Medieval Europe

The dominant battlefield styles for a medieval European campaign are mounted. Most important is Knightly Mounted Combat (pp. 175-177), the version depending on the period. The style detailed under Early Medieval is suitable until the 12 th century - and practitioners might coexist with Byzantine cavalry trained in Armatura Equestris (p. 150). The variety under High Medieval is appropriate for the 12th through 14th centuries. Late Medieval describes the form that accompanied the adoption of plate armor by knights, and suits the end of the Middle Ages. In Outremer, the Crusaders' Muslim foes and local allies practice Furusiyya (pp. 159-161). Finally, while Bajutsu (p. 151) is Japanese, Christian and Islamic knights alike have equivalent training.

On foot, styles used by both nobles and commoners include Sword-and-Shield Fighting (pp. 199-200) and Sword-and-Buckler Play (p. 199). The latter is especially popular with wealthy commoners, students, and city-dwelling young men of all kinds. Dagger Fighting (p. 155) suits both students and toughs seeking an edge in a brawl, as well as soldiers and knights skilled with their backup weapon. The "ultimate" commoner art is Masters of Defence Weapon Training (p. 182). Its exponents train in a wide variety of weapons for both the battlefield and individual combat.

Primarily unarmed martial arts are also in wide use. Wrestling is a popular pastime, and Combat Wrestling (pp. 204-205) is a serious combative art. Striking styles include a form of Bare-Knuckle Boxing (p. 153) - but in this period, the Boxing skill is out of fashion. Bouts use Brawling, and fighters who duck, parry, or avoid attacks are seen as cowardly and weak. The object is to batter your rival with punches before his blows stop you in your tracks! Complex striking arts such as Pankration (pp. 188-189) are all but lost thanks to the decline of a structured system of support for professional athletes, Christian denunciations of gladiatorial games, and the simple fact that wrestling is more practical against armored foes.

Many themes suit the era. The Quest (p. 247) might involve efforts to reclaim the Holy Lands - or the Holy Grail. War Is

Hell (p. 248) is ideal for any of the Crusades or many European wars. Wanted! (p. 249) is of course perfect for a campaign inspired by Robin Hood. The Contender (p. 250) works well in later eras, with the PCs as a group of knights errant or wandering Masters of Defence, fighting at tourneys and displaying their skills.

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