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Dodge vs. Parry


islan

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I don't know if I've talked about it on this forum before, and it's bothering me again, so I thought I'd bring it up.

In combat, it seems to me that people try to parry much more than they dodge. While parrying is about getting in the way of something, dodge seems to take quick-forethought as to where the blow is heading. BRP doesn't seem to have this distinction: dodging is just as easy as parrying a blow (so long as the skills are equal, of course), and many times dodging is preferable (such as getting attacked by a weapon too large to be parried). What's more, parrying can result in your weapon getting damaged.

So, why should I parry more than dodge in BRP?

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ENCumbrance heavily affects Dodge skill, so you'll only usually see dodging from a character wearing no armor (like a renaissance duellist, or Wild West gunslinger).

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As RMS said above, in the rules as written your parry chance is equal to your weapon skill - it's not a separate skill. The better you get with your weapon, the better you get at attacking *and* parrying. Dodge is a separate skill - admittedly just a single skill - but you have to raise it in addition to your core weapon skills to be able to dodge.

Add to that the often crippling effects of ENC on your Dodge skill, and most people will generally have a better chance to parry than dodge - at least to start with. Also, circumstantial modifiers (like trying to Dodge in a narrow underground tunnel...) are generally more penalizing to Dodges than Parries.

But, yes, for all intents and purposes Dodges and Parries are *exactly* the same thing in the rules as written.

So, if, like me, you use the "Separate Attack and Parry Skills" optional rule, things are a little more problematic. Based on the rules as written, there is little incentive to raise your parry and not your dodge - dodge is a single skill used in all circumstances, whilst you have to have multiple parry skills all raised separately to produce the same effect.

I get the feeling that I'm eventually going to have to houserule this (currently the issue which is problematic in theory isn't *actually* causing any problems in game play!) - by using one of the Optional Rules (Separate Attacks and Parries) I've introduced a factor which the RAW don't accommodate by default. I'm thinking possibly houseruling a Riposte on a Critical Parry wouldn't be too unbalancing, and might make people want to concentrate on parry skills rather than dodges.

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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If we use the knockback rule, there is a difference between dodge and parry.

A successful dodge avoids a knockback, while a successful parry doesn't.

For example, a character struck by a giant's club should use his dodge instead of his parry.

Cheers

Jean

I would do a giant's club as an area effect attack, actually.

But the point is absolutely correct.

Dodge is superior in many ways, especially the fact that with a successful parry, you can still take damage if the damage points exceed the AP of your parrying weapon and your armor. With a successful dodge, you avoid all of it.

The very existence of flamethrowers proves that some time, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done."

George Carlin (1937 - 2008)

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(92/420)

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Dodge is superior in many ways, especially the fact that with a successful parry, you can still take damage if the damage points exceed the AP of your parrying weapon and your armor. With a successful dodge, you avoid all of it.

Not in this incarnation of BRP, where a parry is all-or-nothing. The difference between dodge and parry is slighter now.

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One thing I do is at times is I apply a minus to some one dodge skill if the players is in a cramped area such as being backed against the wall , in a narrow corridor or a WWI type trench Might add if you where fighting in a Macedonian type phalanx , dodging would also be disapproved of as you would have a chance of messing up the formation.

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I avoid this problem by allowing both a Parry and a Dodge attempt against any given attack.

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I had one idea for this, considering putting it into my own games.

Whenever someone makes a Dodge attempt, they have to move one MOV space. This takes up one of their total MOV rating, and requires there to be an open space adjacent to the character (if we're talking in terms of grid-play). Characters can still perform "static" dodges, such as ducks and side-steps, but they become Difficult.

What do you guys think?

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Whenever someone makes a Dodge attempt, they have to move one MOV space.

I thinks that's a good idea. I use pretty much the same thing: Dodge requires a small move back (5ft), or if unwilling/unable falling prone or similar. It helps make combat more fluid, realistically. But to stand their ground and make it Difficult is a good option to give - a nicely tricky decision for the player.

