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Lucius

The Professions of Arms

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

PS: Infantry would also include

 

Caring for whatever armor and weapons are typically issued.

 

Recognizing weapons, armor, and uniforms of one's own national army (or mercenary company) and those of allies and enemies. For example, in the middle ages various pole arms were strongly associated with certain regions; seeing a unit all armed alike, the Infantryman may not only recognize them as of his own kingdom, but know by the weapons what province or county they were levied from.

 

Recognizing rank within one's own unit is probably automatic; with a roll, one could probably judge the rank of a member of an allied or oft-fought force, assuming they have some kind of visible symbol.

 

Recognition of bugle calls, drum signals, hand signs, battle staff gestures, or whatever other system is used to deliver coded commands on the field.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Defining the Palindromedary as a background skill.....

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

Basically roman generals seem to have belived that if you could get your soldiers where you needed them in fairly good shape, and they coud maneuver, then it didn't matter if their combat skills were fairly basic. And judging by history, they may just have had a point.

 

cheers, Mark

 

Everything I've read on the subject has implied or stated outright that most of the casualties of any battle in the pre-modern days were inflicted after one side's morale broke. If you can keep your guys together in a formation longer than the other guy, you win and he dies. So yeah, Rome was right on: excellent fighters are impressive, but excellent soldiers win wars.

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

Everything I've read on the subject has implied or stated outright that most of the casualties of any battle in the pre-modern days were inflicted after one side's morale broke. If you can keep your guys together in a formation longer than the other guy' date=' you win and he dies. So yeah, Rome was right on: excellent fighters are impressive, but excellent soldiers win wars.[/quote']

 

 

An Officer has spoken: we have the definitive word. ;)

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary asks what's next on the list? PS: Janissary?

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

An Officer has spoken: we have the definitive word. ;)

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary asks what's next on the list? PS: Janissary?

 

I'm not a real officer. I just play one on TV.

 

I've still read a lot of military history though.

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

I'm not a real officer. I just play one on TV.

 

I've still read a lot of military history though.

 

Then what can you tell us about janissaries?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary thinks we should do jedi next....

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

Then what can you tell us about janissaries?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary thinks we should do jedi next....

 

I'm not quite so up on the janissaries. Used by the Turks in the Middle Ages/Renaissance era, slaves, usually captured as children from pagans or Christians and brought up as Muslims, saw a lot of action in Eastern Europe. Aside from the religion angle, and no fear of death (at least supposedly, but coming from the same part of the world as the hashishin and modern suicide bombers, probably so...same cultural memes), their skills would be similar to most other soldiers. I don't know if they fought in formations...probably not, given the time period.

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

Janissaries (yeni-ceri - 'new troops') started off as archers on foot - the equivalent mounted troops status-wise being the Kapikulu (transliterations of these names vary, as always... and some foreign characters do not render properly on this board :( , so I have left off accents). Later the bows were replaced by muskets (tufek)

 

Recognizable by their characteristic white hats, they generally had mail shirts as armour (although they could equip themselves more heavily if they had the cash/looted it from victims, mail reinforced with small plates being popular, especially among officers), sabres, probably a yataghan as well, as whatever their personal choice of 'can-opener' was (some had flails, others maces, still others halberds:thumbup:).

 

Favourite battle formation was formed up behind a rampart with stakes and a ditch in front of it, with the expendable 'grunts' (azab) in front to slow the enemy down while they were hammered by missile fire.

 

In short, they are regular missile troops with unusually high morale, decent bows (let down where AP capability is concerned by the Turkish habit of using light arrows) and far more competent in melee than archers normally are (they had to be good swordsmen as well).

 

In some periods their quality dropped off, but we are talking 'proper' janissaries here, not the inferior versions.

 

That give you enough to work with?

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

Isn't it the case that they started off as a force recruited strictly from non-Moslem populations, and eventually transmuted into one with almost all Moslem origins?

 

I have read that they were also induced to, at least formally, embrace Islam, because of some Turkish law that forbid non-Moslems from handling weapons.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

Weapon Familiarity: Palindromedary

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

You are indeed correct - they were recruited from non-Muslims and then 'converted' and trained (analogous to other Muslim ghulam-type troops); only when times were bad were they recruited via a draft of the Muslim population.

 

I know I should have mentioned the above in my original post, but I was half-asleep when I wrote it.

 

[i have also loaned out my Ottoman Turk reference book to a friend so he can plan his 16th-century Low Fantasy HERO campaign for next term; bad timing if I need to look stuff up]

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

You are indeed correct - they were recruited from non-Muslims and then 'converted' and trained (analogous to other Muslim ghulam-type troops); only when times were bad were they recruited via a draft of the Muslim population.

 

I know I should have mentioned the above in my original post, but I was half-asleep when I wrote it.

 

[i have also loaned out my Ottoman Turk reference book to a friend so he can plan his 16th-century Low Fantasy HERO campaign for next term; bad timing if I need to look stuff up]

 

Don't worry about it; we'll just move on to something else. :)

 

The whole point is that there is a plethora of possible professions.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary is positively pleased by the point of a plethora of possible professions.

