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Hey guys, Heph here.

Just wanna thank everyone for the love for the first Blacksmith Quest, there was a few suggestions at the end, mostly about the dice system. I've done a little revamp to the system, and I just wanna run it past you.

>You will be rolling 1d100's for each action.
>The best of the first three rolls will be used.
>Each job will have a deadline, Short/Intermediate/Long, so we don't have to worry about days/weeks/months.
>Each deadline has a certain number of 'ticks', each tick will constitute an action. Forging for an entire day will be 1 tick, smithing for a day will be 1 tick, etc.
>Short = 3 ticks, Intermediate = 5 ticks, Long = 7 ticks.
>You will have to actively forge things to keep stock levels up. Ore is infinite, but you must manufacture rods or ingots to use in jobs. You can make 40 rods, or 20 ingots every day (and you can mix and match, aka 10 ingots + 20 rods in a day, but 1 ingot = 2 rods)
>Each product has a certain number of rods or ingots needed to complete it.

Will continue next post.
>Instead of just determining the success based on the best roll, there will be modifiers.
>Modifiers will be based on the type of metal vs your smithing level. Will also be based on the amount of rods/ingots you will have to use vs the deadline.

So let's say it's your first job. You have to smith a number of swords for a customer, and you only have a short deadline (aka 3 ticks).

You will make a 1d100 roll for forging the rods/ingots. The best out of 3 will be chosen, this will determine if you make the amount you chose (or X% more/less, depending on the roll).

Once you have the necessary rods/ingots, you will then make a smithing roll. The best of the first 3 rolls will be taken, the modifiers will be applied, and the success will be determined from that.

So let's assume you get the metal done, the smithing goes fine. That would constitute 2 out of the allocated 3 ticks. Which means you can apply another action.

Now you can either do another smithing roll to improve the quality of the work (after the necessary modifiers have been applied, 10% of the resulting number will be added onto the job 'total'). So if you originally rolled a 74 for smithing, resulting in an 'great' job, you might want to try another smithing roll. You roll again, and get 100. 10% of that is taken off, and added to the original 74, bringing the job total up to 84 - 'perfect'. This will obviously increase your popularity and general stats.

Or instead of rolling to smith again, you can apply a finishing roll. This can be anything from sharpening, polishing or engraving (as long as you've unlocked it). Again the higher the roll, the better you will do. You won't be able to make the sword any worse if you end up with shit rolls.
I think I will also retcon a few things. If there's any feedback about these let me know.

Alaric is not a Journeyman. He is still an Apprentice. This will explain his lack of stats and the need to find a Master. His original Master, Helbrecht, died a year into your apprenticeship, which is why you've travelled to Belerin to find a new one.

You no longer rent a house, it won't be important story-wise and you just end up wasting money (I'm doubting whether we'll even use any money). So you're staying in a spare room that Urist has attached to the shop.
How's that for a new system.

Can anyone find any major problems, or possible improvements I can make?
Sounds good when are you planning the next thread? I am eagerly waiting.
Probably same time Saturday.

So around 12-1pm GMT.

I'm glad I've got a fan already! Can I ask what you particularly like about it?
I am on my phone and it's almost dead so I'll be quick. I just like quests that are kinda realistic. Were just a blacksmith trying to be the best blacksmith( haveing a kickass beard helps). Also I have to work around that time but I'll try to post a bit.
Good to know.

I'm trying to offset my lack of actual blacksmithing knowledge by having these modifiers and the 'deadlines'. Hopefully everythings balanced so it should make for an interesting system.

The next thread will be mostly character development, you'll have a chance to speak to the other blacksmiths, to go around Belerin if you want. I might throw in a special smithing event or two as well.

But is there any feedback on the changes I've stated above? Any reasons why they wouldn't work?

Other than that, are there any questions about the quest/setting? Anything you'd like to see?
this system doesn't take in account proper beard metaphycics and quantum moustache multipliers.
As long as we avoid any quantum beard entanglement issues I'm a happy man.
Best of 3 might turn up with us having always too great rolls. As long as we as an apprentice do not commonly make masterwork level products it can work.

If it looks like we're doing too good, don't be afraid to tone it down to best of 2.

