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Mr Flibble
05-29-2010, 02:02 AM
So, I have this city, and it's kinda a Bad Thing to spill any blood there (cos it's like holy and that would be blasphemy) While the priests are aware that sometimes it happens unintentionally (for which they must pay penance) they can't do it on purpose.

But then again, they need to defend themselves. Foot soldiers and cavalry, not so much of a problem. But ranged weapons that cause blunt force trauma rather than bleedy wounds? I'm sure I've read about arrows with a weighted tip that were designed to do just this, but I can't for the life of me remember what they were called or where I read it.

Can anyone confirm that I'm not dreaming?

Plus, any ideas for funky weapons that won't draw blood (under usual circumstances anyway) gratefully received.

alleycat
05-29-2010, 02:16 AM
You could do a lot with the same concept as blackjacks. For example, a leather covered mace, either as a club or as a weighted leather-cover ball swung from a handle and chain. Or perhaps a bola type weapon.

Drachen Jager
05-29-2010, 02:23 AM
It would be nearly impossible to design an arrow that effectively incapacitated people without drawing blood.

The SCA uses rubber tipped arrows in their mock battles precisely because they're not likely to cause serious harm.

There are a lot of Asian weapons because many regions had strictly enforced 'no blades' policies for non-soldiers.

Personally I'd think some form of flail would be the most effective though. As far as missile weapons you MIGHT be able to effectively use something like a crossbow with a big (5-10 lb) steel or lead ball but it would have a hell of a kick, you might need to brace it somehow to make it controllable (and keep it from dislocating your shoulder!). Something like that would require a mechanical aid to re-load (ratchet and crank was the most common in medieval times).

Thrown weapons could work, chains, bolas or heavy clubs. Chains and bolas of course have the added advantage of tripping up opponents.

Tsu Dho Nimh
05-29-2010, 02:24 AM
DUPE DELETED

Tsu Dho Nimh
05-29-2010, 02:30 AM
No-blood ways to kill someone:

Smothering: cutting off air supply with pillows, heavy weights

Strangling - cutting off blood circulation - garottes, "choke" holds (the pinch carotid arteries)

Other: poison, nets, drowning, break neck

Distance weapons: poison gas containers, thrown or catapulted.

The blunted arrow or leather-covered heavy thing has a high risk of causing blood to flow if it hits face or scalp - ever get hit by a hardball?

Mr Flibble
05-29-2010, 02:37 AM
Thanks guys, some nice ideas. Ranged weaponry still a bit tricky though. A thrown poison gas thingy won't get as far as a longbow. Even catapulted is tricky when you want your troops to move quick.




The blunted arrow or leather-covered heavy thing has a high risk of causing blood to flow if it hits face or scalp - ever get hit by a hardball?

Um, no? What is a hardball anyway, apart from a ball that is hard? Anyway - it's the intention that is the important bit. If they intend to draw blood - Huge Big Bad. If they try to avoid it but it draws blood - a penance, but not so bad.

alleycat
05-29-2010, 02:44 AM
By the way, they do make blunt (bulb-like) arrows. They're used for such things as shooting birds that are roasting in barns (they're blunt so they don't accidentally shoot a hole in the barn roof). I have no idea what the exact name of it is.

http://www.archery-centre.co.uk/Catalogue/ArrowHeads/RubberBlunt.gif

MattW
05-29-2010, 02:50 AM
Just checked with a hunting site - there are many types of arrow heads that are used for bird or small game hunting. They intend to kill or stun the animal, knock them down, or break bones to prevent escape without shredding the meat. Would work similarly against humans.

But just the blunt force trauma would probably draw a little blood, or a hit to the face, or compound fractures. Not to mention internal bleeding.

Maybe you might want something like a bolo or net launcher? Poison gas grenados?

Drachen Jager
05-29-2010, 02:59 AM
A hardball is a baseball (as opposed to softball) IdiotsRus. You must not be American...

MattW- "are used for bird or small game hunting... Would work similarly against humans."

Humans do NOT qualify as small game. Small game is under 10lbs or so. Find a person that small and it will work similarly against them. Otherwise, not likely!

veinglory
05-29-2010, 03:06 AM
What about bolas or boomerangs?

MattW
05-29-2010, 03:13 AM
MattW- "are used for bird or small game hunting... Would work similarly against humans."

Humans do NOT qualify as small game. Small game is under 10lbs or so. Find a person that small and it will work similarly against them. Otherwise, not likely!Similarly, but not identically.

It will stun, break bones, slow, and knock down. Especially when you figure that a bow used for hunting probably has a lower draw than a bow used for warfare.

Lhun
05-29-2010, 03:22 AM
This will depend a lot on what counts as "trying". Arrows don't have a whole lot of energy, at least not compared to to a strike from a sword or other meelee weapon. Any blunt arrow that has a broad enough tip to not draw blood will do approximately zip against any human wearing as much as a lather jacket. So yes, you can shoot arrows that won't draw blood, but why bother? It will also have crappy flight characteristics.
Any arrow that's still narrow enough to do at least some harm will most certainly cause lacerations if it hits unprotected skin. And hitting protected skin will not cause much more than bruising. Not even that when it hits hard armor, such as plate, or even scale.
The whole point of arrows and bolts is their ability to pierce.

