These are the definitions of the results from the 2-8 tables, as may be needed. Though obtained from a number of tables and sub-tables, the results are all listed here together in alphabetical order. The headings for the subtables can be found entered alphabetically among the rest, but the results from the sub-tables are ganged and entered alphabetically under it. The reader should be careful when looking for a given entry, though, for some of the related entries have been ganged for the ease of explanation.
The Alchemist/Apothecary includes those who keep shops for selling non-perishable commodities like spices, drugs, comfits, and preserves, who prepare and sell remedies for physicians, herbalists who trade specifically in medicinal and culinary herbs and spices and physician’s remedies, as well as formal alchemists. Alchemists are those who pursue the art and science of transforming base metals into the noble metals, silver and gold, or longevity with the elusive Lapis Philosophicus. the Philosopher’s Stone. or its elixir (derived from the Arabic for the Greek meaning “dry tincture”). Because most cannot afford this pursuit without a commercial interest to support them, they make their living practicing the skills they learn in their studies, making soaps, perfumes, soothing unguents, glues, chemical dyes, combustibles, distilled essences and drugs, or working with those who wield magick to provide substances that will carry a dweomer.
These are the folk who speculate on the nature of the universe, of mineral and organic substances. From a very esoteric, philosophical, and spiritual point of view (to avoid confrontations of faith) they seek to classify the elements with their dialectic, Aristotelian reason and logic. They do not rely on empirical test and study, except in the pursuit of specific projects (not whole, transferrable concepts) for that is neither the scholar’s method nor the medieval way of thought. Their work encompasses what are known today as inorganic and organic chemistry, pharmacy, geology, theoretical physics, and a smattering of natural philosophy.
For Antiquary/Sage see “Philosopher/Scholar.” ,
An Artificer is a craftsman who makes mechanisms of various sorts to solve the problems and fill the needs of those in business of commercial production of some sort. They make “machines,” the medieval term for any and all mechanical devices, for the use. of water power or animals) lib the mechanisms of watermills for grinding grain for flour, olives for their oil, fulling cloth, beating blumes of raw metal, as well as ox-driven mills and freight cranes and elevators. The more advanced followers of’ this craft may work. in fortifications, engineering sieges and designing various defense systems for castles and citadels, but those who are also skilled in smithcraft can be makers of the small mechanisms used to make mechanical toys and other, similar small devices.
The Astronomer/Astrologer can be either an astronomer or mathematician, or a combination of both. The player is warned that the medieval usages of the terms astronomer and astrologer are the reverse of the modern usages. In the context of the game, astrologers will be men who simply chart the courses of heavenly bodies and catalogue stars and constellations, mathematicians figuring the timing of feasts and religious festivals that are timed by the movements of the heavenly bodies, as is the Christian Eastertide. Astronomers are the prognosticators, seers into the heart and past, charters of future events, who believe in the powers that emanate from the planets, stars and other heavenly bodies and the influence they have on the characters and affairs of men. They use the heavens as a map provided by the gods to that which They have in store, in order to predict the timing of momentous events that will affect their societies, such as war, famine, pestilence, droughts, floods, and the like. Knowing the movements of the heavenly bodies, they predict trends and events, at large and in the lives of people, according to the relationship between the heavenly bodies at their birth and their current positions.
The Barber/Leech is a catch-all trade that encompasses the duties of the modern barber, trimming the hair. powdering. pomading. and perfuming it, shaving men’s faces, but more importantly, he pulls teeth that have gone bad when needed (or not). He also sews up cuts and tends to common injuries, and bleeds the sick either through the use of actual river leeches or by incision. Bleeding the sick will be the most common manner of treating most illness’, due to the fact that sickness is believed to be due to an imbalance in the “humors” of the bodies, and one had to drain the body of those evil humors, or “bad blood”, before the patient can recover.
This group includes midwives. While midwives birth babies, they are also the principles for ministering to sick women, as it is unseemly for a man to do so, especially when that patient is a married woman. Only women may be midwives and only women may minister to other women in need of medical attention.
The Basketmaker is just that, but the GM should not allow his thinking to be confined by the term itself. These folk weave all manner of domestic implements and accessories from reeds, rushes, and willow withies, including mats for floor-coverings, protective coverings for jars and flasks, panniers (paired baskets slung across the backs of beasts of burden), trivets on which to set hot dishes at table, coverings to fill shutter-frames to block open windows, and the like.
