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Acceptable Anomalies?

 
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CruelSummerLord
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:07 pm    Post subject: Acceptable Anomalies? Reply with quote

What kind of modern "anomalies" do you accept in your version of Greyhawk? By anomalies, I mean things that didn't necessarily exist in the real-life Middle Ages and were created more recently, but that fit comfortably into your setting. My examples include:

-Modern card games: Poker was a 19th-century invention, but I see no reason why games similar to it couldn't exist in the Flanaess. Localized versions such as "Sterich Hold'em" could even exist!

-Cree- and Cherokee-inspired syllabics for the Flan language: These real syllabics were created in the 19th century, but the Flan have had at least 2000 years to come up with their own writing system (and they did have one, given that the need for spellbooks would spur the development of a normal writing system, even if the books were as often made of buffalo hide as parchment). I can also see modern Flan as including hieroglyphs similar to those used by the real-life Mikmaq, as a result of different Flan groups all bringing their contributions.

-Secular government: The separation of church and state is very prominent in much of the Flanaess, and only a few states are explicitly tied to a specific church. Even those countries that favor certain churches still extend religious tolerance to most others. Meanwhile, in feudal Europe (and indeed in many parts of the Middle and Far East!) rulers often justified their power by claiming some divine endorsement or mandate.

-Musical instruments:: Instruments such as the piano or the tuba were probably unknown to medieval composers, but why should Flanaess musicians have to suffer? I can see many wealthy patrons competing to support the greatest bards and musicians, much as the likes of Beethoven and Bach sought out patrons. Musical notation and clefs could have easily advanced to.
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One anachronistic aspect of some nations in my campaign is the idea of freedom based on equality. In nations like the Yeomanry and the Ulek states, people are treated as equals and slavery is considered one of the greatest possible evils. In the real Medieval Europe, and elsewhere, equality was rare and slavery was accepted by some societies that were the most egalitarian (eg. Greece and Rome).

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Vulcan
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course, the world of Oerth does not exist in a vacuum. It is connected to countless other worlds, including our own. I expect Oerth would have a lot of anachronisms in comparison to our own history.

For example, we know Murlynd either came from or spent a fair amount of time in a world closely corresponding to the American Old West...

It's actually rather surprising, in that context, that such inventions as the printing press haven't seen greater use in the Flanaess.
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Mystic-Scholar
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greyhawk is a -- supposedly -- medieval world, but one created with 20th Century sensibilities. And newer editions of the game are even more influenced by 21st Century sensibilities.

In other words: "Medieval" Greyhawk has nothing in common with real world historical realities. So . . . do whatever you feel like.
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tarelton
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mystic-Scholar wrote:
Greyhawk is a -- supposedly -- medieval world, but one created with 20th Century sensibilities. And newer editions of the game are even more influenced by 21st Century sensibilities.

In other words: "Medieval" Greyhawk has nothing in common with real world historical realities. So . . . do whatever you feel like.


I try to keep my vision more medieval... Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth is a good source for what 12th and 13th century England would have been like... not particularly nice. Of course, with a far more polytheistic society, and actual divine miracles and other magic, Mystic Scholar is right... it can be whatever you want.
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Mystic-Scholar
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tarelton wrote:
I try to keep my vision more medieval...


Eyeglasses -- believed to have been invented in 1285
Potato -- discovered circa 1492
Tomato -- discovered circa 1492
Tobacco -- discovered circa 1492
Chocolate -- discovered circa 1492

When Columbus sailed the ocean blue. (Incidentally, the "medieval period" is considered to have ended about the year 1400. Long before Columbus sailed.)

Richard the Lionheart knew none of these things. Never heard of them. Never saw them.

Richard, William the Conqueror, Julius Caesar; how far back do you wish to go?

All of the above mentioned items exist in the game. They did not "exist" in the medieval times of our world.

Lions and Tigers? Two different continents. Emus and Ostriches? Two different continents. The list goes on.

