These are rules for the creation of high quality weapons and armor in a medieval, fantasy environment. They allow for the construction of characters which take weaponsmithing and blacksmithing to new heights, allowing for the making of weapons and armor which defy even some invested devices.
Typically, these smiths are most usually found in the east (Japan and China, mostly), but some Spanish smiths were also known for their mastery of the art, and exceptional quality tools.
These rules do not replace the Verditius’ items of quality, but rather, complement and improve them, allowing for the creation of truly extraordinary, mundane items.
The Legendary Smith Supernatural Virtue:
All of these rules are based on the “Legendary Smith” virtue, which allows a character to create items along the specifications defined below. This is a Major Supernatural Virtue which can be taught to ungifted characters, though it is considered to be a form of partial gift.
The Legendary Smith virtue grants the character a rank of 1 in the “Legendary Smithing” ability, which can then be improved like any other mundane ability.
To learn the “Legendary Smithing” virtue, a character must, first, have a rank of 5 in either Weaponsmithing and Blacksmithing.
The Legendary Smithing Ability:
This ability allows for the creation of exceptionally fine items, specifically weapons and armor. Each rank in the Legendary Smithing ability allows for the character to distribute in the weapons and armor he create a number of “Quality Points”, which can be used to improve some of the weapon’s statistics.
This is the armor list from Ars Magica p. 176:
|Material||Prot.||Partial Load||Ease Factor||Prot.||Full Load||Ease Factor||Cost|
|Metal Reinf. Leather*||2||2||6||4||4||9||Std.|
A blacksmith can create any armor marked with an asterisk (*), and thus, can only alter these.
A character takes a number of days to forge an armor equaling its Load value. This is for the standard values and costs presented on the table, and suppose he has available a forge and enough material.
To forge an Armor, a character compares his Forge Total with the Ease factor for the creation of each type of armor (specified on the table above). His forge total is calculated as follows:
Forge Total: Str. + Blacksmithing Ability + Time modifier.
No roll is required. If the forge total equals or exceeds the Ease factor, the armor is made. If not, then the character must work on the Time modifier to reach it.
Time modifiers are applied if the character spends more or less than the time required to create it.
If the character spends double the time to create the item, he adds a +1 to his modifier. If he spends four times as much +2. If he spends eight times as much, he adds a +3, and so on. Whenever he doubles the time required to create the item again, he gets a +1.
Thus, for instance, a character with a Str of +1 and Blacksmithing ability of 5 could create a Full Leather Scale in 320 days (sixty four times the required 5 days), or a partial Metal Scale in 256 days.
Each day less than the required issued him a –2 total modifier. Thus, a character with a Str of +3 and Blacksmithing of 7 could create a Partial Leather Scale in two days, or a Partial Metal Reinforced Leather in 1 day: No armor can take less than one day of work to create.
This is the weapon table from Ars Magica p. 176 and 177 (excluding bare handed and monster attacks):
|Mace & Chain||Single||+2||+3||0||+7||0||2||8||Std.|
As for armor, the character’s Forge Total must reach the weapon’s ease factor in order to forge it, and the time required to make it depends on its load (weapons with a load of 0 are counted as a load of 1). Time modifiers also apply as before.
Modifying Weapons and Armor:
Weapons’ and armor’s statistics can be altered by characters with “Legendary Shith” by the use of Quality Points. Quality Points are a quantification of modifications which can be added to forged items, according to the following table:
|Armor Protection||1 QP per +1|
|Armor Load||2 QPs per –1|
|Weapon Initiative||1 QP per +1|
|Weapon Defense||1 QP per +1|
|Weapon Damage||1 QP per +1|
|Weapon Minimum Strength||1 QP per –1|
|Weapon Load||2 QPs per –1|
|Shield Defense||2 QPs per +1|
|Shield Minimum Strength||1 QP per –1|
|Shield Load||2 QPs per –1|
|Missile Weapon Range||1 QP each 5 m.|
If Quality points are spent to reduce an item’s load, they do not alter the time required to create the item.
Each Quality Point spent on an item increase its ease factor by the same amount.
As stated, a character has a number of Quality Points which equal his rank on the “Legendary Smithing ability”.
No single attribute of an item can be modified by more than +5 or –5.
Ranged weapons cannot be modified to receive a defense modifier, just as melee weapons cannot have a range value.
Example of Legendary Smithing:
The great swordmaker Kusanagi has Strength +3, Weaponsmithing 8 e Legendary Smithing 5. He wants to create one of his Kusanagi Blades, based on a long sword. He decided to spend his 5 Quality Points in Attack Bonus (+3), Defense Bonus (+2). The final ease factor is 17. His Forge Total is 11. He needs a +6 time modifier. Since the base time to create a long sword is 1 day, it takes him sixty four times one day to create such sword, and its final statistics are:
Kusanagi Blade: Init +2, Atk +6, Dfn +3, Dam +6, Str 0, Load 1.
Altering item’s statistics is not the only way to spend Quality Points. Certain, special enhancements can be added to weapons and armor, allowing them to behave differently in special circumstances. These are the legendary effects.
A character can only create an item with legendary effects if his rank in Legendary Smithing is 5 or more.
Legendary effects are purchased as modifications, and cost as follows:
Danger Sense – 2 Quality points: When this weapon’s user finds himself in danger, even if he is unaware of it, even if he is about to be taken completely by surprise, he will always, unconsciously, unsheathe and ready his weapon, or nock na arrow in his bow, such that, when danger arrives, he always finds himself prepared. If he is for some reason prevented from readying his weapon, he will still feel a strange urge to do it.
Perfect Balance – 2 Quality Points: This weapon is so perfectly balanced that it is always ready for a new strike each turn, even though it may be extremely heavy and cumbersome. This weapon’s wielder doesn’t have to take time to prepare it (assuming he should).
Deadly Weapon – 3 Quality Points: This weapon is deadly and known to evoke fear and terror in its enemies. When defending against it, a result of 1 also counts as a botch in a botch roll (note that a botch still only occurs with result of 0 on the defense die roll, but when rolling botch dices, count the 1s as botch too).
Intuitive Parry – 3 Quality Points: This weapon’s user gains the right to parry an attack even though it may be unfeasible, like parrying a bullet or crossbow bolt, or a knife thrown by the character’s back. In this manner, a character USING this weapon always has a defense score against such attacks, and may always add this weapon’s defense bonus to it. If used with “Danger Sense”, it allows for a weapon which is always readied and may always defend even against surprise ranged attacks (like, for instance, a sniper shot).
Enhanced Weapon – 1 Quality Point: This weapon may have one (and only one) of its parameters altered in more than +5 or –5.
Localized Strike – 1 Quality Point per level: This weapon finds its way into a target’s weak spots, and may ignore certain levels of soak from an enemies armor. For each level of this modifier, the enemy’s soak is reduced in 1 point (even is this soak is due to magical sources or thick hide).
Loyal Weapon – 2 Quality points: This item is loyal to its owner, and always finds a way to be returned to him. If it is lost or stolen, things will happen in a way to make it return to its precious rightful owner, or his direct descendant, in the case of his demise. If there are no descendants left, the weapon will belong to whoever picks it up first. It only changes owner when it is given as a gift (and the gift is accepted) or sold.
Lasting Weapon – 1 Quality point: This weapon lasts through the ages: it never loses its cut, and doesn’t wear out due to use. It always looks as new, and never needs maintenance. If it is directly attacked, it may be damaged and break normally, but if repaired, it will always be as new.