The Bellfounder is a smith who specifically works in casting molten metals. He will work in bronze primarily, but may ‘work in cast iron, too. He will cast. bells, as the name indicates, but again, the GM shouldn’t allow his thinking to be confined by the term itself. Bellfounders are also known as potters for the fact that they cast cauldrons and pots for domestic use, and many other domestic implements, as well, including such common items as candle recesses to hang on walls.
A Bowyer as the name implies, is one who makes bows, as a lawyer is one who practices at law. A Fletcher makes arrows, making clean straight shafts, binding heads, and cutting and binding the fletching on them that make them fly true, or the special fletchings (spirals) which cause the shaft to spin in flight. The wares of the fletcher are called “fletchery.” These terms are also commonly used to refer to archers, as these craftsmen must also be able to test the quality of the shafts they have made. Due to their dependence. on wood (ash, hazel, elm, yew, etc.), both members of these trades will most commonly be found in wooded areas, though this doesn’t necessarily mean exclusively rural areas. Due to the demand for longbows, regulations were passed as to who could own bows of what woods. in the same manner as the Sumptuary laws.
The Bookbinder is just that, one who takes loose pages and binds them into a book, or one who takes the pages out of old books and rebinds them into a new cover to give the book a new lease on life.
A Brewer brews beer, as the name implies. Women dominate this craft. The female form of the craft title being Brewster. Vinters make wine, This trade is dominated by men. One who makes mead, or honey wine is called a “maker of honey”.
A Broderer is one who practices the art and craft of embroidery for both the embellishment of clothing and cloth articles but also in the making of damask and other sorts of embroidered cloths.
The Carpenter entry generally refers to those who raise wood frame structures, install wood paneling, build draught screens, make doors, and the similar structural and structure-related work in wood. Most villages maintain a carpenter for common work like making and repairing the hafts and handles of tools, raising and repairing sheds and barns, and making common carts like timbrels and simple wagons for farm use. Actual master carpenters for raising houses and making furniture (see “Cabinetmaker/Joiner”) will be migratory, generally dwelling in towns, whence they must be summoned at need.
Glaziers put together windows, as they do today, but after the fashion of leaded cut-glass windows or stained-glass.
Marblers are masons who work solely in marble or alabaster, often both cutting and sculpting the stone.
The Masons cut stone, but the names of their positions are rather specific. Hardhewers cut stone free in the quarries and smooth and dress them at the building site. Setters mix and lay the mortar and actually place the stones in the building process.
Pargetters lay interior decorative flooring.
Paviors lay street surfaces.
Plasterers put the finishing layer of plaster on masonry and half-timbering.
Plumbers install piping to carry water, as today, but in terracotta, wood, bronze, and/or lead, However, the GM should not allow his thinking to be confined by the term itself. Plumbers perform most work in lead, and much in tin, making gutters and down spouting, making the sheets of lead for protective sheeting and installing them on roofs to cover plain wood roofs, and the like.
Roofers/Thatchers. bundle and lay thatched roofs of gorse, broom, and the like, a highly specialized skill, but they also lay shingle and tile of terracotta or stone (slate).
A Tiler burns and lays brick, sometimes called “wall tile,” and makes and lays tiles for roof and floor, Such men will be rare, and itinerant in order to stay busy enough to make a living.
Butchers will generally deal with only one sort of animal as the mainstay of their trade – either fowl, beef or oxen, pork, or sheep. The head, entrails, fats, and blood are often the payment taken in barter by the butcher in return for the service he renders, turning only the hide and lean meat over to his patron after the job is complete. Hooves and sinews may be sold to the knacker for boiling down for gelatin and glue. The hard fats or lard are worth roughly four times as much as the meat and can be sold to the chandler for making tallow candles. The blood is used for such things as blood pudding (sausages), and the entrails are turned into sausage casings, and bladders and stomachs and the and the like turned into various useful items.
A Capper/Hatter simply enough, makes caps and hats of all styles.
A Cabinetmaker/Joiner makes interior furnishings : cupboards, chests, and the like, as well as furniture, distinguished as separate from the structural work of a carpenter. This entry also includes specialists like marquetry joiners and veneering joiners who make particularly fine furniture. These craftsmen will generally be migratory, dwelling in towns whence they must be summoned at need.
A Cartographer is one who renders maps for a living.
A Carver is one who makes decorative carvings in wood, ivory, or bone. When he works in ivory or bone, he may work only in one or the other, not both ‘lest he succumb to the temptation to substitute the cheaper bone for ivory and so cheat the public. Each carver will usually specialize in a single material.
