Fencing masters & fencing maneuvers

Maximo

Mongoose
Now Vincent seems to be going to write a book on Argos&Zingara, I have remebered one of the things I would have loved to see included in such a book.

New combat maneuvers for fencing would be good enough, but what about individual fencing maneuvers only known by certain masters? This way, people would have a reason to seek training with one of the masters instead of other.

You know, these maneuvers would be the kind of "secret technique" only known by your character's master, who only reveals them when he believes you deserve it or whenever you dare to try proving you are better...

Also, some interesting fencing maneuvers could be only known by cryptic martial artists living in Khitai or the Himelian mountains, promting characters to quests in search of the knowledge of the blade.
For characters living in Vendha or Turan, same could happen as they look for masters living in Aquilonia or Zingara.

I think this would be mostly interesting to civilized characters. As many barbarians know, all it takes to beat a Intricate Swordplay fighter is to hack his weapon to pieces :lol:

Trouble is I have little knowledge of fencing outside RPGs & movies, and I think this calls for maneuvers based on either real life classic fencing or other real life fighting styles (kenjutsu?).

Has anybody ideas on what could we use as advanced fencing combat maneuvers?
 

maxwellchris

Mongoose
i like that idea. seems like it would be workable to construct the secret technique as a unique feat of some kind, one that can only be gained from studying under that one master. even though the idea of adding even more feats to the game can sometimes make me feel dizzy....
still, i think this is an idea well worth pursuing, and one that would add a nice level of extra "flavor" to the game.

-max
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Well, I am a teaching assistant for rapier style fencing at an acting school, and can tell you in regard to Renaissance fencing that different nations had their own styles (for example, the pasada is a Spanish movement started in the early 1500s, and that the Italians may have decided to adopt from that form of movement to create the lunge in about the 1570s). It's generally understood that there were thousands of fencing schools in Europe during the Renaissance, many of them set up by soldiers as well as true maestros. And many of these teachers either simply took a working maneouver and called it their own invention, or made their own styles or maneouvers and kept them secret.

So why not. Amazon.com has hundreds of books on medieval and renaissance fencing styles, and when you add to that the books on stage fencing (actors learn swordsmanship for plays and/or movies) you can almost double the range of available materials.
 

Yogah of Yag

Mongoose
Are we speaking of the use of one-handed or two-handed swords?
The Greco-Roman-based nations (Nemedia? Corinthia?) would be based on appropriate training and skills (consult Vegetii De re militari). The Romans favoured the stab (=thrust) over the striking cut. Other martial topics may also be found in the works of Polybius, IIRC.

As for mediaeval, one-handed, two-edged skills with shield, consult the manuscript known as I.33 which dates from the late 13th century.

As for two-handed, Mediaeval, two-edged fencing, consult anything in the tradition of Johannes Liechtenauer (which I myself follow devoutly). Additional names to consult: Hanko Döbringer, Sigmund Ringeck, Paulus Hector Mair, Joachim Meyer (probably the most verbal and detailed of accounts; two editions that I know of are from 1570 and 1600. Undoubtedly the most beautifully illustrated of all fechtbücher), Hans Talhoffer (many, similar manuscripts, e.g. "Thott 290"), the Italian master Fiore dei Liberi, Peter von Danzig, the manuscript known as "Goliath", Filipo Vadi, Jakob Sutor, and many, many more.

Many of the old fencing manuals (fechtbücher) provide descriptions of not only the use of swords, but also dagger, wrestling (Ringen), spear, halberd, staff, unusual spiked shields, etc. etc.

I hope this may be of use to you and all.
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Thanks for the post. Student of the Marxbruder? The techniques we go over in our theatrical fencing classes here in NYC are Joe's own, for the most part, and he talks about the manual by Sierge de Valera and Agrippa and Henry de St. Didierand George Silver, regarding Spanish and French and English styles, for the most part. The lunge I had mentioned above is attributed to Vagiani and deGrassi, I believe. Anyways, theatrical fencing employs both period and anachronistic styles, so we go over both of those. While not really applicable for Hyboria, they are seen in movies across the history of film, and plays, and Shakespeare was aware of and made references to the styles and authors I mention ("Romeo and Juliet") so that's why I mention them. I went into these kinda things in the thread Is anything rotten in the state of Zingara?, fyi. :)
 

Yogah of Yag

Mongoose
What we study and practice is sport, competitive fencing, not theatrical stage fighting. It is a revival of the old two-handed teachings that died out in the early 17th c. as far as I know.

