Skip to main content

Questions tagged [metals]

For questions needing solutions regarding metallurgy, properties of real or fantastical metals or metallic substances, or the usage, acquisition, or in-world effects of them.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
110 votes
11 answers
35k views

This sword is forged from meteorite iron - but how is that any good?

You know the common trope in fantasy. Meteorite iron is amazing. My armor is made of sky iron, made for me. A bear's armor is his soul, just as your daemon is your soul. You might as well take him ...
Mołot's user avatar
  • 33.3k
82 votes
28 answers
13k views

Sword in the rock - make it last the ages

Merlin the wizard has a problem. Sure, it was a piece of cake to move forward in time to the 21st century, procure a sword that was made with the highest 21st century standards, go back in time, and ...
Nahshon paz's user avatar
  • 6,078
75 votes
12 answers
20k views

Is it possible to create a practical sword that's naturally toxic?

While doing research, I stumbled across the alloy "arsenical bronze", in which copper is smelted with arsenic instead of (or in addition to) tin. This apparently gives you "a stronger final product ...
F1Krazy's user avatar
  • 14.2k
53 votes
19 answers
16k views

What can be used as a money in a high-fantasy magic world where noble metals are in practical use?

Imagine a high-fantasy magic world where magic has the place of a science. Noble/rare metals – such as silver, gold, platinum – have the ability to conduct magic energy, which is commonly used in all ...
norlin's user avatar
  • 755
42 votes
3 answers
10k views

Is it possible for a mine to contain both gemstones and precious metals?

I have been trying to find an answer to my question for a couple hours now but I haven't had any luck on Google though I might be searching using the wrong terms I'm not sure as I know next to nothing ...
yukimoda's user avatar
  • 542
38 votes
4 answers
8k views

Is it possible to maintain a gun functioning after thousands of years?

The gun in question is a normal, reliable and non-specialized .45 revolver. The idealized character is the last descendant of a lineage of carriers of this gun, considered by them legendary. Is it ...
Cesar de Barros's user avatar
36 votes
30 answers
10k views

What would be the most expensive material to an intergalactic society?

Imagine an intergalactic society that has the following abilities\tech: Warp drive allows trips between stars in days and galaxies in weeks. Able to live in spaceships for long time without health ...
cypher's user avatar
  • 7,113
34 votes
16 answers
10k views

How to sabotage a blacksmith production? [closed]

The city's main weapon and armor supplier has lost his contract arming the city's guard because the quality of the last batch of its products is awful. The swords break at the first clash, the armor ...
NewGM's user avatar
  • 467
30 votes
23 answers
12k views

How to make a metal with extraordinary property worthless?

In a RPG scenario, players will look for a MacGuffin Metal (aka MGM.), experiencing the farwest gold fever. Short Story: Context : Farwest(~1880), steam punk. First encounter : In a 3-5 minutes time ...
Drag and Drop's user avatar
29 votes
3 answers
7k views

Can you forge a sword using just one piece of metal?

I thought it might be visually and thematically interesting for a character to have a sword made from just one piece of steel, like those knife sets you can buy. Something like this, but obviously ...
Tyler Bok's user avatar
  • 293
28 votes
9 answers
7k views

Aftermath of a Midas-weapon war - what to do with all that gold?

After reading the question Are “Midas” swords useless for warfare? it really tricked my mind of finding ways on what to do will all that gold. So I was wondering: assume a war broke out and you used ...
Mr.J's user avatar
  • 2,618
26 votes
12 answers
9k views

Is there a way to make a metal sword resistant to lava?

My story involves sword of very high quality; they use lasers to cut, but have a metal reinforcement. The monsters the characters encounter and fight have lava as their 'life liquid'. If someone were ...
Fox-Chan's user avatar
  • 623
25 votes
15 answers
6k views

Is there a material or method to allow "swimmable" coins?

I want to know whether there is a way to make coins that are "swimmable" in the fashion of Scrooge McDuck. My inquiry is based off this Family Guy meme from Pinterest The coins don't necessarily ...
Li Jun's user avatar
  • 8,899
25 votes
6 answers
6k views

Physics of a metal-poor world

I've read the other answers relating to this area (and discovered to my disappointment that my great ideas have been done before... hey ho). But I'd like to get the science right. I have a nation of ...
TheSpidermonkey's user avatar
24 votes
6 answers
5k views

Super metal and the construction of knight armor

Assume that roughly at 1200 AD, Europe discovers a new metal (or alloy). By terms of various strengths and hardness it's comparable to high grade steel, however instead of steel's density of ~8 g/cm³, ...
Ranger's user avatar
  • 17.5k
23 votes
12 answers
5k views

A world where some currency loses value when handled would have a deflationary economy. What would the consequences to society be?

