r-tourn-ideas-msg - 9/2/06


Rapier tournament ideas.


NOTE: See also the files: p-rapier-msg, rapier-books-msg, tourn-ideas-msg, bucklers-msg, fencing-art, fencing-msg, merch-rapier-msg, Silver-1-man.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


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Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: rudi3964 at utdallas.edu

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Creative Rapier Tourneys?

Date: 20 May 1995 17:34:27 -0500

Organization: The University of Texas at Dallas


Susan Carroll-Clark (sclark at blues.epas.utoronto.ca) wrote:

>Eoforwic is hosting a rapier tourney as part of our 20th anniversary event.  >We've got really nifty prizes and want to do an equally nifty tourney.


Several years ago, Bryn Gwlad hosted what some of us called the

"Gentleman's Night Out Tourney" and other called the "Ruffian's Tourney".


Round 1 : Large list field (town square) with a pile of hay bales as the  fountain in the middle.  Fighters split into two equal halves, called Capulets and Montagues.  They each insult and/or challenge their opponents, then the fight begins -- all the fights at once, and yes, you can help your allies, but you cannot leave the field until your opponent is defeated.  Prizes for insults and challenges.


Round 2:  List field fifty feet by five feet.  Alley Scenario. You walk in with weapons sheathed.  Four ruffians (daggers, but no rapiers) are dicing.  Two of them will attack you.  You don't have to defeat them (they are "non-player characters").  You win if you make it out the other end of the alley.


Round 3:  Tavern Fight.  Tavern with haybale tables and benches.  

Weapons sheathed.  Mugs, bottles, etc. on the table. Start a fight with the fighter across the table.  You can't leave until you win.


Round 4:  Bedroom scene.  Doors & windows marked.  Hay bale bed.  You start in bed with somebody of the opposite sex.  Your weapons are leaning against the wall.  Either a jealous husband/wife comes through the door, or your paramour draws a dagger -- you don't know which until it happens. You win by getting out, whether you defeat the opponent or not.


Round 5:  Duel at Dawn.  A duel of honor, to be conducted punctiliously.


Rounds 1, 3, and 5 were against competitors, and rounds 2 and 4 were against non-player characters (eliminated competitors who still got to play).


Afterwards the tavern was set up again, and we had a brawl with everybody at once.


Prizes were also given for unusual weapons for the tavern brawl.  We had boffer mugs, bottles, darts, a torch, a fish, a limburger cheese, a bung-starter, and a barstool.


Other scenarios that I've seen work include:


Fighting on a burning roof.  Occasionally somebody throws a hula hoop on the field, representing places where the roof has burned through.  If you step in one, you fall to a burning death.


Melees on bridges, corridors, doorways, etc.


Large, somewhat divisible treasure in the middle of the field (costume jewelry, etc.).  Fighters begin without alliances, but can ally on the field at will.  Fight ends when everybody still alive agrees to share the treasure.


Specific scenarios.  You need several of these, because each one should be unique.  You hand each fighter a description of the scenario before he steps on the field.  The kicker is that his description is colored by his own prejudices and emotions.  Examples:


Fighter 1: You have long believed that the man standing before you was your closest friend.  But you now discover that your darkest secret is the current gossip at court, and he was the only one who knew the truth.  (It involved the unfortunate incident involving the parentage of Lady Hastings's second son.)  Enraged, you have asked him to meet you alone outside the city gates.  You have now arrived.


Fighter 2:  The man standing before you has long been your closest friend.  Indeed, you were especially helpful to him during the unfortunate incident regarding the parentage of Lady Hastings second son.  He came up to you and asked to speak to you in private, outside the city gates.  Of course you are always at his disposal, and have now arrived, ready to aid your friend.


Or the fighters are two seconds in a duel that went bad. One fighter believes that his principal was struck much too hard for a duel to the first blood, and retaliated with his last breath.  The other second believes that his principal had won the duel, and was treacherously struck after it should have been over.  (Both principals are in the hands of the doctors, and you do not know if they will survive.)  


Remember that games like tavern brawls are fun, but not really what rapier combat is about.  Rapiers in the sixteenth century are primarily for judicial duels or duels of honor, and I recommend that the final round bring everybody back to the focus on honor that should always be our character note.  We are not Post-Reformation peasants like Dumas's absurd musketeers, we are Renaissance nobles and gentles.


      He was a young man, out to make a name,

      A swordsman bold, a monumental pest;

      By rank and title he was unimpressed --

      Be you king or serf, 'twas all the same.


      He was a young man, out to make his name,

      At every word, he took imagined slight:

      Another duel, another chance to fight,

      Another chance to win another game.


      But as the years went by, he settled down;

      He's well-respected now, with rank and fame,

      A man of reputation and reknown.

      A well-deserved rest is his chief aim.

      But he's become a target, to be found

      By all the young men out to make a name.


Robin of Gilwell/Jay Rudin



From: Peter Valentine <valenti at primenet.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Creative Rapier Tourneys?

