Saturday, January 25, 2014

Metal Weapons and the State of Civiliztion

Just an Idea

Not sure if I'll include this or a version of this in the Eradu setting, but I like the basic concept here and have been thinking about it for a while.  Any thoughts would be appreciated.

The Chart

 Base Mod   Far City  CityTown Rural   Wilderness 
 Stick-31------ 1  1 - 3
 Stone-22 - 10 1   1 - 7   2 - 27  4 - 57
 Copper-111 - 20 2 - 7   8 - 71   28 - 79  58 - 88
 Bronze+021 - 33 8 - 65   72 - 91   80 - 95  89 - 96
 Iron+134 - 56 66 - 83   92 - 97   96 - 99  97 - 99
 Steel+257 - 89 84 - 92   98 - 99   100  100
 Hard Steel+390 - 97 93 - 96   100   ---  ---
 Hard Silver+498 - 99 97 - 99   ---   ---  ---
 Black Steel  +5100 100   ---   ---  ---

Oh the Places We'll Go!

Settlements of different sizes have different chances of being more or less "advanced" when it comes to "technology".  Of course, there may be a Stone Age Village next to a Black Steel Age City, which means that the folks are likely just incredibly poor and not necessarily savages.  The GM will have to get clever to make every die roll make sense.

Wilderness Village
Small villages in the middle of nowhere.

Rural Village
There might be another village or possibly even a town nearby.

Also considered by most to be a really big village.  The people that live in a town often think of it as a small city.

Walls, filth, and all the vice a copper penny can buy.  This is where the fun stuff is.

Far City
Just like a city but really far away from what you think you know about.

Civilization Through The Ages

The "ages" are generalized based on the primary material used for weapons.  These are vaguely historical in nature (up to a point), but should not be taken as absolute gospel.  Use them as a guideline.  Based on the type of settlement, roll 1d100 to determine where the peoples fall.  Of course, once a settlement has been "established" by the dice, nearby locations will generally be similar.  Of course what nearby and similar mean are up to the GM - or that advice can be utterly ignored.

Stick Age
These are some seriously primitive savages - clubs are the height of their technology and fire is a new and fancy thing.  This doesn't mean they are not intelligent, nor does it mean they don't live in a complex society.  What it does mean is that some lamp oil can burn down a village and most everyone else will kick their ass and take what few things of value they do have.

Stone Age
Spears with flint tips!  Axes that can cut things!  Stone age peoples are not cavemen, but like stick age folks they are probably a bit on the savage side.  With stone tools comes the ability to work with stone ... meaning bricks and slabs and whatnot.  Heck, some stone age peoples even had aqueducts. 

Copper Age
Metal weapons and tool are essential to getting an edge over the less civilized barbarian scum who have the slightly better land over the hill.  Most of Eradu is somewhere in the Copper Age.  Considered the "least" of the non-ancient civilizations, copper age folks have metal weapons (shitty ones, but metal weapons), copper jewelry, and all sorts of other fancy things.  They tend to adapt more easily to more advanced things than those of the stick and stone ages. 

Bronze Age
Mix a little tin in with that copper and suddenly bronze hits the scene.  Harder than copper, these weapons tend to lay waste to the pitiful savages who use copper.  Most cities are in a bronze age and can manage to have towering structures, complex machinery (like wheels on a cart), and start getting a bit more complex in their ways of thinking.  Mind you, just because bronze is the height of what can be made now doesn't mean there isn't plenty of iron and other things about.  The infamous Aldsburg is currently a bronze City (although it was much higher on the scale in days long past).

Iron Age
Cold Iron weapons are the mark of things getting interesting.  The Fey hate iron weapons and members of an iron age society pretty much rule the roost.  Iron is awesome.  Buildings are made from bricks, everyone carries a dagger, and things tend to get seedy fast.  With so much more awesome metal around people can do some outstanding architectural things leading to more leisure time ... which means corruption, gambling, vice, and politics.

Steel Age
Steel is better than iron.  Armies with steel weapons are a terrible thing to behold.  When one things medieval fantasy with plate mail and long swords, this is the age.  The societies that have developed from this age are most common as the basis of what is afoot in Eradu, but as the world is crumbling the steel age is significantly less common than it once was.

Hard Steel Age
Rare, strong, and light - hard steel is amazing and, with that +3 bonus, going to seriously cause some havoc.  Hard steel involves some sort of complex folding of the hot metal and using holy water or the blood of the innocent.  Magic has worked its way into some aspects of hard steel age society but in subtle ways - everyone isn't a mage and sorcerers are still terrifying and often murdered on site.

Hard Silver Age
Not technically silver, but with many of the same properties (specifically when it comes to things affected by silver weapons) hard silver is a bitch to work with but makes a fine blade, incredible armor, and when traded with neighbors give a profit that allows a hard silver age city a level of merchant class luxury that makes the vices from the iron age look like lemonade stands.  A hard silver age settlement may also have ties to the old machine core.  This is also the age that invented khur (a terrible and addictive drug related to slavers and a strange cult about purging undesirables).

Black Steel Age
A little alchemy, a but of demon blood, a swatch of skin from a patchwork creature, a dash of hard silver, a pile of iron, and suddenly Black Steel is all the rage.  Of course by "all the rage" I mean "incredibly rare and valuable beyond the understanding of most folks".  Where a bronze longsword costs about $30, a black steel sword would theoretically sell for nearly $4,000,000!  Of course anyone who just happens to have a black steel sword isn't going to sell it.  Black Steel age settlements have some acceptance and grasp on magic, almost definitely have some connection to the Patchwork and/or the Machine Core, and tend to be wildly isolationist ... unless they are feeling aggressive in which case hide your daughters because the warrior mages wielding perfectly crafted blade of deadly accuracy are going to make a tarrasque attack look mild in comparison.

Cost of Goods

So how much does this stuff cost?  Good question. Here is the math:

n = age
P(n) = price of the item

For n>-1: P(n+1) = [50x[5^[n-1]]] + [P(n) x 10]
For n<0: P(n) =  P(n+1) x [0.8 x [0.9^[[n x  -1]+1]]

For example.  Base price in the bronze age for a bronze longsword is $30.  To sell that bronze longsword to a copper age settlement someone would probably pony up $350 worth of stuff.  An iron longsword in the bronze age settlement would go for the same price.  This chart gives the purchase price of a longsword (base of $30) of a particular age in a different age but keep in mind that lower level cultures tend to have significantly less money on hand and higher level settlements don't always accept "mooks and dregs" buying their things.  Mostly this is to give an idea of scale.  characters shouldn't be wandering around with black steel weapons any time soon ... unless they are from a black steel culture in which case the world is about to get razed for loot.

 Stick Stone Coppper Bronze Iron Steel H. Steel   H. Silver   B. Steel 
 Stick30  24  17  10  5.9  3.1  1.5  0.6   0.2 
 Stone350  30  24  17  10  5.9  3.1  1.5   0.6 
 Copper  3,750  350  30  24  17  10  5.9  3.1   1.5 
 Bronze  38,750  3,750  350  30  24  17  10  5.9   3.1 
 Iron  393,750  38,750  3,750  350  30  24  17  10   5.9 
 Steel  3,968,750  393,750  38,750  3,750  350  30  24  17  10 
 Hard Steel  39,843,750  3,968,750  393,750  38,750  3,750  350  30  24  17 
 Hard Silver  399,218,750  39,843,750  3,968,750  393,750  38,750  3,750  350  30  24 
 Black Steel   3,996,093,750   399,218,750   39,843,750   3,968,750   393,750   38,750   3,750   350  30