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Phase Metal is a material that is functionally similar to steel but can pass through its user (a single person bound to the metal when it is forged into a new form.) as if it didn't exist. Phase metal interacts with all other things normally.

If a person holds a phase weapon that is attuned to them, they must hold it by part of the weapon not made of phase metal. The metal still has weight for its user. The handles of Phase Metal tools and weapons tend to be of wood or other non-phase metal materials so that they can be held by their user at all.

A phase weapon can only be distinguished from ordinary steel if it comes in contact with its user and passes through. Phase weapons interact with armor and clothing normally; a phase metal hammer used against its owner would still deal some amount of blunt damage if it struck armor or clothing, but would not deal damage to exposed skin.

What melee weapons would uniquely suited for this metal? What stylistic modifications could be made to a phase metal weapon that would enable it to beat someone using its normal steel equivalent? Is there a best possible melee weapon for this type of metal?

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  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Jul 13 at 8:44

23 Answers 23

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Chain Whips and Meteor Hammers (and some specially crafted armor)

Both weapons have techniques similar to nunchucks but with the added flexibility of length. There are still catches and pivots that involve the weapons, but that's where the specially crafted armor comes in. Instead of the traditional pivot points for these weapons, such as arms and legs for redirecting or acceleration, each piece of a user's armor can be crafted as not only protection, but specific pivot points for unique moves.

For example, having a shoulder pauldron but no chest plate could allow a user to sling the whip or hammer over the shoulder, swinging the weapon through the body, and redirecting it to come directly out of the chest of the user. Having a partial shin guard, the user could commit to or feign a pivot around the leg by adjusting slightly directing the chain to either hit the guard and rotate or barely miss it and pass through the leg; the same thing could be done with a gauntlet or bracer.

You could even have masters of specific techniques identifiable by what armor pieces they use or how the armor is crafted.

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    $\begingroup$ This answer specifically addresses each part of the question and provides good reasoning for the points made. $\endgroup$ – Jonathan Jul 13 at 17:07
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    $\begingroup$ The only drawback would be that it could not be used for real combat. Fighting half naked to allow for weird moves that primarily take additional time and reduce your range. I'll declare war on you in winter and whenever there is a battle, I'll just stall until most of your men froze to death or you engaged my fortified positions with great losses on your end. $\endgroup$ – hajef Jul 14 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ @hajef You're assuming a pitched battle. The question doesn't assume two armies meeting for combat. The weapons/armor style could be used for domestic policing forces, or spec ops forces concealing the weapons similar to sdrawkcabdear's answer. $\endgroup$ – Soulis Jul 15 at 16:01
  • $\begingroup$ Additionally, pivots and winding are already techniques of both these weapons. The "weird moves that primarily take additional time and reduce your range" are expected with the use of the weapons as they stand in reality. The additional time and reduced range during a wind or pivot are exchanged for acceleration of the whip/hammer and the unorthodox angle of attack. If the success of every attack was based solely on speed and range, the only punches boxers would throw be jabs and straights, and spears would have always beat swords. $\endgroup$ – Soulis Jul 15 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ Let's not discuss the usefullness of this kind of techniques in general. We agree that they are hard to master, rely on keen grasp of your weapon and will go horribly wrong when one loses this grasp (hitting oneself and losing one's weapon in my experience), right? So if you use your armor to indirectly handle the weapon, your grasp of it will be reduced and you need even more mastership. That still won't do if the armor becomes loose. You can't use these techniques as long as you ware any cloths. Do you want to change before fights? + Mostly unarmored means to invite swift and direct hits. $\endgroup$ – hajef Jul 16 at 13:59
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Outside-in armor.

Armor is bulky, which sucks. No-one can tell how hard you have been working out when you have on all your armor.

Phase metal can be used to make inside out armor. You can wear your skin tight fightin' leotard that shows your calves and stuff. All the armor plates are on the inside of the leotard which means they are phased thru your body. You can ninja around looking svelte and arrows will not puncture your gut.

Arrows probably will still break the skin, so you will bleed some. Which will look tough and the people you are fighting might not figure out you are armored.

