Equipment by time period

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I've been looking at my 2e dmg and I noticed an interesting chart.      






EQUIPMENT BY TIME PERIOD








































































































































































































































































































































Item 



Ancient 



Dark Ages 



Middle Ages 



Re-issance 



Arquebus 












AV 



Awl Pike 









AV 



AV 



Bastard Sword 






AV 



AV 



AV 



Block and Tackle 









AV 



AV 



Bolt Case 









AV 



AV 



Brigandine 









AV 



AV 



Bronze Plate Mail 



AV 












Carriage, any 












AV 



Chain Mail 






AV 



AV 



AV 



Composite Long Bow 









AV 



AV 



Crossbow, any 









AV 



AV 



Field Plate 









AV 



AV 



Flail, any 






AV 



AV 



AV 



Full Plate 












AV 



Full Plate Barding 












AV 



Glaive 












AV 



Glass 






AV 



AV 



AV 



Glass Bottle 









AV 



AV 



Great Helm 









AV 



AV 



Greek Fire 






AV 



AV 



AV 



Heavy Horse Lance 






AV 



AV 



AV 



Heavy War Horse 






AV 



AV 



AV 



Horse Yoke 









AV 



AV 



Hose 









AV 



AV 



Jousting Lance 









AV 



AV 



Kopesh Sword 



AV 












Lantern, any 









AV 



AV 



Lock, any 






Poor 



Average 



Good 



Long Bow 






AV 



AV 



AV 



Magnifying Glass 












AV 



Mancatcher 









AV 



AV 



Morning Star 






AV 



AV 



AV 



Paper 






AV 



AV 



AV 



Papyrus 



AV 












Plate Mail 









AV 



AV 



Pole arms, not pike 






AV 



AV 



AV 



Pony Cart 









AV 



AV 



Ring Mail 






AV 



AV 






Sailing ship 









AV 



AV 



Scimitar 






AV 



AV 



AV 



Silk Clothes 






Very Rare 



Rare 



Rare 



Silk Rope 






Very Rare 



Rare 



Rare 



Spyglass 












AV 



Two-Handed Sword 






AV 



AV 



AV 



Voulge 






AV 



AV 



AV 




--Not Available, AV-Available



 

Does anyone think that with 5e such a chart will be possible?    I guess if the armor bonuses are not baked into the system math then martial classes won't require access to specific armor types.  
I'm hoping 5e doesn't make assumptions on what type of campaign you'll be playing.  

From that perspective, that's one thing I really liked about how the 2e DMG was written.    It was something that was completely lost in 3e and 4e.    2e didn't assume or force any particular play style on the DM, in fact it gave the DM more ideas. 

 

The equipment lists given in the Player's Handbook assume your campaign is set in a generic medieval fantasy world. In practical terms, this means you haven't tied your campaign to any particular date in history. All this is perfectly fine and is commonly done in fantasy stories and fantasy campaigns--you are dealing with fantasy, after all.

However, it is also possible to create exciting and interesting campaigns that are tied to specific time periods, but this will work only if you know something about the time period. This is important! A lot of people assume things about the past without knowing the facts. The truth of the matter may be far different. Go to the library and do your homework before you begin designing a time-specific campaign. Even if you don't do such a campaign, it's useful to learn a little more about medieval history. It will only improve your own fantasy world.


It is not necessary to pick a precise date to model, such as 1237 A.D., although again there is nothing wrong with this. History and historians tend to divide the past into different ages, and you can do the same. Four different ages are covered here--the Ancient World, the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, and the Re-issance. Each has its peculiarities and differences, some of which are described below.

... 


The Ancient World
This covers a period of great empires spreading from the Mediterranean. Some weapons and armor were made of bronze, others of iron, and a few were made of steel. Most household items were pottery, wood, stone, and wicker. Bronze weapons were easily dulled and, in game terms, break or bend when a "1" is rolled on the attack roll. Stirrups hadn't been invented, so characters can't use heavy lances, and charge attacks can't be made with normal lances.


The Dark Ages
This was the period after the collapse of the Roman Empire, from 450 A.D. to about 1100 A.D. While much of the learning and culture of the ancient world was lost, it was not as bleak and ignorant a period as some believe. Still, in many ways, it was a step backward from the previous age. During this time the stirrup was introduced, allowing riders to gain full use of the lance.
Table of Contents


The Middle Ages
The Middle Ages (roughly from 1100 to 1450) is the period in which most fantasy campaigns are set. It was the period most people associate with knighthood and chivalry. The knights went off on the Crusades. Great stone castles were built. The role of traders and merchants began to grow. Virtually all the items on the equipment list were available in this time period.


