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Shields in melee

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Not much of a sacrifice to trade your shield for his weapon!

The early Germanic tales quite often mention a kind of opposite approach, a

somewhat cowardly method to kill an especially dangerous or feared enemy.

The attacker(s) threw so many spears or throwing axes at his shield that the

weight finally forced him to drop the shield, and then killed him with spears or

arrows without ever having to get close enough to him to be within his wea-

pon's reach.

@ PhilHibbs:

Yes, I think this is where the idea originally came from, early Germanic thro-

wing spears are often very close copies of a pilum, just a bit more heavy, but

also with the soft, bending part close to the tip.

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That might be why the tactic was considered "cowardly". Most cultures tend to villify any tact that works against them. Soem Celtic tribes used to go into battle naked, and considered it very cowardly of the Romans to wear armor. During the American Revolutionary War the British considered it cowardlythat the Americans used to hide behind trees and rocks instead of lining up to be shot at.

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After a lot of thinking about the various suggestions and criticisms in this thread, here are the modified rules that I'm currently using, which seem to be both relatively realistic and playable without having to change the standard BRP ruleset too much. I thought I'd post them in case other people might find them useful as an optional addition to their own games.

---------

Melee weapons of SIZ 2 or larger cannot be parried by another weapon (their mass means they have too much momentum when swung to be stopped successfully), but can be blocked by a shield or dodged. This makes a shield much more useful in primitive, medieval, and fantasy combat than it currently is.

If a character is armed with two weapons, and the off-hand weapon is smaller than SIZ 1, he can attack and parry once with each of them per combat round. Off-hand weapon attacks and parries are considered Difficult, unless the wielder is ambidextrous (i.e. has DEX of 16 or higher). If the wielder is ambidextrous he gets an individual attack and a parry with each weapon per combat round at no penalty to either, though the off-hand attack is at 5 DEX ranks later than the main hand attack - see BGB pp. 233-234. This allows dextrous duelists to use the rapier & main gauche combat style effectively, though they will still be dependent on dodging to defend against large heavy two-handed weapons, which seems realistic enough.

If a character is wielding two weapons each of SIZ 1 or larger, all his attacks and parries are Difficult, it's just too hard to balance the weapons efficiently.

If a character achieves a Critical parry result with a shield or off-hand weapon, he has succeeded in turning his opponent's weapon away and created an opening to riposte. The character is allowed an immediate free riposte attack with his main hand weapon which is Difficult for his opponent to parry or dodge. This helps simulate real fighting styles better, and also helps rebalance combat tactics in BRP which currently favour dodging too highly over other forms of defence.

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Mmmh, not quite. First of all, what do you mean by SIZ? Enc?

Melee weapons of SIZ 2 or larger cannot be parried by another weapon (their mass means they have too much momentum when swung to be stopped successfully), but can be blocked by a shield or dodged. This makes a shield much more useful in primitive, medieval, and fantasy combat than it currently is.

First of all, a spear has no additional momentum due to SIZ, so a long spear (or thrusting halberd) should not be included. Secondly, you can parry a long weapon with a shorter one, it is just harder. I would rather make the roll Difficult, and not for thrusting weapons.

If a character is armed with two weapons, and the off-hand weapon is smaller than SIZ 1, he can attack and parry once with each of them per combat round. Off-hand weapon attacks and parries are considered Difficult, unless the wielder is ambidextrous (i.e. has DEX of 16 or higher). If the wielder is ambidextrous he gets an individual attack and a parry with each weapon per combat round at no penalty to either, though the off-hand attack is at 5 DEX ranks later than the main hand attack - see BGB pp. 233-234. This allows dextrous duelists to use the rapier & main gauche combat style effectively, though they will still be dependent on dodging to defend against large heavy two-handed weapons, which seems realistic enough.

All of this paragraph is heavily unbalancing: a DEX 15 character cannot fight effectively with two daggers, two sais, or any other combination of weapons that were historically used. With one more points of DEX, he becomes a killing machine that can eliminate two opponents per round, without even incurring in the halving penalty that a 100% swordsman incurs when attacking twice. Definitely NOT balanced with all other BRP rules.

