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Cold Iron and Silver Weapons

 
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Lanthorn
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Joined: Sep 09, 2009
Posts: 2413
Location: SW WA state (Highvale)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:32 pm    Post subject: Cold Iron and Silver Weapons Reply with quote

Greetings All,

Although I am a 2e player/DM, thought I would cast this query to the general populace at large to gather more information.

1) I am wondering if anyone has information pertaining to the cost and manufacturing times of silver weapons and cold iron weapons. It might come in handy for future reference in one of my campaigns.

2) Do silver weapons have to be pure? Or can they be silver-plated or dipped in silver instead and still be efficacious against creatures like lycanthropes and planar monsters?

3) What exactly IS cold iron?! I keep getting conflicted and confusing descriptions from various sources.

thank you

Lanthorn


Last edited by Lanthorn on Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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rol-oeste
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Joined: Feb 18, 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From Pathfinder RPG:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Iron, Cold

HP/inch 30; Hardness 10; Cost Weapons x2 normal. Add magic enhancement +2,000 gp.

This iron, mined deep underground and known for its effectiveness against demons and fey creatures, is forged at a lower temperature to preserve its delicate properties. Weapons made of cold iron cost twice as much to make as their normal counterparts. Also, adding any magical enhancements to a cold iron weapon increases its price by 2,000 gp. This increase is applied the first time the item is enhanced, not once per ability added.

Items without metal parts cannot be made from cold iron. An arrow could be made of cold iron, but a quarterstaff could not.

A double weapon with one cold iron half costs 50% more than normal.

Weapons made of cold iron cost twice as much to make as their normal counterparts. Also, adding any magical enhancements to a cold iron weapon increases its price by 2,000 gp. This increase is applied the first time the item is enhanced, not once per ability added. A double weapon with one cold iron half costs 50% more than normal.

https://www.d20pfsrd.com/equipment/special-materials/
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Its from the book "Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Ultimate Equipment" (PZO1123).

Sergio :-)
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SirXaris
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Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to what Rol-Oeste has provided, the idea behind cold iron being harmful to fey and demons is that raw iron is very harmful to them, but heating it destroys much of the harmful properties naturally occurring within the metal (though they still are uncomfortable around it). Thus, if the weapon is made from iron that is smelted at a lower temperature (taking longer to make and costing much more as a result), fewer of the properties harmful to fey and demons are destroyed in the making and it still causes them harm to some degree.

As far as silver weapons go, I rule that as long as there is a sufficient quantity of silver in the weapon that can touch the creature being hit by it, it works. So, a weapon may be made of an iron/steel and silver alloy or a weapon may be chased in silver, or it may have silver filigree etched into it, etc. Of course, a weapon made of pure silver would be highly impractical: it would be inordinately heavy, would fail to hold an edge for long, and would be almost worthless against metal armor or any natural armor equal to metal armor.

SirXaris
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Cebrion
Black Hand of Oblivion
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Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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Location: So. Cal

PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cold iron could also simply be iron that is never worked using a forge, but is worked "cold." It is more time consuming to work metal in this way without the aid of "the fires of hell" to taint...er...soften the steel and make working it much easier. Steel worked in this way "work hardens" from the heat generated from hammering on it, and this method of working the metal can actually make the metal become red hot (because science)! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXF60MOWUeY
A weapon made in this way could still be heated and tempered, I think, and still be considered "cold" iron, if one wishes.

Silvered weapons could have powdered silver hammered into the steel as it is forged, so the steel would appear speckled with silver on its surface when finished. Alternately, the steel could be an alloy containing silver to begin with, from which blanks are cast to then forged into whatever weapon.