The Champion or duelist is a paid professional armsman who protects the; honor of nobles or anyone else who can pay their fee to take their place in the judicial duel in the stead of those barred by custom, like ladies and clergymen, or disqualified by physical debility. Since a crime committed by a servant, apprentice, or journeyman against his master is considered treasonable, no serf has a right to challenge any man of higher estate (freeman, clergy, or noble), nor lepers to challenge any non-leper, nor any bastard any person born in holy wedlock. Bastards and the physically deformed will he allowed to appoint champions. while lepers, serfs. and servants (et al.) in the above cases will not. In practice, not only might a man standing accused in a court of law challenge his accuser to a duel, but a witness might be challenged, too, no matter which side brought him. If the witness loses the duel his evidence is discarded, So the champion can be of importance in many circumstances.
Historically, witnesses in France were so often challenged in hopes that the their evidence would be thrown out that by the end of the 1200’s it was common practice to disallow any witness who could not legally be compelled to back his testimony by force of arms.
The Chandler will usually deal in more than one type of candle, though he will keep a constant supply in the works of the type his clients demand of him most – beeswax, waxberry (bay-), or tallow dipped tapers, rushlights, even some lamp oils – the quality depending upon the class of folk who come to him most.
A Charcoaler slow-burns or chars wood or peat down to charcoal to sell for household or industrial use fuel, as the name implies.
The Monk and Priest are described in detail in the notes for the Clergy Social Class.
The Scrivener/Rubricator includes professional scribes who hire their services out by the task to write letters for people, scribe copies of books, accounts, contracts, or important papers, and textwriters who specialize in scribing or copying long tracts and treatises. Rubricators are those who practice the art of rubrishing, that is, they draw and paint colorful headings and even undertake some modest illumination in record rolls, manuscripts, and books. This group is kept very busy from July through August when the nobles have their household accounts enrolled into the record for the year and the Exchequer collects its due.
A Cofferer is one who makes boxes and chests or various types, materials, and sizes for household storage, business security, and shipping of goods, for all commercial and domestic uses.
The Cook/Chef entry is fairly self-explanatory. The reputations of’ nobles and inns alike hinge on the quality of the board they set for their guests. The Piemaker, Saucer and Waferer are all specialists encompassed in this entry, usually found in independent shops or serving in the kitchens of the great houses. Waferers in particular specialize in making thin pastry wafers and pastries composed of fine and fragile wafers, like philo.
A Cooper is a maker of barrels. He, knows just enough of carpentry to make the staves and just enough of blacksmithing to forge the iron binding-hoops.
The Courtesan/Prostitute includes all types of women and men who trade on their looks and skill in bed, from the common street drabs to the high-paid uptown professionals who survive on their personality, looks, style, and more importantly their discretion.
The more prestigious members of this trade, who live on their manners and skill as hosts and hostess’, their knowledge of fashion and the graces of the aristocracy and nobility, and more importantly on their willingness to be of service socially and politically rather than for an easy tumble, are found on the Free Commoner tables, previously.
Those indicated here are the baser and more common sort.
The Brigand/Highwayman can include outlaws or “wolfs heads” on the run from the law, simple roadway robbers, kidnappers, and other such unsavory folk who make their way by preying upon those who travel without sufficient protection through the more remote rural or wilderness areas that they haunt. They are often out-of-work mercenaries or ex-mercenaries, and as such are generally better equipped than the average outlaw. The name “brigand” comes from the name of the best armor the common run of mercenaries can afford at their rate of pay, which will be brigandine (see Chapter 5. for a description).
Draughlatch/Catburglar is a thief (Knave) who breaks and enters by stealth while the master, family, and staff are asleep or gone from home so as to relieve the home of their valuables. The sorts of valuables taken will be much more of the housewares and decorative appointments than would be expected by the modem mind, as fewer people in the period have very much jewelry. When out, one’s jewelry is generally worn, for display but also for the fact that in and of itself it is portable wealth, on hand if needed while out.
The Cutpurse is the medieval equivalent of a pickpocket. A Padfoot is similar in concept to a mugger or stick-up man. The name comes from his ability to sneak up on his victims with great stealth.
Fences are a type of merchant that specializes in disposing of stolen property, then as now. Many innkeeps of the seedier sort who entertain thieves and worse will engage in fencing stolen goods, also.
Forgers come in a great variety. The GM should not make the mistake of jumping to the conclusion that a forger is always one who copies the writing of others so as to deceive by composing documents in their handwriting. In the period of the game that is actually only one small aspect of the forger’s art. The GM must be aware of the fact that writing is considered a highly skilled and specialized art. The nobility rarely have the skill of writing, and even when they do, they use their chaplains or secretaries for taking dictation. Handwriting is not one of the means used for identifying a person because of this.
