Civilized laws regarding "adventurers"...

Bushido

Mongoose
I know, you see me posting often, but I just love this game!!!

Are there any civilized laws regarding "adventurers" (or mercenary if you prefer) wearing weapons an entering towns? Do you have to register? leave your weapons? What are the reactions of patroling units?
 

Trodax

Mongoose
I would say that would depend very much on which part of the world you were in.
Generally, Hyboria seems like a rather martial and brutal world, and not very restrictive on people being armed. Conan seemed to be armed most of the time.
 

René

Mongoose
IIRC in RoK there is something about Stygia: no weapons allowed for non-nobles (could be in AE, too).

It could be possible that in civilized cities, where there is a strong governmental power like in Tarantia, you aren't allowed to have waepons bigger as a dagger or other multipurpose tools. Similarly in Poitain the knights surely find it not amusing if some ragged vagabonds run wild with greatswords or other knightly weapons.
But if you appear as an important guy, these things may be no problem.
On the other hand the "official" Free Companies may have privileges in Hyborian countries.
 

urdinaran

Mongoose
I've been wondering about the same thing. Sure, its all good when reading an REH story, but really, lots of people wandering around with lots of weapons and armor? Sure it would upset the nobles, that's THEIR job. I could see it happening in more backwater areas, but definitely not in major cities.

Does anyone out their know whether in ancient/medieval societies they closed the city gates at night? just a thought. Maybe someone could suggest a book that would cover such customs/everyday life/etc.
 

Hudson

Mongoose
Bushido....keep posting, I rarely can think of a topic not covered. We all love this game!

I would imagine that walking around Hyboria armed would be like a sign saying "Hey! You want some? I am good to go buddy" You had better know how to swing a blade if you wanted to last long as any other shmuck with a sword would see killing you as a way of proving himself as a bad ass.
 
I don't know about that. The Hyborian world is dangerous- people might feel the need to go about armed to some degree. The limiting factor wouldn't necessarily be the law- but finances. Only national armies, professional mercenary companies and a few unique indivduals like adventures can afford to spare the silver to have dedicated weapons, much less armor. A peasant farmer would likely have to rely on his wood axe and hunting bow for protection- nothing a noble lord with a few hundred soldiers need fear unles they come in the thousands and then weapons only mean so much at that point.
 

XcomSquaddie

Mongoose
Hudson said:
I would imagine that walking around Hyboria armed would be like a sign saying "Hey! You want some? I am good to go buddy" You had better know how to swing a blade if you wanted to last long as any other shmuck with a sword would see killing you as a way of proving himself as a bad ass.

Walking around unarmed would be like wearing a sign saying: "Victim".

Everyone would carry at least a dagger. Those to wealthy for a dagger would hire thugs to carry weapons for them. Even in the "safest" of cities, daggers and cudgels would be the norm rather than the exception.


Daggers, axes, spears and bows were not just weapons of war. They were working tools and implements of survival and self defense against predators both human and non-human.
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Darth Mikey said:
Walking around unarmed would be like wearing a sign saying: "Victim".

Everyone would carry at least a dagger. Those to wealthy for a dagger would hire thugs to carry weapons for them. Even in the "safest" of cities, daggers and cudgels would be the norm rather than the exception.
In the Middle Ages - Renaissance, those hired thugs were called Bullyboys in England, someone the nobles would let do their dirty work for them or fight someone below their social class. Sorry my memory's not working too well, there were similar types in Europe too but I can't remember the differences. And yeah about daggars & cudgels. Before silverware, not everyone had a wooden spoon, but they had a knife to cut meat and for defense. And cudgels, well the shire reeves (sherrifs) would carry those as well.

In Europe before the Rapier swords were only allowed among nobles and a king's military forces, the Rapier was kinda the first civilian weapon. But anyway, that's why you don't always compare Hyboria to a fixed time and place, it's an amalgamation of inspirations and ideas, and fantasy at the last.
 

Hudson

Mongoose
Sorry, what I meant by my example was some kid walking around with a SWORD or similar war weapon would be showing soldiers or mercenaries that he considered himself a warrior and would attract attention.

I would agree that finances are the main factor in who swings a scythe and who swings a broadsword.
 

Boreas

Mongoose
You might wanna try this site.

It gives quite a wide variety of medieval laws from
different societies.

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook.html

Don't know if it'll have what you want specifically, as
I haven't really used it much yet as I'm not that far
into designing my campaign.

Cheers
 
Hudson said:
Sorry, what I meant by my example was some kid walking around with a SWORD or similar war weapon would be showing soldiers or mercenaries that he considered himself a warrior and would attract attention.

Possibly- remember that a child was considered an adult a lot earlier in primitive societies. With the average lifespan well below forty, having a fourteen old warrior isn't that unlikely. My players were a bit fluxed when they realized that some of the people they were cutting down weren't able to grow beards yet. And some primitve societies- like Cimmerians- have lives so harsh that they train their children to wield weapons the very moment they are capable of holding them to give them a better chance at survival.

A fourteen year old with low-cost armor and weapons wouldn't attract attention- a lot of infantry looks like that. Cheap axes, maces, spears and leather armor is turned out in mass quantity for armies. Mor expensive stuf like medium scale or chain armor, swords or war bows would make him a target of older warriors who'd covet such things and try to take them away from him.
 

urdinaran

Mongoose
Thanks alot, I'll give it a look tonite after work. I've been re-reading A Game of Thrones so I've had various customs and such batting around in my head, especially the whole bribing the gate guard thing. Also brings up the beginning of the adventure Black Stones of Kovag-Re.

