lordbubyan

Parry and Shields

12 posts in this topic

Hello guys, i´m playing a campaign of Stormbringer 4ed i think (the one with the green cover). Can someone explain me wich is the point of having a shield? i mean you can block with a weapon. Why not have 2 weapons instead a weapon and a shield? Why not having a 2 handed weapon instead a weapon and a shield?

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Page 39 gives some advantages of using a shield:

Quote

Arrows may be parried only by shields and may not be effectively dodged. [...] Sling stones may be parried only by shields.

Normally, a Parry roll is halved if you're trying to parry a hand-held missile weapon (axe, javelin, rock, etc.) with a melee weapon. It's not really stated, but I'd assume you'd get your full parry using a shield. 

Also, there's a section on shields on Page 45, but the benefits are a little vague:

Quote

For gaming purposes shields are played as nearly indestructible. Whenever a Parry is made with a shield it will stop any number of hits as long as they aren't magical.

Not really sure what that means. 

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Thank you, i know shields give you benefits parrying missile weapons but i think it´s a poor reason to wear them. Perharps the reason because shields are crap on stormbringer is because it´s an old game with a few flaws. In real life usually weapon + shield is far superior than a 2 handed weapon.or 2 weapons, one on each hand.

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It wasn't until the Elric! rules set - that followed SB4e 3 years later - that shields got more of an emphasis. Weapons and shields both had HP defined in that edition and the benefits of shields were laid out more clearly:

Quote

 

Shields

If your adventurer intends to do serious fighting, he or she needs a shield, or at least a second weapon. If your adventurer parries with a shield, then the risk of breaking a weapon drops greatly, and he or she ignores certain fumble table results. If your adventurer has skill, a shield is more reliable than armor, and blocks stronger attacks.

 

In this rules set, weapons were broken when their HP was equaled or exceeded when parrying a melee weapon. Shields suffered HP reduction when their HP was exceeded, and didn't break until their HP was 0.

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On 5/30/2017 at 6:52 AM, lordbubyan said:

Thank you, i know shields give you benefits parrying missile weapons but i think it´s a poor reason to wear them. Perharps the reason because shields are crap on stormbringer is because it´s an old game with a few flaws.

It's more a case of Stormbringer being a variation of RuneQuest 2. In RQ2, weapons had hit points, and got damaged on a parry, while shields didn't get damaged. That part of the RQ rules got dropped in Stormbringer, and so shields became rather redundant, especially with the riposte.

On 5/30/2017 at 6:52 AM, lordbubyan said:

 

In real life usually weapon + shield is far superior than a 2 handed weapon.or 2 weapons, one on each hand.

That's debatable. it depends a lot on the situation and armaments involved. Once you got to the like of gothic plate 2 handed weapons became very useful for getting through the armor, and shields became redundant (if an attack could get through two layers of plate and a ;ayer of thick cloth padding, it would get past the shield too). 

 

All that said, it wouldn't be a bad idea to bump up shields a bit in SB. Some things I could see are:

  • Can parry missile weapons (supposed to work that way now, but just want to clarify it)
  • Block & Counter: If you make a shield parry you can riposte with your weapon, as if you had parried with it instead. 
  • Can switch off between shield and weapon for parries, which can reduce the penalty for multiple parries (i.e. shield at full %, then weapon at full%, then shield at -30%, the weapon and -30% and so forth).

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4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

It's more a case of Stormbringer being a variation of RuneQuest 2. In RQ2, weapons had hit points, and got damaged on a parry, while shields didn't get damaged. That part of the RQ rules got dropped in Stormbringer, and so shields became rather redundant, especially with the riposte.

Or RQ3 where weapons and shields got damaged as well, but it took time. 

4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

That's debatable. it depends a lot on the situation and armaments involved. Once you got to the like of gothic plate 2 handed weapons became very useful for getting through the armor, and shields became redundant (if an attack could get through two layers of plate and a ;ayer of thick cloth padding, it would get past the shield too). 

It wasn't that it would get through the shield too... more along the lines of "it can't get thru the armor, so why worry AND I can carry this big ass weapon that will deal more damage to my opponents men-at-arms." In other words, it became something of a nuisance.

4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

 

All that said, it wouldn't be a bad idea to bump up shields a bit in SB. Some things I could see are:

  • Can parry missile weapons (supposed to work that way now, but just want to clarify it)

I would go more for parry thrown weapons and block missiles, ala RQ3.

4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:
  • Block & Counter: If you make a shield parry you can riposte with your weapon, as if you had parried with it instead. 

Wasn't there errata that said you could, as a Shield is a weapon?

4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:
  • Can switch off between shield and weapon for parries, which can reduce the penalty for multiple parries (i.e. shield at full %, then weapon at full%, then shield at -30%, the weapon and -30% and so forth).

