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  1. - Top - End - #361
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conners View Post
    Any good sources for finding out details of what medieval citylife/townlife was like, in various countries?
    The problem with questions like this is that there's literally NOTHING we can do without specifications. Life in a city in Poland was VERY different from one in Spain. Life in London in 1066 was VERY different from London in 1453.
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  2. - Top - End - #362
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    At this point, I'm fine with any medieval city for any nation. If you know a good article or documentory for life in German cities in the 800s, I'm just as happy with that as with life in Spanish cities in the 1100s. Any that describe how city life evolves for a region is also good.
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  3. - Top - End - #363
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conners View Post
    Any good sources for finding out details of what medieval citylife/townlife was like, in various countries?
    Life in a Medieval City, by Joseph and Francis Gies. It centers on Troyes before the Black Death. While its focus is narrow, it's should be very accessible.

  4. - Top - End - #364
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    You may be able to try Castle, by David Macaulay (the guy who made The Way Things Work. A visual look at a 13th century Welsh castle town. It may be a slightly simplistic view (it've been a few years since I read it), but it's probably more accurate than your typical mass-media idea of how it works.

    Also, it turns out that they made an hour-long PBS documentary with it. Again, may be somewhat simplistic (and 25 years out of date), but it's a start, and you don't have to spend more than an hour of your time with it.

    EDIT: Oh, dear… the animation is just… wow. Kinda reminiscent of CD-i Zelda…

    Further Edit: Looks like the video talks about life for a commoner starting around minute 25…
    Last edited by Ksheep; 2012-08-08 at 08:58 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #365
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    Thank you for the material. Watched all of David's PBS documentaries. Had good basic stuff, as well as some very detailed parts. Will check out the book fusilier recommended, also.



    How fireproof is plate armour? Is there a way to make it more fireproof? If you had a world with fire elementals, I think this would be a major consideration for knights.
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  6. - Top - End - #366
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conners View Post
    Thank you for the material. Watched all of David's PBS documentaries. Had good basic stuff, as well as some very detailed parts. Will check out the book fusilier recommended, also.



    How fireproof is plate armour? Is there a way to make it more fireproof? If you had a world with fire elementals, I think this would be a major consideration for knights.
    If I had to guess, I'd say not very. However, you have to remember that oftentimes the armor worn wouldn't just be a single layer of protection. You may start with a layer of thick cloth padding, then a layer of leather armor, followed by a layer of chain, then plate on top of that. Or you may just have the padding and plate. Or any combination thereof. I'd think that leather would probably provide a bit more fire protection, depending on how it's cured, but I may be wrong (not to mention that the padding would just make it worse).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Welknair View Post
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  7. - Top - End - #367
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    My concern with that is that Plate armor is already hot as all hell, between the winter coat gambeson underneath it, and the heat-reflecting metal plates. If you were to, say, put a fiberglass lining in that to insulate it, you'd just overheat and get heatstroke sooner.
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  8. - Top - End - #368
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Conners View Post
    How fireproof is plate armour? Is there a way to make it more fireproof? If you had a world with fire elementals, I think this would be a major consideration for knights.
    Steel is pretty darn fire proof, you need quite a bit of heat to get it to warp. If you mean how much would it protect its wearer from dragons, probably not too much. Steel tends to be quite good at absorbing and dissipating heat, but it can absorb a whole heck of a lot of it.

    Structural steel is considered fireproof is it can keep its critical temperature at below 540 C. I'm not sure what that would equate to with steel armour, but a firefighter's turnout coat meant to protect against environmental heat and are made of modern materials and they still weigh a ton and guy wearing them would be dead at 540 C.

    You can add fire resistant backing to lots of things. Wool is good for that, it doesn't burn like other materials, and neither does cotton. There is the problem of course that it adds even more weight, absorbs sweat, and gets hot as hell in the sun. This of course made that much worse when you get to the fact that to make something very fire resistance requires keeping it wet.

