Africa in the ‘middle ages’* – first readings

I’ve been thinking about researching African history for my world building. I’m a long way from having much worth saying on the subject, but the question was raised on the FaceBook group Medieval World Building: where do you start researching the continent? So I’ve transferred a section of my very first reading plans into this… Continue reading Africa in the ‘middle ages’* – first readings


I’ve done a little reading on portcullises and castle gates. This was sparked by a discussion in a Dungeons & Dragons (DnD) Facebook group about whether an Immovable Rod would stop the descent of a portcullis. Which led to the question of how heavy a portcullis is. I have yet to find an actual figure… Continue reading Portcullises

Coinage systems: western European models

This is a follow up to my earlier post on historical coinage in general (and how it differed from the tons-of-gold decimal system in the Dungeons & Dragons rulebooks). Here, I offer some usable currency systems; they are based on historical models, though mostly somewhat simplified. I have chosen realms and periods where the coinage… Continue reading Coinage systems: western European models

Coins and currency

This post offers some advice on coins and currency in fantasy game or fiction settings. It responds to the way coins are described in Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) rulebooks, with specific reference to the popular and influential current fifth edition of the game (5e), but I aim to give enough information and references that you… Continue reading Coins and currency

Settlements: critique of the DMG guidelines

I’m spurred to write this post by the settlement generation section of the D&D 5e Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG). It looks like it is giving a nice little primer on world building settlements for a medieval fantasy setting. But I think there are a few points where it departs from my own understanding of medieval… Continue reading Settlements: critique of the DMG guidelines


Characters in fantasy roleplaying games and stories seem to spend half their time staying in inns, gossiping in taverns and carousing in houses of ill-repute. So what blog featuring historical inspiration for gaming would be complete without a post on historical types of hostelry? This is part of a little series, so check out the… Continue reading Hostelries