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Why are armour points for shields so high ?


Agentorange

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In the BRP book it mentions that primitive shields are generally made of hide ( I'm thinking a kind of Zulu shield here I guess ) yet they actually have a higher AP than plate armour.....which seems kind of nonsensical to me. I can see them providing cover for a large chunk of the body, but I'm having a willing suspension of disbelief failure with the AP.

Any thoughts ?:confused:

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I'd say, about half the AP of shields represents their deflection of blows, rather than sheer stopping-power.

I know what you mean, though - there does seem to be a bit of "AP inflation" going on. E.g. Hoplite shields: BRP 26, RQ3 18, RQ2 16 (Large).

Presumably the figure of 26 comes from Stormbringer?

It's a bit high for my taste, too - so I've reduced all shields to 3/4 of the AP listed.

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I see no point in BRP where shield APs are used to deflect a blow, except when they are slung over a location, in which case they only provide half their APs. The given value is in fact HPs rather than APs, useful when you use them to block a special success (2 points of damage to parrying weapon).

The concept of APs as a measure of being able to deflect a blow is a legacy of RQ, where you used your parrying weapon APs as armour. It is no longer so in BRP.

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In the Rules As Written shield AP/HP are used completely differently from the way they operated in RQ 2/3. A successful parry, whether with weapon or shield, deflects ALL damage from the incoming weapon; you don't roll damage and compare to the parrying weapon's HP, with the excess "getting through" - not in the RAW, at least ;).

Shield AP/HP are only used when dealing with damage done directly to the shield itself, as in an attack to try and destroy a shield or parrying weapon (p206); or when resisting Damage vs Shield AP on the resistance table when parrying a Crushing blow (p196).

As a result, comparing RQ shield AP values with BRP shield AP/HP values isn't actually comparing like with like. Of course, you can *play* BRP using the old RQ Parrying rules, but it's not the RAW; if you do that, you may even want to adopt the RQ shield values, as the BRP ones represent more the "damage resistant strength" of the shield, rather than the amount of damage it can stop "getting through".

Hope that helps. It's a major difference from RQ, and is basically how Stormbringer handles parries, AFAICT.

Cheers!

Sarah

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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In the Rules As Written shield AP/HP are used completely differently from the way they operated in RQ 2/3. A successful parry, whether with weapon or shield, deflects ALL damage from the incoming weapon; you don't roll damage and compare to the parrying weapon's HP, with the excess "getting through" - not in the RAW, at least ;).

Shield AP/HP are only used when dealing with damage done directly to the shield itself, as in an attack to try and destroy a shield or parrying weapon (p206); or when resisting Damage vs Shield AP on the resistance table when parrying a Crushing blow (p196).

As a result, comparing RQ shield AP values with BRP shield AP/HP values isn't actually comparing like with like. Of course, you can *play* BRP using the old RQ Parrying rules, but it's not the RAW; if you do that, you may even want to adopt the RQ shield values, as the BRP ones represent more the "damage resistant strength" of the shield, rather than the amount of damage it can stop "getting through".

Hope that helps. It's a major difference from RQ, and is basically how Stormbringer handles parries, AFAICT.

Cheers!

Sarah

I appoint Shaira the official "rules explainer" from now on.

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In the Rules As Written

Ah! That's what RAW stands for - I didn't want to ask and look stupid. :o

Hope that helps. It's a major difference from RQ, and is basically how Stormbringer handles parries, AFAICT.

I didn't much care for it in Stormbringer and don't care for the idea in BRP. It makes combat very deadly - you get through or you don't, no half-measures, no way of lessening the impact by taking the edge off a blow. It also means that, to a certain extent, the parying weapon is pretty irrelevant as parrying with a knife has the same effect as parrying with a wooden door strapped to your arm. Perhaps I should read the parrying rules again to see if that's actually the case.

Still, if a leather shield has fewer HPs than a wooden one with fewer than a metal one then the progression is sound. I'd expect a greatsword to chop through a leather shield pretty much straight away, though. They are fine against long spears, not so hot against stabbing spears and not much use against big blades being swung by a maniacal berserker.

