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Stone weapons.


Agentorange

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Re. that shark tooth sword: it looks as though it's all wood except for the teeth.  Ingenious slashing weapon.

Re. the rondel dagger video:  The real Gloranthan test would be with a bronze sword, trying to slash as well as to stab.  And of course at bronze plate and scale, rather than steel chainmail.   I can't make those, I'm not a redsmith.  I don't even know one.

Now for the Mostali among us if you want a test with a musket, I can do that.  But I'm sure of how that will turn out because even 1/4 inch steel silhouettes will be damaged at close range by a musket, it's why we don't shoot silhouettes at 25 yards with big muskets. 

Bronze plate, not brass - where do i get that?  How thick?  I'm sure bronze armor thickness is documented, when in doubt ask a museum curator, I think I know where there is a helmet.   

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, metcalph said:

If you are going to use "RQ context" to say that a broadsword can penetrate bronze plate then surely the same argument can be made for stone weapons?

 

 

It can, and I don't doubt it will be. 

But the stone weapon discussion started because someone can't shrug off these lingering doubts about believability and consistency.  .  Even in a game context that has magic, giant  red Chaotic bats,  etc. that one may be a little too far for some of us.  If your Glorantha varies from ours on the stone weapon issue, don't let it bother you.

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3 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

But the stone weapon discussion started because someone can't shrug off these lingering doubts about believability and consistency. 

Thinks metal weapons routinely going through armour is believable but stone weapons doing the same isn't?  If the weapon actually went through armour as you think the rules suggest, then why doesn't the armour lose AP as a result of being penetrated?  Perhaps the AP actually reflects the coverage as well as the thiickness?

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14 minutes ago, metcalph said:

Thinks metal weapons routinely going through armour is believable but stone weapons doing the same isn't?  If the weapon actually went through armour as you think the rules suggest, then why doesn't the armour lose AP as a result of being penetrated?  Perhaps the AP actually reflects the coverage as well as the thiickness?

No, I think the points for armor reflect a simple progression of sturdiness from leather=1 to plate =6.  

As for the armor losing AP. I estimate three reasons it wasnt written that way: A later hit needn't hit in the same spot.  It's more Points to track in a game that does already have more to track than its  then principal competitor.  And in back of it all is the original D&D trope of armor being a single number not reduced by hits.  RQ was already more crunchy due to having hit locations which could be differently armored.  

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7 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Warhammers and rondel daggers will penetrate through plate. This is fairly immaterial in Glorantha though, as except possibly for dwarves, no-one will be fully covered in armor.

Sadly, iron and not bronze. And, I'm not sure that bronze can be hardened (or was hardened if it can be), so quality and thickness of the plate comes into play as well.

While I would think (just a feeling) that a spear or pick would (or could) penetrate, I don't think other things could. I could see stone penetrating as well, but the weapon would probably be useless after

SDLeary

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What is knapping?

It's chipping away at a piece of rock, and having flecks fly off to make an edge.

And it's pretty easy to do, especially compared to metal.

Thus, by definition, the stone isn't going to be anywhere near as effective as metal. It's not going to fleck off.

 

One think the video didn't account for (but was only faintly hinted at) was the shape of the metal. Hitting a fairly flat surface is quite different to trying to penetrate rounded surfaces.

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8 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

It depends on tbe context and the weapon.

In  RQ context a 1D8+1 broadsword will penetrate 6pt bronze plate 3/8ths of the time on a normal hit, more often when enhanced by STR bonus.

I have my doubts about that in the Real World.  But I have not tested it live any more than the SCA folks who orignally wrote the system did.   Maybe someone has a cool video?

On the other hand I have many fewer doubts about penetration with a war hammer or a Halberd, which are RW items designed to do the job.

Personally, this is why I like Harnmaster - it's grittier and grainier. More hit locations (very appropriate, given vambraces & greaves leaving the upper limb completely exposed) as well as penetration power/resistance.

I'd also be interested to see rules developed for bronze weapons losing their edge/point after hitting armours (of different materials). That sharp bronze sword is going to be basically a stick after hitting iron armour a few times.

(Hmmm... is this a JC item???)

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6 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

Now for the Mostali among us if you want a test with a musket, I can do that.  But I'm sure of how that will turn out because even 1/4 inch steel silhouettes will be damaged at close range by a musket, it's why we don't shoot silhouettes at 25 yards with big muskets. 

Historically, there was no practical stopping of musket balls, but a breastplate could stop pistol balls. When you demonstrated this, it left a mark, the so-called ”bullet proof” (yes, really).

