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Behold my 82 cattie wrackstaff! (or How Heavy IS that daiklaive?)

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  • Behold my 82 cattie wrackstaff! (or How Heavy IS that daiklaive?)

    This started as a question in Ask a Question, Get an Answer but figured there was enough meat on the bones to warrant its own thread.

    Since 1st Edition the books have made it abundantly clear that items made of the magic materials, particularly arms and armor, are significantly heavier than their mundane counterparts. Even the Chosen are incapable of weilding or wearing them without first attuning. A problem I've always run into as an ST is that I really suck at being consistent with it. What could a group of mortal aides present on a display and what would even the most wily Night Caste be unable to whisk away without supernatural aid?

    Thanks to a couple replies (shout out to Greyman and JohnDoe) there's at least a little bit of a foundation we can work with here.

    Wyld Shaping Technique (EX3, pg 337) says it takes approximately 5 talents of an MM to make a Grand Daiklaive. Earlier in the book a talent of jade is listed as 68lbs, so very, very roughly 340lbs of materials. Assume a third left behind as metal shavings, still looking at a 226 lbs sword. Using a completely arbitrary cold steel two handed greatsword weighing in at a rough 7lbs, we're looking at a grand daiklaive 32 times heavier than it's mundane counterpart.

    Second reference is the attunement description describing "40 pounds of golden sword" feeling "as light as a dagger". Our arbitrary weight equivalent will be the cold steel hand-and-a-half dagger weighing in at a smidgen over 1 pound, giving our daiklaive a factor of 40 for our weight increase.

    I figure split the difference, call it an increase of 35 times. Which, honestly, seems suitably unreasonably unwieldy and appropriately gonzo.

    Has this been addressed anywhere else in Exalted's 20 year history? Got a preferred, less silly method of narratively describing it? I'd love to hear it.


    Exalted Behind a Screen of Jade, Savant of the Immaculate Texts, No Moon Scholar, Good Sitting Dog, Best Lurking Cat with Bones, Pioneer Pooch, Corsair, Director, Keeper of the Karstein Manor, Scion with Shield of Knowledge, Erymanthian Boar, Seeking Awakened, Cloaked Changeling, Family Head, Kindred, Agent, Poltergeist, Disciple of the Antler Crown, Wraith, Conspiracy Theorist, First Time Traveler

  • #2
    I tend to be in favor of not especially heavy artifacts.
    I'd be inclined to view the reference to a 40lb golden sword as being about a daiklave or grand daiklave, and that attunement makes it feel lighter than the equivalent mortal weapon. This gives a weight ratio of more like 10:1 or 5:1 than 40:1.

    Note that regular gold is around 2.5 times as dense as iron, steel or bronze. If orichalcum is as dense as gold, these figures imply an artifact weapon is 2, 4 or 16 times as large as a regular weapon, depending on how large of a weapon you think the attunement description is referring to.

    I'm not sure how to fit this in with Wyld shaping saying it takes 5 talents to make a grand daiklave.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by autXautY View Post
      I tend to be in favor of not especially heavy artifacts.
      I'd be inclined to view the reference to a 40lb golden sword as being about a daiklave or grand daiklave, and that attunement makes it feel lighter than the equivalent mortal weapon. This gives a weight ratio of more like 10:1 or 5:1 than 40:1.

      Note that regular gold is around 2.5 times as dense as iron, steel or bronze. If orichalcum is as dense as gold, these figures imply an artifact weapon is 2, 4 or 16 times as large as a regular weapon, depending on how large of a weapon you think the attunement description is referring to.

      I'm not sure how to fit this in with Wyld shaping saying it takes 5 talents to make a grand daiklave.
      The grand daiklaive vs greatsword and 40 lbs daiklaive vs dagger are actually pretty close


      Exalted Behind a Screen of Jade, Savant of the Immaculate Texts, No Moon Scholar, Good Sitting Dog, Best Lurking Cat with Bones, Pioneer Pooch, Corsair, Director, Keeper of the Karstein Manor, Scion with Shield of Knowledge, Erymanthian Boar, Seeking Awakened, Cloaked Changeling, Family Head, Kindred, Agent, Poltergeist, Disciple of the Antler Crown, Wraith, Conspiracy Theorist, First Time Traveler

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      • #4
        Originally posted by SamuraiMujuru View Post

        The grand daiklaive vs greatsword and 40 lbs daiklaive vs dagger are actually pretty close
        I think one of use is misinterpreting the other.

        I see the description of attunement as saying that there is some variety of orichalcum weapon that typically weighs 40lbs, but not specifying which. I'm exploring 3 possibilities - that Grand Daiklaves weigh 40lbs, that Daiklaves weigh 40lbs, or that artifact daggers weigh 40lbs.

        I wasn't comparing this to any other statements in the book, just my own opinion, which is that I prefer imagining the 1st one, or maybe the 2nd one, since a 40lb dagger just seems silly to me regardless of what magic is going on.

        You seem to be using the fact that the description of Wyld shaping as evidence that grand daiklaves weigh 100s of pounds, which also seems silly to me and I'm inclined to either ignore or think of bizarre excuses like "85% of the material used to forge a grand daiklave doesn't end up in the weapon"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by autXautY View Post

          I think one of use is misinterpreting the other.

          I see the description of attunement as saying that there is some variety of orichalcum weapon that typically weighs 40lbs, but not specifying which. I'm exploring 3 possibilities - that Grand Daiklaves weigh 40lbs, that Daiklaves weigh 40lbs, or that artifact daggers weigh 40lbs.