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As a result, comparing RQ shield AP values with BRP shield AP/HP values isn't actually comparing like with like. Of course, you can *play* BRP using the old RQ Parrying rules, but it's not the RAW...

Yeah, I know. And of course, that's exactly what I do. I wonder what the OP (original Poster) does? Maybe it's 'a change too far', but I still prefer to call my game BRP (that's Basic RolePlaying). ;)

Britain has been infiltrated by soviet agents to the highest levels. They control the BBC, the main political party leaderships, NHS & local council executives, much of the police, most newspapers and the utility companies. Of course the EU is theirs, through-and-through. And they are among us - a pervasive evil, like Stasi.

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It also means that, to a certain extent, the parying weapon is pretty irrelevant as parrying with a knife has the same effect as parrying with a wooden door strapped to your arm. Perhaps I should read the parrying rules again to see if that's actually the case.

Let me know if you find anything... ;)

Seriously, though, I don't think there *is* anything in the rules per se that says specifically you can't parry, say, a troll maul with a kitchen knife. It's essentially the same as the "Parrying a Brontosaur with a Dagger" conundrum. In RQ2/3, it was patently suicide; in the BRP RAW, you have to make a GM call (a pretty obvious one, admittedly), that you *can't* Parry a Brontosaur with a dagger (or anything, really) - you have to Dodge. There is no rules mechanism that makes it ludicrous - it has to be a GM call. Two parts of the "Parrying" section on p191 indicate this detail.

If your character is armed with a weapon or shield that could parry an attack, he or she may roll against the relevant weapon skill to parry the blow.

The operative word in the above is "could". The GM has to adjudicate whether a parry is even possible. Normally I would say "no" to the kitchen knife wielder parrying the troll maul... :D

You also have, again on p191:

The gamemaster may rule that a particular attack cannot be parried, such as from a vastly larger attacker (double or more the defender’s SIZ, for example) or when the attacker is using an area or sweep attack. For example, a character with SIZ 15 cannot parry an attack from a brontosaurus of SIZ 72. Instead, the attack must be Dodged or otherwise evaded.

At the moment I'm trying to play the game as written without houseruling anything, hence my interest. I personally can handle the GM call here; my concern with the Parrying rules as written are actually more to do with the "Separate Attack and Parry Skills" optional rule which I use. In my case, given that for all intents and purposes Dodges and Parries in the RAW are the same thing, the question is why you should bother developing a separate Parry skill at all. Why not put all your attention into Dodge? To be honest, it's not *actually* become an issue in my games yet, but the potential is there. If you keep Attack and Parry as the same skill, this issue doesn't arise - but with the optional separate skills, it may be necessary to revert to the old RQ system to make the separate Parry skill meaningful. I'm keeping my options open, but playing the "RAW" for now to "stress test" things a bit.

Cheers,

Sarah

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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I appoint Shaira the official "rules explainer" from now on.

:thumb:

It also means that, to a certain extent, the parying weapon is pretty irrelevant as parrying with a knife has the same effect as parrying with a wooden door strapped to your arm.

Still, if a leather shield has fewer HPs than a wooden one with fewer than a metal one then the progression is sound. I'd expect a greatsword to chop through a leather shield pretty much straight away, though. They are fine against long spears, not so hot against stabbing spears and not much use against big blades being swung by a maniacal berserker.

Ahh. Now that everyone agrees about how the rules must be read, Simon is playing the Devil's Advocate. Can I resist the temptation of joining him? :rolleyes:

[Makes roll against Rules Lawyer trait ......]

>:-> FAILED >:->

Okay, BRP adopts an all-or-nothing mechanism that makes the parrying weapons APs irrelevant when actively defending. Is it an improvement over Chaosium RQ (and early MRQ) where weapon APs were used as armor in parrying? YES, it is. Having GMed legions of warriors who invoked Humakt's blessing on their tempered iron hoplite shield to obtain the 36-point ultimate parrying weapon (roughly equivalent to an Iowa-class battleship plating if you check the armor values on page 271), I think an all-or-nothing mechanism that models a parry as a deflection of the blow is more playable, if not utterly realistic.

