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Oberoten
November 5th, 2006, 08:41
For those of us who likes to have a spoonfull of reality to the games at times there comes the situation when someone asks. "Why WOULD anyone want a rapier? Sure they are fast but armour kills it."

In reality this is because most RPGs tends to show only the basic stats of the weaponry / equipment and not when they were introduced. Like how the rapier raised to popularity because pistolas made armour somewhat of 'easy target on the battlefield' thing.

If neither is wearing armour... well suddenly Mr Rapier and getting that stab of FIRST sounds like a good idea, yes?

So ... Without much more rambling, a thread on when and how different pieces of equipment were introduced and maybe a historical price?

Oberoten
November 5th, 2006, 08:54
THIS is a very good historical source.

http://users.tkk.fi/~vesanto/link.economy/prices.roman.txt.gz

Prices in Roman times, from Diocletian's price fixing edicts of 301 AD.
Prices are quoted in denarii. These are probably inflated by about a
factor of 50 compared to the first century AD.

Coinage
Quadrans (copper) -- 1/64 den
Semis (orichalcum) -- 1/32 den
As (copper) -- 1/16 den
Dupondius (orichalcum) -- 1/8 den
Sestertius (orichalcum) -- 1/4 den
Quinarius (silver) -- 1/2 den
Denarius (silver) -- 1 den
Quinarius aureus (gold) -- 12.5 den
Aureus (gold) -- 25 den

(Orichalcum was a natural alloy resembling brass)

Measures
Libra (weight) -- about 326 grams
Milliarium (distance) -- about 1.48 kilometres
Modius (volume) -- about 8.46 litres
Pes (length) -- about 29.6 centimetres
Sextarius (volume) -- about 529 cubic centimetres
Web (area of cloth) -- uncertain; perhaps about 5 square metres

Daily weight = 100 den!!

Food and drink
Barley, rye -- 60 den/modius
Beans, crushed -- 100 den/modius
Beans, not crushed -- 60 den/modius
Beef, mutton, goat -- 8 den/libra
Beer -- 2-4 den/sextarius
Cabbage, lettuce -- 0.4-0.8 den
Cheese -- 8 den/libra
Chickens -- 30 den
Eggs -- 1 den
Goose -- 100-200 den
Ham -- 20 den/libra
Honey -- 8-40 den/sextarius
Lentils -- 100 den/modius
Lucanian sausage -- 10-16 den/libra
Oil -- 12-40 den/sextarius
Peaches -- 0.2-0.4 den
Pheasant -- 125-250 den
Pork, lamb -- 12 den/libra
Rice, cleaned -- 200 den/modius
River fish -- 8-12 den/libra
Salt -- 100 den/modius
Sea fish -- 16-24 den/libra
Wheat -- 100 den/modius
Wine -- 8-30 den/sextarius

Other goods
African cloak -- 500 den
Dalmatian tunic, unmarked -- 2000 den
Four-wheeled wagon with yoke, excluding ironwork -- 1500 den
Hooded cloak, Laodicean -- 4500 den
Large fir tree, length 60 pes, girth 6 pes -- 30,000 den
Military saddle -- 500 den
Oak or ash, length 21 pes, girth 3 pes -- 250 den
Oxhide, untanned -- 300-500 den
Patrician's shoes -- 150 den/pair
Sheeting, coarse, for commoners or slaves -- 800-1750 den/web
Sheeting, third quality, from Laodicea -- 5250 den/web
Soldier's boots, without nails -- 100 den/pair
Towelling, Gallic, third quality -- 820 den/web

Wages and salaries
Barber -- 2 den/customer
Elementary teacher, per pupil -- 50 den/month
Farm labourer -- 25 den/day plus keep
Fuller, for new hooded cloak of Laodicean wool -- 175 den/cloak
Linen weaver -- 20-40 den/day plus keep
Mosaic worker -- 50-60 den/day
Scribe -- 20-25 den/100 lines
Stone mason, carpenter -- 50 den/day
Tailor, for work on hooded cloak -- 40-60 den/cloak
Teacher of rhetoric, per pupil -- 250 den/month

Transport
Land, donkey load -- 4 den/milliarium
Land, wagon load, 1200 librae -- 20 den/milliarium
Sea, Libya to Sicily -- 6 den/modius
Sea, Libya to Spain -- 10 den/modius
Sea, Libya to Thessalonica -- 18 den/modius
Sea, Nicomedia to Rome -- 18 den/modius

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

--
... Ross Smith (Wanganui, New Zealand) ... [email protected] ...
GCS/S d? p c++++ l u-- e- m---(*) s+/++ n--- h+ f g+ w+ t+(-) r+ y?
Keeper of the FAQ for rec.aviation.military
Disclaimer: I didn't do it. Nobody saw me do it. You can't prove anything.

