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Question about Special Successes and Weapon Specials


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I was under the impression that a weapon's special only goes off after consulting the Attack and Defense Matrix. Like if an attacker got a critical success and a defender only had a normal success. The normal success of the defense would modify the attacking critical success to a special success and the weapon's special effect goes off.

However, I came across a bit of text in the Crushing Special section that seemed to indicate otherwise. On page 196 of the Big Gold Book, it states "If the target successfully parries an attack scoring a crushing special success, he or she risks his or her weapon or shield breaking". How is that possible? There are only two ways I can think of to get a special success for your weapon. If you rolled a special success, the defender must roll a failure or worse on his parry/dodge. The other way is that if you rolled a critical success, the defender must roll a success or worse on his parry/dodge. Both of these results said would have the defender failing his parry check and getting hit directly. The only thing I can think of is that both attacker and defender rolled special or critical successes, allowing for the crushing weapon's special to activate and also having the defender successfully defend against the attack.

Does this mean that if you just rolled a special success on your attack roll, the weapon's special goes off regardless of the final result after consulting the Attack and Defense Matrix? For example, a swordman rolled a special success to attack with his sword and his opponent only rolled a normal success to parry. Would the sword's bleed effect go off even though the Attack and Defense Matrix says it's a normal success?

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How about if the attacker criticals and the defender rolls a normal parry? That would result in the attacker getting a special success and rolling the crush against the parrying weapon's hit points. Since the parrying weapon takes 4 damage from this situation, it seems that it's probably at risk of breaking from the crush.


The problem is that BRP mixes several versions of the core rules together, not all of which is compatible, not to mentionincluding some bits that are dysfunctional, such as the combat matrix from Elric!





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That wouldn't make sense though. For one thing nearly every weapon has some sort of special in BRP, so it would make the matrix somewhat pointless. Secondly, if the special success superseded the matrix then impaling weapons become nearly impossible to defend against.

Personally, I greatly prefer how RQ3 handled this. The attacker got his special success, but since parrying weapons/shields soaked damage based on their AP, you could still defend against an impale with a shield. You might end up with a sword or spear stuck in your shield, but it sure beats having it stuck in you




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

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