The Re-issance
The latest time period that should be considered as a setting for a normal AD&D campaign, the Renaissance was a time of great change. The collapse of the feudal system had begun throughout much of Europe. There was great growth in literature, art, and science. The power of the old nobility began to decline while the influence and wealth of merchants and businessmen continued to grow. Gunpowder and simple guns revolutionized the face



 
 


It's a fun chart.  I like how the answer to, "Why is the bad guy not wearing full plate?" could sometimes be, "Her culture hasn't invented full plate yet."  It's great for displaying a clash between cultures.
The metagame is not the game.
You can make that chart visually clearer. AV and NA look too similar for a quick scan. Maybe replace the NA with a dash −. Then you only see info where it exists. [Edit: Much better!]

As you can see, I intend to refer to this chart in the future.



D&D is fantasy, and homebrew worlds will mix and reinvent these items. But there is a gulf between ignorance versus poetic license ... between doing it wrong versus doing it wrong on purpose!
I've always thought the most fun settings are those that are based on a specific period in history, but sometimes with different geography and/or nations, and typically with magic. Basing it off of a given level of available technology, medicine, and social/national structures really anchors it for me personally, and allows of a very different style of gameplay than does the "generic" fantasy setting. For that to work, the "presence" of magic usually has to be minimal though.

A lot of settings also don't take into account just how much the existence of functional magic would alter the world. The way science and technology develop as well as the way everyone from individuals all the way up to governments approach problems and solutions. How prevalent magic is will alter those things nearly as much as will it's simple existence.

That's a handy list, but the time periods on quite a bit of it are off significantly.

The composite bow for instance is known to have been around since 2000 BC, developed by many different cultures in arid climates. Block and Tackle pully systems were invented by the Greeks around 300 BC, and the Celts were using various types of chain mail as far back as 300 BC as well. Crossbows have been found in and around China dating back to around 500 BC. Those are just a few that popped out at me, but I'd be willing to bet more of it is off too.

There are several games that have really nice comprehensive lists like that (or larger) which are extremely handy to have for hammering out custom settings, but unfortunately it looks like that one is rather inaccurate, which in turn kind of defeats the purpose of using it. I'm all for the idea though, if the design guys want to hammer a better one out.
There really are not 'time periods' in D&D. I can really see drastically different equipment lists for the different campaigns (Neverwinter, Darksun, etc) though.
There really are not 'time periods' in D&D. I can really see drastically different equipment lists for the different campaigns (Neverwinter, Darksun, etc) though.



Yeah, this.  Any assumptions that a D&D timeline, what with the magic and monsters and multiple races and such would, in any way, mirror RL history are ridiculous.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
There really are not 'time periods' in D&D. I can really see drastically different equipment lists for the different campaigns (Neverwinter, Darksun, etc) though.



But why aren't there? D&D has a history. Any setting in D&D has it's own separate history. Why make it so much more difficult to utilize those historical settings, or even more earthlike settings, that you see in fiction quite frequently.

Putting stuff like that on the table is great because if they have the tools built into the game to do it, I (and anybody else out there) can use THIS system to play whatever fantasy setting they want. If they tie the system to the setting or settings that are "common" to D&D (Neverwinter, Eberon, Dragonlance, etc), then if I want to play a game in the setting of some other fiction (Richard Morgan, George R. R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Jacqueline Carey, or whoever), then it makes it a lot easier to do so.

If the "modularity" of the game turns out as good as they're propping it up to be, then that will be an option. It seemed to me that 4e in particular didn't cater well to that, and led myself and others I know to use other game systems for any kind of non-baked-in settings.
There really are not 'time periods' in D&D. I can really see drastically different equipment lists for the different campaigns (Neverwinter, Darksun, etc) though.



Yeah, this.  Any assumptions that a D&D timeline, what with the magic and monsters and multiple races and such would, in any way, mirror RL history are ridiculous.



In large part you're right, but there would still be more socially and technologically advanced cultures even in D&D. To assume that EVERY nation and EVERY culture in D&D is equally developed seems a bit odd, even in a land of magic and monsters.

