Newb wants to model an Ulfberht

Continuing the discussion from My Voxel swords

So, I recently watched a special called Secrets of the Viking Sword (PBS NOVA) (YouTube) and learned about the Ulfberht (wiki) sword. (The 1hr movie >> wiki summary)

I also just discovered Stonehearth and am interested in learning some basic modding / modeling. My knowledge is currently at being aware that there is free version of Qubicle. In other words, noob.

I’m sure I’ll find more on the forums here to learn how to use Q. And if it’s at all user-friendly, I’m sure I’ll pick up the basics quick enough.

I’m curious what the game’s current limitations are. Obviously I can make it look like an Ulfberht.

I’d like the sword to have buffed stats like maybe a small bump in damage and/or a buff in morale to nearby troops.

Being as the sword is so rare, I’d like to make it difficult to make. Some combination of requiring a bit more iron or steel, having a low chance to succeed in crafting it, or requiring the smith to be highly skilled to even attempt crafting. Another idea is to require some other input material, but then that gets into modding a new material into the game and that’s a whole ‘nother can o’ worms.

Another indirect option is to have its durability really low so that the combined craft cost and low durability demotivates over-stocking. But that feels counter to the fact they were actually quite durable (due to their superior steel) and you could end up spamming them and fighting with them and then they all break and you lose a major fight because nobody has a secondary weapon. I really don’t like this idea, but if the other tweaks aren’t even possible, then I’ll work with it.

Another idea is to make it so that only highly skilled warriors can equip the sword. So combined with low chance to craft and high smith skill needed, I think this would make a lot of sense.

Are these things possible to tweak or mod in the game?

If so, should I take the time to learn it myself or just model the sword and share it for help with these buffs and crafting tweaks?

Any other ideas on buffs the sword should have and how to keep it rare? I’d like it to be relatively realistic and sort of mirror the way its presented in the video special.

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If you are looking for help with Qubicle, modelling, tips and making it ‘Stonehearthy’, I recommend you check out @voxel_pirate’s thread.

As for balancing the sword, you could add another worker to the class tree, above a blacksmith, who requires a certain amount of skill to become the swordsmith or whatever (don’t quote me on that second part, I’m not sure what is required for a craftsmen to be able to upgrade)

So, if you are looking for some information on how to work with Qubicle, you can find some tutorials here and there in this forum. Being to lazy to look for all the spots, let me just link you to my YouTube-Channel, where I have uploaded them. You have also this thread with some tips and tricks (as mentioned by @Smokestacks) … might be worth a look. Also do not miss the official Wiki, which was just recently created. You will find a very useful reference manual in there.

Now on the limitations…

Yes. That should work. Just keep in mind that you will play the game from some distance. So small details might get lost on your model (espeically as the swords will be not that huge I guess).

This will require some modding, but should be no problem. We have seen buffs for weapons shown by the devs already. I would expect that you can just take a given weapon with some buffs and use it as a template for your modification.

Again should be very possible. There will be a dedicated file related to your model which includes the requirements (e.g. materials) to craft it. Making the recipe available late and link it with some hard to get resources should be rather easy. Modding in a new resource might be a bit harder, but for sure doable (again you could take an existing resource and adjust it to your needs).

Not sure if durability will be in the game (did not remember that it was mentioned already), but there is a “maintain”-option with the professions… so maybe we will have it. However, you could for sure add a counter to the weapon which is decreasing over time. To prevent that it just breaks during the fight, you might just add a query to your “reduce durability”-function which checks if your character is in a fight. If yes, it is not reduced (or reduced after the fight). I guess you have some options here.

Professions should level as we know. Therefore I would expect that also warriors will level and this means that there is a “variable” you can check for a required value. If I remember right, it was even mentioned that there will be weapons which require a certain skill level. Shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

I would say yes.

From my understanding most of your ideas are rather basic changes where you could copy and paste code from implemented items. I would give it a try… and if you are stucked, there will be people around to help.


Super awesome idea! I’ve watched that NOVA special like twice before… :blush: The Ulfberht is a really fun idea, I’ve actually mentioned it in other game forums before too heh! +1 to you sir!

@voxel_pirate already gave a very thorough answer to most of the questions, so I don’t have much to add there besides encouragement.

For right now definitely get Qubicle and play around with modeling. We can’t play around with the LUA modding yet since that isn’t released as of now, but I’d agree that pretty much all of what you suggested sounds doable.

When I watched the show (besides the whole imported steel and techniques) the ‘vital’ part of what made a sword like that was the special etching technique to add the lettering? So perhaps you could focus on a mod that gives a sword-smith (or any metalsmith maybe) the power / ability to add ingraved lettering / runes to objects.

Also - the NOVA special implied that they suspected Ulfberhts were carried by officers / church leaders - so maybe your swords are also good for generals to inspire troops? Not just for purely +combat damage? Just a thought.

I look forward to seeing your work, welcome to the forums!


i like your mod idea, and will definitely give Secrets of the Viking Sword a watch! :+1:

and you have definitely picked the right application (qubicle) to use and community to learn from and grow with (as evidenced by the excellent responses you’ve received already)…

have fun! cant wait to see how this idea progresses… :smiley:

I hope that it takes carbon to make steel because if it does you can just make it need much MUCH more of it than normal, it was rarer back then.


Ya, actually the Ulfberht swords are thought to be made from steel that was imported up from the middle east (which is partially why it is so cool, because that was like, insanely hard and rare to accomplish back then). So if you really wanted to limit the production of these in-game, you could simply make the ore a special ore available only thru either A) Traders/Merchants or B) A special module where your people discover a small cache and that is it.

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@voxel_pirate: great info, thank you.

