"Steele sets down for the reader in about a hundred
pages more useful material than can be gleaned from a dozen role-playing
manuals. The tables of meticulously-organized data are worth the price
of admission alone ..."
"Fief is an excellent quick and accurate
reference for someone trying to run a historical RPG (such as Ars
Magica, or a historical GURPS campaign) with something
more than Hollywood-level historicity."
"She's done it again! Definitely adding this one
to the Fantasy Hero Bibliography."
"Wow, that's a hell of a book!"
a trip to a world where powerful priests can charge sinners with the death
penalty, and where knights gather for illegal combat sports ... where thieves
can thumb their nose at the authorities from within the walls of a church,
and where a foraging band of the king's own soldiers is more dangerous
than a pack of brigand outlaws. In the midst of all this, ordinary people
survived to work the land, weave the cloth, and pray for safety from famine
and plague. The real Middle Ages were as brutish and wild as any fantasy
Fief: A Look at Medieval Society from its Lower Rungs
is a sourcebook that examines the Middle Ages from the viewpoint of the
ordinary farmer, priest, and landholder – the inhabitants of a feudal manor.
It's one of Cumberland's best-selling and most acclaimed titles.
Town: A City-Dweller's Look at 13th to 15th Century Europe
is the all-new companion volume: a self-contained sourcebook examining
medieval life from the perspective of the guild and merchant-house, through
the lives of craftsmen, traders, students, thieves and mercenaries – dwellers
in medieval europe's cities and towns.
Each serves as a friendly primer on the basics of medieval life,
and a treasury of hard-to-find details for the Game Master or enthusiast,
- Lists of historical wages and prices for things from common beasts
to the construction of houses, from the price of swords to the cost to
- Sins, crimes, and the penalties for getting caught, including lists
of fines, fees, and holy penances.
- Anecdotes and accounts that bring the Middle Ages to life and provide
surprising insights into the workings of medieval society.
- Magic and superstition with a historical slant: Learn the reputed magical
powers of blacksmiths, procuresses and shepherds, or the everyday miracles
the priests were believed to perform.
- Details on daily life, from the brewing of ale to the baking of bread
to the clatter of weapons in times of war.
- New features in Town include appendices exploring specific
historical examples (the cities of Paris, Venice and York) to provide added
perspective on – and some telling exceptions to – to the ideas explored
in the main text.
- And more! Fief is 100 pages; Town is 150,
each including thousands of sometimes-suprising character- and adventure-
inspiring details, all drawn from the pages of history. Download the sampler
versions to see ...
Fief and Town are by Lisa J. Steele, author
of Medieval France from White Rose Publishing, GURPS
Cops and GURPS Mysteries from Steve Jackson
Games, and more. They are produced and indexed by S. John Ross, creator
of the All-Systems Library and of works ranging from Risus to
the Star Trek Narrator's Toolkit to GURPS Russia.