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Khloros
2018-07-04, 09:29 PM
Every single class has an iconic outfit.

The armor of the fighter.
The robes and hat of the wizard.
The cape of the bard.
The crusader or Templar armor for the paladin.
The cloak and hood of the rogue.
The loincloth of the barbarian etc...

But what's up with the iconic outfit for clerics? they often use armor but with a piece of fabric hanging between their legs. What's up wit that? Has anyone notice it before? is it based on anything?

I don't get when I picture a cleric I picture religious robes and silly hats.

But this outfit with armor and fabric seems to be used by both good and evil clerics all the time.

Exemples form the very few first pictures on google:

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/forgottenrealms/images/3/32/Cleric_PHB5e.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20140921191521
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/nwn2/images/9/92/PHB35_PG31_WEB.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20051217031533
http://www.heromachine.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/1a3b784f009047d3213235de843607ae.jpg
http://geekandsundry.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Cleric1-e1495132788149.jpg
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/elemud/images/d/d0/Cleric.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20160408210819
https://img00.deviantart.net/e1bb/i/2016/222/6/5/cleric_of_kaga_by_willobrien-dadfp27.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/DzfslS1.png
http://i.imgur.com/Xp4xDxM.png
http://www.dcastle.org/pics/Cleric%20(hobbit%20female).jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/62/9b/68/629b68dfb52ce06020347d8074d4c278.jpg
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRg3BFAXTGjjprUvvDRFiPskz8V_YRO9 8AyuzUmTpkwfvTFY8oX
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/4e/be/7a/4ebe7a0b71e0a96324739823d1e4b05e.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/90/48/72/90487234df8732c98829779c2b631bfc.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/b3/80/84/b3808472e747fd21841b869b949b94b1--female-cleric-character-portraits.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/37/91/8a/37918aaaeea4ced35f2410dee12adbeb.jpg
https://i1.wp.com/img.4plebs.org/boards/tg/image/1366/48/1366483194704.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c5/5c/12/c55c1236e81fc86e7135df03a58cef87.jpg
https://2static.fjcdn.com/pictures/Character_9b386a_5841477.jpg
https://i.warosu.org/data/tg/img/0376/01/1422167828067.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/06/51/50/06515086b90e0a40dc7e26d643f70b4e.png
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ2xzuOmqxIEDJagyzNj-WuVDKmE_MMJWgVdMG9tuVfcJWKz5jz
https://www.miniaturemarket.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/d/d/ddab04.jpg
https://img00.deviantart.net/5f26/i/2014/002/e/9/katrina__bane_s_cleric_by_johndowson-dr94ka.jpg
https://pre00.deviantart.net/5afa/th/pre/f/2014/228/f/e/dee_sombra_by_loboborges-d7vdwvl.jpg
https://img00.deviantart.net/f963/i/2008/173/a/c/evil_cleric_by_turaziel.jpg
https://www.tabletopempires.com.au/image/cache/data/Reaper/DHL2/02569_ag-600x600.jpghttps://banner2.kisspng.com/20180409/poq/kisspng-cleric-dungeons-dragons-asmodeus-evil-pathfinder-thorns-5acb82075a8288.3985916815232865353707.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/18/70/04/187004c20c7fe4693a83de74bd12282a.jpg
https://img00.deviantart.net/4e80/i/2017/142/4/7/a_cleric_has_to_eat____rpg_comic_by_travisjhanson-dba2x7e.jpg


What's up with that?

Thrudd
2018-07-04, 09:38 PM
It's inspired by the look of the tabard of crusader orders like the Templars, on which they would wear the symbol of their order (usually a cross).
These are the inspiration for the cleric class- religious knights who fight in God's name against "heathens", combined with the idea of exorcist/demon hunters from fiction and mythology.

Note- a tabard is not exclusive to religious orders, it was standard medieval garb.

Brother Oni
2018-07-05, 06:26 AM
Further to Thrudd's post, the cleric pre-dates the paladin class, thus it was used for the 'western religious warrior' archetype before the theme got split into paladins (lay folk and the religious chivalric orders eg the Knights Templar, St John's Hospitallers, etc) and clerics (fully ordained priests who happen to fight).