The physics of getting hit with a hammer are tough for me. I think if you have an internal plate of phase metal armor attached to a leotard and it gets hit by a hammer, the plate will get unattached and fly through your body until it hits the plate on the opposite side. That is good because none of the kinetic energy goes toward rupturing your spleen. But that loose piece of phase armor will might bounce around inside you and then wind up hanging down through your body at some weak spot. That might mess up the lines of your leotard or even rip a hole which would then have a piece of armor hanging out. You would need to tuck it back in with a special tucking stick, since you can't grab it.

You might be able to pick out people wearing internal phase metal armor because they would also have a tucking stick on their person, unless they kept it disguised inside the leotard somewhere.

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    $\begingroup$ This is pretty genius. $\endgroup$ – Draco18s Jul 11 at 14:03
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    $\begingroup$ you could even have an internal structure to prevent the armor from deforming itself when hit with a hammer $\endgroup$ – jonatjano Jul 11 at 14:11
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    $\begingroup$ I'm imagining a sort of internal lattice suit that the wearer just sort of... stands in/on/around with attachment points just outside the skin to affix it to a body suit. Maybe one made of a super-light ring mail that affixes to the attachment points? $\endgroup$ – Caleb Brinkman Jul 11 at 16:40
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    $\begingroup$ Winner, winner! You could build an endo-exoskeleton -- reinforce every bone and joint with metal. $\endgroup$ – jeffB Jul 11 at 16:52
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    $\begingroup$ -1 purely because the question is asking about weapons, and there's no way to keep the armor kinematically on top of your skin. $\endgroup$ – tuskiomi Jul 11 at 17:58
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Shields.

The problem with nunchucks and other weapons made out of phase metal is at most techniques in using them actually require the wielder's body to be solid; one often uses (say) the armpit to land the chain, causing the free arm to swing up to grab easily to switch hands mid-combat. Also, if the phase metal passes through the body, you'd never be able to grip the thing in the first place.

A shield on the other hand has a grip inside it that can be safely made of another metal and welded into the base of the shield, meaning you can always grip it. But more importantly, a shield that is a large circle (for instance) can be wielded as a weapon, especially with the flat edge, if you're not constantly trying to get your head or the rest of your body out of the way.

More importantly, one of the chief limitations on shield size is the fact that it can't be awkward to work around when trying to dodge missiles or instigate your own attacks. Part of that is that the bigger the shield, the less range of angle you have to wield it because it keeps banging either your shins or your head. So, this phase metal means that a larger shield can be brought up on steeper angles by 'ignoring' your head or shins, making it more effective in that regard but also useful as an offensive weapon that can be struck out almost horizontally because your body is no longer in the way.

From a tactical perspective, this has another benefit; if you drop the shield in battle and your enemy picks it up, he can't use it to strike you and you can punch him through it every time.

In short, a shield made out of phase metal is the best of both worlds; it's a more agile shield and also a pretty good melee weapon.

Just one final word of warning though; this kind of shield makes phalanx tactics obsolete, unless the shield is trained to ignore your entire platoon, not just yourself.

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    $\begingroup$ What about a phase metal "bell" that covers the "wearer" completely and they punch out from completely unseen? You walk up, inspect the bell, a hand reaches out and pokes out your eyes. It's unbeatable! $\endgroup$ – Muuski Jul 10 at 23:39
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    $\begingroup$ @Muuski until they hit the bell with a big ringer like a cartoon character....... $\endgroup$ – Thorne Jul 11 at 0:17
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    $\begingroup$ Nyuk-nyuk-nyuk. $\endgroup$ – jdunlop Jul 11 at 0:48
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    $\begingroup$ I'm pretty sure a normal shield is a better weapon than your phase shield - you can use your full body strength to push a normal shield, for example. I'm also thinking it might be a liability in defense - a strong hit on the shield might knock it into your body, which would still stop the attack with a normal shield, but wouldn't work as well if the body didn't stop the shield. $\endgroup$ – Luaan Jul 11 at 10:07
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    $\begingroup$ I think this answer is almost entirely invalidated by "Phase weapons interact with armor and clothing normally" - unless you're imagining a naked berserker wielding a phase-metal shield? ;) $\endgroup$ – Syndic Jul 12 at 5:33
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caltrops or some other mine-like weapon that you could spread while ninjaing in, and then just happily run over when ninjaing back out. Not really "melee" but close.