As alternative ranged weapons i'd suggest torsion engines rigged to fire blunt objects, such as rocks. Will have crappy accuracy, and not the range of a torsion engine firing the usual spear, but being hit by a fist-sized rock can knock out a guy, even if he's wearing a helmet, and might break some bone if it hits somewhere else, at least if the target's wearing flexible armour. And you could easily build a bigger torsion engine to shoot bigger rocks. The Romans build them to throw rocks of up to 120kg, and they're much more portable than a trebuchet since a torsion spring isn't nearly as heavy as a counterweight.
Whether crossbows are an alternative depends on the available technology. Generally, crossbows in human history were worse than bows (and you can't build a bow to shoot rocks) because to build an efficient high-powered crossbow requires decent knowledge of physics and advanced materials.
As for portable weapons, check out slings. They might sound incredibly low-tech, but they have been used very effectively in warfare. They're not as good as bows, so they fell out of use with improving technology, but they can be pretty dangerous if the targets don't wear too much armour.
Of course, both of these also cause lacerations and abrasions which bleed, though unlike blunt arrows, they'll also be useful.

Cyia
05-29-2010, 07:03 AM
Any blunted arrow is going to be very low speed as the point not only ensures bloodshed, but is for aerodynamics.

If you want something that would crush, but not break the skin, try a bolo. It's basically 2 or three weights or stones on a cord swung over the head to build up momentum. You throw it at the adversary's feet to tangle them and bring them down, but it can also be swung like a mace to crush the skull.

Slingshots would do the trick. As would an original styled yo-yo, which was a weapon. Boomerangs, if they've got the right wood to make them.

You could use a knobbed flail, a medieval maul or quarter staff.

From outside the wall, of course, you've got catapults and trebuchet. From inside a wall you can rig a rock or log slide.

Mr Flibble
05-29-2010, 11:07 PM
Lots of food for thought.

Thanks guys!

scottVee
05-30-2010, 11:16 AM
I was going to mention those arrow "blunts" but the cute kitty beat me to it.

Actually, non-lethal weaponry is a major issue right up to the current day. You can shoot glue-bombs at people, and it might get caught in their mouth and suffocate them. Tazers can put out an eye, or cause long-term nerve damage. Tear gas canisters can crack skulls. Even sonic weapons being tested now can hurt some small % of targets. Lately it seems that pepper spray may have a toxic effect on people with high cocaine levels. You just can't win.

For a story like yours, why not throw old-fashioned nets, then get up close and sap 'em in the head with a sock full of grain. Or maybe there are just a LOT more people doing penance than you expected.

= s

Mr Flibble
05-30-2010, 03:33 PM
For a story like yours, why not throw old-fashioned nets, then get up close and sap 'em in the head with a sock full of grain. Or maybe there are just a LOT more people doing penance than you expected.

= s

My Old Man gave me a few ideas for net applications :D And yeah, I want a penance or six. Gotta torture your characters, right?

RJK
05-30-2010, 04:50 PM
Police and governments have been wrestling with this problem for centuries. A blackjack will certainly open a person's scalp. A fist will bloody a nose. Even a bean bag will break the skin if it hits certain parts of the body.

The US Army has developed high frequency radio waves that will penetrate two millimeters of your skin giving you a severe burning sensation. The recipient has only one goal after being hit with this weapon, get away from it.

I doubt this weapon will fit your story's time line.

Nivarion
05-31-2010, 01:49 AM
A hardball is a baseball (as opposed to softball) IdiotsRus. You must not be American...



She's from Sussex England.


This will depend a lot on what counts as "trying". Arrows don't have a whole lot of energy, at least not compared to to a strike from a sword or other meelee weapon. Any blunt arrow that has a broad enough tip to not draw blood will do approximately zip against any human wearing as much as a lather jacket. So yes, you can shoot arrows that won't draw blood, but why bother? It will also have crappy flight characteristics.
Any arrow that's still narrow enough to do at least some harm will most certainly cause lacerations if it hits unprotected skin. And hitting protected skin will not cause much more than bruising. Not even that when it hits hard armor, such as plate, or even scale.
The whole point of arrows and bolts is their ability to pierce.

.

while I'll not disagree that a blunted arrow would be useless in wartime, for control of a civilian group (think mobs) they'd do pretty good.

I had a friend ambush me with a 35lb bow and padded arrows after theater one night. It was just below freezing so I was wearing a nice heavy winter coat. I stepped outside and got smacked in the chest with one of those. It knocked the wind out of me pretty bad.

He shot me with another before I was running for cover. They hurt badly, even though they didnt' fly very strait.

Now being launched from a 120lb warbow, I don't even want to imagine what those things would feel like. And with a large volley of them you could control mobs pretty well without drawing blood.

