Jump to content

Bonus for using a Shield to parry.


Recommended Posts

In the vanilla BRP rules, there isn't a reason to use a shield at least for melee combat since it deprives you from using a more powerful 2H melee weapon. So I've been thinking about extra bonuses that shields could give to its wielder in melee combat.

My first idea is to give shield users an extra parry roll before suffering the -30% Defense Penalty from subsequent parries.

My second idea is to give a bonus to parry based on the shield skill rating, the actual shield skill isn't used to parry, but rather it augments the parry roll of the user's main hand weapon. Something like either a 1/10 or 1/5 of the shield skill rating is added on top of the parry roll of main hand weapon.

Discuss.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

You like Fading Suns? Well, I made a thing that's kinda like it!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another advantage is that the default skill is much higher. If you are not using the same skill for attack and parry, your parry with shield will be much higher than with your sword. In addition, if you are using SR, you can not parry with your attack weapon in the same SR you attack with.

Edited by Kloster
typing mistake
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Kloster said:

Another advantage is that the default skill is much higher. If you are not using the same skill for attack and parry, your parry with shield will be much higher than with your sword. In addition, if you are using SR, you can not parry with your attack weapon in the same SR you attack with.

Sure, but nowadays, most people don't want different skills for attack and parry. 🙂

In RQ3, where your average character had far better attack skill than parry skill with their main hand, using a shield was a no-brainer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Mugen said:

Sure, but nowadays, most people don't want different skills for attack and parry. 🙂

We sure don't play with the same players, not speaking of myself (I have already explained that after 12 years of fencing, I know that I am a far better attacker than defender).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, KPhan2121 said:

In the vanilla BRP rules, there isn't a reason to use a shield at least for melee combat since it deprives you from using a more powerful 2H melee weapon. So I've been thinking about extra bonuses that shields could give to its wielder in melee combat.

My first idea is to give shield users an extra parry roll before suffering the -30% Defense Penalty from subsequent parries.

That would be my solution, too.

Perhaps also not having a Shield skill at all, like in Pendragon.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, Kloster said:

We sure don't play with the same players, not speaking of myself (I have already explained that after 12 years of fencing, I know that I am a far better attacker than defender).

I was in fact just expressing a feeling, based on my own experience of the evolution of BRP (and BRP-related) games.

I may be wrong, and perhaps a poll might indicate most players prefer splitting attack and parry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, Mugen said:

I was in fact just expressing a feeling, based on my own experience of the evolution of BRP (and BRP-related) games.

I may be wrong, and perhaps a poll might indicate most players prefer splitting attack and parry.

On the evolution of BRP games, you are right.

On the evolution of BRP-related, I don't know (I don't have any).

On the choice of players, I can only speak of my own group and we all prefer separate skills. For other players, I don't know and thus can't speak for them.

On the original question, I don't have my BGB on hand (I have only the book, and not the pdf), but I seem to remember it uses separate skills, thus my answer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, Kloster said:

On the original question, I don't have my BGB on hand (I have only the book, and not the pdf), but I seem to remember it uses separate skills, thus my answer.

I'm quite confident it exists as an option, but not as the main rule.

It seems to me BRP Quick-Start rules are a stripped-down version of BGB, and they say this (page 25):

Quote

Parrying
(...) Determine a successful parry just like an attack
roll, by rolling percentage dice below the parry skill
(equal to the weapon’s attack skill).

EDIT: also, on page 14 :

Quote

Melee Weapon (various) (by weapon specialty): Using a
hand-to-hand (melee) weapon in combat, including strik-
ing a target and parrying attacks. Each type of Melee
Weapon skill is a specialty. Specialties include Axe, Club,
Dagger, Flail, Hammer, Mace, Polearm, Spear, Staff,
Sword, etc.

Edited by Mugen
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This has been discussed a lot here recently, and seems to be a real issue with BGB since it keeps coming up. I feel exactly like the OP. My solution is to interpret the first line of the paragraph headed "Parry" on page 191 of BGB, which reads "A character armed with a parrying weapon or shield can block the damage from an attack", as indicating that only a weapon dedicated to parrying can be used for parrying, i.e. a weapon you're not using to attack with. So if you want to parry with your 2H weapon, you can't also attack with it in the same round. That gives a big defensive advantage to shields.

In the unpublished RQ4:AiG shields provide half of their AP to body parts they cover passively (one body part for small shields, two for medium and three for large shields) if they're not used to actively parry with (which could happen in RQ4 since you have the option of attacking twice if you don't parry). Something like this could be implemented in BGB too as an alternative.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Kloster said:

Another advantage is that the default skill is much higher. If you are not using the same skill for attack and parry, your parry with shield will be much higher than with your sword. In addition, if you are using SR, you can not parry with your attack weapon in the same SR you attack with.