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  • $\begingroup$ I like this idea for large-scale battles. make phase-metal spikes, position your archers before the spikes, once the enemy cavalry charges, the archers retreat 'trough' the spikes with ease while the cavalry is devastated by the trap. $\endgroup$ – Azzarrel Jul 12 at 7:23
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    $\begingroup$ @Azzarrel ... or they stab their feet on their friends' caltrops. Not fun. $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Jul 12 at 12:45
  • $\begingroup$ So you run around the battlefield with bare feet or you wear shoes/armor because one way you'll probably take more damage than people who step on your caltrops and the other you will chew through armor and drive pieces of your armor into your feet--either way not sure I see an advantage $\endgroup$ – Bill K Jul 15 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ well you're a ninja, you use jikatabis. $\endgroup$ – Markus Mikkolainen Jul 16 at 17:47
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Frame Challenge: Show/Training Weapons instead of serious weapons.

Forge phase metal blades of normal weapons to use for nobles in their duels. They can fight all out and not have to worry about injuring their opponent or losing face. Gladiators fighting without blood spectacle would also be possible and could be scored on a points system for number of time a blade passes through the opponents body.

Training can be much more rigorous if you don't have to worry about maiming your soldiers. It will be much more than just going through the motions.

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    $\begingroup$ To add to this: Sexy Sword fights! In a duel you swap your attuned weapon w/ your opponent. Neither of you can be injured (unless you stab yourself!), and the "goal" is to cut all of your opponent's clothes off. First one naked loses! $\endgroup$ – aslum Jul 11 at 19:41
  • $\begingroup$ This is a good idea, but it will be hard to tell when it hits, since you won't feel it. One correction: we have evidence of training weapons from the 1600s, and possibly earlier. People were definitely not just "going through the moves", but they were trying to hit each other, with blunt weapons and control. $\endgroup$ – Davidmh Jul 11 at 21:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Davidmh I agree that counting hits would be hard as is but we can easily solve this by wearing cloths or having the scin colored. That way we can count the cuts and evaluater their location and dephs thus deadlyness afterwards. It's just like when you "train" basic knife fight today: Use a (red) marker or a painted dull knife and wear white cloths. that way you can count how many times you were hit and killed. That is quite an effective way to learn that the only safe way to survive a knife fight is to not have a knife fight at all. Same holds true for phased swards. $\endgroup$ – hajef Jul 12 at 6:17
  • $\begingroup$ Any sort of paint or dye on the weapons would work fine to indicate hits. The weapons passes through but the marker can't pass through so it stays on the skin. $\endgroup$ – krb Jul 12 at 19:24
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Dagger pin Make a dagger almost entirely out of phase metal except for a small pin. Conceal the dagger in your body and attach the pin in you hair or to you clothing to hold it in place. You could get through a pat down and no one would know that you are armed.

Spear

Fight in two lines, the front line is bare chested an fights with spear or sword, and the back line fights with phase metal through the torso of the front line.

Now your enemies need to fight 2 weapons and 2 people at once.

Surgical tools It could be an amazing medical tool. You could do some types of surgery or scanning with out opening up a person. Does phase metal pass through infected tissue, tumors, foreign objects....?