The GM must understand that a signature is not acknowledged as a legal instrument. No document can be validated by a simple signature, only with a seal of wax or lead, which must be attended by witnesses. This is when the bulk. of forger-smiths are employed, to cut the dies, which are made of metal, The forger is usually also a goldsmith in this case, used to working on a small and intricate scale. False seals on documents, writs, charters, and letters of various sorts are often used to defraud victims in a variety of ways,
Well-to-do freemen who can afford to do so retain secretaries of their own to emulate the practice of the noble class to whose wealth and prestige they aspire, especially in the towns. That leaves only a small group of common craftsmen and lesser merchants in the towns writing their own correspondence, and it is generally considered an onerous task. Most free folk go to textwriters and scriveners’ shops to get their correspondence written, and those who can’t read go to get their correspondence read to them. Thus, the forger must take care to emulate the writing of the proper person.
The other aspect of forgery that the GM must take care not to overlook is the forging of painted works and especially making copies of important artifacts, relics, jewels and jewelry, and objets d’art, using common materials to sham items made of precious substances.
All of these uses of the forger’s skills and more are discussed in the description of the Knave Trade.
The Trickster/Confidence Man usually has a particular scam that he runs, rarely changing it, except in the finer details. He may approach Merchants as a fellow Merchant himself who has fallen under bad circumstances, having been arrested and his goods confiscated for the debts of his king as a foreign national, in need of passage money to the capital, to the city where his foreign correspondent resides, or back home, or perhaps pleading for some small relief to get him back on his feet after having lost his cargo at sea, to storm or pirates or to highwaymen. Alternately, he might accost the common folk for his daily bread as a pilgrim, or at some church establishment to receive alms, or go about in his “small-clothes” lamenting the loss or theft of his outer clothing and begging for replacements, or as a proud tradesman accost the. people carrying the tools of some trade complaining that he could find no honest work, and so needs must beg money for lodgings and food. There is also the practice of assuming the identity of various important or noble personages in order to lodge with and be entertained in honor and style by lesser folk and social pees at the host’s expense, With no news media and no real tradition of accurate portraiture, impersonation could make a quite comfortable, if somewhat risky, way of life. As long is one keeps track of the actual whereabouts of the subject of the impersonation and doesn’t encounter another who actually met the person whose place has been usurped, and as long as one’s general description fits what might be obtained by word of mouth or correspondence, the risk is manageable.
These are only a few of the most. popular cons in the period of the game. All of these and more are discussed in the description of the Knave Trade.
A Cutler deals in finished blades for domestic use and sharpens blades far both domestic and for combat use.
The GM will please note that this is all the cutler does. He neither makes the handles for the blades, nor the cross-guards, nor pommels, nor installs any of these pieces on the knife. Such is the extreme specialization and division of labor in medieval industry.
The Dyer labors over steaming tubs of dyes stirring with his great paddle, dying both finished goods and raw materials. Though he generally deals with cloth, he also dyes leathers.
The Acrobat/Mummer can be a member of a wandering troupe or of a band on retainer to a town or noble retinue, called a “wait.” Wandering troupes commonly have a town or farm where they usually winter. In this case, the character’s home will occasionally or even usually be the troupe’s wintering spot. Mummer are actors but skilled in the special arts of the “dumbshow,” as mimes. They represent characters and situations by mimicry, gestures, or actions, without speech, chiefly to exhibit more of his story than could be otherwise included.
The player will please note that this entry can also include regular repertory-type troupe actors, similar in nature to the wandering acrobat bands, playing the courtyards of large inns, but particularly when the GM’s theater bas reached the Elizabethan level, with special buildings designed and built for their purposes.
A Feltmaker beats the material he is felting until the fibers are rendered and inter-tangled in a cohesive mat. Most fibrous vegetable materials can be rendered in this way, but wool is also commonly so treated, especially for the making of hats, which can then be shaped with the clever application of steam.
A Gemcutter/Lapidary does indeed design and cut gems of all grades, both opaque and transparent, in facets or en cabochon, but the OM must Understand that 1heo name of this trade is strictly meant. Expressing the division of labor in true medieval fashion, the Gemcutter/Lapidary does this and this only. The creation of settings and the placing. of the stones in those settings is the work. of the jewelers alone, one of the types of smiths (gold-, silver-).
A Girdler is a maker of belts in leather, metal, even silk, or combinations of these materials for domestic clothing and also to tab scabbards of’ weapons as a part of the Warrior’s war harness, especially that of the Knight.
A Glover, simply enough, is a maker of gloves of all kinds and in all materials.