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12 hours ago, SDLeary said:

I'm not sure that bronze can be hardened (or was hardened if it can be)

Bronze can be hardened by hammering, but the hardness also makes it more brittle. If I recall that material science course on swords correctly, edges of bronze swords would be hammer-hardened in some cases. (The course is mainly about steel swords, however.)

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17 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

It can, and I don't doubt it will be. 

But the stone weapon discussion started because someone can't shrug off these lingering doubts about believability and consistency.  .  Even in a game context that has magic, giant  red Chaotic bats,  etc. that one may be a little too far for some of us.  If your Glorantha varies from ours on the stone weapon issue, don't let it bother you.

Thing is magic, giant red chaotic bats and so on are a given - if you don't have them you have no setting. But what we're talking about here is game mechanics. So armour protects you, the better the armour the more you are protected. If you fall over a cliff you'll injure yourself ( or die ) if someone holds you underwater you'll drown. In that sense real world physics does  apply even in a broad handwavium sort of a way. So things like stone weopns and their effectiveness ( or not ! ) become topics for discussion.

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

Bronze can be hardened by hammering, but the hardness also makes it more brittle. If I recall that material science course on swords correctly, edges of bronze swords would be hammer-hardened in some cases. (The course is mainly about steel swords, however.)

Yeah, I remembered that after posting. But, using this method would mean that the sheet bronze would probably be "hardened" as formed into the cuirass. 

What I had on my brain (I blame Tod, been watching lots of his vids lately; twas a backer) was fire hardening, as was done with some iron breastplates.

SDLeary

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After thinking about this overnight, I would say that stone weapons are ablative. 

The first time that you hit metal (bronze or iron, or any of the other rune metals), you are capable of doing full damage. However this imparts damage to the striking head that is not AP/HP (depending on your preferred rule set).

Second hit, you drop the damage one class; say from 1d8 - 1d6, lowest being 1d4?? After this is exhausted, then you have a fine spear shaft that you can try to use as a quarterstaff, and assuming you survive, can be fitted with a new head.

SDLeary

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9 hours ago, metcalph said:

Except there are plenty of stone weapons in the world which are not ablative.  For example the Mere.  

Hmmm... polished stone weapons as opposed to knapped. As the vast majority of these would be axes, maces, hammers, or other various war clubs they would have to be treated differently. Not only because they are polished, but because the stones used are generally not as prone to fracture. In fact, they should probably be treated as normal weapons of of whatever category they belong in (perhaps with the exception of axes, which might not have a Special?). Though I might say that at the end of a combat, the user might have to make a luck roll to see if their weapon has been damaged.

I don't recall ever seeing (please correct me if I'm wrong, would love to see one) a polished stone spear or arrow point (it would be a lot of work to make arrow points that way). In Glorantha though, they might have something like this, but it's probably a trade item as I can only think that something like this would be created with a form/set type spell. And might be kept as a trinket or decoration only because of its unique nature.

SDLeary

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On 1/16/2023 at 5:22 PM, Akhôrahil said:

Warhammers and rondel daggers will penetrate through plate. This is fairly immaterial in Glorantha though, as except possibly for dwarves, no-one will be fully covered in armor.

Even a dull steel broadsword can easily penetrate the bottom of a cookie tin! (At the time I purchased, sharpened was not an option, they have an edge that looks like the back of a pocket knife blade). SCA demo/lecture room at a gaming convention, I'd loaned Hungry and Reluctant to the weapon display rack. Hilary of Serendip was doing a comparison of various swords, and at one point (as I recall) was comparing Hungry with her custom made sword (matched the balance/weight of her rattan fighting sword). During fighting demos, she used to tap her sword against the cookie tin to mark time -- to show how fast/often strikes were made. In the room, she loosened her wrist allowing Hungry's blade to drop onto the cookie tin -- it put a three inch slit into the bottom of the tin, where her sword would only make a small dent on the same action! A "cold chisel" edge would like allow for dicing up car fenders -- especially the thin metal used these days.

 

 

(Hungry and Reluctant can be seen at http://wlfraed.microdiversity.freeddns.org/swords/swords.htm)

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On 1/17/2023 at 1:48 PM, SDLeary said:

Yeah, I remembered that after posting. But, using this method would mean that the sheet bronze would probably be "hardened" as formed into the cuirass. 

What I had on my brain (I blame Tod, been watching lots of his vids lately; twas a backer) was fire hardening, as was done with some iron breastplates.

