Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Fantasy Character Skills - Swordman Part 2

Training Your Fantasy Character to Fight

Train fantasy characters to fight (even if it is by default). What does your character need to know? Training techniques followed by squires in medieval times make a useful how to for preparing your fantasy character for battle. Squires practiced sword against a pell (a wooden post or tree trunk). This ancient training device served as a target. One training technique required practice with weapons double the weight of those use in combat. This built muscle. Time spent one on one with a tree trunk also provided plenty of thinking time and introspection.

Training time for fantasy characters develops the appeal, integrity and charm of the protagonist or the opposite where the antagonist is involved. They change not only physically but psychologically, learning that they are someone different than when the training began.

Consider the time Luke Skywalker (Star Wars) trained under the revered Jedi Master, Yoda, on the swamp planet Dagobah. The weather and wildlife made for an arduous training site, but through it viewers learned and grew with Luke Skywalker. Luke leaves the planet pondering future possibilities as he sorts out visions and magical powers available to fight the Dark Side. Through this training, viewers understand the fantasy technology enough to comprehend how lightsabers work, that Luke's technique still needs honing and to recognize those fighting on the Dark Side and that the path of a Jedi is difficult. His training added to tension and conflict within the plot.

Another medieval training event included putting. Today we are most familiar with the shot put event. Putting requires throwing in a pushing motion. Squires practiced throwing big stones--the stone put. It increased strength and stamina. Writers can take an event like this and make it their own. The Jedi accomplish this feat with their minds. Depending on culture and technology, the throw can include objects and rules that work to move the plot along.

Don't limit training to these two events. Do some research.

No comments: