Friday, November 5, 2010

women At Work In Medieval Europe

Talk about and now for something completely different right? It may sound strange, but as much as I enjoy watching anime for some of the outrageous fight scenes and enjoy painting certain styles of miniatures of the 'flash', I actualy prefer, when not reading fiction for pleasure, to increase the old brain pan on some of the things that we think were going on back then.

And one of those areas of interest is what were women doing. Not because when I GM I don't allow female paladins or anything like that. Rather, I'm curious as to what the actual socieites were like and what jobs they had.

While I've only just skimmed the book thus far, it's alays proven worth the price. Marie De France is a 12th century poet and one of the examples of her work is showcasing a woman using her mind to outsmart her husband who catches her cheating. She tells him that the man can't trust his eyes. After all, if he looks into a barrel of water and sees his reflection, he's not actually in the barrel. His eyes are lying to him! There's some other clever bits here too.

Ironically, before I got into the book, the preface mentions Dr. Barbara of Wissenkirchen, a battlefield truma surgeon in 14th-century Germany. That right there is a perfect NPC. While the gaming mechanics and whatnot would have to be worked out, the fact of a battlfield trauma suregon is awesome in and of itself.

When looking around at your table, if you have players whose characters roles and abilities you arent' certain would fit into your campaign, don't be afraid to do a little research and challenge your perceptions. Even if such characters are the rareities and exceptions, they can make good examples of 'true grit' so to speak.