As I understand it, the combat priest archetype derives from a depiction in the Bayeux Tapestry of Odo of Bayeux (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odo_of_Bayeux), the Bishop of Bayeux who fought in the 1066 Battle of Hastings alongside William the Conqueror. The Tapestry shows him in full armour wielding a rod of some sort, which has been interpreted as a mace.
It's not exactly clear why he's wielding a mace rather than a sword, but some interpretations suggest it's so that he can get the restriction of priests not shedding Christian blood via a technicality (killing them with blunt force trauma is fine though apparently), thus the D&D's cleric weapon restriction to blunt weapons.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4f/Odo_bayeux_tapestry_detail.jpg

Pilum
2018-07-05, 07:20 AM
It's not exactly clear why he's wielding a mace rather than a sword

Hastings was fought using Pendragon and hes realised a mace gets bonus damage vs mail? :smallwink:

Lalliman
2018-07-05, 08:28 AM
+1 to what the others said. I find it pretty funny that for some of these characters the tabard seems to have lost its upper half and just become a loincloth worn over armour. I've never noticed it so clearly. It certainly helps the priestly vibe for me though.


It's not exactly clear why he's wielding a mace rather than a sword, but some interpretations suggest it's so that he can get the restriction of priests not shedding Christian blood via a technicality (killing them with blunt force trauma is fine though apparently), thus the D&D's cleric weapon restriction to blunt weapons.
A tour guide once told that this was common practice among priests at that time, carrying blunt weapons to get around the no-bloodshed restriction. Looking back to it, I doubt that statement was well-sourced, but it certainly shows where the archetype comes from. Interesting how that obscure and questionable historical fact led to the extremely widespread depiction of club-wielding clerics in roleplaying games.

ross
2018-07-05, 08:47 AM
looks cool

PhoenixPhyre
2018-07-05, 08:51 AM
A tour guide once told that this was common practice among priests at that time, carrying blunt weapons to get around the no-bloodshed restriction. Looking back to it, I doubt that statement was well-sourced, but it certainly shows where the archetype comes from. Interesting how that obscure and questionable historical fact led to the extremely widespread depiction of club-wielding clerics in roleplaying games.

Yeah. I'm trying to think of a game with "clerics" (in the western/D&D mold) that doesn't mostly restrict their weapons to blunt weapons. Even in Robin Hood, Friar Tuck doesn't wield the bow and arrows of the rest (as much)--he's iconically noted as being a staff-wielder. Edit: in modern depictions anyway.

Keltest
2018-07-05, 09:06 AM
Yeah. I'm trying to think of a game with "clerics" (in the western/D&D mold) that doesn't mostly restrict their weapons to blunt weapons. Even in Robin Hood, Friar Tuck doesn't wield the bow and arrows of the rest (as much)--he's iconically noted as being a staff-wielder. Edit: in modern depictions anyway.

More modern editions of D&D don't have that restriction as hard baked in, if at all. In 3.5 and 5e, clerics are automatically proficient with "simple weapons", which is where most of the blunt weapons fall and does not have any swords, but does have daggers and spears. They can learn to become proficient with martial weapons (ie swords) with no extra cost compared to any other class that isn't automatically proficient with them. 3.5 at least also has a few domains that grant weapon proficiencies of various flavors.

I think the idea is just that theyre priests and spellcasters first, so their general education doesn't include learning the more complicated weapons and forms. Just hide behind your armor, shield and tank and smack people with a blunt object if you have no other choice.

Brother Oni
2018-07-05, 09:26 AM
Yeah. I'm trying to think of a game with "clerics" (in the western/D&D mold) that doesn't mostly restrict their weapons to blunt weapons. Even in Robin Hood, Friar Tuck doesn't wield the bow and arrows of the rest (as much)--he's iconically noted as being a staff-wielder. Edit: in modern depictions anyway.

The Record of Lodoss War series features priests of Myrii, the God of War and Virtue, as wielding all sorts of sharp pointy implements, although as followers of a war deity, they may be expected to use all weapons.

I believe there were monks armed with swords and shields in Stronghold 2, although it's been a very long time since I've played that game.

I'm not sure of the historical veracity of it, but a few games contain a order of black monks (most likely Benedictines) dispensing lost or state of the art (for the time) weapons to the protagonist at crucial times (for example, the first Stronghold game has a black monk giving you the plans for crossbows, just as the enemy start deploying armoured knights which are nigh-invincible to your archers).