Personally I like best of 3 but that's because I'm a filthy casual and you shouldn't listen to me.
I highly doubt you will be making many unique things at the moment.

As it stand, bronze and iron don't give any modifiers whilst steel gives a -5. This is because your smithing level is so low.

So there's quite a bit against you to start off with. If there ends up being loads of perfect weapons being made, and it's not just because of lucky rolls, I'll go over the system and try and fix the bugs.
Alright, good to know.

Oh, don't forget to put in the retcon and new system into the OP of the quest thread on Saturday. Most of the people probably wont know about this thread
Bumping for all you Dorf-lovers out there.
are there any other cities we can go to?

or are we just stuck in this town forever?
Well it wouldn't be a very good quest if we didn't get to go anywhere else, would it?

You'll get the option to travel to places, I'm not sure when, and I'm not sure how often. You might be able to open up a shop in a completely new continent, or you might just have to go to the Dwarven Kingdom to pick up a special delivery for Urist.

As it stands, I think you'll be able to go to the Elf kingdom, the Dwarven cities, the desert where Anamman is from (can't remember the name atm), you might be able to help Van Gan's old tribe with some stuff.

But for now the skies the limit, it all depends on where you guys take this quest.
Sounds like an all-around improvement to me. Also makes it clear the value of pre-forging rods/ingots before a job, since then it doesn't cost us any of the ticks of that job, meaning even on a 3-tick job we can smith twice and finish, or smith three times.

I'm thinking of doing the job system over a little bit, maybe have Urist just take his notebook out and telling you the job (based on the random number generator + tables I've got).

So you'd get something like this:

Name of buyer

So you'd be able to weigh up the pros and cons of each order and refuse/accept them accordingly.

Of course you'd only be able to refuse 2-3 jobs before Urist demands you do one.
Oh, you should do something that gives harsh penalties depending on the health, mood, etc of the MC. So that players don't do forging 24/7
Working overtime once in a week or so shouldn't do anything bad but if we make it a habit forgoing rest, social interaction, entertainment, etc for work, then it should be reflected somehow. Or you'll find people working 2-3 "ticks" per day.
On the other hand, restricting us only to 1 "tick" per day, no matter what we do, shouldn't be done either.
Yeah, but what if we keep getting orders like "10, masterwork heavy-plate armor with top quality engraving in 3 days"?
I think deadlines should reflect the product we are give. Say, a moderate deadline for a suit of armor could be a month while for a single sword it could be a week or less.
Each 'action' will constitute a tick.
However a tick isn't necessarily a day.

It's simply the amount of actions you can do, based on how long you've got.

This way it gives me a little more freedom, and I don't have to have a calendar on me at all times.

As for overtime, and grinding away at the forge, I think I'll just have Urist step in every now and again and tell you to get some fresh air.
I think adding negative modifiers with logical thinking can be made without explicitly saying that in the rules, just DM's choice, and also maybe add "tick" related perks, making us do freebies like a free batch of ingots with no time cost because we're skilled at it or something like that.
In the generic jobs you won't be asked for engraving, or to produce something of a specific quality.

The customer will just ask for a standard, average product, obviously if you make an even better product then they asked for, your popularity/prestige will go up.

However, if we get some special blacksmithing events coming along, you will have a lot more 'ticks' available. If you had to present a masterwork product to the Masters Guild, you might be given something stupid like 50 ticks, just so you have time to get everything spot on.

As for these 'ticks', I think we need a better name. Anyone know of anything I could use that sounds more black-smithy?
>As for these 'ticks', I think we need a better name. Anyone know of anything I could use that sounds more black-smithy?

When you forge for a day, you'll have to make a 1d100 roll.

If you get something like 20-70 you'll just get the normal 20 ingots/40 rods.

However if you roll a 5, you might only have time to smith 18 ingots/36 rods. On the other hand if you roll a nat 100, I might allow you to make 30 ingots/60 rods.

You'll get some bonuses depending on your forging level as well.
>Yeah, but what if we keep getting orders like "10, masterwork heavy-plate armor with top quality engraving in 3 days"?
>I think deadlines should reflect the product we are give. Say, a moderate deadline for a suit of armor could be a month while for a single sword it could be a week or less.

