I recently got into a debate with the four other members of my RP group over the use of specialist materials in skills. The basis behind the debate was whether special materials actually benefit learned skills directly (RoleMaster) or should they simply be ignored.
The GM stated that only as a bonus to fighting skills would any special material bonuses be applied. For instance, if Thanos forges himself a mithril sword then he benefits from the +20 mithril bonus. However, if Thanos forged himself a set of tools from mithril to work steel swords no bonus would be imparted from the mithril
to the sword during the use of the smithing skill. Further, the GM stated that only if the items were imbued with bonuses to the skills as an alchemical/magical process would they be allowed (i.e. the tools are imbued with a bonus to smithing, e.g. +20).
The reasoning behind this was to stop one of our group exploiting the bonus, preventing him from creating better tools to create better tools, ad infinitum.
Everyone seemed to take the GM's stance except for me, however. I argued (technically defending the powergamer ... no - it's not me!) that the metal should indeed provide a bonus to the user's skill if the object had been crafted specifically for that purpose. As an analogy I stated that: if one of two professional cyclists who normally used carbon fibre racing bikes were given a one made from iron of exactly the same design and structure, then his performance at that skill would be directly affected and would be slowed by the weight.
I haven't found any hard and fast rules regarding this in the books, but I may have missed them. In RoleMaster do items created with exotic, special or enhanced materials augment the skill of the user of the finished product?
In the example I gave above for the racing bike, the carbon fibre used to make up the bicycle does directly affect the skill of the user.
It could also be argued that the use of special materials to craft crafting tools (e.g. a smith's hammer) could provide benefits as they are less likely to mark or fracture due to stress (of the harder material, e.g. mithril hitting the softer material, e.g. steel), thus preventing the marring of the final product (though this statement is more of a discussion point).