Greyhawk, Faerun, et al, are really quite cosmopolitan for "medieval" worlds, and not synonymous with our real world medieval period at all.
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vestcoat
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I err on the side of limiting anomalies: no field or full-plate armor (per Ivid the Undying and pre-Unearthed Arcana Greyhawk); no dungeon-punk accessories, black-studded armor, or ridiculous mauls from 3e-4e; no billiard tables, indoor plumbing, or urban druids from Yggsburgh; Spelljamming is rare and mysterious; and countries with any canon religious disposition are much more faith-based and intolerant of rivals IMC. Even on the open road, adventures caught with something as simple as steel arrowheads are libel to be arrested by a passing patrol as brigands unless they can demonstrate a sellsword license, adventuring charter, knighthood, or lawful temple affiliation.

All of this makes it more fun to break the rules on rare occasions. PC's went from Tenh, where chain mail isn't sold and the Flan rigidly persist in wearing their traditional scale and bronze plate mail, to the Corusks and discovered that the isolationist mountain dwarves have steam engines.

Other anomalies I've used are: the Machine of Lum the Mad, timekeeping priests, greek fire, gnomish leather armor, gnome flying machines, and various technologies being slowly disseminated from Blackmoor.
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Mystic-Scholar
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vestcoat wrote:
I err on the side of limiting anomalies: no field or full-plate armor . . . PC's went from Tenh . . . to the Corusks and discovered that the isolationist mountain dwarves have steam engines.

Other anomalies . . . gnome flying machines, and various technologies being slowly disseminated from Blackmoor.


Those seem like odd choices. Interesting, but slightly odd.

Our real world medieval period is considered to be approximately 1000 years long; from the year 400 to the year 1400.

What we term "full plate armor" didn't exist until about the last 100 years of the medieval period. However, steam engines didn't come about until the year 1712, some 400 years after the advent of "full plate" armor.

I just find it odd that one "nation" would have steam engines without anyone having "invented" full plate armor.

Mail -- or "chain mail" -- existed for centuries, but, in all that time, I cannot see someone not "inventing" what we call in the game "partial plate."

"Hey, if I put this (5000 year old) breast plate over/under my chain mail . . ."

Might never have been a "big thing," but I can see it happening.
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Amesang
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See, this is why I've grown more comfortable looking at Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms as more "early Renaissance" than "medieval." Makes some of the anachronisms a lot less jarring. You know… like widespread literacy and education.

Vulcan wrote:
It's actually rather surprising, in that context, that such inventions as the printing press haven't seen greater use in the Flanaess.

There's always the "Greyhawk Grumbler":
http://dnd.schadenfreudestudios.com/books/greyhawk/the%20greyhawk%20grumbler%20-%20598cy%2003%20coldeven.pdf
http://dnd.schadenfreudestudios.com/books/greyhawk/the%20greyhawk%20grumbler%20-%20598cy%2006%20wealsun.pdf
http://dnd.schadenfreudestudios.com/books/greyhawk/the%20greyhawk%20grumbler%20-%20598cy%2008%20goodmonth.pdf
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CruelSummerLord
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mystic-Scholar wrote:
tarelton wrote:
I try to keep my vision more medieval...


Eyeglasses -- believed to have been invented in 1285
Potato -- discovered circa 1492
Tomato -- discovered circa 1492
Tobacco -- discovered circa 1492
Chocolate -- discovered circa 1492

When Columbus sailed the ocean blue. (Incidentally, the "medieval period" is considered to have ended about the year 1400. Long before Columbus sailed.)

Richard the Lionheart knew none of these things. Never heard of them. Never saw them.

Richard, William the Conqueror, Julius Caesar; how far back do you wish to go?

All of the above mentioned items exist in the game. They did not "exist" in the medieval times of our world.

Lions and Tigers? Two different continents. Emus and Ostriches? Two different continents. The list goes on.

