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how does a shield work ??


MacTele

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So this is the only thing i am not sure about combat rules of BRP.

As i understand it a shield is treated exactly the same as any other parrying weapon. So the result of parrying with a shield is confronted with attackers skill result and checked in Attack and Defense Matrix table. As i read it, there is no difference in using 2h axe and shield to parry. So what is the sense of using a shield if one handed weapons have lower damage and worse SR then 2h ones ?

What i am missing ?

Can i use Armor Value of a shield when Attack and Defense Matrix table let defender to use armor ?? or only when parrying roll with a shield was a succes or better ??

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You have a valid point. And I think it's just one of quite a few problems with using the Attack/Defence Matrix.

So personally I don't use it. I prefer the old-fashioned RuneQuest style, where a parrying weapon/shield only blocks damage equal to it's HP - the rest gets through (and also damages the parrying weapon). Which makes the generally higher HP of shields significant.

Edited by frogspawner

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Which makes the generally higher HP of shields significant.

And lets you parry a halberd (average damage 13 with a 1d4 damage bonus) with a buckler (AP 15) :rolleyes:

The Rules as Written make a difference between a shield and a parrying weapon only when you try and block a missile thrown at you, something that is not possible with a sword. This makes shields useful only in the field in which they were most often used historically: mass battles, in which the enemy usually throws sharp, painful things at you. Which may be fine for some of us (I prefer this over the old RQ rule that uses APs).

However, many of us wonder what use is a shield in a standard BRP melee. In this situation a shield user has no real advantage. To be more precise, a two-weapon user has no real advantage in melee over a 1-weapon user, not only a shield user.

Several spot rules have been proposed in recent threads. Read them carefully and you might find something that suits your tastes. I would not recommend using Armor Points for parries: if both MRQ and BRP have dropped this classic rule, there must be a reason ;)

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I could suggest several - but none of them are good reasons...

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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IMHO there are several reasons why Parries changed from RQ3 to BRP / SB5.

First, there's considerably more bookkeeping for probably no additional realism. Whilst it may make attractive mathematical sense to roll your weapon damage against a notional "shield penetration value", and then see if you "get through" enough to potentially wound or even kill your opponent, it kind of confuses the concept of what a successful parry *is*. You could define a successful parry as:

i.) Successfully putting my shield between me and an attacker's weapon

ii.) Successfully blocking the attack of my attacker's weapon.

For simulation purposes, it really is an artificial decision as to whether you define a Parry as (i) or (ii). RQ2/3 defined it as (i), BRP defines it as (ii). Personally, I would consider a parry in which you get injured / damage gets through as a failed parry / block, but that's just me. Given that it's an artificial decision, it's as well to go with the one that speeds up combat - ie where you don't have to roll damage each time you attack.

Second, you can view real-world parries as all or nothing affairs; they deflect a blow, or they don't. Eventually, in the case of shields in particular, they get hacked to bits, whereupon they are useless; until that moment, a successful parry can deflect a blow. BRP seems to have taken a conscious decision to go with that. Again, it's an artificial decision either way.

Third, the RQ2/3 Parry doesn't match the Opposed Resolution mechanic which BRP has adopted for combat (and other things...). A successful Parry or Dodge degrades the Attacker's success level, and the results are based on that. It's still quite possible to parry in BRP and get injured - a successful parry vs a special attack will do that, for example. The RQ2/3 rules just don't fit into that paradigm.

On the original question on the difference between shield parries and 2h weapon parries (from my post on RPG.net :)) (BTW - this is also summarised in the Clarifications & Errata in the Wiki):

i.) If you use Strike Ranks, a 2H weapon cannot attack and parry on the same SR, whilst a 1H weapon can attack and a shield parry (or vice versa >:->) on the same SR. We've talked on these boards about houseruling that the same should be the case if you use DEX ranks too - it's a v. useful feature of shields and off-hand weapons.

ii.) Shields have more AP/HP than weapons, so when you parry with them it's harder for them to get damaged and break.

iii.) You can leave your shield slung and it'll protect you handsomely against missile weapons. A 2H weapon can't do that.

Cheers! :thumb:

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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You could define a successful parry as:

i.) Successfully putting my shield between me and an attacker's weapon

ii.) Successfully blocking the attack of my attacker's weapon.

I would call option i) a Block, and option ii) a Parry. Unfortunately, no RP makes a difference between them - well, GURPS does but only in the name.

I have split the mechanics in my MRQ houserules, obtaining a greater realism, but even experienced players find it hard to use the difference in game, so I think this is not the way to go.

Personally, I would consider a parry in which you get injured / damage gets through as a failed parry / block, but that's just me.

Lots of people with combat experience have the same idea. It was them who persuaded me (on the MRQ forum, not here) that unsing APs for parries is unrealistic.