I don't think I have seen or heard of any film that accurately portrays this kind of (two-handed) Schwertkunst. It is a shame that Milius did not know of these things at the time of the making of CtB, otherwise he might have included it alongside his beloved Kendo.
 

Maximo

Mongoose
maxwellchris wrote
it would be workable to construct the secret technique as a unique feat of some kind, one that can only be gained from studying under that one master. even though the idea of adding even more feats to the game can sometimes make me feel dizzy....

Yeah, I also dislike the idea of adding more feats. But this would be a Combat Maneuver which would have as prerrequisites to study under such a master, like you said, and perhaps only a certain BAB so to make it available to any character.
Like others, I prefer having skill checks to perform the maneuver instead of a list feats which disallow you from trying when you don't have them.

Yogah and Bregales: Thank you for the references and your Real Life insight on the matter, not only on this topic, I've also read your comments in other threads and find them very interesting.

I'll try to look for any of those references at a local library or perhaps even there's something on the net about those fencing masters.
 

Sutek

Mongoose
...except that I think any given broad sword would eat a fencing foil for breakfast.

Now if you're all talking combat amanuvers...let's see some. Otherwise I really don't thionk actual fencing and similar swoardsmanship translates well to Hyboria.

...maybe it's just me...
 

Yogah of Yag

Mongoose
Sutek said:
...except that I think any given broad sword would eat a fencing foil for breakfast.

Here, here! A real man doesn't wield a mere lady's hat-pin!

Now if you're all talking combat amanuvers...let's see some. Otherwise I really don't thionk actual fencing and similar swoardsmanship translates well to Hyboria.

...maybe it's just me...

Sutek should full well thionk ere he rites! :lol:
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Yogah of Yag said:
Sutek said:
...except that I think any given broad sword would eat a fencing foil for breakfast.

Here, here! A real man doesn't wield a mere lady's hat-pin!
Well, I agree with you about fencing foils, they're not weapons. They were made to practise smallsword techniques. As for rapiers or smallswords, they're the reason that your broadswords and two handed warswords techniques died out - because all the idiots who used them against rapiers died off. :p The smallsword killed off the rapier the same way that the rapier killed off the medieval broad bladed swords, except for war where we see sabers that lasted up into WWI.
Yogah of Yag said:
Sutek said:
]Now if you're all talking combat amanuvers...let's see some. Otherwise I really don't thionk actual fencing and similar swoardsmanship translates well to Hyboria.

...maybe it's just me...

Sutek should full well thionk ere he rites! :lol:
Hey, I agree with you both here, look at the one story where Conan is fighting a swordsman, parrying his fencing style until the swordsman tires, then Conan cruelly turns the advantage and kills hiim off (in the marshes before going to the island where the Devil in Iron rested?). I agree that broadswords and greatswords rule (as do massive tulwars) in the Conan game, and that's as it should be.
 

Yogah of Yag

Mongoose
I'm not sure if the following has be already discussed on the boards, but it would be a good place here to investigate Howard's own experience (be it direct or indirect) with fencing/sword-usage, whether though literature that he had absorbed, movies (?), theatrical productions (if any), or any other conceivable source of inspiration. I have heard, through REHupa and other internet sites that Howard was an avid film-goer, and may have at least some inspiration from films. I have seen vid-caps of "Whole Wide World" and one frame shows the film "Howard" wielding a sabre (?) in a field, IIRC. Additionally, I would be shocked, for one, if Howard had never read Dumas' Three Musketeers.
 

Bregales

Mongoose
I've wondered about this also. As far as I know he had no training but like you wrote he's supposed to have been an avid movie-goer. I've read that inspirations ranged from mostly late 18th century authors like Lord Dunsanny and --crap, I just totally blanked out. I've heard he read a lot of Poe's stories, but that may just be a generalization. Dumas? Wouldn't be the least surprised. :)
 

Yogah of Yag

Mongoose
Just going through a list of Douglas Fairbanks' films may be a good place to start:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001196/

Many of these films undoubtedly had an appreciable amount of sword-play, e.g. the Zorro films, "Thief of Bagdad" (which I have seen, but 10+ years previously. There may have been sword-scenes therein.), definitely "Robin Hood" (which Howard referred to as "Rob 'em Good" or somesuch similar epithet), "The Black Pirate", and possibly others...
 
Top