As a real-life swordsmith/cutler and occasional armourer, just reading that almost made me curl up into a small ball and start sobbing...
Oh jesus, that sounds like some kind of alien set in an 80's sci-fi show.
Dude, give me your wisdom.

This is why I've given deadlines to these things, it glosses over my crippling lack of knowledge.
>As a real-life swordsmith/cutler and occasional armourer, just reading that almost made me curl up into a small ball and start sobbing...

That's my fetish
Also get.
>As for these 'ticks', I think we need a better name. Anyone know of anything I could use that sounds more black-smithy?

takes a dozen strikes to forge a sword, takes 20 strikes to make a helmet, 4 strikes to hammer out a set of horseshoes.... etc.

PS, if you were an armourer (or bladesmith), then you would almost certainly have apprentices and assistants. Most of the italian armour workshops would have dozens of employees, if not hundreds, with vast water-wheel powered anvils. a swordsmith would have apprentices under him doing the grinding, the polishing, the sharpening etc.
Needs to be more generic in order to accomodate for the other skills. Can't really have 5 strikes in smelting.

I'm trying to think of a way to apply the rest of that post into this system.

Say we had 5 ticks left on a project, and we could smith the equivalent of 20 ingots in 1 tick.

I wouldn't like having conflicting values. Say you get really shit rolls on the first 2 ticks, and really great rolls on the last ticks, how would that equate in a finished product?
this is a fantasy setting. we only need 1 dwarf and his apprentice.
Maybe as quality modifiers for the difference parts of the object that we were working on at the time?
>As a real-life swordsmith/cutler and occasional armourer, just reading that almost made me curl up into a small ball and start sobbing...

>That's my fetish

You. You are that psychotic rat-bastard who'd ask me for a silver-encrusted and patternwelded viking sword.

and then tell me its for a wedding in 3 months.

Admit it....

>Dude, give me your wisdom.

Ask away.
Well, I'd like some feedback from a real smith about the way this whole quest system is working.

Of course it's not realistic, but is there any major gaps that I'm skimming over here? Do you think this system would keep people entertained, whilst giving them the opportunity to create whatever they want?

What do you think of the whole not-time-specified tick system? Are there are cool smithing buzzwords I could shove into this thing? How quickly should I scale this quest up (one thread we're going bronze gaunlets for the new Guard recruits, the next thread we're repairing cannons)?

Yeah, no...

But I still got a boner from your swordsmith tears
Also, are there any other cool smithing techniques or lost arts you know of?

I'm obviously going to have things like mithril and adamant in this setting, but then I'm going to try and include practises lost to the ages, like Damascus steel.
>You. You are that psychotic rat-bastard who'd ask me for a silver-encrusted and patternwelded viking sword.
>and then tell me its for a wedding in 3 months.

Wait, 3 moths for a sword if a really, really short deadline?
ok, I'll give the historical reality, you can edit it to the fictional narrative.

there's multiple types of smithing.
Black smithing is the iron stuff. horseshoes. hinges. ploughshares. its the basic skills.
Bladesmithing, and arms smiths are the white smiths, the ones workingin steel. most cities had guilds, like the knifemaker's guild (messerschmeid). they protect the rights to produce their area of manufacture from non-guild members. Sometimes violently, always with the full weight of the law.
Sometimes guilds would be rivals. the Messer smiths were always trying to make sword-like knives, to muscle in o nthe swordsmithing guild's territory, etc.

Armouring, the same. German smiths - very structured guild system meant that individual armourers were only allowed to make a specific part - so one smith might do shoulder spaulders, another might do greaves. then they were all assembled together. Italian workshops tended to do the whole thing in one workshop, rather than multiple small workshops.
one master would likely have a team of journeymen under him - how many, of course dependant on the size. the missaglias had dozens, other workshops might just have one or two. - and they in turn would have 1-2 apprentices each. Apprentices are the power tools of their day. nowadays, you stick it on the grinder. Then, you stuck it in the apprentices' hands and told him to go grind it for you on the waterwheel, while you worked on the next part.

