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Dodging and Parrying


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2 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Not sure how period a buckler is in the first place, but a smaller thick all-metal metal shield should be all but unbreakable. Compare a dhal, you would have to work it over with a sledgehammer in order to even dent it.

As long as you don't create those garbage can lids from the movie "Ivanhoe" (or am I confusing things with "The Black Shield of Falworth"?). Those were so thin that a few blows left them wrapped around the user's arm!

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I couldn’t see it in any of the previous posts (so apologies if it’s already been said), but shields have been hugely useful in my campaign, saving lives on a number of occasions. Rules p.198 has

Like many others in the campaign we play, combat is a last resort and relatively uncommon – only occurs when there are really no other options (there is an exception to this at the moment with our Orl

As has been mentioned, dodge has it advantages.  Back in RQiii days I once took a warrior with dodge as the main defence, and I recall he was very survivable.  O.k. you’re not a typical front line gru

Personally, I find the overall case that RAW indicates -20% per defensive action (whether dodging or parrying) after the first (whether dodging or parrying) convincing. But this discussion throws two other things into question:

1) Dodge seems (to me) to be really poor for most characters (e.g. DEX 15 only gives you a dodge of 35, including the agility skill modifier, if you have no encumbrance, i.e. yer naked and wielding a pointy stick) unless you throw a bunch of points at it. Is it too weak of a defense as RAW now stands? Should dodge start as DEX x 3 or DEX x 4 to make it more useful?

2) Two weapon use. RAW says that "Any adventurer using a weapon in each hand may use them for two attacks, two parries, or one attack and one parry (RQG, pg. 224)." I would assume that the second option means two parries at full skill rating. But the third option seems...well, how is it any different than attacking and parrying when you only have one weapon? I have my own ideas about how to "fix" this, but don't want to muddy the waters quite yet. 

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17 minutes ago, Beoferret said:

) Two weapon use. RAW says that "Any adventurer using a weapon in each hand may use them for two attacks, two parries, or one attack and one parry (RQG, pg. 224)." I would assume that the second option means two parries at full skill rating. But the third option seems...well, how is it any different than attacking and parrying when you only have one weapon? I have my own ideas about how to "fix" this, but don't want to muddy the waters quite yet. 

This is another area which needed to be clarified on the Q&A. Originally the wording was just a copy and paste from RQ2 and made no sense in the context of the new RQG rules on parrying . The second printing clarification wasn’t clear enough either IMO -  “two parries ” suggests a limit that isn’t there under the RQG multiple parry rules.

...But anyway In terms of parry, using two weapons is much the same as using 1 weapon (check out the Q&A) You can parry multiple times with either weapon, but each parry after the first( no matter which weapon) will be subject to the cumulative -20 penalty. The added advantage is that by using two weapons to parry you can potentially spread any weapon damage across both by alternating the weapon you’re parrying with, lessening the likelihood that one of your weapons will break. 
 

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1 hour ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

The second printing clarification wasn’t clear enough either IMO -  “two parries ” suggests a limit that isn’t there under the RQG multiple parry rules.

The 2nd printing removed the mention of "two parries", actually, I think. But I agree the new phrasing is still confusing in the sense that it implies (unintentionally) that there are combinations of attacks and parries that are not allowed.

2 hours ago, Beoferret said:

2) Two weapon use. RAW says that "Any adventurer using a weapon in each hand may use them for two attacks, two parries, or one attack and one parry (RQG, pg. 224)."

Looks like the first printing's text to me. You can get the changes between first and second printings at the bottom of this page.

2 hours ago, Beoferret said:

1) Dodge seems (to me) to be really poor for most characters (e.g. DEX 15 only gives you a dodge of 35, including the agility skill modifier, if you have no encumbrance, i.e. yer naked and wielding a pointy stick) unless you throw a bunch of points at it. Is it too weak of a defense as RAW now stands? Should dodge start as DEX x 3 or DEX x 4 to make it more useful?

I have personally brought a bunch of rules from my beloved GURPS over to RuneQuest to solve various common problems. For example, I allow characters engaged in Melee to "step" once per round to make Melee combat less static and stuck in place. Players can also opt to "step back" ("retreat") once per round to gain a +20% bonus to their defense rolls. That makes dodge rolls much more attractive, among other things. Of course, the fun starts when an enemy forces you to step back and you end up back against a wall, or at the edge of a cliff, or something like that... and it makes close-quarters combat feel more difficult. Anyway, that's my house rule, do as you wish with it.

Otherwise, increasing it to DEXx3 sounds OK. You still have to train it up, but the default value would be less discouraging for doing so.