Imagine a world which looks roughly like what we might call the “standard D&D setting”; not quite medieval, not quite Renaissance, something like 17th century London, where a penny buys a day’s ...
sil's user avatar
  • 330
23 votes
13 answers
9k views

Metal that glows when near pieces of itself

First question! I'm excited to see if anyone can help me. Any missteps are unintentional, but feel free to tell me so that I may learn. So, I've recently started brainstorming over a possible story, ...
menecio's user avatar
  • 403
22 votes
6 answers
5k views

Is there any reason to use tungsten crucibles?

So, in my setting, there are dwarves that make good steel. Shocker, I know. To refine the ore, they rely on the bloomery process like everyone else, using anthracite (when they can get it), charcoal (...
Horik's user avatar
  • 1,123
22 votes
7 answers
4k views

How would ant-sized humans be able to Blacksmith Metals Safely?

In this world I'm creating, humans are shrunk down to 2 centimeters tall, and have been teleported down to an earthlike dimension consisting only of insects, plants, fungi and other invertebrates. The ...
Red_Wasp's user avatar
  • 1,515
20 votes
9 answers
7k views

Can an earth-like world lack mineable iron?

This question is pretty straightforward. I would like to build an earth-like world in which humans don't have access to iron, or at least can't mine any prior to full scale industrialization. They can ...
Random's user avatar
  • 5,996
19 votes
6 answers
8k views

How effective and viable would bronze full plate be?

In my fantasy setting in development,tin is significantly more common than in our world, leading to bronze armour and weapons being much cheaper. Due to metallurgy not being as advanced, iron is still ...
Obelisk's user avatar
  • 1,940
19 votes
4 answers
2k views

What would the economic impact of the ability to transmute lead into gold?

Okay, my first trial run, How would humans and society react to a superhero existing and saving the earth?, of social sciences with hard-science is looking some what sickly at the moment (maybe ...
Christopher King's user avatar
18 votes
7 answers
5k views

Suitable alloys of platinum or gold for weaponry

In the magic system I'm developing, denser metals (like platinum or gold) can store up energy in order to fuel spells at the user's need. A weapon made of said metals would be very useful, since the ...
Nightingale's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
1k views

What is the earliest point in human history that gold could be hoarded?

I am currently brainstorming the history and logistics of the dragon species in my urban fantasy story about immortal mythical creatures. The way I currently envision them, dragons have their ...
Cyrus Drake's user avatar
  • 8,165
17 votes
5 answers
7k views

Are stainless steel railway tracks worth it?

In How long would it take unused railroad rails to corrode below usability?, we are asked how long railway tracks would last, and in my answer, I show that while ordinary steel railway tracks are ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
  • 62.2k
17 votes
9 answers
4k views

How would metal cloth affect armor design?

Within my setting, there will be a race of spider people, and they will have the ability to create "metal silk", which is basically taking any type of metal, realistic and fantastic, and dissolving it ...
grimmsdottir's user avatar
  • 6,247
17 votes
3 answers
2k views

How would fantasy dwarves produce steel?

I'm designing a computer game in a fantasy setting with dwarves who need to produce steel. This is a very traditional Tolkein-esque fantasy world at a relatively "middle ages" level of technology (no ...
Ross Taylor-Turner's user avatar
16 votes
9 answers
4k views

How can I justify an Iron monopoly?

In my world, only 2 cultures (who share a common ancestor, but are rivals) regularly use Iron, which they have for hundreds of years now, the rest of the many, many cultures have naught but bronze, ...
Sarāntairi's user avatar
15 votes
9 answers
4k views

What would a Medieval-Tech "super-metal" look like?

Edit: I am not looking for a specifically scientifically supportable answer. Rather, I am curious as to what characteristics of weapon metal lead to making them harder, and better at penetrating/...
LoganP98's user avatar
  • 1,270
15 votes
10 answers
3k views

Metal or alloy for special sword

A unique sword is to be forged for the hero, a human-dragon hybrid. Forged in the dragonfire of his draconic father... I don't actually think it would be much different than a sword from a regular ...
JANXOL's user avatar
  • 1,967
15 votes
3 answers
901 views

Could an earthlike planet sustain standing lakes of liquid gallium?

Would it be possible for an earth-like planet to have a lake made of liquid gallium? I assume that the lake would probably have to be near the equator to avoid having it freeze over frequently. ...
Epiglottal Axolotl's user avatar
14 votes
11 answers
6k views

How would weapons and armour be affected if metal weight was negligible?

Related to How would a weapon act if it negates the effects of gravity for itself? I'm in the middle of building a fantasy world with one core component – a reasonably rare magical metal that gets ...
Miller86's user avatar
  • 1,900
13 votes
10 answers
4k views

Would aluminium be of any use in classical antiquity? Ignoring the problem of obtaining it, can it be used as anything but a status symbol?

So this is a nation RP server set in Classical antiquity ( somewhere around 1st or 2nd century AD). The lore of this place is that around a thousand years ago, an advance civilization collapsed and ...
shivam tripathi's user avatar
13 votes
12 answers
6k views

How can enchanted items be explained?