          I wasn't comparing this to any other statements in the book, just my own opinion, which is that I prefer imagining the 1st one, or maybe the 2nd one, since a 40lb dagger just seems silly to me regardless of what magic is going on.

          You seem to be using the fact that the description of Wyld shaping as evidence that grand daiklaves weigh 100s of pounds, which also seems silly to me and I'm inclined to either ignore or think of bizarre excuses like "85% of the material used to forge a grand daiklave doesn't end up in the weapon"
          It's a little bit of both I think. I am making the assumption that 40lbs of sword wielded as light as a dagger is a "regular" sword, since there's no additional description like great, short, etc, and daggers being one handed it makes sense to use that. So straightsword/daiklaive.

          It's also pointless and silly fantasy math that has no benefit beyond narrative.

          Super heavy weapons of legend is very Journey to the West, too, which is very appropriate.


          Exalted Behind a Screen of Jade, Savant of the Immaculate Texts, No Moon Scholar, Good Sitting Dog, Best Lurking Cat with Bones, Pioneer Pooch, Corsair, Director, Keeper of the Karstein Manor, Scion with Shield of Knowledge, Erymanthian Boar, Seeking Awakened, Cloaked Changeling, Family Head, Kindred, Agent, Poltergeist, Disciple of the Antler Crown, Wraith, Conspiracy Theorist, First Time Traveler

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          • #6
            Unreasonably heavy artifacts goes all the way back to 1e core.

            "Also, daiklaves that are attuned are not just light in the character’s hand, but light to carry as well. A characters who does not remain attuned to her daiklave will have a 20-pound burden strapped to her back. Grand daiklaves are even heavier and require the commitment of 8 motes of Essence from the Exalted who wield them."


            Exalted Behind a Screen of Jade, Savant of the Immaculate Texts, No Moon Scholar, Good Sitting Dog, Best Lurking Cat with Bones, Pioneer Pooch, Corsair, Director, Keeper of the Karstein Manor, Scion with Shield of Knowledge, Erymanthian Boar, Seeking Awakened, Cloaked Changeling, Family Head, Kindred, Agent, Poltergeist, Disciple of the Antler Crown, Wraith, Conspiracy Theorist, First Time Traveler

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            • #7
              Take a three pound longsword, make it 50% longer, twice as broad, and four times as thick, and you have a 36 pound daiklave. I tend to imagine most artifacts being 5-10% magical material so add a few pounds for moonsilver, a few more for orichalcum, or knock off a couple for jade.

              Of course that’s pretty specific to swords, switch to any other kind of weapon and right off the bat you’re going from mostly wood to all steel so HELLO THERE quarter-ton direlance.

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              • #8
                Well, there would have to be some of that five talents that goes unused or becomes unusable; otherwise we wouldn’t have the Solar Craft Charm that lets you make a side artifact out of all the leftover scraps you couldn’t use for the main item.
                Sure, but a Zwiehander weighs, like, 10 lb. You could "waste" two thirds of the raw materials and still get a sword over ten times heavier. (Which means your Solar Charm cuts waste in half, effectively.)

                Which, square law/cube law, isn't as egregious as it sounds. Zwiehanders have narrow blades. Go Buster Sword with your Daiklave and you can get there perfectly reasonably without super dense materials.

                But we're not talking "lose a third from shaving down a talent to obels". We're talking lose 9/10ths and still get a sword three times heavier than the heaviest of heavy swords.

                And that's using 10 lb for a zweihander.

                Originally posted by http://www.thearma.org/essays/2HGS.html
                Note that unlike ceremonial specimens, none of the fighting weapons exceeded 4 pounds and the heaviest ceremonial was less than 11. The catlog of the famous arsenal in Graz, Austria, contains similar weights for its two-handed great sword specimens.
                Using 4lb for a grand daiklave means >98% of the raw materials is wasted. I strongly feel that waste is not the answer here.

                I would ballpark an "average" grand daiklave as 30 to 150 lb -- mostly clustered around the 100 lb mark. IRL two handed swords run from about 3 to 12 lb, so I started by going "ten times more massive", then factored in additionals like the "steel" side of jade-steel.

                With issues like balance, a 100 lb sword fits the artifact description of being difficult to lift and impossible to use without attunement. You could have a slimline, magically dense zweihander or a massive surfboard on a stick.

                If you triple the size of a 3D object in all directions (height, width, depth) you increase the volume by 27 times.

                Say a normal zweihander has a blade an eighth of an inch thick, two inches broad and 60 inches long. Make the blade a foot wide, a foot taller, and increase the thickness of the blade from 0.125" to 0.15" and you've increased the weight by over ten times. No mystic weight increase necessary. And whilst a foot wide is really big, Swords Kingdom says the Buster Sword is 14.5" wide, so you could go bigger.

                But I'm not a dev, or a writer, or anyone of insight. I'm a math nerd.

                Originally posted by Sith_Happens View Post
                Take a three pound longsword, make it 50% longer, twice as broad, and four times as thick, and you have a 36 pound daiklave.
                The "problem" with making it thicker is that swords need to be that thin in order to cut folks. A sword that's half-an-inch thick is a club (and a club that fails the rule of thumb to boot).

                Not that there's anything wrong with bludgeoning your foes to death with your massive spade-sword.

                (Frankly going from 0.125" to 0.15" in my example above is really pushing it, but I assume these swords are magically super sharp.)

                ****

                Previous editions have said Short Daiklaves are light enough to be used without attunement but are still really heavy. Thus:

                Short Daiklave 5-20lb
                Daiklave 20-40lb
                Grand Daiklave 30-150lb
                Last edited by JohnDoe244; 01-13-2021, 01:33 PM.


                Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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