The Guard/Yeoman encompasses all common lower echelon footmen, full or part-time, who fill out the ranks of the armies of the land in times of trouble and stand watch-duty in the walled towns and cities, their lords’ castles, and/or share royal castle-duty rotations with their lord’s Knights or sergeants. This Station is otherwise described under the Free Commoner notes, previously.
An Herbal is one who collects and preserves and also makes preparations from the herbs that grow either in his garden or in the surrounding countryside, discussed in the Skill description of the same name in Chapter 3., as follows.
For Midwife see the description of the “Barber”, previously.
A Horner is a worker in horn, whether for making handles for tools or domestic implements, decoratively carven accents, or the like. See also “Carver” above.
The Herald is not only a crier and announcer of visitors, but the carrier of challenges at tourneys, an official charged with the carrying of the lords’ proclamations to his subjects throughout the land and his messages to other lords. He is highly trained and educated in recognizing the heraldic devices that identify all the titled families of the kingdom in which he lives, the subtle differences that mark the generations of the same family, and the marks of cadence that distinguish one branch of a family from another. The player will have to check with the GM to for the particulars on the station of the noble family for which the character’s father works.
The Huntsman/Trapper might be one of the several itinerant officers of the forests discussed at length under the Huntsman Trade or a freeman Trapper wandering the wilderness running a line of traps for fur-bearing animals.
The Husbandman is a simple man who breeds and raises common livestock on farms and larger estates, having all the knowledge necessary for their daily feeding and grooming so as to maintain them in optimum condition. The Beastmaster may be a falconer, a Master of Horse breaking young horses to the saddle and training warhorses to the needs of their Knight owners in battle, a trainer of hunting dogs and guard dogs, or fighting cocks, bear- or bull-baiting dogs, or performing animals such as dancing bears for performing troupes, and so on and so forth. The GM will have to assign a particular type of beasts the parent will specialize in – sheep, cattle, pig, horse or fowl (chickens, geese, swans, etc.) for husbandmen or most commonly horse, hawk, or hound for beastmasters, though bears, monkeys or any other sort of beast is possible especially in association with wandering entertainers.
Regardless of whether Husbandman or Beastmaster knows all of the common cures for the simple troubles and ailments that commonly beset the beasts he takes care of, and enough of midwifery to help them in birthing, though be is not as good as a true healer at curing actual diseases unless he has the Barber/Leech Trade as well.
A Jeweler is a silversmith or goldsmith who specifically specializes in making articles of’ jewelry, especially those in which gems/jewels are set. A jewel can be anything from a small piece of enamelwork. to natural or cut stones, facetted in prong-settings to catch the light or cabochon in bezel settings, carven stones or gems like cameos or those used as personal seals. No other craftsmen set jewels, not even the craftsmen who cut or grind or polish the stones for making jewelry.
A Carter carries goods either locally, from farm to market, or any goods or articles, belongings or wares for lord or merchant from town to town, with his own cart(s) and/or wagon(s) and horses. It is usual for several to band together in a company to represent those who ply the same route when there is high traffic between.
The Fuller, or walker, washes and beats cloth after weaving in order to compact the weave and fibers in the cloth. to help prepare it for market, prior to combing and shearing the surface (the final steps).
A Longshoreman is one who frequents or is employed’ along the shore, here specifically, a laborer who is engaged to load and unload ships’ cargoes, whether by hand, on his own back, or by the aid of a crane, and transfer goods from ship to dock and from dock. to ship.
The Maid/Servant can be any of the free staff that work. for pay or privileges in the middle class and wealthier houses, free or noble, for lack of other skills and education. They may be engaged in any of the many household departments from the stables or cellar stores to the kitchen or upstairs domestic chambers. They and their families often take great pride in serving a particular family or house from one generation to the next.
A Porter can be either a gatekeeper monitoring the traffic through one of the entrances to a castle, walled town, or some similar type of fortification, or one who carries loads for other people for his livelode (livelihood). whether transporting goods from warehouses to clients for merchants or carrying parcels for the well-to-do out shopping or helping travelers with their belongings.
Watercarriers or waterleaders are a type of porter specializing in carrying water to houses in those neighborhoods where there is no water service by pipe or well.
The balance of the Laborers should be fairly self-explanatory.
A Lanternmaker does just that.
A Lattener is a type of’ smith who makes and applies latten in decorative metalwork. Latten is a brass-like alloy of copper, commonly used for decorative inlay-work in other metals, especially in the form of personal mottos along the flats of weapon blades, but also on domestic implements, around the sides of cooking pots, for instance.
