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Parry, Dodge, Block


Lloyd Dupont

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19 minutes ago, Baron Wulfraed said:

Which actually is counter to advice given during an SCA seminar (at a gaming convention, Sir Hilary of Serendip being prime speaker, so that probably narrows the time period) some decades ago... Greatsword was considered ideal for the stereotypical D&D dungeon corridor (10ftx10ft) as the guard position was in front of the wielder, and with the hilt held about waist high, the blade easily cleared the ceiling. Strikes being done by pivoting the blade down from vertical (either to the front or to the sides of front).

Try doing that crouching in four foot high tunnels... short spears, knives and gladii were what the parties I GMed were using. The Greatsword might be good for parries, but as a thrusting weapon its damage is greatly reduced.

Human-sized tunnels where mine-ponies or mules could be used are easier to fight in, but I agree about high-swinging attacks. Unfortunately, my (very limited) kendo training would leave me with only one applicable technique. Escrima (raw beginner, too) with scramasax-length blades on the other hand has almost its full potential.

But then, I bring 6'7 in shoes into the tunnel. Those fire extinguishers in ferryboats are life-threatening... and it is easy to convey that feeling to my fellow gamers who don't get to experience that in daily life.

My players get forewarned, and usually have a shorter side-arm.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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28 minutes ago, Barak Shathur said:

I don't believe that the rules should incentivise exploitation that the GM then has do devise forced in-game tricks to sabotage.

I think you missed the point, or I misunderstood you (it's 5am, can't sleep 😕). Or both! 😮

The point is why having a long list of weapon, when only the highest damage one is really interesting. But perhaps, they suggest, you can contextualize each weapon a bit more to give them all some relevancy.

I have the same problem with dodge and parry. With the XP check mark system, raising both Dodge and Weapon skill is no harder than just raising Weapon Skill. And Dodge is flat out better. Same defensive ability, no risk of damaging the weapon. Why do anything but dodge. Which is fine I guess... Except I feel like dodging in the real world is harder than parrying. Or more instinctive to say the least. And, arguably, a skill being "harder" than another is not something that the skill system capture well, instead we could chose to make Dodge somewhat less efficient.

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2 hours ago, Baron Wulfraed said:

Short-sword, in a roman style shield wall using overhand chops and straight thrusts between shields would work -- but how many party members are trained in that discipline...

And how may game systems can replicate that effectively?

In general RPGs don't go into much detail with weapon/shield/terrain/formation and how it impacts a fight. Most weapons are treated about the same with damaging varying by the size of the weapon, and that's about it. 

It's why spears and daggers tend to be inferior weapons in most RPGs. In most systems swords, axes, maces, etc. tend to be better than spears, either doing more damage, or being more resilient, etc. Daggers usually end up being slightly better than punching. But in real life there are very good reasons why spears and daggers have always been around, and why they are still in use today, in the form of the rifle bayonet, when most other melee weapons have been retired from military service.  It's practically impossible to strike a spear wielding foe without first  doing something about that spear. 

Gadius and Scutum is actually a very effective combination. The gladius is quick, and can stab more quickly that a larger sword or mace can be swung, without expose oneself as much or for as long. 

 

But few, if any, RPGs factor that sort of stuff in. I'm not sure that is an easy and playable way for them to do so either. 

 

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On 12/14/2021 at 12:50 AM, Alex said:

While it varies dramatically between different versions of RQ (and arguably fairly dramatically according to interpretation in some cases), it would be wrong to say "there exist no 'balanced' three-on-one encounters" in any of them.

It would be for Chasoium RuneQuest, at least prior to RQG. Double a triple teams were lopsided by design. The designers used to note that it was poor tactics for a Runelord to fight multiple opponents as it neutralized his advantages.  Yes, there are times when a Character has to face two or more foes, but it is always a big risk in RQ. 

 

As far as "balanced" goes, it's really not much of a thing in RQ based RPGs. You can't "balance" (i.e. rig) encounters in RQ the way you can in D&D, Foes in RQ always maintain a certain level of lethality to them that is lacking in most class & level systems, where it mostly is a matter of attrition.. A 12th level Paladin in D&D fighting a kobold, doesn't run the same sort of risk that Rurik Runespear does when facing off against a trollkin.