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i.) Successfully putting my shield between me and an attacker's weapon

ii.) Successfully blocking the attack of my attacker's weapon.

I'd concede the general point here, but note that in practice real shields are considerably easier to parry with (whichever way you're defining it) than weapons. As is, there's nothing that reflects this in BRP, unless I'm missing something. I'd probably argue that the best scenario would be to allow weapons to do exactly what you describe and treat shields the old way, but that's not RAW and would require a minor house rule or two. I'd note that your argument is very good for weapons, but shields are something you really do "hide" behind to a certain extent so act somewhere between extra armor and an off-hand weapon. Reflecting that does add some extra complexity I realize.

For simulation purposes, it really is an artificial decision as to whether you define a Parry as (i) or (ii). RQ2/3 defined it as (i), BRP defines it as (ii). Personally, I would consider a parry in which you get injured / damage gets through as a failed parry / block, but that's just me. Given that it's an artificial decision, it's as well to go with the one that speeds up combat - ie where you don't have to roll damage each time you attack.

A couple of points here:

1. If you just roll damage every time you roll attack, at the same time, it's no extra rolls.

2. RQ combat actually flowed a bit faster because of this rule in my experience, due to the vary fact that a successful parry still frequently resulted in real damage to the defender. Add hit locations in there and people go down much faster in RQ than in more modern forms of BRP. Each round might have taken a little longer, but the overall combat was significantly shorter. The new rules systems are there IMO to keep people (PC's) up longer, rather than to speed up combat.

Third, the RQ2/3 Parry doesn't match the Opposed Resolution mechanic which BRP has adopted for combat (and other things...). A successful Parry or Dodge degrades the Attacker's success level, and the results are based on that. It's still quite possible to parry in BRP and get injured - a successful parry vs a special attack will do that, for example. The RQ2/3 rules just don't fit into that paradigm.

From a design stand point this is the best argument IMO. Of course, I actually prefer the old method, but understand the idea behind the new one. (Aside: this is another place where the older method tended to speed things up in my experience. Very few actual hits in RQ resulted in no damage to someone, especially anyone trying to parry with anything other than a shield.)

i.) If you use Strike Ranks, a 2H weapon cannot attack and parry on the same SR, whilst a 1H weapon can attack and a shield parry (or vice versa >:->) on the same SR. We've talked on these boards about houseruling that the same should be the case if you use DEX ranks too - it's a v. useful feature of shields and off-hand weapons.

I just wish it reflected that a shield is still superior to an off-handed weapon for parrying, but it doesn't.

ii.) Shields have more AP/HP than weapons, so when you parry with them it's harder for them to get damaged and break.

I'll have to walk up two flights of stairs and read the rules again, but when is this going to come into play if parry is all or nothing?

iii.) You can leave your shield slung and it'll protect you handsomely against missile weapons. A 2H weapon can't do that.

You could also incorporate (another houserule here) the RQ method of allowing shields to protect X number of locations passively against all attacks at half value (or similar). That in itself would make the shield jump back to having a reasonable decided advantage over a weapon for parrying.

I know you're trying to play everything RAW, and that's fine. In this case though, all the arguments seem a little forced IMO to support not just putting sensible houserule back in place...but then that's part of what always drew me to BRP: the ability to houserule easily without breaking anything else.

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I'd probably argue that the best scenario would be to allow weapons to do exactly what you describe and treat shields the old way, but that's not RAW and would require a minor house rule or two.

I have proposed a spot rule that does something similar on another thread last week.

The new rules systems are there IMO to keep people (PC's) up longer, rather than to speed up combat.

I disagree totally. In RQ if someone scored a critical and the opponent parried, the opponent either was unharmed or a least he stayed alive (a broadsword does 9 pts. on a critical hit, and your average parrying weapon absorbs 10). In BRP, if your opponent scores a special, either you score one, too, or you are hit! Damage is more, not less, frequent.

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I'll have to walk up two flights of stairs and read the rules again, but when is this going to come into play if parry is all or nothing?

Basically, if the opposed parry roll results in a downgrade of an attack to a level which is still a success, your parrying weapon or shield takes damage, as follows:

Crit Attack : Successful Parry = Attack downgraded to Special, Parrying weapon or shield takes 4 points of damage

Crit Attack : Special Parry = Attack downgraded to Standard Success, Parrying weapon or shield takes 2 points of damage

Special Attack : Successful Parry = as above.

So, eventually, your shield or weapon is going to fall apart.

You could also incorporate (another houserule here) the RQ method of allowing shields to protect X number of locations passively against all attacks at half value (or similar). That in itself would make the shield jump back to having a reasonable decided advantage over a weapon for parrying.

