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Old 11-18-2015, 04:59 PM   #11
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Default Re: Low-Tech Weapons and Tools Underwater

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Originally Posted by Vargant View Post
Oh and maybe ceramic blades.
Ceramic and glass have the same problem for undersea civilizations: lack of fire.
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Old 11-18-2015, 05:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: Low-Tech Weapons and Tools Underwater

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Ceramic and glass have the same problem for undersea civilizations: lack of fire.
That's an advantage for surface merchants trading with them, though.
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Old 11-18-2015, 06:17 PM   #13
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Default Re: Low-Tech Weapons and Tools Underwater

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That's an advantage for surface merchants trading with them, though.
Exactly.



Though.... it does occur to me that with geothermal vents... and magic (or just magic) it might be possible for underwater magic civs to have some measure of fire based tech.
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Old 11-19-2015, 06:13 AM   #14
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Default Re: Low-Tech Weapons and Tools Underwater

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Though.... it does occur to me that with geothermal vents... and magic (or just magic) it might be possible for underwater magic civs to have some measure of fire based tech.
Only if you can actually approach the undersea vents closely enough to take advantage of the heat, and not cook yourself. You're in a medium that conducts heat a lot better than air, and has a much density and specific heat also. And it isn't as if you could go to the vent, shove a piece of material into it, and have a continuing small vent that you could carry around. The portability of fire is one of its big understated advantages.
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Old 11-19-2015, 06:31 AM   #15
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Default Re: Low-Tech Weapons and Tools Underwater

As people already pointed out, I'd suggest Obsidian. But that's brittle, so Ionno.

A common method to preserve equipment in damp, steamy places is coating them with specific wax or oil. I assume the same could be done with mineral/synthetic oil produced in the surface at that TL with Alchemy.
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Old 11-19-2015, 09:56 AM   #16
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Default Re: Low-Tech Weapons and Tools Underwater

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it does occur to me that with geothermal vents... and magic (or just magic) it might be possible for underwater magic civs to have some measure of fire based tech.
Or you could develop a metal reducing technology based around Shewanella bacteria and their relatives. These microbes are able to biologically reduce metal ions, which might allow for producing metal from its ores with just some cultured glop and a food source. No fire or heat source needed.

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Old 11-19-2015, 02:26 PM   #17
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Default Re: Low-Tech Weapons and Tools Underwater

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Just as evileyore already stated:
Obsidian might be interesting. It was good enough for the meso-american civilisations. If they can get near underwater-volcanoes, your shark men might be able to collect obsidian shards and make them into useful tools and weapons.

Well thats at least the way I handle tools for fishmen in my setting. Obsidian, sharkteeth/shells, rocks and corals. Oh and maybe ceramic blades.
There seem to be types of coral growing in the Sea of Fallen Stars that do not exist on our Earth. I'd guess that the types that underwater civilisations prefer for their weaponry are about as effective as obsidian. Extremely sharp, but more brittle than bronze or steel.
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Old 11-20-2015, 01:59 AM   #18
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Default Re: Low-Tech Weapons and Tools Underwater

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The Antikythera mechanism is still recognisable after 2000 years in the sea.

More recently, copper sheathing for ships was proposed at late TL4 and implemented in early TL5, which I suspect was when thin copper sheet could be made cheaply enough. Copper does not corrode in sea water, although it very slowly dissolves: ship sheathing had to be replaced after a decade or so as it wore thin at places where water moved at high velocity over a hull. Copper will also slowly leach from some alloys, such as Muntz metal, a high-zinc brass that was cheaper than copper.

Tin bronzes should last long enough to be useful.
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Different alloys make a lot of difference, so a bit depending on your technology, but most metals actually tend to survive a while in water.

I do not know about bronze, but the copper sheathing proved fairly long lasting in ships (though as the corrosion process was not understood, the iron bolts had significant corrosion issues on the early experiments). Copper has a self protecting feature from corrosion where a less reactive surface forms protecting from corrosion. Iron does not form such (at least to a significant degree).
I knew that copper was used to protect the hulls of wooden sailing ships.

What I'm wondering is if the alloying of copper with tin and other metals that make into bronze from which effective weapons can be constructed means that corrosion is hastened so much that the extra strength is not worth it.

Is it better to sell the sahuagin pure Copper knives and spearheads or would Bronze ones last long enough for the superior quality of the materials to matter?
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:52 AM   #19
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Default Re: Low-Tech Weapons and Tools Underwater

Far as I can determine, copper-tin bronzes are at least as good as copper; gunmetal (88% copper/10% tin/2% zinc) is used specifically for corrosion resistance.
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Old 11-20-2015, 02:56 AM   #20
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Default Re: Low-Tech Weapons and Tools Underwater

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Far as I can determine, copper-tin bronzes are at least as good as copper; gunmetal (88% copper/10% tin/2% zinc) is used specifically for corrosion resistance.
Wonderful.

As the local culture has retained a decided fashion for bronze over iron, as well as having had easy access to copper and tin for a very long time, good bronze spearheads and knives will be easy to find and relatively cheap to have made.
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