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Activity Forums Side Projects Discussions Last Winter Smithing/Metalworking

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    Maharbal Barca

    Being able to forge goods from metal was on of the things that the last game hinted at but never materialized. I could see the pieces set for it (being able to mine. Minerals like lead), so I’m wondering if it is planned for LW 2.O

    Forging and smithing in general will probably be more of a long-term goal, in which the only way to unlock all smithing would be to build the necessary structures/upgrades to your cabin (or perhaps even a separate structure than a cabin) which would include things like a kiln and anvil. Obviously these are things that you will not lug around the wilderness, so these are only available as or in permanent structures. But let’s start with the basics.

    The first question would be should smithing be its own skill, or be under crafting?

    Next, the first things that come to mind are doing things like using lead to craft musket shot. This would be the most basic of smithing actions, but could even have dire consequences later when you craft a shoddy musket ball and your musket misfires.

    Next would be the ability to partially repair metal items (muskets, tools, swords, etc) to reduce a portion of wear-and-tear. Both tools (forge hammer? Tongs?) and material (i.e. chunk of iron and/or lead) would be needed and there is a chance that you might make the situation worse or even completely destroy the thing you were trying to fix.

    And then lastly would be full fledged metal working, where you can make various metal items from scratch (pickaxe, swords, pots, utensils, etc.) but would require a large number of tools (as noted regarding the Forge) and material, maybe even “processed” material (chunk of Iron must first be made into an ingot to remove impurities? Chance of failure as always)

    We could even use gold or silver chunks to make trade-goods. Smithing would be dangerous business for the uninitiated, with a big chance for self-inflicted burns and cuts.

    But what could be some more early- and mid-game examples of smithing? Does this sound like too much for our humble Coureurs?


    Foreword. I myself am a mechanic and have a bit of experience with primitive metal crafting.

    “too much for our humble Coureurs” it is indeed. Very nice post. 🙂
    What is not possible for one man. Mining, refining and actual metal casting. You are in 1650 somewhere alone in the wilderness of western new France. 😉
    Smithing as in becoming an actual metal smith sounds like giving up on the core idea of LW unless the game will be open end to allow your character all sorts of civilized jobs at some point but I think it is unreasonable for a Fur-Hunter that sets out to make a small fortune thereby intentionally placing himself on the edge of civilization and society to slave for a minor income once again.

    But simple metal crafting should be possible since we are a one-man-show most of the time out there.
    “smithing be its own skill, or be under crafting?” If we split up crafting then maybe we need separate skills for different crafting types and materials. I say we split it up into =
    Metal crafting; Wood Crafting; Animal (parts*needs a better name) Crafting; Building(s) Crafting; ect….

    Under simple metal crafting I would put;
    Repairing simple tools like a bent metal spoon or sharpening a knife. *you wont believe how badly one can mess up a knife if sharpened wrongly.
    Craftings be forming a fish-hook from a nail, making something fancy out of gold or silver or forming a musket ball from a piece of lead. Gold actually works as well.

    Advance metal crafting be actual small scale smithing. Something that requires a good fire (perhaps you need coal of sorts) and tools.
    Repairing a badly damaged Sword back up to say 50% could be possible but a Musket is a very delicate item to mess around with.
    As you mentioned. A critical fail can hurt your character badly aside from destroying the intended craft item, materials used or even the tools used.
    Almost like in STWALT “You killed yourself while attempting to forge that item”.


    I think basic smithing would include:

    – Making musket balls
    – Making nails

    I believe these might be the most basic … BUT … the musket balls would need a mold … and I don’t think it would be a craftable item. As for the nails, unsure of the difficulty to make them. We don’t have nails in the game (to my knowledge) and don’t know if we will either.

    One of the difficulties I see is the lack of an anvil and a forge. Without these two most of blacksmithing is impossible. Anvils are heavy. forges are static … I don’t think a campfire would produce the heat needed.

    I have liked to think blacksmithing not to be a skill, but a choice at the trade post. “See the blacksmith” and then have the current option to repair, and a few other choices to make something.

    – Cutlery
    – Copper pot
    – Musket balls
    – Woodsman ax
    – Common Knife

    Unsure about the difficulties of crafting weapons such as swords or axes. The blacksmith can charge a fee for labor and still have a chance to fail. Currently in STWALT ‘time’ is the usually the only cost with the chance to lose an ingredient. Perhaps there could be component of making jewelry as well to sell off to the Tradepost or carry around for trade.

    As for what was intended for the game, only Urb can really tell us that. It seems in a recent comment about Last Winter he mentioned he might change how the game is played because it seemed most people didn’t return to over 80% of the places they travelled. I think he may have withdrawn a bit from that after seeing the construction suggestions and such … I do think being able to create something permanent would be an appeal to many.

    I was watching German that just flanked you play a game and I think within a month or less he had a cabin. I believe he was also completely or nearly new to the game.

    Arise has made over 1000 livres just cutting trees. In the long run I believe for sure there should be options for players. I believe mining was intended for LW … mot just the ability to mine but also the mention of scaffolding in the game.

    I think URB was mentioning some sort of circle interface … where if you like on an item (leather) a circle of choices would surround it ‘make a waterskin’ or ‘make babiche’
    (stick) ‘make a stake’ ‘make a statue’ ‘make an improvised spear’ ‘make a fishing pole’ ‘build a lean-to’

    Maybe I am wrong on that part as well. I think encouraging long term settling down would be good, because even a cour-de-bois cannot work that life forever. Also it would allow people to experience the game more. Just think … no one has yet found Champlains tomb!


    Good discussion all around, boys. The idea of smithing is an interesting one, and a frontiers-man would certainly need to learn how to make things on his own given his distance from society (you see it even in modern times). How far you want to take the smithing idea will depend on the focus of LW as an RPG. Is the point to make bank as a trapper? If that’s the case then smithing should really be only a concern of the local blacksmith. However, if becoming a trapper is just one of many career paths, you can certainly take the smithing idea down a very long path that includes all sorts of things, like having your own forge, crafting swords and guns and making fine jewelry.

    Personally, I think at the beginning the player should have to rely on either getting stuff from a blacksmith or shop in towns and forts. This would include even the most basic things, like musketballs and utensils. However, once the player finally has the resources to settle down, a possible addition to their cabin can be a small forge. You would still need to see a professional smithy to repair blades and process ores, but the home forge would allow for the creation of musketballs (mold needed from town/fort), cutlery and even small jewelry (open to debate). You could even try your hand at making a woodsman’s knife as a final goal.

    Maharbal Barca

    I agree with Tyrud, that the extent of smithing that the player will be able to do is based entirely upon how Urb wants the game to play; if a sandbox then yes, open smithing to all types of craft-able items from bullets to swords and axes, or if he intends to keep the game centered around hunting, in which case yes limit it to knives and small tools and trinkets, and maybe the ability to repair some items.

    Personally, now that it has been mentioned, I actually am regressing to my position on farming: I prefer the latter option. Only allow the player to forge and craft a selection of tools, not make smithing a main form of income. Hunting, trapping, and trading furs should be the main focus of the game.

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