The "Slung Shields" rule on p264 *more or less* says this. Basically, if you're using the optional Hit Locations, your shield will add 1/2 its AP/HP to your armor in those locations shown on the Shield Table on p263. I say "more or less", as it's a little unclear what happens if you're actively using the shield for parrying when you're hit in one of the locations covered: the wording on p264 suggests you *don't* get the additional protection in that case, but it would be easy to decide otherwise. ;)

I know you're trying to play everything RAW, and that's fine.

[...]

but then that's part of what always drew me to BRP: the ability to houserule easily without breaking anything else.

My main motivation is to learn the "new" BRP RAW so that if and when I write BRP stuff, it's using the published rules and not my own variant - variants being, as you say, very easy to create! I agree with you, however - you can houserule lots of things easily within BRP without breaking things, which is one of its great strengths. At the moment I'm trying (stubbornly, some would say :D) to play the RAW, and still haven't decided which optional rules I'll end up adopting, but I do have a few contenders of my own for houseruling!

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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one of the differences that i like the most, between old RQ and new brp parryng method is that skill (and luck) is more important than equipment.

with the old rules having a weapon with lots of ap was very important to get trough a fight specially with high skills, and a warrior with 95% in shield parry and a great parry divine spell, enchanted iron hoplite with armoring or humakti's gifts could easily beat an elder vampire with 200% attack or even old ralzy with his 350% in greatsword.

this is in my opinion not realistic, even with my not extensive combat experience i can easily beat a newby and be easily beaten by a master fighter

equipment can aid but, if you both have two weapons, skill must be the important thing

this is better represented with brp method

since we use brp instead of rq in our games, time taken by combat has become 2/3 shorter with the occasional fight and about the same lenght (maybe a little longer) for great "campaign session ending" battles, this suits well my (and my players) tastes.

the idea of using shields like a passive protection leaves me dubious, while it's real that when using a shield it's difficult to being hit on certain locations, it not impossible and certainly it depens not on the quality of the shield (with some exeptions) but more on the ability of the wielder.

Edited by Lord Thousand
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I disagree totally. In RQ if someone scored a critical and the opponent parried, the opponent either was unharmed or a least he stayed alive (a broadsword does 9 pts. on a critical hit, and your average parrying weapon absorbs 10). In BRP, if your opponent scores a special, either you score one, too, or you are hit! Damage is more, not less, frequent.

I suppose it depends on the particulars. Up that to a bastard sword, add on the damage bonus (rolled but it still gets to ignore armor) that most people and virtually all PC's have, and you're going to take out one hit location with that critical. (Or if you rule that the broadsword can impale it'd change things quite a bit....though I don't like that ruling myself!) Make it a spear and it really blows through everything, regardless of parry.

Yeah, I suppose it does the opposite to smaller damage weapons, like daggers, short swords (which can at least impale), etc.

There's also the issue in RQ that the person is frequently taken down, regardless of doing damage on the actual attack, and left vulnerable for the next attack....something that's independent of the rest.

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So as i understand it, using a shield is very little better then fighting without it. Thanks for the answers and i would look through house rules propositions. Personaly i would like to see reasonable difference between no shield and shield users. Maybe parring with the shield should have bigger chance for critical and special succes ?

For example 10% for critical and 30% for special succes ? What do You think ?

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Maybe parring with the shield should have bigger chance for critical and special succes ? For example 10% for critical and 30% for special succes ?

Can't say I'm keen on that one. (The Critical/Special chances are a bit too fundamental to fiddle with, for my taste. Would you really want to introduce different crit/spec calculations, and separate Skill Results Tables?).

But something similar perhaps - maybe double Shields' Base % ?

Myself, I'm happy with halving the listed weapon HPs (and using independent Attacks/Parries instead of the Attack/Defence Matrix - but, even if you're still using it, this could also help).

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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Can't say I'm keen on that one. (The Critical/Special chances are a bit too fundamental to fiddle with, for my taste. Would you really want to introduce different crit/spec calculations, and separate Skill Results Tables?).

I agree with frogspawner here (and we seldom agreee on anything, so you can guess this proposal doesn't sound so good :lol:). A good spot rule / houserule should be as less intrusive as possible, and reworking criticals is intrusive. There are other ways, including the reintroduction of APs in the parry for shields.

I think all these optional rules should be listed in the wiki, so that everyone can have a look at all of them and choose which he or she likes for his or her game. If no one else volunteers, I'll manage to add some of them to our Wiki as soon as possible. And of course the debate is still open.

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I prefer the original Elric!/Stormbringer 5 rules.

IIRC, it went like this:

Any impale attack vs. critical or less parry results in the parrying

weapon losing 4 HP - shields are not affected.

Any critical attack vs. regular or less parry results in the

parrying weapon losing 2 HP - again, shields are not affected.