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    $\begingroup$ Normal spears are used that way (using the gaps between the bodys/heads of the first row), and using the phased spears woudl require the first row to fight naked and without shieds. How very incinveniant. $\endgroup$ – hajef Jul 11 at 11:31
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    $\begingroup$ Good luck wielding that dagger when you can only hold it by the pin $\endgroup$ – Pierre Cathé Jul 11 at 12:05
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    $\begingroup$ @PierreCathé team up with someone else, one passes through the security with the hidden (inside their bodies) weapon, and then gives the weapon to the other, who has no problem wielding it. $\endgroup$ – Jenkar Jul 11 at 12:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Jenkar Nice catch $\endgroup$ – Pierre Cathé Jul 11 at 12:57
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    $\begingroup$ @PierreCathé Alternately: just wear gloves? $\endgroup$ – Admiral Jota Jul 11 at 14:25
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Most meele weapons rely on the user's ability to touch any part of it. For classical weapons, make the blade phased but have a spine that can be touched by the user. That way, a double edged sword doesn't feel so double eged anymore but can be pushed at its end to greatly increace force.

But we can take this further: Build a staff that is sourrounded by phased blades. The wielder's hands are mostly safe since the blades reach further than them. Normally when fighing against staffs, one tries to (block and) safely grab it and abuse the fact that the attacker holds on to it. But wow your enemies can't do this since they can't safely grab a blade and they can't crush your hands that are safe within the blades (or even a phase metal cylinder around the solid staff but that's going to be quite heavy).

For one handed weapons, just forge a spiked (hollow if you want to save weight) sphere around a solid core (or even gauntlet) so that your hands are completely covered by the sphere. Don't connect them to your vambraces though or you might get disarmed eventually. But that's about it. If you add phased blades to pretty much any weapon (including nunchucks) that would likely cut the user if not phased, you would need to fight naked. Imagine a sword that has a medium sized, solid staff to handle it and has double edged blades pointing in all directions. You could "stab yourself" to reach enemys behind you, spin it around to create a deadly sphere and do many other things that are theoretically possible but humanly impossible to coordinate. There are hundreds of possibilities but most of them can't be used since the weapons grow heavier, you can't use them with armor and most of the moves you can imagine can't be coordinated in the heat of a battle.

To hide a dagger in your body like suggested by sdrawkcabdear would be handy for assasins but if you can't grab the handle, it would be hard to actually use it. [Edit: So be sure to bring gloves or other fabric that allows you to indirectly handle the dagger. Thanks for pointing that out. Now the only problem is to find a spot and size that allows to transport the dagger without hurting yourself with the weight alone.]

[Edit: You might also use this for medicine and/or torture. Make someone forge a long handle and add a solid ball at the end. Insert the ball and perform a haptic gastroscopy/coloscopy - or torture them by forcefully shake the handle or do any number of similar things. I don't want to go into this but the possibilities are only limited by your imaginativeness (and cruelty).]

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  • $\begingroup$ Or, instead of ruining your surprise factor for the dagger by needing a handle somewhere... bring gloves. They don't need to be heavy or thick, just anything to get between you and your steel so you can exert a force on it. $\endgroup$ – Delioth Jul 12 at 13:56
  • $\begingroup$ How did I miss that? I pointed out that phased weapons do not work with cloth and even suggested gloves to handle fists of phase steel more easily but but did not realize that that would solc this ploblem too. Edited. $\endgroup$ – hajef Jul 12 at 14:02
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Finally, those stupid spike-encrusted fantasy weapons make sense!

Just cover your ordinary weapon with spiky phase-protrusions. Nasty, razor-sharp blades all around the hilt? Check! Awkward spikes at places you'd want to shimmy your hand up or down to, for leverage, on that polearm? Check!

Not only to you have the advantage of those nasty spiky bits slashing and tearing and mangling your foe if you happen to land a blow, you also don't have to worry about anyone wresting the weapon from your hands and using it against you. As far as your hands are concerned, it's just a smooth, elegant spear, or sword, or whatever. As far as your foe is concerned, it's an awkward, unwieldable mess. (Watch out, don't let the spikes catch on your armor!)

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    $\begingroup$ The real problem with spikes is getting stuck in your enemies $\endgroup$ – Andrey Jul 12 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ You have a really good answer for what kind of modifications could be made to weapons in general that take advantage of the use of phase metal. $\endgroup$ – Jonathan Jul 13 at 17:11
  • $\begingroup$ Spikes is a pretty good idea! How about 2 balls covered with razor blades/spikes with a small handle in the center. You reach in and grab it then pummel your opponent--like the worlds coolest brass knuckles. You could block pretty well since there is no part of your hand that is exposed. I thought of solid armor of this stuff being somewhat useless, but spiked armor/headgear might work too and wouldn't have to be as heavy as solid. $\endgroup$ – Bill K Jul 15 at 17:21
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Right. everyone is thinking medieval here. I think that's the wrong way to go about it.