Nowadays, the materials are cheap, but it costs in time. in the Medieval era, steel is valuable, time is cheap. if you wanted it done faster, you got two more apprentices, they only cost pennies a day...
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to make something like that, you've first got to forge the blade, that's probably 20-30 hours of work, folding and twisting and forgewelding the sections into one... then grind it, etc etc. working really fast, you might be able to get the blade shaped in a week or so. but the sort of hilt I'm thinking of, you've got the take the surfaces of each part, and witha chisel graver, start carving little dovetail-shaped grooves, less than 1mm wide, perfectly parralell, along every surface. each one fractionally wider in the bottom of the groove than the top, so there's undercuts. then you need to take tiny, tiny peices of silver, or copper, or bronze, and slot them into the grooves, and hammer each one, so that the entire surface becomes covered in a layer of silver or bronze.

that's what takes months of work. Pic very related.
I see.

Seems terribly horrible job.
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well, damascus is'nt lost. its just called Wootz or Bulat nowadays.

the main thing to remember is, the smiths back then were specialists, each in a certain field. So you'll have to fudge how a smith would be doing bronze work one day (a casting foundry, not a smithy's work back then) on one day, and armour the next.

the skills are often similar, but rarely the same - to forge a horseshoe and a sword both involve pounding metal, but they're very different methodologies.

(also remember, the more common an object, the less valuable it was, ans so, the faster they were made. A viking sword with incredible inlay was done because a sword was a prized asset, handed down from father to son. a late medieval sword was often a plain weapon because they were churned out enmasse, blades made in one city, exported by the hundred to wherever they were needed, where they were hilted up by local cutlers in the popular fashion of the region. Generally, you did'nt make a sword, and then send it off for sale in a distant land.
way to ruin my fun with real life
Sounds good, I don't think any of this is going to translate well in a fantasy setting, but it's good to know nonetheless.

Thankyou kind anon, pop into the thread on Saturday if your interested
Lol, forging with the handle assembled, love it when artists do 0% research
Maybe the smith is repairing it?
That picture gave me such a boner and I'm not sure why.
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its a lot less glamourous than you'd hope.

one of the tricky bits is, the arts and techniques which are lost are generally lost because htey're superceded by better techniques.

So, in steel-work, you start off with celtic blades that are "pattern-welded" - lots of small bars of steels that are forged together and twisted and shaped by folding and forging, so when the blade is polished you get patterns in the steel - so you get jacob's ladder, or birds' eyes, flaming steel, or serpents in the steel, and so on, for different patterns, by different ways of forging out.
but around 1000 AD, tehy develop the over-shot waterwheel. that produces more power, that means more heat, and so they're able to smelt steel easier. bigger blocks means they can now do it in one peice, so you get forged blades. Folding is still done to even out any inconsistencies, but it means you can forge a blade out in a matter of hours where it would take days before. So the old method is nearly lost completely, not because its a secret, but because its not as good. Its like most aircraft manufacturers dont know how to carve wooden propellers. there's no need.

some skills that may be of use.

Inlay. cut a groove (or lots) and lay another metal into the gap. copper brass or bronze for contrasts, sometimes iron wire for text on blades, or gold or silver.

Overlay - lots of rough surface bumps/grooves/channels, and then sheets of metal laid over the surface, and hammered into to channels. often then cut away.
Associated with that is Damascening - using gold or silver foil, hammered onto the surface for patterns.

Bluing - the art of heating the metal to change its colour - gold, brown, purple, violet, peacock blue, ice blue, all possible in the right temperature. Takes huge amounts of skill to do evenly.

see pic for an example.
That is a glorious helmet.

And I greatly appreciate the info on those other skills, I'm definitely putting them in now.
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because you have fine taste.

so, yes, anyhow, the problem lies in that secretive techniques tend to be that because they're no longer relevant. If they're of use, they remain in use.

there are things that were secretive - the guilds for instance protected the secrets of tempering blades, such that a basic blacksmith might be able to hammer out a blade shape, but there's a good chance he wouldnt know how to harden it, or maybe even know the difference between steel and iron.

the other thing is, generally, back then you would'nt have one person do it all. we get artisan smiths today smelt the steel, forge the blade, make the scabbard. that's because we're artisans, we make it as art. back then they did it for industry.
Think of the sword or the armour as the jet fighter of the age. the whole setup is used by one person, the pilot or the knight, but the missile was made by General Dynamics, and the airframe by Lockheed, but the display panel in the cockpit was made by another company and supplied to lockheed, the aluminium was smelted by a supplier who delivered just billets of it to Lockheed to make the parts of the airframe from, etc.

