Wednesday, October 19, 2011

5 Reasons why I am not a member of the SCA

Back when I was a young adult Grog the SCA, Society for Creative Anachronism was the thing for gamers. Lots of chances to be kind of medieval, fight with a sword, meet cool women and it was gamer friendly.

I hung around there a little, saw a few fights, really appreciated the caliber of the women fighters and archers (and one amazing slinger) and the fighters and was awed at the scale of the wars. Its just was not my thing and never clicked for me..

First off, with one minor exception, it was not the people. The SCAdians are the nicest most helpful group of people you'll ever meet. They are ready willing and able to get you up to speed and to teach you. All in all, they are great.

Why it didn't click is as follows

#1 I hate feudalism.

The SCA while partially historical also has quasi Feudalism LARP aspects I just did not like. Sir this, Lady that, bah...

#2 The SCA Combat style is stupid.

Oh granted it requires skills and athleticism and is a safe well thought out sport. Its fairly fun in its own way if taking a blow doesn't bother you and you don't mind roasting in plate (mail is a bad idea) Its also silly. Sword and Shield (or Sword and Board as the folks I knew called it) was never useful in real combat with armored foes (not even vs mail) and the chivalry? Give me a break. It makes for great game I guess but even back in the day I knew of George Silver and now , well Poleax and Longsword and Ringen and Misercordes in the cod are right out. Justly mind you, but still want real medieval combat not hitting people with heavy rattan sticks.

#3 Limited support for what I do like.

Its there in theory but Migration Era and Elizabethan stuff are mostly ignored. The stuff I really like (Enlightenment) isn't supported at all.

#4 The Not a Fighter Stigma.

This is the only time the SCA people were less than friendly actually, when they found out my rather limited interest in heavy combat. There is a stigma in males (especially burly guys) with have no interest in the combat sport aspect. Fencing? sure. Archery? Maybe. Heavy. Nope? Too expensive, too violent and not my cuppa tea

I understand the reason (clash of cultures, a chronic lack of new blood) they feel that way but I don't like it. If because I have no interest in heavy combat, I am going to be regarded as second class in the organization, thats OK. You can keep your warrior society and I'll do something else.

#5 Medieval Crafts aren't all that.

Nuff said there. I'd might have liked to learn to throw pots to do needlepoint or cook , the medieval division of labor really left that on the not so socially approved list. Men must Fight and may craft Women may fight and should Craft as it were.

So after a three or four tries I decided it was not gonna happen.

However I urge you to make up your own mind. The links I gave can help you learn more an dwho knows, it may suit you just fine.


  1. Everyone's entitled to their opinion, and I almost feel like I have to apologize for your experience with the SCA; it doesn't mirror mine. Where I live we have more fencers than heavy fighters now and a lot of guys do the crafting stuff. I do disagree with your assessment of SCA heavy combat though for the most part. I covered a lot of it on my blog ( back in late June- early to mid July.

  2. Thanks for the visit. Always happy to hear from new voices. Like your blog too, a lot of good info there.

    As for the SCA, nothing to apologize for. The people were perfectly nice other than that one thing and it was some years ago. Some things may have changed in the meantime.

    Also its quite possible the attitude might be regional (I'll forgo in what barony I live if you don't mind) just a western thing. I got the impression they were chronically short heavy fighters anyway and it was a much disappointment as anything

    .Out East it might be a bit different too.

    As for sword and board, well the local chapter uses it as a foundation skill. I have no issue with this nor the dafety regulations (very well thought out) but as its ahistorical I have no interest in it .

    Some of the older styles, shield wall and such are more interesting as would be pollaxe or two handed longsword.

    However again safety concerns and I understand that but real plate era fighting was mostly 2 handed vs armor, longsword and pole-axes and the like. Coat of plates era combat did use sometimes shields but it was mostly beating people with hammers and maces. Not very chivalrous and not what people think of when their exposure to the Middle Ages is Excalibur or Robin Hood.

    As for the arming swords, those can't cut even mail (you target a weak spot or thrust sometimes) and real ones make mediocre bludgeons. Now if y'all have sword and buckler play, well thats another story but its for light combat or personal battles.

    That beings said I wish the SCA success