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Christopher VaughnStrever

Location: San Antonio, TX
Joined: 13 Jun 2008
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 382

PostPosted: Tue 05 May, 2009 2:05 pm    Post subject: A knight for hire-- your help is needed         Reply with quote

This info can be skipped over, not too important to the main question

So I have a buisness idea that will most likely fail. Yet with only a $20.00 investment, I am willing to loose the money.
A knight for hire. I feel my kit has come to the point to be impressive to the general public. Specifically those whom go to gamming places (Such as to play computer games, not buy them) we have a couple of those places here in town. And also the comic book and collectors comic toy stores.

I have been noticing some of these places advertise tournaments such as in computer gamming and/or card games such as magic and so forth. Perhaps a little extra presence to bring in more customers. I am going to be doing this for relativly cheap prices with a few freebies. Doing things such as bring a little piece of a ren fest to thier buisness.

This is the start if you skipped the afore mentioned

So I need to come up with my character that I portray. Most have probably seen my kit on the kits and harness thread. I know its not entirely period and all but I dont want to relay false information when I speak and so forth. If there are suggestions towards things I should change, I will. If it all sounds out of this world Then let me know. I can change the character by going totally fantasy (character wise, armour is the same)

My character name is the same as my real name. I portray myself born german and kidnapped at an early age and taken to england. I fought for many years under the service of country and came to find that the pay was below me. I was worth more. I decided to become a mercenary. I have no allegiance to any country. I will fight for whom ever will pay me more. That ole' saying "the love of money is the root of all evil... well its true, evil has come from my arm and slain many.

When I fight for any country they emplore me to be chivalric. I am always pressured to turn over the prisoners I take captive. Though I keep a few for myself. You see I choose to give another knight mercy by allowing him to live, that ole' chivarly thing. People see it as kindness amongest madness, however these knights are rich. They eat on plates made of gold and silver. Their cup's are of the same metal's. When I take them captive I hold them ransom. Sometimes I am paid in coin and other times I am paid with these expensive plates and cups. I dont want a knight to die. Fore all of his fortunes will turn back to the people he has directed. If the knight lives I take his money.

Many of the nobility are so rich they pay the king of their country so that they do not go to war. I choose to fight, (pointing to the audience) You all choose to fight! Let the tournament begin!

I dont know, I am just trying to raise money so I can buy my future pieces of armour sooner is all. Any tips or suggestions?

Experience and learning from such defines maturity, not a number of age
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Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team

myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
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PostPosted: Tue 05 May, 2009 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some thoughts:

I can't offer much specificity on the kit, but will simply observe that we have to set the bar very high when stepping into an educational role. Even if you aren't trying for a stitch-perfect impression, many or most people will assume that you are and could easily be misled. For that reason alone I'd say it's better to accurately portray a lightly-armoured man than to inaccurately portray a heavily-armoured man.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of historic depictions of German and Austrian soldiers armoured with little more than sallets and breasts or breast and back, with arms, legs, jacks, brigandines, etc. mixed in different combination. Properly fitting armour ("proper" varying according to the status of the individual) is easier and cheaper to come by in those cases. The soft kit--shirt, doublet, hose, shoes-- can be made or bought from Historic Enterprises. Use sparingly whatever pieces of plate armour you already have. Try a good soft kit with just your breast. That would be much more impressive, in my view, than an ill-fitting and inaccurate full harness that would probably cost more. You might run into legal restrictions with edged weaons, so a less-than-full-combat impression might be more practical for that reason, too. You might consider a mace or long hammer since those are not easily covered by bans on knives and swords, and seem to have been carried somewhat casually by officers when away from the field. So, maybe either an ordinary infantrymen in field mode or officer/man at arms behind the lines, with soft kit appropriate to the impression.

FWIW, if I were going to get into the educational demo business and starting from scratch, I'd spend big for the soft kit (Historic Enterprises) and use armour sparingly, with a sallet and breast from, say, Francois L'Archeveque (using the currency inequality to best effect). I'd get a Windlass hammer and remount it long to avoid sword problems. But if you're free to wear a sword, then by all means do that, with a dagger, too. As impressive as a sword can be, though, in my mind nothing tops an accurate halberd for menace. People are kind of jaded on the subject of swords but that 7' axe is likely to stir the imagination.


"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Matthew Amt

Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,418

PostPosted: Wed 06 May, 2009 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've been doing school demos for a good 20 years, and my advice is to forget anything about a "persona" completely. Really, no offense, but the whole idea of being kidnapped and taken away to fight for another country is extremely unlikely and comes across as very hokey. I could go into details about how people didn't really fight for a country back then, and how a soldier's pay was pretty much the same as a mercenary's pay, because they were the same guys, but that gets into debates that aren't really necessary.

But the real reason not to bother with a long-drawn-out life story is that there simply isn't time for it. What you have that your audience has no other access to is your stuff. Stick to clothing and hardware, stick to facts, and a simple show-and-tell will knock their socks off. Don't hesitate to admit your shortcomings, especially if pinned down by a question: "I don't know" is a legitimate answer, and much better than making something up! Certainly you can list a few possible answers, but keep to the simple and TYPICAL, without going into wilder possibilities. And of course for some questions we're still debating the answer--tell them that. But if you just show them what you have with a straightforward explanation of materials and weight, folks will love it. They want to know how much armor weighs, and how a sword is used, and what a shield is made of, and they want to try on the helmets. Take extra helmets! Be careful about letting people handle weapons--in a school I don't even let students touch them, and all my weapons are blunt. Too many lawyers.

If you still want to tell life stories, do some reading and learn real ones. There are plenty of wild escapades from the middle ages that are true, without writing your own soap opera. As Sean points out, moving into educational mode means being serious about your history. Start by taking a good look at your actual knowledge base, pick out the facts, and leave the rest aside for now. As you learn more and start showing off your gear, you'll find more and more bits and pieces that you are lacking, or that you have but are not happy with. Upgrade as much as you can! Ditch things that shouldn't be there, including any non-essential items that are significantly inaccurate. The more accurate your gear is, the less you have to apologize for. That's always been my driving inspiration.

Now, I would say that standards can be relaxed quite a bit for a fantasy gaming group! I've never performed for anything like that, so I honestly don't know if they would pay, or how much. But it would be a hoot to lug a ton of standard fantasy gaming equipment that D&D characters are so used to loading up with, and show the players just how MUCH stuff that is! Armor, shield, sword, axe, extra daggers, bow and arrows, backpack with 2 weeks' food, wineflask, belt pouch with more stuff in it than my mom's purse, coil of rope, iron spikes, torches--falling over, yet? Too much fun.

So a lot depends on your audience. But I'd still advise sticking to hardware and known facts, and keep reading voraciously. And have fun!

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