    Realistically you avoid burns by not getting into the middle of a fire. As it stands though without sustained contact only the hottest first will leave deep burns.
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  9. - Top - End - #369
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    Realistically you avoid burns by not getting into the middle of a fire. As it stands though without sustained contact only the hottest fire will leave deep burns.
    Hmm... what about say, 3,000 C fire? I can imagine elementals being pretty hot. Just wondering what the best fire protection against them would be, realistically.
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  10. - Top - End - #370
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beleriphon View Post
    This of course made that much worse when you get to the fact that to make something very fire resistance requires keeping it wet.
    You could also use asbestos.

  11. - Top - End - #371
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xuc Xac View Post
    You could also use asbestos.
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  12. - Top - End - #372
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    The real problem here is that making armor survive intense heat isn't the same thing as having it protect the wearer. If I stick an armored knight in an oven and crank it up to 200 degrees Celsius, he's a dead man in short order even though his armor will be undamaged once it cools down. He can't breathe 200-degree air, and he can't stay alive while wearing a suit of 200-degree iron wrapped around his body.

    Ever touched a hot stove? Imagine wrapping the stove around you. If that didn't kill you instantly, you'd wish it had.

    So the proper model for heat-resistant armor is to look at what real firefighters and such wear, and figure out how to either layer that protection over existing armor or fight without the plate.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_proximity_suit

    The kind of suits that let you walk into a fire aren't tear-proof or damage-proof, and they use synthetic materials. Handle with care; maybe the dwarves know how to make them...

    I don't recommend thousand-degree fire elementals, myself; nothing can survive contact with that unless it's protected by arbitrarium magic. Except things like the insides of furnaces, of course.
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  13. - Top - End - #373
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    3,000°C is above the heat produced by thermite. That stuff melts through rail tracks. Iron and Gold turn from liquid to gas at lower temperatures.
    It's like the fire that comes out of space rockets.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-08-10 at 01:36 PM.

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    Yeah...kind of a lost cause to be able to go into something THAT hot. That would be like..."hey I can walk on a star!" Armor.
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  15. - Top - End - #375
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    at those temperature im pretty shure the elemtntal would step into the room and every one would die just by being near a continous flame of that Temperature. (also now that i think about it it would probbaly need a fly speed to stop it from just falling through the floor

  16. - Top - End - #376
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    The surface of the sun is only 5000°. The upper limit for red dwarves is just slightly above 3000°, so temperature would actually not be a problem.

    Though gravity would still be an obstacle.

  17. - Top - End - #377
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    So here's a few:

    About how far could a horse be expected to ride in a day, assuming a sustained pace over several days? Assume a well-kept horse similar to the historical Arabian, carrying a hunter in light armor. Would 40-50 miles on flat ground be reasonable?

    Would it be reasonable to have a large river in relatively close proximity to a rain-shadow desert?

    How much food can fishing provide, assuming late medieval tech?
    Last edited by WarKitty; 2012-08-10 at 10:10 PM.
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  18. - Top - End - #378
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    Would it be reasonable to have a large river in relatively close proximity to a rain-shadow desert?
    There are, if I recall correctly, a few streams flowing from the Andes through the Atacama, in Chile — the driest desert in the world. (Not to mention the Amazon on the other side of the mountains.) So I don't think it's inherently impossible, it just requires a bit of oddness; a two-layered mountain range might work the best, with an initial long slope to the highest points, and then a high plateau on which rain falls and flows through the desert.
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    Default Re: Random Worldbuilding Questions (Biology, Geography, Society, etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    About how far could a horse be expected to ride in a day, assuming a sustained pace over several days? Assume a well-kept horse similar to the historical Arabian, carrying a hunter in light armor. Would 40-50 miles on flat ground be reasonable?
    40-50 miles seems fairly reasonable, considering one can easily bike that distance over an 8 hour period (required for Cycling merit badge, Boy Scouts). In endurance races, horses are known to travel 100 miles a day for several days, but these horses are conditioned for such travels. It's much more reasonable for 50 miles or so.