Reverse the results for critical parry vs. success or less attack, attacking

weapon loses 2 HP.

Regardless of the above, any successful attack vs. the same level

or less parry, roll damage. If the rolled damage exceeds the parrying

weapons HP by 1, the parrying weapon breaks, and the excess damage

is applied to armor/HP of the defender. If a shield is used, any rolled

damage in excess of the shield's HP is subtracted from the shield's HP.

When the shield reaches 0 HP, it breaks, and any excess damage is

applied to armor/HP of the defender.

Of course, with a parrying weapon you had a riposte opportunity, and

shields gave decent missile fire protection.

Stormbringer 1 - 4 made things slightly easier. Any critical attack resulted

in the parrying weapon breaking. Any critical parry resulted in the attacking

weapon breaking. Critical attack and parry resulted in both weapons

breaking. I believe shields were immune, but I'd have to check. Also, you

had unlimited ripostes if your attack and parry skills exceeded 90%.

-V

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Which is more or less what I was suggesting as an optional rule. I only have the Italian version of SB, which is a mixup of editions 1-4, so I did not know this version of the rules, and the 1-4 version is a bit too harsh (as reminded, old versions of SB have criticals at 1/10th of basic success, and automatic break of any non-demonic weapon the opponent is wielding on a critical success). I think it is the best solution, although it is a bit more complex.

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I agree with frogspawner here

I'll third this. Don't mess with the basic crit/special mechanics. I'd up the base skill chances first.

Isn't there some form of old BRP where shields take damage, like in RQ, while weapons just break or not. Is that SB 1-3? It was simple, but resulted in a lot of broken weapons in combat.

The new system is growing on me, other than I don't like having to look up the results in a table. One of the great things in RQ was that level of success determined damage independent of level of parry/dodge so that you never needed to look anything up during play. (I did houserule dodge to lower success levels in RQ though, as the written rule tended to be very harsh.)

The main thing for me is that I want dodge, parry with weapon, and parry with shield to have different strengths/weaknesses, and not just be the same except the descriptors.

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Isn't there some form of old BRP where shields take damage, like in RQ, while weapons just break or not. Is that SB 1-3? It was simple, but resulted in a lot of broken weapons in combat.

As I posted above, in Elric!/SB5, weapons break if their AP/HP are exceeded

by the blow, while the shields lose AP/HP if the damage inflicted exceeds

their current rating. Weapons weaken purely as a result of a superior attack

(or parry) regardless of damage inflicted, shields do not suffer the same.

And, as far as SB1-4, the rules were pretty much consistent. The only fix

I believe was in relation to demonic weapons. Originally, they never broke.

A fix was put in place later that lessened the immunity. I'll have to check.

-V

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Hmm, I re-read the description, and it implies that big shields as they are now would become almost unbreakable: a big shield would need 52 HPs to break in a single blow, a sword only 16, and the big shield would take no damage from a critical that does not do at least 26 points of damage.

My suggestion is still to let shields absorb the damage (ALL the damage, not just the part that overcomes their AP value) from a higher success level attack. Shields should be easier to parry with, not harder to break.

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As I posted above, in Elric!/SB5, weapons break if their AP/HP are exceeded by the blow, while the shields lose AP/HP if the damage inflicted exceeds their current rating. Weapons weaken purely as a result of a superior attack (or parry) regardless of damage inflicted, shields do not suffer the same.

You're right. Interestingly, I've never played Elric! so assumed my memory was from something else...though I've read through it and stolen plenty for other games so maybe it's from that.

And, as far as SB1-4, the rules were pretty much consistent. The only fix I believe was in relation to demonic weapons. Originally, they never broke.

A fix was put in place later that lessened the immunity. I'll have to check.

You roll d100 against the CON of the demon weapon to not break in early SB (1 or 3).

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Why shouldn't they be harder to break? They are larger and designed

to withstand the punishment. Weapons are smaller and not really

designed to block crushing blows.

-V

Because shuields tend to be less sturdy than weapons. A sword can last through many battles, but a shield is usually good for one or two.

Consider the effect of chopping a shield with an axe as opposed to a sword. As it stands now, you could block a charging rhino or pickup truck with a shield and not break the shield.

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

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First of all, I am more or less a newbie with BRP. So, hopefully I won't come across as too laughable in my inquiery. I'm still trying to learn BRP RAW. Since this thread is about shields, maybe you guys can help me.

Take a look at the "armor" section that begins on P. 202. Look at the 5th paragraph in that section. It begins with "In settings where shields" and the last sentence seems to be of particular importance. I think I get the meaning of the paragraph but I'm not certain. What is it? Is it germaine to MacTele's original question of this thread concerning utility of shield parry vs. weapon parry?

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