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A tweak to parry skill inspired by CoC


Lloyd Dupont

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Of course BRP is an imperfect simulation of the real world... but there is a particular aspect that bothered me, like how there is nothing that give an inherent advantage to say, an adult vs a child or giant against a human in combat. Sure the adult/giant does more damage, but cant just crush the opposition, like I feel, an adult should against a chield.

And I got an idea today!

In Cthulhu they introduce a "build" number, which is the number of D6 damage bonus +1 (or just 1 for D4). and compare the build for adjusting various wrestling activities.

Me think we could reuse this build number and give the difference as a Parry malus (x30%) against larger creature. Shield could have their own build that cancel some of it. This way you cant really parry a giant club with your sword....
Dodge is still fine though....

What say you?

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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  • Lloyd Dupont changed the title to A tweak to parry skill inspired by CoC

I just prefer the RQ system, where you roll damage and whatever exceeds the shield's AP passes on to the defender. Of course, this won't have much of an effect with BRP:s weapons and shields which have APs in the 15-25 range, but it works in RQ where AP lies more around 10-12 on average. But barring that, your system makes sense.

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On 4/16/2021 at 3:25 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

What say you?

I had mused in the past about something along these lines, but without having to introduce a new stat like CoC does.  I figured that we could just look at the difference in the "tens" digits of the SIZ characteristic between two opponents, and use that to determine penalties to some actions... mostly parry, since back then I was trying to find a good rule of thumb for the silly situation of a PC parrying a dinosaur with a shortsword. Instead of having to find a "gray" breaking point where "you can't do that, silly" (surely you can do it against a SIZ 15 dinosaur, and you can't against a SIZ 100 monster, but what about in between?). So parrying the clawed paw of a SIZ 60 Allosaur when you're SIZ 12 would be at, say, -50% (if we apply -10% for each difference increment... -100% if we apply -20%... I'm not sure which I prefer yet).

So in spirit your rule sounds good since it addresses a similar issues by providing a similar rule of thumb for penalties. However, note how more severe it is compared to mine: parrying the clawed paw of the same Allosaur (damage bonus +7D6) would mean -210% to parry! That sounds.... brutal.

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Ludovic aka Lordabdul -- read and listen to  The God Learners , the Gloranthan podcast, newsletter, & blog !

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Hey!

Allosaur SIZ 60 is about 4 times bigger, or 64 times heavier than a mere human, so I don't mind it's impossible to parry with a shortsword! Though.. something can still be done with a large shield (hence a build benefit to shield parry)....

However:
1. Dodge would still be done at normal skill, which I thin is the way to go
2. I decided to settled on the same solution that Barak suggested (Before he said it in fact, I just forgot about it 😅), i.e. each weapon/shield simple reduced damage by its parry value and let pass anything above... that is a perfect gray value! 🙂

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1 hour ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Allosaur SIZ 60 is about 4 times bigger, or 64 times heavier than a mere human, so I don't mind it's impossible to parry with a shortsword! Though.. something can still be done with a large shield (hence a build benefit to shield parry)....

Remember you're parrying a paw, not the entire body of the dinosaur (it might be entirely different if the dinosaur was to charge you). But yeah, I just figured I would point it out because of how it differed from my own rule of thumb. But if you and your players think it's an OK scale of penalties, then you're all good! I frankly have no strong opinion as to which values are more plausible....

Edited by lordabdul

Ludovic aka Lordabdul -- read and listen to  The God Learners , the Gloranthan podcast, newsletter, & blog !

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1 hour ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

decided to settled on the same solution that Barak suggested (Before he said it in fact, I just forgot about it 😅)

The problem is that it doesn't change much when you have high skills on one side. For instance, the aforementioned Allosaur (Claw 60%, Bite 60%) against a Rune Lord armed with a short sword (Shortsword 150%). The Allosaur chance to hit is reduced to 10% so it will most of the time be "failed attack vs successful parry". So no big dinosaur damage is even rolled. That was the problem I was trying to fix originally my this house rule, but I never tried it because my players ended up going another route and the situation didn't come up.

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Ludovic aka Lordabdul -- read and listen to  The God Learners , the Gloranthan podcast, newsletter, & blog !

