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Old 12-22-2013, 03:40 PM   #11
Figleaf23
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Default Re: [GURPS concepts] Parry and Block

Hi again.

Some of these answers appear to be missing my point a bit, so I'll try to clarify. I know the definitions that appear in the rules. I'm asking about the rationale for them and how that rationale applies to cases not covered. For example, could you 'Block' with a melee net the same as a cloak? Could you parry with a tiny little buckler if you had a second one after 'Blocking' with the other? (If not, why not?) Why can't you Block with a cestus? ...
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Old 12-22-2013, 04:05 PM   #12
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Default Re: [GURPS concepts] Parry and Block

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Originally Posted by Figleaf23 View Post
Hi again.
Some of these answers appear to be missing my point a bit, so I'll try to clarify. I know the definitions that appear in the rules. I'm asking about the rationale for them ...
I don't think the rationale is really knowable, because it brings us back to the development of Man to Man in the 1970s and Steve Jackson's chats with his SCA buddies. What we can do is look at the rules, and how the people who wrote the most detailed rules for hand to hand combat in GURPS say they should be interpreted. Those sidebars in MA are very helpful for the later, even if there is no way to tell if that was exactly how the designers thought about it when 4e was first published.

Edit: Based on the rules, I would guess that the ideas were that shields are heavy and slow (therefore have worse penalties for multiple defenses than most weapons do) but good for stopping projectiles (therefore have smaller penalties to defend against them than most weapons do). Yet this is just a guess ...

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Originally Posted by Figleaf23 View Post
and how that rationale applies to cases not covered. For example, could you 'Block' with a melee net the same as a cloak? Could you parry with a tiny little buckler if you had a second one after 'Blocking' with the other? (If not, why not?) Why can't you Block with a cestus? ...
All of those cases are clearly covered by the current rules. The practical answers for the first and third are equally clear to me, but YMMV.
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Last edited by Polydamas; 12-22-2013 at 04:33 PM. Reason: Afterthought
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Old 12-22-2013, 04:32 PM   #13
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Default Re: [GURPS concepts]Parry and Block

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Do note that one CAN perform an Unarmed Parry, but it risks injuring your arm. Granted, a hit to the arm is preferable to one to the torso or head.
I specifically mentioned built-in weapons such as arms and claws as valid parrying tools. I didn't mention the drawbacks to doing so, just that it can be done.
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Old 12-22-2013, 04:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: [GURPS concepts] Parry and Block

In GURPS, you can absorb a blow with a weapon and turn one aside with your shield. The only difference between a parry and a block in GURPS terms, is that if you do it with a weapon it's a parry, and if you do it with a shield, it's a block.

I think the crappier repeated block penalty is there, just because of a shield's weight and relative clumsiness.

personally, I would allow - Enhanced Block and Parry: All [15]
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:00 PM   #15
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Default Re: [GURPS concepts]Parry and Block

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Blocking with your arm in GURPS terms is Unarmed Parry. However, it's still blocking in the real world.
The OP seems to be asking in GURPS terms. In GURPS, blocks are only for shields and cloaks.
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:05 PM   #16
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Default Re: [GURPS concepts] Parry and Block

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Originally Posted by Figleaf23 View Post
Hi again.

Some of these answers appear to be missing my point a bit, so I'll try to clarify. I know the definitions that appear in the rules. I'm asking about the rationale for them and how that rationale applies to cases not covered. For example, could you 'Block' with a melee net the same as a cloak? Could you parry with a tiny little buckler if you had a second one after 'Blocking' with the other? (If not, why not?) Why can't you Block with a cestus? ...
I would look into Martial Arts and Martial Arts: Gladiators
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:07 PM   #17
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Default Re: [GURPS concepts] Parry and Block

As mentioned above, I think the real distinction between blocking and parrying is that everything you can block with has DB. No other melee object does.
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:43 PM   #18
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Default Re: [GURPS concepts] Parry and Block

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As mentioned above, I think the real distinction between blocking and parrying is that everything you can block with has DB.
I'd tweak that slightly and say that blocking is done with a class of objects that usually have DB, as there are (Very few) shields that have DB 0, as of Low Tech. Despite being DB 0, they seem more closely related to the regular shields that do have DB 1+ than they are to other melee weapons that do not.

For a less rulesy distinction, I'd say that shields are treated differently because they are (As a class) generally large and bulky objects that tend to physically obstruct a good portion of the target (And smaller shields, while doing much less of this, are still of the same general principle). The best test would be against projectiles, such as a thrown spear or knife. If it would be perfectly normal to interpose the object (Or class of objects) in the way of the thrown weapon, it uses block. If it would be unusual to do so, and a more natural defense would be to try to swat the weapon aside (Assuming you aren't dodging), then it uses parry. I should probably point out that the rate of success shouldn't have much impact, here. Deflecting a thrown knife with another knife is pretty unlikely, as is stopping a thrown spear with a dueling buckler, but the natural method of use would still be clear.
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:35 PM   #19
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Default Re: [GURPS concepts] Parry and Block

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Originally Posted by Figleaf23 View Post
Some of these answers appear to be missing my point a bit, so I'll try to clarify. I know the definitions that appear in the rules. I'm asking about the rationale for them and how that rationale applies to cases not covered. For example, could you 'Block' with a melee net the same as a cloak? Could you parry with a tiny little buckler if you had a second one after 'Blocking' with the other? (If not, why not?) Why can't you Block with a cestus? ...
I don't know GURPS' reason, but in Sagatafl, it's there because I find precise jargon desirable. A Block is with a shield, a Parry always with a weapon, a Deflect is effectively the same as a Block or Parry but done with unarmed, and a Dodge is when you move your body out of the way to achieve the same goal as a Block, Parry or Deflect (reduce or if possible nullify the incoming damage).

I find it useful to have these game-mechanical terms so that I can talk precisely about the effects of specific combat trainings (to differentiate various cultural martial arts styles) or Enchantments.
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:15 AM   #20
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Default Re: [GURPS concepts] Parry and Block

If a giant picked up a kite shield by a short edge and swung it like a blade, could he Block with it?

Edit: I just read the box on MA122 wherein the waters are muddied by defining certain 'Parries' as actions that are clearly dodges. It seems like this might be an area of deeply dissatisfying confusion in the rules.

Last edited by Figleaf23; 12-23-2013 at 08:26 AM.
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