Author Topic: Choosing a sword...  (Read 5989 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline The Scottish Knight

  • R/F.com Member
  • Posts: 17
Choosing a sword...
« on: October 21, 2009, 09:52:20 PM »
I'm trying to choose a sword for my persona. What kind of sword would you recomend for a Renaissance traveler, basically, he just travels around, taking various jobs, usually ones that involve combat- something of a sword for hire. He's (probably) from Scotland originally.

I don't particularly care for Rapiers and I'd need something tougher than that, but nothing to heavy or slow. I would go with the Scottish basket-hilt broadsword, but they're a little anachronistic for the Renaissance.

Also, I've been a sword enthusiast for a long time, but, up until now, I was more interested in swords of the 18th century and Medieval times. I've never given much thought to the Renaissance before.


Any suggestions? :-\

Offline Hoowil

  • R/F.com Member
  • Posts: 481
  • Archer, pixie wrangler and dabbler extrordinaire
Re: Choosing a sword...
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2009, 10:48:47 PM »
During the early renaissance the basket hilt claymores were not uncommon in some areas (Scotland, England, Britain in general).  It took a while before the rapier fencing, more common in Italy and France became popular in the isles. The English and Scottish still used heavier cut and thrust swords, paired with bucklers ( or targes ) for a time. There was a division between those who wished to be fashionable, and hire fencing masters from the continent to learn rapier style fencing, and those who wished to follow the more local fighting traditions. Think of the movie Rob Roy, and the various types of swords used in he duels, and the differences of styles the fighters used. It is a fairly accurate depiction of the transition. A Scottish wandering sell-sword would be more likely to use the heavier, traditional weapons of his homeland, as it is unlikely he would have the money, or time, to hire and train with a fencing master. Also, as armor was still present on the battle field, as a mercenary, somethign with a little more impact might be preferable anyway. But then it depends on wether you want to go early, mid, or later period ren. Find a peice you like, and do a little checking, you can probably make it work. If nothign else, if you want something a little 'outdated' say its an inherited blade, and that you are working towards the coin to get a more modern blade. Mercs, rogues, and peasant background fighters would carry what they could find/afford/steal or get ahold of in whatever way, even if its a little outdated.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and taste good with catsup.

Offline escherblacksmith

  • Moderator
  • R/F.com Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 398
  • hmmm . . . iron . . . .
Re: Choosing a sword...
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2009, 08:20:58 AM »
Yeah, I agree with Hoowil, and I would ask, where and when are you thinking about?

The renaissance covers a lot of ground (300 years or so) and was not in all of Europe at the same time.  Since you seem to be taking something of an exacting approach, you may want to consider that.

Otherwise, if this is for any sort of renaissance festival, then I'd just go with something appropriate for the show.  Depending, they probably won't let you draw it anyway.



--

Offline BLAKDUKE

  • True R/F.com Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 919
  • ancient swordsman/royalty have crown will travel
Re: Choosing a sword...
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2009, 09:59:30 AM »
SCOTTISH KNIGHT:

My personna was developed a long time ago and has always centered on a swordsman.  Having had fencing training for many years sometime under the best masters, I generally preferred the Spanish Cup Hilt Rapier of which I have a few.  When presented with a Scottish Basket Hilt Claymore for a fantastic price, I could not pass it up.  I have alternated between all of these blades depending on mood.  Since I am not on cast as most faires I carry what I please.   So the H/A idea does not bother me at all.  If the faire was of a specific year is which the only S.B.H.C that were around were in museums then I would have to carry something else.   Your site id pretty much demands the S.B.H.C.   I already have a mental picture of you in kilt, and no other sword fits, unless you want to carry a braveheart sword. 

The BLAKDUKE
Ancient swordsman/royalty
Have Crown/Sword Will Travel

Offline The Scottish Knight

  • R/F.com Member
  • Posts: 17
Re: Choosing a sword...
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2009, 10:44:26 AM »
I'm pretty sure the Scottish basket hilt didn't come into use until the late 17th century.

As far as the time period I was thinking, proably the early-mid 1500s.