If a character is wielding two weapons each of SIZ 1 or larger, all his attacks and parries are Difficult, it's just too hard to balance the weapons efficiently.

This whole story of the secondary weapon being shorter is a D&D construct. You can use two medium weapons at once, it is just that when you have the opportunity to carry two, you usually choose two different reaches to be safe from closing opponents, or even close yourself with the shorter one.

If a character achieves a Critical parry result with a shield or off-hand weapon, he has succeeded in turning his opponent's weapon away and created an opening to riposte. The character is allowed an immediate free riposte attack with his main hand weapon which is Difficult for his opponent to parry or dodge. This helps simulate real fighting styles better, and also helps rebalance combat tactics in BRP which currently favour dodging too highly over other forms of defence.

This has been discussed earlier, with a proposal from Jason. The semi-official rule is that you riposte on a Special, and the opponent can parry regularly. Again, this version is rather unbalanced.

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Mmmh, not quite. First of all, what do you mean by SIZ? Enc?

The BGB weapon tables say "SIZ/Enc" so take your pick :-)

First of all, a spear has no additional momentum due to SIZ, so a long spear (or thrusting halberd) should not be included. Secondly, you can parry a long weapon with a shorter one, it is just harder. I would rather make the roll Difficult, and not for thrusting weapons.

You're right. It shoudl be Difficult, not impossible. Not sure if I'd bother making the distinction for thrusting weapons, I'd still say it's harder to parry someone thrusting a spear at you than someone attacking with a dagger. So on balance I think making that distinction adds another layer of complexity without any real game benefit.

All of this paragraph is heavily unbalancing: a DEX 15 character cannot fight effectively with two daggers, two sais, or any other combination of weapons that were historically used. With one more points of DEX, he becomes a killing machine that can eliminate two opponents per round, without even incurring in the halving penalty that a 100% swordsman incurs when attacking twice. Definitely NOT balanced with all other BRP rules.

I took the ambidexerity rules directly from the BGB Two Weapon fighting section, and I think it's fair enough. Putting 16 points into DEX does mean less for other attributes, so I think it works, and we have a draw a line somewhere. The weapon SIZ limitation helps rebalance it, since you'll either be using two small weapons (such as dual daggers) and not doing too much damage, or using something like sword & dagger which means you have to put points in both those skills, and hence have a lower chance to hit with each one. And against an armored foe two smallish weapons still don't do anything like the damage a large two handed weapon will do.

Admittedly as it stands I can see that the current weapon tables do leave a couple of openings for that to be abused - using a Battle Axe plus Hand Axe is a bit over-powered. One way around it might be to add the minimum STR requirement for each weapon together, so a character would need a lot of STR as well as DEX in order to wield larger weapons e.g. two Daggers would be easy to wield (4+4 = minimum STR 8), but Battle Axe plus Hand Axe would require 9+7= minimum STR 16, considerably higher than the human average. For a character to have both STR & DEX at 16 entails keeping other attributes relatively low, so he'd have to think carefully about CON and not have a lot of much else. This would allow the classic fantasy dual wielding archetype without having everyone automatically doing it.

This whole story of the secondary weapon being shorter is a D&D construct. You can use two medium weapons at once, it is just that when you have the opportunity to carry two, you usually choose two different reaches to be safe from closing opponents, or even close yourself with the shorter one.

Understood, but that's hard to emulate in an RPG without getting into so much detail that the game gets bogged down. Hence the D&D construct in the first place I assume. On the other hand it's a mechanism that most players are familiar with, and it helps preserve game balance.

This has been discussed earlier, with a proposal from Jason. The semi-official rule is that you riposte on a Special, and the opponent can parry regularly. Again, this version is rather unbalanced.

I am happy with Riposte on a Special, but I'd still go for Critical Parry giving a Riposte that's Difficult for the opponent to parry or dodge because I think it gives combat a touch of extra spice. Even at 100% skill in the off-hand it's only going to happen once every 20 parries, so I don't think it unbalances things. And it helps in breaking the deadlock of "you hit, I dodge; I hit, you dodge" that often occurs in high-level fantasy combat in the rules as they currently stand.