Greyhawk, Faerun, et al, are really quite cosmopolitan for "medieval" worlds, and not synonymous with our real world medieval period at all.


Part of the fun is in trying to explain many of these anomalies, though. The objections to the presence of potatoes, tomatoes and tobacco in a "medieval" setting can be addressed if you consider the Flanaess to be Greyhawk North America rather than Greyhawk Europe like I do. So it makes sense that these things would exist in the Flanaess-as the fantasy equivalent of the First Nations, the Flan were using them before the Sueloise or the Oeridians ever colonized the continent.

Same thing with the Native American-inspired Flan having a written language in "medieval" times. If writing symbols are necessary to relearn magical spells after they've been cast, then eventually people might find other uses for those symbols, even if they're not magical in nature.

As for other anomalies, they can be explained by emphasizing the ways in which Oerth differs from the real world. Some chemical and physical principles are slightly different. This is why steam engines explode in a burst of scalding hot water and razor-edged shrapnel rather than actually propelling anything, or why oil can burn trolls but won't function in an engine. While electricity can be used to make a crude booby trap the way it does in the Slave Lords modules, it won't do anything when applied to a motor.
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tarelton
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, there are asiatic lions...

While I do like using the original concepts of the human races (Oeridians = germanic tribes, Suel = Babylonians/Romans/Byzantines, Flan = Celts/Native Americans) I look at these as starting points. The real challenge with the anomalies is do they begin to changes the nature of the story the DM wants to tell. Mass literacy, printing presses, and the rest are not wrong, but naturally lead to something different than a medieval/Howard/Tolkienesque fantasy world. For instance rare books would be less rare and more broadly distributed... so much for journeying to the Great Library when the local city has a printed copy as well.

Turtledove's Agent of Byzantium is a good book that highlights the immediate affects of the sudden introduction of technology into a medieval setting. The basic premise is that the Byzantine Empire is never challenged by Islam, and remains the preeminent Mediterranean state. At the time of the stories, the protagonist witnesses the introduction of a new technology or concept in each story, and must deal with it in such as way as to not destabilize the empire; such concepts and technology include telescopes, vaccination, gunpowder, strong alcohol, and printing.
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pykm
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tarelton wrote:
Actually, there are asiatic lions...


In the medieval period, there were European lions... until the 10th century, when they went extinct.[/i]
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abysslin
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mystic-Scholar wrote:
tarelton wrote:
I try to keep my vision more medieval...


Eyeglasses -- believed to have been invented in 1285
Potato -- discovered circa 1492
Tomato -- discovered circa 1492
Tobacco -- discovered circa 1492
Chocolate -- discovered circa 1492

When Columbus sailed the ocean blue. (Incidentally, the "medieval period" is considered to have ended about the year 1400. Long before Columbus sailed.)

Richard the Lionheart knew none of these things. Never heard of them. Never saw them.

Richard, William the Conqueror, Julius Caesar; how far back do you wish to go?

All of the above mentioned items exist in the game. They did not "exist" in the medieval times of our world.

Lions and Tigers? Two different continents. Emus and Ostriches? Two different continents. The list goes on.

Greyhawk, Faerun, et al, are really quite cosmopolitan for "medieval" worlds, and not synonymous with our real world medieval period at all.


Tomatoes weren't in Italy before 1492??
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 05, 2019 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

abysslin wrote:
Tomatoes weren't in Italy before 1492??


They're New World plants, so nobody in Europe knew about them before Columbus. But insofar as the Amedio Jungle is based partly on Central America, the Flanaess has probably had them for ages.

The ancient Romans used wine sauces, fish sauces, and of course olives.
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Mystic-Scholar
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rasgon wrote:
But insofar as the Amedio Jungle is based partly on Central America, the Flanaess has probably had them for ages.