 

On 12/14/2021 at 12:50 AM, Alex said:

  We're just haggling over where that happens in each.  Pick a opponent, pick a version, work out how tuff you have to be kill fight three of them at once, then replay this in as much detail as you seem to wish to dig into, but without first controlling for version differences.

No were not. We're arguing (arguing is probably too strong a word here), about if such an encounter is something that a GM should be designing for or that players should get into. 

It's like with ambushes. In D&D an ambush is usually a minor inconvenience, especially with "balanced" encounters. In a game like RQ there is a very real chance of one or more PCs being disabled or killed before they get a chance to act. 

 

On 12/14/2021 at 12:50 AM, Alex said:

But there's a big difference between "not solely, I need situational backup" and "I need to focus pretty much equally on these two skills as I'll be using them both incessantly and indeed at the same time".

Yes there is. I'm not so sure if it makes one method better than the other though. I will say that thesignle skill method does tend to make shield rather redudundant. 

On 12/14/2021 at 12:50 AM, Alex said:

We can pretty confidently rule out physics as a necessitating criterion here.  Even if you insist -- over the explicit protestations otherwise of the designers of multiple editions -- that SRs are timings, what they most definitely can't be is 0ns instants. 

Oh they are timings, just not time. A timing is "placement or occurrence in time", or "the ability to select the precise moment for doing something for optimum effect".  Strike Ranks s are the sequence at which events take place during a combat round. Which is timing.

What Strike Ranks are not is time. That is 1 SR doesn't correspond to a unit of time or have any duration, it's just a way to denote in what order things happen. A spell that is cast on SR 4 happens before an attack on SR 7. It's also why an opponent who get disabled on SR7 doesn't get to attack on SR8. 

On 12/14/2021 at 12:50 AM, Alex said:

So this isn't a "two places at once" thing, it's a "can I move between two undefined places in an entirely undefined period of time, or indeed tactically co-locate the two things so I don't need to" one.

Except it could very well be a two places at once thing. That is the reasoning for the restriction in RQ3, and also why the actions that occur at the same time end up occuringon the same Strike Rank.

On 12/14/2021 at 12:50 AM, Alex said:

They are?  I missed that memo...  If you're referring to rounding rules here, well, you know what they say about rounding errors...

It's not rounding errors, it's changes to the round rules. In previous Chasoium games results were rounded to the nearest whole number. IN RQ3 they are rounded off in the players's favor. That would indeed chance the critical, special, and fumble chances if applied. For instance a skill of 6% if rounded according to RQG rules would yield a 2% special chance. The table included in the game doesn't do that though and followed the older rounding conventions. So RQG doesn't even follow it's own rounding rules. 

On 12/14/2021 at 12:50 AM, Alex said:

You say "muddy the waters", I say "the case I'm by far the most concerned with, give or take some historical curiosity".  YRQWV.

Then we're comparing apples and oranges. RQG is very different that RQ2 or RQ3, so much so that the two vs one and three vs one situations will play out very differently. RQG has it's own special cases and exceptions that don't apply in the other systems.

On 12/14/2021 at 12:50 AM, Alex said:

That's firstly, an interpretation on your part,

They both happen aft the same SR which is essential part.

On 12/14/2021 at 12:50 AM, Alex said:

and secondly, an inconsistent one, as the "can't parry on your attack SR" rules doesn't take DEX into account.

Your right, it doesn't take that into account.MAybe it should. Maybe the authors assumed that it takes a bit of time to parry and so would reuire the full Strike Rank to complete. Reallistically, there is a delay between when you parry with a weapon and when you can attack with it. It can be a very short delay, depending on the weapons used and the circumstances, but it does exist. 

 

On 12/14/2021 at 12:50 AM, Alex said:

But that's the exact point at issue.  The "three opponents" case was entirely subsidiary to that point, not a prompt for an entire change of topic.

Then why is RQG the case you are most cocenred with? The same SR rule doesn't apply there, does it?

