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Bonus for using a Shield to parry.


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18 hours ago, Kloster said:

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.

Assuming a Greek Phalanx, they would probably drop their spear and pull out their xiphos or kopis. In a shield wall of any type, using your shield for anything other than protecting yourself, or the person to your left or to leverage and push against the opposition line in order to advance yours is somewhat suicidal.

SDLeary

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3 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Assuming a Greek Phalanx, they would probably drop their spear and pull out their xiphos or kopis. In a shield wall of any type, using your shield for anything other than protecting yourself, or the person to your left or to leverage and push against the opposition line in order to advance yours is somewhat suicidal.

SDLeary

Iirc, the greek hoplite phalanx was fighting shoulder to shoulder, with interlocked shields. In that case, the use of the xiphos or kopi (or any sword) becomes very impractical, and only spears (doru) has any chance to be usable. According to Hanson, the shield wall push was the main way of fighting but this is now disputed.

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On 2/7/2022 at 8:26 AM, 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

I'm not an expert in the BRP rules, but in RQinG (which suffers the same issue with shields, though they've one or two advantages which won't translate to BRP).

But RQinG allows you to parry more than once, each successive parry is at -20%.

But perhaps you could apply something similar here:  

That the first use of an weapon/shield to attack parry, is at full chance.  Then if you use that weapon/shield again, its at -20%

So if you've a dedicated attack and parry weapon or shield, you attack and parry are a full chance. 

If you're using one weapon, your first action (attack say) is at full chance but your second action (parry in this example) is at -20%.  So your 2H weapon has some disadvantage to 1H weapon + shield (or indeed 2x1H weapons)

It seems a simple rule, and quite natural, in that if you've used a weapon in the round, it has momentum from that use, making a subsequent use more difficult.

Edited by Stephen L
explain what I meant a bit better
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1 hour ago, RosenMcStern said:

The multiple parry rule is already present in BRP. In fact, it was ported to RuneQuest from BRP or Stormbringer, as RQ2 or 3 did not have that rule.

What differs is the actual modifier used. In SB 2, the modifier was -20%, like in RQiG. In Elric!, it was changed to -30% (perhaps because it was very easy to start with skills over 100% in this game).

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20 hours ago, Kloster said:

Iirc, the greek hoplite phalanx was fighting shoulder to shoulder, with interlocked shields. In that case, the use of the xiphos or kopi (or any sword) becomes very impractical, and only spears (doru) has any chance to be usable. According to Hanson, the shield wall push was the main way of fighting but this is now disputed.

Over shield, yes. Under shield not so much. Doru is too long to reposition so easily. You want to fell an opponent, go for their shins... assuming they don't have greaves on, and give the guy behind you a clearer shot with his doru.

SDLeary

Edited by SDLeary
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On 2/10/2022 at 7:58 AM, Mugen said:

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.

 

I think that is were the old similar weapons of RQ2/3 helped. Since both sword and Axe would be 1H edged weapons there would be some crossover.  So someone with Sword 90% would be better than 15% with Ax, as there would be some similarities between the weapons.  

 

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

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I think that is were the old similar weapons of RQ2/3 helped. Since both sword and Axe would be 1H edged weapons there would be some crossover.  So someone with Sword 90% would be better than 15% with Ax, as there would be some similarities between the weapons. 

Not as I recall... Weapon similarity was within class... 1H short sword, 1H broadsword, 1H bastard sword (maybe even 1H dagger) would allow skill in one to move to another at something like half skill, but 1H axe was a totally different category. 1H axe, 1H hatchet, 1H tomahawk would group. I'd actually think 1H axe to 1H hammer (bec de corbin, to slaughter the French) would group at half skill.

The swords are typically double-edged, allowing for a back-swing without having to flip the hand. Not all axes are double-bitted, so a back-swing likely is learned with a rotation of the hand (palm up on normal horizontal swing, palm down to reverse direction).

Swords cut anywhere along the length (ignoring any flats for 2H gripping in front of the guard). Axes (and hammers) have the working end all in a short span at a distance; misjudge and you just club the target with a stick.

RQ2 (Classic reprint page 28 and table on 27)

Quote

SPECIFIC WEAPON CHARACTERISTICS
The Weapon Statistics Table gives a listing by weapon types given in the previous table, showing what sorts of weapons can be used after receiving training in one particular weapon type.  Remember that each weapon within a category is different, even if two are of the same weapon type. A character cannot pick up a weapon in the middle of a melee (even if it is a duplicate of his own) and use it at full proficiency. Given a few minutes to get used to its foibles, he will be able to use it as he would the one he trained with, but if he picked it up and fought immediately with it, he would fight at ½ effectiveness.

