It is somewhere from 20 to 80 years in the future, humans have discovered alternative reality hopping technology, that allowed them to visit different worlds. One such visitor needs to become the greatest hero in the reality that's roughly at the level of development of Europe's 1300s, mildly fantasy-ish (different human subspecies exist that look like stock fantasy races, but they aren't too wildly different from baseline homo sapiens except for the appearance), but without any actual magic or anything supernatural. He's already trained in sword fighting and learned the language and the common knowledge to blend in as a native (Not to mention the medical and infectious side of the ordeal), but he also needs gear to do the hero stuff and fight. The gear needs to be fully authentic from the visual perspective (for example, carbon fiber composite armor is ok as long as it looks like steel armor), but provide maximum possible safety for the traveler, and provide him with as much edge in fights as possible without granting any blatantly "unnatural" abilities (This includes any extensive or visible body augmentations or gene alterations, the subject is a normal human).

How far can modern or slightly futuristic-ish technology discreetly push the capabilities of a medieval warrior (Armor, weaponry, fighting advantages, other), and how significantly better can his gear be compared to the 1300s tech? Assume unlimited funding for the project.

  • $\begingroup$ i wanna say gun, but you would need ammo so, ima say metal $\endgroup$ – Topcode Nov 20 '20 at 19:56
  • $\begingroup$ How is a gun authentic to the medieval times? $\endgroup$ – Darth Biomech Nov 20 '20 at 20:02
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    $\begingroup$ well cannons were invented around that time, and a gun is basically a small cannon $\endgroup$ – Topcode Nov 20 '20 at 20:05
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    $\begingroup$ VTC:Too Story Based. Questions about what equipment should be used are questions about character actions/choices, not the rules of your world, and those choices will always depend on the circumstances of your story (where the time traveler appears, when they appear, what the weather's like, what the goals of your story are...). $\endgroup$ – JBH Nov 21 '20 at 4:10
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    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "become a hero"? $\endgroup$ – Tom O'Daighre Nov 21 '20 at 16:37
  1. If he tries to pass for an aristocrat without actually being one he will come to a bad end. Family ties were a paramount thing in those times, and he is worse than a bastard -- he has no father and no mother.

  2. One knight, no matter what armor he has, will be caught and slain by any half-decent squad of armsmen.

  3. His only chance is to bring lots of gold and silver, declare he is an outcast prince of a faraway realm (a pagan prince who wants to become a Christian, for example), use the money to raise a reasonable small army, and use the army to intervene in a suitable fine balanced conflict where he can make a difference.

    I recommend he starts in one of Italian(-ish) maritime republics (maybe Genoa, or Venice, or Ragusa).

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    $\begingroup$ + Having smooth fingers will convince everyone that he's not a manual laborer. And there were legends of faraway kingdoms, like Prester John's, so he could be coming form there... and if he brings some technical innovations with him, that will fit into the locals expectations that Prester John's kingdom is technologically more advanced. $\endgroup$ – vsz Nov 21 '20 at 11:52

Good Footwear

I'd need to find the article, but there's an observation that humans are continually breaking world records for speed and endurance.

The hypothesis is that we are not evolving, but that our equipment (shoe padding, soles) is getting better. It requires less energy for us to run, so we can run faster, further, and longer.

Looking at this chart alone, and taking the hypothesis for granted, your traveller would get a +25% boost to his/her single mile running time.

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A Good Running Suit

There was a huge change between the wool heavy-weather gear of the early 1900s, which had been the standard for a long time, and what is modern.

Modern clothes resist getting wet (avoiding foot rot or freezing), they dry quickly, and they retain more heat. Modern clothes are made of synthetics that don't rot, or allow mold to grow on them.

They are lighter weight, more flexible, and take up less space.

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A Modern Sack

Nylon has five times (5x) the strength of cotton, per unit of weight. It's also significantly less bulky.

A sack made of modern materials will better protect the things inside it from the elements. It will be able to hold more things. And it will have modern ergonomic thought put into it's design so that the load is balanced, making it feel easier to carry your equipment.

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Knife Resistant Shirt, Gloves, Hat, Hoodies

We have technology that pretty well foils your typical medieval small arms without sacrificing any flexibility or looks.