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1 hour ago, lordabdul said:

The problem is that it doesn't change much when you have high skills on one side. For instance, the aforementioned Allosaur (Claw 60%, Bite 60%) against a Rune Lord armed with a short sword (Shortsword 150%). The Allosaur chance to hit is reduced to 10% so it will most of the time be "failed attack vs successful parry". So no big dinosaur damage is even rolled. That was the problem I was trying to fix originally my this house rule, but I never tried it because my players ended up going another route and the situation didn't come up.

Ha! Indeed you bring out an additional complication I had not considered at the time... That requires further thinking... 🙂

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29 minutes ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

That requires further thinking... 🙂

For completion's sake (and in case you get the opportunity to test my stupid half-assed ideas 😉 ), my other lead was to have a threshold under which the bigger creature can't have its skill go. My simple first step was to try "can't go below SIZ". For example: Shortsword 150% against Allosaur SIZ 50 claw/bite attack 60% means that the Allosaur's attack can't go below 50%. So the result would be Shortsword 100% parry against claw/bite 50% attack. There would be a decent chance for the Allosaur to succeed an attack, and for the Wind Lord to get their sword utterly shattered (and arm broken, probably), unless they get a Special success and gracefully deflect the big dinosaur.

Warning: I have given zero thought to any problems that may arise from this rule... I just made a note, and I'm reading it back to you 🙂

Caveat: the need for this rule (or the other one) depends on your particular rule for >100% skill contests. I have RQG in mind here, but for other games, it may not be needed.

Edited by lordabdul

Ludovic aka Lordabdul -- read and listen to  The God Learners , the Gloranthan podcast, newsletter, & blog !

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5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Hey!

Allosaur SIZ 60 is about 4 times bigger, or 64 times heavier than a mere human, so I don't mind it's impossible to parry with a shortsword! Though.. something can still be done with a large shield (hence a build benefit to shield parry)....

But that is already accounted for in RQ, where the bite is going to do a lot more damage that the shortsword can stop.

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

2. I decided to settled on the same solution that Barak suggested (Before he said it in fact, I just forgot about it 😅), i.e. each weapon/shield simple reduced damage by its parry value and let pass anything above... that is a perfect gray value! 🙂

THat's howit works in RQ, expect that the parrying object also loses a point of AP, making it less effective in the future. 

 

On 4/16/2021 at 6:25 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

 like how there is nothing that give an inherent advantage to say, an adult vs a child or giant against a human in combat. Sure the adult/giant does more damage, but cant just crush the opposition, like I feel, an adult should against a chield.

But the game does give advatage to adult vs. child or giant vs. adult. Specfically:

  1. The adult tends to have a much better damage bonus.
  2. The adult has higher attributes than the child, which translates into higher skill scores (category modfiers), and more damage.
  3. The adult tends to have much better combat skills than the child.

The first two also apply to giants vs humans. In RQ3 a human could try to parry a giant's club, but would probably end up knock across a fiend or driven into the ground like a tent peg.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Just now, Atgxtg said:

But that is already accounted for in RQ, where the bite is going to do a lot more damage that the shortsword can stop.

THat's howit works in RQ, expect that the parrying object also loses a point of AP, making it less effective in the future. 

 

But the game does give advatage to adult vs. child or giant vs. adult. Specfically:

  1. The adult tends to have a much better damage bonus. If fact children are most like going to have a negative damage modifier.
  2. The adult has higher attributes than the child, which translates into higher skill scores (category modfiers), and more damage.
  3. The adult tends to have much better combat skills than the child.

The first two also apply to giants vs humans. In RQ3 a human could try to parry a giant's club, but would probably end up knock across a fiend or driven into the ground like a tent peg.

 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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12 hours ago, lordabdul said:

For instance, the aforementioned Allosaur (Claw 60%, Bite 60%) against a Rune Lord armed with a short sword (Shortsword 150%). The Allosaur chance to hit is reduced to 10% so it will most of the time be "failed attack vs successful parry". So no big dinosaur damage is even rolled.

This is another problem caused by the 'over 100% reduction' that appeared in RQG (I know there was an 'anti-parry' rule for rune lords in RQ2). Just remove it, and you have in most of the case successful attack on successful parry.

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13 hours ago, lordabdul said:

I had mused in the past about something along these lines, but without having to introduce a new stat like CoC does.

Mythras simply uses damage bonus when one's physical build might grant him an advantage. Armwrestling, for instance, is not only based on Brawn skill, and if your opponent has a better damage bonus, your skill will be reduced.