The history and development of technology in most any D&D setting wouldn't mirror actual history directly, but an accurate understanding of how and when things were developed historically gives you a point of reference. Heck, there are things that were developed in OUR history which given the inclusion of magic and some of the "mythical" materials in D&D (Adamantine, Mithril, etc) that could very well have advanced technology (such as Da Vinci's flying machine). Likewise if magic is particularly common, then it could have severely retarded the advance of technology by simply making many mundane advancements unnecessary.
It's an interesting concept, but there are some assumptions built into it. Consider the impact of campaign conceits:

 - In a world where metal is scarce, the cultures may be advanced enough in theory to have plate armor, but in practice without sufficient metal it's unlikely that would have ever developed
 - In a world where magic use is commonplace, armor might be seen as largely irrelevant as a defense mechanism 
 - The lower the level of weapon and armor technology, the more relatively powerful magic becomes; conversely, as firearms and steam engines appear magic is less significant
 - In a world of constant warfare, weapon and armor technology would likely develop faster; conversely in a world populated by pacifists such technology could be limited

I'm sure you could go on and on, but the question is to what extent you want your campaign to correspond to real cultural and technological developments. 


 - In a world where magic use is commonplace, armor might be seen as largely irrelevant as a defense mechanism



Actually, in a commonplace magic world, I would expect some form of mundane defense to magic to be developed eventually. I'm surprised something like this hasn't come up in Eberron. But personally, I would love to see a mundane item that works like armor against spells. 


By that I mean a defense thats bonus depends on your stat. In 3.5, how much armor bonus you got depended on what your stat was. If you have 30 dex, there's no sense in wearing full plate, you want to go with padded armor, or a Mithril Chain Shirt of Nimbleness or something. Similarly, if you have 10 dex, you should be wearing the heaviest armor you have proficiency with, to keep your AC on par.

The great thing about that system was that no matter what dex value you had, your AC generally added up to the same thing, which made armor values (at least at low levels) predictable. If we could get something like that for spells/NADs then I'd be pretty happy, because it lets the Fighter maintain some form of defense against Domination, even if his wisdom isn't all that great.
 - In a world where magic use is commonplace, armor might be seen as largely irrelevant as a defense mechanism



Actually, in a commonplace magic world, I would expect some form of mundane defense to magic to be developed eventually. I'm surprised something like this hasn't come up in Eberron. But personally, I would love to see a mundane item that works like armor against spells. 


By that I mean a defense thats bonus depends on your stat. In 3.5, how much armor bonus you got depended on what your stat was. If you have 30 dex, there's no sense in wearing full plate, you want to go with padded armor, or a Mithril Chain Shirt of Nimbleness or something. Similarly, if you have 10 dex, you should be wearing the heaviest armor you have proficiency with, to keep your AC on par.

The great thing about that system was that no matter what dex value you had, your AC generally added up to the same thing, which made armor values (at least at low levels) predictable. If we could get something like that for spells/NADs then I'd be pretty happy, because it lets the Fighter maintain some form of defense against Domination, even if his wisdom isn't all that great.



That's a great idea. In some of the games I've been a player in, they GM added in some items that anybody could use that would offer protection vs certain spell categories. They were magic items too, but they did the same job you're suggesting. I don't recall the individual mechanics, but I think they just gave bonuses to saving throws (it was 3.5) vs that particular spell or group of spells. I'd be neat if they built a mechanism or category of items in to fill that roll.

There really are not 'time periods' in D&D. I can really see drastically different equipment lists for the different campaigns (Neverwinter, Darksun, etc) though.



Yeah, this.  Any assumptions that a D&D timeline, what with the magic and monsters and multiple races and such would, in any way, mirror RL history are ridiculous.

Maybe you are talking about the kind of setting that you enjoy. But other players play in different settings. Some settings are careful about reinacting a particular period. Noticing a change in technology can be cool for setting the mood for a lost civilization. Its whatever the players find interesting, and charts like this can be inspiring.


There really are not 'time periods' in D&D. I can really see drastically different equipment lists for the different campaigns (Neverwinter, Darksun, etc) though.



Yeah, this.  Any assumptions that a D&D timeline, what with the magic and monsters and multiple races and such would, in any way, mirror RL history are ridiculous.


There's a big difference between how we write the histories of our fantasy worlds, and how we construct their present times. Often (and I'm certainly a designer who does this) we start with the kind of setting we want, and work backwards. So it's useful to know what kinds of technology belong together, as a starting point for world building.

After all, if I say that there are carriages with good suspension, but that steel swords are rare and expensive, sooner or later someone's going to figure out that the leaf-springs from the carriages can be turned into swords.

A table which somehow showed the spread of each technology would be useful; not every culture has every technology the moment it's invented. My current setting is a meeting of cultures between a quasi-Chinese late medieval region and another region which resembles the Byzantine Empire during the Latin occupation of the 13th century. The quasi-Chinese culture has gunpowder and much better canals; the quasi-Byzantine culture has sophisticated stone engineering and better sea-going ships. (The halflings have advanced theories of finance, the dwarves know the most about biochemistry, and the orcs have by far the best navigation skills.)

