On the Field: Effective vs Safe vs Legal

On the fields of combat, history has seen some strange weapons.  Many of which are still seen today in games and movies. Some have even made it onto the sports reenactment field.  Now the question often comes up... "Are they legal?"

In the Kingdom of Praelia, sports reenactment events place safety as the highest priority.  New weapons and armor, or exotic gear is scrutinized by our top level craftsmen for feasibility, safety and durability.    Nearly any type of historical piece can be replicated by a thoughtful and skilled craftsman in a safe and durable way.  

Some find fault with weapons and gear that, while historically appropriate, is strange or rare.  The Katar for example, is a dagger made in a rather unique way.  It is both safe and durable.  Perfectly legal to use in non-restricted formats of game play.  So why would anyone ban it?  First of course would be tourney structure.  Of course one does not use a dagger in a spear fight.  Aside from the obvious rationale, the reasoning must be safety.  

The Katar, when made by a skilled craftsman, is a safe weapon both in construction and use.  The motion of the punch dagger is not unlike any other dagger used to thrust, particularly the shield dagger and rondel.   The effective strike from this dagger does not run counter to any rule of combat and is not inherently unsafe.   

So why is the Katar not seen more commonly throughout history?  Simply because it was never as effective as the sword and spear, the mace and the axe.  These common weapons are found over and over again because of how effective they were overall.  It takes a degree of skill that is not as simple to teach to the masses or they simply are too limited range and scope, and thus many of these weapons were used but not by the bulk of the troops.

Remember, however, that efficacy in combat and safety are not the same thing.  A combatant may not be amazing on the field with hook swords or a quarter staff, but that is no reason to call a safely made weapon illegal.  One does not judge legality by efficacy.  That can take the fun away from the game.  

Posted on January 14, 2017 .