[Runequest] Medieval Tech Levels

David Smart jurrubin at gmail.com
Sun Feb 14 11:11:58 EST 2010

Heck, I've had dwarves in my campaigns protect their underground cities
using primitive gunpowder and water-powered traps. They just don't share
that technology in the same manner the medieval guilds wouldn't share their

On Sat, Feb 13, 2010 at 5:47 PM, Mark Ahnen <ahnen at hotmail.com> wrote:

>  Asher, et al,
> Something that is dreadfully missing is cause and effect.
> Weapons develop in response to technology available and defenses employed.
> Defenses develop in response to technology available and offenses employed.
> What I find so bothersome, wearisome, annoying, what have you, is that in
> fantasy roleplaying...technology apparently hits a level and stagnates for
> millenia (some ancient, bastard sword floating around...or are ancient,
> enchanted/cursed weapons all clubs?)
> Basically, you are focussing on stagnation.  That's cool...is it really
> worth spending so much time to justify it?
> Just something to think about....
> My best,
> Mark
> ------------------------------
> Date: Sat, 13 Feb 2010 09:29:41 -0800
> From: soltakss at yahoo.com
> To: runequest at rpgreview.net
> Subject: Re: [Runequest] Medieval Tech Levels
>  Asher
> > 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?)
> Personally, I wouldn't be too fussed about what was and was not available
> in any particular period.
> > 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.
> English longbows were not used in massed form until that time, but longbows
> may well have been used by individuals earlier. How could you have a Robin
> Hood campaign without longbows? I'd introduce them in the 1180s and have
> them become more and more available after that.
> As for bastard swords, I don't see a problem with them throughout the High
> Medieval period. The Normans of the Norman Conquest probably wouldn't have
> used them, but medieval knights certainly could have and I'd have them in my
> game from 1150 onwards.
> > Any thoughts or reactions?  Am I missing something significant?  (Given
> > my weak grasp of medieval history, I'm probably missing a great deal.)
> I'd say don't worry about it. As long as things aren't completely
> anachronistic then go for whatever you feel comfortable with. Crossbows in
> the medieval period are fine, so why not longbows? Bastard swords and
> broadswords are fine, but kukri probably aren't around in Europe.
> See Ya
> Simon
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