Saying that a fantasy world, or a region of it, resembles an historical place in some respect or other does not mean it's identical, and does not automatically assume a similar history.

Z.
I do agree that the chart I posted from the 2e DMG is most likely incorrect historically, and it might only apply to specific region of europe, but I think it does demonstrate that D&D was more versatile in the past.    

I know there are some gamers that really like to replicate the historical arms race in their games.   Thus far I don't see anything in 5e that will work against that style of play, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.   

It really should be up to the DM and the group to determine what kind of campaign they want to play in.    If for example, if I want to design a game that's based off the Crusades then I should be able to do that with little need for house ruling.    

The mechanics of the system should under no circumstances make assumptions about the nature of a campaign setting.     If for example a class requires heavy armor for it to be effective, then the game mechanics are infringing the DM's right to be creative.      I wouldn't want to screw a player's character over when I tell him that the roman empire hasn't invented full plate armor.      


Some sort of Dwarven Arquebus being core would be very cool for me.
There really are not 'time periods' in D&D. I can really see drastically different equipment lists for the different campaigns (Neverwinter, Darksun, etc) though.



Yeah, this.  Any assumptions that a D&D timeline, what with the magic and monsters and multiple races and such would, in any way, mirror RL history are ridiculous.



Would it be less ridiculous if the campaign setting considered monsters, sub races, and magic to be extremely rare or even mythical?   Would that make more logical sense?

In such a world, the PC's might return to town telling tall tales of their fight with a black dragon only to have everyone at the tavern laugh at their expense.       or  "... look that one has pointed ears!... get him he is a witch!  burn him at the stake... they have made a pack with the devil!"  lol....   

 


Such a chart would be handy if a DM was trying to recreate a particual time period for a setting or a culture within, but I usualy say go for broke. A little achronism makes things interesting and colorfull. Personally I get annoyed when peopl insist that D&D mimic any one historic period because most of these individuals have a poor grasp of history themselves.



D&D doesn't have technological time periods for three reasons;
1) Magic and monsters are commonplace. In a world where Ever Burning Torches exist there is no need to invent the light bulb. In a world where ogres and giants exist, there's no reason to invent better pulleys and cranes. The drive for technological improvement does not exist because the world has an infinitely powerful and infinitely reusable resource (i.e. magic), and natural tools exist for many tasks (i.e. monsters of various sorts). An example of this would be Discworld, which has imps who make instantaneous paintings of scenes instead of having cameras.

2) Much of the philosophical, and later scientific, thought is already solved, or is rendered pointless. The question of why weather happens isn't one that needs to be solved, and later proven with science; they can simply point to a god (which is very much a tangible thing in D&D) and say "that's why." In addition to not needing to improve the D&D world, people do not need to explain or explore it because either a god did it, or a god probably did it.

3) Technological booms require a host of great minds, rather than a single genius. There's an actual term for this phenomenom, but I can't remember it. Anyways, the Rennaissance happened not because Leonardo was the greatest inventor who ever lived, but because Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Brunelleschi, Donatello, and Manuzio (and many others) all lived in the same area at the same time, and any one person's discover would help shape and trigger another's great work. The same thing can be seen in Greece, with many of the great philosopher's working together. In the D&D world there is no such generation of geniuses, because while one single person might exist that can help change the world due to #1 and #2 that person's existance will be lonely.
One-half of the tabletop gaming news podcast Going Last Co-author on AoA 2-3 and 4-1.
D&D doesn't have technological time periods for three reasons;



But, it's a fact that the D&D system did support the use of time peroids.   

remember these books?

  etc...





Never seen them before.
My point addresses, I guess, most D&D (and really, most fantasy) settings. Even one's that have different time periods typically don't have much technological difference, and the ones that do are incredibly ancient so as to be Atlantis.
One-half of the tabletop gaming news podcast Going Last Co-author on AoA 2-3 and 4-1.
One of the major reasons why there are not 'time periods' with the core D&D books is because of the need of the core material to remain neutral. The D&D core books are not there to promote a specific period or campaign but provide a basis for basic 'fantasy' roleplaying.

Certainly there could be specific books that deal with a campaign's history and gear it used. Hasbaro could even create new campaigns that have totally different equipment lists ('prehistoric'-based, etc). There can also be small supplements that give options on lower cultured people who use primitive weapons/armors/etc. DMs do not really need these; instead, they can just tell the players what is usable and what is not. There are a quite a bit of options. 
The green covered books in dmgorgon's post were from AD&D 2nd Edition, coded HR for Historical Reference.  Each covered a specific Earth culture and historical period in detail for use as a setting for AD&D 2nd Edition campaigns.  Most also featured ways to "turn the magic dial" up or down from mythic (normal D&D magic) to historically accurate (no magic).  They included:

HR1: Vikings
HR2: Charlemagne's Paladins
HR3: Celts
HR4: A Mighty Fortress
HR5: The Glory of Rome
HR6: Age of Heroes
HR7: The Crusades

Note also that the Masque of the Red Death boxed set for Ravenloft was set in Earth of the 1890s, though it eschewed historical accuracy in favor of capturing the flavor of classic horror stories like Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.         