Referenced table give 1H sword as: bastard sword, broadsword, scimitar (I'd object to the latter as, to me, scimitar are curved single-edged -- I'd swap it with short sword, which the table lists as a stand-alone, as is the rapier). 1H axe is: hatchet, battle axe

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On 2/12/2022 at 5:15 PM, Baron Wulfraed said:

Not as I recall... Weapon similarity was within class... 1H short sword, 1H broadsword, 1H bastard sword (maybe even 1H dagger) would allow skill in one to move to another at something like half skill, but 1H axe was a totally different category.

That is true for RQ3, but RQ2 allowed for some crossover between weapons that had a similar use, such as one-handed cutting (RQ2CE  p. 26). The idea being that weapons that are used in a similar fashion have some overlap, and that someone who is a master swordsman is probably going to be somewhat dangerous regardless of what weapon he is wielding. 

 

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

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22 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

That is true for RQ3, but RQ2 allowed for some crossover between weapons that had a similar use, such as one-handed cutting (RQ2CE  p. 26). The idea being that weapons that are used in a similar fashion have some overlap, and that someone who is a master swordsman is probably going to be somewhat dangerous regardless of what weapon he is wielding.

Please note that I'd cited (quoted) text from pages 27&28 of that same volume, not RQ3. I interpret page 26 as just a general concept, while the table on page 27 is specific as to what falls into each of the groupings.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/17/2022 at 11:55 AM, Baron Wulfraed said:

Please note that I'd cited (quoted) text from pages 27&28 of that same volume, not RQ3. I interpret page 26 as just a general concept, while the table on page 27 is specific as to what falls into each of the groupings.

You might interpret it that way, but that isn't how the rule was written. More text from Page 28 specifically states: 

EFFECTS OF TRAINING WITH SIMILAR WEAPONS
Any character knowing how to use a weapon of one type and
mode (i.e., a broadsword is a one handed cutting weapon) can
use any similar weapon at ½ effectiveness

EXAMPLE

Horus the Hairy breaks his broadsword attempting to clobber a
dragonewt foe. Desperately parrying with his shield, he backs up
and grabs the heavy axe used by Uras the Usurper, who is busy
bleeding and has no immediate use for it. Horus is capable of
attacking with a broadsword with 60% success, therefore he will
be able to use the heavy axe with a 30% success, as long as he
uses it one handed like a broadsword.
       Using it two handed, he would be relegated to using it like
anyone else picking it up for the first time, based on basic chance
and natural ability. If the replacement weapon was some entirely
different type and mode, such as a two handed thrusting spear, he
would again have to rely on basic and natural ability.

 

Thus the intention is that someone with skill with any one handed cutting weapon would have some crossover proficiency with other one handed cutting weapons. It makes sense too. Note that this rule was also enforced with different versions of a weapon a character was skilled in too. So a warrior who picked up a new broadsword during a fight to replace a broken one was also at half skill. 

 

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

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19 hours ago, Ludo Bagman said:

A RQ3 rule says that an attacker gets +10% when attacking from a target's unshielded side or from behind (I think the front is always covered). This gives a small advantage in large combats but no advantage in 1 on 1 combats.

It might if your opponent doesn't use a shield. I mean, I never ran the rule that way, but in theory it would make shields a bit more useful if those without them were considered to be unshielded.

 

I could also see someone using dodge to try and maneuver onto someone unshielded side in combat. Kind of like how you can close against someone weielding a long weapon. I could see using dodge to sidestep and try to get to someone's unshielded side. I could make RQ3 combat more dynamic.

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

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My inclination would be to use shields (and potentially off hand parrying daggers in the right circumstances) like the old Defense characteristic in RQ1&2.  That is, it would deduct from the attackers attach %.  You could make it a straight -25% (or whatever) or allow it to be skill/4, or some similar mod.

 

NT

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1 hour ago, fulk said:

My inclination would be to use shields (and potentially off hand parrying daggers in the right circumstances) like the old Defense characteristic in RQ1&2.  That is, it would deduct from the attackers attach %.  You could make it a straight -25% (or whatever) or allow it to be skill/4, or some similar mod.

 

NT

If I were building a BRP variant I'd consider making shield block an EASY skill, that is it would be rolled at double value. At least for the locations that would get "cover" in RQ3 terms. That would make shields much more useful, and also reflect the fact that it is really easy to interpose a shield in front of an incoming weapon. 

