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Thread: Technology

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    Member stv2brown1988's Avatar
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    Technology

    I've been reviewing several old posts and it seems to me that several areas are pointed out as Bronze Age, Iron Age, etc... I was wondering what is the difference in BRCS between the ages? Not so much the weapons/armor as ther is a table for that in the rules.

    How does a Bronze Age Vos family get water and cook meals? How does this differ from a Brecht (renaisance?) family? Has someone already looked at this in any detail at all?

    I would guess that a spy glass is only available in Brechtur. What about glass containers?

    Or even stirrups for mounts? Where those available during the Bronze Age? Iron Age? Without stirrups can you still use a lance? Or fight very well at all from a mount? If I remember correctly, American Indians did not have stirrups and therefore used their lances/spears quite differently. I believe they rode next to their targets and then threw the spear/lance into it. (I may be mistaken here, it's been a long time since American History.)

    Steve

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stv2brown1988 View Post
    Or even stirrups for mounts? Where those available during the Bronze Age? Iron Age? Without stirrups can you still use a lance? Or fight very well at all from a mount? If I remember correctly, American Indians did not have stirrups and therefore used their lances/spears quite differently. I believe they rode next to their targets and then threw the spear/lance into it. (I may be mistaken here, it's been a long time since American History.)
    Even after stirrups, someone needs to re-think the lance. This was still work not complete by 1066.

    The heavy lance of knights is a carried low for control and to maximize shock by bracing the weapon. The light lance is a spear or javelin carried over the head for easy of use without bracing.

    However, just because a culture has a technological description, keep in minds the three kinds of diffusion. Objects get moved from place to place. If they make spyglasses in Brectur, Vos may (or may not, DM's call) seek them out as desirable objects. Procedures (and other ideas) get diffused, so that knowledge of spyglasses, or sextants, or whatever, travels to everywhere. And finally people are diffused. That can be the Brecht trader who has been everywhere, or large migrations. No one would lack stirrups, but rather like the American Indian, who you mention, would adapt their own technology, obtain technology they could not produce themselves (Winchesters), through encounters as their people encounter the Europeans and the Europeans come to them. Of course in the case of stirrups, there was no need to immitate shock cavalry, because the Europeans came with a much more impressive (and assimilated) style of war with firearms.

    If only the Brecht made spyglasses, spyglasses would still end up everywhere, but only a Brecht craftsmen of the right type could make one, and they would be very expensive elsewhere. But they would exist. Culture is borrowed in the form of objects, ideas, and processes. As closely as all the Cerilians are to one another, ideas will diffuse quickly.

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    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    spread of technology

    Look at what archaeological digs keep telling us. Even in the Roman Empire, a "noble" over one side of the empire would own jewelry etc using products from the other side of the empire. Trading and gifts amongst nobles spread technology and products all around Europe, but as KGauck said, the production behind them and the knowledge associated with it was still limited. If you had the money, you could get lots of things, but finding it locally would be hard.

    Similarly for weapons, a Vos could use a rapier as their weapon of choice, but they would be a little pressed to find a weapons master to train them in Vosgaard. The Vos culture would not treat it as normal, because rapiers are not commonplace there. The Vos don't need a rapier for their hunting, farming and raiding life. Other weapons are far more useful and resilient for their culture.

    Anything is possible, but not everything is normal.

    Sorontar

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    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    Note here that the Europeans actually took the whole "charging on a horse with a lance" technique a step forward, what with advancing the ability to couch your lance; heavy armour (mostly plate harnesses, actually) had pins and the like against which you held the lance so that it certain that you did not lose your grip while striking.

    Another issue is that, realistically speaking, some weapons are even subpar when it comes to some cultures. Realistically speaking, any Brecht wielding a rapier in combat against an Anuirean knight in a full plate harness is probably just asking to get his butt handed to him by said knight, despite how fantasy might be arguing about this at times.

    In an economy, consider these things:
    • Will the people who produce the product mind selling it (e.g. in 7th Sea, a Nibelung would never sell Dracheneisen to a non-Eisen)?
    • Will the people outside them want to bu it?
    • What would the increased costs be?


    For example, a Brecht baron would probably appreciate a full plate harness for those times when he would be riding in battle against other nations, but I can imagine that many Anuireans would not want to make one for him (the dwarves are another matter entirely), and it would certainly cost him a little extra.

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    The Brecht Baron wanting to wear full plate may also face other problems.

