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Old 04-15-2014, 04:45 PM   #1
Otaku
 
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Default Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

I apologize if this is a well tread topic; my attempts at even advanced searches on the board failed pretty badly.

My experience with unarmed combat is pretty shallow; the tiniest bit of unarmed combat training from both the typical life experiences (rough housing plus one or two "serious" fights in school and a number of minor skirmishes) as well as the tiniest bit of formal training (Tae Kwon Do for a few months many years ago), plus the ever unreliable fictional examples. So more than once I've wondered why unarmed combat doesn't include a "block" option, and the obvious answer is that it does its just that its called a "parry". So is this purely a matter of semantics or are do the more detailed rules I don't have access to address this a little more?

I know some have said that a "block" is a failed parry where the foe chooses to hit the limb instead of the original target, but that doesn't seem right. I'm lousy in a fight but I still see a significant difference between guiding my opponent's blow away from me using a weapon or limb and interposing a limb (or even a weapon) to absorb most of the blow, especially if it is capable of doing so without receiving significant damage. This is as opposed to what I understand a parry to be (guiding a blow away from so that what would have hit misses). There is overlap (you're still making contact) but even unarmed there is a difference of my forearm knocking my opponent's off target and my forearm taking the hit but being able to absorb some or all of the force of the attack without harm. In a very stylized reality, I could just have a setting specific rule to match the reality of video games, but is there something about this already out there?

TL;DR: I don't find an unarmed parry to be close enough to an unarmed block to treat them as the same thing. Does an advanced rule distinguish between them or is this all just me not accepting reality?
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Last edited by Otaku; 04-15-2014 at 04:53 PM. Reason: Pruning.
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

Long story short, what unarmed martial arts would call a block is a Parry in GURPS terms. Depending on the exact art, a parry (in the martial art terms) is generally a more offensive action, and might be an Aggressive Parry, a Grabbing Parry, or a Riposte (in GURPS terms).

Blocking as in holding your hands in front of your face so your arms get hit instead of your head doesn't really seem to be covered by GURPS, but then, no one really does that in a fight they have any chance of winning. It's the kind of thing that makes a boxing cornerman reach for a towel, for example.
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
Long story short, what unarmed martial arts would call a block is a Parry in GURPS terms. Depending on the exact art, a parry (in the martial art terms) is generally a more offensive action, and might be an Aggressive Parry, a Grabbing Parry, or a Riposte (in GURPS terms).

Blocking as in holding your hands in front of your face so your arms get hit instead of your head doesn't really seem to be covered by GURPS, but then, no one really does that in a fight they have any chance of winning. It's the kind of thing that makes a boxing cornerman reach for a towel, for example.
So for the most part, its a matter of "under a different name" plus more advanced rules? I don't currently have a copy of the Basic Set (Campaigns or Characters) handy: I remember some of the above having 3e counterparts but I don't think all of those were in the Combat Chapters (then again, pretty long chapters so maybe I just missed them).
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Old 04-15-2014, 05:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
So for the most part, its a matter of "under a different name".
It is pretty much this. In GURPS, Block means to use a shield to defend yourself, Parry means to use a weapon or limb to defend yourself, and Dodge means to defend yourself by not being in the way.
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

I might as well be thorough on the matter since the thread is already made and I'd rather reveal (and remove) more ignorance than to stay silent but confused in an attempt at saving face.

Again, do more advanced books like Martial Arts and Technical Grappling go into more detail? I had forgotten that the write ups for unarmed parries also differ, and to connect the dots (as it were). With how Brawling, Boxing, Judo, Karate, Sumo Wrestling, and Wrestling Skill (did I miss any) are written (Skills that may be important to the real world "styles" bearing those names, but representing more abstract concepts) all have unarmed parries (not sure about Sumo Wrestling) are written up a bit differently, which may also help reflect the difference between the idea of "unarmed blocking" versus "unarmed parry".
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Old 04-15-2014, 06:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