An Attorney is a lawyer with full power to conduct his client’s affairs at law, with full leave to act as his client’s agent, to argue his cases and causes, buy writs in his name, and receive judgements without having to get his constant approval and ratification at every step. These highly skilled and responsible men keep in close contact with their clients, however, as those whom they serve generally take a very active interest and closely supervise them, Unless they have no knowledge or interest in the law, or simply have no time for it due to the volume of domestic concerns (very common for great magnates), most clients will keep in as regular contact as they may with their attorneys to ensure their “great causes” are properly and zealously pursued.
The Juror is just that, however, in the English system of justice an he is a paid professional, an expert witness commonly called forth to offer testimony. In this case, the character’s parent is a juror with connections to or the patronage of the officer in charge of empaneling juries in either the hundred, shire, or one of the royal courts (GM’s discretion).
A pleader is a man trained at law, a lawyer, but more specifically he is trained in the arts of rhetoric and belles lettres. He is hired for his skill in speaking to plead the cases of others in court so that a man’s ignorance need not be bared before the world. Their arguments and points are summed up for the client as the pleader proceeds, and must actually be ratified by the client and verified before being accepted by the court, to ensure that the case is argued as the client intends.
The Questmonger is one who makes a business of conducting inquests, with connections to a [local] government official to keep him steadily busy, or he may be a questman, an official elected annually in parish or town wards, a member of a “quest” appointed to make an official inquiry, commonly with connections or patronage that enables them to be returned to the office year after year or returned to new panels repeatedly. Those who engage in these practices are held in contempt by the common folk, for they are the instruments by which the wealthy commonly win their court cases. A man waging his suit at law is expected to pay the travel expenses, bed, and board of those who heIp him. Jurors also have to be wined and dined or “laboured,” to win their sympathy and acquaint them with the facts of the case from their point of view, while questmongers are paid a fee for their services.
A Sergeant-at-Law is a lawyer who has served with distinction for no less than 12 years, and more commonly 16 years. This appointment is not automatically granted due to time served, but is a special honor conferred only upon the worthy. From here, the next step in a career at law is to be appointed as a judge by the Crown.
The solicitor is a clerk at law who works in a town where a particular court is located (hundred, shire, central royal). He is hired to search the rolls in which the writs and actions of the court are recorded and to keep his client informed of any actions taken against him, so that the client have sufficient time to prepare his defense or an answering suit. The solicitor is also present to keep tabs on the workings of the court, the cases on the dockets, the judges assigned, and the like to advise the client on the timing of his actions and the furthering the pursuit of any cases he may have pending.
A Limner is a professional illuminator who illustrates books, scrolls, and other documents and manuscripts for a living, either with black & white line drawing, limited color, or full color high-quality paintings (up to an entire page or double-page spread in size).
A Lorimer is a craftsman who makes decorative fittings of all kinds of metal for saddles, bridles, reins, and other pieces of horse harness. Their guild is placed under the supervision of the saddlers.
A Magister/Scholar is a man with a complete university education, who has succeeded in his final examination and been awarded his certificate, qualified to teach. He will be a master of the core of medieval education, the Trivium and the Quadrivium, but should also specialize in at least one other area (see Scholar description). 1f he is truly charismatic and remarkable of wit, he may teach at a university and attract a body of student followers, otherwise he will work in a noble or royal household as the Magister (master) of one or more children, a traveling companion and perhaps also a confidante, responsible for their education and for keeping them out of trouble.
Merchants are dealers in mass quantities of raw materials like timber, wool, grain, metals and the like, but also in the finished products of various artisans and crafts. They are importers and dealers in most any commodity from fish, fruit, oil, metals, wood, and wool, to silk, sweets, ornamental stones, precious stones for jewelry, and rare spices, but they deal only in “foreign” goods and/or exporting the products of their home town. The word “foreign” is placed in quotes here to mark the fact that to the medieval mind, any persons or goods originating outside of a town and the neighboring hinterland that supplies it is considered foreign. Whether the goods come from the next town over, the next shire, the other end of the kingdom, or another country entirely, native townsfolk (especially the merchants) will consider them foreign. Their numbers can include the lowly itinerant hawkers and huxters crying their wares in the streets, circulating from town to village, though these were generally reviled and persecuted for their lack of permanent shops of their own, commonly accused of selling stolen and/or inferior goods by the resident local merchants.
These may be beer- or winesellers, mercers or drapers dealing in cloth and finished textile goods; grocers handling all manner of fresh produce brought in from the fields; wood-, cloth-, or ironmongers selling scraps and secondhand goods. Cornmongers deal in all sorts of grain that are grown in the kingdom, importing any that aren’t grown locally that are popular with the people at home. Haberdashers deal in every sort of fashionable ready-made major piece of clothing and necessary accessory that can be had from abroad. Haymongers deal in all sorts of fodder for livestock. The rest of the entries on table 2-12.f should be fairly self-explanatory.