I really appreciate your feedback Rosen, and everyone else who's chimed in on this thread, it's been very enlightening and useful. Back to playtesting now...

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After a lot of thinking about the various suggestions and criticisms in this thread, here are the modified rules that I'm currently using, which seem to be both relatively realistic and playable without having to change the standard BRP ruleset too much. I thought I'd post them in case other people might find them useful as an optional addition to their own games.

---------

Melee weapons of SIZ 2 or larger cannot be parried by another weapon (their mass means they have too much momentum when swung to be stopped successfully), but can be blocked by a shield or dodged. This makes a shield much more useful in primitive, medieval, and fantasy combat than it currently is.

Well, among other issues, you're mixing the ideas of blocking and parrying. I know that BRP does not distinguish them, and at least the RQ3 rules (and maybe the BGB; I can't remember) talk about "parrying" with a shield, but a block and a parry are two different animals. A parry moves the opponent's weapon off line; a block stops its movement. Normally I think of a shield as more of a "block," although to some extent your movement of the shield could deflect some of the blow.

I don't know if you could ever come up with a satisfactory "generic" system for hand-to-hand combat. I've opined here before that the best we can probably do with a game system is approximate the spirit of combat in a particular era. So, for example, if you have a 17th century setting, using a rapier and dagger or a rapier and cloak should be effective, because they were. How you specifically model the system seems to matter less than whether you at least have characters doing historically "realistic" things in combat. If you are doing a "fantasy" setting, it seems to me that if you don't want to emulate a strict historical period -- a la Stupor Mundi or Vikings, etc -- then you should at least decide on some sort of historical equivalent: are the weapons and technology like Viking Age, High Middle Ages, Late Middle Ages? One problem most fantasy systems have is that they want to combine all sorts options for weapons armor that were not historically used together. This may be something that fantasy settings can't escape, but I think it means that you are going to have to settle for some significant "fudge" in how combat works. And at that point, probably the overriding issue is balance and playability, because you can't have "realism" in the sense of emulating the actual.

The system I like the most is one where you have a "style" like "sword and shield" or "sword and dagger" and your single skill covers everything you do in combat: attack, defense, and footwork. BRP separates that into attack, parry/shield, and dodge, which obviously is one way to do it.

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I took the ambidexerity rules directly from the BGB Two Weapon fighting section, and I think it's fair enough. Putting 16 points into DEX does mean less for other attributes, so I think it works, and we have a draw a line somewhere.

I have multiple problems with the BGB's ambidexterity rules. The first is that I think it is really an issue that is important with firearms and not with hand-to-hand weapons. Shooting with your "off" hand is a problem, partly because most people never train for it. But if you do train enough, it is not a big barrier. The issue with an "off hand" for melee weapons should be the same for using an unfamiliar weapon with your main hand: if you train with sword and shield, the fact that your shield is on your "off" arm, doesn't matter. If you've never trained with sword and shield, you will stink at both the sword and the shield: it's the lack of training and experience, not which hand is trying to do what.

For me it doesn't matter what level you set for suddenly becoming ambidexerous: the problem is not the cut off, it's the assumption that suddenly a fighter now can use his standard fighting style at no penalty. If that were true, why would anyone below professional athlete levels of dexterity fight with sword and dagger? It can't be that all the bravos in the 17th century were super athletes.

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... However, he also has his shield and his Shield

skill of 30 %, so he can use the shield to parry that second attack, with a chan-

ce that is 10 % better than the one he would now have with the sword.

Sorry but you have this wrong. As the rules are written the second parry or dodge would be at -30% making the shield parry 0%. So it would still be better to use the sword and once again the shield is of little benefit in BRP.

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Sorry but you have this wrong.

I know, but I got so used to this house rule that I completely forgot that there

is this silly official BRP rule. ;D

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I also considered making shield parries Easy, since parrying with a shield is just, well, easier, right? But I think this is likely too much of a benefit and would seriously slow down some fights.

I really liked this idea initially until I consider that a 50% shield skill will always parry (a normal attack).

