97

Can Lord Woodesey have an antlered helm? Yep, you bet, absolutely. As Kilisi pointed out, lots of impractical/decorative armor existed back in the day, just because the wearers liked how it looked. Does Lord Woodesey really need it to be battle-worthy? Even if he does, allow me to point out that in a fantasy/RPG setting if you say "Lord Woodesey appeared, ...


82

Very Advantageous. But with careful use. Obvious use is assassinations, since it can let your guy appear to be unarmed. He can even do it in public, and frame a nearby armed person. For a duel, he will need a visible weapon to maintain pretenses. Then he can sneakily stab the opponent who is focused on parrying the visible weapon. For extra equipment, ...


63

An army that moves in the ground Human warfare has actually been conducted under ground. From the cave bases in Afghanistan, to tunnel warfare in Vietnam, to mining in The Great War. In a fantasy world, where some races live under ground, like for example Drow and Duergar, relying solely on being on a hill to be safe against attackers would be folly at ...


63

If the sex is freely available, the men will come (no pun intended) Males are naturally attracted to sex. If sexual partners are easily found and freely available, they will travel. Your problem is actually that women will be left raising the children alone so the society would be better arranged to deal with single mothers than worrying about finding men. ...


58

The idea of the king is immortal, the appearance of the king is unchanging. Because that's the mythos of the king. Replace the crown with a mask The mask is the king and the king is the mask. The king is forbidden to publicly remove the mask. If the king seems elderly or infirm, it is the solemn duty of a senior member of the court to challenge the king. ...


44

The high ground is better because... you can more easily throw stuff onto the enemy, you can walk down saving strength, you can see further, and in close quarters you stand taller. We need to demolish those bonuses for the attackers, and the accompanying mali for the defenders. Some points (seeing,walking) are already weakend, because the battle site is ...


44

The primary advantage would be surprise. I'm trained in eastern martial arts including swordfighting. I was trained to not look at the weapon, but at the body of the opponent. The weapon moves too fast and will confuse your focus, but upper body and arm movements telegraph the sword strike a long time before it actually happens. A well-trained opponent may ...


44

Daggers work, but history is the best teacher here, and history says the simplest weapons are the most effective. In this case, a spear. Specifically, a cane or walking staff with a removable wooden head that reveals a metal tipped spear. Such a weapon would keep an opponent away from their target, hopefully long enough for a real guard to intervene. A ...


44

Well... I guess they would have to go by the other planets then, the Gegenschein could also help: Gegenschein (German: [ˈɡeːɡənʃaɪn]; lit. "countershine") is a faintly bright spot in the night sky centered at the antisolar point. The backscatter of sunlight by interplanetary dust causes this optical phenomenon. Since you don't mention the tech level they ...


43

Every Decade or So He Poses As His "Son" Every twenty to thirty years an old man "retires" from the public life, passing power to his heard-of, but rarely seen "son". The king does a good enough job at acting and dressing the part, and keeps his court at a sufficient distance that the amazing resemblance is dismissed as "strong Romanian genes". There ...


41

You don't. It's not merely impractical, it's straight-up impossible. A bow and a polearm require contradictory properties from their structural materials. However, you can do something functionally quite similar. If you are not set specifically on having a bow, as opposed to merely some sort of high-power ranged weapon, then you can quite easily combine a ...


40

If dwarves have a steam engine, then it's not a big leap from there to a powerful defensive weapon: Filling any chosen tunnel segment in their domain with scalding superheated steam. In order to use this weapon, the dwarves do require insulated doors that will hold against attack for the few minutes required to roast their foes. Then they will require ...


39

First off, this question reminds me of the Doctor Who episode The Pandorica Opens, in which the TARDIS exploding destroys all the stars. To get on with the main question, there are four ways that ancient peoples generally navigated. First off, your hypothetical people could make like Boy Scouts and Use a compass Seriously, this is one of your best options....


38

You don't need high tech, or even glass, for light-reduction "glasses". In real life, there are places where bright light is a problem - in snowfields in the north. People find ways to cope. (Picture from a webpage about Inuits)


38

Polynesian navigation No explanation could be better than real history. Do what the Polynesian sailors used to do. Apart from relying on the sun they were able to read the sea itself to know their position. They were aware of how the water behaves at certain locations on a particular period of the year. They used things like swells, currents, wind ...


