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Old 04-18-2014, 09:26 AM   #31
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

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Originally Posted by dataweaver View Post
Are there any weapons that both Block and Parry? Because if not, I could definitely see a case for lumping blocks and parries together into one thing and attributing the differences between them to the properties of the weapon being used to defend.
In GURPS terms, no. Block is something unique to Shields and Cloaks, and Shields and Cloaks can only Block. A dueling buckler, a bladed shield, etc all Block. The only possible exception is the Dueling Long Shield - as it can be wielded with Shield or Staff, it may be capable of Blocking (Shield) and Parrying (Staff).

In the real world, something like what GURPS calls a Parry can be done with a shield or cloak (and probably should be with the latter!), and a warding GURPS-like Block can be done with pretty much any weapon, even your bare hands! We actually already see some of this in GURPS - a Block that succeeds without DB functions much like a Parry (swept aside for no damage), while an unarmed Parry against a swinging weapon that fails without the default +3 (because non-cinematic unarmed skills don't get that against such weapons) functions much like a Block (interposing object takes the damage instead).
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Old 04-19-2014, 08:58 AM   #32
Otaku
 
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Default Re: Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

So again... I am wondering if the rules could be refined to allow for more options or condensed to streamline the game. Varyon's statements really underscore how interconnected it is, I just don't have the knowledge base (as has been stated before, I am still learning the combat system for 4e because of past complications) to really articulate what I'd like to suggest or try out for myself. Something with tweaking the bonus for parrying and the DB.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:47 AM   #33
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
So again... I am wondering if the rules could be refined to allow for more options or condensed to streamline the game. Varyon's statements really underscore how interconnected it is, I just don't have the knowledge base (as has been stated before, I am still learning the combat system for 4e because of past complications) to really articulate what I'd like to suggest or try out for myself. Something with tweaking the bonus for parrying and the DB.
A more simplistic version of my system would be to just tweak Parry as meaning "makes the attack glance off or redirects it," meaning no damage to the interposing object, and Block as meaning "interposing a solid chunk of matter," meaning the "shield" takes the damage. Parry would be Skill/2+3 (unarmed Parries against Swing attacks would just be Skill/2 unless the character has DR 4+ or so on the hand/arm), Block would be Skill/2+4. This basically works out to "You can get a +1 to your defense, but success means your weapon gets hit instead of you."


Incidentally, I've started up that solitaire DF campaign (thus far our heroes have had 2 battles - a fight in a clearing against 5 gladiator apes, then a fight at their camp against a sixth ape, a dozen zombies, and their necromancer master). The characters have only used normal Parries/Blocks thus far, and the only damage any of their equipment has taken has been to the knight's shield. On the enemy side, only the zombies have attempted defense (apes were berserk, necromancer was shot in the vitals from behind while ranting about the invincible* army he's raised).

*As a humorous aside, nearly half of his "army" was destroyed in a single action, when the martial artist got freaked out by having so many zombies surrounding and trying to grab her. She used Whirlwind Attack with the scythe-like blade on her tail (doing sw cut or imp, her choice, which works out to 4d+2 for her), which has Reach 2. Tech! has proven rather useful for her - only one zombie managed to Parry (and probably should have lost a hand for his trouble, but I forgot to assess that) and the other 5 all dropped.
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:30 AM   #34
Terwin
 
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Default Re: Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
A more simplistic version of my system would be to just tweak Parry as meaning "makes the attack glance off or redirects it," meaning no damage to the interposing object, and Block as meaning "interposing a solid chunk of matter," meaning the "shield" takes the damage. Parry would be Skill/2+3 (unarmed Parries against Swing attacks would just be Skill/2 unless the character has DR 4+ or so on the hand/arm), Block would be Skill/2+4. This basically works out to "You can get a +1 to your defense, but success means your weapon gets hit instead of you."
I would expect that blocking a thrust would have a substantial penalty unless you are blocking with something that has an unbroken blocking surface with at least a 6" diameter.

I would expect at least a 12" diameter before a block provides better thrust protection than a parry.

