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Idiosyncratic lowest quality

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jomsviking View Post
It isn't false. 99.99% of the European world was illiterate for the vast majority of that period. And the alchemical and natural philosophical methodology to actually make quality steel didn't exist until the Victorian period.
"Alchemical". You lost it right there. Not only did you lose it right there, you continued to lose it more with "natural philosophical methodology". You can't magic metal into existence. Do you know where you could magic metal into existence, where things like alchemy and philosophy are applicable to metallurgy? In a medieval fantasy.

Also, the earliest data we have on literacy is from the 16th century, 10% of men and 1% of women were literate. This would include all nobility, as well as artisans, including blacksmiths who made high-quality weapons. There's no reason to believe less than a century earlier in the tail end of the medieval period it would have been any worse, and there's good reasons to believe that it wasn't that much worse during the high middle ages, or even the early middle ages or "dark ages" for reasons pertaining to religion and off the limits of what can be discussed here.

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Steel made from then on is infinitely greater in quality than that of anything made before it. Period. We discovered new methods of quenching and heating. Discovered higher quality fuel sources. Invented the power hammer. We even understand how to bond chromium to the iron in order to make the resulting product nearly impervious to rust, and still hard enough to cut glass. These are qualities most modern steel possesses that were all but impossible for historical smiths.
Being able to make swords faster, and not run up a stupidly high bill making high-quality steel does not mean that a high-quality sword is magically worse than a hollow stainless steel wallhanger. Modern steel is not magic. I don't know where people keep getting this idea that modern steel is magic.

I also don't know how people don't realise that steel needs to be tailored to fit its purpose, and that modern museum pieces, as you specifically mentioned, are made from low-end stainless steel that's half as strong as medieval steel, deforms plastically (meaning it bends and stays bent). Or why people think that medieval smiths were so completely braindead stupid and uneducated that they never figured out how to remove impurities from metal, or tailor it to their purpose.

Quote:
Besides the Ulfbehrt, name a single mass produced sword in Europe.

I'd love to know. But I'd bet you cannot. Because Metallurgical science didn't exist apart from the monks who made the Ulfbehrt blades.
...That's not how metal works. That's really not how metal works. "Mass produced" does not mean "high quality".

Medieval steel was nothing like you think it was. At all. You are 100% wrong on everything you think you know about medieval steel, and probably everything else to do with the middle ages. Medieval steel, at least in the late middle ages as is the standard for fantasy settings, was well refined, elastic and hard. Good swords were springy, you could bend them a great deal and they'd spring right back into shape with no damage. They were strong, kept a sharp edge, and blunted without chipping.

They were also expensive and most peasants used older swords that were of lower quality, but even these swords, while not elastic and deferentially tempered, were superior to modern display pieces because modern display pieces, even the ones that aren't hollow or aluminium are made of crappy low-strength stainless steel that is soft, brittle, does not hold an edge and becomes more brittle when impacted. They not only are an inferior sword, they can't be used as a sword at all because they can never be sharp. They're a bludgeon at best, and no, medieval swords were not blunt, if that's also something you believe.

We CAN make better swords today than we could in the past, but we DON'T. Even companies like Albion that produce high-quality reproductions pride themselves on "traditional techniques", because that sells better than actually making the best swords possible with modern technology. The best swords ever made were made in the 19th century, which is the tech level of my setting coincidentally, and the best of them were still smithed, not mass produced, so they could be custom-tailored to their user both in practicality and aesthetics. Only their metal came from a factory.

Also, off the top of my head: Every version of the gladius and every version of the spatha, as well as every single other weapon and piece of armour made for the Roman Empire was mass produced, and that was all well before the middle ages.

wrong, 99.99% of the peasantry was illiterate... craftsmen had a much higher literacy rate, maybe not as high as the clergy, but fairly high nonetheless, because the best way to not forget processes and recipes was to record them... who do you think your Ulfbehrt monks got their process from? Monks work, but metallurgical work is an extreme rarity in that sphere.