On a side note, as a friar, Tuck isn't an ordained priest (doing some googling of the approximate period that Robin Hood is set in, most likely an Augustinian), so using D&D terminology, he's actually closer to a paladin (lay folk who fights) than a cleric.

ross
2018-07-05, 09:28 AM
For that matter what's up with the iconic wizard outfit?

Also, where do wizard gestures come from? Or like, any super power pose?

Nifft
2018-07-05, 12:44 PM
Also, where do wizard gestures come from?

Wizardly pelvic thrusts come from Elvis.

Malimar
2018-07-05, 01:05 PM
For that matter what's up with the iconic wizard outfit?
I think this comes via, if not ultimately originating with, Gandalf and/or Disney's Fantasia.

Grim Portent
2018-07-05, 01:16 PM
I think this comes via, if not ultimately originating with, Gandalf and/or Disney's Fantasia.

The usual explanation I've seen is that Gandalf is used as the basis for the classic wizard look which he got from Odin. The pointy hat refers to a hat Odin was supposed to wear while traveling and the robes are based off his travelling cloak.

Darth Ultron
2018-07-05, 01:28 PM
Well, an iconic cleric might wear a collar or ruff, or more generally vestments. Or more generally divine symbols. A typical iconic cleric will be wearing vestments with divine symbols.

Though there is lot of crossover between 'iconic outfits'. Everyone one wears cloaks and armor and such.


Though, keep in mind you should not really go by game art. An RPG publisher just hires artist to ''make something and we will pay you''. And most of the time the artist just makes whatever looks cool to them on a whim.

Ninja_Prawn
2018-07-05, 01:40 PM
The usual explanation I've seen is that Gandalf is used as the basis for the classic wizard look which he got from Odin. The pointy hat refers to a hat Odin was supposed to wear while traveling and the robes are based off his travelling cloak.

I've heard that, too. There are plenty of other depictions of wizards with staves that could have influenced it though.

Biblical Moses is usually depicted as wielding a staff when he commanded the seas to part. That may well be the originator of this trope.

Witches have always been associated with brooms (https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/10/why-do-witches-ride-brooms-nsfw/281037/) (link NSFW), which are kind of like staves, too.

The Rider-Waite tarot deck (1910, so predating Gandalf) depicts its wizard with both a wand and a staff:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/de/RWS_Tarot_01_Magician.jpg
Also there's the fact that the words 'staff' and 'wand' used to be essentially interchangeable.

https://i.stack.imgur.com/bxUCGm.jpg
There could even be some influence from the traditional Irish shillelagh, which has become associated with Celtic druids, which are sometimes (e.g. in Arthurian legends) conflated with wizards.

Yora
2018-07-05, 02:37 PM
I think the cleric outfit seems to be a stylized version of a tabbard. Which I believe became common during the crusades to keep the mail armor of the crusaders from heating up too much in the constant sunlight of the desert.

http://rozgony.info/wp-content/themes/battle-of-rozgony/pics/billigerent-powers/hospitaller_knight.jpg

Though a single slit in the center seems to be the most common depiction instead of two slits above both legs.

And whoever came up with the idea that priests would kill people with maces because it spills no blood has never seen anyone getting seriously hurt by blunt impact. When you beat someone to death with a club, it will be pretty gory.

S@tanicoaldo
2018-07-05, 03:05 PM
I believe there are two reasons for the use of maces:

-Maces are blunt weapons and although they can ditch as much damage as a blade, they can also be used in a non-lethal way, sure a head that has been smashed by a mace is just as bloody as a sword if not more, but you can still knock someone out without out right killing the person.

-The second reason I learned when I went to medieval weapon's museum in Prague, in the catholic church priests and clerics use a liturgical implement called Holy water sprinkler because of its shape(a round iron ball in the top of a metal stick) non-spiked Morning stars were called Holy water sprinklers.
So that's why, the guy in the museum said that RPG have cleric and priest type characters use maces and morning stars because of inside joke at the first editions of D&D that was a reference to this fact. I'm not sure if it's true but it does make sense for a joke a bunch of medieval weapons aficionados would make.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_water_sprinkler

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspergillum

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morning_star_(weapon)#Holy_Water_Sprinkler

Keltest
2018-07-05, 03:13 PM
The association between scepters, royalty or priesthood and the divine might also have played a part in it.