Also, one big mechanical difference between a block and a parry is that a block is expected to be done using the off-hand and thus does not suffer the -4 DX off-hand penalty that an off-hand parry would experience.
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Old 04-20-2014, 01:39 PM   #35
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Default Re: Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

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I would expect that blocking a thrust would have a substantial penalty unless you are blocking with something that has an unbroken blocking surface with at least a 6" diameter.

I would expect at least a 12" diameter before a block provides better thrust protection than a parry.

Also, one big mechanical difference between a block and a parry is that a block is expected to be done using the off-hand and thus does not suffer the -4 DX off-hand penalty that an off-hand parry would experience.
At the risk of further complicating things, I am wondering how some of the established values will affect things. Still lacking the Basic Set (either Characters or Campaigns) and I may have access tomorrow or I may have to wait another month or two (its a bit complicated), so I can't double check some kind of "basic" rules to see if an idea I had worked.

Some weapons (or Unarmed Skills) have a bonus to parry, right? Shields and Cloaks (the two more common pieces of equipment that can legally Block) have DB? Perhaps these values just need some tweaking, besides adding in a generic "block" rule for most combat skills. I think this means I agree with you.

I can also see treating both Block and Parry as the same Defense where margin of success determines which you use, barring special circumstances (such as where only Blocking helps). I think this largely matters when more advanced rules like Shield and Weapon damage are being applied; Blocking with a weapon increasing the odds of Weapon Breakage. Skilled Defenders will be Parrying, even if they are Defending using a Shield, because the reward is the Shield enduring (assuming that is relevant to that combat). Lesser combatants may have to settle for "Blocking" more than Parrying, even with weapons.

I don't know about reality, but that does match cinematic, four-color, and even silly settings pretty well. Whether its Mr. Action Hero, Mr. Superhero or Mr. Comedy Hero, he demonstrates his prowess by not just by taking out opponent's he hits, but by obliterating any defenses thrown up against him, cleaving opponent's sword or shield in half!
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:34 AM   #36
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

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Originally Posted by Terwin View Post
I would expect that blocking a thrust would have a substantial penalty unless you are blocking with something that has an unbroken blocking surface with at least a 6" diameter.

I would expect at least a 12" diameter before a block provides better thrust protection than a parry.
You could certainly have different weapons have modifiers to Block/Parry depending on attack mode. Parry would typically be the same for any mode, but Block would indeed vary, with small striking surfaces giving a penalty. Probably too complicated - an easier solution would be to just give something like a -3 to Block (Skill/2+1) against thrusts, but have DB function to both negate this and give a defense bonus (so a DB 0 weapon Blocks at Skill/2+1, a DB 1 shield Blocks at Skill/2+3, DB 2 Blocks at Skill/2+5, and DB 3 Blocks at Skill/2+7).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terwin View Post
Also, one big mechanical difference between a block and a parry is that a block is expected to be done using the off-hand and thus does not suffer the -4 DX off-hand penalty that an off-hand parry would experience.
Shield and (IIRC) Cloak also allow you to attack with the off-hand without a penalty, just like Main-Gauche. It's simply a function of the skill that you train it with your off-hand (and switching to your main hand would actually suffer the off-hand penalty if you lack Ambidexterity/OHWT).
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:40 AM   #37
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
Some weapons (or Unarmed Skills) have a bonus to parry, right?
The only weapon with a bonus is the Staff, but skills emphasizing footwork (Boxing, Karate, and the various Fencing skills) get a +3 when Retreating rather than a mere +1 and only suffer -2 per additional Parry rather than -4. Those skills are penalized by Encumbrance, however, so you typically can't manage them while wearing heavy armor.

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
I can also see treating both Block and Parry as the same Defense where margin of success determines which you use, barring special circumstances (such as where only Blocking helps).
This is extremely easy to implement. It's actually the way Block works right now (shield only takes damage if its DB made the difference between success and failure). For Parry, simply stating that a Parry that succeeds on the number (Margin of Success 0) means the weapon takes damage would work. So, you could easily just combine the two - the only serious change would be that currently Blocks are impossible to do more than once a second (Martial Arts introduces the optional rule of letting them be done more often, but at -5 per additional block in a second). I think MA has some rules for weapon weight influencing the penalty for multiple Parries that would be extremely appropriate here.

Last edited by Varyon; 04-21-2014 at 07:43 AM.
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