    For a bit more of a break down of it, your average horse can travel at 5-7 miles per hour for several hours a day, carrying a light load. Going off of this assumption, the horse would have to go for 8-10 hours to make 50 miles in a day. Granted, the horse will tire out after some days of this. It's probably more reasonable to expect 20-30 miles a day for longer periods of time or heavier loads.

    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    How much food can fishing provide, assuming late medieval tech?
    What sort of fishing are you talking about? On a river or in the ocean? On the shore or in a boat? For someone traveling or for a settlement? Single person operation or multiple people? This can make a bit of a difference. If it were a settlement on a river, you may be able to set up some fairly effective traps such as a fishing weir. If you had a community with boats, they could practice coracle net fishing, with a net between two small one-person boats. There are dozens of different techniques, each one with it's own pros and cons, and the yield is vastly different depending on what method is used and what sort of body of water you're fishing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ksheep View Post
    What sort of fishing are you talking about? On a river or in the ocean? On the shore or in a boat? For someone traveling or for a settlement? Single person operation or multiple people? This can make a bit of a difference. If it were a settlement on a river, you may be able to set up some fairly effective traps such as a fishing weir. If you had a community with boats, they could practice coracle net fishing, with a net between two small one-person boats. There are dozens of different techniques, each one with it's own pros and cons, and the yield is vastly different depending on what method is used and what sort of body of water you're fishing.
    Ocean or river fishing (probably both, but mainly ocean) being run out of a decent-sized city. Labor is cheap and effectively unlimited.
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  21. - Top - End - #381
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ksheep View Post
    40-50 miles seems fairly reasonable, considering one can easily bike that distance over an 8 hour period (required for Cycling merit badge, Boy Scouts). In endurance races, horses are known to travel 100 miles a day for several days, but these horses are conditioned for such travels. It's much more reasonable for 50 miles or so.

    For a bit more of a break down of it, your average horse can travel at 5-7 miles per hour for several hours a day, carrying a light load. Going off of this assumption, the horse would have to go for 8-10 hours to make 50 miles in a day. Granted, the horse will tire out after some days of this. It's probably more reasonable to expect 20-30 miles a day for longer periods of time or heavier loads.
    Horses bred for that purpose and that have had very good training for such situations perhaps.
    But generally, horses are not that exceptionally enduring. The best way to capture a horse unharmed when you don't have a horse to chase it with a lasso, is to go after it on foot. On a warm day, the horse will be the first to collapse from exhaustion.

    Unsuprisingly, the clear champions in such conditions are: Arabians!
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    I also happen to have a horse question:
    If elves would breed riding horses to be used on forest trails and light undergrowth, what traits would be desirable?
    Since elves are rather light and usually don't carry heay armor and equipment, the horses could be relatively small and wouldn't need to be particularly strong. Also maximum speed would not be very important, as there are few opportunities for dashes, charges, and fast chases.
    However, the horses would need to have rather large hooves to move on muddy and lose ground, and they would need to have very good footing and not be prone to slipping or stumbling. Would bulky legs make them less in danger of injuring them when they fall?
    And then I guess, they could use rather thick fur and hides, as well as small ears, to not get injured by sharp branches and brambles. And hearing would be much more impotant than sight.

    Even though it's a completely different environment, I guess Icelanders would do fairly well in such conditions. Sharp, uneven, and shifting rock and silt, as well as harsh winters would provide very similar challenges to wet forests.
    And I also just heard of the Finnhorse for the very first time. That would also be a very strong candidate.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-08-11 at 07:12 AM.

  22. - Top - End - #382
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    It might not be a glamorous answer, but it sounds like your ideal elven "horse" is just a standard mule.

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    Not sure if many horses live in dense forests. Maybe you should alter an icelander or mule?



    How strong would animal teeth and jaws need to be so that they could penetrate metal armour (not easily, of course)? I'm guessing they'd need to at least be as strong as steel to penetrate or damage steel. Also, there's the question of whether it would hurt too much, biting/clawing metal?
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    As far as I know, tests showed that under very specific circumstances with a very strong archer, a longbow can penetrate plate armor at very short range. Based on that I'd say the maximum force of a longbow at short range could be used as a benchmark for the minimum required to pierce plate armor.
    However, I've not been able to find this number anywhere yet.