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1 hour ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

This is another area which needed to be clarified on the Q&A. Originally the wording was just a copy and paste from RQ2 and made no sense in the context of the new RQG rules on parrying . The second printing clarification wasn’t clear enough either IMO -  “two parries ” suggests a limit that isn’t there under the RQG multiple parry rules.

...But anyway In terms of parry, using two weapons is much the same as using 1 weapon (check out the Q&A) You can parry multiple times with either weapon, but each parry after the first( no matter which weapon) will be subject to the cumulative -20 penalty. The added advantage is that by using two weapons to parry you can potentially spread any weapon damage across both by alternating the weapon you’re parrying with, lessening the likelihood that one of your weapons will break. 
 

The Well of Daliath clarifies the second printing correction:

Two Weapon Use (page 224)

First bullet changed to “…may use them for two attacks or attacking with one and parrying with the other, as desired.” (Part of Second printing corrections). Please note that this has been superseded below.


With two weapons, one in each hand you can attack with both (subject to strike ranks), and parry with both (though only 1 parry allowed per attack) and subsequent parries (in a combat round) are subject to the -20% cumulative penalty, regardless of which weapon is used to parry.

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1 hour ago, DreadDomain said:

The Well of Daliath clarifies the second printing correction:

Two Weapon Use (page 224)

First bullet changed to “…may use them for two attacks or attacking with one and parrying with the other, as desired.” (Part of Second printing corrections). Please note that this has been superseded below.


With two weapons, one in each hand you can attack with both (subject to strike ranks), and parry with both (though only 1 parry allowed per attack) and subsequent parries (in a combat round) are subject to the -20% cumulative penalty, regardless of which weapon is used to parry.

Ah ha. Thank you.

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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

The 2nd printing removed the mention of "two parries", actually, I think. But I agree the new phrasing is still confusing in the sense that it implies (unintentionally) that there are combinations of attacks and parries that are not allowed.

Looks like the first printing's text to me. You can get the changes between first and second printings at the bottom of this page.

I have personally brought a bunch of rules from my beloved GURPS over to RuneQuest to solve various common problems. For example, I allow characters engaged in Melee to "step" once per round to make Melee combat less static and stuck in place. Players can also opt to "step back" ("retreat") once per round to gain a +20% bonus to their defense rolls. That makes dodge rolls much more attractive, among other things. Of course, the fun starts when an enemy forces you to step back and you end up back against a wall, or at the edge of a cliff, or something like that... and it makes close-quarters combat feel more difficult. Anyway, that's my house rule, do as you wish with it.

Otherwise, increasing it to DEXx3 sounds OK. You still have to train it up, but the default value would be less discouraging for doing so.

Thanks for this reply, Lordabdul. I'm a fellow GURPS enthusiast, which I suspect trips me up with the RQG rules from time to time. RQG is so much better (in my opinion) than bog standard D&D, allowing much grittier and more meaningful combats. But honestly, I do think the GURPS combat system handles some things better (and is maybe a bit more intuitive in some ways). I really like your idea of incorporating the step and action concept and I'm going to definitely adopt the retreat one movement point for a +20% to defense rolls. It just feels right (and, like you noted, can create some drama all on its own.)

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8 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

With two weapons, one in each hand you can attack with both (subject to strike ranks), and parry with both (though only 1 parry allowed per attack) and subsequent parries (in a combat round) are subject to the -20% cumulative penalty, regardless of which weapon is used to parry.

Should have known better, think I may actually have written that paragraph after reading the second printing corrections 😅 ...regardless that for me sums up how best to put the ruling following Jason’s clarifications. 

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp
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7 hours ago, lordabdul said:

The 2nd printing removed the mention of "two parries", actually, I think. But I agree the new phrasing is still confusing in the sense that it implies (unintentionally) that there are combinations of attacks and parries that are not allowed.

Yes you’re right I misremembered the second printing correction.

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8 hours ago, lordabdul said:

I have personally brought a bunch of rules from my beloved GURPS over to RuneQuest to solve various common problems. For example, I allow characters engaged in Melee to "step" once per round to make Melee combat less static and stuck in place. Players can also opt to "step back" ("retreat") once per round to gain a +20% bonus to their defense rolls.

Falling back this way might be bad for your attacking, though - I could easily see a rule that if you do this, you don’t get to attack with a shorter weapon than your opponent’s (as doing this would mean that you have to be closing instead of falling back).

But yeah, even though my fighting is limited to boffers, it’s pretty damned hard to get anything done if the other guy keeps backing away.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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I not sure these types of micro-elements of combat are needed – but of course everyone is free to add and subtract things as they wish. A melee round is already 12 seconds long: that is already 12 seconds of combat manoeuvres, feigning, shuffling, moving back, thrusting forward, watching for an opening, etc.. So combat is already pretty abstracted with just the most decisive moments of that 12 seconds requiring a die roll. I think the RAW combat withdrawing work well already, retreating, knockback attempt or fleeing. I think in every one of the combats the group I play with has been involved in has used at least one of those.