In RQ3  nothing says that a character whop parries loses his attack, only that he cannot attack on that same SR. Now considing how the rest of the SR rules work, it seems most likley that the parring character would have to dealy their attack by one SR, similar to what happens when someone moves in melee, casts a spell, preps a weapon and so forth. 

 

Where things turn deadly is with your three vs one encounter, but that isn't because of the same SR rule but because it is a three vs. one. In RQ3, which was the game hat has the rule, a three on one is always a bad situation to be in. 

 

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

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5 hours ago, Alex said:

But very clearly and explicitly, a SR is neither a second, nor an instant.  (Nor is what's true of a fencing foil necessarily also the case for, say, a 2H Battleaxe.)

It is a elemnt of time for RQ3 annd, as far as I remember, for BRP BGB. For RQ2, CoC and Superworld, it is not. For other BRP games I have played, I don't remember.

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48 minutes ago, Kloster said:

It is a elemnt of time for RQ3 annd, as far as I remember, for BRP BGB. For RQ2, CoC and Superworld, it is not. For other BRP games I have played, I don't remember.

Not quite. It's just an abstract method to handle sequencing that just so happens to give effects very similar to the passage fo time. Technically we don't know how much time passes between SR3 and SR 8, we only know that things that occurring on SR3 happen before those of later SR's, and that in RQ3 movement takes place at "x" meters per Strike Rank. 

I wonder if there would be a downside to treating Strike Ranks as time though. I mean rule wise it would probably just simplify things, at least for RQ3. About the only problem with that that I can think of is with Strike Ranks resetting every round.

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11 minutes ago, el_octogono said:

How about applying a -30% (or -20%) penalty to each weapon use after the first, wether it's parryng with the same weapon after making an attack or attacking after a parry. Keep this penalty off of shields and you make shields suddenly very useful.

That’s more or less how I’ve been running it until now, except I didn’t remove the penalty for shields because that would remove all disadvantage from being outnumbered. It still gives an advantage to someone with a dedicated parrying weapon. 

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4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Not quite. It's just an abstract method to handle sequencing that just so happens to give effects very similar to the passage fo time. Technically we don't know how much time passes between SR3 and SR 8, we only know that things that occurring on SR3 happen before those of later SR's, and that in RQ3 movement takes place at "x" meters per Strike Rank. 

I wonder if there would be a downside to treating Strike Ranks as time though. I mean rule wise it would probably just simplify things, at least for RQ3. About the only problem with that that I can think of is with Strike Ranks resetting every round.

This is why I established a time standard for STRIKE RANKS in my RuneQuest 2/3 game.  Each SR represents 1/2 a second of time and a 12-SR round is 6 seconds in total length.  My SR counts can "roll over" into the following rounds and I keep a "Time & Initiative Sheet" which is divided into 12 lines specifically to record the SR activity of the current round and an additional sheet to record any SR rollovers.  I change the melee weapons to a SR range of from 1 to 4 with the heaviest and longest weapons having the longest SR to engage.  It costs 1 SR to Dodge or Parry (both can be done if desired) and this is added to any attacks that come after the parry.  Movement is per SR and it costs 1/2 the attack SR to draw or ready a weapon (rounding up).  I balance the weapon's speed by giving each weapon a REACH from 1 meter to up to 5 meters.  Weapons like Long Spears have a 4 meter reach while a Dagger would have a Reach of only 1 meter.  Thus you can attack at a longer range than in the RAW game.  Nobody may react before their base DEX SR occurs.   During the DECLARATION PHASE, I have everyone explain what they want to do and I break those actions down into Strike Ranks and log them on the Time Sheet.  I then resolve the actions in SR order down to 0 from 12 (I find it easier to count down, not up).  I simply subtract SRs from 12 to determine WHEN an action occurs.

    Launching multiple attacks in a round is possible IF you have the SR to do it.   Two attacks halve an Attacker's Skill.  Three Attacks quarter the Attacker's Skill.  Four Attacks reduce the Attacker's skill to 1/10th.  Parrying is different because you are reacting to an incoming attack.  The first Parry is at normal Skill.  The second Parry is at 3/4 Skill if the attack is from the front or the same attacker of the first attempt.  It is at HALF Skill if from the Oblique on either side.  The Third Parry is HALF Skill from the front or 1/4 Skill from the Oblique of the Defender.  A Parry to the REAR reduces your chance to HALF on the very first Attack.     