All around helpful simian

1) Magic and monsters are commonplace.

2) Much of the philosophical, and later scientific, thought is already solved, or is rendered pointless.

3) Technological booms require a host of great minds, rather than a single genius.



Once again, you're making the assumption on the default setting. Things would be significantly different in a fantasy setting in which magic and monsters exist, but are either segregated from human society or simply very rare. If magic exists in the world, but the number of powerful wizards can be counted on your hands, then it would not supplant the need for mundane invention and scientific advancement. Lastly that's a pretty big assumption even for the default setting that nowhere in the world there is enough forward thinking going on to reach critical mass for some kind of development. The renaissance certainly was a combination of a lot of things, and one could argue that the presence of so many brilliant minds together in Europe during that age was simply a result of the other socioeconomic factors that allowed for the renaissance. There have always been forward thinkers in every era, but they lacked the ability to disseminate fact and theory. What really kicked off the renaissance, after all, was the spread of knowledge following the sacking of Constantinople. After the fall of Rome, the Byzantines had hoarded the sum of Rome's scientific knowledge, which was generally why the "dark ages" happened at all. Europe was trying to re-discover a great deal of what Rome had learned centuries earlier, and with the fall of Constantinople, the great library was emptied out and those books were taken and sold throughout Europe, and particularly in Florence Italy. Then a hundred or so years later, when Bernoulli invented the printing press, the spread of knowledge and intelligent discourse of through doubled again.

All of the above aside, the point is why would they want to hamstring themselves into just one setting when it would be only slightly more difficult to make the "tech level" of items and equipment modular to suit different settings. As I said before, if I can use the D&D ruleset for any fantasy setting rather than just their own, then I'm more likely to play it more often rather than resorting to other systems, and if I play it more, then I typically spend more money on supplementary material and am likely to bring more new players to THIS game rather than another one.
I never mentioned powerful wizards. The fact that a 0th level apprentice can light a room for no cost, and a 1st level wizard can permanently light a room for less than the cost of a horse, means oil lamps do not *need* to be improved (not to mention light bulbs). 


All that aside, I'm not arguing for a single time period or setting. It seemed there was a question why there aren't technological levels in D&D, and I presented some in game reasons why.  
One-half of the tabletop gaming news podcast Going Last Co-author on AoA 2-3 and 4-1.
I never mentioned powerful wizards. The fact that a 0th level apprentice can light a room for no cost, and a 1st level wizard can permanently light a room for less than the cost of a horse, means oil lamps do not *need* to be improved (not to mention light bulbs).



4E is the only edition this is true in.
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
I never mentioned powerful wizards. The fact that a 0th level apprentice can light a room for no cost, and a 1st level wizard can permanently light a room for less than the cost of a horse, means oil lamps do not *need* to be improved (not to mention light bulbs).



4E is the only edition this is true in.



Whether or not my specific example is accurate for every edition the general point behind my argument is true for every edition; low level casters and permanent rituals outstrip any medieval technologies, and match or exceed what we are capable of in the 21st century. 
 
One-half of the tabletop gaming news podcast Going Last Co-author on AoA 2-3 and 4-1.
One of the major reasons why there are not 'time periods' with the core D&D books is because of the need of the core material to remain neutral. The D&D core books are not there to promote a specific period or campaign but provide a basis for basic 'fantasy' roleplaying.

Certainly there could be specific books that deal with a campaign's history and gear it used. Hasbaro could even create new campaigns that have totally different equipment lists ('prehistoric'-based, etc). There can also be small supplements that give options on lower cultured people who use primitive weapons/armors/etc. DMs do not really need these; instead, they can just tell the players what is usable and what is not. There are a quite a bit of options. 



I'm perfectly happy with the core books to remain neutral, but I haven't felt that D&D has done that since 2e.       What recent systems did was bake equipment into the math of the game.

A fighter class shouldn't be required to use have heavy armor.   If it does then the system isn't being time period neutral at all, and it's forcing equipment use on the classes.  



Whether or not my specific example is accurate for every edition the general point behind my argument is true for every edition; low level casters and permanent rituals outstrip any medieval technologies, and match or exceed what we are capable of in the 21st century. 
 



