# Re: (TFT) Reality vs. Game Mechanics

```I'm surprised your rapiers are weighing more than your nonrapiers...
Sure you're converting numbers right?
On Oct 7, 2011, at 9:55 AM, raito@raito.com wrote:

> We know that what makes for a good game does not have to be
> realistic. And one of those things is weapons. For TFT, it makes
> sense that you can use a weapon that deals more damage if you have a
> higher ST. And it adds to the flavor to give those different levels
> of weapons names. It also makes sense in game terms that weapons
> that do more damage weigh more and cost more. But is it historical?
>
> Not really. Let's look at some swords...
> The TFT rapier does 1D damage, requires an ST of 9, weighs .5
> kilograms, and costs \$40. Hmm, only about a pound, huh? Steel's
> approximate density is about .28 lbs./in3, or 7850 kg/m3. That comes
> out to about 3.93 cubic inches. That works out to a bar 1/2" X 1/4"
> 31 inches long. Not very impressive, right? Sure, you can get some
> more length with taper and such, but you'd lose that when you took
> some of that weight to make a guard.
> By contrast, let's take the weapons in the book Prunkwaffen (or, as
> the English version has it, Fine Arms And Armour Of Dresden). None
> of the weapons in that book classified as rapiers weighs less that
> 1.5 kg. And none of them has less than 36" of blade. The heaviest is
> 2.5 kg, but that one is a definite oddity (an extending rapier with
> concealed dagger). Several of the blades are more than a meter long.
> So old SJ isn't batting well against history there.
> Now let's take the broadsword. In TFT terms, it's a 2D weapon,
> requires an ST of 12, weighs 2.5 kilograms, and costs \$80. So it
> My historical example is a Scandanavian weapon dated to the 10th
> century. I handled it while at a seminar held at Albion Arms, where
> Chris Poor, the curator for the Oakeshott collection, had brought
> several period (as in historical artifact) weapons for us to handle
> (that's part of the mission of the collection). It was right around
> a pound and a half. It really was only about 1/8" thick. Not
> impressive in the slightest. And the late 16th century basket-hilted
> sword was only about 2 lbs.
> So again, history isn't on his side.
> The axes really don't fare much better. Part of the reason to use an
> axe is that it uses less metal than a sword (not the only one, but a
> part. The same applies for spears). The single example I've handled,
> another Scandanavian artifact, but this one dated 12th century,
> weighed just over a pound. It does seem as though adding a 3 pound
> handle to that head to make a TFT small ax is rather silly.
> The one thing he does appear to get right is the length of a
> halberd. The books I own with measurements of those (mostly from the
> 15th through 17th centuries) puts the lengths at right about 7 feet,
> or a little more. Unfortunately, those references don't include
> weights. But the correct replicas I've handled do not weigh 17.6 lbs.
> The poleaxe, as used in the 14th century onward through the armour
> period doesn't really appear in TFT at all. The pike ax is no
> substitute if it's longer than a halberd. Anyway, the poleaxe is
> usually about 6 feet long, though there's some variation, with a
> hammer or ax head on the front, hammer or spike on the back, spear
> point, and point or iron cap on the butt end. They also often had
> small, circular guards near the head and butt (similar to a Japanese
> tsuba). And if you think that medieval European combat is just thugs
> bashing at each other, read Sidney Anglo's translation of Jeu de la
> Hache, and you'll think otherwise. I bring up the poleaxe because
> it's an example of a weapon where the writing of the period shows
> its use, especially as a wrestling weapon. It's also a two handed
> polearm, which we've been discussing lately. (as an aside, my modern
> French is passable, and so I can read the original well enough to
> see that Anglo's translation is decent at the least.)
>
> So, as I've said in the past, I only require that my game systems
> have consistency, not reality. TFT mostly has that consistency, even
> though it is counter to reality. And if you want to dispute my
> figures, go to the Oakeshott and handle the weapons for yourself. Or
> Dresden.
> Neil Gilmore
> raito@raito.com
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