Date: 23 May 1995 19:54:58 GMT


sclark at blues.epas.utoronto.ca (Susan Carroll-Clark) wrote:


Some other events to try:


Plank Battle or Log Fight:  Span two hay bales with a 12'-16' plank or board (may require support in the middle).  The combat can either be single combat/list or groups.  If the combatants touch the ground between the hay bales they have fallen to a horrible death on the rocks below.  


Bag O' Gold:  Suspend a bag of pennies (make sure the bag is sturdy) between the contestants on Jute twine.  The object is to cut loose the bag and withdraw across a "doorway" to escape with the treasure.


Toss the Maiden (or Lad!):  First, build a sandbag "maiden" (wigs are a nice touch!).  Make it rather heavy and bulky to carry.  Then surround the "maiden" with a compliment of "guards" and form a second team as "rescuers".  A wide range of scenarios are possible depending on the availability of "prison" environs.


River Rock Battle:  Mark out both banks of a river with cloth tape, toss in several hay bales as large river rocks.  Form up teams on both sides, and place flags on either side.  This is a variation of capture the flag, the strategy is to prevent capture of your flag while capturing the opponents. (Note: don't commit too many of your forces to the river!)

If a combatant steps in the river he/she is swept away and is out for a "count" (normally 30-60) until they can swim to shore and make their way back (decide on where the entry point is for each team).  


These were well received in our barony...


Wolfgang von Hesse

Rapier Marshall, Barony March of Mons Tonitrus, Atenveldt.



From: fholland at ix.netcom.com (Frank Holland)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Creative Rapier Tourneys?

Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 00:22:22 GMT


One of the things that we tried here in Caerthe was 3 points for a kill but 1 point >SUBTRACTED< for each touch> received<.  It sure encourages people to clean up their defense.



Mindrakken van der Zilver (aka Mondragon, aka Frank Holland)

Barony of Caerthe, The Outlands (aka Denver CO)




Date: Sun, 28 Sep 1997 17:51:55 -0500

To: bryn-gwlad at Ansteorra.ORG

From: Chris and Elisabeth Zakes <moondrgn at bga.com>

Subject: BG - An Invitation to Smithfield


For those of you who may have missed the announcement at the last Baronial

Meeting, here is a description of the rapier competition at Baronial Fair,

October 24-26th:


                  A DAY IN SMITHFIELD



West Smithfield was an area just outside of London, that was notorious for being the playground of bravos, braggarts and swash-bucklers. The area was nicknamed "Ruffian's Hall", and one chronicler said you could commonly find frays of ten or twenty men on a side there on Sundays and holidays.


There is also a story that the French ambassador had been out for a ride one day, and happened to return to London by way of Smithfield. At the gate he ran afoul of the "certain grave citizens" who had been set there by Royal Edict, to cut the points off over-long rapiers. Only the timely intervention of Lord Henry Seymore prevented an embarrassing international incident.



The Premise:

You are traveling to London, and as chance would have it, your road leads through Smithfield. Although you are not looking for trouble, you are not one to be trifled with, either. As you pass through Smithfield, interesting things start to happen...


(Since you are *not* looking for trouble, all weapons will be sheathed, at least until "lay on" is called. Any weapons you wish to use must be those carried onto the field in the first round, or "acquired" during combat. If you do not retrieve a dropped weapon before you leave the field, it is "lost". For example, you begin Round One with a rapier, dagger and buckler.

You retain all these weapons in Round One, but in Round Two, you lose the dagger. You must begin Round Three with only a rapier and buckler. If you defeat your opponent, and pick up *his* rapier, then you may begin Round Four with case and buckler. The only exception is in Round Five, where any weapons combination will be permitted.


Non-fatal wounds will be assumed to be relatively minor: they will only be retained through the following round. If your arm has been hit, it should be put in a sling; if your leg has been hit, you may hobble slowly with a cane or staff, but must drop to the ground to fight.


This is being run as a Swiss Five. "Kills" will count against you for overall scoring, but you will not be eliminated from the tournament.)


Round One, Grand Melee:

You find yourself embroiled in a melee, almost by chance. You must kill at least one person on the opposing side, and then get off the field alive.


Round Two, The Alley:

Escaping the brawl, you make your way down a dark alley. Halfway to the other end, you are set upon by footpads. You must make it to the end of the alley alive.


Round Three, The Tavern:

To regain your composure, you stop in a nearby tavern. While there, one of your erstwhile compatriots from the Grand Melee joins you, and buys you a drink. Just as you start to relax, a couple of survivors from the opposing side recognize you, and decide to settle the score. They are out for blood, so you are obliged to kill them.

Footnote: Combat accessories (such as boffer mugs and fish) will be wanted for this scenario.


Round Four, Strangers in the Night:

Having had enough excitement for one day, you retire for the evening with an agreeable companion. Your weapons, of course, have been put aside for the evening. Just as you are dropping off to sleep, you are attacked (perhaps your companion is unsatisfied with your performance, or payment; or maybe your companion has a jealous lover). You may either kill your attacker, or escape via the door or window.


Round Five, The Prize:

You have finally managed to make it to London. Now you may carry out your original objective: seeking admission to Honest Don Tivar's Academy of Defense. The Master of the Academy wishes to test your skill, however...


