Questions tagged [medieval]

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

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9 votes
12 answers
5k views

Valid reason for not having plate armor in early medieval, low-magic fantasy setting?

I'm world building a low-magic, early (to high) medieval (early 12th century-ish) fantasy world for a ttrpg. This world revolves around humans, but -while not something commonly encountered by humans- ...
8 votes
15 answers
2k views

Good reasons the powerful good guys don't fight the powerful bad guys

It's a typical trope in stories, but why don't the powerful good guys fight the powerful bad guys? Usually a group of nobodies need to grow in power to the point that they're able to face the powerful ...
11 votes
6 answers
1k views

What is the most advanced form of torch?

In a pre-electrical age, anyone who needs a mobile source of illumination must rely on a lantern, lamp, candle or torch. Torches seem to be the cheapest, most primitive option, yet surely they have ...
13 votes
5 answers
3k views

How do I waterproof paper armor?

So, a little while back I suggested Chinese-style paper armor as answer to this question. While it was well liked, a couple people mentioned that in the MythBusters test it didn't hold up very well ...
16 votes
4 answers
1k views

A society displaced in time

Something has gone horribly wrong in Mundus, a fairly standard medieval fantasy world. A rather eccentric wizard was carrying out some research and one of his spells blew up in his face, causing a ...
15 votes
10 answers
4k views

Vampires as a never-ending source of mechanical energy

Background Vampires are the usual sort. They sleep in coffins during the day and awake when it gets dark. Apart from the normal ways of killing them, they are immortal and so, despite their thirst for ...
14 votes
4 answers
3k views

Bringing potatoes to the middle ages

A time traveller wants to save medieval Europe from famines by introducing the potato. The plan is, on first sight, simple: Just bring potatoes back with a time machine, and convince people to ...
12 votes
7 answers
2k views

Can an access to Matter Duplicator change a society of survivors stranded in pristine wilderness to evolve beyond Medieval level of civilization?

Clarification: based on the info below, are there non-obvious ways Matter Dulicator could be used to push the “tech level” of such a society so far past the late Medieval level that common dangers and ...
17 votes
8 answers
3k views

What would be the most optimal way to produce and utilize an army of Pinocchios?

The setting: a mostly realistic medieval fantasy world with the tech base the same as European 1400s, except the gunpowder had not been invented yet. Magic exists and is known in general, but is ...
9 votes
6 answers
3k views

Could medieval agriculture develop without soil?

In a water-world where the only "land" are the floating, rotting corpses of titans, how would a medieval civilization develop agriculture? Since they are of medieval technology level, ...
7 votes
8 answers
2k views

How to make a plausible foot-based mercenary nomadic tribe work in a Late Medieval Setting?

The background of the World setting is similar to 15th Century Europe with low-magic. The tribe in question is a sub-race of human, but having a culture similar to IRL Romani People, who roams around ...
9 votes
10 answers
4k views

How come townsfolk can forge legendary weapons and teach powerful spells but not take on a dragon?

Set in 1100 BC, an evil dragon appears and is terrorising the world. All the towns seemed to have everything to prepare the adventurers on their rescue operations. They have blacksmiths to craft and ...
15 votes
4 answers
3k views

how to wear multiple blades? does it matter?

both are quite easy to animate, no further programming required except switching secondary sword attachment from side_hip1.r to side_hip2.l so it's mostly about aesthetics now... which is a problem ...
6 votes
5 answers
1k views

What could be the reasoning behind why Elves go into metamorphosis?

For my setting, I really want to push the non-human aspect of the other typical fantasy races. For Elves, I've been throwing the idea around that they go through a metamorphosis of sorts. I was ...
11 votes
6 answers
15k 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 ...
3 votes
3 answers
882 views

Would an Army using a controlled fire surrounding an opposing army in a heavily forested area be an effective way to destroy said army?

Imagine a scenario where Army A has received intel of the movement of Army B in a heavily forested area. Army A decides to spring a trap where in it sets fire to the forest encircling Army B, ...
48 votes
17 answers
27k views

What professions would a medieval village with a population of 100 need?