In a lot of settings, magic isn't something that can be "learned" per se. You must first have the "talent" for magic and while training and learning can develop that talent further, only as many people as are naturally gifted can potetially use magic. In that case, every single lvl 0 apprentice may be able to cast the "duplicate 25th century technology" spell, and shoot lazer beams out of his butt. It doesn't matter, if there are only a dozen people on the planet with that talent however.

Now, that's not the default for most D&D settings. In fact, in a world like most D&D settings where anybody can learn to be a wizard, any and all tasks that you spend years training for can be duplicated (and typically with better effect) though a basic spell, nobody would want to train for anything BUT wizardry. Why be a master baken when you can go to "magic school" and learn to conjure not only arisan bread but ALL artisan foods with simple spell casts. Why spend your life perfecting stealth and theivery, when you can cast Invisiblility on yourself, Sleep on your mark, and Knock on even the most complex locks, without spending a day learning to steal from people? That's why I, personally, hate the "anybody can learn magic" paradigm, because it makes the entire setting cease to make sense. The "logical" progression if anybody CAN do it, is that everybody WILL do it, so long as there are institutions of higher magical learning in their culture.

And with that, I respectfully bow out. This is clearly going nowhere.
One-half of the tabletop gaming news podcast Going Last Co-author on AoA 2-3 and 4-1.
The green covered books in dmgorgon's post were from AD&D 2nd Edition, coded HR for Historical Reference.  Each covered a specific Earth culture and historical period in detail for use as a setting for AD&D 2nd Edition campaigns.  Most also featured ways to "turn the magic dial" up or down from mythic (normal D&D magic) to historically accurate (no magic).  They included:

HR1: Vikings
HR2: Charlemagne's Paladins
HR3: Celts
HR4: A Mighty Fortress
HR5: The Glory of Rome
HR6: Age of Heroes
HR7: The Crusades

Note also that the Masque of the Red Death boxed set for Ravenloft was set in Earth of the 1890s, though it eschewed historical accuracy in favor of capturing the flavor of classic horror stories like Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.         




Thanks, I was going to list them all but you beat me too it.   I'm rather fond of those books and some of the game rules they introduced.  I especially like the celtic combat manuvers, the viking breserker class, and the Rune caster.

Actually, I think HR1 contained the first reference that D&D made to the Rune Caster class.     

Time peroid is very important to the Ravenloft campaign setting.   I'm actually, very glad you mentioned that.    In fact, most Raveloft Domains in the core are listed with a technology level.    The PC's could travel through a number of domains and experience one culture/technology  shock after the next.


..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Time peroid is very important to the Ravenloft campaign setting.   I'm actually, very glad you mentioned that.    In fact, most Raveloft Domains in the core are listed with a technology level.    The PC's could travel through a number of domains and experience one culture/technology  shock after the next.



Hollow World is another good example of this. Every nation in the Hollow World is given an explicit technology level.
Such a chart would be handy if a DM was trying to recreate a particual time period for a setting or a culture within, but I usualy say go for broke. A little achronism makes things interesting and colorfull. 

That reminds me. D&D 5e needs rules for firearms. Not that core can use them, but certain settings will.



Personally I get annoyed when people insist that D&D mimic any one historic period because most of these individuals have a poor grasp of history themselves.

Amusingly ironic.
Oh my, historical accuracy from D&D...
Not in the past Decades my friends.

In a game where Falchion is the name for Gross Messer or Dimerki, and "Splint" (who would die if this was called Lamellar?) and "Banded" Armor exists side by side with Plate, Chain, and Scale, but Brigandine is curiously absent, and these are all locked into catergories wherein one set is objectively better than another, I would not hold my breath.

The default seems to be misnamed Katamari-ball equipment.
Or, Dungeon Punk if you prefer.

Now, a module that offers some less... eclectic... menus may be of some merit. 
Historical modules can be quite good if propperly researched. However, their capacity to be rage inducing piles is just as potent. 
Don't get me wrong, I loved the AD&D Arms and Equipment guide... until I saw Osprey manuals that illuminated some inconsistencies. That was back under TSR. WotC does several things quite well. Historical accuracy is not one of them that I have ever seen.
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
What really kicked off the renaissance, after all, was the spread of knowledge following the sacking of Constantinople. After the fall of Rome, the Byzantines had hoarded the sum of Rome's scientific knowledge, which was generally why the "dark ages" happened at all. Europe was trying to re-discover a great deal of what Rome had learned centuries earlier, and with the fall of Constantinople, the great library was emptied out and those books were taken and sold throughout Europe, and particularly in Florence Italy. Then a hundred or so years later, when Bernoulli invented the printing press, the spread of knowledge and intelligent discourse of through doubled again.


