This has basically been a thorn in my side ever since I started working on my primary epic. I've set it off to the side for now in favor of a shorter, more stand-alone story to test the publishing waters with, so it's in a prime position to get all the nails hammered out while it festers. Essentially, I am having trouble with combining ancient and modern technology: "guns and swords" to give a specific, generalized example. Without going into too much detail, a war is being waged in my story between two opposing nations. One of them (Faction A) has access to a lot of technology, but primarily uses foot soldiers with swords. Their elite caste uses guns. The opposing side (Faction B) uses swords only out of necessity, because they do not have access to technology save for what they are able to salvage and steal from Faction A. So how do I explain Faction A's decision to use swords? They have the technology for firearms, why don't they just arm up and blast Faction B into oblivion? My answer? It would ruin the entire plot I've created. But that won't work in the context of the story. Currently I'm working with the idea of the advanced technology being a 'Wisdom' only granted to those worthy enough. Faction A, more focused on protecting this Wisdom than winning the war, limits their soldiers' access to firearm weaponry. It still doesn't sound convincing, though. And the layout of the weaponry essentially has to be this way, because the story is too set in stone to change anything around. Anyone have any ideas?