Re: Level restrictions

From: Daniel A. Koepke (
Date: 07/20/99

Today, Tony Maro spake to the list:

> Daniel, are you saying that you don't believe higher level characters
> need higher level equipment?

No, I'm saying not *every* higher level character should get higher level
equipment.  The way you rephrased it makes it sound like I meant NO higher
level characters get higher level equipment, or that I'm positing that
higher level characters don't need better equipment to be at their best.
I said neither of those things.

> Would a Samurai master use a $100 sword bough from a mail order
> catalog?

First, "samurai" is the incorrect term.  A samurai was something akin to a
knight in feudal Japan.  It was not a "do" (a way) or martial art.  There
were, of course, many different arts for the sword - some of which aren't
known now or go by different names.  The most proper term these days would
probably be "kendo" (Way of the Sword), although since that's an Olympic
event now (they don't play with live blades, sadly :) it's hard to even go
with that.  Other sword arts that come to mind are mainly about drawing,
killing, flicking off the blood, and returning the blade to the scabbard
in one motion...

> Would it be as sharp?

Yes.  Don't think for a second that just because it's a shinken ("new
blade") that it's not sharp.  I have a friend who had to get a finger
reattached for being so stupid.  For the record, sword quality is rarely
about the sharpness of the edge.  A toothpick can be sharp, but that
doesn't mean I'm going to go into a fight with one.  Sword quality can be
split into three categories:

      I. Craftsmanship
     II. Strength (Hardness, Weight, and Flexibility)
    III. Balance

Note the second.  A sword cannot just be hard.  If that's the case, I
could make a 30lb. sword and be considered a master swordsmith.  Not so.
It's too heavy.  So it needs to be of a reasonable weight so that it can
be fast.  We can't however, sacrifice too much material because then it's
weak.  Finally, we need flexibility.  The hardest blade in the world will
snap if hit hard enough.  The key is to make a pliable center to the
sword, to allow it to give a little so it doesn't break right off.  As far
as I can remember, the outter shell of the sword was/is made hard by
continuously folding the hot iron and then cooling it in whatever sort of
water was conducive to hardness (I can't recall if it's salt water, water,
or an oil?  I'm not a blacksmith).  A very good sword would have steal
that had been folded hundreds of times.

> Of course he would want the strongest steel and the sharpest blade.

Then he should try to get it from the guy who has it.  And if some people
want it from him after he's taken it, then they can come and try to take
it.  But there's not going to be fifty swords with the "strongest steel
and the sharpest blade."  If you don't have one of the good ones, then you
can either try to get it (steal it, kill for it, try to buy it off of some
idiot who doesn't know what he has) or make due with the weapon you have.

In combat, your weapon isn't the whole equation.  It's your skill with
whatever you're wielding that matters the most.  The guy with the best
sword in the game might have been good enough to get it, but who says that
he'll remain the best player in the game?  Or that he won't make a stupid
mistake and get a quivver of arrows planted in his back?  Or have it
stolen from him while he sleeps?


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