While I agree with the general thrust of your post, I really don't accept this section at all.

For a start, the Byzantines did not hoard knowledge - indeed, they worked with Muslim scholars in adjoining states to translate Greek classics into Arabic, and Arabic works into Greek. They also had their own problems to deal with - such as the iconoclastic controversy - which make viewing the Byzantine Empire as a monolithic entity is misleading at best.

The term 'Byzantine Empire', like 'Renaissance' and 'Dark Ages', was something that later historians projected back onto the periods in question.

The Dark Ages weren't that dark - the Venerable Bede was writing in what would traditionally be called the early Dark ages, but his works include scientific arguments about the patterns of tides, accounts of international trade and diplomacy, and philosophical discussions about the human condition. The great Norman cathedrals of England were built using Dark Ages technology, and included some of the tallest buildings in the world in those days.

And which fall of Constantinople are we talking about? The city was sacked extensively in 1204 during the Fourth Crusade - which was undertaken by 'Latins', who were mostly Franks, Normans and Italians. The Latin Empire was ruled entirely by westerners, including the de Courtenay family who were scions of the Capetian kings of France. Are we supposed to think that they sat on that library and didn't share with their own cousins?

Or do we mean the fall to the Ottomans, in 1453? That's a traditional date for the end of the entire Middle Ages, not just the Dark Ages. By that time, the movable type printing press had already been invented, in Mainz, by Gutenberg. (The Bernoulli family were Enlightenment-era Swiss-Italian mathematicians; I'm not sure what they have to do with printing.)

By all means let's argue for options which let us recreate different historical eras. But let's not promote a different set of myths about what that history is.

Z.

PS: 'Florence Italy' - as opposed to what other Florence?
By all means let's argue for options which let us recreate different historical eras. But let's not promote a different set of myths about what that history is.



Well, as far as I remember reading, when the crusader's took the city in 1204, they set fire to the library. The whole thing didn't burn, but they were more interested in destroying what was there than in stealing it. Then when the Turks were set to invade (and eventually take the city), the majority of the cities prominent intellectuals fled prior to the siege, and took with them as many volumes from the library as they could transport. Most of them fled to Florence (and yes, you're right, I guess pointing out that it's Italy was redundant). What was left of it generally ended up as part of the Sultan's library after the city fell.

You're right about the press though. I misspoke on it's date, though as I recall it did take about another hundred years before it's use became widespread.

Any who, in regard to history, I'd honestly be happy if they just fix (and by that I mean remove) things like Studded Leather, Ring Mail, and Splint Armor, in favor of types of armor that were actually used commonly at some point. Replace them with things like the Arming Jacket, Coat of Plates, Lamellar and Brigandine armors. I'd also really like a "tech level" module to make it easier for folks to adjust a game to fit into lower or higher levels of technology. It may be wishful thinking, but it'd be nice all the same.
The Dark Ages weren't that dark - the Venerable Bede was writing in what would traditionally be called the early Dark ages, but his works include scientific arguments about the patterns of tides, accounts of international trade and diplomacy, and philosophical discussions about the human condition.

Most archeologists and historians have stopped using the term “Dark Ages”, and simply refer to “Late Antiquity”, “Post-Classical”, and so on. Depending on the region, its the same thing as the “Migration Period”. Its the same thing as the “Byzantine Era” - and Byzantium is highly advanced.

Different scholars sometimes use the term “Dark Ages” to mean different things, but in the contexts that I come across the term, it means exactly the time after the division of the Roman Empire and before the rise of Islam. In other words, the Byzantine Era.
Different scholars sometimes use the term “Dark Ages” to mean different things, but in the contexts that I come across the term, it means exactly the time after the division of the Roman Empire and before the rise of Islam. In other words, the Byzantine Era.



Did anybody really doubt what time period I was talking about when I said "Dark Ages"? That is indeed the context I was using the term, but Zerozobbb is correct in that it's imprecise and can lead to misunderstanding. In fact it was during that period that several cultures (particularly around the middle east, I think) ascended to near their pinnacles (which Europe did their best to put an end to with the crusades).

And yes, Bede had indeed written many volumes, several of which would be very significant throughout Europe. As I pointed out before, there are brilliant thinkers in every era. Part of what limits them in some periods more than others is their ability to engage in intelligent discourse with other great minds and perhaps cooperate toward common goals, despite the separation of distance or culture. During that era, it was not uncommon for a prolific writer to die of age or illness before their works traveled far enough to gain widespread acclaim. If I remember correctly, it was another few generations after Bede's death, before he was recognized as a truly great thinker. Unless I'm mistaken, his monicker (Venerable), as well as his other titles were all rewarded posthumously. Not that that's unusual anyway, so maybe I'm wrong.

