[Runequest] Shields

Steve Perrin steve at limitedchaos.com
Tue Sep 6 04:46:42 EST 2011


It's a matter of reach.

Using a buckler means you have to have it in front of you, at least as 
far forward as the sword hilt. Against a slashing weapon, like many 
personal swords worn at the time, this is fine. But as people gave up 
wearing armor casually, the point weapon became much more viable.

Against a point weapon, the buckler man is giving up a lot of reach. 
Also, a point is harder to block with a small shield like a buckler. A 
large shield has little trouble, but we've already discussed the 
problems of carrying a war shield around town.

Essentially, when using two weapons, you are pretty much forced to 
either face your opponent squarely, providing a large target, or give up 
most of the utility of one of the weapons by facing the opponent 
sideways, presenting a thinner target.

Steve Perrin

On 9/5/2011 11:17 AM, royce at efn.org wrote:
> Hi, Guys,
>     Well, I've never carried a shield around for more than a few minutes at
> a time, but I'm sure I'd hate to go shopping with one.
>     As for a sword swinging around on my hip, well, it looks really cool in
> the movies, but mine always flopped around a bit.  Also, when around
> non-combatants, I had to develop the habit of sitting or turning around
> conscientiously so I wouldn't knock over stuff, catch on dresses, or
> otherwise annoy people.
>     I think this caution comes up in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle
> trilogy, as well.  Of course, by the third book, the author has made it
> quite clear that a 17th century gentleman would have to have been
> pretty trusting _not_ to wear a sword around town.
>     So, if people were still sword fighting in town, why did the buckler
> disappear?  Would the three musketeers (Athos, Porthos&  Aramis) have
> scoffed at bucklers?  Why?  Was it a matter of point control and high
> speed rapier movements making bucklers too slow to parry?
>
> Asher
>
>
>
>
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