[Runequest] Medieval Tech Levels

Mechashef mechashef at emailme.net.au
Thu Feb 11 07:32:05 EST 2010

If you haven't seen this, it may be of interest:


I often find it amazing when some things were invented.  For example,the 
functional button appears to have been a 13th Century german invention.

I have used that in a campaign which is set at about a similar tech level as 
yours.  There is a very conservative cult that is very opposed to clothes 
with buttons.  It makes it much easier for women to have tight fitting 
provocative clothing with those ungodly buttons!

Of course, if your campaign is fantasy, not pure historical you can easily 
mix and match.  Just because invention X was made in year Y in the real 
world, doesn't mean that it would happen exactly the same way if history ran 
again, or if fantasy factors come into play.  For all we know, somone may 
have invented the button 200 years earlier, but died when his village was 
sacked or when some plague devastated the region.

If you have fantasy races who seem to have an affinity with certain 
occupations then progress in those areas may be ahead of where they were in 
real life (the obvious dwarves and smithing is one example).

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <royce at efn.org>
To: <runequest at rpgreview.net>
Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2010 12:12 PM
Subject: [Runequest] Medieval Tech Levels

> Greetings, All,
>   I've been contemplating the weapons list and the year 1300 AD.  It
> seems to make an a difference if I set a Europe-centered campaign prior
> to the Late Middle Ages -- or to a technologically equivalent fantasy
> realm.  From the 1300's onwards, we get platemail -- and a variety of
> weapons that developed in parallel with it.  (In response to
> platemail?)
>   I recently read that the bastard sword (or something very like it)
> first appeared around 1250, and that the first records of English long
> bows in battle are from around the 1280's or 1290's.  I am
> contemplating that era as a cut-off date; to keep those two weapons,
> yet exclude the Late Middle Ages.
>   Any thoughts or reactions?  Am I missing something significant?  (Given
> my weak grasp of medieval history, I'm probably missing a great deal.)
> Your thoughts & suggestions & observations would be most welcome.
>   Sincerely,
> Asher
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