    Being unfamiliar with the weight/ fatigue of using plate. (which although not as limiting as most people think still makes a difference particularly if in protracted use - but what the hey most game systems ignore it). The movement rate of his unit may well exceed his if on foot. (In reality this is not the case over a short distance (having worn it and chain medieval metal weapon recreationist style) but is definately true over a long distance.

    Finding a full plate helm hot and restrictive for periferal vision and neck turning - even when they are designed for maximising vision its still not the same as not wearing one or wearing lighter open face head protection. Its always a bit easier to get blindsided.
    Fatigue and overheating is usually the problem for plate if exertion continues for any decent length of time - and once your tired you don't see those blindside attacks as quickly or react as fast. So you actually need to train for strength AND Fitness in a fairly different way. - If you just wacked it on for the first time and charged off into battle you would be in for a new world of painful fatigue and overheating problems as your body needs to train in it to get used to it. (Good luck on a hot day in a hot/humid climate).

    Finding a mount that is suitable for use as a charger - or that can bear a rider comfortably. i.e. if horses in his area/units are lighter and faster mounts. The standard movement rate of his unit may well exceed his if he is on a unsuitable mount or on a mount breed to be fast on the charge and slow on the trot and bear a heavier loaded rider.
    When charging multiple enemies being the lone guy with a lance on a fast charger isn't anywhere near as effective as being part of a massed lance charge.

    If not having full plate was good enough for his family/Lord/Father then not having it should be good enough for him. (or his people or followers might think he's a bit uppity and is too good for them because wants to be one of those wanky Anuirian ponces encased in plate and not facing the fray like a real man). He can head off to train with them but then he's going to look even more like an Anuirian Lover. Mabey he's a bit of coward wanting to wear all that iron from head to toe??? (Insert cultural difference insults here)

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    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    Since we got that down already, I concur that armour is less restraining than most games show them to be in the short run, but more cumbersome in the long run and certainly way more protective from some form of attacks, while almost inconsequential when it comes to other areas.

    Actually, it is true that the Brecht would find a full plate harness nigh barbaric in the sense that it's too much like war-mongering in their mindset. Not to mention that cultures that go back a couple of steps from armour-wearing generally consider the whole man-in-a-can imagery a little awful.

    That being said, I'd expect any Brecht in his right mind to resort to at least an open-faced helm (probably some sort of steel cup or the like, with the tell-tale protrusions and what-not to protect from descending blades and more nastiness, metal or otherwise) and most certainly some sort of armour that has a breastplate; in fact, the ideal suit of armour for most commanders is a half a suit of plate (which, quite expectedly, has nothing to do with the imagery in the PHB; your typical half plate armour is like wearing just the upper half of a full plate harness sans the gauntlets).

    Keep a mental note that knights and warriors did not go all day long in their suits of armour; sad as it may sound to many people, not only must you do something about those strained muscles, or else you will at some point be unable to sleep from the pain, you also have to oil and otherwise tend to it.

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    Member stv2brown1988's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gman View Post
    Finding a full plate helm hot and restrictive for periferal vision and neck turning - even when they are designed for maximising vision its still not the same as not wearing one or wearing lighter open face head protection. Its always a bit easier to get blindsided.
    I"m not sure but didn't the knights in RL have people who were not as heaviliy armored whose job it was to watch their flanks? (Or was that from some movie/book?)

    Steve

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    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    You may be referring to squires; their job was more like knights-in-training under the tutelage of the knights whose equipment they took care of. A squire would usually help a knight wear his suit of armour, keep his arms in good condition, et cetera.

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    The term shield bearer comes to mind - A lord should have his own personal guard (body guard) the bigger the better to keep him out of trouble and his flanks protected.
    You then start to get into the territory of disciplined troops protecting each others flanks rather than the disorder of crazy melee fighting where the cohesion of units on the battle field has broken down and everthing is intermingled. If a unit still has cohesion then pity help the units that are in disorder. I think we have discussed this in several other threads?

    I imagine it would be a pretty hectic job with some gunho Lords wanting to charge off into the middle of another troop. And be riding the fastest horse. Sounds like a good job for a PC...

    If it works though, then a hole is punched through the middle of a shieldwall/unit and it starts to fall apart.

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    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    Well, there's a whole lot to be said about gung-ho warriors... Sun Tzu explains perfectly (in his magnificent "The Art of War") that you should hold your more skilled, talented combatants in check, lest they run headlong in the middle of the enemy and get crushed.

    Still, one cannot argue that such charges have saved many a battle that would have otherwise been lost, but that's another thing entirely (even that is addressed in "The Art of War").

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