[Runequest] Fire starting questions

Styopa styopa1 at gmail.com
Tue Dec 6 01:08:16 EST 2011


Just Boy Scout experience here:
- flint and steel in perfect conditions and the right gear can be very
quick in a expert's hands, maybe 30 seconds before you're adding tinder.
 I'd consider people living in a pre-matches/lighter world all to
necessarily be experts.  Of course, using a found (dirty, wet) piece of
flint and a crappy piece of steel could turn this into 5+ minutes.

- bow/drill firemaking I've found to be FAR more condition-tolerant
(slightly damp punk, breezy, etc.) but slower  Generally a I've had more
success with a hand-drill technique unless it's damp, then the firebow
works better just because you can have a longer-running spin generating
higher heat - also easier in very-cold conditions because you can keep
gloves/mittens on.  Bigger pain in the butt to set up tho and will always
take a good 10 mins from start to kindling.

- never tried to light a lamp with that kit; i'd guess it's a matter of
making a small fire normally, then lighting the lamp therefrom.
 Personally, I've always wondered really about torches, because I've never
seen a credible medieval-tech torch that's not short-lived, horribly smoky,
dangerous to the user in many ways, and throws off a useful amount of light?

IMVHO there's a reason that ANY survival kit includes waterproof matches.
 Making fire 'by hand' is VERY difficult (nearly impossible without
training/practice).  There are firemaker kits (high-spark 'flint&steel'
kits, etc.) that are novelties that make it a little easier to get sparks,
but still it's a major challenge in any but perfect conditions.



>  *From:* "royce at efn.org" <royce at efn.org> <royce at efn.org> <royce at efn.org>
> *To:* runequest at rpgreview.net
> *Sent:* Saturday, December 3, 2011 3:45 PM
> *Subject:* [Runequest] Fire starting questions
>
> Hi, Guys,
>   I'm a really lousy camper, but my characters all seem to be competent
> at making a camp fire, preparing a torch, and maintaining an oil lamp.
> So I have what might be simply commonsense questions.
>
> 1.  Given good camping conditions and the typical fantasy RPG fire
> starting kit (described vaguely, if at all, as flint & steel) how long
> does it take to start a fire, and then to make a camp fire?
>   Also, how bad do weather conditions have to be before our outdoorsy
> characters would despair of making a camp fire?
>
> 2.  Given a dungeon crawl and the typical fantasy RPG fire starting kit,
> how long does it take to light a torch or oil lamp?
>   Also, what factors, if any, would likely complicate matters?
>
> 3.  What is a medieval fire starting kit?  How does it work?  Would it be
> cool to have one, or should I stick with lighter fluid and charcoal
> briquettes?  :-)
>
> 4.  Any good RPG adventure stories about using fire in dungeons, castles,
> etc?
>
>   Many thanks ahead of time.
>   Sincerely,
> Asher
>
>
>
>
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