Let's say I have a small village with 100 people of which everyone is able to work, what kind of professions do these people need? Background to the society: they are as smart as medieval people, ...
4 votes
3 answers
292 views

How would a planet's (human) life adapt to inconsistent night duration?

I realise this question is rather broad, so I'll do my best to narrow down what I'm looking for as much as possible. The big idea The full daylight cycle on this hypothetical planet is consistent in ...
3 votes
6 answers
1k views

How would a scaled-up ballista designed to launch 50-foot spears function?

This question is for a story in which society’s most advanced technology is basically identical to that which Europeans possessed in the Middle Ages, particularly around the last 50 years of said time ...
10 votes
13 answers
3k views

Defensive Middle Ages measures against magic-controlled "smart" arrows

Hear hear, with the latest arcane technology, archers on the battlefield are able to shoot "smart arrows". Smart arrows are propelled by a little unit of magiteck, which allows the archer to ...
10 votes
6 answers
4k views

General rule to spacing towers on a medieval city wall

I'm workshopping a medieval fantasy setting and one of the primary locations is a large port city, located on a bay out to the ocean. I'm still early in development, but since this settlement is quite ...
-2 votes
2 answers
234 views

Medieval Europe without animals [closed]

I'm working on a setting that in some ways looks like medieval Europe without domestic, or in general agriculturally significant, animals, and I'm trying to figure out what the implications would be. ...
16 votes
9 answers
618 views

I would like a levitating temple on a mountain. Hand-wave free...ish

I have an idea for a location in my world that I would like explained by natural phenomena rather than magic if at all possible. I would like to have a temple...that floats. The specifics: The ...
11 votes
15 answers
8k views

My Medieval kingdom has birth control, why is the population so high?

My world is roughly the same as the middle ages but has a natural form of birth control in the form of a root that can be grown and consumed to prevent pregnancy. Because of this root, opportunities ...
3 votes
7 answers
2k views

Space saved by squashing and grinding corpses with super strength

First time poster here. I play roleplaying games (Vampire the Dark Ages currently) and like to write a lot of homebrew material or suggest creative solutions to our Game Master. Here is my latest ...
3 votes
1 answer
154 views

Could you achieve a crude bessemer converter with late medieval technology

Planning to write a story. I was wondering if it was plausible that (with a decent understanding of how the thing works), if you could build a crude Bessemer converter using only technology available ...
10 votes
7 answers
1k views

Food ingredients in the medieval ages compared to their modern counterparts?

One of my characters (who comes from Earth) wants to open a restaurant in a fantasy world. This world is currently in its medieval era. The restaurant would serve all sorts of modern food; deep fried,...
31 votes
18 answers
10k views

How would a medieval village protect themselves against dinosaurs?

In this world, dinosaurs are wildlife that usually don't bother people, but people still want to make sure they're safe from the occasional man-eaters or gigantic herbivores that want to eat their ...
31 votes
21 answers
7k views

The logistics of corpse disposal

A pair of fearless killers, thousands of years old, guard a path to what is believed to be heaven. Of course, all towns in the area have different ritual and traditions where either their criminals or ...
10 votes
7 answers
4k views

How detailed would these medieval era reports be?

I have no idea how to start researching this, so I'm going to here, where there are people who are much smarter than me. So I'm writing a story set in the medieval time period. In my story, there is a ...
26 votes
10 answers
4k views

How to utilize dragons that are too small to ride in warfare?

Dragons in my setting are significantly smaller and less physically powerful than most depictions. The large males reach about 100 kilograms and just over two meters tall. This means that they ...
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

To what extent would bad conditions slow down medieval travel?

I'm writing a story set in the medieval era, and it wouldn't be a real medieval story without dealing with the nightmare of the logistics of medieval travel, nor would it be a medieval story without ...
15 votes
9 answers
4k views

What would a Medieval-Tech "super-metal" look like?

Edit: I am not looking for a specifically scientifically supportable answer. Rather, I am curious as to what characteristics of weapon metal lead to making them harder, and better at penetrating/...
4 votes
1 answer
258 views

How much space do I need to fit 1 million people in an isolated city?

