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RQG : Why should we parry?

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Hi

 

I just read the RQG. And I have the same question as for RQ3 (the one I played a while ago) : Why should someone learn how to parry, as dodge is far better?

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As I understand it we no longer have separate attack and parry skills. So improving your weapon ability to attack also improves the parry. I guess a lot of characters in RQG will tend towards wanting to improving weapon skill and therefore parry. So I can see parry % chance being quite high on average compared to dodge.

I suppose the USP of parry is its chance to damage or destroy the attacking weapon.

If I was to further distinguish parry from dodge I might introduce a disarm option under a special success, but that's just me thinking off the top of my head. We only have the abbreviated rules in the QuickStart at the moment to go by, full rules out in November.

...but if you really want to just get out the way and avoid all damage then dodge is best providing your % is respectable 

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp

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Just a few things that have sprung into my mind:

You can't really dodge when mounted.

Hiding behind a shield is likely more effective when arrows are raining down.

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If I read well, you can dodge as frequently as needed. parry, it is -20% cumulative after the first try.

 

Also, you need a big shield. Otherwise, with a small one, you get hit all the time (or you put a big arm's armour)

 

For the %age, I say that if you use weapon and dodge, your dodge should improve as quickly as the weapon, as you'll use both of them pretty often.

 

As for the oarrow, can't we dodge arrows? If so, then dodge them all ;)

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28 minutes ago, Manu said:

 

If I read well, you can dodge as frequently as needed. parry, it is -20% cumulative after the first try.

 

There's a couple of posts by designer Jason Durall which clarify a few things in the QuickStart regarding combat rules. First one is here, scroll down further to find his other posts 

To summarise there are some tweaks to the combat rules coming in the full version of RQG. In the full version it looks like parry and doge can both be used multiple times, but both suffer -20% cumulative penalty. So they are treated equally in this respect. You can use both parry and dodge in a melee round, against the same, or multiple opponents. The cumulative penalty works whether you are using a combination of dodge and parry or just one of the methods.

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51 minutes ago, Manu said:

If I read well, you can dodge as frequently as needed. parry, it is -20% cumulative after the first try.

 

Also, you need a big shield. Otherwise, with a small one, you get hit all the time (or you put a big arm's armour)

 

For the %age, I say that if you use weapon and dodge, your dodge should improve as quickly as the weapon, as you'll use both of them pretty often.

 

As for the oarrow, can't we dodge arrows? If so, then dodge them all ;)

Nope.

Dodge also has the cumulative -20% as parry.

Shields can be used to block vs missiles, Iirc a small shield automatically blocks the shield arm and 1 location, medium is arm and  2 locs, large arm and 3.  That's huge, esp in a game where missile fire is dominant over melee: a blocked location automatically applies it's ap to any missile rolling that hit location, no successful parry needed, and regardless of numbers of missiles hitting (until the blocking article is destroyed, I suppose).

More importantly, I suppose is a very real life sort of impact: at least in previous versions, encumberance directly reduced (significantly) your Dodge skill.  Every weapon, every piece of armor, that phat bag of loot?  All directly made it harder to dodge...which very quickly made it the other question: why bother dodging?

Finally, the last point is that dodge is more or less a straight dice contest: you have to equal or beat your opponents attack, to avoid damage.

Parrying, otoh is much less sensitive to the attackers success level: Any successful parry will reduce the incoming somewhat or totally (granted, vs special or critical there's a lot of incoming damage so it likely won't block it all...but it doesn't have to: as far as the defender is concerned a useful parry is any that reduces the incoming damage to *an amount your armor can handle* or less).

So in sum:

Dodge is an all or nothing dice contest, significantly affected by encumberance (at least in previous versions)

Parry is a limited finite defense than can be worn down but is also far more likely to be at least partially effective.

Edit: and no, you typically can't dodge fired missiles.

Edited by styopa
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1 hour ago, styopa said:

Parrying, otoh is much less sensitive to the attackers success level: Any successful parry will reduce the incoming somewhat or totally (granted, vs special or critical there's a lot of incoming damage so it likely won't block it all...but it doesn't have to: as far as the defender is concerned a useful parry is any that reduces the incoming damage to *an amount your armor can handle* or less).

Yes, this is a big point to bear in mind. 

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I believe this is currently correct:  (the ? values are I believe implied, but I'm not certain.  There is no Counter2.)

Attack vs DODGE

Dodge Critical

Dodge Special

Dodge Success

Dodge Fail

Dodge Fumb

Att Critical

Att Miss

Att Crit

Att Crit

Att Crit

Att Crit

Att Special

Att Miss

Att Miss

Att Spec

Att Spec

Att Spec

Att Success

Att Miss

Att Miss

Att Miss

Att Hit

Att Hit

Att Fail

Att Miss

Att Miss

Att Miss

Att Miss

Att Hit

Att Fumble

Att Miss & Fumb

Att Miss & Fumb

Att Miss & Fumb

Att Miss & Fumb

Att Miss & Fumb

Bold: defender avoids damage from Attacker.