However, in the case of combat, weapons' relative Size is the most important factor to determine parry's efficiency, and skill will only help you if your opponent's weapon is not too big when compared to yours. Of course, huge creatures tend to have weapons with bigger Size than a human, based on their SIZ/10.

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18 hours ago, Kloster said:

This is another problem caused by the 'over 100% reduction' that appeared in RQG (I know there was an 'anti-parry' rule for rune lords in RQ2). Just remove it, and you have in most of the case successful attack on successful parry.

"Anti-parry rule"?  Please elaborate 🙂

But yes, that >100% rule is, ahem, more of a guideline to be used as necessary I suppose. But I mentioned it since we're on the BRP sub-forum so who knows what game people are playing in practice, and what rules they have. So I wanted to point out that other rules may affect the situation at hand.

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5 hours ago, lordabdul said:

"Anti-parry rule"?  Please elaborate 🙂

In RQ2, Rune lords whose attack skill were above 100% substracted their 'above 100%' from the defender's parry. This rules was dubbed 'anti-parry', and was, it seems, the basis for the new opposed rules in RQG.

5 hours ago, lordabdul said:

But yes, that >100% rule is, ahem, more of a guideline to be used as necessary I suppose.

In RQG, it is not supposed to be a guideline. AS far as I understand, it was designed to avoid the long attack-parry ping pongs. AS we were much using all the combat options in maneuvers that RQ3 provided, we never had the problem, and thus scrapped the idea entirely.

5 hours ago, lordabdul said:

But I mentioned it since we're on the BRP sub-forum so who knows what game people are playing in practice, and what rules they have. So I wanted to point out that other rules may affect the situation at hand.

On this, you are right.

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14 minutes ago, Kloster said:

In RQG, it is not supposed to be a guideline. AS far as I understand, it was designed to avoid the long attack-parry ping pongs. AS we were much using all the combat options in maneuvers that RQ3 provided, we never had the problem, and thus scrapped the idea entirely.

Can you please elaborate what options and maneuvers from RQ3 you feel might resolve the potential issue. Also, are you using multiple defenses with a cumulative -20% from RQG or a single defense à la RQ3? RQ3 have long been my sweetheart so I am curious to hear about this.

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22 minutes ago, DreadDomain said:

Can you please elaborate what options and maneuvers from RQ3 you feel might resolve the potential issue. Also, are you using multiple defenses with a cumulative -20% from RQG or a single defense à la RQ3? RQ3 have long been my sweetheart so I am curious to hear about this.

This is officially part of BRP. Except with cumulative -30% malus, instead of -20%....

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2 hours ago, Kloster said:

In RQG, it is not supposed to be a guideline. AS far as I understand, it was designed to avoid the long attack-parry ping pongs. AS we were much using all the combat options in maneuvers that RQ3 provided, we never had the problem, and thus scrapped the idea entirely.

If that was the goal, it was IMHO not a very efficient method. "Combat Ping-Pong" is a problem that occurs essentially when both protagonists have a high skill, not when one has a much higher skill than the other.

In RQ3, if you have a skill of 150% and your opponent only has 50%, you won't wait long before you succeed and he fails (even if it's very likely to last much longer than with RQG :)).

On the other hand, if you both have 150%, you'll have a long fight, both with RQG and RQ3 rules. It will even be faster with RQ3, as the protagonists will surely split their attack and parry skills at some point, making things much more random. In RQG, splitting your attack is possible, but it means your opponent can use his full skill for his first parry, and only gets a -20% for the second one.

@Lloyd Dupont concerning cumulative malus for successive defenses, RQG actually follows the rule of the first StormBringer editions. AFAIK (I only read SB 2, the first one translated in French), the -30% was introduced in Elric! Maybe because the skills in that game started at 2 higher score : a character with a 60% starting skill with a weapon was considered a good fighter at character creation, whereas in Elric!, it was possible to go beyond 100%.

SB 1-4 also tend to be farther from BRP canon than later products. Even if there are significant differences between them (such as the fact Elric! uses crit chances equal to RQ special chances, and has much more forgiving rules for multiple defenses), games published after 1984 tend to have more consistency, and look more like the BGB rules.