Easily worn over your running suit and under your chain or plate mail.

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Polarized Eyeglasses

Medieval types wore eyewear. They even sometime wore tinted eyewear (Nero, Seneca - per here) to help with the brightness of the sun.

With polarized sunglasses not only can you cut down on glare.

You can see clearly through the reflection on water.

You can also see clearly through haze, in certain conditions.

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Hearing Aids

Hearing aids can be extremely discreet, and increase the volume of distant conversations by 500 fold (+15 dB)

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Tankless Breathing Apparatuses

Small enough to fit in your pocket. Current technology allows only to store an extra breath (maybe 2), which still extends your time underwater from human to 2x or 3x human.

Technology is under development to extract oxygen from water like gills, extending indefinitely the amount of time you can stay searching underwater for wrecks, artifacts, or just hiding from people on the surface.

Also conveniently looks like a stick.

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A Good Ghillie Suit

For disappearing or getting close to something you're not supposed to, there still is really no substitute on the original.

Made out of modern materials, however, you could fit it into more discrete storage spaces; not need to worry about mold or rot; and it probably is lighter and breathes better.

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An Invisibility Cloak

Ok. Maybe this one is a bit too far, but it's just too cool to pass up.

Sheets of lenticular material that can be curved into free-standing shields, shelters, or walls.

If you need to disappear. Really disappear. This works.

Does not work well in brightly-lit settings.

(not me. pay no attention to the caption)

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A Lexan Shield

Lexan has half the strength of steel at ${1 \over 8}^{th}$ the weight. It doesn't need to be stronger (although Kevlar is available) because Lexan can handle the full range of melee combat arms.

Unlike steel bucklers, Lexan bends. Your fellow knights might laugh, but a "special wooden" shield that bends like this hurts a lot less receiving blows. The energy of the hit is mostly absorbed by the material, not translated to your arm. As a result, you can endure hours of punishment without being particularly winded.

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A Good Stick

It's a surprising outcome of the United Weapon Masters tournament -- a modern tech gladitorial games using modern equipment -- that the most effective weapon is... a good stick.

A long, flexible stick reaches around swords and bends around shields to fatally strike the top of the head : a vulnerable spot, even when protected with a helmet.

With this bit of modern insight, you can defy traditional medieval "brilliance".

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A Boron Nitride Sword

Near future tech. Boron nitride blades are used to cut diamonds, but I don't believe they are yet used in sword making.

Image below is what a sword of double the hardness can do to a lesser sword.

Boron nitride is 10x (60 GPa) as strong as mid-grade steels (4 to 8 GPa). Using the image as a guide, a boron nitride blade with a good edge will slice through lesser weapons and armor with frightening effect.

It might be a blade you wouldn't want to use often, because it would draw attention.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm I feel just hiding behind the table would be just as effective haha. $\endgroup$ – DKNguyen Nov 20 '20 at 22:30
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    $\begingroup$ That partical underwater breathing device turned out to be fake, but you can replace it with a rebreather so long as you hide it, I guess. cnbc.com/2016/04/06/… $\endgroup$ – Morgan Nov 20 '20 at 22:32
  • $\begingroup$ @DKNguyen it looks like a cheap version not set up properly. m.youtube.com/watch?v=weOvDjfMil8 $\endgroup$ – Morgan Nov 20 '20 at 22:39
  • $\begingroup$ @Morgan Now I must have one. But world-building wise, how do you prevent yourself from being burned as a witch with the ghostblind or rebreather? $\endgroup$ – DKNguyen Nov 20 '20 at 22:46
  • $\begingroup$ @dknguyen Those are a bit extreme, I admit. $\endgroup$ – James McLellan Nov 20 '20 at 23:01

I'm no scientist. But here is what I would do.

Make electricity, improve firearms, hygiene...etc usually brings books and manuals. All the while not fighting a single battle.

What he needs:

A way to get established into society to do his thing.

By that I mean he needs to figure out a plan to get himself a workshop and a house then enough time and stuff to start becoming the next da Vinci

This breaks into means and lies.