You others ideas are workable I think and have lead to our house rule which is this:

You can attempt to parry an attack with your weapon and if that fails you get a second chance if you have a shield. This way the chance of parrying is increased for the shield using fighter.

Those who consider two parries per attack too powerful could make the second parry (the shield one) difficult. This still gives the shield using fighter the edge over the non-shield user.

So given the fighter from the original example here's the probabilities.


sword parry   shield parry  chance of both events

pass 50%      fail 70%      35%	

pass 50%      pass 30%      15%

fail 50%      pass 30%      15%

fail 50%      fail 70%      35%

Adding up the chance from the first three (cos they all result in a parry) we see that the chance of parrying is 65%, 15% better than if the sam fighter just uses a sword.

Edited by Redge

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After taking into account the previous discussion I've been working and testing some enhanced melee combat rules. Here's what I am currently using. More playtesting and feedback is needed, so your comments are welcome gentlemen.

----------------------------------------

These rules extensions were designed to rebalance some small problems in Basic Roleplaying melee combat, particularly for fantasy and historical campaigns. The design criterion were:

  1. Make Shield skill more useful and Dodge skill less powerful
  2. Make combat more interesting and varied for the players, with minimal increase to complexity
  3. Do not replace standard BRP rules but enhance them

These rules additions are modular and each can be added or ignored as required. However all together they should create a more balanced choice of weaponry and play style.

In designing these extensions I took into account the three main melee fighter types in fantasy combat:

  • The strong heavy hitter with a large two handed weapon
  • The defensive “tank” fighter with shield and one handed weapon
  • The dual-wielding, light weapon rogue/duelist

From that I set up a sort of rock/paper/scissors mechanism: Two-handed weapon users can do massive damage but have limited protection against Riposte attacks; shield users have excellent defence, but must sacrifice attacking skill points to put into Shield skill; and dual wielders can do lots of fast damage to multiple targets but have difficulty carrying large weapons and can have their parrying weapons broken by heavy blows. Each combat style has its uses and disadvantages, and so it allows for a more varied play style and a better mix of abilities in a party.

Dodging

If a character chooses to Dodge a blow in melee combat his next attack is considered Difficult, since he has unbalanced himself while dodging.

[This helps simulate real fighting styles better, and also helps rebalance combat tactics in BRP which currently favour dodging too highly over other forms of defence in high-level melee combat. Now a player has to think carefully if he wants to Dodge or not, since it has repercussions on his offensive ability. It still allows a defensive fighting style if required by the situation, but also allows offensive players to gradually “beat down” an opponent who is trying to dodge all the time.]

Parrying heavy weapons

Since massive weapons have a great deal of momentum when swung or thrust they are correspondingly more difficult to parry with a standard weapon than when using a shield. If a character tries to use his weapon to parry a blow from a weapon of SIZ 2 or larger he must make a Difficult roll to succeed. Using a shield or dodging instead simply requires a Normal roll to succeed.

[This makes Shield skill much more useful against heavy fighters in primitive, medieval, and fantasy combat.]

Two weapon fighting

Fighting with two one-handed weapons effectively requires a character to have a minimum STR equal to or higher than the total STR requirements of both weapons added together. For example, a Dagger requires a minimum STR of 4, and a Long Sword a minimum STR of 7, so a character would need a minimum STR of 4+7=11 to dual wield these in combat.

If a character is armed with two weapons he can attack and parry once with each of them per combat round. Off-hand weapon attacks and parries are considered Difficult, unless the wielder is ambidextrous (i.e. has DEX of 16 or higher). If the wielder is ambidextrous he gets an individual attack and a parry with each weapon per combat round at no penalty to either. The first off-hand attack is at 5 DEX ranks later than the main hand attack. Any further possible attack will come at 5 DEX ranks later than the previous attack - see BGB pp. 233-234.

[This allows a more rapid and cinematic style of fighting for dual-wielding characters, while still making it difficult for characters to dual-wield heavier weapons unless they spend a considerable number of attribute points in both STR and DEX during character creation.]