But what about Simon's leather shield blocking a greatsword (or worse a halberd)? The situation described is realistic. Therefore I hereby propose the following

Spot Rule

When the attacker achieves a higher level of success against a defender who is parrying (blocking) with a shield, the damage does not affect the target but the shield. If the damage is greater than the shield AP/HP, the shield breaks and the excess damage affects the target. If the attacker achieves two levels of success more than the defender (critical vs. success) the shield APs are halved, rounding down.

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But what about Simon's leather shield blocking a greatsword (or worse a halberd)? The situation described is realistic. Therefore I hereby propose the following

Spot Rule

When the attacker achieves a higher level of success against a defender who is parrying (blocking) with a shield, the damage does not affect the target but the shield. If the damage is greater than the shield AP/HP, the shield breaks and the excess damage affects the target. If the attacker achieves two levels of success more than the defender (critical vs. success) the shield APs are halved, rounding down.

Very nice - that would work fine. Perhaps you might have a bit too short a life for solid metal shields, but maybe not.

However - and just for the sake of discussion - how about this? If you look at the Attack / Parry / Dodge matrix, you see that for any result where a successful parry has downgraded a more successful attack, the parrying weapon (or shield) takes damage - either 2 or 4 points. The mechanism you need is already there - it's just that Primitive Shields seem maybe a bit too sturdy in this instance.

I'd be tempted to reduce the Primitive Shield AP/HP to, say 2 or 4, from 10. That way it'd withstand one or two blows from a greatsword, no more, but be absolutely toast if it ever took a Crushing blow. It would mean we didn't have to change the rules - just the spec for the shield.

How does that work?

Cheers,

Sarah

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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:thumb:

Okay, BRP adopts an all-or-nothing mechanism that makes the parrying weapons APs irrelevant when actively defending. Is it an improvement over Chaosium RQ (and early MRQ) where weapon APs were used as armor in parrying? YES, it is. Having GMed legions of warriors who invoked Humakt's blessing on their tempered iron hoplite shield to obtain the 36-point ultimate parrying weapon (roughly equivalent to an Iowa-class battleship plating if you check the armor values on page 271), I think an all-or-nothing mechanism that models a parry as a deflection of the blow is more playable, if not utterly realistic.

But what about Simon's leather shield blocking a greatsword (or worse a halberd)? The situation described is realistic. Therefore I hereby propose the following

Spot Rule

When the attacker achieves a higher level of success against a defender who is parrying (blocking) with a shield, the damage does not affect the target but the shield. If the damage is greater than the shield AP/HP, the shield breaks and the excess damage affects the target. If the attacker achieves two levels of success more than the defender (critical vs. success) the shield APs are halved, rounding down.

I would like to suggest the following change to the above spot rule...

Spot Rule

When the attacker achieves a higher level of success against a defender who is parrying (blocking) with a shield, the damage does not affect the target but the shield. If the damage is greater than the shield AP/HP, the shield is reduced by the amount in excess. If the attacker achieves two levels of success more than the defender, the shield breaks and the excess damage affects the defender.

This would somewhat soften the stark "parry or not" and allow something of a whittling effect, similar to what was in RQ 3. And the breakage of the shield is a much more dramatic effect than simple halving of AP/HP when a critical is achieved.

SDLeary

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Seriously, though, I don't think there *is* anything in the rules per se that says specifically you can't parry, say, a troll maul with a kitchen knife. It's essentially the same as the "Parrying a Brontosaur with a Dagger" conundrum. In RQ2/3, it was patently suicide; in the BRP RAW, you have to make a GM call (a pretty obvious one, admittedly), that you *can't* Parry a Brontosaur with a dagger (or anything, really) - you have to Dodge. There is no rules mechanism that makes it ludicrous - it has to be a GM call. Two parts of the "Parrying" section on p191 indicate this detail.

