Help Support Game Development!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Magical Metals and History

Today I'm working on redoing the weapons list. To this end, I've had to think a bit about the weapons I want to make.

Most fantasy games just jump right in and have a pretty standard tier level. Wood, Bronze, Iron, Steel, Mithril, Diamond, Special.

This will not be what I do because that list is crap. To illustrate why I'm going to go over some different metals used in history and various mythical metals as well as my interpretation of them.

My tier list will go as such. Wood, Iron, Bronze, Steel, Orihalcum, Mithril, Adamant, Special.

First let's talk about why I don't rank Bronze below Iron. Simple answer: It's WAY FUCKING BETTER.

When people think of bronze they think of the ancient Greeks primarily. They think it's a more primitive metal and an iron sword is able to cut through it like a hot knife through butter. This is wrong - REALLY wrong.

Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin. In decorative mixes it's very soft and is worthless for combat. In combat ready mixes it's roughly equivalent to mid-grade steel. It holds an edge less well than Iron but makes great armor. It is, however, pretty heavy compared to steel.

Bronze saw a massive rise in ancient Greece because they were able to strike up trade and get both copper and tin, the primary ingredients of bronze. Iron wasn't hard to access - Iron is EVERYWHERE. Crappy iron is very brittle though, and without decent refining techniques most iron is going to be crappy. The decline of bronze is pretty easy to explain. Once those techniques existed Iron was a lot cheaper than bronze and didn't rely on trade (because iron is everywhere). Once trade broke down and Greece started to go into decline Iron eclipsed it - but Iron was NOT better. There's a reason the "Iron Age" is considered a barbaric decline of the "Bronze Age".

The biggest differences between bronze and Iron can be summarized. Bronze bends, Iron breaks. Bronze is heavier than Iron. Iron can make longer weapons than bronze and holds an edge better, but Bronze is much more durable and doesn't have that whole rust problem and will last basically forever.

Steel is light, flexible, springy and tough. It also took a LOT of work to make properly before modern methods were invented and not a lot of it was made. It's flat out better than any other historical material though. Today we have various metals and alloys that do better than steel at certain jobs. Aluminum is lighter but not stronger than steel so it's very useful in aircraft (it was also EXTREMELY rare and valuable before the invention of a process to extract Aluminum from bauxite). Titanium is very strong but brittle, and so on.

Going by real material strengths you can pretty reasonably make a tier list for these materials. Wood, stone, and bone, Iron, Bronze, Steel. If you want to add other metals like Copper most go right below Iron and just about everything better than steel at a given job didn't exist before the industrial revolution.

Now onto mythical metals. There's a lot of those, but I decided to take three and make a simple tier list for them as well. Their existence is based on the idea that you can take the above materials and magically enhance them.

First, Orihalcum. Historically this was considered "gold bronze" and was a mythical metal that has been lost to time. It's fairly simple to figure out how this would be made in my world. It's an alloy of combat grade bronze and gold enhanced with magic to make it tougher. I would place it as stronger than steel but much heavier. In essence, it's bronze but moreso. It's somewhat traditional these days for Orihalcum to be 'anti-magic' so I have little issue with assigning that property to it. It's magically enhanced, magically resistant bronze. Great for armor,blunt weapons and magic defense.

Second, Mythril. The term was invented by Tolkien but is used by prettymuch everyone so I feel fairly okay with using it. The substance described in the Lord of The Rings series and The Hobbit was more like Aluminum than anything else but I decided to take a different path. I'm going to treat it as mundane silver that undergoes magical enhancement. Silver is historically a material famous for magical properties and associations with purity. Silver itself is fairly useless as a weapons material. I'm simply going to figure that magic makes it tough enough that it's similar to steel in strength but acts as an excellent channel for magic. So it'll only be slightly stronger than steel as a material for weapons and armor, but will be an amazing enhancer for magic.

Third, Adamant. Adamant is a term that comes from the ancient Greeks meaning "Untameable". Over time it has come to be associated with diamond and very hard metals. You probably heard of it first from Wolverine of the X-Men, but I assure you the term existed long before him. I'm going to treat it as high-grade steel magically enhanced with microscopic diamonds built into the material itself; a mix of steel and carbon nanotubes, sort of like Damascus Steel but magic. This makes it an especially great material for weapons and armor, but it is not especially resistant to magic and doesn't really boost magic either.

"Special" weapons are enhanced with high level magic and is made from a mixture of the above materials or special versions of the above materials, like Mithril forged from silver collected from Meteorites and enhanced with lunar light based magic or Adamant armor plated with Orihalcum to create armor that's extremely tough and resistant to magic. I'm tempted to throw in other materials from myth but I feel these three cover the bases well enough.

 A lot of this is presented fairly matter of fact because I can't afford to take too much time to write out this post, but do feel free to look up some historical mythical metals and real metals. My advice? Go look up ancient China. They were on the verge of the industrial revolution for much of their history and had a truly impressive amount of amazing materials. They were making and coating steel and bronze with Chrome - a material not used for plating metals in the world at large until the 1800's - during the Qin dynasty. That's 2000 years ago.