Milliners deal in ribbons, laces, beads, and sewing notions for the hair and for trimming and brightening clothing. as well as trimming. designing, and selling hats and cauls for both men and women, and headdresses and wimples for ladies of gentle. birth. The name is derived from the original source of such things – Milan (milan-ery, millinery).
Though the player may have determined a specialty for the goods his family deals in table 2-12.f, the player should be aware that the merchant specialty represents the type of goods the family will always have a line on, always having a shipment en route if they are sold out, but the family will always be on the lookout for other goods they can obtain at a reasonable price on which they think they can turn a profit, and so will usually also have various assorted odds-‘n-ends of other goods, samples that have been acquired by their associates and agents, on hand.
A Miller is a tenant in a mill who grinds the grain the local tenant farmers bring, in return for a fee, in the form of a small portion of the grain ground. They have universally horrid reputations as cheats and Knaves as a body. One. of’ the more popular jests among the common folk afflicted by millers in the period is :
“What is the boldest thing?”
“Why, the shirt of a miller.”
“Because it holds a thief by the throat daily!”
A Millwright builds, equips, and repairs mills of all types, as all other wrights make and repair the goods in which they specialize.
The Ostler is a stableman who takes charge of and sees to the care of horses and other mounts at inns, hostels, hospitals, bordellos, professional stables, and the like.
The Painter/Stainer is an artist that either works in frescoes on walls or on cloths that can be rolled up and carried about as the family moves (there are no stretched canvasses in use in the period of the game). The difference between painting and staining is that a stainer works in dyes to color the fabric itself, rather than applying paint to the surface.
A Pewterer is a smith who specializes in making pewter alloys and executing works in pewter.
The Philosopher/Sage is a man with an advanced university education, but who prefers quiet contemplation and scholarly pursuits, the recording of his thoughts, observations, and theories, to competing for the student attention and attendance with his lectures at a university, though he may have taught at a large institution at one time. The areas in which he may direct his attention in the pursuit of philosophy (esp. theology) are listed, at least in part, in the description of Scholars in the Trades (which the GM should see when setting specifics). The same is doubly true in determining the area(s) of expertise as a “Sage.”
The Antiquary/Sage is much the same as the Philosopher, a man with an advanced university education, except that be specializes in the extremely old, particularly interested in ancient history, society, politics, and recovering from ancient cultures what he well knows has since been lost through tragedy, calamity. or carelessness. These sages tend to specialize in a particular region. those countries and cultures that have occupied it, and many that have bordered it, over the course of time.
The Physician or Surgeon is not to he confused with the Leech/Midwife or Barber/Leech. The Physicians are prominent, respectable men with advanced university degrees who do their utmost to preserve the standards of education in their field. Physicians are diagnosticians and theorists, rarely making house-calls, even prescribing treatments without actually seeing a client. In their snobbery, they have an overwhelming tendency to dismiss and ignore the body of knowledge of the country leeches and midwives in herb lore and craft, even banning these folk. from their guilds. The barbers and leeches they look down upon as common butchers. As can be expected one must pay for their reputation; their fees are exorbitant.
The Surgeons are the best to be had when. surgery is required, highly trained and usually battle-trained with the most extensive knowledge of internal anatomy. They are protected by the same patrons that make use of the Physicians, and will occasionally go to university to obtain the degree that will allow them to broaden their practice and raise their status.
The Pointmaker cuts and sews on the laces and/or ribbons applied to garments to tie them together, especially at the shoulders of jerkins or doublets and ladies’ bodices to tie the sleeves on which change style from year to year, much more quickly that the overall styles of the gowns, and on hosen to tie them together and hold them up, and down the fronts or backs of their jerkins, doublets, and bodices to close them tight. He also makes plain and fancy metal points for binding the ends of the points (laces or ribbons) so they can be more easily threaded through lacing holes and to prevent their ends from fraying with wear.
The Pouchmaker/Purser makes all sorts of bags and pouches out of all sorts of materials, large and small, heavy and light, with and without closures, for a variety of uses, domestic and commercial, for fashionable wear or for carrying coin or freight.
A Saddler is a maker of saddles.
A Salter is one who salts down meats and/or fish to preserve them.