Yora
2018-07-05, 03:14 PM
-Maces are blunt weapons and although they can ditch as much damage as a blade, they can also be used in a non-lethal way, sure a head that has been smashed by a mace is just as bloody as a sword if not more, but you can still knock someone out without out right killing the person.

Possible, but unpredictable. If you hit someone hard in the head, there is always a chance of death. Especially when you hit hard enough to cause unconsciousness.
And knowing what I've read about medieval priests, pacifism doesn't seem to have been a concept they were familiar with. Especially those who led armies into battle. It's completely apocryphal, but there's reason why people pretend that a bishop said "kill them all, God will sort them out".

S@tanicoaldo
2018-07-05, 03:22 PM
Possible, but unpredictable. If you hit someone hard in the head, there is always a chance of death. Especially when you hit hard enough to cause unconsciousness.
And knowing what I've read about medieval priests, pacifism doesn't seem to have been a concept they were familiar with. Especially those who led armies into battle. It's completely apocryphal, but there's reason why people pretend that a bishop said "kill them all, God will sort them out".

Yeah but we are talking about D&D here not a accurate medieval representation of religious figures. :smallamused:

Brother Oni
2018-07-05, 03:31 PM
I think the cleric outfit seems to be a stylized version of a tabbard. Which I believe became common during the crusades to keep the mail armor of the crusaders from heating up too much in the constant sunlight of the desert.

Though a single slit in the center seems to be the most common depiction instead of two slits above both legs.

It was also used for battlefield recognition - a guy in armour pretty much looks like any other guy in armour when your visor's down, so a big white tabard with a red cross is a good start for friend-or-foe purposes.

A single slit in the centre is for ease of riding horses. If you split at the sides, you still need to get your tabard over the pommel and either sit on the back part or splay it over your horse pack - this is not normally an issue if you're a foot knight, so a split in the sides lets you have a bigger cross/heraldic device for IFF.


I believe there are two reasons for the use of maces:

-Maces are blunt weapons and although they can ditch as much damage as a blade, they can also be used in a non-lethal way, sure a head that has been smashed by a mace is just as bloody as a sword if not more, but you can still knock someone out without out right killing the person.

-The second reason I learned when I went to medieval weapon's museum in Prague, in the catholic church priests and clerics use a liturgical implement called Holy water sprinkler because of its shape(a round iron ball in the top of a metal stick) non-spiked Morning stars were called Holy water sprinklers.


A third reason is that maces are symbols of authority, particularly of royalty and the Divine Right to rule.

It's still in use today - in the UK, Black Rod (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Rod) is the Queen's representative in Parliament and they carry a Mace, the symbol of the crown's authority in the House of Lords (the Serjeant at Arms does the same in the House of Commons).

https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/660/cpsprodpb/4957/production/_86857781_sej.jpg

S@tanicoaldo
2018-07-05, 03:40 PM
It was also used for battlefield recognition - a guy in armour pretty much looks like any other guy in armour when your visor's down, so a big white tabard with a red cross is a good start for friend-or-foe purposes.

A single slit in the centre is for ease of riding horses. If you split at the sides, you still need to get your tabard over the pommel and either sit on the back part or splay it over your horse pack - this is not normally an issue if you're a foot knight, so a split in the sides lets you have a bigger cross/heraldic device for IFF.



A third reason is that maces are symbols of authority, particularly of royalty and the Divine Right to rule.

It's still in use today - in the UK, Black Rod (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Rod) is the Queen's representative in Parliament and they carry a Mace, the symbol of the crown's authority in the House of Lords (the Serjeant at Arms does the same in the House of Commons).

https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/news/660/cpsprodpb/4957/production/_86857781_sej.jpg

Oh yeah he also talked about cerimonial maces.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceremonial_mace

Some that really bugged me out was the size of maces, in games they are huge and look clunky but the ones in the museum were relatively small.

Also, asian gods and divine beings often use maces.