Though I'm sure I would have bled if I was hit in the face.

Mr Flibble
05-31-2010, 02:52 AM
control of a civilian group (think mobs) they'd do pretty good

This is precisely the purpose I am thinking of. Said culture is pretty peaceful(as would you be if spilling blood resulted in Nasty Things happening to you. Violent crime is obviously very rare) There are 'police' for want of a better word and these guys are the ones in question. All of a sudden a nasty situation has arisen where a separate culture is clashing with them, and they need to control the resulting riots.

Sadly one of them is going to panic at this new and unusual experience. He will regret it.

Newguy1428
05-31-2010, 03:07 AM
Dear idiotsrus. I mean that respectfully. How about non-violence, I am remembering Gandi's strategy with tons of non-combatants throwing themselves before the policemen's clubs. Non-violent suicide defenders.

What about bright, blinding lights?

How about Monty Python? Catapulting cows, garbage, and other refuse? Boiling oil doesn't shed blood, unless it's really hot.

Watercannons?

There are pet training strategies that involve throwing bundled up magazines and balled up paper, as reminders of who's boss. For that matter, US army intelligence (oxymoron) drops propaganda pamplets. Catapulting a bunch of bibles can be effective.

I am suspecting all of this really stems from the old D&D rule for clerics in combat. It is based on the unique story of a militant bishop who refused to use a sword. That's not to mention how usless a sword is against full plate armor. Knights ended up using the sword's pommel as a blunt force weapon.

On a related issue, I did find the old Norse story where these giant sisters forgot their spells after the casted them. But then I forgot where I found it, no lie. I think it was Seigfried or another story that was made into an opera. Just another single incident that inspires a rule that becomes overused.

There are plenty of religious zealots who use deadly force these days. IED's? Maybe they use lethal weapons on non-believers? Also, check out the armament of the Pope's Swiss Guards, not exactly less-than-lethal.

Hey, that reminds me of what happens when less-than-lethal weapons are put into practice. They become torture devices with prison guards administering 30-100 stuns from their stun guns on one prisoner in one encounter. One stun is enough to subdue someone.

Lhun
05-31-2010, 03:43 AM
while I'll not disagree that a blunted arrow would be useless in wartime, for control of a civilian group (think mobs) they'd do pretty good.Yes, they could work for that. But the OP certainly sounded like a question about military application to me. You're right that the force of an arrow can be quite impressive (i do archery as a hobby, though i only use a puny 40lb recurve bow) but one of the biggest differences between a winter coat and even leather or cloth armour is that the former is designed to be soft, and the latter to be stiff. Even a breastplate made from cooked leather will distribute the force of the arrow over the whole chest area. Not to mention that "hurt badly" isn't exactly the description of a man-stopping effect. ;)
Police forces in history though haven't really used bows to control civilian groups, mostly because that's needlessly convoluted. Rubber bullets are one thing, but a bow is much less useful in a riot scenario than a rifle. The biggest problem is that using the bow in the first place is much more difficult. At most one line of bowmen can shoot, since there'll not be enough range to shoot at a high angle. And they don't have the necessary rate of fire to keep a mob away. (like an automatic rifle with rubber/wax bullets can) And once they're close, a bow is a much worse close combat weapon than a rifle.
If the police have experience with civilian mobs, i'd expect them to simply go with a riot shield / stick combination. Works like a charm if used by a disciplined force. Heck, if they had a short sword instead of the stick it'd be what allowed the Romans to conquer the world.

Drachen Jager
05-31-2010, 07:33 AM
You need to think about armour too. A bit of stiff leather with cloth padding underneath would render almost all of the weapons mentioned in this thread nearly useless. It would be quite a sight though, two guys pummelling the hell out of each other with quarter staffs to nearly no effect, almost like the sumo suits they have at parties.

Lhun
05-31-2010, 01:34 PM
You need to think about armour too. A bit of stiff leather with cloth padding underneath would render almost all of the weapons mentioned in this thread nearly useless. It would be quite a sight though, two guys pummelling the hell out of each other with quarter staffs to nearly no effect, almost like the sumo suits they have at parties.Don't underestimate quarterstaffs, those things are bloody dangerous. And, being blunt from the outset, aren't quite as easy to defend against with armour. Unlike a cutting weapon, which can be blocked by a simple sheet of hard material, or something else that can't be cut (chain), to defend against strong impact, you need a lot of padding. Any kind of soft armour, even chain, and a hit from a quarterstaff can still break bones, and no matter what the armour, getting hit in the helmet will knock a guy out. What makes a quarterstaff a bad weapon for war is mostly that you need a lot of room to be able to properly use one, so fighting in formation doesn't work too well. In formation, you're pretty much restricted to jabbing, in which case you might as well put a point on it and call it a spear.

RJK
05-31-2010, 05:16 PM
how about smoking them out. today we'd use gas, but pre-industrial days, they'd use smoke to force them out.