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Knockbacks, Parries and Dodges

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Hi,

A question about knockback attacks in RQ-Glorantha (p.224): Can knockback attacks be parried or dodged, and if so, what effect does the parry or dodge have on the attack?

For example, if Urg rolls a successful knockback attack against Zort with his short spear and Zort successfully parries the attack, is Urg's spear subject to damage from the parry? If the spear is parried, does the knockback still take place?

Thank you,

Fred Hoyt
Kittery, Maine

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I'd say that a knockback is essentially just attacking with the flat of the weapon, although that's not entirely accurate (e.g. crushing weapons perhaps use the haft). Therefore it should be possible to parry or dodge a knockback, and the weapon should be potentially subject to damage. 

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44 minutes ago, Sumath said:

I'd say that a knockback is essentially just attacking with the flat of the weapon, although that's not entirely accurate (e.g. crushing weapons perhaps use the haft).

I don't see why you can't use the head of a crushing weapon to knock someone back. It's just a different way of applying force.

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Of course, they can be dodge.

And I can not see any reason to say they can not be parried: A parry is more a deflect than a block. I would say the rule for damaging the weapons is the standard one.

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21 hours ago, fhoyt said:

A question about knockback attacks in RQ-Glorantha (p.224): Can knockback attacks be parried or dodged, and if so, what effect does the parry or dodge have on the attack?

There is no indication that they can be defended against that way. Your defence is the resistance table roll.

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2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

There is no indication that they can be defended against that way. Your defence is the resistance table roll.

Per Page 224, under Knockback heading, third paragraph: "The adventurer must then make an attack with the weapon, shield, or part of their body they are intending to use for the knockback attempt. If the attack is successful, compare the STR and SIZ..."

Emphasis mine. There is every indication that a Knockback is resolved as an attack and should be parried or dodged against using the standard rules, however, in lieu of dealing damage (per the last sentence of that paragraph) the attacking character makes the resistance roll indicated and takes the consequences listed.

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7 minutes ago, JonBolds said:

Per Page 224, under Knockback heading, third paragraph: "The adventurer must then make an attack with the weapon, shield, or part of their body they are intending to use for the knockback attempt. If the attack is successful, compare the STR and SIZ..."

Emphasis mine. There is every indication that a Knockback is resolved as an attack and should be parried or dodged against using the standard rules, however, in lieu of dealing damage (per the last sentence of that paragraph) the attacking character makes the resistance roll indicated and takes the consequences listed.

It's absolutely resolved as an attack. But there is no information whatsoever there about parrying (unlike regular attacks and even grappling). It also doesn't particularly make sense that you could parry it - the pushback is about applying force, for instance by leaning into your shield and pushing it against he opponent. What are you going to do about that, get your sword in the way?

Additionally, it makes the pushback attack absolute garbage if the defender gets two different kinds of defence against it and you get punished for failing the attack. It's already not very impressive if you don't get to defend.

Edited by Akhôrahil

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2 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

It's absolutely resolved as an attack. But there is no information whatsoever there about parrying (unlike regular attacks and even grappling). It also doesn't particularly make sense that you could parry it - the pushback is about applying force, for instance by leaning into your shield and pushing it against he opponent. What are you going to do about that, get your sword in the way?

Additionally, it makes the pushback attack absolute garbage if the defender gets two different kinds of defence against it and you get punished for failing the attack.

I agree that it makes it harder to successfully Knockback, but I disagree that it has to explicitly mention here that this particular attack can be parried or dodged. That's listed under the heading for attack, parry, and dodge respectively. If you couldn't parry or dodge a Knockback, it would be called out: As under Flee (p195), Use of Dodge and Parry Against Missile Weapons (p201), Use of Shield Against Missile Weapons (p219), and Use of the Pike (p220).

I could, of course, be wrong here because the combat chapter is so extremely vague and inconsistent in so very many respects.

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I think that if you can't parry a knockback then you should be able to dodge it. Or vice versa.

Otherwise what does the knockback attempt consist of? A physical assault that cannot be avoided or blocked would be a strange thing. If someone attempts to push you they may not be successful (that's the knockback mechanism), but avoiding their attempt in the first place is where the dodge or parry comes in.

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1 hour ago, Akhôrahil said:

It's absolutely resolved as an attack. But there is no information whatsoever there about parrying (unlike regular attacks and even grappling). It also doesn't particularly make sense that you could parry it - the pushback is about applying force, for instance by leaning into your shield and pushing it against he opponent. What are you going to do about that, get your sword in the way?

Sure, why not? I don't visualise every attack and successful parry as requiring physical contact. Think of all the great move fights, there are periods of furious clash-clash-clash, and periods of circling around each other making threatening gestures and feints. That isn't them failing their attack and parry rolls!

You come at me with your greatsword to knock me back, and I cleverly put my broadsword in a position where if you follow through with that blow you will die or be badly hurt. You pull back from delivering the blow. I just parried you.

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We used the old RQ3 Knockback rules but modified them (of course).  Knockback was a product of a "big damage hit."  We actually had a "Knockback" Statistic created by averaging STR, SIZ, and DEX (rounding down) that we compared to the attacker's rolled damage.  If Knockdown was exceeded, you were knocked prone UNLESS you rolled Knockdown - Excess Damage [over KDN stat] received X 5 or less.  IF the damage exceeded TWICE Knockdown , you were automatically rendered prone and had to roll the formula above (with excess damage over 2 X KDN) to avoid being moved back 1 meter and taking an additional 1D4 damage (we reduced this from the RAW 1D6).  Parrying or *Dodging would reduce the damage received and often prevented Knockback from occurring.  

If an attacker tried a deliberate Knockback attack, we compared the combatant's Knockbacks in a resistance test to see who won.  The loser ended up prone 1m away.  

*We used a special version of the Dodge Skill where rolling under your skill would net a damage reduction equal to 1/10 Skill +1.

Edited by olskool
clarifying the calculation used

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On 9/12/2019 at 3:18 PM, PhilHibbs said:

Well, it's easier to get answers to questions like this now than it was when I first started playing RuneQuest.

Back then we had to write letters to people who edited fanzines or to Chaosium itself. They normally replied, though, which was good.

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When the rules say you can knock your opponent back with a weapon, this should surely often be viewed as an abstraction? You're not knocking anyone back with your dagger, but that's okay - included with the weapon skill are some other basic moves, and you can still get the knockback with a shoulder tackle, leg sweep, or a push kick.

Edited by Akhôrahil

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1 hour ago, soltakss said:

Back then we had to write letters to people who edited fanzines or to Chaosium itself. They normally replied, though, which was good.

Or you had to "corner them" at a gaming convention...

                          I'm NOT saying that I did that... but I DO "know a guy who knows a guy who did that." 😎

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On 9/11/2019 at 4:47 PM, fhoyt said:

Hi,

A question about knockback attacks in RQ-Glorantha (p.224): Can knockback attacks be parried or dodged, and if so, what effect does the parry or dodge have on the attack?

For example, if Urg rolls a successful knockback attack against Zort with his short spear and Zort successfully parries the attack, is Urg's spear subject to damage from the parry? If the spear is parried, does the knockback still take place?

Thank you,

Fred Hoyt
Kittery, Maine

Hi, 

If it can help, may be you should use the table p. 199 and the rules for opposed rolls p. 142 in case of tie. 

Pierre 

Aix en Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône 

 

 

 

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