Questions tagged [medieval]

For questions about the medieval era (500-1500AD o.e.) as a whole, regardless of the location.

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93 votes
30 answers
41k views

What could an average modern human achieve in medieval times?

Let's imagine that on one fateful day, John Doe, the absolutely average citizen, wakes up just outside of a small village during the Middle Ages, somewhere in Europe, maybe France or England. Let's ...
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  • 2,461
92 votes
18 answers
147k views

Possible distance travelled by horse over 6 weeks?

I always get very annoyed if a writer is sloppy with maps and travel-distances. E.g. "They left city Y and arrived in city X 5 days later." When you look at the supplied map Y and X are a 1600 ...
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  • 4,058
125 votes
21 answers
20k views

My carrier pigeons have been replaced by spoons: how can I send messages? [closed]

Yup. All my pigeons are now spoons. I knew my court alchemist was a sore loser, but I still think it's inappropriate to do that for a chess game. He vanished and I no longer have any means to ...
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  • 1,697
67 votes
26 answers
28k views

Would a full body diamond armor and sword guarantee survival and victory against a medieval battalion?

As usual I write stuff like any professional fictional writers do, my protagonist worships a deity calling herself "The Expensive One" and she bestowed a flawless full body diamond armor which comes ...
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  • 46.1k
36 votes
20 answers
9k views

Why would a magic world be stuck in medieval times?

This is related to Must magic be tied to medieval tech?, but not the same. So the setup: There are two worlds, one is Earth, as it is now, with all its history. The other is a magic world, with an ...
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  • 7,487
23 votes
7 answers
36k views

What percentage of a population can be part of a medieval military?

Here are the particulars: Medieval era and technology City population is 25,000 Arable farmland available as needed Ocean access for fishing Good sized trading hub Politically stable What percentage ...
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  • 32.6k
4 votes
2 answers
641 views

Just How Dangerous Would a Plopup Be?

Okay, I've been making quite a few Plop questions, and this one is a real heavy hitter. (You can see one, two, and three for more on Plop.) You see, every so often Plops form hidden hordes (like rats ...
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39 votes
19 answers
11k views

How could Medieval cultures defend themselves against dragons?

In a world where society and culture are very similar to Medieval kingdoms of past ages, and moreover a world where there is no one conclusive ruler, but a region of small city-states which each have ...
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  • 493
36 votes
5 answers
15k views

Is diamond armor better than traditional armor?

A medieval alchemist (from Europe) has figured out how to crystallize any object and turn it into diamond. Would diamond armor (e.g. chain mail and plate armor) and weapons be superior to their ...
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  • 1,737
23 votes
10 answers
2k views

The role of anthropomorphic foxes in a medieval army

In my universe I am designing anthropomorphic foxes similar in appearance to the japanese mythological kitsune. For those who are familiar with the game League of Legends: Ahri is a good example of ...
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  • 17.6k
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to escape a horde of worms using magic with minimal injury? [closed]

Background An evil Nature Mage (named Erilius) resides in a tropical forest where he has abundant access to local life (of which all the flora and fauna except people can be controlled by him) and ...
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  • 11.8k
5 votes
4 answers
529 views

Early Army without foraging: How do we keep ourselves supplied in the field?

In a previous question we determined that to survive on an alien planet, we'd be heavily reliant on stuff we brought with us. Whatever plants we could convince to grow that we happened to have on hand,...
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  • 11.4k
64 votes
14 answers
9k views

What would a medieval war against an aquatic race look like?

The setting; there’s a large population of merfolk living in the ocean, and a developing seafaring human nation on the neighbouring coastline. These merfolk are entirely aquatic. They have gills and ...
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26 votes
9 answers
8k views

A more powerful bow

What methods are there to make more powerful bows, besides simply upscaling it? Just for definition, I will take more powerful to mean that it has more draw strength and longer range. The tech level ...
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15 votes
11 answers
2k views

Oxygen cylinders in medieval world

There is this community where people dive into the sea for precious stones. I need an oxygen cylinder sort of thing for divers. It can be plant based or it can be a dependency on some other species. ...
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3 votes
5 answers
562 views

How Would Limited Space Travel Change Late Medieval/Early Renaissance-era Warfare?

