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Questions tagged [medieval]

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

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168 votes
26 answers
34k views

Can a substance be more lethal in smaller doses?

Yes, I realize this question is a bit ridiculous, and there are no cases of it in reality (that I can find), but with a bit of truth twisting, could it theoretically be possible? In my fantasy world ...
NathanSullivan's user avatar
133 votes
33 answers
28k views

What cheap modern items can I use to bribe medieval people? [closed]

Inspired by this question about a time traveller. So, I've travelled to the medieval age. Think 12th / 13th century Europe. Unlike the time traveller in the other question, I did bring batteries for ...
user2727's user avatar
  • 3,129
126 votes
21 answers
21k 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My carrier pigeons have been replaced by spoons: how can I send messages?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 ...
NotATyrant's user avatar
  • 1,747
117 votes
11 answers
61k views

In a medieval setting, how far apart should towns be?

This is a medieval European (fantasy) setting, with the following (highly tentative) parameters: Each town is vaguely autonomous, and have their own municipal government system. Towns do trade with ...
ChrisBKreme's user avatar
  • 1,231
111 votes
18 answers
12k views

Truth Stone: Effects on the justice system, and criminal world

The setting is the medieval ages, vaguely European. No magic exists except what is explicitly stated in the question. The judicial system is similar to historic examples, with the head-of-state ...
Ranger's user avatar
  • 17.5k
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....
Aldaine's user avatar
  • 1,487
106 votes
13 answers
26k 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 ...
matty's user avatar
  • 1,233
95 votes
30 answers
43k 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 ...
zovits's user avatar
  • 2,966
93 votes
18 answers
150k 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 ...
Tonny's user avatar
  • 4,098
89 votes
11 answers
13k views

What would be the best way to get clean, drinkable water in a medieval city?

Help! I've been transported back in time to London in 1303 AD. After saying hi to the flock of other worldbuilders who have inexplicably travel back in time to Medieval Europe, I decide to set out to ...
ckersch's user avatar
  • 46.3k
83 votes
21 answers
19k views

Which professions warranted travel in Medieval times?

I'm trying to come up with characters whose backgrounds allow them to have homes, histories, and skills, but will still enable or encourage them to travel in a typical medieval setting. I've never ...
Julia Witham's user avatar
  • 1,206
82 votes
28 answers
13k views

Sword in the rock - make it last the ages

Merlin the wizard has a problem. Sure, it was a piece of cake to move forward in time to the 21st century, procure a sword that was made with the highest 21st century standards, go back in time, and ...
Nahshon paz's user avatar
  • 6,078
82 votes
7 answers
14k views

How to protect shops in the medieval era against thievery?

While coming up with a medieval era world, I suddenly realized that there was pretty much no defense against thievery except for patrolling city guards which to be honest probably isn't very effective....
Skye's user avatar
  • 10.2k
81 votes
5 answers
9k views

How quickly and accurately should news travel in a rural medieval setting?

I'd like to have a realistic idea of how, and how accurately, ordinary people in a rural low-tech (medieval-equivalent) setting should expect to hear news from outside their own communities. If you ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
78 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 ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 101k
75 votes
12 answers
20k views

Is it possible to create a practical sword that's naturally toxic?

While doing research, I stumbled across the alloy "arsenical bronze", in which copper is smelted with arsenic instead of (or in addition to) tin. This apparently gives you "a stronger final product ...
F1Krazy's user avatar
  • 14.2k
71 votes
11 answers
18k views

Is a pig-mounted cavalry possible?

Recently, my neighbour upset me. I have discovered that he plans to somehow improve his trebuchets to throw nasty things across the river. I told him that my pig-mounted cavalry will attack him. I ...
NotATyrant's user avatar
  • 1,747
69 votes
15 answers
14k views

Charging phone in medieval times

Let's say I somehow got transported to medieval times. I have my phone, laptop or other devices with rechargeable batteries, but I forgot to take my solar chargers. Luckily, my every device is powered ...
crueltear's user avatar
  • 849
68 votes
31 answers
18k views

How can I imprison a wizard who can walk through walls?