Riposte

If a character achieves a Special parry result with a shield or off-hand weapon, he has succeeded in turning his opponent's weapon away and created an opening to Riposte. The character is allowed an immediate free Riposte attack with the weapon or shield that didn't parry. If a character achieves a Critical parry result this Riposte attack is Difficult for his opponent to parry or dodge.

[This is derived from the Elric! combat rules, and allows defensive characters the chance to still occasionally do some extra damage.]

Weapon and shield breakage

If a weapon is used for parrying and takes more damage in one blow than it has Hit Points, the weapon is immediately considered broken, and any further damage passes on to the target of the blow. If a shield takes more damage than it has Hit Points its Hit Points are reduced by the amount of the excess damage, and is considered broken if its Hit Points reach zero. Any damage a shield takes past zero passes on to the arm of the bearer.

[Also taken from the Elric! rules. Adds more realism, and helps balance out shield use.]

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I know, but I got so used to this house rule that I completely forgot that there

is this silly official BRP rule. ;D

That's fair enough, I've ended up house ruling it to get a satisfactory result. See post #112 for the details and the maths!

Your house rule didn't affect the chances of parrying the first attack for the fighter who has a shield. That was the crucial point for me, I wanted a shield using character to be better defended than a non-shield using one, even if they were only fighting one opponent.

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Parrying heavy weapons

Since massive weapons have a great deal of momentum when swung or thrust they are correspondingly more difficult to parry with a standard weapon than when using a shield. If a character tries to use his weapon to parry a blow from a weapon of SIZ 2 or larger he must make a Difficult roll to succeed. Using a shield or dodging instead simply requires a Normal roll to succeed.

Really like this one.

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Dodging

If a character chooses to Dodge a blow in melee combat his next attack is considered Difficult, since he has unbalanced himself while dodging.

Why would i raise dodge then? I get the same benefits parrying and i don't get 1/2 attack skill. The rules are fine, but it doesn't justify getting a new skill!

Parrying heavy weapons

Since massive weapons have a great deal of momentum when swung or thrust they are correspondingly more difficult to parry with a standard weapon than when using a shield. If a character tries to use his weapon to parry a blow from a weapon of SIZ 2 or larger he must make a Difficult roll to succeed. Using a shield or dodging instead simply requires a Normal roll to succeed.

Meh, theres a vid of a guy parrying a greatsword with a rapier, and he does just fine. This is more video-game logic than real world IMHO.

Two weapon fighting

Fighting with two one-handed weapons effectively requires a character to have a minimum STR equal to or higher than the total STR requirements of both weapons added together. For example, a Dagger requires a minimum STR of 4, and a Long Sword a minimum STR of 7, so a character would need a minimum STR of 4+7=11 to dual wield these in combat.

Same house rule i used on runequest :)

If a character is armed with two weapons he can attack and parry once with each of them per combat round. Off-hand weapon attacks and parries are considered Difficult, unless the wielder is ambidextrous (i.e. has DEX of 16 or higher). If the wielder is ambidextrous he gets an individual attack and a parry with each weapon per combat round at no penalty to either. The first off-hand attack is at 5 DEX ranks later than the main hand attack. Any further possible attack will come at 5 DEX ranks later than the previous attack - see BGB pp. 233-234.

[This allows a more rapid and cinematic style of fighting for dual-wielding characters, while still making it difficult for characters to dual-wield heavier weapons unless they spend a considerable number of attribute points in both STR and DEX during character creation.]

Economy of action > everything else. Your 2-weapon fighter DESTROYS everything else. Also, ambidexterity for 2 weapon fighting is a dungeons and dragons construct, it doesnt work like that IRL.

Also, off hand parries at 1/2 chance? Off hand is the MAIN parry!!!

RiposteIf a character achieves a Special parry result with a shield or off-hand weapon, he has succeeded in turning his opponent's weapon away and created an opening to Riposte. The character is allowed an immediate free Riposte attack with the weapon or shield that didn't parry. If a character achieves a Critical parry result this Riposte attack is Difficult for his opponent to parry or dodge.

Like it!