    As compairison, the strongest known animal bite is almost 12,000 PSI (no clue how that translates into real units). Modern handguns are in the range of 40,000 PSI.
    That said, penetration would only be as deep as the length of the teeth, which usually isn't that much. Teeth get a good grip, it's the tearing that causes the really heavy damage and unless the bite makes the armor crumple and tear, the teeth could not be doing that much damage. Still very painful and bloody, but you wouldn't get at any vital organs.
    Last edited by Yora; 2012-08-11 at 11:31 AM.

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    keep in mind though that you don't really need to penetrate the armor to kill the man inside he still dead if you crush him to death in his armor.

    edit the easiest way to kill a heavily armored human would be to break the neck just grab him by the head and shake till the neck breaks. doesn't mater how hard his armor is as far as i know you cant protect against that.
    Last edited by awa; 2012-08-11 at 04:07 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Horses bred for that purpose and that have had very good training for such situations perhaps.
    But generally, horses are not that exceptionally enduring. The best way to capture a horse unharmed when you don't have a horse to chase it with a lasso, is to go after it on foot. On a warm day, the horse will be the first to collapse from exhaustion.
    Following up on this, how much difference would there be between a well-bred hunting horse and a light riding horse? Say an Arabian vs. something like a Jennet, the former being bred for desert hunting and fighting (endurance), and the latter for city riding (color and temperament). The setting involves a hunting party tracking a noble teen that took off on his favorite horse.
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    How far a horse can travel in a day it will depend upon several factors. From the condition of the horse, to the terrain, to how heavily laden the horse is. I have heard of instances where someone travelled a 100 miles on horseback in a day. On the other hand, there are many stories of infantry out marching cavalry. Most cavalry horses were pretty heavily laden, and the idea was to reserve the horse for a charge (or fast retreat), so cavalry men often marched alongside their horses. Well disciplined/motivated infantry could out march cavalry, especially if making forced marches over several days.

    A good horse, one intended for long distance travel, good roads and fodder -- then 20-30 miles a day for several days sounds reasonable to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fusilier View Post
    How far a horse can travel in a day it will depend upon several factors. From the condition of the horse, to the terrain, to how heavily laden the horse is. I have heard of instances where someone travelled a 100 miles on horseback in a day. On the other hand, there are many stories of infantry out marching cavalry. Most cavalry horses were pretty heavily laden, and the idea was to reserve the horse for a charge (or fast retreat), so cavalry men often marched alongside their horses. Well disciplined/motivated infantry could out march cavalry, especially if making forced marches over several days.

    A good horse, one intended for long distance travel, good roads and fodder -- then 20-30 miles a day for several days sounds reasonable to me.
    Hence why I specified the breed, training, terrain, and so on when I asked. I'm trying to get not just miles per day, but the difference between a well-bred and well-trained and less well-suited horse.
    Last edited by WarKitty; 2012-08-11 at 11:16 PM.
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    Note that most of the time, a person or group wanting to travel fast for days at a time will switch between 2-3 horses each. Riding one horse each for more than a day or so at the most reduces the pace quite a lot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarKitty View Post
    Hence why I specified the breed, training, terrain, and so on when I asked. I'm trying to get not just miles per day, but the difference between a well-bred and well-trained and less well-suited horse.
    I missed your second post actually, so I didn't see the breeds etc. :-( I don't know enough about horse breeds, and more specifically historical horse breeds to answer that question. When horses were used for transport on a regular basis, the breeds were different than what we have now. :-( I think during the Middle Ages there were horses with an extra gait, that was intended to be faster than a walk, but more comfortable (for the rider) than a trot (and possibly also more efficient for the horse). Maybe someone with experience with horses could give some rough idea as to how much horses can vary in terms of long-distance endurance . . .

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