A Shearman both cuts fabric for clients (a highly skilled job) and shears the surface of cloth. a finishing process whereby the nap of a fabric, usually woolen or a wool-blend, is brushed up and then sheared off as close to the surface as may be, for a smooth, neat appearance. Both sorts of shearing and a bit risky, due to the fact that the shearman is financially liable for the value of any cloth he mis-cuts or damages. Shearing is always done to the face of new cloth before it is cut to measure and sewn into garments, but is also done, usually every year, to older garments to give them a fresher, newer appearance.
The Blacksmith, unlike the other smith, specialties, encompasses a great number of basic smith skills. and even some related carpentry, especially when he serves out in the country as the only such resident professional craftsman. He, makes and replaces horseshoes, nails, sharpens blades, repairs pots like a tinker, makes and repairs barrels like a cooper, makes and repairs all sorts of iron/steel farm tools, makes and repairs cart and wagon fittings like a wainwright, and so on and so forth. He must make do in the countryside for the trade isn’t brisk enough in any one area for him to specialize as a. cooper, etc., as he might in a town setting. Every village with a lord in residence will have a blacksmith, probably resident at or near the lord’s range of domestic buildings. Elsewhere, only one in four (25%) of villages will have a resident blacksmith, and it will be among the larger in the area with the greatest flow of traffic for his trade.
A Spinner takes raw animal fibers (wool, camel hair, etc.) or plant fibers (flax, cotton, hemp, etc.) and twists them by spindle and distaff and draws them into thread for sewing or weaving. It takes approximately five spinners to keep a single weaver steadily supplied to keep working continuously at his loom. The spinner’s trade is dominated by young women, and women in general, to the point that those women who find no mates and continue at the craft are called “spinsters”. This is so strong that even today the female side of a family is referred to as the distaff side.
The Spurrier, simply enough, is a type of smith who makes spurs.
Suttlers are weighers of goods who are responsible for the marking of “tare”, the deduction of the weight of the vessels or packaging in which goods are shipped or traded when they are weighed, and of “tret”, the gauging of how much of a given load will be ruined waste material by the time it is received. This is a closely watched and regulated occupation. Those so employed work closely with the local .authorities and merchants to be sure that the rates and measures are just.
A Tanner/Tawyer prepares and cures hides, removing the hair from the outside and any remaining flesh clinging to the inside and processing them, so they will be tough enough for the many commercial uses to which leather is put. The tanner specifically bathes the hides in a pit or tub with oak bark and acacia pods, rich in tannin, while tawyers use a mineral tanning method, imbuing (rubbing) the skins with alum, salt, dung, and other agents such as an emulsion of egg yolk. The tanners empty their tubs right out in the streets, and the waters become quite noisome, as does the quarter of the town in which the tanners gather to make their workshops, which are usually forced to be located adjacent to the butchers’ shops, the knackeryards and charnel houses, in a district referred to as the Shambles in the period of the game.
The Tapeter is one who weaves tapestries and wall hangings of the High Medieval Gobelin sort much admired today, also called arras’, after the town of Arras which was so famous for its tapestries for all similar products to be so called, regardless of actual town of origin.
A Tinker is one who goes about crying his services in the streets and lanes, collecting damaged pots and pans. usually of the common sort, normally of tin (hence the name) in order to repair them. In order to stay in business and stay busy enough to make a living, they must normally range a wide area.
The Wainwright is a type of carpenter, a maker and repairer of wagons and carts, and especially cart and wagon wheels, with limited smithying skills to work the iron needed to make the hardware pieces he requires.
The Wood-/Trailsman/Guide includes local villagers and freeholders who know their way around their own district and are familiar with the surrounding settlements and have done some travelling about, who know something of the wilderness and woodcraft, including the officers of the forest – Foresters, Verderers, Woodwards, Regarders, Agisters, Reeves of the Forest Vills, Rangers and other professionals who look after noble and royal woodland prerogatives by special writ or permission. The player will need to work out the details with the GM, who has the definitions for all these positions. Forest lands and the rights to exploit those lands will be deeply coveted, difficult for nobles to pry from the hands of their reigning monarchs, and jealously guarded by all who hold them.
For Adventurer results the character will have been raised in the household of one who is or was himself a PC-caliber Adventurer character of some sort, as determined in Chapter 2. The GM will have to check the descriptions of the Trade rolled and decide how familiar the PC will be with the parent’s trade and the people connected with it. This information should be included in the briefing prepared for the player prior to actual play. The parent’s trade should probably be treated as if it were at least a Secondary-type skill for the character for purposes of being familiar with those in the trade, his father’s master in the trade, colleagues and other prominent practitioners of the Trade, even those at the apex, looked up to by the parent and all others in the Trade.