The default skill for shields in BGB is 15%, which is the same as for most weapons. The default skill base is however nullified since you can raise any starting skill to 75% during chargen. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Mugen said:

Perhaps also not having a Shield skill at all, like in Pendragon.

Or, as with Mythras Combat Styles, a skill that represents Sword & Shield (or Axe & Shield or Spear & Shield, etc.) as a single discipline.

!i!

  • Like 4

carbon copy logo smallest.jpg  ...developer of White Rabbit Green

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my homebrewed Runequest/BRP rules, Shields are classified as weapons with an Armor Value and Hit points.  Exceed the AP rating of the shield and it loses 1 HP.  Any damage NOT stopped by the AP goes on through to the PC (the shield damage is assumed to come from the damage that is stopped).  I allow my shield users to Attack (bashing with the face of or the edge of the shield) as well as Parry with their shield.  I set my base Parry and Attack chances at:

Buckler (or a reinforced gauntlet used to block) 05%, 50% chance to cover a blow to the arm IF the user wards with their shield.

Small Shield  10%,  Wards Arm and 50% chance to cover one other body part that the user wards. 

Medium Shield 20%,  Wards Arm and one Location of choice

Large Shield 40%,  Wards Arm and TWO locations that are adjacent to each other (ie chest and head or chest and abdomen).

The amount of AP and HP a shield has are dependent on the materials that shield is made from (ie wicker, hide, wood, bronze, or a combination of materials will have different AP and HP).    

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

Or, as with Mythras Combat Styles, a skill that represents Sword & Shield (or Axe & Shield or Spear & Shield, etc.) as a single discipline.

!i!

I don't want to change too much about how BRP works but I think a combo of the way Mythras does it and my original post might be the way I would go. So instead of having combat styles, maybe any melee weapon skill that has access to 1 handed weapons could be paired with a shield and you would just use your main weapon skill to parry. The shield would allow you to parry twice before getting the -30% defense penalty. Minimal changes to BRP's core rules while making shields more useful for a more defensively minded character.

On a related tangent, I'm considering using the cover spot rule over the normal one when handling shields and missile fire. It looks like a simpler way to do it, plus I  never liked the idea of "parrying" an arrow with your shield. The trade off is that you can't run out of parry skill, but any hits you do take has a 50% chance of hitting you instead of your shield. 

  • Like 1

You like Fading Suns? Well, I made a thing that's kinda like it!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I should also have elaborated on HOW my Parry and Dodge systems actually work.  When you ACTIVELY PARRY (not ward) with a weapon or a shield, you take that shield's or weapon's DAMAGE ROLL (D4 for bucklers, D6 for small, D8 for medium, and D10 for large shields) and add it to 1/10th of your Parrying skill (rounding up) to see how much Damage you actually block.  So actively parrying (rolling against your Parry skill) a blow with a 50% skill and a medium-sized shield like a Kite Shield would block 1D8 + 5 points of damage.   Blocking a blow with a Shortsword and a Skill of 70% would block 1D6 +7 points of damage. 

DODGE is a specialty skill where the Skill user has been trained in advanced movements to avoid being hit.  It will reduce damage by Skill/10 (rounding up) + 1.  So a Dodge skill of 50% could evade 6 points of damage on a successful roll.  

Warding (passively guarding a location with a weapon or shield) only stops an amount of Damage equal to the weapon or shield's AP.  No die is rolled and no skill is added.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/8/2022 at 7:59 AM, KPhan2121 said:

I don't want to change too much about how BRP works but I think a combo of the way Mythras does it and my original post might be the way I would go. So instead of having combat styles, maybe any melee weapon skill that has access to 1 handed weapons could be paired with a shield and you would just use your main weapon skill to parry. The shield would allow you to parry twice before getting the -30% defense penalty. Minimal changes to BRP's core rules while making shields more useful for a more defensively minded character.

A possible problem, which exists in Pendragon, is that it might sound strange to some players that a fighter that is able to block or reduce all attacks with his shield when he uses a 1 handed sword in his right hand suddenly becomes unable to use his shield properly when he has an axe instead. Sure, the idea that having a weapon you don't know how to use perfectly also affects your left hand is sound, but it seems a little bit too much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Mugen said:

A possible problem, which exists in Pendragon, is that it might sound strange to some players that a fighter that is able to block or reduce all attacks with his shield when he uses a 1 handed sword in his right hand suddenly becomes unable to use his shield properly when he has an axe instead.