Telwar
2018-07-05, 04:36 PM
Some that really bugged me out was the size of maces, in games they are huge and look clunky but the ones in the museum were relatively small.

Oh, the games depiction is so you can see it more easily and look cook (both are about as important). In real life you can bash someone's head in with a claw hammer or a weighted stick, so they don't need to be super-huge.

Brother Oni
2018-07-06, 08:25 AM
Some that really bugged me out was the size of maces, in games they are huge and look clunky but the ones in the museum were relatively small.

As Telwar said, it's mostly because artists and video game designers have never used a mace to hit something, so don't appreciate that it doesn't need to be massive to inflict damage (kinetic energy does scales more off velocity if you're using that model for weapon lethality).

It's the same lack of experience (and game balance) that makes two handed weapons ponderously slow in games, when in real life, they're only slightly slower than one handed weapons and are often effectively quicker due to their extended reach.

Keltest
2018-07-06, 09:28 AM
As Telwar said, it's mostly because artists and video game designers have never used a mace to hit something, so don't appreciate that it doesn't need to be massive to inflict damage (kinetic energy does scales more off velocity if you're using that model for weapon lethality).

It's the same lack of experience (and game balance) that makes two handed weapons ponderously slow in games, when in real life, they're only slightly slower than one handed weapons and are often effectively quicker due to their extended reach.

Ive always thought making two handed weapons slow for game balance was missing the point. Theyre supposed to be stronger than one handed weapons. The tradeoff is that youre using both hands, so you cant carry a shield or a second weapon. Making them attack slower on top of that is just weighing too much in favor of one handed weapons.

Zombimode
2018-07-06, 09:35 AM
-Maces are blunt weapons and although they can ditch as much damage as a blade, they can also be used in a non-lethal way, sure a head that has been smashed by a mace is just as bloody as a sword if not more, but you can still knock someone out without out right killing the person.

Uh, I think it is much easier to knock someone out with the pommel or flat side of a sword than to do "nonleathal" damage with this (http://www.props.eric-hart.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/mace.jpg).

Brother Oni
2018-07-06, 01:33 PM
Ive always thought making two handed weapons slow for game balance was missing the point. Theyre supposed to be stronger than one handed weapons. The tradeoff is that youre using both hands, so you cant carry a shield or a second weapon. Making them attack slower on top of that is just weighing too much in favor of one handed weapons.

The trade off is supposedly the loss of the other hand as it can be used to punch/grapple/grab your opponent's weapon, etc, not just wielding a shield or a second weapon. The problem is, very few games and even fewer video games* model this level of granularity/loss of flexibility, so within those systems, two handed weapons have all the advantages (reach, damage, speed) without any of the disadvantages as they can't be modelled.

Since game systems have to achieve some kind of balance (another constraint that the real world doesn't have), they have to apply arbitrary penalties else everybody would be running around with two handed weapons as they're just flat out better.

*Mount and Blade Warband is about the only game I know of that models two handed weapons reasonably and yet gives a very good reason to still favour a shield (or two, if you're assaulting a castle as you'll almost certainly lose one to arrow fire).

MrSandman
2018-07-06, 03:12 PM
The trade off is supposedly the loss of the other hand as it can be used to punch/grapple/grab your opponent's weapon, etc, not just wielding a shield or a second weapon.

Actually, once you get to close range (close enough to grapple) most two-handed sword fighting styles had manoeuvres that included grappling the opponent while striking with the sword. It's very easy to let go off the sword with your secondary hand and grab ot again when you need to.

Roland St. Jude
2018-07-06, 03:18 PM
Sheriff: I realize that part of the answer to the OPs question is "real life religious garb" but don't do that here:

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Psyren
2018-07-09, 09:40 AM
As others have noted, the answer is a tabard, but the question then is why do so many modern depictions lop off the top half. I would say it's for visual design variety - players like to watch their armor be shown accurately as well as evolve (studded leather to chain shirt to chainmail to plate being one common progression) and obscuring all that behind a true tabard robs them of that kind of positive feedback.

Brother Oni
2018-07-09, 10:03 AM
Actually, once you get to close range (close enough to grapple) most two-handed sword fighting styles had manoeuvres that included grappling the opponent while striking with the sword. It's very easy to let go off the sword with your secondary hand and grab ot again when you need to.