In my book series, the various planets of the galaxy, give or take, generally have access to late medieval to early renaissance era technology in terms of warfare. That means full plate armor, siege ...
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43 votes
6 answers
7k views

Medieval politics with fantasy races

So it occurred to me while developing the political landscape for my world, that throwing fantasy races into the mix in an absolute monarchy/feudal system and pretending they just fit right in may in ...
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31 votes
25 answers
8k views

Aerial combat: winged humans

I shall present myself: I am Alfara Gal Strid, proud leader of a clan of Arat'nie - what you would simply call "winged humans". I come to you with a troublesome question. You see, for a long time we ...
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35 votes
22 answers
9k views

How would cities be designed that were threatened by dragons?

The dragons aren't all that common but they live in the nearby mountains and after a harsh winter are more likely to come looking for easy prey to fatten back up on. What are the major design ...
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  • 48.7k
40 votes
7 answers
12k views

I was thrown into the middle ages, how do I power my time machine?

I forgot to charge my time machine and now I'm sitting in medieval Europe and need to recharge the batteries. Luckily, those are only car batteries and not the old plutonium powered ones. What's the ...
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  • 3,069
18 votes
4 answers
22k views

How big were medieval cities?

My world includes a medieval city which contained a castle, a cathedral, university developed from a former monastery, a guild hall, a market place and number of houses and small farming families - ...
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  • 219
15 votes
4 answers
2k views

How to hide an underground city?

Related to my previous question : How to live in an underground city? The refugees managed to live in their underground city with the few resources they can find. They are prepared to fight if ...
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  • 2,956
9 votes
6 answers
11k views

Size of family-owned medieval farm?

I’m writing a D&D campaign. The closest period of time in the real world that the setting of my story comes to is medieval Europe. (I don't know exactly where or when, but it doesn't matter since ...
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  • 287
22 votes
11 answers
21k views

How would aluminum work as medieval armor?

I know aluminum was extremely hard to refine until the 20th century, which is one of the reasons why it wasn't used much. But what are the drawbacks to using it as armor or weapons in this type of ...
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15 votes
7 answers
3k views

Weapons for Long-armed (Winged) Dragons?

In a world I am building, I have a race of Dragons. A lot about them is based around questions previously asked on this site; as a result, most of them are around human-sized and cannot fly (a pox on ...
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28 votes
17 answers
6k views

How could medieval ships protect themselves from giant mermaids?

Long ago when apes and hominids split off a third group began to live in the seas and became mermaids/seafolk. Among several species of mermaids, there is a species of "giant mermaids" who ...
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  • 6,051
16 votes
4 answers
2k views

Castle surrounded by lava

After watching first Shrek, I got interested in one detail: Can you build a castle which is surrounded by lava, using medieval technology? For scope of this question: Imagine ultimate wealthy king/...
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11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Imperial Kingdoms?

I am writing a fantasy story where a vast Empire has been weakened, and the previous (inept) emperor allowed the feudal lords to act nearly autonomously. Once he died, the lords that ruled their ...
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8 votes
3 answers
1k views

What would be the impact on a medieval society if "cure disease" magic was available to the powerful?

I'm building a world which is broadly a standard fantasy setting - similar to 15th to 16th century Europe in technology, government, growing urbanization and trade, etc., but with some magic. Very ...
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3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Could a medieval / early modern blast furnace produce steel alloys

Blast furnaces have been in China since the 1st century, and arrived in the west during the late 1400's. Imagine now a society "stuck" in the early modern / late medieval period, could they produce ...
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  • 1,579
9 votes
5 answers
2k views

Creating a chemical industry from a medieval tech level without petroleum [closed]

You've been transported into a world with a medieval tech level. This world has coal deposits, but no petroleum deposits. You have no chemistry equipment with you, but you can use glassblowing or ...
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  • 193
5 votes
1 answer
378 views

Medieval political hierarchy with an elite 4 counsel elected based on score points

Settings: In a Fantasy setup, different factions face up for the control of the subterranean territories they live in. One of the 4 factions is the Government (Human race not including the tribal ...
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77 votes
26 answers
18k views

How would a war between immortals be fought?

Imagine a world similar to medieval Earth (technologically), populated by humanoid beings. For all intents and purposes, they are humans - they talk like humans, think like humans, have human-like ...
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  • 97.7k
105 votes
13 answers
25k views

If I went back in time, how could I handle being among the Black Death and survive?