I've used the system since the '90s and it worked quite well.  Now I've begun using the ACTIONS system from MYTHRAS because it is so fast to use. 

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12 hours ago, olskool said:

This is why I established a time standard for STRIKE RANKS in my RuneQuest 2/3 game.  Each SR represents 1/2 a second of time and a 12-SR round is 6 seconds in total length.  My SR counts can "roll over" into the following rounds

Sounds similar to RingWorld's Impulses. Ringqorld didn't really have combat rounds per say, instead you got to act every so many "impulses" (read strike ranks) based on you DEX. So someone who acted on impulse 7 would act again on  impulses 14, 21, 28 etc. Movement would bump when you'd act. So if you had to run across the room, and it required 3 impulses at your move rate, you'd act on impulses 10,17,24,31 etc. 

12 hours ago, olskool said:

    Launching multiple attacks in a round is possible IF you have the SR to do it.   

V&V 2nd edition had a cool method of doing that too.  Basically you got to act every 10 or so points on the initiative count. So in combat you'd roll for intuitive add any stat modified and then act every ten points ts or so down the count.

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

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14 hours ago, el_octogono said:

How about applying a -30% (or -20%) penalty to each weapon use after the first, wether it's parryng with the same weapon after making an attack or attacking after a parry. Keep this penalty off of shields and you make shields suddenly very useful.

I think I proposed that rule some times ago, with a little twist : penalties for declared actions (that is, attacks) are applied after declaration, not after the action. So, if I want to attack 3 times with my main hand, my cumulative malus starts at -40% (for 2 attacks after the first), or -60% if I opt for a -30% per action.

I added that twist because I have very bad memories of a game with similar mechanisms, but in a roll-over system with an "open-ended" d10. Very quickly, penalties for additional attacks (I can't remember if it was +3 or +5) meant that your attacks after the first had ridiculously low chances of success. The result was a slow and boring opponent's phase where the GM rolled every one of the possible attacks from every opponent we faced. But the game actually encouraged him to do so...

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On 12/27/2021 at 1:55 PM, Lloyd Dupont said:

I have the same problem with dodge and parry. With the XP check mark system, raising both Dodge and Weapon skill is no harder than just raising Weapon Skill. And Dodge is flat out better. Same defensive ability, no risk of damaging the weapon. Why do anything but dodge. Which is fine I guess... Except I feel like dodging in the real world is harder than parrying. Or more instinctive to say the least. And, arguably, a skill being "harder" than another is not something that the skill system capture well, instead we could chose to make Dodge somewhat less efficient.

Dodge is reduced by 1% for every point of ENC, so if you're wearing any halfway decent armour your dodge will be way lower than your parry, all other things being equal. But for an unarmoured person, yes dodge is somewhat superior. That's not ideal game design but not a huge problem for me. And since fighting unarmoured in BRP is a huge gamble, it makes dodge vs parry a meaningful choice instead of a no brainer.

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3 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

Dodge is reduced by 1% for every point of ENC, so if you're wearing any halfway decent armour your dodge will be way lower than your parry, all other things being equal. But for an unarmoured person, yes dodge is somewhat superior. That's not ideal game design but not a huge problem for me. And since fighting unarmoured in BRP is a huge gamble, it makes dodge vs parry a meaningful choice instead of a no brainer.

That's almost sensible... except... ENC tracking is neither my forte nor my players... 😅

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17 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

That's almost sensible... except... ENC tracking is neither my forte nor my players... 😅

Well in that case, you lose a lot of balance. You could come up with a simplified solution maybe, say 5 ENC for weapons and light armor, 15 for medium and 20 for heavy, like full chain or plate. Plus 5 for typical adventurer’s gear. Or something. 

If dodging is as easy in full plate as in leather, it becomes truly broken. 

Edited by Barak Shathur
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/13/2021 at 5:41 PM, Ian_W said:

Back in The Good Old Days of AS 10, a highly skilled warrior *was* at the 90% level, and yes, theory at the time said they don't have a chance of holding off three opponents.