      -Tivar Moondragon

(Who's running this circus <G>



Date: Sun, 26 Oct 1997 21:32:46 -0600

To: sca-rapier at Ansteorra.ORG

From: Chris and Elisabeth Zakes <moondrgn at bga.com>

Subject: ANST - News from Smithfield


Herewith a report on the "Day in Smithfield" tournament at Bryn Gwlad's

Baronial Fair (in Ansteorra):


The day dawned fair and cool as our hapless travelers made their way through Smithfield. The initial brawl happened in a large square, complete with a fountain that was well-stocked with fish. It was a short, sharp affray, with many fighters falling to the blades of their opponents, and at least one fellow being killed by "friendly fire" from an over-zealous teammate.


Once our worthy heroes escaped the melee, they made their way down a dark alley, were they encountered a pair of ruffians drinking and playing at dice. Many of the ruffians were slain, some were bribed with a song, or money, and some of our heroes were slain by the scurrilous ruffians as well. The alleyway also saw the first of the unusual weapons made for the tournament. One fellow was carrying a basket, from which a fish's tail protruded; when he was accosted, he grasped the fish and pulled it from the basket, revealing it to be a sword-fish. A few others had pistols, although the London fogs must have gotten into their powder, for none would fire.


Once they escaped the alley, the survivors stopped at a tavern which served "bottom of the barrel booze" from the notorious "Rusty Halberd Vinyards".

Numerous brawls occurred, as well as one poisoning, and the appearance of another combat fish. This one was long and thin and had several holes in its body. Its owner said it was a "Swiss pike". Only one fighter actually climbed on top of a table, although several stood on the benches to fight.


Exhausted by their ordeals, the fighters retired for the night, only to be set upon by jealous lovers. This situation was the source of much good-natured ribald humor as various improbable pairings were found in bed together. By my reckoning that must have been the most jumped-through window in Ansteorra.


There was supposed to be a fifth scenario, set in Honest Don Tivar's

Academy of Defense, but the day was growing later and colder, so it was dropped.


Thanks to my Lady, Mistress AEthelyan, for keeping all the names and pairings straight, to the various marshals (most of whose names I'm afraid

I don't remember) and to the fighters for coming out and playing in my scenarios.


HE Jehanne chose Piet de Rausch as the new Baronial Rapier Champion, and recognized Don Eule and Lord Orlando for not being killed in any of the scenarios.


      -Tivar Moondragon




Subject: Light Weapons Tiny Tourny for Sunday

Date: Sat, 21 Feb 98 20:30:19

To: bryn-gwlad at Ansteorra.ORG


Light Weapons Side of the T&T will be run in three scenarios.1) A Bar Fight:  The fighters will walk into a bar to get a mug of

something wet (Confetti in Duct Tape is the house special) the fighter(s) who gets their mug out with their drink intact, while battling either an obnoxious bar keep (pug) or another fighter, gets the most points. The point spread is 5 for getting your drink out, 3 if used creatively in an offensive or defensive manner, 1 if spilled with out any brash balderdash. *10 points to the person who can get their drink and their opponentŐs drink out of the bar with out spillage.2)3 way rope pull; there will be an 8 foot rope bisected by four feet.

There will be a fighter at each end of the rope with any combination they may

desire, i.e. dagger and rapier, clock and buckler, etc. The object is to be the last person standing.  However even if you are not killed but drop the rope you will get very low points.  5 points goes to the last man standing, 3 for best soliloquy or just the funniest quotable for the day, 1 just fights.3) Getting the Fisher Wife to Market; The fighter has been hired or decides to do a good deed for the day and will escort an excitable but slightly shrewish Fisher Wife, who loves to throw her produce at the unwary, to market on a hostile bandit infested road.  The Fisher Wife will throw things not only at the bandit but at you unless soothed and calmed with gentle words. The more produce that gets to market the larger your pay (reward).  5 points for getting all of the fresh produce to market, 3 if only half arrive, 1 if 0 produce can be got to market. (the produce will be turnips and Duct Fish which go bad once they have hit the ground.


Prizes will be for best overall (most points), but not excluding best death/best dialogue/best chivalry.   Remember a person's reputation is only as good as his/her mouth.





Subject: Re: ANST - Steppes Warlord XXV

Date: Wed, 27 May 98 23:15:57 MST

From: "Michelle Hall" mchallmd at worldnet.att.net

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.org


>I heard that HRH Barn won the torchlight rapier tournament.>> Zara Zina>


HRH Barn did win the torchlight rapier tourney sponsored by House Bloodstone.  Despite numerous (quite reasonable) safety concerns, the tourney went off very well.  FYI for anyone else planning a similar event, white electrical tape provides much better visibility of rapier tips than red reflective tape.  White reflective tape might be even better than that but we did not have any to test out.  Don Robin also noted that when your glasses fog up at night, visibility rapidly reaches zero.  The fighting was wonderful, and the dying was just as good.  I would like to thank all of the marshals who stayed up so late to help us with this tourney.


Mary Teresa Hathaway House Mother, in abstentia


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org