My answer is :

Chainsaws

Chainsaws are uniquely positioned in that they're super reckless as weapons, so the point where you're likely to even cut yourself if you're not extra careful. We've all seen the horror movies where the bad guy has a chainsaw, and the good guy hits the chainsaw back into the bad guy, resulting in some timely comeuppance. This could never happen with phase weaponry, allowing you to be as reckless as you wish. What is a quickly moving series of chain links to your foe is but a dull butter knife to you.

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  • $\begingroup$ I feel like the real issue with chainsaws is that they need to have consistent methodical application of force. Using a chainsaw to cut through a 2 by 4 by hacking and slamming the running chainsaw blade into it is less effective than just using an axe, and very likely to break the chain links. Would there by modifications to the chainsaw that would bypass or reduce those limitations? $\endgroup$ – Jonathan Jul 13 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Jonathan you wouldn't hack at a 2 by 4 with a sword either. Different tools, different jobs $\endgroup$ – tuskiomi Jul 13 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ You're not wrong about using tools for their intended purpose, but I feel like the motion used to cut with a chainsaw is not well suited to a combat situation. A sword can cut through a 2 by 4 eventually. Usually without completely ruining the sword. A single forceful quick strike with a chainsaw might bend the core of the chainsaw (the metal part that acts as a rail for the chain.) Or more likely it would snap a single chain link. Maybe use larger links on the chainsaw blade? $\endgroup$ – Jonathan Jul 13 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Jonathan like, a morning star, spear, or crossbow, the chainsaw is firmly in the category of "Yeah, don't just hack at the target". it's not fair to use a saw to insert nails into a 2x4 and say that a saw is wrong because it can't put in nails. A battle chainsaw would have lighter materials, be one handed, much faster, and move the power source to a different location. $\endgroup$ – tuskiomi Jul 14 at 6:05
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A Bo Staff would be amazing. You could add armanents to the ends to make it deadly. Make it extendable so you can shoot it through your body. And make the actual staff have a rough file like texture to rip flesh off your opponents.

Now usually a Bo Staff is used in unarmored situations. As a staff, it isn't really made to pierce or cut you. So Bo Staff wielders will likely be able to have less clothing on them and this gives them more opportunities to pass the actual staff through their torso, arms, head or leg to surprise their opponent. Once you put on amour, your phase weapon is basically a normal weapon because you need to cut through your armor to let it pass your body, or expose parts of your body to the enemy (e.g. Helmet, gauntlets, greaves, chest armor ).

Now if possible, I would of liked to say the double ended Lightsaber from StarWars as that seems like a great weapon when you can't hurt yourself. But you can imagine that no longer needing to worry about cutting or hitting yourself would be a great relief. A Bo staff basically shares the same moves as the Double Ended Lightsaber but it just won't cut through your opponent like that. Having a phasing ability would open up a whole range of moves as you can now shift and swing the staff through your body.

Armor makes the phasing ability mostly redundant. Choose a weapon that doesn't require it and gains a lot of additional flexibility.

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    $\begingroup$ I was thinking something similar, except my thought was to have a SHARP staff. You take a 6' blade made out of Phase Metal and bond it to your staff. For purposes of WIELDING it you can use it exactly like a bo staff, with freedom to grab it anywhere you like. For anybody you HIT with it, it's sharp everywhere. Of course, you can't swing it THROUGH yourself, but still... $\endgroup$ – Morris The Cat Jul 11 at 17:41
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After reading all the answers, and synergizing a few ideas, I think the best use would be with a team of 2 unarmored fighters with a unique fighting style built on trust. Each would wield a sword attuned to the other. Tactics would involve protecting each other and being able to fight without worrying about hurting each other. This would be amplified with weapons with reach. For example, imagine the whirling dervish of twin halberds. Or two guys dual wielding morning star flails.