  • A box of coins. Gems. Or other materials that are weight efficient are essential. He uses them to the material needed.
  • Lie 1: He is a trader from a faraway place and blah blah blah settles here.
  • Lie 2: He is a noble from another place. Get a coat of arms and know something from that place.
  • Lie 3: He is just an inventor. People back them understood that you don't need to be a wizard to make stuff. He can simply lies about being a smith or whatever.
  • Lie 4: Traveling artisan. Again people traveled and with buying people a round of ale at the local inn people are less likely to get angry at him.

What he brings?

Books and nothing more. Scientific manuals and maps of materials. Equations. Conversion charts...etc All the tools of the trades so that he can not only practice it but teach people. Now I understand that you might want to keep it a secret and that is fine. But the minimum is to actually be able to refer to a chart and figure out what amount of stuff to add to other stuff for new stuff to be made. This can be as simple how to make a microscope or a way to make anti septic disinfectants or how to create penicillin...etc I read a bit about that and give me enough time with those articles and I can make a lot of those stuff. I mean I'm dumb as a brick but time and well written instructions can make you do just about all the basic stuff.

Field he can easily advance well enough in to start making money.

  • Scientific method + measurements and procedures. By that I don't mean to simply note down the experiment, repeat...etc I mean copying what companies or even hobbyists do. Say you are making something like explosive A. Now he knows that he will be mixing unstable chemicals and so for starters starts with very small amounts in controlled environment. He moves up and understand that the purity of material A from mine B is X while mine C is Y...etc. This just means he can buy even the most impure barely useful stuff and still get the most out of it.
  • Medicine. Just knowing germ theory and using proper medical knowledge will get him treating people. This can be a side business actually. But either way just knowing what plants to crush to create remedy for cure A is a big enough leap. And he knows that boiling or burning things can disinfectant little potions bottles. He can then start on more serious stuff. In fact, this is like 10 years ago, more serious diseases were treated with basic stuff but it just took time. In fact if you ask reddit or doctors or something like: 10 very easily cured diseases you will come up with answers.
  • Chemistry. Basically the possibles are limitless.
  • Electricity. Again by this point you have all the knowledge you need to start making light bulbs and currents. You have enough knowledge of the available materials and their limits. You have handy charts and extensive notes on things that are available.
  • Firearms are another easy thing. Making a single shot pistol would be a piece of cake. Yes you have to experiment a lot with what you have but again you have time and money you can make it. Self contained cartridges are a joke if you know how to make it. You understand all the theories. Time alone is enough
  • Better chess. I'm not joking. You can just write down the rules on a piece of paper and start playing. Chess is very old I know. But you will have the chess of Morphy and Fischer from day one. Sell kits and rules and have fun. You just made history a lot better.
  • Trains. By this point it would be a crime if someonehere does not mention that steam engines existed as far back as ancient Greece. But you can do one better: TRAINS. Cho cho baby.
  • Lead Zeppelin I mean Zeppelins. The science is there. Use to servery the land and make air assaults in MEDIEVAL EUROPE. The story is writing itself. Hey I got a castle. Rofl. I got medieval paratroopers, your argument is invalid
  • Newtons laws.
  • Radios? I mean why not. Make metal, the music genre, and now you have something worthy to listen to.


Because not a single person making them completely knew the laws, the principles, the possible applications and had futuristic charts...etc.

Electricity was first used in 1882, google, and the moon landing was 1969. It took us less than a 100 years, 87, to go from a light bulb to the moon while it took a lot of time to get electricity to begin with

The ends justify the means.

The church is unhappy. X is a dirty infidel blasphemer. Lord whatever his name thinks you are stealing his thunder...etc.

Hey king Edward III just hear me out. Here is a single shot pistol that chews through French armor faster than you can say Battle of France. Here is a knight in full plat armor and BANG. He is dead. I present to your royal highness a gold plated version with fancy decorations and another 100, basic, ones for your illustrious knights to wield against the French. All for the royal crown. We can discuss payment later when you came back with carts full of gold. For know I just need a 1000 able bodied men to make more weapons in your name. By the way your grace. Here is a field manual of hygienic practices that your men need to keep. This copy is free of charge. Thank me later.

Attempted humor aside convincing royalty with things is a story element and has nothing to do with the fact that it is possible within the realm of science.

Opposition or complications is a story element.