You know that, I know that (I know a very limited amount of the katana via aikido), but game designers who've never taken a martial arts class certainly don't, let alone build this level of detail into a game engine, pen and paper or code.

Thrudd
2018-07-09, 10:27 AM
Note: It's not "religious garb"- it's universal European medieval garb that is warn over armor. It so happens that some European medieval knights went on crusade with a religious symbol on their tabard.

MrSandman
2018-07-09, 10:37 AM
You know that, I know that (I know a very limited amount of the katana via aikido), but game designers who've never taken a martial arts class certainly don't, let alone build this level of detail into a game engine, pen and paper or code.

Oh, I get it. I thought you were talking about combat simulating reality, rather than combat balance.

Kitten Champion
2018-07-09, 12:31 PM
I've heard that the original D&D Cleric was supposed to be a Van Helsing kind of character - for Undead hunting specifically - which to me explained the evolution of the Class into a bruiser-y concept rather than frail priest and wielding a weapon that breaks bones rather than pierces through the flesh to damage already unliving material. I don't know if that's true, but it fits what I've seen.

I find the robe wearing healing/light magician concept more appealing for Clerics, if only because D&D used pretty much the same conceptual space for the Paladin. The are differences, sure, but if you look at the images the OP posted and posted them in a thread which told me they were intended as Paladins I wouldn't bat an eye.

I mean, Clerics don't have to be the heavily armoured and fight with heavy weapons to fulfill the Cleric class-fantasy, whereas Paladins are fairly locked into that niche.

Xuc Xac
2018-07-09, 03:16 PM
I've heard that the original D&D Cleric was supposed to be a Van Helsing kind of character - for Undead hunting specifically - which to me explained the evolution of the Class into a bruiser-y concept rather than frail priest and wielding a weapon that breaks bones rather than pierces through the flesh to damage already unliving material. I don't know if that's true, but it fits what I've seen.


In the early days, there was a guy playing a vampire character who was pretty powerful. Another player asked to be a "Peter Cushing as Van Helsing" type to help rein in the vampire's power. He was a "fighting man" with holy water and turning.

To balance the extra anti-undead abilities, he was limited to blunt weapons like the bishop in the Bayeux tapestry. That was when all weapons did 1d6 damage, but magic swords went up to +5 and other weapons only went up to +3. Like demihuman level limits, this was another example of campaign-scale balance through cutting off the top end of power instead of character-scale balance by making each level equivalent.

Martin Greywolf
2018-07-10, 02:22 PM
For maces, any association of them with clerics in real world is pretty much bunk - what they were associated with was rich people fighting in armor. You only take an anti-armor weapon if you also have an armor (or lots of friends) after all. That's what officer batons and scepters come from too, after all.

For the cloth strip, it's a Franken-tabard. I can't go into why tabards really appeared (it involves a Papal decree and runs right into forum rules), but once they were a thing, pretty much anyone used them. They weren't entirely decorative or anti-sun (this was more of a happy side effect) either, evidence suggests they were either pretty thick wool or padded and offered quite a good layered protection against arrows - period chronicles literally use the word pincushion when describing knights after arrow barrage. The knights were perfectly fine.

Thing is, proper tabard is slit in front and back, not along your legs for two reasons - one, split along the sides makes it very likely your scabbard will get tangled in it, and two, main purpose of the split is to be able to sit on a horse, so making it in front and back makes way better sense. The DnD version is based on later tabards, about 15th century plus, when they weren't used that much and definitely not as protection, and got shorter as a result. That shortening meant that horse riding or sword tangling were no longer a factor, and they got more of a ceremonial role to boot.

Take that late tabard and cut off the top half for kewl over the top pauldron needs, and you have the DnD cleric cloth strip.

Jay R
2018-07-10, 03:27 PM
It really just means a footman.

If you are usually on foot, your tunic is split on the sides, leaving a flap hanging in front and in back.

But a horseman's tunic is split in front and back, leaving flaps on the sides.

Knaight
2018-07-17, 10:58 AM
The "cleric" as depicted in D&D is basically a D&D invention, as is the strong codification of arcane magic vs. divine magic that's since crept out into all too much of the fantasy genre. Earlier literature was replete with mage-priests of various sorts, very few of whom even resembled the D&D cleric.