In the near future time I invent time travel. But when perfecting it, something goes wrong and I'm transported back to the time and place of the Black Death. I wasn't prepared for this, and try as I ...
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  • 1,223
35 votes
12 answers
9k views

Weaponry made from extreme light-weight steel: swords and daggers

Imagine there was a material that was mostly identical to steel in almost every way, but instead of a density of $7.85–7.87 g/cm^3$ it would be a tenth of that. That is about 4 times lighter than ...
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14 votes
18 answers
3k views

How would I keep a set of Medieval technology?

This question is based off of some of the concepts of this question, but is NOT a duplicate, as the linked question asks how long a Medieval set of tech could conceivably last. Assuming we have all ...
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  • 11.8k
13 votes
3 answers
2k views

How to live in an underground city?

A group of refugees (around 50) fled enemies in a land full of rock. Fortunately they found exactly what they needed: a small river falling into a deep and tight gorge. There is a network of caves ...
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  • 2,956
41 votes
24 answers
13k views

How would a society isolated by monster attacks get food?

So I've got a medieval fantasy world where humanity has been forced to live exclusively in fortified towns and city states because of attacks by monsters. These monsters are not kaiju level in size so ...
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  • 1,022
35 votes
18 answers
6k views

How do sorcerers attempt to prevent common people, or other sorcerers, from duplicating their spell scrolls?

Simply put, the world has magic, though it would be considered "science" by the world itself. This first section is going to provide a background for how the magic works. "Spells" can be cast via ...
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  • 7,318
34 votes
13 answers
25k views

Wearing a cape during combat?

In a book I'm writing, a king has a bodyguard of a dozen elite swordsmen, trained their whole lives to protect their sovereign. Their capes are long and trail behind them. What are the disadvantages ...
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24 votes
15 answers
5k views

Magical internet - unique addressing system

Inspired by recent watching of Shrek 2 and by Lord of The Rings: When talking about magical Orbs or Mirrors, we have mostly in mind above picture. Skilful mage operates hard to obtain device. But ...
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30 votes
12 answers
8k views

Enforcing a speed limit in medieval times

The Emperor has decreed that the speed limit for horses and horse-drawn vehicles within city limits is to be 5 leagues per hour. As usual he has left the implementation details to his Scientific ...
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26 votes
25 answers
3k views

How could flying soldiers influence medieval battle tactics?

Two medieval armies are fighting one another. Their infantries are approximately equal, and their artillery pieces are well matched. During one battle, they enter what appears to be a stalemate. Then ...
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  • 97.7k
6 votes
4 answers
5k views

I want a big city in the desert, what conditions make it possible?

Starting condition: I know how small cities form. It is mostly a trade center that requires an access to water and food. But some cities have more than 100 000+ people. Climate: It is in the desert, ...
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  • 16.6k
13 votes
10 answers
2k views

How to create a glove that sparks fire when making contact with human skin?

In the universe I am designing, an anthropomorphic species exists that can create fire at will. One normal human wants to trick others into thinking she is one of these creatures. She wants to ...
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  • 17.6k
10 votes
3 answers
4k views

How to Escape an Impossible Situation Using Minimal Magic?

Background: My evil 10,000 year old Nature Mage Erilius has escaped the desert and made it back to the furthest outpost in his Rainforest kingdom. Upon entering his makeshift Magic plant tower ,his ...
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  • 11.8k
7 votes
11 answers
2k views

Can I build a self sufficient medieval city?

It's the ideal city for a siege. They have all the resources and man power required to sustain themselves during a siege. They are able to: eat drink be merry mend weapons make weapons tend to the ...
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  • 1,060
32 votes
11 answers
13k views

A King's son is born after the King has died and his brother has inherited [closed]

Assuming standard medieval "firstborn son or next closest male relative" inheritance. A King (A) dies without heir. His Brother (B) inherits the throne. 8 months later the dead King's (A's) wife ...
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  • 399
16 votes
11 answers
3k views

How to exterminate a psychic race?

So, this race of Wussname are a peaceful people. Each and everyone of them possess this weird ability of sympathy that allows them synchronize their emotions and share their knowledge with other each ...
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  • 2,311
12 votes
5 answers
941 views

What would a medieval war against a subterranean race look like?

To round off the little series started by this and this, I figured that I should add this question. The setting: there is a race of underground people living beneath a human kingdom. To avoid the ...
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