Planet earth had tomatoes for "ages," as did the native (south) Americans. North America did not. And, before the advent of the Panama canal, the two continents were connected by land. Still didn't trade with each other. Europe didn't have them for the same reasons:

Lack of trade.
Lack of knowing a place exist.
Etceterra.

Then consider the fact that the actual plant is poisonous. Only the fruit -- the tomato -- can be eaten. So even after it was discovered, Europeans avoided the plant for a time.

As I said, the World of Greyhawk is far more cosmopolitan than was our own world during the "middle ages."

I play my Greyhawk more inline with the real world situation. I find it more realistic and authentic. But everyone should play it the way they feel it. Individually more enjoyable that way.
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rasgon
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Flanaess is much closer to the Amedio than Europe is to Central America, so I'd imagine the Flanaess has been trading with them for much longer. Consider how much trade and conquest there was/is between Europe and Northern Africa.

I assume the Suel, at least, have traded with/invaded the Amedio since well before the Rain of Colorless Fire.
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A-Baneful-Backfire
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In summary, I guess my technique in dealing with anomalies is to rename the object or thing if I can. That way I can fudge, and have the thing not perform just like its real-world counterpart – if I want.

This topic brings to mind a scenario in the Treasures of Greyhawk entitled “Bigby’s Modest Home.” As written, the description utilized the terms of a contemporary suburban house. So I simply used different words – in this sense I had no problem with the concepts, just in how they were described.

Porch became Portico
Dining Room became Refectory
Living Room became Parlor
Study became Solar (conveniently the windows on the map did face south)
Carpets became rugs, loosely laid and not wall-to-wall

Musical Instruments – there was also a grand piano. Well that merely needed to be renamed “Great Hall sized Rel Deven Hammer Clavichord.” And then I don’t have to explain just how it works or sounds.

Some Other Anomalies

Disease – Contagious diseases are not, in any way, biological in my game. They are a foul (or more particularly negative) energy or “humor.” This has helped diseases remain as plot devices.

Poison – Toxic substances are just a material conduit - for negative energy again. If an animal has a venom, then like the traditional symbolism of vipers, they are associated with death. This is why paladins can’t use poisons, even incapacitating ones. (Though in my 3.5/Path/Etc. campaign, sleep poisons - as opposed to unconsciousness inducing poisons - merely redirect the victim to the dreaming state, which is not empowered with negative energy.)

Physics/Chemistry/Etc. - Its really nice explaining away things because there are only four elements – air, earth, fire and water. Heck, throw in Spelljammer gravity rules and things just get awesome!

Education/Literacy/etc. – You don’t need printing presses if a Delleb priest gets his hands on an animated quill. And those same priests just love teaching the kids.

As others have said part of the fun is explaining the anomalies.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vestcoat wrote:
I err on the side of limiting anomalies: no field or full-plate armor (per Ivid the Undying and pre-Unearthed Arcana Greyhawk)...


-Considering how common plate armor is in canonical works, I just could go with that (see List, below).

Mystic-Scholar wrote:


Eyeglasses -- believed to have been invented in 1285
Potato -- discovered circa 1492
Tomato -- discovered circa 1492
Tobacco -- discovered circa 1492
Chocolate -- discovered circa 1492

When Columbus sailed the ocean blue...


-My source had a slightly later period for eyeglasses...

I don't consider crops to be an "anomaly", since they did exist before 1492, just not in Europe. I generally assume that most of the Flanaess is a European expy, but the Flaneass is very close to Hepmonaland and the Amedio (as CSL and Rasgon point out), so...

A-Baneful-Backfire wrote:
...This topic brings to mind a scenario in the Treasures of Greyhawk entitled “Bigby’s Modest Home.” As written, the description utilized the terms of a contemporary suburban house...


-I assume any non-medieval items Bigby might have were gained as result of extraplanar adventures or study, so it doesn't "count".