Edited by Mugen
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6 hours ago, DreadDomain said:

Can you please elaborate what options and maneuvers from RQ3 you feel might resolve the potential issue. Also, are you using multiple defenses with a cumulative -20% from RQG or a single defense à la RQ3? RQ3 have long been my sweetheart so I am curious to hear about this.

Pure RQ3 rules. Single attack and Parry per round (except for splitting).

The combat maneuvers I am speaking of are: Attacking your opponent weapon (to destroy it and force your opponent to use another weapon you hope less dangerous), Attacking your opponent's shield, because in case of a critical, only the value of the parry counts (and it is very rare to carry several shields, meaning you end to parry with your attacking weapon), close in maneuvers with a shorter weapon, striking to disarm. In addition, some tactics were used to have several characters on 1 opponent (very efficient with a single parry). Don't forget that if you attack your opponent's shield (or any parrying weapon) and he parries the attack, the parry is automatically successful and the AP of the defending weapon are reduced by the amount of damage above it's AP, and not by 1. A 10 AP weapon or shield can be rendered useless in 3 shots.

5 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

This is officially part of BRP. Except with cumulative -30% malus, instead of -20%....

Yes.

4 hours ago, Mugen said:

If that was the goal, it was IMHO not a very efficient method. "Combat Ping-Pong" is a problem that occurs essentially when both protagonists have a high skill, not when one has a much higher skill than the other.

Agreed.

4 hours ago, Mugen said:

In RQ3, if you have a skill of 150% and your opponent only has 50%, you won't wait long before you succeed and he fails (even if it's very likely to last much longer than with RQG :)).

No, it is faster with RQ3, because with 150%, you have 30% special and are likely to end the fight in less than 2 rounds. I agree, it depends on the armor worn.

4 hours ago, Mugen said:

On the other hand, if you both have 150%, you'll have a long fight, both with RQG and RQ3 rules. It will even be faster with RQ3, as the protagonists will surely split their attack and parry skills at some point, making things much more random. In RQG, splitting your attack is possible, but it means your opponent can use his full skill for his first parry, and only gets a -20% for the second one.

In addition, RQG combat rule block the special at 20% and the critical at 5%.

My last character was below 150%, but I most of the time destroyed my opponents weapons or shields in less than 3 rounds each. By the way, those tactics and maneuvers were giving a high value to dodge skill and to your skill with your backup weapon(s).

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7 hours ago, Mugen said:

If that was the goal, it was IMHO not a very efficient method. "Combat Ping-Pong" is a problem that occurs essentially when both protagonists have a high skill, not when one has a much higher skill than the other.

Yeah. I'm planning to use the GURPS method of (1) only normalizing scores if BOTH opponents have high skill and (2) normalizing around a mid-point score, not a high-point score. That is:

  1. If only one skill is above 100%, don't do anything, just roll as usual.
  2. If both skills are above 100%, bring the lowest skill to 50%, and remove the same amount from the other one. So 120% vs 180% becomes 50% vs 110%

Note that to further reduce combat ping pong, you can apply (2) if both skills are above, say, 80%, instead of 100%.  According to my (potentially wrong) math, this leads to a much less "swingy" power balance than RQG's rule, while being about as simple to implement.

This is only tangentially related to the OP though so apologies for the thread drift.

Edited by lordabdul
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18 hours ago, Kloster said:

No, it is faster with RQ3, because with 150%, you have 30% special and are likely to end the fight in less than 2 rounds. I agree, it depends on the armor worn.

I don't remember Specials as being very impressive in RQ3, except with impaling weapons. However, broadswords are very popular, so in the end it's a very common case.

But there were part of the system I never used, such as err... recul in French.

15 hours ago, lordabdul said:

Yeah. I'm planning to use the GURPS method of (1) only normalizing scores if BOTH opponents have high skill and (2) normalizing around a mid-point score, not a high-point score. That is:

  1. If only one skill is above 100%, don't do anything, just roll as usual.
  2. If both skills are above 100%, bring the lowest skill to 50%, and remove the same amount from the other one. So 120% vs 180% becomes 50% vs 110%

Note that to further reduce combat ping pong, you can apply (2) if both skills are above, say, 80%, instead of 100%.  According to my (potentially wrong) math, this leads to a much less "swingy" power balance than RQG's rule, while being about as simple to implement.

This is only tangentially related to the OP though so apologies for the thread drift.

