[Runequest] [General RQ] - Trage Shield
vikingjarl at gmail.com
Tue Jan 6 18:28:30 EST 2009
I've seen this question come up hundreds of times even back in the RQ
Having actually trained with a Targe as well as a Viking Round (&
Heater, kite, hoplon, etc) & been a sword jock for 50 years as of this
Christmas just past, and helped playtest & slightly contributed to RQ I
have an educated opinion on this. (Admittedly opinions are like rectums,
everyone has one for what it's worth). Historically, targes are small,
often buckler to small round shield (target) sized and rely on speed to
do the blocking, The spikes were uncommon and not all the big if there
at all. Their main function seems not to catch the blade but to prevent
the blade from sliding across the face of the shield and into your leg,
head, arm, or any old part that's hanging out too far. The patterned
studding on face of the shield serves a similar purpose as well. Really
there is less function in catching a blade than there is to deflecting a
blade so that your opponent has to make a wide, slow recovery and open
himself up. Catching a blade tends to also bind both of you up, leaving
you tete-a-tete, to close to strike as effectively as further out with
the usual Claebaeg (as opposed to the much larger two-handed Claemore),
or leave you with a large heavy encumbrance hanging off your shield arm
that gets in your way & makes it difficult to either chase the blackgard
or get a good hit in since it messes up the balance. Stabbing somebody
with the point of it since it is strapped to your fore-arm is very
clumsy because of the position and unlikelihood of finding a good
opening.unlike in Hollywood.. Historically, the best guess is that they
were made so small, was because the lack of large enough timbers to make
larger shields for the poorer folk. A matter of expense and availability
rather than "English Oppression not allowing the Scots any Weapons". The
Brits had to constantly import timber from elsewhere. Even during the
Viking Age we find evidence of large amounts of timber being brought in
for boat building, etc.
Ok, now that I've probably confused you - here's the skinny. Because it
is smaller than the target shield consider that the "spike" makes it
more effective than the buckler and equal in protection to the target.
Give it 2 points upgrade in armor for all the metal work, & for the rest
use target stats. Call that good.
Skal, & all the best,
> Hi all, wishing you the best for MMIX.
> I bought my son (read myself) the first few in an ongoing series of
> collectors magazines about Beasts and Beings, they come with nice little
> monster statues etc. One of the toopics in each magazine is a weapon and
> in one magazine this weapon is called a Targe.
> Basically its a shield (a Target or Perhaps a Buckler) that has been
> modified with a stree/iron/bronze spike protruding from its boss. The
> write up says that they were quite common, especially in the scottish
> highlands. The spike was basicallu used to either catch and trap an
> opponents blade (I would assume use the same rule as a RQIII Viking Round)
> as well as for a pretty lethal shield bash as the spike could be used to
> punch through armour and flesh.
> Has anyone seen or made up special rules for such a shield. I was thinking
> of adding it to my site as a Shield, using basic target or buckler stats
> and just siting the damage as impaling and 1D4 + 2 or such.
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