That said, do you think a Scottish basket-hilt would be to out of place?


[Edit] BLAKDUKE, didn't see you post, thanks. I think I will go with the basket-hilt. In the future I may get a small amount of armour (shoulder, gauntlets) and a big claymore and go as a mercenary.

Till then though, just a Scottish traveler with a basket-hilt. It is my favorite sword. ;)
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 11:18:23 AM by The Scottish Knight »

Offline RSLeask

  • R/F.com Member
  • Posts: 140
  • I'm not shy... I'm a passive socialite.
    • Myspace
Re: Choosing a sword...
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2009, 11:20:51 AM »
For some aid on the subject, I'll give you my choice and reasoning of blade selection.  I've had this backgrounded since May, when I finally fleshed out what my particular character was... which is basically a Scotland-born wayfarer, sword-for-hire, and occasional "coin-expidited demise bringer".  I've heard the nasty term "assassin" tossed around a couple times...  :-X

For my choice of sword, I mainly use a simple bastard sword (sometimes, I wear a longsword with more decorative falcon-head hilt and winged crossguard).  The bastard sword was realtively easy to make with the basic design, and would have been plentiful enough as a basic armament during the time.  As well, the variation of one-handed and two-handed fighting style made the blade particularly effective in most situations, since you could switch quickly to using both hands to deliver powerful blows to lightly armored opponents (ie, bandits in leather).  I've also been toying with the idea of a matching shortsword for dual bladed fighting. 

These reasons, to me, make the blade a far better choice to someone relying on it for their living, over a longsword or claymore.  When relying on your blade, you want effectiveness to be matched with versatility.  Something that's easy to use, but will stand up in a fight no matter the conditions.  Unless you're talking about arrows.  But then, that's what a large metal shield is for, and you can still wield the blade while protecting yourself from the cowards firing from the back lines.

Cuz someone like me would never use a bow.  Stalking a target.  Firing from the trees.  Under the cover of night.  For a nice purse of coin from someone that wished them dead.  Nope, no sir, not me.   :o

What's a Grecian Urn?  Are we talking union, or non-union?

Offline The Scottish Knight

  • R/F.com Member
  • Posts: 17
Re: Choosing a sword...
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2009, 11:34:00 AM »
For some aid on the subject, I'll give you my choice and reasoning of blade selection.  I've had this backgrounded since May, when I finally fleshed out what my particular character was... which is basically a Scotland-born wayfarer, sword-for-hire, and occasional "coin-expidited demise bringer".  I've heard the nasty term "assassin" tossed around a couple times...  :-X

For my choice of sword, I mainly use a simple bastard sword (sometimes, I wear a longsword with more decorative falcon-head hilt and winged crossguard).  The bastard sword was realtively easy to make with the basic design, and would have been plentiful enough as a basic armament during the time.  As well, the variation of one-handed and two-handed fighting style made the blade particularly effective in most situations, since you could switch quickly to using both hands to deliver powerful blows to lightly armored opponents (ie, bandits in leather).  I've also been toying with the idea of a matching shortsword for dual bladed fighting. 

These reasons, to me, make the blade a far better choice to someone relying on it for their living, over a longsword or claymore.  When relying on your blade, you want effectiveness to be matched with versatility.  Something that's easy to use, but will stand up in a fight no matter the conditions.  Unless you're talking about arrows.  But then, that's what a large metal shield is for, and you can still wield the blade while protecting yourself from the cowards firing from the back lines.

Cuz someone like me would never use a bow.  Stalking a target.  Firing from the trees.  Under the cover of night.  For a nice purse of coin from someone that wished them dead.  Nope, no sir, not me.   :o



Your persona sounds just about like what I had in mind for my own. You made your sword? Are you a blacksmith?

I was considering a hand-and-a-half sword. If I did I'd probably move my character back about a hundred years. I do love longswords... ::)

Offline RSLeask

  • R/F.com Member
  • Posts: 140
  • I'm not shy... I'm a passive socialite.
    • Myspace
Re: Choosing a sword...
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2009, 01:34:57 PM »
Your persona sounds just about like what I had in mind for my own. You made your sword? Are you a blacksmith?