Same for the medieval craftsman. the armourer shaped it, or the cutler made the sword but the steel was smelted 500 miles away in the mountains, shipped down the rivers by barge as billets. the bronze was cast (you cant forge bronze really.) into ingots, and then recast into gun barrels in moulds that would've been made in another workshop, the sword was delivered as a blank blade and had its grip made according to local fashion (fashion was very important. you can literally pinpoint where in the world and when a sword was made, by the fashions of its hilt, sometimes to within 20 years.), the scabbard made by another craftsman who was paid by the cutler making the sword... and so on.
the same thing, just different end results.
Oh wise smith, please indulge us with more of your knowledge.

Also, more awesome armour pics.
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Other things to think of, really... erm. fuckit. have interesting pictures till I come up with stuff. .
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Not to sound like a bitch, but that picture is so full of holes that it hurts.

IF the blade is so damaged (and valuable) that you would want to reforge it, then you will still need to dismantle it.

The smith is holding that glowing white metal by the handle, heat spreads evenly in metal, I know, I am a smith (silver mostly, but also steel), so the wood, leather and glue would burn and be way to hot to handle.

Even if only one end is glowing, it still hot, the heat spreads pretty evenly.
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Actually silver is very conductive in heat - like cuprinous metals.

Steel is'nt very conductive, so its perfectly possible to heat one end of a blade to red hot, and be holding it in your bare hands at the other end and it be only slightly warm.

of course, the heat does slowly spread up the steel, so if you're working it for too long, then you do discover that its gone from warm to "AGH! SHIT!" as you move it.

Silver is far worse for conducting heat, plus I very much doubt you're working with 3-foot long silver peices.
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oh, here's another technique for you, OP: repousse.

its a form of embossing - involves heating the metal, then hammering it from the inside, out into the bulges and shapes of the design, then turning it over, and fixing the peice into a block of heated pitch, then hammering it with blunt-faced chisels, to shape the details and sharpen the lines and edges, and create amazing detail.

skill level is insane, time needed is even worse -a whole harness would take many, many months to do for one craftsman, on top of the making of the harness.

for an indicator of the time and value of these sorts of harnesses, btw, an average peasant might earn about £1 to £1 1/2 a year. A good harness of milanese or english armour would cost £8 or £9.

a harness of engraved, gilded repousse armour, fit for a prince, might cost £200.
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and another example of the same - gilded repousse.
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coat the polished plate in wax, then use a steel stylus to scrape away, and a pen with liquid waxy ink (called resist) to draw dots or lines.

then the whole plate is dunked in acid, that eats into the areas that are scraped clear, leaving the designs etched into the steel. can also be done to blades.
Master Smith I thank you for blessing me with your knowledge.

With regards to all these different finishing techniques, would you suggest I do a little work on the 'tick' system of this quest?

I'd increase the amounts of ticks per deadline, but each action, or skill, would take a certain number of ticks.

In the case of smithing, we might only use 1 tick, but in the case of repousse or bluing, we might use 2-3 ticks, but it would give much, much better results.

What do you say?
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hrm. Personally, I'd be inclined to say that its a case of stages, and reworkings.

lets say you're tasked with making 100 munitions harness cuirasses for the guards.

your work would be, (roughly)

Rough forging.

so that's three ticks, three stages. I would suggest that the roll is a measure of success - with a really low score being a disaster, and a high score being either a success in terms of workmanship, or in terms of production process.

So, the cuirass breast and backs are forged out, and the average is 55. perfectly average, they've gone ok. takes the estimated time.

