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Old 03-07-2012, 02:24 AM   #1
GodlessRose
 
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Default [MA] Parries With Unready Weapons?

Hi! Is there any way, in a realistic campaign, for a character to attack with a weapon that becomes unready, but still parry with it afterward? I can't find such an option, but wanted to make sure I hadn't missed something.

I was pondering a ST 14 longbowman who has trained extensively with a maul. Since he has little armor, he'd like to keep his parry if possible. Defensive attack would help with an unbalanced weapon, but doesn't seem to help with unready ones. And I can't find anything in the description of defensive grip to indicate that it helps to control either unbalanced or unready weapons.
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: [MA] Parries With Unready Weapons?

An unready weapon is really, really unready after use. The only way I can see to pull this off would be to obtain ST 20 so that the maul wouldn't become unready. Or swap it for a less cumbersome option based on the same skill, like a mace.
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Old 03-07-2012, 02:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: [MA] Parries With Unready Weapons?

One way to get both an attack and defense out of an ST‡ weapon is to perform a Stop Hit - the strike and parry are actually the same motion. However, it's a risky move in general, and will still leave you unready afterward.

In a cinematic game I might let a character trade attacks (from Extra Attack, All-Out (Double), Rapid Strike etc) for Readying a weapon. For mundane characters this could look like the Quick-Shooting Bows rule - roll weapon skill twice at -6 (Rapid Strike penalty), the first to Ready the maul, the second to attack. But that's stretching it a bit even for a cinematic game, and would certainly feel out of place in a realistic one.
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: [MA] Parries With Unready Weapons?

What do you want is Defensive Attack.
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: [MA] Parries With Unready Weapons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walrus View Post
What do you want is Defensive Attack.
He's talking about a weapon that becomes Unready after attacking (ST‡), not just an unbalanced one (Parry 0U). Defensive Attack, as written, does nothing to help the first. Unless I'm missing something obvious...
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:05 AM   #6
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Default Re: [MA] Parries With Unready Weapons?

In a realistic game, I don't think so. In that type of game, if you are picking up a large, unbalanced, two-handed mace to brain people, I think you are choosing to not have a parry.

This isn't what you asked, but, in a realistic game, I would recommend the archer use his maul in a Defensive Grip and defend with it exclusively, until he has an opening. He might take Grip Mastery, since he has trained with it a lot.

That way, he defends (maybe using Evaluate) until he feels like he has a good opportunity. Then he switches grips as a free action on his turn and attacks (Committed or All-Out). In a realistic game, a good hit from a strong man with a maul will probably take an opponent out of the fight (if it connects).

Otherwise, he might consider taking a smaller weapon, like a regular or small mace, and wielding it in two hands with the Two-handed Axe/Mace Skill. This won't require a turn to ready, and using it with a Defensive Attack allows attacks and parries on the same turn. Visually, he's using a smaller Maul which he can wield more controllably. By the rules, he's using a Mace two-handed (see Low Tech 70 for specific stats). You lose some reach and the smallest possible amount of damage bonus, but you can attack and parry each turn that way.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: [MA] Parries With Unready Weapons?

as a realistic house rule, I'd say that a Defensive thrust from a Defensive Grip doesn't cause a weapon to become you ready.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: [MA] Parries With Unready Weapons?

Weapons that become unready after attacking are rare in Fourth Edition, as we changed most weapons which worked that way in Third Edition to weapons that merely cannot attack and parry on the same turn (Parry of "U" and no "‡" on ST). The latter class can strike and then parry if one opts for a Defensive Attack (Martial Arts, p. 100) or a Rapid Recovery (Martial Arts, p. 131). The few weapons that still do become genuinely unready ("‡" on ST) are, realistically, grossly inappropriate for defense; e.g., a maul is a massive, rock-breaking sledgehammer that's swung in huge, clumsy arcs. Such weapons rely entirely on damage and/or Reach – that is, you should strike and step back to where you can't be hit, strike from behind friendly fighters, or hurt the victim so badly that he can't hit back.

Still, there are workarounds.

First, polearms only suffer this effect on a swing. When you thrust with the spear point on, say, a glaive or a halberd, you aren't unready, and can exploit Defensive Attack or Rapid Recovery. There's nothing wrong with extending this to Two-Handed Axe/Mace weapons; see the second attack line for the gada and tetsubo for examples of what the stats would look like. Mauls should be able to do the same thing, although that means sacrificing half of your Reach and most of your damage.

Second, enough ST makes this irrelevant. Granted, that means ST 20 for a maul. However, anybody who wants to "fence" with a maul pretty much has to be that strong. It isn't a light weapon for the lightly built.

Finally, there's switching to a lighter, less-crazy weapon. The round mace is a small maul – a kind of hammer, and far closer to what an archer would use to pound in a stake anyway. It can be used in two hands, and doesn't become unready after a swing when wielded that way (see Low-Tech, p. 70). If you use your hammer in two hands, it does sw+3 instead of sw+2, meaning that the damage reduction for a Defensive Attack that still lets you parry makes it only marginally less effective than swinging it one-handed.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:49 AM   #9
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Default Re: [MA] Parries With Unready Weapons?

parrying with a maul...that's what your face is for!!
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:47 AM   #10
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Default Re: [MA] Parries With Unready Weapons?

Thanks! If an historical longbowman's maul is smaller than a GURPS maul, then that does solve the problem. I figure he could invest in a modified maul that is flanged on one side, making it the equivalent of a regular mace. (Sort of like a giant meat tenderizer.) And supposedly historical mauls were sometimes fitted with spikes for thrusting, adding versatility.
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