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Old 11-17-2011, 05:46 PM   #1
gilbertocarlos
 
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Default Why swords are so expensive?

If you see the prices of knives and swords, there is a huge increase from large to long knife, and from long knife to shortsword.
Dagger - 0,25lbs - $20
Small Knife - 0,5lbs - $30 - Increase of 50%
Large Knife - 1lb - $40 - Increase of 33%
Long Knife - 1,5lbs - $120 - Increase of 200%
Shortsword - 2lbs - $400 - Increase of 233%
Thrusting Broadsword - 3 lbs - $600 - Increase of 50%
Thrusting Bastardsword - 5lbs - $750 - Increase of 25%
Thrusting Greatsword - 7lbs - $900 - Increase of 20%

As you can see, there is a huge increase in price from large knife to long knife, and from long knife to shortsword.

What's the reason for the huge increase? do storical prices follow this logic?

Wouldn't be better to either increase the prices of knives, and the LT/B prices be considered for cheap knives, or instead, decrease the price of swords, and the LT/B prices be considered for fine swords?
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Old 11-17-2011, 05:47 PM   #2
doulos05
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Seoul, Korea
Default Re: Why swords are so expensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilbertocarlos View Post
If you see the prices of knives and swords, there is a huge increase from large to long knife, and from long knife to shortsword.
Dagger - 0,25lbs - $20
Small Knife - 0,5lbs - $30 - Increase of 50%
Large Knife - 1lb - $40 - Increase of 33%
Long Knife - 1,5lbs - $120 - Increase of 200%
Shortsword - 2lbs - $400 - Increase of 233%
Thrusting Broadsword - 3 lbs - $600 - Increase of 50%
Thrusting Bastardsword - 5lbs - $750 - Increase of 25%
Thrusting Greatsword - 7lbs - $900 - Increase of 20%

As you can see, there is a huge increase in price from large knife to long knife, and from long knife to shortsword.

What's the reason for the huge increase? do storical prices follow this logic?

Wouldn't be better to either increase the prices of knives, and the LT/B prices be considered for cheap knives, or instead, decrease the price of swords, and the LT/B prices be considered for fine swords?
I don't know about knives, but I know that forging swords, especially in the middle ages, was a long and slow process involving lots and lots of fine detail and skill on the part of the swordsmith. There's at least one guy on here who is a blacksmith, perhaps he can enlighten us?
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:26 PM   #3
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Why swords are so expensive?

It's a lot easier to make a short blade that doesn't break than a long blade, particularly since the weight per unit length is actually less. A 1 lb 'large knife' might be a 6" blade (2 lb/foot), a 1.5 lb 'long knife' might be a 12" blade (1.5 lb/foot), a 2 lb 'shortsword' might be a 20" blade (1.2 lb/foot), a 3 lb 'broadsword' might be a 30' blade (also 1.2 lb/foot).
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why swords are so expensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gilbertocarlos View Post
If you see the prices of knives and swords, there is a huge increase from large to long knife, and from long knife to shortsword.
Dagger - 0,25lbs - $20
Small Knife - 0,5lbs - $30 - Increase of 50%
Large Knife - 1lb - $40 - Increase of 33%
Long Knife - 1,5lbs - $120 - Increase of 200%
Shortsword - 2lbs - $400 - Increase of 233%
Thrusting Broadsword - 3 lbs - $600 - Increase of 50%
Thrusting Bastardsword - 5lbs - $750 - Increase of 25%
Thrusting Greatsword - 7lbs - $900 - Increase of 20%

As you can see, there is a huge increase in price from large knife to long knife, and from long knife to shortsword.

What's the reason for the huge increase? do storical prices follow this logic?

Wouldn't be better to either increase the prices of knives, and the LT/B prices be considered for cheap knives, or instead, decrease the price of swords, and the LT/B prices be considered for fine swords?
Because in the 70s or 80s Evil Stevie took a guess at sword prices for Man to Man based on the sources he could find, and every edition of GURPS has copied them since. In England in 1300 the average price for a knife was 1d and a new knight's sword was 40d; and an Average wage was around 3L per year or 60d/month; if we treat those as a Dagger and a Thrusting Broadsword respectfully we get G$12 for the knife and G$480 for the sword (but $1660 for a mail hauberk [Torso, Arms, Thighs, Knees = 200% of Torso cost and weight]). So the prices are vaguely reasonable, which is all you can expect when one price list has to cover all imaginable economies :)
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Old 11-17-2011, 07:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why swords are so expensive?

The prices are realistic.

Usually...

Knives are made "negatively", by material reduction, where you take a single piece of metal, and remove bits until you have a knife. The whole piece can be thermally treated with relative ease. Whereas, a sword has to be made "positively", by shaping the whole piece of stock, and cycled through tempering to relax internal stresses that accumulated during shaping.

Anyway if the knife is all the same allotrope of steel that's fine, but a sword has to be more complicated, or it breaks. A sword is three times as expensive because it's three times as much steel, but you're also paying quadruple for a blade that's four times as complicated, too.

For smithing, the difficulty of manufacturing a blade is proportional to it's size.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:07 PM   #6
doulos05
 
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Default Re: Why swords are so expensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel_gudman View Post
The prices are realistic.

Usually...

Knives are made "negatively", by material reduction, where you take a single piece of metal, and remove bits until you have a knife. The whole piece can be thermally treated with relative ease. Whereas, a sword has to be made "positively", by shaping the whole piece of stock, and cycled through tempering to relax internal stresses that accumulated during shaping.

Anyway if the knife is all the same allotrope of steel that's fine, but a sword has to be more complicated, or it breaks. A sword is three times as expensive because it's three times as much steel, but you're also paying quadruple for a blade that's four times as complicated, too.

For smithing, the difficulty of manufacturing a blade is proportional to it's size.
Ah, that makes perfect sense. Well, there you have it.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why swords are so expensive?

Swords are expensive yo. Not just in RPG books. Same is true nowadays.

Go out and try to buy a sword, not a show piece, but a sword that can stand up to actual combat. A decent knife is in fact much cheaper.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why swords are so expensive?

Greater proportion of metal needed and very good metal too.
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:50 AM   #9
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Default Re: Why swords are so expensive?

I would also suspect that the fact that knives are necessary tools plays a role. A knife performs many functions around a house, farm, workshop, or campsite while swords are mostly just used to attack people. Ergo, more people will need knives, which means more people will make more knives, which makes knives cheaper.
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:20 AM   #10
smurf
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Default Re: Why swords are so expensive?

They take a lot of hours to produce.

Ore to be smelted, fuel to be burnt and a lot of bashing.

IIRC there were cheap ones like a flattened bar with an edge put on it.

It just took a lot of time because there was not machinery to speed up the process.
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