Oberoten
November 5th, 2006, 09:01
http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/okoskimi/ArM/other_details.html

And a list containing what I was hoping to achieve in the first place.. Bah.

http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/okoskimi/ArM/prices.html


http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/okoskimi/ArM/prices.html

And the mainpage of the site...
http://www.cs.helsinki.fi/u/okoskimi/ArM/

Oberoten
November 10th, 2006, 14:05
Come on here people... I can't be the ONLY one to like keeping things historical? You have to say SOMETHING?

richvalle
November 10th, 2006, 15:19
Ummm... SOMETHING?

:)

I'm currently running The Worlds Largest Dungeon. Not much history involved. :)

I think I'd like to play in a game like you are talking about, but I wouldn't want to RUN one myself. Too much work for my tastes. Its why I run the WLD. I can pretty much just pick up the book and let the players wander where ever they want.

I do like such books as Silk Road where it gives historical ideas from our world to bring into your game. Not so much 'this weapon was made at this time by these people' but 'what if these people were the first/only ones to know this feat/spell since they are behind mountains and not in contact with others'. I LOVE that idea.

rv

Oberoten
November 10th, 2006, 15:45
*grins a bit* Well at the least someone is reading it. :)

I rather agree on some parts, it IS a lot of extra job even if it is good fun educational job. And the payoff IS actually the whole "Why? How? When?" response package.

As well as the "ooooh, so THAT is why they didn't use Longbow even if they would have been better for the job" feeling. ;)

acmer
November 10th, 2006, 16:58
For those that don't want to read miles and miles of plain text:

When British longbowmen came to France (don't remember when or why), it marked the end of "knights in shiny armor". The arrows pierced the armors quite easily, and as the armor was heavy and usually cumbersome, they were easy targets for the bowmen.

And to get a good mental image for the precise moments:

http://www.legionxxiv.org/Default.htm

Lots of pictures and material on Roman (and maybe other) equipment. Also some Star Wars, Cylon and other stuff.

richvalle
November 10th, 2006, 17:05
You guys might like this product as well: http://enworld.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=5195&

I've heard real good things about it. I just bought it (as pdf on sale for $5) but not looked though it yet. Its over 300 pages!

rv

LordTomar
November 10th, 2006, 17:40
For those that don't want to read miles and miles of plain text:

When British longbowmen came to France (don't remember when or why), it marked the end of "knights in shiny armor". The arrows pierced the armors quite easily, and as the armor was heavy and usually cumbersome, they were easy targets for the bowmen.


This is not entirely accurate. In recent years, tests have been done on weapons and armor used during the Battle of Agincourt (durring the Hundred Years War). This is the battle that most people believe to be the end of the mounted knight.

The tests showed that an English Longbow using a iron tipped arrow was unable to pierce the armor used by heavy calvery except at extremely close range. The actual reason for the loss for the French army (the larger of the 2 forces) was that the terrain favored the English army.

There was a recent rain that caused the battlefield ground to become a deep mud. The mud was deep enough that some armored troops drowned. This had a greater effect on the French army because the bulk of their army relied on heavy armored knights. The mud was so bad that the English archers would actually move into the ranks of the French army and using melee weapons would dispatch the armored troops at close range with relative safety.

The battlefield was also narrow and limited the number of troops the French could use against the English.

Another problem was that the French army being made up mostly of nobles, were use to a combat style of defeated knights being taken prisoner to be ransomed back. The problem was that the English army were made up few nobles, so defeated troops were mostly killed on the field (think they talked about troops actually fighting towards the highest ranked knights on the field just to be the ones to kill them.)

LordTomar
November 10th, 2006, 17:46
"Why WOULD anyone want a rapier? Sure they are fast but armour kills it."

In reality this is because most RPGs tends to show only the basic stats of the weaponry / equipment and not when they were introduced. Like how the rapier raised to popularity because pistolas made armour somewhat of 'easy target on the battlefield' thing.

If neither is wearing armour... well suddenly Mr Rapier and getting that stab of FIRST sounds like a good idea, yes?

So ... Without much more rambling, a thread on when and how different pieces of equipment were introduced and maybe a historical price?

Rapiers were actually a gentleman's weapon. It was almost exclusively used as a decoration for rich nobles. This means it was never actually used on the battlefield (it wouldn't have done well on the field because of being flimsy).

Stuart
November 10th, 2006, 18:26
This is not entirely accurate. In recent years, tests have been done on weapons and armor used during the Battle of Agincourt (durring the Hundred Years War). This is the battle that most people believe to be the end of the mounted knight.

The tests showed that an English Longbow using a iron tipped arrow was unable to pierce the armor used by heavy calvery except at extremely close range.

Sorry to disagree but tests for the Ministry of Defence carried by students at London University and Cranfield at the MoD's UK Defence Academy, Shrivenham clearly indicated that the longbow's long vaunted reputation was entirely justified. The tests you refer to were performed using training bows with somewhere around a 75 lb pull and the wrong arrowheads.