It means an opposition between skill 110 and 90 or between 130 and 110 have very different probabilities, which is something I'm not very fond of.

My preference goes to systems where the chances of success in an opposition are roughly the same for a given difference in skill.

French game Rêve de Dragon (Reve, the Dream Ouroboros in English), which was heavily influenced by RQ2, has a rule which is obviously a variant of the "anti-parry" rule. An attacker (even if he has less than 100% chance) can voluntarily reduce his attack chance to lower his opponent's parry chance. RdD rules treat difficulty differently, but in RQ you could see a character reduce his 120% skill to 80 so that his opponent's 60 drops to 20, or prefer to keep his full chance to get a crit or a special. The "skill over 100" rule is in fact a special case of that rule.

The last playtest version of Mongoose RuneQuest used skill opposition. If both the attacker and defender rolled the same success level, the amount of damage blocked by the parrying weapon (usually 4 or 5) was doubled if the defender had the highest roll. But, unfortunately, that version -which I believe was from Kenneth Hyte- was altered by Mongoose team before publication...

Edited by Mugen
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1 hour ago, Mugen said:

I don't remember Specials as being very impressive in RQ3, except with impaling weapons. However, broadswords are very popular, so in the end it's a very common case.

I was especially thinking to the broadsword, the most used weapon, by characters and NPCs.

 

1 hour ago, Mugen said:

But there were part of the system I never used, such as err... recul in French.

Knockback. We used it, sometimes with very efficient results. If the terrain configuration does not matter, we didn't bother, but if you have a complicated terrain (cliffs, stairs, chairs and tables to gain height, ...), the knockback rules are very important. As we tried to think tactically, we very often tried to use the environment to our advantages, and all the options were on the table.

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7 hours ago, Mugen said:

It means an opposition between skill 110 and 90 or between 130 and 110 have very different probabilities, which is something I'm not very fond of.

My preference goes to systems where the chances of success in an opposition are roughly the same for a given difference in skill.

It's not perfect, but it's still better than RQG RAW as far as I can tell (it sticks closer to the "ideal" ratios as you vary the scores... I can share the graphs in a PM if you want). The best thing would be to compute exact ratios, but that's obviously not playable (at least not for me... if your players like doing math or reaching for a calculator, go for it!).

I haven't found any other method that sticks even closer to the ideal curves without heavily sacrificing simplicity, but I'm open to suggestions. PM me!

 

Quote

French game Rêve de Dragon (Reve, the Dream Ouroboros in English), which was heavily influenced by RQ2, has a rule which is obviously a variant of the "anti-parry" rule. An attacker (even if he has less than 100% chance) can voluntarily reduce his attack chance to lower his opponent's parry chance. RdD rules treat difficulty differently, but in RQ you could see a character reduce his 120% skill to 80 so that his opponent's 60 drops to 20, or prefer to keep his full chance to get a crit or a special. The "skill over 100" rule is in fact a special case of that rule.

This is going vastly off-topic but yes, as a means to reduce the need for >100% rules in the first place, I also have something similar which (shocking, I know!) is also taken from GURPS 🙂  Feints, deceptive attacks, etc... they all similarly trade penalties to the attack for penalties on the defense. Note however that, at least in GURPS, it's usually a 2:1 ratio to make it feel more risky (i.e. only half of the penalty you take on the attack gets applied on the defense: you take -40%, the enemy takes -20%). I still need to look at the difference between the roll curves of both systems to figure out if I want to keep the 2:1 ratio or go to a 1:1 ratio.

Edited by lordabdul

Ludovic aka Lordabdul -- read and listen to  The God Learners , the Gloranthan podcast, newsletter, & blog !

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2 hours ago, lordabdul said:

It's not perfect, but it's still better than RQG RAW as far as I can tell (it sticks closer to the "ideal" ratios as you vary the scores... I can share the graphs in a PM if you want). The best thing would be to compute exact ratios, but that's obviously not playable (at least not for me... if your players like doing math or reaching for a calculator, go for it!).

I haven't found any other method that sticks even closer to the ideal curves without heavily sacrificing simplicity, but I'm open to suggestions. PM me!

Have you considered the RQ3 method of just going with the scores unmodified? In my experience the increased chance of specials and criticals make up for the ultra high skill scores, and the ratios are a lot fairer than what happens in RQ2/RQG with parry reduction.  

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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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