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  1. #1
    Oberoten's Avatar
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    Anachronisms and when things were introduced...

    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?
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  2. #2
    Oberoten's Avatar
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    Prices

    THIS is a very good historical source.

    http://users.tkk.fi/~vesanto/link.ec...s.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.
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  3. #3
    Oberoten's Avatar
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    A few other good sources...

    Last edited by Oberoten; November 5th, 2006 at 10:06.
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  4. #4
    Oberoten's Avatar
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    Come on here people... I can't be the ONLY one to like keeping things historical? You have to say SOMETHING?
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  5. #5

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    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

  6. #6
    Oberoten's Avatar
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    *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.
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  7. #7
    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.

  8. #8

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    You guys might like this product as well: http://enworld.rpgnow.com/product_in...ducts_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

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by acmer
    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.)

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Oberoten
    "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).

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