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Forging silver bullets/blades with improvised materials: help!


Ragitsu
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Depends on your werewolves, honestly.  How pure does it have to be?  If it's got to be pure, silver nitrate might not work.  It may be the mystical power of the metal, rather than anything chemical, that causes the harm.  If that's the situation, whatever mystical force that opposes werewolves might even make it easier to make silver bullets.  For whatever reason when werewolves are around, silver tends to melt at a lower temperature, and it doesn't shrink as much when it cools.  A blessing from God, perhaps.  We don't know.  The PCs may try to make silver bullets in desperation, and succeed, only to find out later that the things they did really shouldn't have worked.

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If you happen to have a Civil War era muzzle-loading smoothbore cannon (I think those were "12-pounders" referring to the standard weight of ball) you can load "anything that'll fit" in them when you're desperate (at Chancellorsville, IIRC, the Union artillery at some points were shooting chunks of railroad track) ... and you are talking desperation weapons here. Now, loading one of those is a once-every-couple-of-minutes thing so you'd only have one shot, probably at point-blank, loaded with whatever silver stock you had on hand.

 

Sounds more like a movie or story climax thing than something for a regular RPG weapon, of course.

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Personally in most campaigns I'd rule that it has to be metallic silver, because you don't think in terms of silver-containing compounds until you have a theory of chemistry.  I believe the actual logic is that the moon has power over werewolves and silver is connected to the moon, so silver has power over weres as well--completely non-chemical reasoning.  However, it's a GM's call, in some settings with the right connection between magic and technology it would absolutely work.

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The density of silver is only 10% lower than that of lead, so the bullet's only light by that much. That's within the range of different bullet masses for a given cartridge, so don't downrate it purely on weight. I have no idea if the somewhat greater hardness of the metal would make for AP in the context of the game, but it's within the range of arguing, which probably means it's OK for game purposes if that's what the GM wants.

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OK, this is largely off-topic- I'd like your opinions.  I've seen one or two Lone Ranger write-ups with Armor Piercing Silver Bullets.  Yes, silver is hard...it is also light.  Do you feel AP is best for this case?

From everything I have read about Silver Bullets, I might argue that they do LESS damage than Lead. They are lighter and don't make as tight of a seal with the barrel when fired. Though if someone builds discarding Sabot rounds (ie a Smaller Dart like penetrator made of silver, with a sabot of another material around the silver to engage with the Rifling in the barrel) I would still say less damage, but those bullets would be AP.

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  • 4 months later...

The easiest way would be to start with hollow point rounds and then add a silver head or tip. Wad cutter or target rounds are the same. Those rounds are easier to adapt. They keep the ballistic qualities except at the longer ranges of the weapon.

 

Damage is based on the quality of silver since the rules of damage are broken by the werewolf's ability to survive other bullets. Werewolves are not real so it is GM call rather than logic. If not, characters dies. If possible, characters might live.

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Many silver things will be sterling, which is 92.5% silver by weight ... should be adequate silver content. Sterling tableware won't include knives that can take an edge, though.

 

A standard propane-air torch won't melt silver, though a propane-oxygen torch could. But most things in which you'd think to melt it can't withstand that heat.

 

So you melt it above the container and it drips in.  Provided you can construct a bullet mold that can stand the temperature silver melts at, you're fine.

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If you happen to have a Civil War era muzzle-loading smoothbore cannon (I think those were "12-pounders" referring to the standard weight of ball) you can load "anything that'll fit" in them when you're desperate (at Chancellorsville, IIRC, the Union artillery at some points were shooting chunks of railroad track) ... and you are talking desperation weapons here. Now, loading one of those is a once-every-couple-of-minutes thing so you'd only have one shot, probably at point-blank, loaded with whatever silver stock you had on hand.

 

Sounds more like a movie or story climax thing than something for a regular RPG weapon, of course.

 

If you're only going to use it one-shot, you can afford to up the powder load for extra damage.  Doing this continually means it eventually blows up, but you're probably OK for one shot.

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  • 2 weeks later...

There's also an idea that it might not just have to be "silver" (AKA Atomic Symbol Ag). I have seen some stories where Quick Silver works just as well (AKA Mercury Atomic symbol Hg). Then it would be much easier to come up with some mercury in some old thermometers or even in an old Doctor's bag or Apothecary Cabinet or chest in the basement). Then you could really do the thing with the Mercury hallowpoints.

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