My group is currently in Brythunia and even though it hasn't come up, I was wondering what the Brythunian side of the hot-blonde slave trade would be like. I mean, do the Brythunians openly sell their women into slavery as in Zamora (Shadizar sourcebook)? Is it illegal and the authorities just take bribes and turn a blind eye?
 
urdinaran said:
My group is currently in Brythunia and even though it hasn't come up, I was wondering what the Brythunian side of the hot-blonde slave trade would be like. I mean, do the Brythunians openly sell their women into slavery as in Zamora (Shadizar sourcebook)? Is it illegal and the authorities just take bribes and turn a blind eye?

Actually I think that the armies of Brythuria are so weak people just raid them and carry off their youth.
 

Mythos

Mongoose
Sorry about coming into a bit late. Actually this is a good question and thanks to Bushido for bring it up.

A good way of looking at this is from the opposite side. Who would be allowed to carry weapons and where would they be able to carry them?

City Guard or the Night Watch. These would be employed by the nobles/city council to maintain the peace and pursue those observed in criminal acts. Because of the nature of their job they would need to carry obvious weapons. Also, the job would allow them to travel throughout most of the city.

Nobles and their retainers. The ones with the power to make the laws get to create the loopholes in the law. Because of their position and status these individuals would want to ensure that they are able to protect themselves, or have people around to protect them. Again these would be obvious weapons used as much as a warning to tell others to stay away. Being noble the individual would be able to go where they want to go.

Priest/Temple Guards. Historicaly temples aquire wealth and goods and at some point those need to be protected. Usually they would patrol the area around the temple and be restricted to those areas. They would also serve as the body guards to those preists who need to travel through the city on business. How well they are armed and armoured would depend on the wealth of the individual temple.

Merchants. If your carrying, or have acess to, large amounts of money you want to be protected. The question here is do the merchants supply the weapons and armour? If the employer is cheap then the guard might need to supply his own equipment. If he is wealthy and wanting to establish a presence then his guards might be supplied with matching uniforms, weapons and armour. these guards might also be expected to do security around warehouses, stalls in the market place, and caravan duty. all of which might give them free run of the city or cities.

All of the above would be jobs that would allow adventures to carry their weapons in public. They might need to dress in a specific color, have papers, or a symbol to show who has employed them and that it gives them the right to carry particular weapons. The downside for the characters is that this form of employment might require them to be on call and agree to a set amount of time for the employment.

Other groups that might fall into one of the above groups could include; officers of noble birth, soldiers stationed in a city near the battlezone and, mercenaries hired by any of the above groups.

A good collection of books to use when trying to get an idea of what life could be like in the Hyborian setting can be found at;
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060908807/qid=1129819053/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/002-4008761-8095258?v=glance&s=books

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060920467/ref=pd_bxgy_text_1/002-4008761-8095258?v=glance&s=books&st=*

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0399502580/ref=pd_sim_b_5/002-4008761-8095258?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance

I've used all three of these in helping establish background for my fantasy rpg settings.
 

Yogah of Yag

Mongoose
Mythos said:
Sorry about coming into a bit late. Actually this is a good question and thanks to Bushido for bring it up.

A good way of looking at this is from the opposite side. Who would be allowed to carry weapons and where would they be able to carry them?

City Guard or the Night Watch. These would be employed by the nobles/city council to maintain the peace and pursue those observed in criminal acts. Because of the nature of their job they would need to carry obvious weapons. Also, the job would allow them to travel throughout most of the city.

Nobles and their retainers. The ones with the power to make the laws get to create the loopholes in the law. Because of their position and status these individuals would want to ensure that they are able to protect themselves, or have people around to protect them. Again these would be obvious weapons used as much as a warning to tell others to stay away. Being noble the individual would be able to go where they want to go.

Priest/Temple Guards. Historicaly temples aquire wealth and goods and at some point those need to be protected. Usually they would patrol the area around the temple and be restricted to those areas. They would also serve as the body guards to those preists who need to travel through the city on business. How well they are armed and armoured would depend on the wealth of the individual temple.

Merchants. If your carrying, or have acess to, large amounts of money you want to be protected. The question here is do the merchants supply the weapons and armour? If the employer is cheap then the guard might need to supply his own equipment. If he is wealthy and wanting to establish a presence then his guards might be supplied with matching uniforms, weapons and armour. these guards might also be expected to do security around warehouses, stalls in the market place, and caravan duty. all of which might give them free run of the city or cities.

All of the above would be jobs that would allow adventures to carry their weapons in public. They might need to dress in a specific color, have papers, or a symbol to show who has employed them and that it gives them the right to carry particular weapons. The downside for the characters is that this form of employment might require them to be on call and agree to a set amount of time for the employment.

Other groups that might fall into one of the above groups could include; officers of noble birth, soldiers stationed in a city near the battlezone and, mercenaries hired by any of the above groups.

A good collection of books to use when trying to get an idea of what life could be like in the Hyborian setting can be found at;
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060908807/qid=1129819053/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/002-4008761-8095258?v=glance&s=books

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0060920467/ref=pd_bxgy_text_1/002-4008761-8095258?v=glance&s=books&st=*

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0399502580/ref=pd_sim_b_5/002-4008761-8095258?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance

I've used all three of these in helping establish background for my fantasy rpg settings.

Stellar post! :eek: Thanks!
 
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