This has happened a lot (crappy D&D fantasy and marginally less crappy D&D knockoff fantasy has been a plague on the genre in force since 1985 or so), and it tends to create cycles where D&D distorts the literature, which gets used as an inspiration to later D&D editions and changes the design, which distorts the literature again. This only got truer once "the literature" started picking up a few more movies, and a lot more videogames.

The iconic cleric outfit is part of this. It happened to get that way early due to the codification of D&D tropes in early heavily D&D inspired visual media (e.g. Final Fantasy, though clerics specifically are one of the areas where that didn't really have a lot of codifying influence), then it just sort of stuck around, getting more and more entrenched as the tight, insular feedback loops just kept spitting out the same aesthetics over and over.


Uh, I think it is much easier to knock someone out with the pommel or flat side of a sword than to do "nonleathal" damage with this (http://www.props.eric-hart.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/mace.jpg).
The pomel, sure. The flat side of a sword isn't particularly likely to knock anyone out, especially if they have even a modest helmet. There's just not enough force there, between the low weight, the weight distribution, and the flexibility of the sword when bending in that direction.

Xuc Xac
2018-07-17, 03:35 PM
Earlier literature was replete with mage-priests of various sorts, very few of whom even resembled the D&D cleric.

If you go back far enough, "mage-priest" is a redundant term like "mail armor". "Mage" is a particular kind of priest, so "mage-priest" is a lot like saying "rabbi-priest". A mage-priest should probably go adventuring with a knight-warrior who wears mail armor and fights with a sword weapon.

It's kind of weird that magic is divided into arcane and divine. "Magic" is stuff that "magi" do and magi are priests. "Arcane" isn't secular. It's "secret".

War_lord
2018-07-17, 04:51 PM
It's kind of weird that magic is divided into arcane and divine. "Magic" is stuff that "magi" do and magi are priests. "Arcane" isn't secular. It's "secret".

Well if we want to get technical that etymology comes from western theology of the late antiquity and medieval period explaining all claimed use of magic as being the result of demon summoning/demon worshiping, either intentional or through the demon masking its true form regardless of what the practitioner claimed to derive their power from. Modern readers usually don't make that connection, fantasy Wizards are basically academics whereas "divine" magic is essentially dial-a-miracle.

Kader
2018-07-17, 09:04 PM
Oh yeah he also talked about cerimonial maces.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceremonial_mace


That article says ceremonial maces were invented... by the French and Brits? :smallconfused:

Knaight
2018-07-17, 10:29 PM
If you go back far enough, "mage-priest" is a redundant term like "mail armor". "Mage" is a particular kind of priest, so "mage-priest" is a lot like saying "rabbi-priest". A mage-priest should probably go adventuring with a knight-warrior who wears mail armor and fights with a sword weapon.

It's kind of weird that magic is divided into arcane and divine. "Magic" is stuff that "magi" do and magi are priests. "Arcane" isn't secular. It's "secret".

The linguistic drift of the term "mage" is an interesting point here, and one I'd agree with. That said, the modern term is far broader, and that broadens the historical context around the modern term as well - it's not just the cultural beliefs of magic from one culture that feed into it, and there are a lot of old stories that have people that fit within the modern definition of mage-priest, where both parts of that hyphenated term are imprecise translations of some sort.

This is without getting into more overtly scholarly magic, and what that can look like in the context of societies with entirely different standards on scholarship. Hermits studying the natural world in secluded places, learning secrets? That sums more than a few magical characters from more than a few cultures. It's also not a bad definition for more than a few historical monastic orders, and while a mage-monk is technically somewhat distinct from a mage-priest that's still not exactly what I'd call a clean division of arcane and divine magic.

GungHo
2018-07-23, 10:01 AM
That article says ceremonial maces were invented... by the French and Brits? :smallconfused:

They're talking about a specific form of civic mace (modeled on the battlefield mace of the 12th Century) carried by officers of the English and French courts to represent the authority invested in them by the sovereign. The other items used by earlier civilizations are usually termed batons, scepters, rods, wands, staves, shillelaghs, etc, that may been a short shaft with a ball at the pinnacle representing a sun, a moon, a fist, an eye, etc, which may have represented the same level of authority.