Pick #46: Swordplay Fechtbuch

If by any chance you were wondering from whence the Gladiatores get their fighting techniques... Many are from a Fechtbuch, or Fighting Book, written in the 15th century written by Peter von Danzig and students. A Fechtbuch is really a martial arts manual, often illuminated with pictures of the fighting maneuvers, meant as a teaching tool. A sort of spell book for fighters.

You might want to use the concept in your campaigns...
a fighter that finds one might reach a new skill level, class level, specialty, feat, proficiency, etc. Manuals with special techniques would be much sought after, especially if they contained secret winning techniques.

Or you might wonder a bit at a few translated  texts from (for example) the Von Danzig manual here. They are provided by Schielhau.org, or Mike Rasmusson, a self-described longsword addict from Toronto. Together with other addicts he made available an impressive set of resources on Fechtbucher.

Image is from the first folio of MS 1449 by Peter von Danzig, by grace of Wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. Introducing a "fighter's book" like that into a game session? Hm, sounds rather passive to me. When I play fighter-ish types, I don't mind the occasional break from fighting, but I definitely would frown at bookishness.
    If you are set on having characters train up to gain skills/levels, why not have them seek out a grizzled veteran teacher NPC? By all means, such a teacher may have written a book about his/her techniques...but the combat style would have to be trained. Physically. A side benefit of this is that it gives opportunity to involve NPCs (rivals at the dojo, fellow students either malignant or benevolent, etc.) and above all...some action?