We have been using the second parry or dodge is at -20% and that is simple and works well. I still kind of miss the separate attack and parry percentages but no enough to retrofit them to the game. Player character’s have not made much use of the dodge skill yet, relying more in their parry and armour to save them – but I am sure its time will come…

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I think if you track dodge and parry penalties together, dodge is fairly useless except where the character has essentially no comabt skills and has an amazing dex.

at least with them tracked separately, there is a point where trying to dodge is likely to come up.

So for my table at least, I'll stick to tracking their -20s separately.

 

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I guess a lot is to do with how you perceive what is happening in that 12 seconds of a combat round. I see it as either spending the round parrying or dodging. I don’t see how you could do both – it is not as if the strike ranks are related to a specific time increment. The strike rank just gives an order for your effort for the round to come to fruition. I don’t see how you could simultaneously parry and dodge over a combat round.

 

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Dodge really comes into its own when likely damage is going to be devastating regardless of weapons hps.  Off the top of my head dodge is good for :

  • The massive crushing attack from a giant where parry would be almost pointless (Short of a fluke crit parry somehow directing the worst of the blow away, or more likely in the case of a giant hit, giving yourself purchase to push yourself physically away from the force of the blow.
  • Projectile weapons
  • Attacks that could cause knockback 
  • if you’re weaponless, or weapon is close to breaking 
  • falling debris, traps etc.
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15 minutes ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

Dodge really comes into its own when likely damage is going to be devastating regardless of weapons hps.  Off the top of my head dodge is good for :

  •  

Slam in poison from my first post. Add in wielding a precious ceremonial weapon (why is someone wielding an expansive ceremonial weapon, you might well ask...), for two more reasons to dodge.

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5 hours ago, Trotsky said:

I not sure these types of micro-elements of combat are needed – but of course everyone is free to add and subtract things as they wish.

I don't see house-rules like stepping/retreating as "micro-elements", but as mechanics to make combat more dynamic. One of my pet peeves with RQ combat is that it's boringly stationary: two melee combatants just stay in the same spot for several rounds until one of them retreats or falls down... who ever fights like that? Especially in a heroic setting? I want combat to be more dynamic, to make use of the terrain features, and to have a tactical aspect where you can corner someone in. Check the combats in Jason & The Argonauts, for example: as they fight skeletons, they jump up and down, getting or losing upper ground, they step back behind ruins to avoid getting surrounded, and so on. RQ RAW doesn't let you play out this kind of action scene... so I sprinkled a mix of narration which gave bonuses/penalties, but that eventually quickly turned into house rules. The original goal wasn't increasing simulationism but increasing excitement. YMMV.

6 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

I could easily see a rule that if you do this, you don’t get to attack with a shorter weapon than your opponent’s

Yeah I also have some very lightweight weapon reach house rules for this very reason. It's not too far off from what many RQ3 grognards are doing but, again, rather GURPS inspired.

2 hours ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

Dodge really comes into its own when likely damage is going to be devastating regardless of weapons hps.  Off the top of my head dodge is good for :

  • The massive crushing attack from a giant where parry would be almost pointless (Short of a fluke crit parry somehow directing the worst of the blow away, or more likely in the case of a giant hit, giving yourself purchase to push yourself physically away from the force of the blow.

We're diverging from the topic but RAW lets you in theory parry a SIZ 80 dinosaur with your knife, if the dinosaur's attack skill isn't significantly higher than yours (and generally it's in the same ballpark). Same thing as with retreating here: what started as "GM common sense" to handle that kind of situation quickly became a house rule at my table because it's easier to rely on a house rule than to make ad-hoc decisions on the fly.

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48 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

One of my pet peeves with RQ combat is that it's boringly stationary: two melee combatants just stay in the same spot for several rounds until one of them retreats or falls down... who every fights like that? Especially in a heroic setting? I want combat to be more dynamic, to make use of the terrain features, and to have a tactical aspect where you can corner someone in

While RQ3 does have more rules for movement within the strike rank round, I’m sure the equivalent could be done in RQG as well. If you accept the abstraction of the combat round as including some form of movement inherent in the fight anyway, and add in rolls for significant actions like jump,   knockback attempts, and assign modifiers for the terrain to give tactical elements it soon becomes more colourful. People will have a reason to use movement & other options.

RQG and RQ2 strike ranks are nothing more than a fancy initiative system. For me it’s not necessary to go to the RQ3 rules to achieve more granularity, as it feels possible to improvise that with the RQG rules as is. 
Though I appreciate many do like measuring out the distances and tracking movement throughout the combat more rigidly, which RQ3 attempted to do. 
 