Warbows based on the bow staves recovered (from the Mary Rose and other sources) used a 110 to 150 lb pull and were calculated as delivering an arrow with an impact of 100-120 joules, roughly the same as a sledgehammer blow !

Tests with these bows revealed that at 200 metres armor was pierced and lethal wounds delivered.

The barrage that could be delivered was such that the French forces would have faced up to a thousand arrows descending at 100 mph per second - casualties would have been horrific.

The full results of the tests are to be published next year in the Royal Armouries journal, "Arms and Armor".

However, many of th myths of the battle are sadly, just that: the English were not heavily outnumbered - probably 9000 vs 12,000. The English archers did not invent the "V" sign. The real contrast between the armies was in composition; of the 12,000 French force about 75% were Men-at-Arms this to the English 20% (this roughly mirrors the forces deployed at the start ofthe campaign). The English however had around 7000 archers and were indeed well defended by stakes, pits and the lie of the land ... plus the weather.

Hand-to-hand combat was brutal with chronicles of the time stating that "the English set about their foe with mallet and spike" ... nice.

LordTomar
November 10th, 2006, 18:42
Sorry to disagree but tests for the Ministry of Defence carried by students at London University and Cranfield at the MoD's UK Defence Academy, Shrivenham clearly indicated that the longbow's long vaunted reputation was entirely justified. The tests you refer to were performed using training bows with somewhere around a 75 lb pull and the wrong arrowheads.

Warbows based on the bow staves recovered (from the Mary Rose and other sources) used a 110 to 150 lb pull and were calculated as delivering an arrow with an impact of 100-120 joules, roughly the same as a sledgehammer blow !

Tests with these bows revealed that at 200 metres armor was pierced and lethal wounds delivered.

The barrage that could be delivered was such that the French forces would have faced up to a thousand arrows descending at 100 mph per second - casualties would have been horrific.

The full results of the tests are to be published next year in the Royal Armouries journal, "Arms and Armor".

However, many of th myths of the battle are sadly, just that: the English were not heavily outnumbered - probably 9000 vs 12,000. The English archers did not invent the "V" sign. The real contrast between the armies was in composition; of the 12,000 French force about 75% were Men-at-Arms this to the English 20% (this roughly mirrors the forces deployed at the start ofthe campaign). The English however had around 7000 archers and were indeed well defended by stakes, pits and the lie of the land ... plus the weather.

Hand-to-hand combat was brutal with chronicles of the time stating that "the English set about their foe with mallet and spike" ... nice.

The test I saw was with a modern bow with a pull well over 100 pounds and the arrows were iron bodkin tips. At ranges above 50 yards (i think it was) the arrows were unable to pierce the steel chestguard that was used as a target. The problem wasnt that the bows werent powerful enough, it was that the arrows tips were deforming because they were just too soft to punch through the hardened steel.

Of course I heard about this a long time ago... so my numbers might be off. But Im pretty sure the summery was that the arrows were ineffective at ranges over 30 yards or so.

Stuart
November 10th, 2006, 19:22
Well ... the beauty of historical research is that we can always disagree but the tests carried out earlier this year in Oxfordshire were pretty impressive. I tried pulling one of the 150 lb bows and could not ... the nature of the "steel" used as a test material and the arrow tip could be the source of the discrepancy.

A "bodkin" arrow head comes in a wide variety of shapes and the wrong sort of arrow head would function more like a "broadhead". The tests conducted used 5 different types , 4 of whom had been reconstructed based on arrowheads found on various archeological digs and dated to the 13 to 15 Century.

What was also of note was that the shaft of the arrow had a big effect too; arrows designed to puncture armor need to hammer their way through and the shaft needs considerable more flex than an arrow that is designed to cut and spin, tearing through cloth and flesh.

"Medieval War Bows , A Bowyer's Thoughts" Phil Bickerstaffe is a good buy at 10 if you can find it ... it got me really interested in the subject and my first longbow cost me just under 100.

The Society for the Promotion of Traditional Archery is also worth joining if you are in the UK and interestd in such things - at :http://www.sptradarch.org/

Oberoten
November 22nd, 2006, 08:38
Another wonderful place to find bucketloads of historical information and this site being of the scholarly kind pretty much gives it a cut above the others for accuracy.

http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/index.htm

Mainframemouse
November 22nd, 2006, 11:28
Stuart.... Stuart Ellis of Northampton?

Stuart
November 22nd, 2006, 12:19
Stuart.... Stuart Ellis of Northampton?
Nope ... unless money is about to be exchanged (in my favor) in which case ... I can be !

Stuart of Rutland ... so pretty close.

Mainframemouse
November 23rd, 2006, 11:23
No money... sorry.

Thought you may have been an old school chum. We belongs to the same medieval reinactment group.

I thought Rutland was underwater