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Originally Posted by Otaku View Post
Again, do more advanced books like Martial Arts and Technical Grappling go into more detail? I had forgotten that the write ups for unarmed parries also differ, and to connect the dots (as it were). With how Brawling, Boxing, Judo, Karate, Sumo Wrestling, and Wrestling Skill (did I miss any) are written (Skills that may be important to the real world "styles" bearing those names, but representing more abstract concepts) all have unarmed parries (not sure about Sumo Wrestling) are written up a bit differently,
Different weapons also have specific rules for parrying, but all defenses with weapons or limbs are called Parrys in GURPS mechanics.
Quote:
which may also help reflect the difference between the idea of "unarmed blocking" versus "unarmed parry".
In GURPS terms, there is no difference; all unarmed defenses are a Parry. (or a Dodge, of course)
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Old 04-15-2014, 07:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

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Originally Posted by Dalillama View Post
It is pretty much this. In GURPS, Block means to use a shield to defend yourself, Parry means to use a weapon or limb to defend yourself, and Dodge means to defend yourself by not being in the way.
Don't forget the Cloak skill also allows a Block.

It would be a house rule, but you might allow unarmed Blocks to use the same mechanics as a Cloak block, but not provide any Defense Bonus (like a Cloak or Shield does). I'm thinking basically, if your block succeeds, then the damage is applied to the blocking limb instead of the intended target.
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Old 04-15-2014, 09:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

I discussed some of this (although with more emphasis on armed Parries) in an older thread.

To summarize, a character can use a weapon (including an arm) to make a Shielding Parry (essentially a Block), a normal Parry, a Minimal Contact Parry (trying to sweep the attack aside), or a No Contact Parry (a skill-based Dodge).

Shielding Parry gets a +1 defense bonus, and MoS 2+ is a "glance" (1/2 damage, probably a poor armor divisor; I also gave thrusting attacks even worse damage, but that's probably unnecessary), while any other success results in the Parrying weapon being struck. This is probably the "block with the arms" option.

Normal Parry is normal, but MoS 3+ means minimal contact (no damage), MoS 0-2 is a "glance" (as above), and MoF 1 means the weapon is hit. This is probably a typical parry.

Minimal Contact Parry imposes a -2 to Parry, but any success results in minimal contact, and MoF 1 is a "glance." This represents that guy who you barely even feel pushing your kick out of the way, but still makes you go wide.

No Contact Parry is a highly-optional variant, representing the idea that a trained fighter is going to be pretty good at getting out of the way of melee attacks. It lacks the normal +3 bonus all defenses enjoy, MoS 0 is a "glance" against the character, and it suffers from multiple attacks in the same way as a Parry. This is that guy who is unexpectedly about a foot from where he was when you started your kick.

All of these are unplaytested and lack any reality checking outside of some memories of some Tae Kwon Do classes and sparring sessions, so be certain to season liberally.
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Old 04-15-2014, 10:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

In essence:
Block = a cold stop with a shield or other, usually flat implement that absorbs the damage for you.

Parry = any other defense that involves at least brief contact with a weapon or part of the body, including unarmed counters that involve turning away or shifting weight.

Dodge = any defense that involves no contact.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Unarmed Parry Is Unarmed Block?

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
I discussed some of this (although with more emphasis on armed Parries) in an older thread.
Just to be clear for the others, all of your suggestions are your house rules.

Quote:
No Contact Parry is a highly-optional variant, representing the idea that a trained fighter is going to be pretty good at getting out of the way of melee attacks. It lacks the normal +3 bonus all defenses enjoy, MoS 0 is a "glance" against the character, and it suffers from multiple attacks in the same way as a Parry. This is that guy who is unexpectedly about a foot from where he was when you started your kick.
That sounds like a dodge that uses the attack skill as a secondary skill much like Acrobatic Dodge.

Basically, in GURPS terminology, a dodge avoids you getting hit by not being there, a parry avoids you being there by redirecting or stopping their blow with your weapon, and blocking does the same except with a shield or cape. That's the basics of defense, and I don't think it has changed much in all the years I've played GURPS.

Quote:
All of these are unplaytested and lack any reality checking outside of some memories of some Tae Kwon Do classes and sparring sessions, so be certain to season liberally.
I would be interested if you ever gave the rules a real playtest, or even just played them out on a large number of fights in solitary mode.
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