Imagine an isolated circle-shaped city in a medieval setting. Within this circle is another circle, where the Highborn are living (around 100k people). Common folk (around 900k people) lives on the ...
5 votes
3 answers
3k views

How fast will information travel through my chain of command?

In the story I'm writing, there is a lot of medieval warfare. I want to know how well information and commands would be able to travel through my armies (clarification: by how well, I mean stuff like ...
5 votes
1 answer
237 views

How long do Brown Bear coats/pelts last?

I have a character who intends to wear the pelt of a Brown Bear at a particular point in time. That doesn't come about for a decade. I was wondering how badly degraded, or preserved will the coat be ...
9 votes
4 answers
1k views

How long will it take for my medieval army to travel?

This question is complicated, so hang on. A medieval army made up mostly of foot soldiers wearing plate armor (although there are cavalry, they're going at the speed of the foot soldiers) with enough ...
1 vote
0 answers
72 views

How to use and abuse a transformable metal [closed]

My dm has given my character a metal that can: "Be as flexible as linen or more rigid than tungsten. Properties that can be adjusted: tensile strength, torque strength, rigidity, density." ...
4 votes
5 answers
230 views

How would better access to medication affect a medieval society's medical knowledge? [closed]

Edit: As this is an open-ended question, and might become closed, there is now a chat room for it. In a medieval setting, people find medication much easier to come by. Medicines have a lot more ...
4 votes
12 answers
878 views

What are good reasons to create a city/nation in which a government wouldn't let you leave [closed]

I am building a city that the main character will be prohibited to leave from and yet their intentions of entering the city are to save the world form an extra-planer threat. So they have to go in. ...
1 vote
6 answers
2k views

What are the concerns with residents building lean-to's up against city fortifications? [closed]

In historical illustrations of cities with defensive walls, I have noticed that it is very rare for a non-defensive structure to be built directly adjacent to the inside face of the wall. A building ...
-4 votes
2 answers
178 views

How much would a population be able to recover after half of them being killed? [closed]

In a medieval setting, a kingdom had about 50% percent of its population killed (this includes all ages). About 50% of infrastructure was in need of repair, and a separate 25% of infrastructure needed ...
4 votes
3 answers
650 views

Would a character who got burned as a baby, with a third degree burn in one arm lose mobility in that arm?

The story would be set in a sort of medieval period, and the character in present day would be about 16 years old.
1 vote
8 answers
455 views

How can medieval people defend their societies from Vanilla Puddings?

Puddings are a common strain of monsters that run amok on my fantasy world of Algernon. These slug-like creatures are about the size of a human head. Each species of pudding has a vibrant colour and ...
8 votes
8 answers
4k views

How would medieval people defend themselves from Simswines?

If you’ve seen any of my previous questions on Algennon’s fantastic and deadly ecosystem, you might know the drill: first a monster gets designed, then strategies to defend against it. But we’ve moved ...
108 votes
18 answers
28k views

Would somebody from the middle ages be able to identify an atomic / nuclear bomb?

Setting: a fantasy world with a culture loosely based on the late middle ages or early renaissance, with more value placed on the fantasy elements than strictly adhering to a proper "time period" (i.e....
3 votes
2 answers
507 views

If mediæval people knew about copper IUDs, could they make them?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_IUD Copper IUDs seem very simple. There's no pharmaceutical chemistry required to make them. If I traveled back in time to 1500, and said to someone, "Hey all ...
5 votes
6 answers
1k views

Is the way avians are used in warfare in my setting realistic?

In my medieval setting, bird people are about half the height of a human, have hollow bones, and have hands at the end of their wings. In warfare, there are 3 types of avian units: Scouts give the ...
4 votes
8 answers
680 views

Why would people colonize a ring of desert islands?

The Question I am setting up a world for a D&D campaign. Magic and technology are as usual for D&D worlds. This world consists of a ring of hundreds of islands, in which there is one lush ...
-2 votes
1 answer
138 views

Would it be realistic for a group of ~20 bands of hunter-gatherers, with 50-100 members each, to unite and defeat a Dark Ages-level city's military? [closed]

In my newest world, I've been entertaining some ideas for the history of a continent, and it came to the point where the hunter-gatherer tribes living in a desert/savanna in the center of a continent ...

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