Quality steel exists since the high middle age, see wootz/damascus steel from India and the East, or even the pattern welded blades made by NOrse, or continental smiths... what the XIXth c. brought was the ability to make quality steel more regularly and in great amounts.

oh, and :clap: at Avianmosquito who spendidly ninja'ed me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Svartalf View Post
wrong, 99.99% of the peasantry was illiterate... craftsmen had a much higher literacy rate, maybe not as high as the clergy, but fairly high nonetheless, because the best way to not forget processes and recipes was to record them... who do you think your Ulfbehrt monks got their process from? Monks work, but metallurgical work is an extreme rarity in that sphere.
I brought citations for my claim on medieval literacy. You did not. Until those cited sources are addressed, I am not going to argue this point any further. Sound fair?

Quote:
Quality steel exists since the high middle age, see wootz/damascus steel from India and the East, or even the pattern welded blades made by NOrse, or continental smiths... what the XIXth c. brought was the ability to make quality steel more regularly and in great amounts.
Basically what I said, though you did leave out late medieval spring steel, which may not be the best by any objective metric (since there is no objective metric), but it is definitely the most durable.

Also, the industrial revolution began in the 18th century, I just named the 19th because it was the last time in which we used swords regularly in battle, though swords did see some use in the world wars it was rare and there were also no technological advancements in sword manufacture, so the swords issued in the first half of the 20th century were pretty cheap and only about as good as the officer's swords of the previous century (which were not the best swords in the 19th century).

Otherwise, it seems we're in agreement and there's no reason to argue.

Sorry for not checking the date when Bessemer created his famous process, that was the start of modern metallurgy, and that was the 2nd half of the XIX'th century (patented 1855). similar processes have been traced to the middle ages and 17th century Japan, but the process seems to have become widespread only after Bessemer made an industry of it.

Of course. But that's one of many advancements. Industrialized metallurgy dates back to the 19th century, and itself provided a great decrease in the cost of metal goods, and greater consistency in the quality of said metal goods. I wasn't just referring to one advancement, specifically.

I'm not sure where that discussion came from, but anyway. Having some quality of weapon that mechanically does less damage is perfectly fine and in my eyes can be very intriguing. Set new players up in a quest against a group of bandits that all have crappy weapons only the leader has a nice one, to introduce them to the mechanics.
I can imagine traders trying to play down the quality of others wares and that spreading terms like those mentioned in the opening post. Personally I would love the idea of someone who keeps a bajinxed dagger with him because it has sentimental value and might one day have to actually defend himself with it for some reason.

Remember that everything you put into a system can have two uses, mechanical differences and story uses.

You could even (to get back on-topic) just call these "-2 swords" or whatever in mechanical terms, and then point out that they will tend to be described by various slang in various places. I'm still not convinced that an average peasant will always know that a -2 sword is a "bojaxed" sword whilst a -1 sword is only a "poor" sword - I imagine that all the negative words would be used for all low-quality and possibly some OK-quality swords, because that's what people do. If anything, though, that's even more reason not to tie the in-setting language to the mechanical effects too strongly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFred View Post
You could even (to get back on-topic) just call these "-2 swords" or whatever in mechanical terms, and then point out that they will tend to be described by various slang in various places.
I actually don't think I can, since it affects damage dice, hardness and HP. "1d10 straight sword" sounds wrong, and some weapons do more damage with one damage type than another.

As an aside, I like how everybody seems fond of the word "banjaxed", but nobody can spell it. Got a good laugh out of that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avianmosquito View Post
I actually don't think I can, since it affects damage dice, hardness and HP. "1d10 straight sword" sounds wrong, and some weapons do more damage with one damage type than another.

As an aside, I like how everybody seems fond of the word "banjaxed", but nobody can spell it. Got a good laugh out of that.
You could just put it up to level then. A "level 1", "level 2", sword or what have you.

How many quality levels are you looking at anyway? Most games that I see that use this adjective level usually run "mediocre" and "awful" as their bad quality levels at most.

That should somewhat be possible to emulate. You could have a straight sword and a curved sword or even a thrusting sword and a slashing sword which each can do the other thing too at a reduced damage dice. Yes, that would cut out all the specific sword types like falchion, messer, rapier, estoc, etc., but you could put a note on the weapon table down to explain that this is for easy mechanics and swords can be flavoured as one likes. I cut together something from a game called Symbaroum where the weapon system is even simpler and it did not hurt anyone's enjoyment I played with so far at all.
Simply adding what mechanical adjustments a bad quality does to a weapon can work.

On the side note, you got me laughing, it's easy to spell, but bajinxed sounded better then banjaxed, since it combines bad and jinx.
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