Yes those things can get a person killed. The king might get angry. The character might get sloppy and cause an explosion. But all those actions are character dependent and has nothing to do with science or that, I think, everything I said is very possible within OPs question and limitations.

Be a reasonable person.

You can become a hero without problems. If you make the right people happy. If you please the church by inspiring in gods name on the guns. Please the lords with chess and lights for their houses. Please the king with novel inventions he can show the world and be like: hey. I'm the best. Check this little model train and that swanky palace of light. Please the people with charity. Marry into power, by this point you are as rich as the entire kingdom, and just play enough politics to be secure against plots.

You are a 1000% better than Rasputin, da Vinci, Copernicus, Archimedes...etc combined. [I mean effect not that you are smarter] You provide people with things to insanely useful and alien and deadly and better that it would be pure insanity for people to turn against you. Even the Roman general taking Syracusa did not want to kill Archimedes.

So. Don't alienate people. Provide a facade of whatever works. Heck. Try some medieval dishes or go to church or try hunting. I mean why go there in the first place if not for some actual authentic stuff?

Even pretend to follow customs and ideas. History, to this day, is full of that. Few dictatorships say it outright. There is a front beyond which you can do whatever the heck you want.

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    $\begingroup$ A revolver is a gun which has multiple firing chambers on a rotating cylinder. A single-shot gun is almost by definition not a revolver, as it doesn't have any kind of revolving mechanism. The word you're looking for is pistol. $\endgroup$ – Redbud201 Nov 21 '20 at 4:10
  • $\begingroup$ Artificial diamonds. They are cheap to get nowadays. $\endgroup$ – Sulthan Nov 21 '20 at 14:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Redbud201, Lmao. Thanks. I was thinking of those older revolvers like single action then thought about shotgun and messed the two up. Anyway edited the answer $\endgroup$ – Seallussus Nov 22 '20 at 0:10

Heroes are made by what they do, not by what they do with it. So I think the gear would look rather unimpressive.

It would just be mostly gear of the era but made to better standards and and of better quality materials. Hopefully, with time-travel technology they also re-learned lost knowledge of the subtle features of the equipment required to do the job effectively.

So just swords, spears, knives, and plate chain mail of the era but made with modern precision, construction, and materials.

Alloys that are both rust resistant without sacrificing mechanical strength are very expensive even by today's standards. Weapons of such materials are also difficult to sharpen so he may want to take some modern sharpening stones with him.

His gamberson would also probably be made of composite fibers (don't forget the poor UV resistance of some fibers). Gloves similar to modern anti-cut gloves would also help too. And pants.

His helmet might inconspicuously incorporate plastic safety visor. Maybe he has discrete shades or something of the sort so the sun is not as much of a problem. A looking glass of modern precision would also be useful.

Also, modern foot wear, and perhaps underwear.



And other medicines. He can have good equipment, etc, but what really makes a hero is the ability to survive a fight. Even small wounds were lethal back in the day. If your hero wants to impress the crowds, do something that is the equivalent of coming back from the dead!

  • $\begingroup$ I think storage would the main concern. Anti-septic might be more useful since it doesn't go bad nearly as easily. $\endgroup$ – DKNguyen Nov 21 '20 at 16:25
  • $\begingroup$ @DKNguyen There's plenty of long-term storage medicines, including antibiotics. Remember -- no bacteria have developed resistance back in the 1300s, so you can use a lot of older, less specialized antibiotics. If kept cool (not even cold, just wine cellar temps), in vacuum pill packs, many antibiotics last 5 to 10 years. $\endgroup$ – SRM Nov 21 '20 at 21:09

Modern protective gear, like Xion D30


You can move easily, hit enemies, but hitting you is nearly pointless - so you can be percieved as invictible warrior and play Bud Spencer stunts in close combat. Add some Knife Resistant Shirt, Gloves, Hat, Hoodies (as mentioned in other answer) and you are nearly superhero.

Learn some modern fighting styles, both unarmed and swords and you can win fight by using "secret moves from your master" (just few hudres years modern fighting technique) - many individual fight was won by something, which is now considered as trivial or obsolete trick, but was not common in that era. See http://www.thearma.org/essays/DOTC.htm for example.


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