Anyway, that whole bit was off topic. Kill Studded Leather, Ringmail, and Splint Armor!

As a convenient sketch of time, I tend to map events using the following “Ages”, per Mideast archeology:



Stone Age
• Paleolithic Period (hunter-gatherer)
• “Clan of the Cave Bear”
• Neolithic Period (herder-farmer)
• Invention of farming (!)
• “Garden of Eden”
• Invention of clay ceramic (!)
• Invention of metalwork (!)
Bronze Age
• Rise of Townships (city-states)
• “Enoch”
• Invention of writing (!)
• Rise of Empires (towns conquering other towns)
• Sumeria
• Pyramids of Egypt
• Invention of law (!)
• Babylon (Code of Hammurabi)
• Tora of Moses
• Egypt (Dynasty 18)
• Trojan War
• Collapse of Bronze Age civilization (!)
Iron Age
• Hinduism (Vedas)
• Philistines
• Israel (Kind David)
• Neo-Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar)
Classical Age
• Invention of logic (!)
• Persian Empire
• Buddhism (Guatama)
• Classical Greece
• Homer (Illad & Odyssey)
• “SPAA” (Socrates > Plato > Aristotle > Alexander the Great)
• Hellenistic Era
• Egypt/Syria (Ptolemaic/Seleucid)
• Roman Empire
• Rabbinic Judaism (Hilel)
• Christianity (Jesus)
• Imperial Christianity (Emperor Constantine)
• Division of Roman Empire
• Post-Classical Era
• Byzantine Era
• Talmud
• “King Arthur”
• “Holy Grail”
Medieval Age
• Papacy (Pope Gregory the Great)
• Arabian Islamic Era
• France (Charlemagne)
• Viking Era
• Germany Holy Roman Empire
• High Middle Ages
• Christian Viking Era
• Crusades
• Maimonides
• Egypt/Syria (Mamluk)
• Icelandic Sagas
Modern Age
• Renaissance Era
• Ottoman Empire conquers Byzantine Empire
• High Renaissance (Leonardo da Vinci)
• Protestant Christianity (Martin Luther)
• Britain (Queen Elizabeth)
• Shakespeare
• Enlightenment Era
• United States of America
• Freedom, democracy
• French Revolution
• Romantic Era
• Folklore Compilations (Grimms Fairytales)
• “Goth” (Dracula, Frankenstein)
• Britain (Queen Victoria)
• “Steam Punk”
• World War 1
• Modern Era




Heh. As you can see from a quick glance at these Ages, D&D settings tend to be all over the place.
Yup, and while I'm usually pretty good at ignoring it for the default settings, whenever I run a game myself, I try and base it loosely around a general timeframe, and make whatever alterations seem pertinent based on the degree and potency of magic and monsters present. It will typically not be set on earth ofcourse, but I usually draw a great deal of inspiration from actual societies, which the various nations and races are often modeled on.

Nice list by the way.
Yup, and while I'm usually pretty good at ignoring it for the default settings, whenever I run a game myself, I try and base it loosely around a general timeframe, and make whatever alterations seem pertinent based on the degree and potency of magic and monsters present. It will typically not be set on earth ofcourse, but I usually draw a great deal of inspiration from actual societies, which the various nations and races are often modeled on.

Nice list by the way.




Actually, a lot of people do that when they run the FR.     Amn = Spain/portugal, Calimshan = Iberia, Chessenta = Ancient Greece,The Moonshae Isles = Ireland/Vikings, Mulhorand = Ancient Egypt, etc...


Yup, and while I'm usually pretty good at ignoring it for the default settings, whenever I run a game myself, I try and base it loosely around a general timeframe, and make whatever alterations seem pertinent based on the degree and potency of magic and monsters present. It will typically not be set on earth ofcourse, but I usually draw a great deal of inspiration from actual societies, which the various nations and races are often modeled on.

Nice list by the way.


Actually, a lot of people do that when they run the FR.     Amn = Spain/portugal, Calimshan = Iberia, Chessenta = Ancient Greece,The Moonshae Isles = Ireland/Vikings, Mulhorand = Ancient Egypt, etc...


I certainly did, although for me, the equivalences were:

Savage Frontier = Britain/Germany
Amn = The Veneto and Liguria
Tethyr = the Balkans
Calimshan = Ottoman Turkey (with Shoonach = Byzantium)

(The Wikipedia article seems to think about half a dozen places are modelled on Iberia/Al-Andalus. I like to keep things varied.)

Z.