A-Baneful-Backfire wrote:
...Disease – Contagious diseases are not, in any way, biological in my game. They are a foul (or more particularly negative) energy or “humor.” This has helped diseases remain as plot devices... Physics/Chemistry/Etc. - Its really nice explaining away things because there are only four elements – air, earth, fire and water. Heck, throw in Spelljammer gravity rules and things just get awesome!


-Simple solutions, but I always choked on those minnows.

A-Baneful-Backfire wrote:
...Education/Literacy/etc. – You don’t need printing presses if a Delleb priest gets his hands on an animated quill. And those same priests just love teaching the kids.


-Medieval literacy was actually more widespread than is popularly assumed. Anyone who wasn't literate in Latin was "illiterate". Using that standard, most of us would be "illiterate". You may have heard the old line about Charlemagne being illiterate. His Latin sucked, but he could read it to some extent. He was fully literate in German using Merovingian script, but Carolingian script (similar to what we use now) threw him off.

Anyway, I actually keep a list. I redid it a little for posting here, since Word didn't translate well.

The list follows the order:

Item or Concept (sometimes with D&D 3.5 equivalent);

The date of invention or development, and whether the item or concept is in relatively common use (YES), a new item (costing twice as much: NEW), or not in use (unless brought in from elsewhere: NO). If there is an anomaly, e.g., no gunpowder, even though there should be in a AD 1445 equivalent world, or the death of the four humors theory, which occurred much later in our historical world, then I add (!);

Sources (if I remembered to keep it as a reference). Sometimes, I'll add a note on when an anomalous item was listed in a Greyhawk source.

My List:

Assumption: It normally takes two years in the Flanaess (CY) to equal one year of historical (AD) technological advance: AD 1445 = 576 CY; AD 1446 = 578 CY; AD 1447 = 580 CY; etc...

Science, Technology, & Knowledge:

Weapons


Crossbow, Cranequin (~D&D 3.5 Heavy Crossbow)
YES 1370
Strickland, pp. 122-123

Crossbow, Repeating
NEW 1280 (China)
Peers, Medieval Chinese Armies, p. 44

Crossbow, Windlass (~D&D 3.5 Heavy Crossbow)
YES 1297
Strickland, p. 122

Grenades/Shells
NO (!) 950? 1044 (China)
Peers, Imperial Chinese Armies (2), p. 42

Gun
NO (!) 1324? 1326;1274 (Islam); 1250? 1332 (China)
Nicolle, The Moors, p. 37; Gravett, Medieval Siege Warfare, p. 52;
Peers, Medieval Chinese Armies, p. 38;
Williams, , Knight & the Blast Furnace, pp. 845, 850

Gunpowder
NO (!) 1266; 1044 (China); 1294 (Islam)
Williams, Knight & the Blast Furnace, pp. 845-847

Rocket
NO (!) 1100? 1350 (China)
Peers, Medieval Chinese Armies, p. 37

Trebuchet
YES 1190? 1216; 1249 (Islam); 1280 (China)
Gies & Gies, Life in a Medieval Castle, pp. 193-195;
Gravett, Medieval Siege Warfare, pp. 50-51;
Peers, Imperial Chinese Armies (2), p. 41

Crossbow, Steel (~D&D 3.5 Heavy Crossbow or Great Crossbow)
NEW (?!) 1446?
Michael, Armies of Burgundy, pp 30-31


Armor


Armor, Full Plate (~D&D 3.5 +8 AC Plate Armor)
YES 1415? 1419
Rothero, Armies of Agincourt, illus/photo on pp. 7, 15, 16, 37, B1, B3


Transportation


Canal Locks
YES 1375

Vessel, Caravel (3 masts w/topsails)
NEW (!?) 1480?
Konstam, Tudor Warships (1), pp. 10

Vessel, Carrack (2 masts w/square & lanteen sails ~D&D 3.5 Caravel)
YES 1340s? 1410
Konstam, Tudor Warships (1), pp. 8-9

Vessel, Galleon (1)
NEW (!)
1500

Four-masted, five-decked galleons partially constructed CY 582 (“Military Organization & Composition”, Nyrond Gazeteer 593).

