TOOLS OF THE TRADE
The success of a campaign lies in its capacity to renew itself, which may be difficult after a while, especially with a minimalist system. So here I propose no new rules, but variations on known themes.
The following series of articles suppose you have read the Peninsula, the Dark Lands, the Hero’s Folios, the Master’s Folio, the Arena, and of course Savage Flower Kingdom.
Material has a major impact on the overall quality and capacities of a weapon. And we’re not talking only about resilience here.
Most weapons sold and manufactured on Norynn are made of metal (at least the head / blade / point). Those are the most frequently used.
Bronze: For centuries, bronze was the principal weapon-making alloy on Norynn; it was dropped in favour of iron and steel, more durable and lighter, but some monsters and lost people still use it. A bronze weapon is fragile; each time you roll a critical while using such a weapon, or deal the weapon’s maximum damage, roll D6 (1-2, good; 3-4, the weapon needs repair; 5-6, the weapon is broken); and it is quite cumbersome (Init –2). It only costs ¾ of the price though, if you find someone to forge it.
Steel : the most commonly used metal on norynn. Iron weapons are those described in SFK core booklet. Steel is a variant (more rare) obtained through a certain treatment of Iron, which is more durable, sharpens better (damage +1), and is lighter (init +1); it is of course more expensive (price is doubled). Both those metals, when cold, do D6 supplemental damages to Faës and Faëry creatures. It cannot take away their last HP, though.
Silver: silver is not commonly used in weapon making, usually favoured for jewellery and ornamentation. A silver weapon can be made, however it will cost 5 times the indicated price, and will be a lot less sturdy than its iron counterpart; each time you roll a critical while using such a weapon, or deal the weapon’s maximum damage, roll D6 (1-3, good; 4-5, the weapon needs repair; 6, the weapon is broken). It is of course nicer, shines a lot, and some say it takes magic better; when casting a spell on such a weapon, you have a +2 bonus on the casting roll. Silver is also known to hurt Undead and shapeshifters better; when fighting such an opponent with a silver weapon, you deal D6 supplemental damages.
Gold: Gold is not such a good idea as weapon material: it is soft and weak; each time you roll a critical while using such a weapon, or deal the weapon’s maximum damage, roll D6 (1, good; 2-4 the weapon needs repair; 5-6, the weapon is broken). It is also quite expensive (10 times more) and heavy (Initiative –2); it has a lot of alchemical properties and conduct magic very well (like silver). Gold is eternal (it doesn’t oxidise), and as such is symbolically the metal of the gods; it deals D6 supplemental damages to Hellions.
AND WHAT ABOUT PLATING?
Well, of course, you can have a plated weapon. A silver sword is solid silver, a silver plated sword is an iron or steel sword, with a thin silver coating all over it. Since there is less silver than in a silver sword, the effect will be lower.
A silver plated sword would give +1 damage when fighting shapeshifters and undead, a gold plated one +1 damage when fighting hellions; they would still give +1 to all casting rolls on them.
Of course, plating is easy to damage, and needs to be done again everytime the weapon deals a critical, or does its maximum damage. And of course, there is the price: first you buy the weapon (iron or steel), and then bring it to a jewelmaker to have it plated; plating costs the same as the weapon for silver, and fifty percent more for gold. And you still look cheap!
Note: the strange metals described in next part are already difficult to forge; they cannot be plated.