Equipment by Time Period

equipment lists given in the Player's Handbook assume your campaign is set in a generic medieval fantasy world. In practical terms, this means you haven't tied your campaign to any particular date in history. All this is perfectly fine and is commonly done in fantasy stories and fantasy campaigns--you are dealing with fantasy, after all.

However, it is also possible to create exciting and interesting campaigns that are tied to specific time periods, but this will work only if you know something about the time period. This is important! A lot of people assume things about the past without knowing the facts. The truth of the matter may be far different. Go to the library and do your homework before you begin designing a time-specific campaign. Even if you don't do such a campaign, it's useful to learn a little more about medieval history. It will only improve your own fantasy world.

It is not necessary to pick a precise date to model, such as 1237 A.D., although again there is nothing wrong with this. History and historians tend to divide the past into different ages, and you can do the same. Four different ages are covered here--the Ancient World, the Dark Ages, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance. Each has its peculiarities and differences, some of which are described below.

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