The problem with that sort of solution is there are a lot of cases that are far, far muddier, where maybe it can be done, but less effectively than other weapons. For example, parrying a mace with a shortsword isn't self-evidently stupid to me, but neither does it seem like a particularly good choice. Of course you can deal with this by applying penalties and the like, but you could end up having to make a hell of a lot of ad-hoc calls (which among other things, means you may give different answers at different times to the exact same attack/parry comparisons if your memory isn't perfect), which I can't say is a virtue in situations that can come up as often as this does.

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Spot Rule

When the attacker achieves a higher level of success against a defender who is parrying (blocking) with a shield, the damage does not affect the target but the shield. If the damage is greater than the shield AP/HP, the shield breaks and the excess damage affects the target. If the attacker achieves two levels of success more than the defender (critical vs. success) the shield APs are halved, rounding down.

That said, this isn't a bad quick-and-dirty solution.

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I appoint Shaira the official "rules explainer" from now on.

I've just added this as an "official" Clarification in the Wiki. :thumb:

Cheers,

Sarah

ps. Erm... I mean I've added the clarification of the parrying procedure, not that I'm the "official rules explainer"... oh... err...

I'll get my coat.

:shocked:

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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However - and just for the sake of discussion - how about this? If you look at the Attack / Parry / Dodge matrix, you see that for any result where a successful parry has downgraded a more successful attack, the parrying weapon (or shield) takes damage - either 2 or 4 points. The mechanism you need is already there - it's just that Primitive Shields seem maybe a bit too sturdy in this instance.

Yes, it is there, and just using the RAW is fine for me. Better than the old RQ solution of parrying with weapon APs - about which I had a long debate one year ago on the MRQ forum. The spot rule only addresses the difference between shields and weapons (or blocks and parries), something that might be important to me or my group, but definitely not for everyone. I think the RAW should work fine for 80-90% of players.

I'd be tempted to reduce the Primitive Shield AP/HP to, say 2 or 4, from 10. That way it'd withstand one or two blows from a greatsword, no more, but be absolutely toast if it ever took a Crushing blow. It would mean we didn't have to change the rules - just the spec for the shield.

How does that work?

Why should the primitive shield be three times as easy to break than a primitive hatchet (HP 12)? The point is that in most cases you use weapons to deflect damage (parry), and shields to absorb it (block), even if you usually attempt to deflect even with a shield.

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However - and just for the sake of discussion - how about this? If you look at the Attack / Parry / Dodge matrix, you see that for any result where a successful parry has downgraded a more successful attack, the parrying weapon (or shield) takes damage - either 2 or 4 points. The mechanism you need is already there - it's just that Primitive Shields seem maybe a bit too sturdy in this instance.

I'd be tempted to reduce the Primitive Shield AP/HP to, say 2 or 4, from 10. That way it'd withstand one or two blows from a greatsword, no more, but be absolutely toast if it ever took a Crushing blow. It would mean we didn't have to change the rules - just the spec for the shield.

How does that work?

Cheers,

Sarah

I think this is the solution, just downgrade the sturdiness of the shield and go with the attack and parry matrix. There were two things that made me consider the whole idea. Firstly if anybody has read Bernard Cornwalls swordsong series ( set in dark ages England, King Alfred etc etc ) there are references to wooden shields being hacked apart in combat, and following on from that in The Thirteenth warrior with Antonio Banderias ( cheesy but fun ) you can see this when one of the viking warriors is fighting his duel with one of Hrothgars henchmen ( owain possibly ? )

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Firstly if anybody has read Bernard Cornwalls swordsong series ( set in dark ages England, King Alfred etc etc ) there are references to wooden shields being hacked apart in combat, and following on from that in The Thirteenth warrior with Antonio Banderias ( cheesy but fun ) you can see this when one of the viking warriors is fighting his duel with one of Hrothgars henchmen ( owain possibly ? )

Two other instances I really loved out of Holywood were The Robert Taylor Ivanhoe where his shield is slowly bashed to pieces by a mace-and-chain, and El-Cid where he uses his saddle as a shield and it get cut to pieces by a two handed sword. They may not be very realistic, but they sure are cool and characterful fights and I like a cool characterful feeling in my role-playing combats even at a little cost of possible realism. I loved the way shields got beat to pieces in old RQ. I kind of like the new(old) rule option.

