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Sunwolfe

Your shield is your friend!

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Greetings, OQ2 explorers

I thought you all might find a House Rule mod my players and I cooked up concerning shields interesting. Trying to be mindful of OQ2's simplicity, we still felt our game needed some shield tweaks.

Weapons including shields are designated light, medium, heavy, and huge in the Close Combat Weapons table on page 45. The term “huge,” however, is only used in relation to shields and can be problematic as it is truly a size designation, in contrast to the light, medium, and heavy designations which seem to describe weight. This dichotomy is further exacerbated by use of the term “Large” in the passage on page 60 which reads:

Shields with a size of Large or Huge (i.e. Medium and Large Shields) provide a cover modifier to the ranged attack of the attacker -25% and -50% respectively against arrows, sling shot and cross bow bolts.

As there is no “Large” size designation in the table's Size column, “Heavy” is what was obviously meant, which is again more a reference to weight than size.

After discussing further shield category concerns and rather than rename the column Weight, my players and I felt a re-designation of shield size was in order. Thus it was decided that, small shields (buckler, targe, etc.) would be sized “Light” rather than Medium; medium shields (heater, round, etc.) sized “Medium” rather than Heavy; large shields (scutum, hoplon, etc.) should be sized “Heavy” rather than Huge; and truly enormous shields, such as the pavise, should be termed “Huge.”

Thus the above excerpt was revised in our game version to read: “Medium, Heavy, and Huge shields provide extra protection from arrows, sling shot and crossbow bolts. Archers, crossbowmen and slingers suffer a -25%, -50%, and/or -75% modifier to their attacks against targets armed with Medium, Heavy, or Huge shields respectively.”

In addition to the above, it was decided to modify the Ranged Attack Situational Modifiers table and “Cover” section on page 59 to better reflect the House Rule addition and modification. The RAW passage reads: “For missile attacks the defender benefits from the best of the shield modifier in the table above and the cover modifier below,” but there is no “...table above.” Our version reads: Against missile attacks, the defender benefits from the best of the shield modifiers in the table below...”

To the “Target Visibility” section, we then added three rows:

Target is armed with a Medium sized shield

-25%

Target is armed with a Heavy sized shield

-50%

Target is armed with a Huge sized shield

-75%

Sorry about the huge table there...something exploded in the translation from word processor to forum :-(
A reminder of these penalties was suggested as an additional note under “Range” in the “Ranged Weapon” section on page 47.

We also decided an addendum to Newt's excellent “Taking out Life Insurance” advice on page 54 would be in order: On Shields “Your shield is your friend. Regardless of character concept, get a shield and use it. It will prolong your character's life.”

For new players, we wrote the following House Rule summary:

Small shields sized Light, such as bucklers and targes, will block all incoming damage from Light weapons with a successful parry. Small shields will only block half the incoming damage from a Medium sized weapon and no incoming damage from a Heavy sized weapon.They offer no protection against archers, crossbowmen and slingers.

Medium shields sized Medium, such as heater or round shields, will block all incoming damage from Light and Medium sized weapons with a successful parry but only half the incoming damage from Heavy sized weapons. Luckily, there are no Huge sized offensive weapons. Medium shields offer greater protection from arrows, bolts and sling-stones, levying a -25% modification against such missile attacks.

Large shields, such as scutum and hoplon shields, sized Heavy will block all incoming damage from Light, Medium and Heavy weapons with a successful parry. They offer even greater protection from arrows, bolts and sling-stones, levying a -50% modification against such missile attacks.

Huge shields, such as the pavise, levy a -75% modification against missile attacks. Nearly stationary and deployed for siege or large scale battle purposes (both offense and defense), they cannot be used in the quick of Close Combat situations like the above sized shields can.

And don't forget: "Shield-carrying characters may attempt to Parry hand thrown missile weapons (daggers, darts, hatchets, rocks, etc.) if the target is aware of the attack" (58).
 

Cheers!

Edited by Sunwolfe
punctuation
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Good stuff.

The whole sheilds section was a mess when I started working with MRQ 1 as my base.  My intial attempt was simply to say that on a successful parry they added their AP (in the early days of OpenQuest development Shields and weapons had AP like old RQ) to the character's overall Armour. Then we dropped AP for parrying weapons and well you can see things got muddled from there.

The whole Shields section could do with rewriting (as you've twigged) with it being spilt into subheadings, Using Shields in Close Combat, Using Shields in Ranged Combat, and probably Using Shields in Unarmed Combat. 

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