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 Post subject: Silvered Weapons
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 10:51 am 
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After last sessions battle with the werewolf thralls, one of the players emailed me about having his scimitar "silvered." Surprisingly, there is nothing in either edition about such a thing. Rather than just hand wave this sort of thing and end up with a whole cadre of witch hunters running around with silvered weapons because of some short-sighted decision, I decided to poke around a bit. I wanted to share the results, since there has been some discussion elsewhere about the distinction of exceptional items and cost.

This leans a bit on the All For One: Regime Diabolique game.

Quote:
Silver Weapons
A solid silver weapon would be extremely expensive and less sturdy than a standard steel one. To that end, silvered weapons are available. Silvered weapons are edged or engraved with just enough silver to make them useful against certain creatures, but without turning them from tools of war into treasures best kept hanged on a chateau wall.

Cost: Three times the base weapon cost. Silvering an existing weapon or item costs twice the base cost. Silvered weapons are considered exceptional items.
Time: It takes one week to forge a silvered weapon, or to silver an existing weapon.
Services: A silvered weapon requires the services of both a weaponsmith and a silversmith. Silvered weapons and items may only be purchased where the services of both these craftsmen are available.
Shortages: In areas where either craftsmen or raw materials are in short supply, secrecy is required, or other complications are involved, increase the cost again by that of the base item and/or the time required by an additional week.
Complications: Silvered weapons are not an unknown commodity; they are often purchased for ornamentation or decoration, a ceremonial sabre for a noble-born soldier, for instance. But on occasion, complications arise. When a silvered weapon is commissioned, particularly one of unusual design (a silvered zweihandler), the character commissioning the item should make a Personality roll. If the roll results in more 1s than successes, interested parties of the GM’s choice become aware of the commission and may choose to investigate.


Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Silvered Weapons
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:03 am 

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Tom,

The reason such an item wasn't included is that one of the goals of "Monster" creation was to avoid the tried and true methods of killing certain monsters, such as silver weapons for werewolves.

A bit of the horror is taken out of the game when everyone immediatley knows how to kill a creature or at least its weaknesses.

In the adventure I ran years ago involving werewolves, I made sure that silver was not their vulnerability. Instead, they could only be killed by "blessed" fire. Made for a much more tense game.

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 Post subject: Re: Silvered Weapons
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:28 am 

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So in past years my (real) primary profession was as a knifemaker, I learned some really interesting things about metals. and some really common tropes have always bothered me, "silver" or "silvered" weapons and "Cold Iron"

there are some ways to apply Silver to a currently existing metal object:

-painting it on, you can suspend silver particles in a lacquer type of base, this would wear off very quickly, currently this is part of the process for electroplating non conductive or corrosive items ( IE wood or steel)

-Electroplating, modern electroplating was developed in 1805, however earlier instances are suspected (see Parthian Battery), would put a layer of silver on a weapon, however the weapon would dull easily and probably require reapplication, if the cutting edge needed to be silver

-Koftgari - taking silver/gold foil and hammering it into cross hatching scratched into steel, used as decoration, would probably need reapplied over time

-Gilding -mechanical or chemical is probably doable, but also fragile

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 Post subject: Re: Silvered Weapons
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:09 pm 
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PCIHenry wrote:
The reason such an item wasn't included is that one of the goals of "Monster" creation was to avoid the tried and true methods of killing certain monsters, such as silver weapons for werewolves.


Yeah, no I get that. I didn't miss the line in the werewolf entry, "precious metal of GM's choice." I'm just surprised because its only a matter of time before some player asks, "what do I have to do to get a weapon made of [insert strange substance here]."

This seems to dovetail with the "exceptional items cost x2 or x3 more than the base", so I'm good. When WH2's sales are good enough that you throw out the obligatory "Arms and Equipment" supplement, THEN I'll expect a full treatment on strange compounds and alloys.

SamhainIA wrote:
So in past years my (real) primary profession was as a knifemaker, I learned some really interesting things about metals. and some really common tropes have always bothered me, "silver" or "silvered" weapons and "Cold Iron"


This is partially the reason I went looking around as opposed to just shrugging and throwing out a random price multiplier. Not that I'm going for abject realism in my game (I'm happy with BtVS/Supernatural cinematic realism), but I wanted something a bit deeper than adding a simple quality.

Going through your description, this is how I envision this working:
Weaponsmith takes existing weapon and adds decorative flourish and channels to the blade. This is delicate work so as not to diminish the integrity of the blade. To be effective against a creature sensitive to silver, there has to be at least 75% coverage across the face of the blade, especially for a slashing weapon. Once this work is complete, the blade is sent to a silversmith who fills these channels with molten silver.

Now, I considered adding a degradation component, but that's one more thing I have to worry about. What could work, however is this: after each combat, the wielder rolls a number of dice equal to the item's Toughness. If the roll achieves no successes and at least a single complication (1), the silver work has degraded and must be repaired. This costs X RP.