Wagon, Coach
NO 1575

Wagon, Moving Front Axel
YES (!?) 1415? 1470
Turnbull, Hussite Wars, photo on p. 24, plate F

Wagon, Suspension, Strap or Chain
NEW 1375? 1400
Gies & Gies, Life in a Medieval Castle, p. 107

Wheelbarrow
YES 407 BC? 1170? 1250; 100? 118 (China)
Gies & Gies, Life in a Medieval City, p. ?
Peers, Imperial Chinese Armies (1), p. ?;
Wiki


Architecture


Chimney Fireplace (Domestic)
YES 1130
Crowley, The Invention of Comfort, p. 22;
Gies & Gies, Life in a Medieval Castle, p. 62, photo on p. 63

Chimney Louver, Wind Revolving
YES 1400
Gies & Gies, Life in a Medieval Castle, p. 63

Flying Buttress
YES ~527, 1170? 1210
Gies & Gies, Life in a Medieval City, pp. 148-149, n6 on p. 239;
Wiki

Hypocaust Heating Vents
YES Pre-AD
Crowley, The Invention of Comfort, p. 23

Ribbed Vault
YES 1140
Wiki

Toilet, Flushing
NO 1585?
Schultz, Hist4, p. 43

Communications
Carrier Pigeon YES 1098 (Islamic)
1203


Engines


Windmill, Vertical
YES 1200


Food


Ice Cream
YES (?) 1295? 1670; Pre-AD? (China)
Wiki; Ice Cream sold at Mel’s in Rockburgh ca. CY 580 (Gargoyles).

Soda Water
NO 1772


Navigation


Maps w/ Latitude & Longitude
YES 1048

Compass YES 1202; 1040? 1044 (China); 1282 (Islamic)
Wiki

Astrolabe, Improved (4)
NEW (!) 1300
Improved Astrolabe on Ereadon’s Tower in Rookroost CY 576 (“The Sage’s Tower”, Fate of Istus, p. 9); newly developed in Asperdi as a CY 585 (Ivid the Undying, pp. 84, 87).

Sextant
NO 1775
Sextant on Ereadon’s Tower in Rookroost CY 576 (“The Sage’s Tower”, Fate of Istus, p. 9), but I disregard it.


Other Equipment


Anemometer (6)
NEW (!) 1450
Wiki; Anemometer on Ereadon’s Tower in Rookroost in 576 CY (“Sage’s Tower”, Fate of Istus).

Clock, Mechanical
YES 1346? 1360

Chime, Mechanical
NEW 1420
Gies & Gies, Life in a Medieval City, n1 on p. 234

Compass (for Geomancy)
YES Pre-AD (China & Mesoamerica)
Wiki; Peers, Ancient Chinese Armies, p. 35.

Printing Press NO 1447

Spectacles
NEW (!?) 1311? 1492
J.E.T Rogers, Vol. 4, p. 598

Telescope
NO 1509

Toothbrush
NO 1498 (China)


Art


Perspective
YES (!?) 1434


Mathematics


Zero
YES 1202; 873 (Islamic)
Gies & Gies, Life in a Medieval City, p. ?

Trigonometry
YES 929 (Islamic)

Calculus
NO 1690

Music

Clavichord, Pedal
YES (!?) 1400? 1460
Jeans, “The Pedal Clavichord”, pp. 1, 2

Harpsichord (3)
YES 1323? 1397
Wiki; Harpsichord at Cusp of Sunrise club in Cauldron ca. CY 593 (“Zenith Trajectory”, Shackled City).

