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JackRackham
2013-07-17, 12:04 AM
I seem to remember there being a long-running thread on real-world weapons and armor, but I can't find it. Anyway, I wanted to share this for people who are interested. I just watched a documentary on Netflix about uthbert swords, which were Viking-era sword made if really high-quality steel. They think they bought steel ingots from the Middle East and the quality was comparable (still lesser, I think) to Damascus steel. So this got me thinking, given that most swords in the Middle Ages in Europe were of low-quality steel, would the standard d&d sword be equivalent to this crappy steel? Would it make sense to incorporate some non-magical high-quality steel into a campaign world above and beyond masterwork?

Vindcara
2013-07-17, 02:03 AM
You may wish to incorporate a new metal or way of smithing into the game. This is perfectly fine. The only thing i would note is that it would usually be a way of refining or preping the steel more often than it would simply a way of smithing it, also keep in mind that if its propertys are anything besides being really pure(altho there are still problems with this due to carbon impuritys) that there should be a speciall way of smithing or refining it that your players have to descover, and atempting to forge this mettle without that knoledge should probably ruin it ex: woot steal

JackRackham
2013-07-17, 02:33 AM
That's exactly what I was thinking. I was going to have it smelted differently. In a fantasy setting, I was thinking of a special forge that got hotter than others or something. Or some organization that closely guards the secrets of how to smelt the higher-quality steel and how to work it (purer steel is harder to work).

I'm just not sure what bonuses I should give it. In the real world, these swords held a better edge, were more flexible, less brittle, etc. But a better edge sounds a lot like a boring +whatever or masterwork. And less brittle is only a benefit if I introduce annoying rules about swords breaking or introduce some enemies with a sunder build. I want to do something fun with it, basically. Also, I figured people who were really into the real-world weapons and armor would enjoy the documentary.

Yora
2013-07-17, 02:37 AM
Well, a standard item would be of average quality.

And any item of well above average quality would be a masterwork item.

I guess I would just leave it at that.

SethoMarkus
2013-07-17, 08:29 AM
Just for reference, here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=282471) is the thread you were most likely looking for.

Scow2
2013-07-17, 09:29 AM
I seem to remember there being a long-running thread on real-world weapons and armor, but I can't find it. Anyway, I wanted to share this for people who are interested. I just watched a documentary on Netflix about uthbert swords, which were Viking-era sword made if really high-quality steel. They think they bought steel ingots from the Middle East and the quality was comparable (still lesser, I think) to Damascus steel. So this got me thinking, given that most swords in the Middle Ages in Europe were of low-quality steel, would the standard d&d sword be equivalent to this crappy steel? Would it make sense to incorporate some non-magical high-quality steel into a campaign world above and beyond masterwork?
Dwarvencraft. We also have exotic materials.

Vindcara
2013-07-17, 12:58 PM
perhaps the material is special in that it takes two materials and combines them, while keeping both there bonusus. for example maibe the order has descovered a way of smithing silver(thats what demons hate right?) and ademantine together to make a material that is as hard and sharp as adamantine and hurt demons and other such even more than eather of them seperatly

also again i state: woot steal, it was a material forged in VERY hot flames that we just recently redescovered how to make. it had this wavy patern and the material had a spiky texture not visible to the naked eye. when the eoropeans invaded the middleeast for the crusade the middle east used thease weapons and they injured the victem much more and it took much longer to heal. in game maiby you could put this in and ad something like extra "bleeding damage" that lasts untill ither months go by or the wound can be magically healed

TheThan
2013-07-17, 06:47 PM
Itís spelled +Ulfberh+t.
The Documentary mentioned is right here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXbLyVpWsVM

Now I would say just make it a masterwork sword and be done with it or a magical one +1 sword with no additional modifiers.

JackRackham
2013-07-17, 08:31 PM
Itís spelled +Ulfberh+t.
The Documentary mentioned is right here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXbLyVpWsVM

Now I would say just make it a masterwork sword and be done with it or a magical one +1 sword with no additional modifiers.