Weapon and shield breakage

If a weapon is used for parrying and takes more damage in one blow than it has Hit Points, the weapon is immediately considered broken, and any further damage passes on to the target of the blow. If a shield takes more damage than it has Hit Points its Hit Points are reduced by the amount of the excess damage, and is considered broken if its Hit Points reach zero. Any damage a shield takes past zero passes on to the arm of the bearer.

Actually i dont like using HP/AP for weapons, adds yet another layer of complexity.

By the way, i like your rules overall, i just think you need to tweak them a bit further. One potential problem i see is using hard skills; you are actually applying a greater penalty the better a guy is. A complete nub suffers a -20%, a master suffers a -45%, and a hero suffers a -75%; yeah, everyone has "half chance", but you are equalizing things down, so mooks and nubs have more actual chance to win due to sheer luck (maybe thats what you want, and works for several genres!)

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Meh, theres a vid of a guy parrying a greatsword with a rapier, and he does just fine. This is more video-game logic than real world IMHO.
Parrying a greatsword SWING? I'd have to see that to believe it. But even if it is the case, I think the rule is more for weapons that have their majority of mass near the end of the weapon, like an axe, mace, or maul.

SDLeary

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Parrying a greatsword SWING? I'd have to see that to believe it. But even if it is the case, I think the rule is more for weapons that have their majority of mass near the end of the weapon, like an axe, mace, or maul.

SDLeary

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Dodging

If a character chooses to Dodge a blow in melee combat his next attack is considered Difficult, since he has unbalanced himself while dodging.

Sounds fine. Dodge is still very useful, because you also use it to Manoeuver in combat.

Parrying heavy weapons

Since massive weapons have a great deal of momentum when swung or thrust they are correspondingly more difficult to parry with a standard weapon than when using a shield. If a character tries to use his weapon to parry a blow from a weapon of SIZ 2 or larger he must make a Difficult roll to succeed. Using a shield or dodging instead simply requires a Normal roll to succeed.

Fine, too. It is not impossible, just harder. However, I would make it "1 SIZ larger" rather than "SIZ 2".

Two weapon fighting

Fighting with two one-handed weapons effectively requires a character to have a minimum STR equal to or higher than the total STR requirements of both weapons added together. For example, a Dagger requires a minimum STR of 4, and a Long Sword a minimum STR of 7, so a character would need a minimum STR of 4+7=11 to dual wield these in combat.

If a character is armed with two weapons he can attack and parry once with each of them per combat round. Off-hand weapon attacks and parries are considered Difficult, unless the wielder is ambidextrous (i.e. has DEX of 16 or higher). If the wielder is ambidextrous he gets an individual attack and a parry with each weapon per combat round at no penalty to either. The first off-hand attack is at 5 DEX ranks later than the main hand attack. Any further possible attack will come at 5 DEX ranks later than the previous attack - see BGB pp. 233-234.

Totally unrealistic and unbalanced. It recreates D&D or T&T, not real fighting.

Riposte

If a character achieves a Special parry result with a shield or off-hand weapon, he has succeeded in turning his opponent's weapon away and created an opening to Riposte. The character is allowed an immediate free Riposte attack with the weapon or shield that didn't parry. If a character achieves a Critical parry result this Riposte attack is Difficult for his opponent to parry or dodge.

Why limit it to dual wielding? Does a fencer without a main gauche lose his ability to riposte?

Weapon and shield breakage

If a weapon is used for parrying and takes more damage in one blow than it has Hit Points, the weapon is immediately considered broken, and any further damage passes on to the target of the blow. If a shield takes more damage than it has Hit Points its Hit Points are reduced by the amount of the excess damage, and is considered broken if its Hit Points reach zero. Any damage a shield takes past zero passes on to the arm of the bearer.

This reintroduces the need to roll damage on a parried blow. I do not like it.

The first two rules are enough to produce variance among fighters. I do not see the reason to make things unrealistic and overcomplicated with the other three. Shield/weapon damage can be handled correctly only if you introduce the difference between a parry and a block, which you did not. A weapon or shield is never damaged when used to parry, only when used to block.

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@ Icebrand

The video you linked shows a rapier and a longsword, not a greatsword.