Organ w/Keyboard
YES 1300
Jeans, “The Pedal Clavichord”, p. 1

Piano
NO 1709


Medicine


Contagion Theory
YES 1350

Four Humors Theory Decline
YES (!) 1800


Metallurgy


Iron, Cast
YES 1375 (China)
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Mystic-Scholar
GreySage


Joined: Oct 06, 2008
Posts: 2777
Location: South-Central Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamesdglick wrote:
-Considering how common plate armor is in canonical works, I just could go with that . . .


Full plate armor did not enter dominate use until the 15th century; a.k.a. the 1400s (Christopher Columbus, again). As I said, I play my game earlier than that time period, most don't. But "cannon" does not mean that the author -- Gygax -- got it "right." As Gygax himself said: Play it the way you see it.

jamesdglick wrote:
I don't consider crops to be an "anomaly", since they did exist before 1492, just not in Europe. I generally assume that most of the Flanaess is a European expy, but the Flaneass is very close to Hepmonaland and the Amedio (as CSL and Rasgon point out), so...


I think you misunderstand my point, sooo . . .

Cosmopolitan - 1: having wide international sophistication. 2: composed of persons, constituents, or elements from all or many parts of the world. 3: having worldwide rather than limited or provincial scope or bearing. 4: found in most parts of the world and under varied ecological conditions.

As I said; The world created by Gygax is FAR MORE "cosmopolitan" than the real world medieval times were.

Tobacco and potato, NORTH America. Tomato, SOUTH America. North and South connected by land mass. They still didn't trade with each other, in spite of the fact that there was no sailing required.

There is a reason that my generation referred to it as "the ice box," even though it had become "the refrigerator" by that time. Because our grandmothers still used real "ice boxes."

The real world became more "cosmopolitan" with the advent of Columbus. It became even more so with the advent of the steam engine. Yet more so with the aeroplane. Once again with the advent of the internet. And now, here comes/came the iPhone.

My Greyhawk is more in-tune with real world medieval times than Gary's was, or than yours is. I was merely explaining why that is so.

Everyone is supposed to create their game world the way they see it. Gary encouraged that. So do I. My sincere wish is that you have a lot of fun with it. Again, my posts were just a way of explaining why I play it the way I do.
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Kirt
Master Greytalker


Joined: Jan 05, 2002
Posts: 627
Location: Sky Island, So Cal

PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mystic-Scholar wrote:
Tobacco and potato, NORTH America. Tomato, SOUTH America. North and South connected by land mass. They still didn't trade with each other, in spite of the fact that there was no sailing required.


Actually, none of these crops are from North America: all are from the Andes. Potatoes domesticated somewhere around the modern border of Peru and Bolivia, Tobacco domesticated around Bolivia or northern Argentina.

Tomatoes, while originating as a species in the Andes, were probably first domesticated in Mesoamerica (Central America), as was maize.

Despite the fact that tobacco originated in the Andes, it was being grown in the Eastern Woodlands of North America by 300 BC. Despite the fact that maize originated in the highlands of Mexico, it was being grown in Peru nearly 7000 years ago.

So, while there wasn't much organized or large scale trade between the continents, saying that they "didn't trade with each other" is an exaggeration.

While at first blush it seems surprising that the Mesoamerican and South American civilizations didn't have much trade with one another, consider the number of factors involved:

Outside of the llamas and alpacas of the Andes, no domesticated beasts of burden. And likely because of that, no wheeled transport. How much trade goods are you willing to haul on your back?

Predominant axis of continents is North-South rather than East-West like Eurasia. Meaning the climate changes rapidly as you travel, and locally-adapted crops are rapidly moved out of their climate zones with just a little travel.

The land that connected the two continents was tropical jungle which is thick and difficult to traverse (compared to, say, the plains of Eurasia for the silk road).

In spite of the fact that all of Europe except the British Isles is connected by land, with "no sailing required" for trade - most trade by volume DID use sailing (either coasters or up rivers). Moving goods by water is simply much more efficient than by land - if you have invented the right kinds of ships.
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