As the rule stands now what is the advantage of Sorcerer's Bulwark? I kind of feel like I am missing something with that spell.

Edited by Puck

294/420

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As the rule stands now what is the advantage of Sorcerer's Bulwark? I kind of feel like I am missing something with that spell.

This was originally a Stormbringer 5th edition spell called "Hell's Bulwark". In SB5, powerful blows could chew up shields. Basically, if a blow exceeded the AP/HP of a shield, the excess would be deducted from the shield's AP/HP. No damage would "get through" to the wielder at that stage - it would just carve up the shield. Naturally this would tend to snowball, and your shield would be useless after a few such blows; the Hell's Bulwark spell allowed you to beef up your shield to proof it a bit against damage from powerful blows. Even in SB5 the spell didn't increase (directly, at least) the shield's protective power for the wielder - parries were still basically all or nothing.

Incidentally, there was a weapon counterpart to this, which destroyed weapons regularly. Basically, if a powerful blow exceeded a parrying weapon's AP/HP, the parrying weapon would break immediately (not like a shield, which would decrease in effectiveness incrementally).

Whatever you might think of the merits of the above two rules, the fact is they introduce an extra (and usually unnecessary) die roll into the attack/parry sequence. In SB5, you would attack, opponent would parry, then even if the parry succeeded you'd still roll damage, to see what happened to the parrying shield / weapon.

In BRP, that extra die roll has been "shifted" into the Attack / Defense Matrix, in principle speeding up combat (in my experience it speeds up in practice, too). Now a weapon doesn't always have to roll its damage to see if a parrying weapon / shield is damaged - that's a feature of the relative success of the attack & parry, as referenced on the Matrix.

Where does this leave Sorcerer's Bulwark? Of slightly more limited usefulness, I would say; it gives your shield more lifespan. However, if you happen to be wielding a Primitive Hide Zulu Shield against a Greatsword, a spot of Sorcerer's Bulwark 4 will go a long way!

Cheers,

Sarah

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

Website: http://sarahnewtonwriter.com | Twitter: @SarahJNewton | Facebook: TheChroniclesOfFutureEarth

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Thanks for the answer That is kind of what I thought, but I was afraid I may be missing an important rule along the way or something.

As I generally play or have played kind of lower level campaigns (even in the old days when I played often), the huge damage producing things are somewhat of a rarity.

I do remember a few shields getting chewed up in the old RQ3 though. If I remember right we never bothered rolling damage against most parrys to see if damage got through. It was only when there was some beefy monster, someone made a landed a particularly good hit, or someone's shield was already showing wear that we actually rolled for damage. It did not seem to slow things down to much, but then it was a long time ago and my memory seems to be malfunctioning a lot lately.

294/420

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Maybe instead of downgrading the shild HP, we could just have the shield take damage equal to the attacker's damage bonus? Maybe add it to the 2 or 4 points or instead off (maybe 1/2 or full db, or full or 2x db depening on the success levels).

That would speed up shield destruction a bit, keep those shield protection spells useful, and still allow the big nasties (dragons, etc.) to rip through a shield quickly.

P.S. It might be a good idea not to use the spot rule for impaling weapons. A spear or arrow would probably punch a hole through the shield and strike the personb behind it rather than chop or bash a shield into kindling.

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

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P.S. It might be a good idea not to use the spot rule for impaling weapons. A spear or arrow would probably punch a hole through the shield and strike the personb behind it rather than chop or bash a shield into kindling.

True. In this case the damage that overcomes the shield AP/HP goes through to the defender, but the shield is not damaged or broken. All versions of BRP have always had a "spot rule" specifying that impaling weapons do not damage weapons.

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