SDLeary

As far as I can estimate,  an attempt to fire harden bronze would anneal it, making it more ductile, so the result would not at all be like tempering steel.  ( That is based on what some people do before reloading brass cartridges, and brass is a variety of bronze.  Bronze alloys do differ. Some ancient ones included lead!  Do we have a mettalurgist in the house?  )

 

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12 hours ago, Squaredeal Sten said:

As far as I can estimate,  an attempt to fire harden bronze would anneal it, making it more ductile, so the result would not at all be like tempering steel.  ( That is based on what some people do before reloading brass cartridges, and brass is a variety of bronze.  Bronze alloys do differ. Some ancient ones included lead!  Do we have a mettalurgist in the house?  )

Not a metallurgist but a general chemist. Real World "fire hardening" of steel really is upping the carbon content from reaction with hot carbon monoxide, changing the microcrystalline balance towards greater Cementite (Fe3C) content which makes it hard and brittle. If you use heat without that carbon monoxide, steel tends to get softer, too, as the faulty inter-crystalline bonds that determine the macroscopic properties of that lump of fused micro-crystals softens up, and you might even get larger mono-crystals which weakens the macroscopic properties.

Real world bronzes don't take up carbon that way, but the re-crystallization of the stuff between the microcrystals happens, too.

Copper based bronzes are basically metallic copper with admixtures that change the properties. Some admixtures are detrimental, like phosphorous (like it is for iron), resulting in really brittle material, while other real world elements like arsenic, antimon, tin and lead or even silver may distort the copper lattice and the amorphous inter-crystalline bonds in more beneficial ways.

Real world brass is rather different from real world bronzes. It is really an alloy of two distinct stochiometric copper-zinc components, not a modified copper lattice.

 

Gloranthan steel has never heard about carbon uptake. But Death having been retrieved from the Underworld, where Fire (Yelm) entered as Death, may make fire treatment of the elemental metal of death more deadly.

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57 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

It seems reasonable that clubs and the like would be fine but edged weapons not hold out very well?

I also believe so.  We should be more specific: when we discuss breakage of stone on hitting metal armor, we mean stone edged and pointed weapons, not crushing weapons.

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15 hours ago, Joerg said:

Real world brass is rather different from real world bronzes. It is really an alloy of two distinct stochiometric copper-zinc components, not a modified copper lattice.

 

Gloranthan steel has never heard about carbon uptake. But Death having been retrieved from the Underworld, where Fire (Yelm) entered as Death, may make fire treatment of the elemental metal of death more deadly.

Since Bronze is the Storm-god's metal, surely adding his rival's (Yelm) element (Fire) would weaken it?? Especially so for true Gods-bone.

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Archaeology book I read years ago claimed that stone weapons were *sharper* than metal; spoke of experiment in which a professional butcher was given a set of stone knives and asked to use them to butcher a game animal - he was apparently highly impressed, and said that he would have had to have sharpened his tools twice during the process, while the stone tools did not need sharpening.

Ever since I first crossed RQ in the late 80s I've thought that the Repair spell would keep many cultures in the stone age simply because the advantage of being able to reforge metal doesn't matter when your broken stone tools can be fixed magically.

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Replying to the OP here.

There are surgeons who insist on doing neurological surgery with knapped obsidian scalpels because they're the only blades both thin and sharp enough to split nerve tissue lengthwise.

So yeah, against bare flesh, clothing or soft leather [including hides and fur] knapped igneous stone is a pretty good bet. However, you'll probably be replacing the spearhead when you retrieve the spear out of the beast. Paleontologists and primitive bushcraft experts theorize that an average hunter likely carried several pre-made replacement blades for his weapons and probably raw nodes and a knapping kit as well. And I am purposely not quoting fiction here. 'Clan of the Cave Bear' is an entertaining read [and probably mandatory reading for Hsunchen players] but I'm getting my statements about the efficacy of primitive weaponry from the Universities of Colorado and Arizona.

Edited by svensson
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14 minutes ago, svensson said:

Replying to the OP here.

There are surgeons who insist on doing neurological surgery with knapped obsidian scalpels because they're the only blades both thin and sharp enough to split nerve tissue lengthwise.

So yeah, against bare flesh, clothing or soft leather [including hides and fur] knapped igneous stone is a pretty good bet. However, you'll probably be replacing the spearhead when you retrieve the spear out of the beast. Paleontologists and primitive bushcraft experts theorize that an average hunter likely carried several pre-made replacement blades for his weapons and probably raw nodes and a knapping kit as well. And I am purposely not quoting fiction here. Clan of the Cave Bear is an entertaining read but I'm getting my statements about the efficacy of primitive weaponry from the Universities of Colorado and Arizona.

Carrying spares and some sort of fashioning kit would make perfect sense.

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