Yes, and this is a big advantage against multiple opponents.

SDLeary

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4 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Or RQ3 where weapons and shields got damaged as well, but it took time. 

Yes, but SB pre-dated RQ3. What I think happened was that with SB they tried to update the technology from Glorantha's Bronze Age to a more medieval technology. In some ways SB was a testbed for RQ3. Later versions of SB (Elric! onwards) added the hit point and damage system used now in BRP. Personally I think the RQ3 method was the best one presented.

4 hours ago, SDLeary said:

It wasn't that it would get through the shield too... more along the lines of "it can't get thru the armor, so why worry AND I can carry this big ass weapon that will deal more damage to my opponents men-at-arms." In other words, it became something of a nuisance.

Actually it's not so much the "deal more damage" thing. That's more game thinking. It was that they needed the bigger heavier weapons to get through the plate. 

4 hours ago, SDLeary said:

I would go more for parry thrown weapons and block missiles, ala RQ3.

Except SB doesn't have hit locations for shields to cover. 

4 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Wasn't there errata that said you could, as a Shield is a weapon?

Maybe, but I don't think it let you switch the attack to the main weapon. I think you just got to shield bash. I'm thinking more along the lines of a block and counter, where you stop the attack with the sheild, move the attacking weapon out of line with the block, and then counter-attack with your own weapon. 

4 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Yes, and this is a big advantage against multiple opponents.

SDLeary

And not a bad advantage against one highly skilled opponent who can riposte. 

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Posted (edited)

One of the best Shield house rules I have used over the years has been in relation to the BGB culminative -30% modifier for defensive actions.

With this house rule, small shields had one additional 'free parry' before the negative modifier kicks in; medium sized shields got two additional free parries, and large shields received three additional free parries. 

This tended to be a very effective advantage for shields, it really worked well against multiple combatants.

Again this rule was not my creation, it was one I read from an online post many years ago, I'm cannot remember if it was a variation of an official rule or not. It worked well when used for BGB rules, so it should work just as well for MW or SB.

Edited by Mankcam
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On 6/1/2017 at 4:40 PM, Atgxtg said:

Actually it's not so much the "deal more damage" thing. That's more game thinking. It was that they needed the bigger heavier weapons to get through the plate. 

Well, they carried multiple weapons. Some were designed to go after peers with the same level of protection, such as pollaxe and hammers, and something more anti-personnel (for lesser armored opponents) such as swords and axes.  

On 6/1/2017 at 4:40 PM, Atgxtg said:

Except SB doesn't have hit locations for shields to cover. 

No, but you could allow a parry for thrown weapons, and a "defensive bonus" for missiles. For example, a medium shield perhaps a 15% "defense", in the sense of the term from RQ2. If the missile would have hit, save for the bonus, then the missile hits the shield.

On 6/1/2017 at 4:40 PM, Atgxtg said:

Maybe, but I don't think it let you switch the attack to the main weapon. I think you just got to shield bash. I'm thinking more along the lines of a block and counter, where you stop the attack with the sheild, move the attacking weapon out of line with the block, and then counter-attack with your own weapon. 

Perhaps. Its also possible that I'm remembering previous discussions from here. 

SDLeary

 

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12 hours ago, SDLeary said:

No, but you could allow a parry for thrown weapons, and a "defensive bonus" for missiles. For example, a medium shield perhaps a 15% "defense", in the sense of the term from RQ2. If the missile would have hit, save for the bonus, then the missile hits the shield.

I believer later version of Elric!/SB simply gave shield a set % to block missle attacks. I wouldn't mind allowing a parry but at half ability (a hard task in BRP). 

12 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Perhaps. Its also possible that I'm remembering previous discussions from here. 

SDLeary

 

Possibly. Plus there are several versions of the rules, each with slight variations. 

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On 3/06/2017 at 0:23 PM, Mankcam said:

One of the best Shield house rules I have used over the years has been in relation to the BGB culminative -30% modifier for defensive actions.

With this house rule, small shields had one additional 'free parry' before the negative modifier kicks in; medium sized shields got two additional free parries, and large shields received three additional free parries.

This is just about perfect for filling that gap in the SB rules.

I guess the challenge is always going to be that during character creation investing skill points in shield never seems to be a worthwhile option. 

At the risk of going off topic, I've tinkered with a house-rule that modifies Initiative based on your weapons and armour (existentially you have a normal Dex for most rolls and a 'Combat Dex' which is used in battles). The idea that large shields allow more 'free' parries would, IMO, sync nicely with that (i.e. larger shields have more of a Combat Dex penalty). 

Marcus 

 

 

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