06 December 2013

Magic Changes Everything


An interesting tidbit of making odd connections.

The reason the Japanese folded the metal for Katana was to compensate for their miserable iron ore.

Western sword makers didn't bother once crucible steel had been figured out.

With GURPS: Magic you wouldn't even bother with iron ore.

Take some literally garden variety dirt.  Cast "Earth to Stone" on it and pay double energy cost and you can get "a simple metal like bronze or iron".  For a mere six fatigue you can change up to a cubic yard of dirt or clay into a cubic yard of iron.

Now that you have pure iron put it with some carbon in a clay jar and cast "Heat" on the pig.  This takes a bit longer, but for 6 fatigue a minute you can add 60˚ F a minute to the material.  This stage takes a lot of fatigue considering you want to melt the iron, 2,700˚ F.  So starting at a temperate 75˚ would take 44 minutes and 264 fatigue.  Maybe we don't want to use "Heat"...

What we can do instead is cast "Shape Metal" and mix it with our carbon to make steel COLD.  Six fatigue for a minute.  You can make it flow 18" a second with this spell so you have lots of time to stir in your trace elements to change your iron to steel.  Once you're done mixing, you can use this spell to separate your cubic yard of steel into billets; then form those billets into finished shapes if you have the Smith (Iron)/TL skill.

With two spells (and their prerequisites) and one skill you can make a good quality sword in about three or four hours!  With Metallurgy/TL you could conceivably make fine and very fine weapons in the same time frame by changing the alloy compositions.


  1. GURPS was the shiznit. But it's strange how late crucible steel was discovered.

  2. Ahh magic, breaking things as usual. It throws wrenches of significant size into the standard TL progression gears, particularly if you throw in some clever use of enchanting to boot.


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