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Not so much a specific weapon, but this stuff could provide the ultimate hand guard on any weapon. Literally just a big ball of the stuff on the handle so that your hand passes through and holds the actual handle inside and is completely protected. It also means that nobody but you can use the weapon.

If you are able to get metal that is attuned to another person then you can make easily disguised assassin weapons that will only work against that one person. For example, you could encase a stiletto made from normal metal inside a block or bar of phase metal attuned to the victim. It is just a block of metal to anybody who touches it, but if you strike the victim then the outer shell passes through them and the blade inside pokes holes in their body. Instead of a plain block or bar it could be some type of small metal statue or something that can be brought past guards as a harmless gift.

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Seems mostly useless.

If you encase yourself in a metal bunker, you can't attack from within unless you use your hands..

If you use it as a weapon, the only advantage is if it finds some advantage to go through you--I can't imagine a simple weapon where you could make that matter by enough to make a difference.

A door in a large wall: Nope, you'd have to get naked to run through.

Internal armor with various external mount points is interesting but would be heavy and it would still hurt you a lot to get hit (and you'd tend to bleed) unless it was slightly outside your skin (in which case, how is it better than normal armor?) All the disadvantages of plate (Weight) and more (Skin is still vulnerable if visible). Plus if it took a hit it would distribute the shock to the mount points instead of across the whole side of your body causing do more damage to you because of the concentration than external mail.

It wouldn't even make a good solid cube vault, although you could get into it (naked) you couldn't add or remove anything.

Sorry, can't come up with a single realistic advantage.

Oh, got it! you never said we didn't have new technology: It's not an existing weapon but I'd make a backpack with a motor and a couple large (7' radius?) counter-rotating quad blades that went through my midsection. Not only could nobody get near me without a gun, tilting the blades might let me fly :)

Oh and if you hadn't said it had to be melee weapon I'd say bullets would be a good answer.

Also, smuggling entire items like guns (as long as nobody x-rays you)

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Imagine a blade attached to a bracelet...it is only long enough to protrude when you bend your wrist otherwise it is hidden in your hand.

Could be applied in other ways like this with larger weapons...band just below the knee with blade pointing up...do a standard strike with your knee(think Muy Tai) and a blade is the striker..not the knee.

"Beware the person walking with small steps"(small joint movements would keep the blades hidden)

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  • $\begingroup$ A knee strike from a large internal hidden blade would be an awesome assassin's weapon. Keeping the blade secured to the user's clothing without making it's purpose obvious would be a challenge, but certainly doable. $\endgroup$ – Jonathan Jul 13 at 17:01
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Pretty much any weapon would find a benefit from phase metal. Users could fire phase metal cross-bow bolts through themselves at people behind them without harm. And, they could stab someone through themselves in case they were attacked from behind.

But, assuming everyone is moderate to well-armored, then I think any weapons made with flexible links -- morning stars, flail -- would all benefit from being made out of phase-metal.

This would significantly change how the weapons were used. In the case of a morning star. The user could twiddle the weapons handle in any direction without worrying about where the spiked ball and chain were moving, in relation to their own body. So they could swing the weapons and maintain a high angular velocity --- deterring anyone from closing on them -- until they saw an opening to attack.

Generally speaking, chain-based mass weapons would be used differently. Take the case of nun-chucks. There would be no need to redirect them around the user's body to maintain angular momentum.

I am not clear on how phase-metal weapons interact with phase-metal shields when held by the same user. How this plays out might also significantly change the martial skills involved with those weapons.

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    $\begingroup$ How are you loading your phase bolts? How do you aim behind yourself? Why would any enemy hug you instead of killlling you instantly? Why would you want to fight unarmored (naked) to make any of this work? OP saied that phase metal interact normally with anything except the owner - inlcuding phase shields and any kind of cloths and armor. $\endgroup$ – hajef Jul 11 at 11:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Hajef, (A) wear gloves (B) just like you were going to shot yourself (C) no idea, maybe they want to capture you. (D) good point (E) like I said I wasn't clear on that point. $\endgroup$ – EDL Jul 11 at 20:26
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Any poison tipped weapon. The highest risk is accidental self infliction. Imagine a poison tipped ice pick rapier that can't cut you. Or a set of armor with thousands of tiny spikes so you can give poison hugs.