There are reasons why we can't walk through walls. Using magic, though, those difficulties fall away. In fact, for a wizard in an otherwise-almost-magic-free world, walking through walls or falling ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 101k
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 ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
67 votes
16 answers
13k views

Making a sword in the stone, in a medieval world without magic

This relates to a world in which there is no magic and only medieval technology. The ruling and religious classes want to convince the general populace that magic exists. For example a sword-smith ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
66 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 ...
user avatar
65 votes
19 answers
14k views

Making the 'Master Swordsman' fantasy realistic?

The idea of a truly masterful swordsman capable of taking on dozens of average swordsmen by himself (sometimes even above average!) is a pretty common depiction in fantasy media. A recent example I ...
Onyz's user avatar
  • 1,846
62 votes
41 answers
25k views

Is there such thing as a "one-person" door?

Imagine an evil dictator. He imprisons his enemies in a labor camp, but they never do any work! He doesn't want to torture them, or force them to do that since he is using all of his soldiers to build ...
Radvylf Programs's user avatar
62 votes
17 answers
14k views

Modern warfare theory in a medieval setting

Let's assume a medieval lord named Gary I of Flowers lives in a "Europe-ish" continent with no gun powder or magic. Somehow, he's aware about modern warfare theory. Maybe he found out a time-traveler ...
Guillaume C.'s user avatar
62 votes
17 answers
12k views

What would it take to build a ship capable of crossing the Pacific?

In my story, I have a small extended family of 30 to 40 individuals ranging in age from 0 to 50 who are on the run from Chinese and Japanese forces in 1400AD. No place in Asia is safe for them. By a ...
Green's user avatar
  • 52.7k
61 votes
18 answers
25k views

How would a medieval city get cold drinks?

The title basically says what I need to ask, but I have been wondering this. I currently just say a wizard comes in and cools down the drinks, but I have started to grow out of Magic and Sorcery and ...
user43066's user avatar
  • 691
57 votes
14 answers
10k views

Would a castle built at the top of a mesa have unusual weaknesses?

Imagine some settlers are looking to build a castle in an area of expansive plans discover a small, isolated mesa: the formation has a very steep face, rising up 10-20m. The area of this formation ...
MSet's user avatar
  • 1,075
57 votes
19 answers
12k views

What are the disadvantages of a long living race?

In most fantasy settings and worlds, we have different races like Demons, Elves , Fairies, Angels and so on and on. Most of them usually have longer lifespans than humans and while it might seem like ...
Skye's user avatar
  • 10.2k
54 votes
30 answers
10k views

Despite slain monsters continually yielding gold coins, why does gold's trading value seem to remain constant over the years?

Set in fantasy medieval times, monsters can be seen loitering around the kingdom. People discovered that the slain carcasses of these monsters contain a certain quantity of gold coins. The rest is ...
user6760's user avatar
  • 48k
54 votes
16 answers
12k views

How would an independent, illegal and secret group of assassins accept assignments?

In my story I would have a completely independent and elusive group of assassins. They would not be sanctioned by either a king, wealthy merchant, nobleman or by the church. Because of that, if it ...
user avatar
51 votes
20 answers
12k views

How can a person Insulate copper wire in a medieval world?

Time traveler here, stranded in the year of 1019 AD, medieval ages. Location: europe. While I can still access and post on web forums because my temporal transmitter has a 1Ky range, I have a broken ...
Mindwin Remember Monica's user avatar
51 votes
6 answers
25k views

What does a medieval army cost?

Something I was wondering about recently. My world has a medieval/fantasy setting. Most of the factions are either empires or kingdoms and they all have some sort of standing army. In time of war, ...
Robin's user avatar
  • 2,067
50 votes
18 answers
9k views

Help! Mage stuck inside a wall!

When teleporting an aura of magic covers your body and this aura works as a coating portal. Instead of you entering a portal, the portal eats you. The portal is created magically and eats the user in ...
user avatar
50 votes
20 answers
8k views

How to make this "friendly war" plausible?

