds and patterns. To start, talk to your cultural tradeskill quest npc in your home city. They will offer numerous quests: one by itself and four others that start by mentioning different zones. The one by itself is the ancestral book quest. The npc may refer to it as a "pattern book". Follow the cues and you will be told to bring a few things from nearby zones back. Which things you need will depend on which city you are in. When you return and hand in the items, you will be given the ancestral book for your race, plus some experience and faction with your city. You may need to be indifferent or amiable to get this quest. (Clarification on faction requirements is welcome.)
Prepare to Make the Armor
Make molds or patterns with the ancestral book: Once you have obtained your copy of your race's ancestral book, you can make the molds and patterns for your race's cultural armor. Before doing this you will need to have one general inventory slot open, as the recipe will generate a bag of materials. That's a main inventory slot, NOT a slot within a container. When you're ready, find a vendor with the right materials. Each city should have one. If you want molds for smithing plate or chain, combine the book with a huge block of clay, a compacted backpack, sculpting tools, and a high quality firing sheet in a kiln. This combine cannot be failed. You will get back your sculpting tools plus a bag containing eight stacks of patterns: one each for boots, chestplates, gloves, helms, leggings, sleeves, and two for wristguards. If you want patterns for tailoring leather or silk, you will need two main inventory slots open, but one will be open again afterward. Combine the book with a compacted backpack, large bottle of ink, quill, and roll of plain parchment in a book binding. You will get a backpack just like that for smithing, with stacks of patterns for making the same types of armors. When done, you can toss the book binding to get one inventory slot back, if you wish.
Make cultural sewing kit and needle: (This is only for tailored cultural armor.) To make the cultural sewing kit you combine a small brick of your cultural metal with a water flask, needle mold and thimble mold in your cultural forge. To make the cultural needle, combine your culture's essence (also used for making faithstones) with an embroidery needle in any forge.
NOTE: The cultural sewing kits which existed before the Dragons of Norrath expansion will not work for these recipes. They will only work for their original recipes. You must make a kit with the DoN recipe to make the DoN cultural armors. Cultural forges have also been tweaked, but in a helpful way. You can do all ordinary smithing combines in your own race's cultural forges, as well as in the usual forges. You are still unable to use other races' cultural forges for any recipes whatsoever.
Make cultural material: There are four different tiers of cultural metal, which correspond to the four tiers of armor that can be made. You must match the material you use to the tier of armor you are making. The exact ingredients for each material vary by race. For smithing, the materials are metal bars, made from one item drop, one small brick of a vendor metal, and one cultural hammer, combined in a cultural forge. (There are also alternative recipes using more drops and larger bricks of vendor metal to yield more finished bars.) The bars are for cultural chain, or can be combined with water and your cultural hammer to make sheets for cultural plate. For tailoring, the materials are hides or swatches, made from a particular hide or a particular silk swatch (made from dropped silks), a small spool of a vendor thread, and your cultural needle in your cultural kit. (Here again, there are alternative recipes using more drops and larger spools to yield more finished hides and swatches.) For tailoring, the hide or swatch used will also vary by tier as well as race.
Make the Armor (Finally!)
For both smithing and tailoring, the number of cultural materials (sheets/bars/hides/swatches) per armor piece is:
3: chest & legs
2: head & feet
1: arms, wrists & hands
Smithing (Chain & Plate): In your cultural forge, you combine: 1 large brick of your cultural vendor metal (same as for making the bars), 1 armor mold for the slot of armor you want, your cultural smithy hammer, and the right quantity of bars (for chain) or sheets (for plate) for that slot of armor.
Tailoring (Leather & Silk): In your cultural sewing kit, you combine: 1 large spool of your cultural vendor thread (same as for making the hides and swatches), 1 armor pattern for the slot of armor you want, your cultural needle, and the right quantity of hides (for leather) or swatches (for silk) for that slot of armor.