@Roughshod: interesting idea with the engraving / runes. That’s actually a really good idea. That would be a good way to have a new crafting event that has low chance to succeed converting a normal sword to an Ulfberht. Or a rune system where you refine minerals & gems with various possible effects. The crowd buff / morale boost idea was to be in line with what you said about officers / leaders having it.

My current plan is to let ideas collect on this thread while I go learn some Qubicle and model the thing.

If we go with the smith engraving idea, would it be a straight up chance to succeed or fail? If you fail, should the basic sword stay the same or be destroyed? Or, would it have a chance to create a real Ulfberht vs. a fake Ulfberht? Shouldn’t be too hard to model a second sword with the + in the wrong place.

Ooh, then you could have the fake sword still boost morale, but maybe nerf it’s durability… maybe even to the point where the fake one can break in battle and if it breaks, the user panics and runs away. Have to wait and see how we get some kind of morale and durability mechanics; whether it’s vanilla or modded.

project creep, haven’t even started yet, hehe. It will be several days before I get the chance to download Qubicle and make one.

I have to make it big enough to spell out the letters when zoomed in. I’m also thinking it should be the tiniest bit bigger / longer, maybe a slightly different color or handle… something to make it stand out from other swords.

Also liking this idea of a source material from traders or from a small, limited module.

Keep the ideas coming people! If we get good ideas that aren’t compatible with each other, we can do a poll after comments stop coming in.

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All good ideas. It seems like it would be frustrating for the player to lose something they had expected to get when crafting (I don’t know if any Stonehearth crafting has a chance of failure as of now?). Even though that is a lot of the suspense in the NOVA episode!

lol - I really like that actually. A “for show” sword that inspires people but both the sword (and possibly even the wielder) shouldn’t get near combat… it’s all a sham! I like that it isn’t always about +combat damage, gives the game and your mod more depth.

You’ll have to see how it looks and feels in Qubicle, it might be really hard to fit the lettering in there with voxels. You could consider making the model special, and then making a 2D image with the lettering for the crafting screen? Kinda like what the last live stream had in it.

Another good idea.

Also, how do I find the model and the 2D image files of the original sword for comparison / template? Isn’t there something like a skydrive or website that has a copy of all the available game files? I’ve done some forum searches but I’m not finding anything more than rotating gifs…

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This is where you’ll find all recreated game elements in future, however there doesn’t appear to be a sword on the list…

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@robbx213 / @Smokestacks … now it does include a file with some weapons from different screens / streams. However, I was too lazy to color them :disappointed:.


Here is my interpretation

the left is just a hint of the name and the right is the full name… I think the right takes up too much space…

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@lele99 nice… what’s its size compared to the current game person or (what I think might be the) default sword? I’d be interested to put that side by side in my qmo file. I like the one on the left for its pointy-ness and the way you did the channel color.

Here’s several variations.

In doing this, I realized two major things:

  1. There are nearly infinite variations, making it hard to create them, compare them, and pick a favorite. While the final product is exceedingly simple, the process to get there is not.

  2. The limitation of working with voxels affects your ability to replicate. For example, if I want the engraving to show only on one side, I have to go 2 thick. But once you do, everything else starts growing to keep proportions. 1 thick could be good so you can see the engraving from either side while watching units battle. The more I look at them, 2 thick looks a bit silly.

Looking at the SH wiki weapons page, the handle needs to match the default sword’s handle length to fit a character’s hand.

Assuming that is a short sword, the +Ulfberh+t (aka S+oneHear+h or Hear+hberh+ or something else clever) will be longer… I’d say ~25% considering Viking swords seemed to have ranged from high 20 inches to high 30 inches. Blade width will be about the same.

The handle seems flat and narrower than the blade.

The most appropriate pommel seems either lobed or pyramid. It seems the pommel is about as wide as the blade. The hilt is either barely there (as wide as the pommel) or just a bit wider.

I tried some different lettering. I personally like the +H. I expect the 2D crafting icon to spell out whatever it’s ultimately called.

I also tried some different blade widths. Wider than the default didn’t look right. But I do like the wider runner look by making the middle color wider than the edge colors.

And I went brown handle just for a splash of color vs. black. I also made the metal a bit bluer to distinguish it from the regular sword.

Simple yet effective. Helped me learn Qubicle and some of the keyboard shortcuts. It’s amazing how much more comfortable I am with Q in just a few hours.

Also, I think the abilities and crafting of the item are the real meat of this idea, but I’m open to suggestions to put some tiny details on it, alter a color slightly, etc. Of course, I have even less of a clue how to do that and will have to wait for either the Beta or gasp 12 more months…


Ulfberhts.qmo(13.9 KB)

My favorite of those variations so far
Hearthberht.qmo(2.5 KB)

P.S. Anyone know why my GIF isn’t rotating more than 90 deg? It did when I rendered it and it does when I open in on my PC. I can see other rotating GIFs on discourse just fine.

I had the same problem with the gif… not sure what I did wrong…

I like your edge outline better than the default shading. I think by using a lighter edge than the middle, it also gives it some softness so it appears a bit more rounded. And I like the little bit just above the handle before starting the slightly darker channel color and then the inlay.


my swords are always huge!!

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That’s what she said! wah wah.


@robbx213 & @Lele99 Regarding your .gif-files. In Qubicle’s “Render Settings” you can change the “Frames Per Rotation” and “Animation Delay”. By changing this values you can influence the resulting .gif-file. Try something like 100 frames and 10 as delay.

On the swords I also think that the shorter version with the hint of a name might work better. If you want to compare your creations with the sizes of other weapons, just take a look into this thread and download the weapons-file.