A few periods in history have some incredible peaks in terms of the metals and materials they can make. The Ancient Greeks, India's Golden Age, the Chinese at various points and the Middle East during its golden age all produced incredible materials. I strongly encourage you all to go look it up and enjoy it! It's truly fascinating to see how people throughout history have made miracles out of their land and the forge carries a special kind of magic all its own.

Now does any of this really have much of an impact on a porn game? Nnnnnope. But it sure is fun to talk about!


  1. Holy crap! You put a lot of thought into all this. I'm impressed lol.

  2. I honestly like this attention to detail on the materials of weapons and armor. So many games seem to just copy a standard template and are done.

  3. None of this is really work for me, it's just the sort of thing I do for fun. I'm a bit of a history buff and I have an interest in metallurgy. Sorry for not sourcing stuff and kinda summarizing most of what I posted, but I didn't want to spend too much time on this post instead of working on the game.

  4. Your post gave this material physicist a boner. Keep up the good work.

    P.S.: you can also take thermal/electrical conductivities into account. Non-enhanced metals would leave you vulnerable to elemental effects and magic, while organic materials like woods, textiles or leather will protect much better against them.

    1. Not a bad idea. I'll have to think about that a bit. Glad you enjoyed the post!

    2. If you are so inclined to write a script or match stats to weapons and armor, you may try a rock, paper, scissors approach with weapons and armor. You know:
      -Leather Has a bonus to blunt. weak to slash and pierce. Increased Evasion
      -Scale has bonus to slash, weak to pierce. No special.
      -Plate has bonus to most physical, weak to magic. Increased Health, Decreased speed.
      -Cloth has bonus to magic, weak to most physical. Increased Magic Damage and mana pool.
      -Shield has bonus to most or all. Negates armor Pierce, Limits damage out put.

      That sort of thing.

  5. It's like I'm really on /tg/.
    All this would need is some masturbation over polearms, maces and shortswords and I'd be right at home.

    1. >Implying I ever leave /tg/
      I've been on 4chan since '04 but the only board I ever cared about has been /tg/. I didn't give a damn about the place until it came along.

      They're my kinda people.

    2. Does this mean we can look forward to humanised polearms, maces and shortswords in the future?
      Because that would make my dick adamantine.

    3. Well one of the Lamiak golem girls does have her golem suit based on historically accurate Spanish Armor. Historical accuracy is my fetish.

    4. Eh, close enough.
      What era, btw?

      Also, you're a fa/tg/uy, you have way more than just one fetish.

    5. Conquistador-Style 1500's armor. Also it's true, I do have this one other fetish involving minds and control. If you look closely you may find it's the basis of this entire game I make called Overwhored.

    6. Huh, must have missed that one.
      You didn't drop enough hints, signs that you are a truly terrible D/G/QM.

    7. I guess you didn't dare to enter my magical realm.

    8. I dunno, your magical realm's probably bretty gud, less piss forest and more various monstergirls lined up for breeding.
      The only thing missing is fluffy [spoiler]wings.[/spoiler]

  6. I think the standard list is the way it is simply because it's so easy to associate the metals with the prize/monetary value (bronze, silver and gold medals for example) that they hold. So, it's kinda counter intuitive when you make a list based on real life efficiency of those materials. Even knowing that gold sucks as material to make weapons, I still feel strange when a gold sword is the worst weapon available.

  7. Orihalcum (Orichalcum or aurichalcum) is also used in western alchemy as the "perfect metal." What that means specifically I don't know, indestructibility as a minimum I'd assume.

    Beyond that if you do a crafting system I'd do sympathetic crafting. You need so many things that are associated with strength to get strength buffs and what not.
    Ex: giant blood, dragon scales for strength.

    In code: items have a number of "ideas" attached to them. Each augmentation requires a certain number of each idea to be imbued into an item. Then you can have all trash items be consumed by the crafting system. Naturally stronger monsters give you items with more ideas attached (or with stronger ideas).
    Ex: Dragon Blood (from a dragon of strength x) has the idea of fire(2x), strength(x), magic(x) and flight(2x) and giant(2x) attached.

  8. How DARE you talk historical weapons in a porn game! (actually, I found it very interesting, mostly because I love history too)

    I really like how you are paying attention to the small stuff like this, it makes the game much more enjoyable knowing that you are thinking about the small things that make the game more unique and memorable! :)

  9. interesting if i might suggest a sword made from pure magic
    energy it could also be the one thing that could kill you for good

  10. For a Quick list of possible renditions of metals. Look Here:

    As for special weapons and armor, I would suggest some kind of simple Sub-Tier. Something like this

    -Enhanced/Combined Materials of the basic tiers
    Like a Combination of Mithril and Adamnt or Druidic Wood
    -Newly Introduced and relevant Materials for certain items that may be collected/crafted
    Like Dwarven Ironrock or Meteoric Iron/Steel for one set in a volcano or something.
    -Unique or unidentifiable Items
    Something like a blade or shield that is formed, shaped or sustained by Pure mana acting similiar to a light sabre or a celestial bow with an invisible string made out of blessed gold that fire shooting stars. You know, go wild.

    Just some helpful ideas and something to think on.

    As a little fun fact, Dark Steel from Magic the Gathering, Really looks and acts more or less like Meteoric Steel.