37

You change the bow to a crossbow. The bayonet turned a firearm into a useful spear. You could start with a crossbow with a long shaft, like the ones in Central Africa... ... and just add a bayonet to obtain a spear. Such strange hybrids are common in fantasy (I think D&D had them), but also in reality


35

Mud Hoses Dwarven engineers create some kind of very big and powerful water/mud hoses. As soon as attackers are charging downhill, they target the hoses against the hillside, to generate a very slippery terrain. You can add spiked traps below or a an elite group of spearmen to deal with the rolling attackers.


35

I imagine that army tactics in this world would evolve such that commanders would not put their troops in that situation in the first place - i.e. if they are expecting an attack in the open field from the direction of the rising sun, they have already made a gross tactical blunder. They would choose their time/place of battle such that this simply isn't an ...


34

You don't really have a problem (or at least not the one you think you have). The 'standard (literary) solution' doesn't bear much relation to observed reality throughout history. People travel if what they need isn't where they are, it's medieval so travel isn't that easy (takes a long time) so a lot of people won't travel back & will just stay where ...


33

I'd like to submit a contrary view to the other answers. Daggers are bad and wrong (for defence) The main threat of a knife is thrusting, as it lacks sufficient force in strikes, or length in a slash, to do any real damage. Thrusts are very deadly, historically, but really terrible as a defensive technique. A thrust will kill the opponent, but it will ...


31

Bald Bear basically nailed everything I was going to answer except for one particular other use I saw once in an anime called Get Backers. In the episode I watched, a bad guy got into a swordfight with one of the main characters. The hero kept being hurt by the sword even though he as pretty confident in his skill to dodge the blows. Still, he kept being ...


30

Your people lack strong metals. But they have gunpowder. https://vassallohistory.wordpress.com/the-fougasses/ Native Americans had gold, copper and silver but no smelting technology - no bronze or iron. One might make a passable edged weapon out of copper if there was enough of it, although stone is a decent rival to copper as regards weaponry. The ...


29

There is no need for gunpowder to have ballistic weapons. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winans_Steam_Gun https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girandoni_air_rifle https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steam_cannon While in our world these were mostly limited in deployment or purely theoretical, that is because we had and wanted to use gunpowder. If the dwarfs are ...


28

Agriculture: Goblins can do anything larger animals can't do. It shouldn't be too difficult to teach them to harvest crops, vegetables and fruit, take care of the plants in general, get rid of unwanted weeds, sow seeds etc. They might even lead larger animals for plowing. Manufacturing can also be made easier. If they can clean, anything for textiles for ...


27

Not necessarily a combat unit: Sappers. These are the guys who make castle defenders very nervous, just due to the possibility of being there. Now, we do not attack a castle, but defending a valley against an enemy who will be comming down a hillside... How about we treat the hillside like a castle wall, and bring it down when the enemy charges over it? ...


27

Why should there be any constraints needed? Napoleonic rifles were more than three centuries away from Turkish bombards. That should be plenty of time for your story to happen before the rifles arrive. Edit (revised answer): One way you could do it would be to have really lousy explosive powder available. So lousy that you need large quantities to fire a ...


24

Yes, absolutely Lord Woodesey and I seem to have had the same idea, great minds think alike, so they say. There are several ways to have a deer antler helm without it being detrimental. The easiest, and by far the simplest, idea is to fix the antlers to the helm and then cut through them near the base, leaving you with two nubs attached to the side of the ...


24

I don't see a huge problem here. In medieval times small villiges and towns constantly exchanged brides and grooms to evade degeneration (they didn't knew genetics, but effects of inbreeding are obvious) and manage population density. Two variants are possible. In not-so-religious society: So this particular town would just accept only grooms and provide ...


21

Small bombs. While a single swallow might be unable to carry one, two swallows could quite easily hold such a bomb. In order to fly sufficiently far apart to navigate, they'd probably attach said bomb to a small length of standard creeper. Manufacturing the device wouldn't be terribly hard. The birds could retrieve small amounts of gunpowder ingredients and ...


21

Probably not. Your lack of range is going to be punishing, unless you can also provide gnome cavalry. Stronger and better equipped enemy archers will shoot up your little peeps before they can get into range, most likely. They could of course use crossbows. The rate of fire will be lower, but using suitable mechanical aids the gnome's relative lack of ...


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