Malorium wrote:I have a vague memory of reading somewhere that Glorantha bronze actually has the same qualities as steel (except any iron content of course!).
Real world bronze are not that inferior to steel for the weapons we are talking about. It does not contain any iron either. You make bronze by mixing copper and tin.
Bronze is a bit more flexible than steel, and you can cast it to any form you wish (compared to having to work iron to it's desired form). The breaking strength is lower, and only becomes important when you have very long blades (which are relatively thin compared to the length), such as a great sword. Even so, a bronze great sword would be very useful, if not the primary choice to use to parry blows with.
Remember - the metals on Glorantha are actually the bones of Gods (apparently) so comparing them to real earth metals might be a bit fruitless.
Cool, did not remember that I ever read anything about the metals being the bones of the gods.
I think however, that they are very well suited to be compared to real world metals. In fantasy games, real world metals tend to be underestimated.
The main reason why iron became widespread in use was not that it was that much superior in strength etc. The reason is that there was a large emigration of large populations during the time when the shift from bronze to iron happened. It is a theory of modern day historians that this emigration was largely due to the fact that the main sources of tin and copper had dried out, and people moved in order to try and find new sources. But what they found instead was iron, and iron only required iron ore to be smelted to get iron, compared to the rather complex method and many components needed to make bronze.