Attack vs PARRY

Parry Critical

Parry Special

Parry Success

Parry Fail

Parry Fumble

Att Critical

Att Miss

Att Crit, Parry3

Att Crit, Parry3

Att Crit

Att Crit

Att Special

Att Spec, Counter3

Att Spec, Parry2

Att Spec, Parry2

Att Spec

Att Spec

Att Success

Att Hit, Counter3

Att Hit, Counter1

Att Hit, Parry1

Att Hit

Att Hit

Att Fail

Att Miss, Counter3?

Att Miss, Counter1?

Att Miss, Counter1?

Att Miss

Att Hit

Att Fumble

Att Miss & Fumb, Counter3?

Att Miss & Fumb,Counter1?

Att Miss & Fumb,Counter1?

Att Miss & Fumb

Att Miss & Fumb

Bold: defender successfully parried to some degree

Att Miss: attacker does no damage to defender.

Att Hit:  attacker does normal rolled damage plus damage modifier.

Att Spec:  attacker does special damage:

                        Impale: 2x (weapon dmg)+STR mod, chance to impale (%?)

                        Slash: 2x (weapon dmg)+STR mod

                        Crush: normal weapon damage + STR mod + (max)STR Mod

Att Crit:  attacker does special effect, damage ignores armor (but not AP of a successful parry)

Att Fumb and/or Def Fumb: Attacker and/or defender fumble, respectively. 

Parry1: Att rolled damage vs parrying item, if it exceeds parry item AP, parrying item -1 AP.  Excess damage applied to defender.

Parry2:  Att rolled damage vs parrying item, damage exceeding current AP goes to defender AND is subtracted from parrying item AP.

Parry3:  Att rolled damage is subtracted from parrying item AP, excess goes to defender ignoring armor.

Counter1: def rolled damage vs attacking item, if it exceeds attacking item AP, attacking item -1 AP. 

Counter3: Defending parry item does full damage to attackers weapon AP directly.

Edited by styopa
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Styopa mentioned what I consider the main advantage of parrying; you don't need to tie your attacker's success level to avoid at least part of (and possibly all of) the damage from their attack (and a fumbled parry doesn't get you hit).

The other reason in RQ3 was that Dodge was reduced by your encumbrance, and Parry wasn't; the Quickstart doesn't have any real encumbrance rules, but I wonder whether the full rulebook will include some sort of Dodge penalty for heavily-armoured or -encumbered adventurers. (If not, I might consider house-ruling.)

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45 minutes ago, trystero said:

... (and a fumbled parry doesn't get you hit).

We always ruled that the GM got to narrate any Fumble-effect (including parries) within reasonable limits.  So a fumbled parry was most-often "weapon is flung out of reach," but sometimes might reasonably be hitting an ally...

 

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3 hours ago, trystero said:

Styopa mentioned what I consider the main advantage of parrying; you don't need to tie your attacker's success level to avoid at least part of (and possibly all of) the damage from their attack (and a fumbled parry doesn't get you hit).

The other reason in RQ3 was that Dodge was reduced by your encumbrance, and Parry wasn't; the Quickstart doesn't have any real encumbrance rules, but I wonder whether the full rulebook will include some sort of Dodge penalty for heavily-armoured or -encumbered adventurers. (If not, I might consider house-ruling.)

It's going to be a challenge, I've never found a game where it's SIMPLE.  Encumbrance seems to be always a chore.

We simplified ours pretty strongly - a player added:

- the ENC for any non-wielded weapon (ie if it's in your hand, it's no ENC)

- add up the armor values for all locations (this works surprisingly closely to the actual rules ENC values) So 3 points on each arm, 4 on the legs & abd, and 6 head & chest = 30 points of enc.

- +30 if you keep your 'adventurers pack' on.  You can drop it, but if you flee you lose all your "backpack stuff", etc

= the total was the deduction from most AGILITY acts such as jumping, swimming, climbing, and dodge, but not boat or parry or throw.  2x for Swim if it wasn't your primary movement mode..

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Honestly, the fact Dodge is All-Or-Nothing, and Specials are far from being rare, make Parry a far better option than Dodge.