I wish, but no.  I meant they were relatively easy to make, as in, the smiths of the time could make them in a greater quantity for, say, larger armies.  Buying one would have been cheaper because the materials needed were less than larger two-handed swords, and the process less than the longer-bladed one-handed swords.
What's a Grecian Urn?  Are we talking union, or non-union?

Offline The Scottish Knight

  • R/F.com Member
  • Posts: 17
Re: Choosing a sword...
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2009, 01:47:01 PM »
I found this. Should be very useful to anyone looking into 16 and 17th century Scottish military.

http://www.myarmoury.com/feature_armies_scots.html

Offline SirRichardBear

  • R/F.com Member
  • Posts: 652
Re: Choosing a sword...
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2009, 01:52:08 PM »
The basket sword has a long history and evolution while the "classical" Scottish basket sword was from the 17th century there are examples of basket swords being used as early as the 1500's.   A merc would be more likely to use a heavier sword than a rapier since it would be less likely to break in combat when a soldier could easly find himself facing someone wearing armour.  
Beware of him that is slow to anger: He is angry for something, and will not be pleased for nothing.
Benjamin Franklin

Offline The Scottish Knight

  • R/F.com Member
  • Posts: 17
Re: Choosing a sword...
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2009, 02:20:17 PM »
The basket sword has a long history and evolution while the "classical" Scottish basket sword was from the 17th century there are examples of basket swords being used as early as the 1500's.   A merc would be more likely to use a heavier sword than a rapier since it would be less likely to break in combat when a soldier could easly find himself facing someone wearing armour.  

I think you're right. Do you think a basket-hilt would be heavy enough? I'm considering going with a two-handed claymore and a look similar to figure 3 on this page.
http://swordforum.com/articles/history/the_medieval_gaelic_soldier.php

Offline Count Adolfo

  • R/F.com Member
  • Posts: 829
Re: Choosing a sword...
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2009, 02:59:50 PM »
from reading your description of your persona, I'd go with a hand-and-a-half bastard sword, something not too heavy but also not a fencer... something with both cut and thrust capabilities and something that looks suitably impressive upon your waist.
Nothing too too fancy, though... as one who is coin-activated death is not going to want to attract a lot of attention to himself.

Offline Monsignor de Beaumanoir

  • True R/F.com Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1698
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 03:19:09 PM by Warrior Monk »

Offline The Scottish Knight

  • R/F.com Member
  • Posts: 17
Re: Choosing a sword...
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2009, 06:36:04 PM »
Warrior Monk, thanks for the links! Ah, if only I could afford a Gallowglass sword... ::)

Count Adolfo, as much as I love the basket-hilts, you may be right.

Although, I had originally concieved this persona as someone who handles non-military matters. Local gangs, an occasional assasination, things like that. So a hand-and-a-half may not be the best choice.

I'll have to think about it a bit more. Refine my persona.


Thanks everyone!
« Last Edit: October 22, 2009, 06:49:08 PM by The Scottish Knight »

Offline Kruzar

  • R/F.com Member
  • Posts: 61
  • Rockin Escondido
    • My Myspace
Re: Choosing a sword...
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2009, 08:07:55 PM »
It's really interesting to me the number of us, who come to have a roguish faire personality... I know that is what I go for when I done my gear.

For my blades, I carry a Scottish Court Sword.  It is a historical replica, but it is not quite accurate for the time period.  It basically looks like a short rapier, and I wear it primarily for the show of it.  And it feels good in my hand, which is most important.

The second blade that I carry is a black stilleto, which is very easy to conceal and is my back-up weapon.

When it comes to blades, I think the key is to have fun with it... and find something that fits you.  Both of my blades felt right when I held them... and that is why I ended up purchasing them both.  And I know that when I was looking, I spent a lot of time trying out a whole bunch of different blades until that perfect fit came along.

Good luck out there...
Gentleman Rogue

 

Web hosting provided by www.RangeHosting.us