Quest for the Symbol Book(s)
These will vary depending on your race. See your race's DoN cultural quest page for more details. They are given by the same NPC as gave you the quest for your Ancestral Book. Look for the NPC to talk about "cultural symbol patterns" or "symbol books" or something along those lines. You are on the right track when they mention four different zones. Those zones represent the tasks for the books for the four different tiers of symbols. For each task you must complete the first steps and then return to the quest giver to be given the second parts. You will not get credit for the kills or drops unless you have first been given that part of the task by the NPC, before doing the killing and looting. (If the creature you kill is a special named, you may also not get credit for either the kill or the loot. This is a known bug but may or may not ever be fixed.) These tasks may vary slightly by race, sometimes with small additional steps. A few races are also asked to explore various zones until they find a particular spot. But in general, they consist of:
Journeyman: Kill 10-20 of a type of creature and get at least 2-4 of a certain drop from that creature. Then kill 3-10 of a certain creature and get at least 1 of a certain drop from that creature.
Expert: Kill 40-50 of a type of creature and get at least 5-20 of a certain drop from that creature. Then kill 5 of a certain creature and get at least 1 of a certain drop from that creature.
Master: Kill 80 of a type of creature and get at least 40 of a certain drop from that creature. Then kill 5 of a certain creature and get at least 1 of a certain drop from that creature.
Grandmaster: You need to be doing a DoN mission in order to get the drops you need for the grandmaster quest. The same mobs outside of a mission will count towards your kill count but will not drop the items. Kill 120 of a type of creature and get at least 80 of a certain drop from that creature. Then kill 10 of a type of creature and get at least 1 of a certain drop from that creature.
Upon completing each of these quests you will get the Book of your Culture for that tier (for example, the Journeyman's Book of Barbarian Culture, or the Master's Book of Halfing Culture).
Gather Symbol Materials
Make symbol patterns with the symbol book: Here again, before doing this you will need to have two general inventory slots open, as the recipe will generate two bags of materials. We're talking about main inventory slots, NOT slots within any container. When you're ready, find a vendor with the right materials. Each city should have one; refer to your race's cultural quest page for more details. Buy a book binding. In it combine your book of culture, a compacted backpack, a quill, a large bottle of ink, and a roll of the right kind of vellum for the tier of armor you wish the symbol to augment. (That's "vellum", not "velium".) The tiers and their vellums are: vellum for journeyman, good quality vellum for expert, high quality vellum for master, and superb vellum for grandmaster. The quill used is the same one that is used for spell research. This combine cannot be failed. You will get back a bag containing eight stacks of symbol patterns: one each for boots, chestplates, gloves, helms, leggings, sleeves, and wristguards. When done, you can toss the book binding and get one inventory slot back, if you wish.
Make your deity water: This determines which deity's worshippers will be able to wear armor that is augmented with the symbol you ar making. Using Blessed Water of Tunare will create an augment that only worshippers of Tunare can use. Using Water of the Skeptic will create water that only agnostics can use. Buy the blessed water for the deity you wish from a vendor in your starting city (or any where that deity is worshipped) and combine it in a jewelcraft kit with a particular drop for the tier of armor you wish your symbol to augment. The items are jade shards for journeyman, lambent stones for expert, crushed diamond dust for master, and purescale ore for grandmaster. The blessed waters are sold in home cities where worshippers of those deities (as well as agnostics) can start.
Gather the symbol base: You make a symbol base that will be the actual material turned into the augment. The base you use depends on the tier of symbol you wish to make. For chain or plate the bases are: warbone chips for journeyman, fire opals for expert, shissar scales for master, and metallic drake scales for grandmaster. For leather or silk the bases are: silk swatch for journeyman, drachnid silk swatch for expert, nightmare silk swatch for master, and coarse silk swatch for grandmaster.