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    $\begingroup$ The weapon will pass through you but the poison cannot so when the weapon moves through you the poison would scrape off the blade and sit on your skin. Hopefully not a contact poison that can seep through the skin on its own... $\endgroup$ – krb Jul 12 at 19:29
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Send an innocent looking messenger to your enemy on the eve of battle with a fabulous Enter-name-of-his-favourite-weapon-here and convince him to wield it against you. As he comes in swinging and sure he's got you pinned, beat him to a pulp through the weapon.

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The problem here is that since its a melee weapon you expect to be wearing armor. Only when the skin is bare and unarmored can you use phase metal but that means also exposing your skin to the opposition.

The only option for combat purposes would be armor. One of the biggest problems with armor is how bludgeoning weapons can still effectively hurt you and if the metal warps you are in big trouble. But if you can phase supports through your body you can spread the force over a larger area. Now not just the (regular metal) "top" armor protects you but the armor on the other side helps absorb blows!

The other option is more is more of a sneaky thing. Say smuggling a weapon into a bar or when trying to assasinate someone. All that would be visible would be a piercing or something similar, you use a handle on it and pull the blade out, then connect the handle to the blade. It could be a knife, spearhead or if you can bear the strain on your skin where its carried a small sword.

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I don't know what your tech-level is so this might be too modern, but I'm thinking giant circular saw, or possibly just a circular saw motor hooked up to a ring of long swords. You hold the motor in front of you with the axis of rotation roughly vertical (so the plane of the blade rotation passes through you), crank that sucker on high speed and you become just a walking circle of spinning death. You can also turn the motor forwards to block incoming projectiles. You'd obviously need to keep some power source available, spare batteries or gasoline, depending on what it runs on. (Or a really long extension cord if you're just protecting a small area.) Down-side is you have to keep your distance from your friends, but if everybody in your army else was similarly equipped, you could just become a wall of spinning blades with a relatively small number of soldiers covering a wide area.

(If you're sticking to strictly medieval style weaponry, you could just have something crank- or pedal-driven, I suppose.)

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm thinking something like a halfway mix between a weed whacker and an urumi (Indian whip sword.) Would be an awesome weapon, but you would need a really powerful motor (even using modern tech) for it to be better than say a sword or a halberd. $\endgroup$ – Jonathan Jul 13 at 17:16
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I can see this being useful for either offense or defense, but not both at the same time. The main problem is kinetics.

Defense:

There have been plenty of suggestions of internal armor. This is quite clever, but would be difficult to pull off. The armor would need to be anchored to you in some fashion. If hit with a heavy hammer, all of the kinetic energy will end up focused on that anchor.

This means that if the armor was anchored at your wrists, ankles, and/or neck, the entire blow would be focused there. Your armor would need to be made to dissipate that energy quickly like kevlar to prevent serious injury.

If the armor was "worn" inside a thin jumpsuit, that would help keep it in place as well as spread the secondary jolt out across your entire body.

Offense:

I'm picturing a screaming naked person running at me with the blade-iest, deadliest looking spinning monstrosity whirring around and through them. Pure offense to a degree that defense is pretty irrelevant.

Why naked? If they had anything that the weapon could interact with, it would throw them around like a rag doll.