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What happened in my RQ3 campaign was that some clever adventurers trained a little and then risked dodging against not-so dangerous foes in order to get experience checks.
Then one day, I made the mistake of letting dodge downgrade the success level of the attack. They were complaining that it wasn't fair that a successful dodge wasn't any use against a special attack. It kind of made sense, so I let them houserule that. But then, as they became better and better at dodging, it became increasingly difficult for enemies to hurt them at all. SO, the morale of the story is: never houserule that dodge downgrades the success level of attacks;)

When I told one of the players that now dodging was far superior to parrying, he replied: "Perhaps, but think about all the risky effort we've put into getting a high % at dodging... Partying was always the easy way..."

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I understand by the earlier posts that it will change in the full version, but as written in the QS, my understanding is that in one round:

 

Parry can be used against multiple opponents and/or multiple attacks from the same opponent.

Dodge can only be used against the attacks from one opponent.

 

So if being attacked by a 3 thugs, parry is better.  If being attached by a monster using both paws in the same round as two attacks, dodge may be better.

That is working on the assumption that as implied by the QS rules, parry has a penalty of 20% for each subsequent one, while dodge does not. If that changes it may make dodge less appealing.

 

 

 

 

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GURPS solves this problem by making Dodge an expensive and difficult ability to increase, but as a skill in RQG, I'm not sure the same restrictions can be applied -- though we haven't yet seen what the character development rules will look like. My instinct is that Dodge should only be a viable option when parrying would not block enough damage to prevent grievous injury or possible death -- an act of desperation to avoid the kick of a giant's foot or the blow of Jar-Eel's blade, rather than an option regularly exercised.

Edited by kaydet

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2 hours ago, Mugen said:

Honestly, the fact Dodge is All-Or-Nothing, and Specials are far from being rare, make Parry a far better option than Dodge.

Unless you're fighting something with catastrophically massive amounts of damage.  Then again, think about it - were there REALLY that many people that went wading into battle IRL expecting to *dodge* their way through it?  Nah...shields were ubiquitous in just about every martial culture for good reason.

50 minutes ago, Mechashef said:

I understand by the earlier posts that it will change in the full version, but as written in the QS, my understanding is that in one round:

Parry can be used against multiple opponents and/or multiple attacks from the same opponent.

Dodge can only be used against the attacks from one opponent.

So if being attacked by a 3 thugs, parry is better.  If being attached by a monster using both paws in the same round as two attacks, dodge may be better.

That is working on the assumption that as implied by the QS rules, parry has a penalty of 20% for each subsequent one, while dodge does not. If that changes it may make dodge less appealing.

That was absolutely the case in RQ3, but AFAIK that's no longer true.  For RQG it's simpler: either parry OR dodge can be used against any attacker, any time, with subsequent parries or dodges being at -20%.  

IMO it sort of leaves the parry OR dodge (in a single round) exclusivity rule as sort of pointless?  

Why not simply "if you move 1/2 your MOV or less, you get an offensive action and a defensive action.  You may take additional defensive actions as needed with a -20% cumulative penalty." ...where 'defensive action' can be parry OR dodge, whatever suits you at the moment.  You might parry first, then dodge (at -20%), then parry again (-40%) then finally dodge at -60%.

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18 minutes ago, styopa said:

That was absolutely the case in RQ3, but AFAIK that's no longer true.  For RQG it's simpler: either parry OR dodge can be used against any attacker, any time, with subsequent parries or dodges being at -20%.  

I

I haven't seen the full RQG rules and I may be misreading the QS, but it seems rather clear that the QS rules work as I wrote (unless I missed where it contradicts itself later).

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19 minutes ago, Mechashef said:

I haven't seen the full RQG rules and I may be misreading the QS, but it seems rather clear that the QS rules work as I wrote (unless I missed where it contradicts itself later).

Yes you're right, the QuickStart rules are as you've written.  In addition the QuickStart mentions that parry doesn't use strike ranks.

If you read through the post I linked to Jason Durall explains the changes to what I presume is the final iteration of the core rules. As far as I know those posts by Jason Durall are the only detailed explanation to date of the new RQG combat rules.

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10 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

What happened in my RQ3 campaign was that some clever adventurers trained a little and then risked dodging against not-so dangerous foes in order to get experience checks.
Then one day, I made the mistake of letting dodge downgrade the success level of the attack. They were complaining that it wasn't fair that a successful dodge wasn't any use against a special attack. It kind of made sense, so I let them houserule that. But then, as they became better and better at dodging, it became increasingly difficult for enemies to hurt them at all. SO, the morale of the story is: never houserule that dodge downgrades the success level of attacks;)

And yet, my personal experience in 15+ years of playing the same edition of RQ was exactly the opposite: using the rules as written was extremely detrimental to enjoyment, and Dodge was a viable option only when we introduced that houserule. As many other groups did:

https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/226-dodge-skill-vs-parry-skill/

https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/1122-opposed-rolls-codification/?page=2#comment-22712

https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/861-combat-and-opposed-rolls/?do=findComment&comment=18332

https://basicroleplaying.org/topic/861-combat-and-opposed-rolls/?do=findComment&comment=18354

including your own group :)

The problem is that the all-or-nothing rule for Dodge means that a dodge with 100% chance against a critical has only two possible outcomes: either no effect, or insta-kill, as damage will be doubled and armour does not count. This means that your character will survive an average of 20 hits before dying - or permanently losing a limb - if he relies on dodge.

