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Old 12-10-2012, 06:36 PM   #1
Disliker of the mary sue
 
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Default How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

Hm I was watching Avatar the last airbender, and their was a point where one of the main characters made a sword made of a meteorite they found. My question is if you had a meteorite chunk big enough to make a sword out of and gave it to a good blacksmith to make said sword, what quality would you generally get out of it?
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

Meteorites can be made of anything, so the question is too open-ended to be able to answer. Anyway, realistically, if it is big enough to be able to produce that much metal to forge a weapon, then it will gave the same characteristics of that metal. If you are talking about making a weapon from the "mineral" (rock and dirt) part of the meteorite, we will be talking about TL 0 rock axes and spears...
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Originally Posted by Disliker of the mary sue View Post
Hm I was watching Avatar the last airbender, and their was a point where one of the main characters made a sword made of a meteorite they found. My question is if you had a meteorite chunk big enough to make a sword out of and gave it to a good blacksmith to make said sword, what quality would you generally get out of it?
It depends on the type of meteor - most are stony and useless for such things, but a small fraction of meteors are composed of relatively pure iron alloys. Many archaic and even medieval cultures used the meteors because they were a source of high quality iron that needed little or no smelting! I think it would depend on the exact composition of the meteorite but I do not see a reason why even a Very Fine blade could not be made out of meteoric iron.

However, the bigger issue is that making a weapon out of a meteorite is very romantic, and many people would ascribe imagined (or real) magical properties to such a blade.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Originally Posted by Disliker of the mary sue View Post
Hm I was watching Avatar the last airbender, and their was a point where one of the main characters made a sword made of a meteorite they found. My question is if you had a meteorite chunk big enough to make a sword out of and gave it to a good blacksmith to make said sword, what quality would you generally get out of it?
I am reminded of http://xkcd.com/1114/
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:45 PM   #5
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

Short answer: realistically, it's not particular good iron. Rule of Cool says it's fabulous. If you want smith skill to be important, then starting with a meteor is just starting with good mats, so they have a better chance to make Fine / Very Fine weapons. If it's all about the mats in your setting, then it's Cheap (realistically) or Very Fine (Rule of Cool).

A recent thread on the topic: http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=97799

Iron content of steel: http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=44847

Making a black blade: http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=94787

Iron for elves and other faery races: http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=80620
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Originally Posted by kenclary View Post
I am reminded of http://xkcd.com/1114/
Hm something else that inspired this question, I also wonder how good a blade you could get with various radioactive metals but that another question for another time.

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Oh I apologize I was unaware it was a question already asked.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Oh I apologize I was unaware it was a question already asked.
No problem. I just had nothing useful to add to those past threads, so I thought I'd point you their way.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:03 PM   #8
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

Hm okay after reading a bit on the other thread on meteor swords... the conclusion seems to be it just normal iron at best. The only thing that would be special would maybe people would think it has magical powers. Other wise it probably just be just an ceremonial sword you'd be better off selling then actually using.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

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Originally Posted by Disliker of the mary sue View Post
Hm okay after reading a bit on the other thread on meteor swords... the conclusion seems to be it just normal iron at best. The only thing that would be special would maybe people would think it has magical powers. Other wise it probably just be just an ceremonial sword you'd be better off selling then actually using.
Of course, in a fantasy setting it might well have actual magical powers, or at least be easier to enchant than a sword made of earthly metal.
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: How good would a sword made out of a meteorite really be?

Assuming a ferrous meteorite (which most that make it to earth are)- it would be no better or worse then any other source of iron if it were taken through the full foundry/forge process.

Without the foundry process it could be anywhere on the spectrum from great to terrible
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