48 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

We're diverging from the topic but RAW let you in theory parry a SIZ 80 dinosaur with your knife

Each to there own but I’d either rule that out entirely, or use a visualisation of the knife parry as the pivot on which the defender moves themselves out of the way (on a crit), as a sort of parry/dodge. My vision of combat is full of sidesteps, ducks ( yes humakti ones as well) combined with parries and attacks, rather then just a static parry, attack, parry,  attack etc. 

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp
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40 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

I don't see house-rules like stepping/retreating as "micro-elements", but as mechanics to make combat more dynamic. One of my pet peeves with RQ combat is that it's boringly stationary: two melee combatants just stay in the same spot for several rounds until one of them retreats or falls down... who ever fights like that? Especially in a heroic setting? I want combat to be more dynamic, to make use of the terrain features, and to have a tactical aspect where you can corner someone in. Check the combats in Jason & The Argonauts, for example: as they fight skeletons, they jump up and down, getting or losing upper ground, they step back behind ruins to avoid getting surrounded, and so on. RQ RAW doesn't let you play out this kind of action scene... so I sprinkled a mix of narration which gave bonuses/penalties, but that eventually quickly turned into house rules. The original goal wasn't increasing simulationism but increasing excitement. YMMV.

Again as I said it depends how you view those 12 second rounds. All those things you mention above I assume is abstracted by the melee round - something the GM and players narrate as the battle progresses. I find the combat to be relatively dynamic - the tension really builds as each side tries to better the other - just like a scene from Iliad. But it is cool if you do something else.

Edited by Trotsky
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36 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

Yeah I also have some very lightweight weapon reach house rules for this very reason. It's not too far off from what many RQ3 grognards are doing but, again, rather GURPS inspired.

3 hours ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

Reasonably sure if grittiness is your goal and you have a familiarity with GURPS this will be the way to go! It does sound good.

Love me some RQ 3 and feel comfortable with it so this will be the direction I will eventually go for my home rules. I am going to try something a little unfashionable for a while, though. I will stick with as much of the RQ G core rules as I can, (handwavium and MGF will be in force if it takes too long to look up or parse a rule or this ins’t one and there should be).  Hell my groups may give up immediately but I would like to try. Where there in not a rule, the handwavium will probably default to RQ3 or common sense.

10 minutes ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

While RQ3 does have more rules for movement within the strike rank round, I’m sure the equivalent could be done in RQG as well.

Yeah, that’s where I am at with the handwavium...

 

11 minutes ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

which RQ3 attempted to do. 

Yes, it came close, maybe, @lordabdulhas the answer with his franken-marriage

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Interesting discussion - I never played RQ3 so know little about it. I tend in RPGs to prefer more wriggle room - if the players have a good idea then we tend to come up with a roll or method to resolve it - too many rules I feel limit this creativity a little. I like the dice giving results that really push forward the narrative. I play mainly war games such as ASL and other quite rule dense games so it is liberating to have a little more freedom. But hey the great things about RPGs is that there is no one way to play them.

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55 minutes ago, lordabdul said:

RAW lets you in theory parry a SIZ 80 dinosaur with your knife

Unless you roll a Special or Crit, who cares?  The dinosaur does 86 damage, and your knife deflects 8.  You still fall down.
True, a Special or Crit spares you from all damage, but think of that as a "dodge" that was rolled as a parry.

Your other points that melee should be less static are fine.  Though adding too many fancy movement options will slow combats either further, which IMO are already pretty long.

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Just now, Trotsky said:

Interesting discussion - I never played RQ3 so know little about it. I tend in RPGs to prefer more wriggle room - if the players have a good idea then we tend to come up with a roll or method to resolve it - too many rules I feel limit this creativity a little.

Then you will certainly like the new editorial direction RQ G is taking. I have heard it said very often by the Chaosium clan ring that the game is yours, come up with a rule if we have not. 

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55 minutes ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

RQG and RQ2 strike ranks are nothing more than a fancy initiative system. For me it’s not necessary to go to the RQ3 rules to achieve more granularity, as it feels possible to improvise that with the RQG rules as is. 

I think RQG strike ranks are a mess, probably because they can't make up their minds about whether they're an initiative system or an action point economy (they look like an initiative system at first, but then you can get multiple attacks and spells cast, the ability to squeeze preparations into the round, and so on). I can't make up my mind in what direction to rewrite it (a strict action-point economy is interesting but fiddly, while a pure initiative system offers a lot less tactical interest), but I'm going to go in one of these directions. Otherwise you get a lot of incoherence.

Should I look up RQ3 to see how it handles SRs?

Edited by Akhôrahil
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