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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I had one idea for this, considering putting it into my own games.

Whenever someone makes a Dodge attempt, they have to move one MOV space. This takes up one of their total MOV rating, and requires there to be an open space adjacent to the character (if we're talking in terms of grid-play). Characters can still perform "static" dodges, such as ducks and side-steps, but they become Difficult.

What do you guys think?

i think this is a VERY good idea!

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i think this is a VERY good idea!

It is a bit more complicate than your houserule of making Dodge Difficult on the same DEX Rank you attack, but it works similarly. Let us see why.

Basically, this means you cannot Dodge at full percentiles when you have used all of your MOV score. This may happen in three cases:

a) you have moved half your MOV but not your entire MOV and attacked at one quarter your DEX Rank

B) you have moved less than half your MOV and attacked at half your normal DEX rank

c) you have not moved and attacked at your normal DEX rank

Note that option c) above implies that a dodger cannot attack at his normal DEX Rank, because this would leave him without MOV points to spend to Dodge. Options a) and B) imply that whenever you move and wish to Dodge you must leave some unspent MOV points for possible Dodges, something like APs in good ol' X-Com. This may work rather fine, but requires some bookkeeping and some thinking in advance on the part of the players. All in all, it is a very tactical approach that makes a move towards miniature play. Not that I dislike it, mind me.

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My thinking, not entirely dissimilar to Islan's, would be simply to rule that if a character attempts to dodge when they do NOT have the space to move at least 1 Mov on flat open and secure ground, all dodges are difficult, but not charge the character actual Mov points / allowance for dodging. The character needs free, clear space around them to dodge at full skill value - in the center of a room, on flat dry ground facing a single opponent in melee striking range. If they are crowded or cramped by objects or people, on uneven, unstable or unsecure footing (a slope, a stair case, a river bed etc) then dodging becomes a step more difficult (and factors might combine to make things even more difficult).

This requires NO book keeping, just the GM keeping on top of (and players paying attention to) the environemnt, and encourages maneuvering opponents in to situations where they CAN'T dodge... But also, it doesn't focuse too narrowly on exactly where characters are - my experience in steel weapon reanactment combats was that even in formation pole arm fighting there was generally more space and movement than one might expect - and that when one LOST that space and ability to move "on the spot", things went badly very quickly.

Mind, if I was minded to run combats in a more tactically detailed / miniatures fashion, I think I would use the "1 Mov to Dodge" idea.

Cheers,

Nick

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Have a look at Elric!/Stormbringer 5. Parrying protects you better (ie you have an object between your body and something sharp) and you can get a riposte on a critical parry. You get a reduced amount of damage with a successful normal parry vs. a critical hit, whilst a normal dodge against a critical hit protects you not at all. This new version of BRP manages to be inferior both to SB1-4 AND Elric!/SB5, IMO.

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All in all, it is a very tactical approach that makes a move towards miniature play. Not that I dislike it, mind me.

I would probably only really enforce the MOV spending if it was a battle that used miniatures (or, dice and little gem stones), which most of my battles don't. Otherwise I'd probably just speak in relative terms to the players ("Yes, he's close enough for you to close in to, nevermind the exact distance").

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Another issue - while Dodge may normally seem to be superior to

Parry, check out the differences between them on their respective

fumble tables. Dodge uses the Natural Weapon fumble table.

It appears to me that a fumble has more significant risks - lose

1d3 rounds, lose actual HP, etc.

-V

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Another issue - while Dodge may normally seem to be superior to

Parry, check out the differences between them on their respective

fumble tables. Dodge uses the Natural Weapon fumble table.

It appears to me that a fumble has more significant risks - lose

1d3 rounds, lose actual HP, etc.

-V

Nah! A fumbled dodge should always mean you increase the attack one level! dodging straight into the path of the attack! :D

:beetle:

Ef plest master, this mighty fine grub!
b1.gif 116/420. High Priest.

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