As an aside, pics of a *cold worked* elbow (by myself) based on the Black Prince effigy:

http://s40.photobucket.com/user/btmcrae/media/btm%20armor%20pics/bp01.jpg.html

http://s40.photobucket.com/user/btmcrae/media/btm%20armor%20pics/bp05.jpg.html

http://s40.photobucket.com/user/btmcrae/media/btm%20armor%20pics/bp14.jpg.html

http://s40.photobucket.com/user/btmcrae/media/btm%20armor%20pics/bp15.jpg.html

*Note: I do NOT recommend working so deep a piece as an elbow cold! But it can be done. Painstakingly. Stubbornly. Patiently. carefully. Probably took 20,000-30,000 hammer blows to go from flat metal blank to finished piece. MADNESS!!! No idea what a sword would take. Also, metal worked in this way is periodically heated and slow cooled (i.e. annealed) to re-soften the metal a bit, as cold working metal can lead to it becoming brittle/cracking, because you don't want to be 15,000 hammer blows into a piece and have it crack! Cry
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Lanthorn
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Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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Location: SW WA state (Highvale)

PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good information all.
Cebrion, very interesting video segment. I also like the explanation how that works (yes, science is cool).

Does anyone else have information regarding how much cold iron and silver weapons would cost?

I am surprised by rol-oeste's reply that cold iron weapons would only cost twice the amount listed. That seems rather 'cheap' for the amount of work it would take, UNLESS you can use some heat to partly warm the metal to make it more work-able. Pure brute force alone would make it a terribly painstaking process, especially for something like a sword blade!

As a sidenote, I stumbled on some information in the 2e updated DMG, page 96, that stated that silver weapons must be pure in order to work effectively. However, I would permit a full coating of silver to work (ex: dipping a weapon in melted silver then allowing it to cool, or silver plating) so long as the silver remains (which it wouldn't forever).

thanks to all who posted, and looking for more,

Lanthorn
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rol-oeste
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lanthorn wrote:
Does anyone else have information regarding how much cold iron and silver weapons would cost?

I am surprised by rol-oeste's reply that cold iron weapons would only cost twice the amount listed. That seems rather 'cheap' for the amount of work it would take, UNLESS you can use some heat to partly warm the metal to make it more work-able. Pure brute force alone would make it a terribly painstaking process, especially for something like a sword blade!


An interesting discussion about cold iron weapons cost in D&D 3.5:

https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/70507/what-is-the-correct-price-of-cold-iron

Sergio :-)
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Cebrion
Black Hand of Oblivion
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rol-oeste wrote:
From Pathfinder RPG:

Items without metal parts cannot be made from cold iron. An arrow could be made of cold iron, but a quarterstaff could not.)


As it is such a fantasy staple, we have allowed quarterstaves reinforced with ends, banding, and studs made of steel, cold iron, silver, and copper (the latter so that a strike with the staff could be combined with a shocking grasp spell - 2e rules) and so gain the benefits of the material vs. certain critters. We do not allow druids to do this.

Staff with reinforced ends: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0925/7092/products/CS1196C-1_large.jpg?v=1509749158

Wire-wrapped staff with metal knob: https://i.pinimg.com/236x/97/21/dd/9721dd961e11d1d9814157be6fd2f14a.jpg

Banded/studded staff: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/cd/3d/1a/cd3d1a41fa01faf01b67a7455e8ddadd.jpg
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Last edited by Cebrion on Sun Apr 21, 2019 5:07 am; edited 1 time in total
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NorkerMedic
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Cold iron' is poetic language for a sword or similar weapon made from iron.

So far as I know, it's only been portrayed as a special material in some RPG stuff and recent fantasy fiction.


I've always read the iron vulnerabilities of certain AD&D monsters as simply that: they are vulnerable to ordinary iron weapons.

In the folklore of various peoples, iron has special properties against fairies, witches, curses, etc.

Quote:
COLD IRON. A sword, or any other weapon for cutting or
stabbing. I gave him two inches of cold iron into his beef.


http://www.gutenberg.org/files/5402/5402.txt

Don't get me wrong: I think 'cold-worked' iron, wrought iron, pattern-welded swords, meteoric iron, weird UnderOerth ores, etc are all cool possibilities for 'cold iron' in the game.

I just prefer the approach suggested by the etymology.
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NorkerMedic
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RE Silver, I like the idea that silver weapons are indeed fashioned from silver. That's why you really only see arrowheads and daggers; small piercing weapons, and bludgeoning weapons like silver-headed canes. It wouldn't work for a sword , an ax, or a slashing knife.



Of course, there are magical silver swords and things like that.
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