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Old 03-09-2020, 05:18 PM   #1
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Location: Columbus, Ohio
Default Defensive Beats? Aggressive Parry with a weapon?

Hey, all.

There have been a couple of similar threads in the past, but I think this one is the closest to what I'm talking about. Unfortunately, the question didn't seem to get entirely resolved. I'm looking to find or make something that might work like a Defensive Beat or an Aggressive Parry with a weapon. Or to be dissuaded from doing such a thing.

It seems like a Parry in GURPS represents a static block with a weapon. But what if I want an active or striking Parry? Sure, sure. I could just leave that up to flavor, but I don't want to (unless it's really the "right" option).

Why? Now, I'm merely a dabbler when it comes to martial arts. However, one thing that I have been really interested in (when it comes to swords) are why some swords have large guards while others have small ones. From the research that I've done, it seems like the jury is still out on that, but there are a couple of practical proposals I'm interested in. For European swords, large guards seem to appear more when shields (a) are used closer to the body and/or (b) shields are used less often. For Asian swords, the disc-shaped guard might have to do with the styles of martial arts, specifically the type of parry. Again, these are not my personal assertions, but they make sense to me, and, if they make sense, I want to expand on that.

My proposal is an Aggressive/Beating/Striking Parry. Just the same as the unarmed Aggressive Parry, the default would be Parry-1, and it would be a Hard technique. Now, it seems steep to require penalties to hit the incoming weapon as the unarmed Aggressive Parry does because a Beat does not require it and a normal armed Parry does not require it. (At worst, I would go with halving the penalties.) Either the Quick Contest of a Beat could ensue or I might do something more fun like roll damage like an Aggressive Parry, then, if your damage is more than the incoming attack, the attacker suffers lowered defenses like a Beat. (I would consider the -3 to defending damage like the unarmed Aggressive Parry, and I'm not sure about the ratio of damage to lowered defenses, but I would probably go with 1:1, especially if I preserve that -3 to damage.) If it makes sense and helps to balance things, I was also considering that the defender would be at a small penalty to their next attack if they miss their Parry (which is a bit more significant if you have players call their Active Defense before the attack rolls to hit).

The last bit of my proposal would be to give weapons with a disc-shaped (or otherwise small) guard (e.g., katana, jian, dao) a -1 to Parry unless they use this Aggressive/Beating/Striking Parry.

Maybe I'm overthinking it. If I'm off but not too off, I still think it could be an interesting way to help further differentiate those martial arts. Though, as someone with minimal German longsword fencing and Taiji fencing experience, I don't have much knowledge or stake in the game.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Last edited by Raekai; 03-09-2020 at 05:32 PM.
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