New to the SCA

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This page is intended to be a guide to the SCA's version of historical recreation for those who are new to the whole scene. Unfortunately not everything will be here initially, but hopefully with time this will become a good place to access much of the (ever changing) information contained in this wiki.

Anything that isn't answered below, feel free to ask on the Newbie Questions and Answers page.

The basics

and the SCA?

Dressing the part

  • What sort of clothes do I need to wear?

Going to events

  • What sort of events does the SCA run?
  • As a newcomer, what can I join in?

Talking the talk

  • All I hear are confusing terms. What do they mean?
  • Do I have to learn how to behave a special way?

Bringing the stuff

Learning the crafts

Fighting in diverse styles

Fighting in diverse styles covers an huge range of subjects. There is heavy combat (armored combat using rattan weapons), rapier (recreating the Art of Defense with lighter armor and steel or fibreglass period fencing swords and techniques, sometimes also called fencing), combat archery (again, lighter armor and using "pull" weight limited bows and crossbows with shafts ending in a rubber blunt to recreate missile combat) and seige weaponry (trebuchets, catapults, Ballistae and the like). You may also see demonstrations of live steel combat at an SCA event from time to time, but the SCA does not partake in this form of combat.

Most forms of combat require you to wear some protective armour, learn some safety rules, and prove you can play safely before you can get out on the field. The best way to begin is to ask your group Marshall about fighter trainings in your local area. (see how to contact people)

Heavy Fighting

Roughly, here are what I see as the most common breakdowns of style:

Weapon style - These are very broad categories indeed. The skills and tactics needed to use sword and shield depend on what sort of sword and shield you use. A longish broadsword and small buckler are completely different to use than a shorter sword with a low profile thrusting tip and a large heater are, for example.

School of style (these are just a few that I identify for my purposes. There are undoubtedly many more, and others may categorise styles differently)

  • Oldcastle
  • Headless Household
  • Guildemar/Jade school
  • Bellatrix
  • An Tir
  • Duke Brannos
  • Duke Patrick
  • Stahlgeist
  • Ansteorran scutum

Approach to combat - here are some of the categories that I use to help me "work out" opponents. Most people are predominantly 2 or 3 of these categories in combination (i.e. Aggressive/speed/long range fighter), but, again, most fighters can also change it up a bit to suit how they feel or their opponent. For example, I think of myself as a Passive, counter-punching, speed based surgical fighter. Having figured out what sort of fighter you are may help determine what weapons styles and fighting styles would suit you, and how best to apply this knowledge to become a successful fighter.

  • Aggressive
  • Defensive
  • Active
  • Passive
  • Counter-puncher
  • Close range
  • Medium range
  • Long range
  • Extreme Range
  • Surgical
  • Combination
  • Speed
  • Building
  • Static
  • Mobile/gumby
  • Mobile/movement
  • Tricky

Who's who?

  • People who have earned a rank by being good at something are called Peers collectively, and Laurels, Pelicans, or Knights depending upon what they were good at.
  • People who have won the right to rule a territory are called Royal Peers. This includes current rulers (King, Queen, prince, princess) and also former rulers Dukes, Duchess etc)
  • Some people are delegated to be the representative of the rulers in an area eg. Baron, Baroness.
  • Some people have been rewarded for their past services eg. court baron, grant of arms.
  • Officers are people who organise things within the Society (Autocrats, Feastocrats, Heralds, Marshals, etc), ,
  • Some awards convey a title with them, but they are very few.
  • Most of the above groups of people have distinctive items of apparel that they may (or may not) wear which will mark their rank (eg. white belt for knights), and many have specific titles that can be used to refer to them. These are discussed under each entry.
  • Alternate titles are sometimes used by the above people to fit in better with the culture they portray (eg Graf for a German Count). Refering to them by the standard English titles given above will not be considered offensive (if you are new, they'll probably be pleased that you even know what rank they have).

Where am I?

  • You seem to have different terms for different branches. So where am I?

Authenticity, documentation, research