Not specific to any particular system, an "Unfamiliar Weapon" penalty seems in order in a situation like this.  And it may be minor, or only a temporary penalty until familiarity is established.  It's a matter of distraction and compensation, having to focus on the thing you don't know how to do well (the odd weapon) to the detriment of the thing you do know well (the shield).

To be particular, Mythras does address this situation specifically relative to its Combat Styles, shifting the difficulty one grade harder with an unfamiliar combination.

!i!

Edited by Ian Absentia

carbon copy logo smallest.jpg  ...developer of White Rabbit Green

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Ian Absentia said:

To be particular, Mythras does address this situation specifically relative to its Combat Styles, shifting the difficulty one grade harder with an unfamiliar combination.

This is especially the problem I have with this kind of rule: when you know how to use a shield (a specific one), you know how to use it, whether in combination with a sword, an axe or alone. I agree the rule can be interesting, but it feels wrong to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, Kloster said:

This is especially the problem I have with this kind of rule: when you know how to use a shield (a specific one), you know how to use it, whether in combination with a sword, an axe or alone. I agree the rule can be interesting, but it feels wrong to me.

Its not quite that easy though. Taking your axe example, you may know how to use the shield, but with an axe (rather than the sword which you normally use) the balance is different. Different enough, that the momentum is going to pull you to places that are slightly out of where you might be with the sword, making it harder to get your shield where it needs to be. 

So for me, any of the three routes work for a game... They are all three abstractions (Separate skills, Combat Styles, Pendragon combined skill), it just depends on what you are trying to emphasize.

SDLeary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Different enough, that the momentum is going to pull you to places that are slightly out of where you might be with the sword, making it harder to get your shield where it needs to be.

Correct. It swill be harder, but I don't think the difference would be so high.

4 hours ago, SDLeary said:

So for me, any of the three routes work for a game... They are all three abstractions (Separate skills, Combat Styles, Pendragon combined skill), it just depends on what you are trying to emphasize.

Completely agree.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/9/2022 at 12:09 AM, Mugen said:

A possible problem, which exists in Pendragon, is that it might sound strange to some players that a fighter that is able to block or reduce all attacks with his shield when he uses a 1 handed sword in his right hand suddenly becomes unable to use his shield properly when he has an axe instead. Sure, the idea that having a weapon you don't know how to use perfectly also affects your left hand is sound, but it seems a little bit too much.

Well its not that unreasonable, a shield by itself is not a complete weapon set. It absolutely needs to be paired with another weapon in order to maintain its usefulness as a defensive tool. If anything, your main hand weapon plays just as important a part of the equation. At the very least, it threatens your opponent and closes off many directions of attacks that would render your shield useless. Someone fighting like Captain America with just a shield and open hand simply has no way to resist if his opponent simply closes the distance and slip his weapon around your shield while you're busy hiding behind it. What if he just grabs the rim of the shield and yank it aside? This is also applicable when you're using a weapon that you're unfamiliar since you don't know how to use your shield in combination with the other weapon. Shield fighting is all about minimizing your exposure to ripostes while keeping the shield out of the way of your main hand weapon while you perform techniques with it. You definitely need to know how your weapon moves in order to do this. If you are using a unfamiliar weapon, you might opt to keep your shield close to the chest and making it so that your sword arm is completely exposed or worse throwing the shield behind you like a Hollywood action movie! By the way, here's a good video demonstrating low skill fighting with a sword and shield.

 

 

 

Edited by KPhan2121

You like Fading Suns? Well, I made a thing that's kinda like it!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please note that here, I am not speaking of personal experience (foil fencing does not use shield), but of what I have seen on TV documentaries and reenactment: Greek phalanx warriors were using their shield as an offensive weapon as much as a defensive one, because the spear is too long to be used once the front rank of the phalanx are in contact.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, KPhan2121 said:

Well its not that unreasonable, a shield by itself is not a complete weapon set. It absolutely needs to be paired with another weapon in order to maintain its usefulness as a defensive tool. If anything, your main hand weapon plays just as important a part of the equation.

Well, yes, I understand why you could consider that someone with an axe in main hand instead of a sword may not be as good as he usually is. But if you sword skill is 90%, and your axe skill is 15%, that's a huge difference.

But I'm not completely honest here, as I didn't mention that I think the issue here is the fact a seasoned fighter can have 15% with his Axe, and not the need for a Shield skill. 🙂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...