I can unserstand your fear of making life too easy for munchkin players, but I do not consider this as something that gets in the way of having fun at the table: the GM can still introduce more dangerous opponents. Dodge as a downgrade becomes totally unbeatable only if the sole chance for monsters to hurt the PC is a critical, which the downgrade effect makes nigh impossible. But if this is the case, it means that the PCs totally outmatch the enemies in terms of armour and magic, and it is time for the GM to provide more dangerous opponents or cast more magic in battle.

On the other hand, I cannot see how this may be fun for players, to be in constant danger of losing a well-rounded, long-term character that they spent time nurturing not because of a tactical mistake or a heroic choice, but because of the GM rolling 01 or 02 on behalf of Joe Trollkin with a spear. To me, this is a showstopper, as I consider player enjoyment and attachment to their characters to be more important than any desire to balance the challenge that the GM may have.

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6 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

On the other hand, I cannot see how this may be fun for players, to be in constant danger of losing a well-rounded, long-term character that they spent time nurturing not because of a tactical mistake or a heroic choice, but because of the GM rolling 01 or 02 on behalf of Joe Trollkin with a spear. To me, this is a showstopper, as I consider player enjoyment and attachment to their characters to be more important than any desire to balance the challenge that the GM may have.

Combat in the game is meant to be deadly though. Its a core characteristic of RuneQuest. It is that edge of always potentially losing the "well-rounded, long-term character" that makes combat in the game the tense situation it is. 

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I think you are overlooking his point just before that statement and should read it in the whole;

"But if this is the case, it means that the PCs totally outmatch the enemies in terms of armour and magic, and it is time for the GM to provide more dangerous opponents or cast more magic in battle."

Characters have a certain range of proficiencies, protection and items that a gm has to balance encounters against for gameplay sake. This would be so characters can feel challenged and not walk through 'boring and unchallenging' scenarios. Once that balance is tipped, (say, by a rule that wasn't thought out or play tested thoroughly) characters can die needlessly or take focus away from the rest of the game. 

So, while deadly combat has always been a standard in RQ, unbalancing core rules has serious knock on effects throughout gameplay. This is what will kill games and player characters.

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RosenMcStern's comment points directly to the age-old problem that RQ players have faced in RQ2 and 3: that at high levels of proficiency on all sides, and in particular high levels of armor and defense, combatants become astonishingly brittle.

This is because at that point when their defenses fail to work - ie that crit that they didn't crit-dodge, etc - the damage taken isn't just a little bit, it's a blowout.

Thus the 'de-scaling' of attack levels of success by levels of dodge works well (we did it too) because it at least turns that huge step into a bit of a slope.

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4 minutes ago, styopa said:

RosenMcStern's comment points directly to the age-old problem that RQ players have faced in RQ2 and 3: that at high levels of proficiency on all sides, and in particular high levels of armor and defense, combatants become astonishingly brittle.

This is because at that point when their defenses fail to work - ie that crit that they didn't crit-dodge, etc - the damage taken isn't just a little bit, it's a blowout.

Thus the 'de-scaling' of attack levels of success by levels of dodge works well (we did it too) because it at least turns that huge step into a bit of a slope.

personally I like the high proficiency problem in that it reflects heroic combat - opposing sides nether gaining advantage until a single master stroke finishes everything. but that's just me 

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Just a little bit of maths to clarify what I mean by "being in constant danger of losing a nurtured character".

Let us take the example of Rurik Runespear and the infamous trollkin. Let us say Rurik is 100% in parry and the trollkin is 40% in attack (after modifications). The chance of the trollkin doing a solid 14-point hit against Rurik ignoring armour are the composite chance of the trollking criticalling and Rurik failing the parry, or 0,02 x 0,05, that is 0.001, or one chance in 1000. This means that Rurik might die at any moment, but it is not exactly a likely event.

Let us go with Derik the Dodger instead. With a 100% dodge and a 40% attack, the chances are the composite probability of Derik non-criticalling (0.95) by the trollkin's chance of criticalling (0.02), or 0.95 x 0.02, that is 0,019. More or less one chance in 50. This means that Derik will survive an average of 50 trollkin attacks before someone kills him, barring the option of the ubiquitous Chalana Arroy healer in range of Heal Body.

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