I know how it's spelled, but if I had written it that way, no one who hadn't seen the documentary would have had a clue how it's pronounced, since the crosses are not letters.

TheThan
2013-07-17, 08:37 PM
I know how it's spelled, but if I had written it that way, no one who hadn't seen the documentary would have had a clue how it's pronounced, since the crosses are not letters.

Oh I agree, i would have done the same. I'm just being pretentious.

warty goblin
2013-07-17, 09:27 PM
also again i state: woot steal, it was a material forged in VERY hot flames that we just recently redescovered how to make. it had this wavy patern and the material had a spiky texture not visible to the naked eye. when the eoropeans invaded the middleeast for the crusade the middle east used thease weapons and they injured the victem much more and it took much longer to heal. in game maiby you could put this in and ad something like extra "bleeding damage" that lasts untill ither months go by or the wound can be magically healed

I have never heard of this micro-spike structure in relation to Wootz steel, do you have a source?

JackRackham
2013-07-17, 09:38 PM
Oh I agree, i would have done the same. I'm just being pretentious.

I can respect that.

Vindcara
2013-07-17, 09:41 PM
look im calling it microscopic spikes because i can think of what the actuall term would be so hold on....

ok woot steal has a bunch of iron carbite specs in it that make it so when the blade is sharpened,on the micro level, you get more of a saw edge than a blade. this means that when attacking with it you are tearing the flesh, which takes much longer to heal

qote via~ my blacksmith father

Khedrac
2013-07-18, 01:23 AM
So far as I can remember a lot of the really good steels turn out to be more about the local impurities in the iron ore than the actual quality of the smithing! Get the right impurities and you can end up with a much better alloy.
Yes smithing skill counts for a lot (and some impurities will need greater heat to fuse properly) but take the smith away from his home ore and he won't be able to produce the same quality of weapons. If you take a master-smith somewhere the local smiths know how to get the best out of their local ore, there's a good chance the traveller won't be able to do as well as the locals generally regarded as "not as good".

Ashtagon
2013-07-18, 02:20 AM
http://project-phoenix.wikidot.com/equipment:mastercrafting

That's how to make masterwork interesting again. It's possibly not compatible with high-magic settings though.

Based on what you are describing, I'd call wootz steel a special material that grants a +1 damage bonus for axes, swords, knives, and related weapons. Wikipedia seems to suggest it is at least as much a material (incorporating haematite) as a technique.

JackRackham
2013-07-18, 04:48 AM
Another idea that documentary gave me is a feat chain that makes shields more useful. They talk about how people used shields more dynamically to create openings for attack. I'm thinking of a feat chain where you first get your shield bonus to attack, then (with the next feat) get precision damage if you beat their AC by a certain amount. I don't have time now to work out the specifics, but it wouldn't scale as well (damage-wise) as power attack, because of the defensive benefits and higher chance to hit, but it would be significant. Thoughts?

Beleriphon
2013-07-18, 09:48 AM
On the topic of Wootz/Damascus steel one of the theories I caught recently was that process used to make the steel created naturally occuring carbon nanotubes which reinforced the steel while allowing less of it to be used than one would have expected for a given application. For example swords didn't need as much metal, but were just as strong and flexible as the non-Wootz version.

JackRackham
2013-07-18, 06:44 PM
On the topic of Wootz/Damascus steel one of the theories I caught recently was that process used to make the steel created naturally occuring carbon nanotubes which reinforced the steel while allowing less of it to be used than one would have expected for a given application. For example swords didn't need as much metal, but were just as strong and flexible as the non-Wootz version.

Yeah, I think I saw a documentary on that a year or two ago (??), but I can't remember the name of it. I was looking for it just after I watched the one on Ulfbert, lol.

Vindcara
2013-07-19, 12:33 AM
an idea you might want to use: back in the middle ages metal was power, alot of wars and battles were fought to claim mettle rich location. so if they come across an area that has a high quality steel, not to mention a way to use if for even better weapons, then unless the spot is secret it would almost certainly have people trying to conquer it at some point or another