Let us define enchanting as binding a magical effect to or channeling it through a physical form. Background: Magic is an "energy," or exotic matter/energy perhaps, that exists essentially as an ...
Crabgor's user avatar
  • 1,648
13 votes
2 answers
4k views

Aluminium as body armor?

So, this question has been asked before, but I would like to make a few stipulations regarding the specifics of my question. Firstly, the aluminium in question is fabricated in modern times, and ...
DJKnarnia's user avatar
  • 386
13 votes
5 answers
2k views

A planet made of iron

Our planet has a surface full of silicates and a core made of iron. It's due to this that Earth is the way it mostly is - most rocks and many minerals contain some form of silica. But what about a ...
Greenstack's user avatar
13 votes
5 answers
862 views

What is a plausible way to maximize the amount of NATIVE silver deposits in a given area?

I have a region on a 'Eurasia' style continent that is surrounded by large mountains. The reason that I came up with was a very dense and volcanically active microplate that was being compressed on ...
Viable_Beret's user avatar
12 votes
10 answers
6k views

Methods of permanently joining a metal mask to a face

There exists an extremist religious order whose tenets espouse the rejection of vanity and self-interest - to achieve nothing less than the complete erasure of the sense of self, instead devoting ...
Vigilant's user avatar
  • 1,659
12 votes
10 answers
4k views

What other metals or gem stones could be used to replace gold when making medieval coins?

If a medieval society had no access to gold, what other minerals or gems could take its place in the making of coins? In my research I found gold was used as coin because: It is durable (does not ...
TurtleTail's user avatar
12 votes
9 answers
8k views

Can you compress metal and what would be the consequences?

Following my mutant thread, I'd like some insight on one of them. I wrote this first generation highly powerful mutant whose ability revolves around metal. (Context, skippable if you're only here ...
Nyakouai's user avatar
  • 4,613
12 votes
6 answers
2k views

Under what conditions could a gold planet form?

So, I am imagining a draconic alien species which, (don’t laugh) inhabit a planetary system that is particularly rich in heavy elements such as platinum, silver, and yes, gold. (I said don’t laugh!) ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,657
12 votes
8 answers
2k views

Usability of Silver and its alloys as standard building material

In a world where silver is relatively abundant and not valued as luxury product and is pretty cheap (probably even cheaper than iron or steel) How viable would silver or its alloys be as a replacement ...
SparkShredder's user avatar
12 votes
6 answers
2k views

A society without metal [closed]

What would a medieval society without access to metal look like? How would things like wagons, weapons, coinage, and tools be different? "Medieval" in this sense would mean something like feudal ...
Taejang's user avatar
  • 722
11 votes
5 answers
3k views

Not-so-precious metals: tools with only precious metals are available

Imagine a world where only precious metals are available. They are as common and plentiful as iron or aluminum are in our world. Any metal that is not precious does not exist outside of biological ...
Rhomaioi's user avatar
  • 1,349
11 votes
3 answers
4k views

If Aluminum was non-reactive, could there have been an "Aluminum Age" instead of a Bronze Age?

Aluminum is the most common metal on Earth. Despite this fact, this element wasn't discovered until the 19th Century. This is because Aluminum is never naturally found in the ground. Instead, aluminum ...
ITM_Coder's user avatar
  • 1,371
11 votes
8 answers
35k views

Alternative alloys for weapons and armor?

What other hypothetical alloys could be used for ancient/medieval era weapons/armor? Don't use made-up elements (or alloys, if possible) Assume metallurgical technology up to the medieval age (in ...
Dider's user avatar
  • 983
11 votes
5 answers
2k views

What are the potential pitfalls when using metals as a currency?

Somewhat related question, but not the same goal In my current concept metals (from nickel to iridium, based on density) are used in the magic system. So in a way they are directly tied to power. I ...
user avatar
11 votes
6 answers
2k views

How durable are silver inlays on a blade?

Motivation (fictional of course) Fantasy is full of references to silver swords and other weapons thought to make a poor lycanthrope‘s life miserable. Since silver appears to be too soft for blades, I ...
Ludi's user avatar
  • 1,596
11 votes
4 answers
883 views

What benefits and drawbacks would forging a blade with a single mighty blow yield over traditional manual hammer-forging?

Assume you have two blades (of whatever design you wish) made from identical starting steel (in fact, we can assume that the two starting ingots are sisters from the same mill run). One is shaped by ...
Shalvenay's user avatar
  • 11.3k
10 votes
7 answers
2k views

Why would a molten alloy need to be jettisoned into low-to-medium orbit to cool as part of the manufacturing process?

I'm working on a game idea and one of the mechanics I had in mind was making it so a premium material had to be formed by jettisoning it into orbit and letting it cool there while you guard it with ...
Arvex's user avatar
  • 3,034