The problem I see here is as you start leaning more on the resources of the characters, the more important acquiring money becomes to them. But it could work. What do you think?

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Silvered Weapons
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:14 pm 
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Nothing says all werewolves are subject to the same weakness either :) Just because one pack was silvered weapons, the next one sacred fire, and the next one mercury.

John

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 Post subject: Re: Silvered Weapons
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:24 pm 
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And it is not my job to inform the player of that. :)

If he wants to spend his RP on a silvered scimitar, my job is to tell him how and how much. By the same token, I don't consider myself such a jerk of a GM to never let him encounter another werewolf vulnerable to silver again.

Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Silvered Weapons
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:44 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:36 am
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Tom, I like the mechanics behind the rules that you proposed and the update ( and I apologize for not saying that in my first response) I saw someone that just had the players roll a D6 and on a 1 the silvering was ruined, but I like your solution better.

as to the subject of "precious" metals, the definition of precious has changed, aluminum was once considered precious (IIRC, Napoleon's dinner utensils were made from aluminum and that contributed to his crazy) I could see a pack of French Napoleonic werewolves that would slain by aluminum....

Mercury, Gallium, Uranium, could also be classified are precious metals. Mercry was sought after by european alchemist's for creating the philosophers stone, Gallium was predicted in Russia (Eka-aluminum), and IIRC there is a natural ground reactor in africa made from pitchblend (uranium ore)

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 Post subject: Re: Silvered Weapons
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:46 pm 

Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 12:08 am
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Tom,

Blusponge wrote:
By the same token, I don't consider myself such a jerk of a GM to never let him encounter another werewolf vulnerable to silver again.


Actually, maybe that's exactly what you should do.

Obviously, you play the game as you like, but the diea of noy having to worry about money is that it should be irrelevant to the game. Perhaps by letting the player spend a ridiculous amount on a "one use item" may make him/her and the other s say, "Hmmm...maybe that wasn't such a smart idea, after all. I guess I should stop sharpening stakes and gathering garlic, all the time."

That's what I would do, so I guess that makes me a jerk GM. ;-)

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 Post subject: Re: Silvered Weapons
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:47 pm 
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Adding a few optional details:

Quote:
Flaws (Optional): Silvering a weapon can be delicate work. The GM should make a D4 roll for the weaponsmith’s Craft (Education) skill. If the roll fails, reduce the weapon’s Toughness by 1 point.
Degradation (Optional): After combat concludes, the player rolls a dice pool equal to the Toughness of the silvered weapon. If the roll achieves no successes and at least one complication (1), the silvering process has degraded and the weapon needs to be repaired. The cost to repair the weapon is half again the base cost. Until the weapon is repaired, it no longer has the Silvered quality.


Tom

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 Post subject: Re: Silvered Weapons
PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 1:02 pm 
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SamhainIA wrote:
Tom, I like the mechanics behind the rules that you proposed and the update ( and I apologize for not saying that in my first response) I saw someone that just had the players roll a D6 and on a 1 the silvering was ruined, but I like your solution better.


Yeah, this was something I saw come up a lot on various DnD/d20 threads about silvered weapons. No one liked the idea of the weapon becoming useless right in the middle of a fight. I know myself well enough to know I would NEVER remember to ask for a roll like that in the thick of combat, so making one roll after the dust has settled seems like a win for everyone. Plus, it keeps the silvered weapon from being a resource soak. That's great for fantasy RPGs where GMs need excuses to strip players of their wealth. Not so much for WH.

PCIHenry wrote:
Actually, maybe that's exactly what you should do.

Obviously, you play the game as you like, but the diea of noy having to worry about money is that it should be irrelevant to the game. Perhaps by letting the player spend a ridiculous amount on a "one use item" may make him/her and the other s say, "Hmmm...maybe that wasn't such a smart idea, after all. I guess I should stop sharpening stakes and gathering garlic, all the time."

That's what I would do, so I guess that makes me a jerk GM.


If the whole focus of the campaign was hunting werewolves in eastern France, I'd probably be a lot more resistant to the idea of doling out silvered weapons. And the result of putting the cadre up against a group of three stripped down werewolf thralls has convinced me that 1 or 2 manwolves at this point could easily be a slaughter.

But since werewolves (or specifically, manwolves) really aren't front and center in my plans, I don't see it being a problem. Really, its more of a background thing for the PC:
– member of the stalkers
– mentor killed by werewolf they were hunting
– PC vowed to kill the beast and has hunted him clear across South Western Europe.

It may be a fine point, but I don't see it being a jerk move to charge a player an arm and a leg for a weapon that may not get much use. I'm not as keen with "congrats, you've killed the only werewolf vulnerable to silver in the WORLD. This one here? He's vulnerable to TIN, sucka!!!" ;)

Likewise, it only costs him RP at this point. They don't have to quest half way across Asia to find some fabled weapon only to find it only works against 10% of the monster population. THAT would be a jerk move!

Tom

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