I'm trying to come up with this scenario in a sort of "medieval fantasy" setting. There are two towns. One, Caertydin is a large city with all the appropriate tropes, while the smaller town, Siege is ...
komodosp's user avatar
  • 9,469
50 votes
20 answers
6k views

Kingdom with helpful bands of mercenaries; avoiding devolving into bandits

Fantasy, vaguely European middle ages. Humans are the only friendly intelligent species. Other species (and magic) exist but they're almost always things you work (or fight) against rather than forces ...
Ranger's user avatar
  • 17.5k
50 votes
5 answers
4k views

How would the existence of large rideable flying creatures have changed the design of castles?

I'm thinking not only of the impact they would have had on how you would defend from an aerial attack, but also that they could be used for much more specific bombardment by dropping large rocks and ...
Mourdos's user avatar
  • 2,896
49 votes
7 answers
15k views

How to realistically deal with a shield user?

Fantastic universe, but not necessarily magic involved in the process. You face a guy who has a shield (tower shield or not). You do not have a shield, but you are a better swordsman. How do you win? ...
Eric Juste Hernandez's user avatar
49 votes
12 answers
24k views

Is the whip sword feasible?

There are many weapons that appear in fantasy that are unrealistic for use in combat, from Cloud's sword in Final Fantasy to Daedric weaponry in Skyrim. One of these (less-than-realistic, in this case,...
TrEs-2b's user avatar
  • 56.2k
49 votes
8 answers
6k views

Modern trading card game viable in late medieval / renaissance times?

A tad bit late perhaps, but the creation of Gwent in The Witcher 3 PC RPG game has got me thinking: would a modern trading card game(hereafter referred to as TCG) like Magic: The Gathering be able to ...
nullpointer's user avatar
  • 8,709
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, ...
Ll134's user avatar
  • 489
47 votes
15 answers
15k views

Would modern age military skills be useful during the crusades?

Modern era western company, with plenty of combat experience in Iraq & Afghanistan, is magically transported from East Syria into the newly founded kingdom of Jerusalem, right after the first ...
Rav's user avatar
  • 451
47 votes
5 answers
11k views

Is it possible to create a Gas Mask using only Medieval Technology?

This question was inspired by this one, which brought up the concept that a lot of the issues with a sword that created toxic fumes would also kill the user (that question also has one of the best ...
Sydney Sleeper's user avatar
46 votes
11 answers
12k views

How to avoid the language barrier when there is no time to learn the other language?

In my medieval world, population A and population B have not had any contacts for thousands of years. But pressing events will make them look for each other. However when they meet... how are they ...
Dreamk33's user avatar
  • 708
43 votes
15 answers
15k views

Could a Roman Empire style civilization exist without slavery?

(Later Edit: Clarifying my question to could Rome, its empire, its complex urban civilization, grandeur, and vast public works be built without slavery in its era or the middle ages?) Could a ...
Seanchaí's user avatar
  • 720
43 votes
6 answers
8k 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 ...
James's user avatar
  • 32.9k
42 votes
18 answers
16k views

How many generations would it take until the noble and peasant classes become different species and cannot interbreed?

In this world: Technology: medieval, it should fit with real world history, for example: Low life life expectancy due to poor medical technology (vulnerable to disease), warfare, High infant ...
Haha TTpro's user avatar
  • 3,087
42 votes
21 answers
16k views

What crime would be illegal to uncover in medieval Europe? [closed]

I am writing a medieval fantasy novel, and need a specific crime to progress the plot. A noblewoman uncovers something about the son of the prince regent of an early medieval kingdom, and in doing so ...
J. Doe's user avatar
  • 389
41 votes
24 answers
11k views

How could intelligent animals defend against humans?

Some Context This story is a fable set in a magic forest full of intelligent animals that live in a huge community. Maleficent depicts a forest that's very close to what I'm thinking. The magic ...
Magus's user avatar
  • 4,644
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 ...
ArcWraith's user avatar
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