50 votes

Medieval Footwear in swamplands

Stilts is the obvious solution and was used in various swampy places to help people get around. Not the sort of stilts we play with which would just get stuck, they used a third stabilising stick the ...
  • 20.3k
44 votes

If thrusting is the most practical way of hurting a foe, why wouldn't ancient armies use barbed weapons to inflict even more damage?

War is not a turn based game, where you can take all the time you need to make your move, nor is a movie or an anime where the enemies politely attack one at a time. Once you have hit an enemy with a ...
  • 249k
43 votes

Is there a paternity test method given medieval level technology with low false positive rate?

In the Middle Ages they had not one but two absolutely certain paternity tests. If the mother was married, then the husband of the mother was the father of the child, according to the legal maxim ...
  • 76.7k
42 votes

How could peasants protest against superhuman kings?

First there is some problems here. Question really needs improvement I say. Power and size of nobility 10 times stronger is really good. But how big are they? We talking about several thousands people?...
  • 8,222
37 votes
Accepted

In a supercontinent would ships still be the primary way of transportation before the invention of engines?

I believe that you may be asking slightly the wrong question. You ask: "Will Ships still be useful on a super-continent" To which my answer is .... Yes! But a slightly better question is: &...
  • 6,393
36 votes

Would medieval people be able to build a wall to keep the rising sea levels from engulfing their continent?

Dutch started building dikes from the Iron age. The earliest indications of dike building date from the late Iron Age. During excavations of terps in the Frisian villages of Peins and Dongjum, among ...
  • 249k
36 votes

Is there a paternity test method given medieval level technology with low false positive rate?

Given medieval technology there is no reliable paternity test. It wasn't until the 1960s when genetic testing to determine paternity became possible. HLA testing had a 80% success rate and couldn't ...
  • 21.2k
32 votes

Why would the devil give someone immortality in exchange for them maintaining a diary?

The diary is a ruse; the devil's goal is merely to corrupt the baron. He has no specific repayment in mind. His goal is simply to give the baron immortality in hopes that, like the parable of Gyges, ...
  • 33.6k
31 votes
Accepted

How could I logically place cities and towns on my map?

Not uncountably large. One factor. Fresh water. People need it. You can get by with wells for small populations but you need moving water for medium or larger populations. Water is also good for ...
  • 288k
25 votes

If thrusting is the most practical way of hurting a foe, why wouldn't ancient armies use barbed weapons to inflict even more damage?

The point (so to speak) of a thrusting attack is to concentrate as much force as possible on as small an area as possible. Greater concentration of force means it's easier to sunder armor, break bone, ...
  • 33.6k
24 votes

How can a massive walled city be viable?

Pre-modern cities in general needed massive amount of farmers working elsewhere. The safe calculation is that urban population can be only as big as 10% of total population, which mean that your 10mln ...
  • 2,211
24 votes

Is there a paternity test method given medieval level technology with low false positive rate?

Short answer: nope Longer answer: Too much science and technology into a reliable test for what you can do in medieval times. And stay assured that, considering how picky were monarchs in keeping ...
  • 249k
23 votes

How hard magic could make bows, swords and other early/mid- medieval weapons relevant alongside fairly advanced gunpowder weapons?

Melee Weapons -- Shield and Teleport The era of gunpowder is also the era of the pike-block and cavalry charge. Cavalry beats musket; Musket beats pike; and pike beats cavalry. The reason melee ...
  • 46.5k
23 votes

How could peasants protest against superhuman kings?

Leave for a new life in the most awesome Kingdom there is! source The people leave for the territory of a different god king. This particular god king takes pride in the fact that his kingdom is the ...
  • 288k
23 votes
Accepted

Can the princess escape using shoddy craftsmanship in a one-sided lock?

Frame (ahem) challenge. The prison's walls are very thick. The handyman who has to install the windows also does the cleaning, once every two months, and he can see that it would be a right pain to ...
  • 4,432
22 votes
Accepted

How could peasants protest against superhuman kings?

Burn everything down The nobility can't be everywhere at once. So if the peasants are sufficiently well organised, then they can loot and burn down everything that belongs to the nobility. If they ...
  • 344
21 votes

Why would civilizations have no major technological development even after ten thousand years?

Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing: that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Ten thousand years of contemplation have passed for your ...
  • 288k
21 votes

Why would civilizations have no major technological development even after ten thousand years?

Lack of need to The funny thing about magic is that it removes a lot of the need to progress technologically and makes the common folk much more reliant on esoteric magical practices or traditional ...
  • 297
21 votes
Accepted

Why would civilizations have no major technological development even after ten thousand years?

Population decline leads to demographic tax Let me offer a reason of more prosaic origin. Huge advances and progress come from the need to tackle complex problems. In turn, these complex problems ...
21 votes

Medieval visual torture method

Pokemon seizures. Sometimes watching Pokemon can hurt you. One particular episode sent 685 kids to the hospital. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denn%C5%8D_Senshi_Porygon Twenty minutes into the ...
  • 288k
20 votes

Why would civilizations have no major technological development even after ten thousand years?

Lack of Coal. Without it, the distance you can get from the middle ages is limited. There is a renaissance/enlightenment, but the way humanity hit an industrial revolution was via Coal. Almost all of ...
  • 13.5k
20 votes

Medieval Footwear in swamplands

This is how south Louisiana was for a long time. The solution they used was wide bottomed boats called pirogues. They didn't walk in the water, they floated above it. With a boat, they can move goods ...
  • 3,490
20 votes

How fast can technology be brought from 11th century to 21st century?

"He has not read an incredible amount of engineering books, but he still knows a good deal about technology and engineering." That is not very helpful, at all. There is a vast chasm between &...
  • 76.7k
20 votes
Accepted

Would a spear ever out perform a bow when wielded by an insanely powerful person?

Interestingly (to me, at least), the most important thing is not so much strength but speed. If you could throw a little metal dart at 500m/s then you might well be able to drop someone in full plate ...
20 votes

If thrusting is the most practical way of hurting a foe, why wouldn't ancient armies use barbed weapons to inflict even more damage?

Cripple versus Kill: Certainly if you only have one opponent, then barbed weapons are fine. But if you kill your opponent with a thrust, you gain no advantage from tearing at his insides. In war, you ...
  • 60.6k
20 votes

Can the princess escape using shoddy craftsmanship in a one-sided lock?

Actually, it is trivial, even with today's technology. Most door locks are built to lock from one side and open easily from the other. If the locksmith wasn't told about breakable glass, this could ...
  • 1,147
19 votes

Medieval airship nomads

Hunting birds bring nearby food sources back to the airships Falcons for migrating birds Cormorants for fish Falconry is a Eurasian hunting method dating from the 13th Century BCE and well into the ...
  • 407
19 votes

How could people hundreds of years ago have protected themselves from radiation?

You can't protect yourself from a danger you are not aware of. 1800's-level technology was totally ignorant of the risks related to radioactivity. Marie Curie (born 7 November 1867 – dead 4 July 1934),...
  • 249k
19 votes

Why would the devil give someone immortality in exchange for them maintaining a diary?

Installment Soul Payments A person's soul is a big, powerful, important thing that grows as they do. It cannot be sold when you're twenty, because you only have twenty years of it to sell. Of course, ...
  • 15.4k
19 votes

Stagnated renaissance era technology in a fantasy setting?

Interchangeable parts don't. No, seriously - I don't just mean there are poor tolerances in your manufacturing. I mean that having all those blasted wizards running around tapping into arcane ...
  • 21.4k

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