Make the Symbol
When you have crafted this symbol, it will only be usable on a slot of cultural armor, and will restrict its use to followers of a particular deity. You can, however, put a symbol of one tier on a piece of armor from a different tier. At any rate, it will enhance the stats quite impressively. Using either the smithed or tailored recipes will create the same symbols. The choice is yours based on how good your skills are and which materials you can obtain. (Putting the augment on the armor will make the augment permanently No Trade. Equipping the armor will then make the armor permanently No Trade.)
Smithing (Chain & Plate): Combine the symbol pattern with the deity water and the dropped item for that tier, in any forge.
Tailoring (Leather & Silk): Combine the symbol pattern with the deity water and the swatch for that tier, in any sewing kit.
Augment the Armor with the Symbol
At long last, you can augment your cultural armor with its symbol to get the full stats offered by the DoN cultural. Remember that when you apply an attunable augment, it becomes no trade. Only the person who applies the augment to the armor will be able to keep the augment. (To trade the armor, the augment will have to be removed and will remain No Trade. And that only works if the armor has not been worn, as equipping attunable armor makes it permanently No Trade.) You apply the augment in the same way you apply any other augment to any other armor: in the augmentation sealers (aka "bird baths") found at Wayfarer Camps and in the guild halls accessed through the Plane of Knowledge (not the ones in home cities). At least as of right now, these are the only augments that fit in type 11 slots, and the only armors that hold type 11 augments.
Create the Charm
The pottered charms come in the same four tiers as the armor and symbols do. Like all charms their strength varies by something, in this case by how much DoN cultural armor you are wearing. Wearing more difficult pieces like chest and leg armor also adds more stats than the easier stuff like wrist pieces.
Make charm patterns with the symbol book: When you make symbol patterns you will also get a stack of charm patterns. These are all you need. Because there are no cultural pottery wheels or kilns to use in making the charms, your patterns can be used to make charms for any race. If a barbarian uses the ingredients to make a gnomish charm (using a charm pattern from a barbarian book of culture), the final charm will be usable by gnomes.
Make unfired charm: Combine the pattern with a water flask and a small block of magic clay. You get the magic clay by having an enchanter cast their Enchant: Clay spell on a large block of clay and then breaking it down into small blocks.
Make finished, fired charm: Depending on your race, you will make one, two, or three charms at a time. This is based on whether your race has silk and/or leather and/or chain/plate cultural armors available. Rather than have different drops to determine which classes can wear each charm, you use a different vendor-sold ingredient for that. The dropped materials are the same for all classes. When firing the charm, you put in one of each of the appropriate tier's armor material, and get as many charms as you put in materials. All of the charms you make on that combine will be identical, but because more material is going in you will get more charms back. The idea seems to be that you break up the materials and divide them among each charm you are making.
For example, humans can make silk, leather, and plate DoN armor. So, a human wanting an expert charm must put in an expert's silk swatch, an expert's leather swatch, and an expert's bar of metal. Therefore when making human charms, you will get three finished charms for every combine. Dwarves, on the other hand, can only make chain and plate armor, and therefore have only one material (the bar of metal) to put in. Thus when making dwarven charms, you will only get a yield of one.
In addition to the unfired charm and the appropriate cultural armor materials, you also put in a vendor-purchased symbol of [a type of] unity. This is where you determine which classes will be able to use the charms. Each type of charm offers different stats according to the classes it fits. Melee classes (WAR MNK ROG BER) use symbols of physical unity, int caster classes (NEC WIZ MAG ENC) use symbols of mental unity, priest classes (CLR DRU SHM) use symbols of spiritual unity, and bards plus hybrid classes (PAL RNG SHD BRD BST) use symbols of derived unity. In cases where a race is not able to be one of those types of classes, you will not be able to make charms for them. There is no such thing as a barbarian charm of mental unity, because barbarians cannot be int casters.
So, in a kiln combine your unfired charm, your cultural armor materials, and your symbol of unity. You'll get anywhere from one to three finished charms, depending on how many cultural armor materials that race has. Ta da! Like the armors and their symbol augments, the charms are attunable, so don't equip one unless you plan to keep it!