However, once you as a sub-culture get good at fighting and 90% is decent to okay and highly skilled warriors are at the 300% level (so "average dice" is a Special hit) ... then there's a lot more Dodge and Parry to be split. But good fighters will still prefer to kill several worse ones with footwork, positioning and movement, so it's a sequence of one on one fights, rather than by being better at hitting and blocking.

I have no clue what you mean but... 300%?

300% in RuneQuest is unnatainable.

Rq2, which is the most likely version to actually hit 300% requires an average of 200 experience checks *after hitting 100%* with an (pretty much unnatainable) 20 INT.

Every other version is waaaay worse. In RQG, with a 20% modifier, you need 286 experience rolls, which means yeah, that's not happening legit RAW.

Note that dropping the XP bonus / attack bonus a few steps *greatly* increases this time.

"It seems I'm destined not to move ahead in time faster than my usual rate of one second per second"

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28 minutes ago, icebrand said:

In RQG, with a 20% modifier, you need 286 experience rolls, which means yeah, that's not happening legit RAW.

With RQG, you have sword trance. With RQ3 and RQG, you have arrow trance. Both can drive you way above 300%.

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22 hours ago, icebrand said:

have no clue what you mean but... 300%?

300% in RuneQuest is unnatainable.

No it isn't.

22 hours ago, icebrand said:

Rq2, which is the most likely version to actually hit 300% requires an average of 200 experience checks *after hitting 100%* with an (pretty much unnatainable) 20 INT.

Playing a weekly game, with one session a week gives you that in about 4 years. Our RQ2 campaign was longer than that and gave several characters at, or just below, 300%.

Lots of magic can give you 300% skill, Berserker, Fanaticism, Bladesharp, Bludgeon, Crush, Sword Trance, Axe Trance, Arrow Trance and more. If you start off with a high skill and use that kind of magic then you easily reach 300%.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/8/2022 at 3:29 PM, soltakss said:

No it isn't.

Playing a weekly game, with one session a week gives you that in about 4 years. Our RQ2 campaign was longer than that and gave several characters at, or just below, 300%.

Lots of magic can give you 300% skill, Berserker, Fanaticism, Bladesharp, Bludgeon, Crush, Sword Trance, Axe Trance, Arrow Trance and more. If you start off with a high skill and use that kind of magic then you easily reach 300%.

Yeah i gmed a decade+ campaign and characters had those numbers. It didn't help they had some plot armor as well.

Now I'm brutal, plus i give XP/season so 200 checks is +40 years and everyone's been aging for like 20 years by then so it's all good.

"It seems I'm destined not to move ahead in time faster than my usual rate of one second per second"

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On 12/27/2021 at 10:23 PM, Atgxtg said:

Reallistically, there is a delay between when you parry with a weapon and when you can attack with it. It can be a very short delay, depending on the weapons used and the circumstances, but it does exist.

Most of this discussion is a bit technical for me, but I just want to point out that some period rapier manuals stress that every parry should be an attack - meaning that while you are using your blade to turn the attacking thrust aside, you are simultaneously aiming and thrusting your blade at the enemy. In short, the attack and the parry are part of the same movement.

This doesn't take away your argument that the parry takes place a little before the attack arrives to the target, of course.

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13 hours ago, Susimetsa said:

Most of this discussion is a bit technical for me, but I just want to point out that some period rapier manuals stress that every parry should be an attack - meaning that while you are using your blade to turn the attacking thrust aside, you are simultaneously aiming and thrusting your blade at the enemy. In short, the attack and the parry are part of the same movement.

Yes, but I think that has a lot to do with fencing weapons being light and easier to brush aside than, say an arming sword, mace, or great ax. I think it also why shields aren't as common/useful with fencing weapons as they were in earlier eras. 

 

From what I've seen fencers sort of slide their blades down each other and tried to angle their weapons while doing so in order to strike their opponent first. 

13 hours ago, Susimetsa said:



This doesn't take away your argument that the parry takes place a little before the attack arrives to the target, of course.

It does partially. At least for the 16th century or so until modern fencing changed things up again. 

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

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