Planishing is the smoothing off of the rough-forged harness parts, to make them shine and articulate smoothly. Average is 96. fantastic. so either you and the apprentice have managed to work out a new way of planishing and smoothing the forged work (a new ppowered hammer? a fresh grindstone? just a really efficient workflow?) and its done easily and well.

then the strapping, they get an average of 12. Oh dear. They got the wrong leather, ir was badly tanned, or its reacting withthe steel and making it rust before you've even got it out the workshop. Disaster! so the players then have to work out, do they fob it off as a finished job, and hope no-one realises the strapping is bad, or do they rework it. reworking costs time, and profit - but not doing so might impact on their Reputation, or even leave the customer angry/unhappy, instead of satisfied/pleased. So players have to weigh up thier choice - and also weigh up how badly it went wrong. a score of 32 is in the bottom third. It might not be great, but its good enough. A score of 01, well, then the armour's falling off its straps as you pic it up to hand it to the customer... Is the slight failure of a 32 worth the cost and time? that's their choice!

that also makes things that are more complex take longer, as there's more stages.

pic is a set of munitions arms, for basic soldiers.
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now those munitions arms are probably two ticks or stages - forging, and strapping.

so they're fast, they're easy to do.

in contrast, here's a harness of plate made by one of the world's greatest living armourers, robert "Mac" macpherson. it was made by him alone, taking somewhere around a yer to create it. it cost as much as a BMW 5-series.

something like this, in contrast, would have stages like

- measurement (so you know the exact fit for the owner)
- forging (shaping out all the parts)
- planishing (smoothing out the forged stuff)
- fitting (getting it to fit the wearer, and to fit all parts together)
- polishing (so you take it from smooth, to shining)
- surfacing (in this case, blacking. it could be engraved, or etched or the likes too.)
-strapping (assembling all the parts, so it works.)

Each stage takes time of course, but the important bit is, they have to decide is a part a write-off, or good enough. I've handled peices of an armour that belonged to Henry VIII. its engraved with panels, alternating blank, and filled with details.... but they had a deadline to meet, and they were rushing. on one of the plates at the back, they screwed up and they engraved one of the panels they should've left blank. But they did'nt have time to make a new part, so it had to do. that was a screwup on their stage. Give players those sort of dilemmas.
Master Smith, I understand if you don't want to but I wish to request some advice. I wish to get into smithing, but I have a long way to go before I can even begin. (Money, yay.)

I have space for a forge, I also have a suitable piece of metal to use as an anvil. I however do not have a good tree stump to mount the metal onto. I was wondering if you could give some good suggestions to creating a stable mount for an anvil, and maybe suggestions on what kind of forge to try and start out with.

This is now a Blacksmithing general/awesome armor pics thread
the vast majority of my work isnt heavily forged (just a little when I have to), so I just use a very light anvil on a stump.

/diy/ tends to have good threads that may give better ideas, but my initial thought is, if you cant find a stump, make one. Go to your local DIY store, show around for good quality planed hardwood lumber, say, 40mmx40mm section or the likes, buy a load of that, and saw it into 1 1/2-foot lengths, then glue it all together intoa nice solid block.

that, or phone up a local tree surgeon type, and say "I need a section of tree truck, would you be able to save me a section?". that'swhat I did.
I bet those engravers got the shit kicked out of them.
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way I'd do the result is, you're pulling 3 d100 rolls as the result, so I'd say 01-32 = failure, 33-66 = satisfactory job and 66-00 = successful job.

the further the result is from that average indicates how badly it's gone - 32 is "not happy with that, but the customer may never notice", 01 is "complete disaster". or how well its been done - 67 being "happy with, or it performs better than expected" and 00 being "I am the reincarnation of Wayland" smithing.
And again, you've got players having the dilemmas of when a job is a write-off, either as a stage should be scrapped and restarted, or when the whole thing must be started again, or, do they allow a fault to remain in the overall work, knowing that the decoration's squint, but the helmet will never fail, etc.

Pic: bascinet, forged, but before planishing, polishing, and fittings.
The argument with that was that we'd have an equal chance to smith crap and smith perfect, even if we were the best god damn blacksmith around.

Which is why I've added in the modifiers, the tick system, etc.
File: 1369765671954.jpg-(49 KB, 514x600, 1-bascinet-3.jpg)
49 KB
yup, modifiers all the way - ie, "so you want a dozen axeheads? Next week, no rush? nothing fancy. Easy" (+25% modifier. it'll take a miracle for you to screw this one up)

and so on.

same bascinet *after* planishing, polishing, and lining.
Bumping for anyone else who might be interested.

I'm archiving this anyway so I can look back at it later on.

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