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

I thought we decided hoplites were hopeless?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary says it's all Greek to us

 

I was having a bad day when I said that -- I'd been cut off in traffic by a hoplite.

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

I'm late catching up on this discussion, but Lucius, this is GOOD stuff.

I hope that you can get it published; I'd buy it.

 

Gee, if you guys keep encouraging Me, maybe I will try to put this in some kind of publishable format.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary is arguing both sides, as usual.

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

I was going to start talking about Cossacks, but then realized they'd basically just be light cavalry, with some slightly different skills depending on what era and region we're talking about.

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

I was going to start talking about Cossacks' date=' but then realized they'd basically just be light cavalry, with some slightly different skills depending on what era and region we're talking about.[/quote']

 

Then perhaps you can talk about the distinctions between light and heavy cavalry. Or what some of those different skills would be.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

PS: Palindromedary Cavalry

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

Then perhaps you can talk about the distinctions between light and heavy cavalry. Or what some of those different skills would be.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

PS: Palindromedary Cavalry

 

I was thinking about how the term "Cossack" really refers to a lot of different, but related, groups of people existing from the time of the breakup of the Golden Horde in Eastern Europe. The Cossacks in the Zaporozhian Sech, which was basically its own state, and the 19th-century Cossacks on the Don River or in the Caucasus (and their descendants today) had very different modes of life. The former were an independent raiding people, and the latter farmers who gave the Russian Empire soldiers in exchange for not paying taxes and exemption from other obligations.

 

Just off the top of my head, the Zaps must have had some knowledge of water combat, since they did some fighting on riverways (even made it to down to raid Constantinople if I recall correctly) and the Dons were primarily horsemen.

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

There are several new people around - new not just to the Hero Boards, but to the Hero System - and I'm vain enough to think this thread could have some value to them.

 

Besides, I never did get through the alphabet. Did we do L yet?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary suggests Leadership and Longbowman

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

Hey' date=' I forgot about this thread! Be nice if it DID get finished.[/quote']

 

I'm not sure what would constitute "finished"

 

Doing it alphabetically is a kind of arbitrary idea that only came to me after the thread started.

 

I certainly wouldn't want to discourage anyone at any time from proposing a Profession, regardless of what letter it starts with!

 

But to get the thread moving again, how about

 

PS: Lumberjack (STR based)

Also called Forester, Woodsman, Woodcutter

 

Like Explorer, this is not a warrior skill per se, but one possible background for a fighter type character.

 

The character will probably have Familiarity with Ax, and a Survival skill applicable in forest, and likely an Area Knowledge for at least one wooded area.

 

Can identify trees by species, with no roll needed for common types, and knows what the wood of a given tree is good for (i.e., this one is used to build houses, this one is prized by shipbuilders, this one makes the best bows, etc) Does not substitute for things like Tracking, but a Woodsman will also know most of the fauna they might encounter. Can cut a tree so it falls in a specific direction, and can quickly and efficiently trim a tree down into a log

and saw it into usable lumber. Being familiar with the properties of wood and use of tools, may be able to substitue for PS: Carpenter to make houses and furniture, but only in a crude way and at penalties.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

I'm a palindromedary and I'm okay

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

Apparently, no one's interested in hoplites.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary thinks the general reaction is probably "It's all Greek to me."

 

Ahem. There's already too much of this thread to catch up on. Otherwise I wouldn't have let that pass. I haven't read through everything yet so please forgive me if I repeat anything.

 

Hoplites are about standing shoulder to shoulder with your brothers in arms and not flinching in the face of the enemy. It is more about defence than attack. It also confers a certain amount of social standing, at least in the home city. PS Hoplite could be a complementary skill for the following situations.

 

Teamwork. At least one other team member must be either a Hoplite or equipped in a similar manner.

 

Presence/Ego roll to stand firm. (surrounding Hoplites/allies must also pass their rolls).

 

Ego/Con roll to carry on marching in full armour.

 

Any roll that involves negotiating with a fellow citizen or a Hoplite from another city. A Hoplite commands a certain amount of respect and will be able to speak to a fellow citizen as a brother in arms.

 

Tactics roll for a situation involving phalanxes.

 

 

It could also be used to give displays of martial discipline. And perhaps to allow the Hoplite to identify the fighting styles used by other cities. While such distinctions may be too subtle to matter it could be very useful to know that you are facing e.g. Spartans or their equivalent.

 

 

In combat an experience Hoplite might be able to spot a weakness in an enemy's shield defence, reduce the chances of his spear being broken or taken from him or spur his allies on to greater efforts. A good way to represent most of these abilities would be to use the PS as a complementary skill for Combat Tricks.

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Re: The Professions of Arms

 

Just wanted to post some thoughts and hope I'm not going off the direction of the topic.

 

If there is any amount of down time between adventures characters could be allowed to role their PS to see if they made any money using their skills. Like (Every point under skill roll x weeks of downtime)x 10 gold or something.

 

We never did follow up on this idea did we?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary thinks I need to follow up on laundry. We're out of saddle blankets.

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