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    $\begingroup$ On the armor, you don't use it to make the outer armor shell. You use the phase metal to make supports that pass through the body. For example, supports between the chest plate and back plate so energy delivered to either plate is distributed across both plates. $\endgroup$ – krb Jul 12 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ This is a good general answer to the question. Also, @krb I like your idea about phase metal supports inside of armor. $\endgroup$ – Jonathan Jul 13 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ @krb, All that does is change it from you getting pushed by the front plates to you getting pulled by the back plates. Although, if they were stress absorbing struts.... now we're cooking with phase fire. $\endgroup$ – Starshine Jul 15 at 15:13
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    $\begingroup$ Actually it changes it from being pushed by the front plates to being split between pushed by the front and pulled by the back. The larger change is that you cannot be crushed between 2 things, such as if you are knocked prone and then hit by a heavy weight such as a horse coming down on top of you. $\endgroup$ – krb Jul 15 at 15:17
  • $\begingroup$ @krb +1 to you! I hadn't bothered to think it through that much. $\endgroup$ – Starshine Jul 15 at 21:19
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Since your world has magic, find an illusionist to fill the battle field with spinning blade towers. After your enemies advance on the blades and find them to be illusional, they will charge forward until the find you in the center of the field, standing in the middle of a spinning blade tower which is identical to all the rest but is made out of phase metal which is attuned to you. Assuming that your unharmed presence among the spinning blades proves that they are just another illusion, your enemy will charge you fearlessly, feeding themselves to your warrior-sized paper shredder in the process.

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Double bladed sword

Ever heard of Dark Maul? As a child, I used to wonder how impractical his weapon must be: You can't make a full swipe of one blade without awkwardly bending to avoid the other. It must have taken years of practice to reach a somewhat adequate level of fighting skill (I.e, enough not to kill yourself while swinging your weapon around).

See where I'm getting at? Let's assume both your blades are made of phase metal, and the handle of regular, just as you mentionned in the question. Comparatively, it's ridiculously easy to learn to twirl a staff. The fact that you are not concerned by the blades offers a whole world of possibility. You can make a wide swipe and still have a blade ready to parry a counter attack - and you do not compromise your stance to do so. You can wield it way closer to your body without restraining your movements (since you won't be accidentally cutting your leg off).

Worst case scenario, you can wield it almost like a normal sword, with just one end sticking through you.

If we're talking about one on one, a double bladed sword where the user does not care about injuring himself would be terrifying. And completely cinematic, though not sure how effective it would prove compared to duel-dedicated style, such as fencing. Lucas choose a kendo-ish style mostly because it was way more visually satisfying. (And it's probably worthless for an army. Completly unwieldy in large groups)

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  • $\begingroup$ The main problem is that two swords (or sword and dagger) are probably much better than a double-bladed sword; even ignoring the "Darth Maul impaling himself problem" (avoided with phase metal), the double-bladed form limits your mobility and leverage. It doesn't really help anything. A real staff (or its vastly improved versions like the halberd :P) is a much better weapon, a single-bladed sword is a much better weapon, and having two weapons instead of a single double-bladed sword is an even better weapon. It makes Maul look much more badass exactly because it's such a stupid weapon :D $\endgroup$ – Luaan Jul 11 at 10:15
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'Magic' is a tag but if modern weapons are a part of the equation then tag teams with the according bullets would probably benefit the most (with magic I personally think of a medieval setting). Person A has bullets that can pass through person B and vice versa. It's difficult to produce those bullets so having them either in special magazines or weapons would probably be common practice. Think about hostage situations... no worries about friendly fire just hit the target behind.

The same goes for non-modern weapons like throwing knives and spears.

The best usage for those weapons would be, again, in teams of two or more (with fitting fighting techniques), really long swords or spears that you can thrash around without worrying of hitting your own people.

In general, very few weapons used by the person attuned to it would get an in combat benefit from those properties. Concealing weapons would be way easier, concealed armour for fast-moving objects, slow ones would push the clothes that the phase-metal is attached through the body of the wearer, completely negating the purpose of armour (the phase metal parts would simply pass through the body, it would be like hitting an empty set of armour).

To digress a little bit: for utility tools, you could probably come up with quite some nice things. Like having a non-phase-metal hook on you and the chain attached to it is simply filling up space where your leg goes.

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    $\begingroup$ Another idea when came to mind when reading your answer. They would be perfect weapons for bodyguards if attuned to the person being protected. If an attack happens they could literally rain steel on the entire area and not worry about harming the VIP. $\endgroup$ – krb Jul 12 at 19:15

protected by James Jul 12 at 20:17

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