A typical rapier weighs about 1 kg and a typical longsword weighs about 1.5 kg, so

the difference between the two weapons is comparatively low. However, a typical

greatsword weighs about 3 kg, three times the weight of a rapier and twice the

weight of a longsword.

An attempt to parry a greatsword with a rapier would be extremely difficult and

almost certainly fail.

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Your house rule didn't affect the chances of parrying the first attack for the fighter who has a shield.

Yep, our house rule was written to model a specific rapier and dagger style, not

a sword and shield style.

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@ Icebrand

The video you linked shows a rapier and a longsword, not a greatsword.

A typical rapier weighs about 1 kg and a typical longsword weighs about 1.5 kg, so

the difference between the two weapons is comparatively low. However, a typical

greatsword weighs about 3 kg, three times the weight of a rapier and twice the

weight of a longsword.

An attempt to parry a greatsword with a rapier would be extremely difficult and

almost certainly fail.

The term great sword or greatsword refers to an example of any of a number of large swords used in medieval Europe:

Longsword, in both the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

especially, "outsized specimens" of the longsword, such as Oakeshott type XIIIa, see Oakeshott_typology#Type_XIII

the Zweihänder of 16th century Germany

Broadsword, in early modern examples of the Schiavona type.

Claymore (Gaelic claidheamh mor, lit. "great sword"), a Scottish sword.

The claymore weights 2.2 to 2.8 kg

The two-handed claymore was a large sword used in the late Medieval and early modern periods. It was used in the constant clan warfare and border fights with the English from circa 1400 to 1700. The last known battle in which it is considered to have been used in a significant number was the Battle of Killiecrankie in 1689.[citation needed] It was somewhat smaller than other two-handed swords of the era. The two-handed claymore seems to be an offshoot of Early Scottish medieval swords which had developed a distinctive style of a cross-hilt with downsloping arms that ended in spatulate swellings. The spatulate swellings were frequently made in a quatrefoil design.

The average claymore ran about 140 cm (55 in) in overall length, with a 33 cm (13 in) grip, 107 cm (42 in) blade, and a weight of approximately 5.5 lb (2.5 kg).

The zweihander weights 2 to 3.2 kg.

"It is unclear to what effect these swords were used during their period of service on the battlefield. What is clear is that this period is comparatively short, limited to the first half of the 16th century. The Black Band of German mercenaries (active during the 1510s and 1520s) included 2,000 two-handed swordsmen in a total strength of 17,000 men. During this time, the Zweihänder swords were allegedly[clarification needed] used by the forlorn hope Doppelsöldner taking the front lines of the Landsknechts, where they would be used to hew through the opposing pikemen and spearmen whose spears presented a difficult barrier for normal weapons and cavalry.[citation needed]

By the second half of the 16th century, these swords had largely ceased to have a practical application, but they continued to see ceremonial or representative use well into the 17th century."

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Nice copy & paste, but the sword in the video is still definitely a typical long-

sword with not much more weight than the rapier, and the attempt to parry

a heavier weapon than that with a rapier would still be bound to fail. ;)

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Nice copy & paste, but the sword in the video is still definitely a typical long-

sword with not much more weight than the rapier, and the attempt to parry

a heavier weapon than that with a rapier would still be bound to fail. ;)

So basically people used rapiers cause they were really dumb, since someone with a claymore would just cut them in half?

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So basically people used rapiers cause they were really dumb, since someone with a claymore would just cut them in half?

A rapier was a civilian's dueling weapon, not a weapon of war. If the same per-

son would have gone to war he would have used a soldier's weapon, perhaps a

claymore in the case of a Scottish clansman. However, to wear a soldier's hea-

vy weapon in everyday use with civilian clothes would have been very uncom-

fortable and would have been seen as very barbaric.

For example, perhaps the most famous rapier duelists of world literature are

the French musketeers. However, their rapiers were dueling weapons, their

weapons of war were - as their name says - their muskets, they did not use

rapiers on the battlefield.

To give a fictional modern equivalent, you could appear in polite society with a

pistol in a shoulder holster, but if you enter the room with an assault rifle the

society will rapidly cease to be polite.

Edited by rust

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