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

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 3/19/2022 at 6:07 AM, Atgxtg said:

If I were building a BRP variant I'd consider making shield block an EASY skill, that is it would be rolled at double value. At least for the locations that would get "cover" in RQ3 terms. That would make shields much more useful, and also reflect the fact that it is really easy to interpose a shield in front of an incoming weapon. 

 

I like the simplicity of that. Shields have a lot of advantages in these games but it shouldn't be necessary to 'sell' them to players. So many historical cultures used shields; there must have been an advantage for doing so.

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12 hours ago, Questbird said:

I like the simplicity of that. Shields have a lot of advantages in these games but it shouldn't be necessary to 'sell' them to players. So many historical cultures used shields; there must have been an advantage for doing so.

Of course there were advantages to using shields. Generally speaking, ducking down behind a barrier is a good way to avoid being hit or hurt. That shields don't work so well in some BRP games really points out a flaw in those games. Maybe because some people don't like tracking weapon hit points, maybe because some people model their melee combat on fencing, where a shield mostly gets in the way, but whatever reason the effect is that shields becomes liability in those games, especially when attack and parry are combined into a single skill. 

I think a good way to go might be to differentiate between a block (sticking something in the way to take the hit) and  a parry (deflecting the attack, and making an opening to riposte). The whole alternating attacks where each combat gets their turn to attack probably more of a game artifact than a representation of melee. Something like Pendragon's opposed roll (where shields apply when you get beaten but still made your weapon skill roll), or Usaji Yojimbo's (2nd edition) method of one character keeping on the offensive until the opponent can get the upper hand probably is more realistic. 

 

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

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If you want to give shields more focus and keep it more in line with RAW, you could allow a 'free Parry' when using a shield - similar to the 'Fighting Defensively' rule on page 202 in the BGB. Maybe you would perhaps need to use your Weapon skill for all further Parries and can only use the shield for the first one.

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13 hours ago, pansophy said:

If you want to give shields more focus and keep it more in line with RAW, you could allow a 'free Parry' when using a shield - similar to the 'Fighting Defensively' rule on page 202 in the BGB. Maybe you would perhaps need to use your Weapon skill for all further Parries and can only use the shield for the first one.

I don't see how that would help much. When attack and parry are combined into a single , raising the shield skill to the point where it equals the weapon skill for the "free" parry isn't worth it. It's probably easier/faster to just raise the weapon skill by another 30%.

Now if the shield gave a flat bonus to parry (say you added you shield skill to your weapon skill for defense), or it reduced the multiple parry  penalty from 30% down to 15% or so it might be worth it. 

 

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

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46 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

I don't see how that would help much. When attack and parry are combined into a single , raising the shield skill to the point where it equals the weapon skill for the "free" parry isn't worth it. It's probably easier/faster to just raise the weapon skill by another 30%.

Now if the shield gave a flat bonus to parry (say you added you shield skill to your weapon skill for defense), or it reduced the multiple parry  penalty from 30% down to 15% or so it might be worth it. 

 

It depends on how many parries your version of BRP allows without a shield 

If you can only parry once without a shield, then a Shield will be helpful when you're fighting multiple enemies.

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15 hours ago, Mugen said:

It depends on how many parries your version of BRP allows without a shield 

If you can only parry once without a shield, then a Shield will be helpful when you're fighting multiple enemies.

Yes, it could be possible to allow multiple parries only with shield. Not very realistic (I came from fencing, not SCA, and multiple parries with foil or epee are possible within 12 seconds), but would give the requested result.

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21 hours ago, Kloster said:

Yes, it could be possible to allow multiple parries only with shield. Not very realistic (I came from fencing, not SCA, and multiple parries with foil or epee are possible within 12 seconds), but would give the requested result.

But it would only give any benefit in situations where a character faces more than 1 attack. If your opponent is only allowed 1 attack per round, 2 parries are useless.

MRQ1 gave 1 "free" parry to shield users (with a malus, IIRC), but by default characters were allowed multiple actions and reactions each turn. MRQ2 discarded that rule, but also introduced combat styles instead of weapon skills.

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On 3/18/2022 at 12:07 PM, Atgxtg said:

If I were building a BRP variant I'd consider making shield block an EASY skill, that is it would be rolled at double value. At least for the locations that would get "cover" in RQ3 terms. That would make shields much more useful, and also reflect the fact that it is really easy to interpose a shield in front of an incoming weapon. 

Maybe combine this with the Mythras "Combat Style" idea:

If you're trained to sword&board (or spear&... or axe&... etc), parrying with the shield is an "EASY" roll, vs parrying with the weapon.

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