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Old 05-18-2010, 09:39 PM   #1
ismenis
 
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Default Concentrated Defense rule from 3e

Hi everyone, I'm thinking of bringing back this old rule from 3e into my 4e games. I wonder if anyone remember it from the 3e Compendium II (pg. 62), listed as Optional Rule: Concentrated Defense, where a defender may decide to more heavily defend a certain portion of his body before an attack is initiated. For simplicity the body is divided into the four areas below, and the defender could opt to get up to a +5 bonus in defending one of the four areas by suffering a penalty of the same magnitude in defending the other three.

1) Head (includes the brain, eyes, jaw, nose and throat)
2) Torso (includes the vitals and groin)
3) Arms (includes both hands and arms)
4) Legs (includes both feet and legs)

Furthermore, under this rule a defense of the vitals only may be attempted for a +2 bonus for each -1 penalty to all other body parts. (I'm so tempted to allow the same for the eyes)

The opponent could roll to detect the concentrated defense, but in the 3e rule it involved 2/3 of the best combat skill and so on, and 2/3's of anything is out of fashion in 4e, so I thought maybe a quick contest of a PER based best combat skill roll plus the bonus the defender is trying to gain, against an IQ/DX (whichever is better; I guess a smarter or nimbler fighter could hide his intentions better) based combat skill roll.

Do you think this rule would work fine as it is in 4e? I've heard so many comments about being sick of fights becoming eye stabbing contests, so I thought maybe this rule could help alleviate the problem. Thank you for your responses in advance!
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Old 05-18-2010, 09:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Concentrated Defense rule from 3e

Sounds good to me. It's sort of the defensive version of Deceptive Attack.

The Evaluate maneuver should detect the Concentrated Defense. ("His guard seems to be favoring his head".) Always nice to have a reason for someone to actually take an Evaluate instead of just chopping away.
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Old 05-19-2010, 10:03 AM   #3
ismenis
 
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Default Re: Concentrated Defense rule from 3e

Glad that it also seems like a good rule to you Anaraxes.

A bit curious as to why it hadn't been included in MA 4e. I'm sort of worried that they have some good reasons not to, and putting it back in even as a house rule might have unforseen side effects. Although it could just be me being paranoid (SC 15).
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Concentrated Defense rule from 3e

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Sounds good to me. It's sort of the defensive version of Deceptive Attack.

The Evaluate maneuver should detect the Concentrated Defense. ("His guard seems to be favoring his head".) Always nice to have a reason for someone to actually take an Evaluate instead of just chopping away.
I'd go a step further and generally only allow determination of the Concentrated Defense when the character Evaluates. Exceptions would be that, once you've attacked both the heavily-defended part and one of the less-defended parts, you get a roll to catch on.
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Old 05-19-2010, 11:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Concentrated Defense rule from 3e

4e rules for Focused Defense are in GURPS Martial Arts: Gladiators, pg. 21

http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG37-1642
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Old 05-20-2010, 05:32 AM   #6
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Default Re: Concentrated Defense rule from 3e

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Originally Posted by trooper6 View Post
4e rules for Focused Defense are in GURPS Martial Arts: Gladiators, pg. 21

http://e23.sjgames.com/item.html?id=SJG37-1642
Not the same. The Focussed Defense rules let you present one side of the body strongly, like a sport fencing stance, which makes it easier to Parry with that side but also makes it easier to hit.
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Old 05-20-2010, 06:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Concentrated Defense rule from 3e

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Originally Posted by The Benj View Post
Not the same. The Focussed Defense rules let you present one side of the body strongly, like a sport fencing stance, which makes it easier to Parry with that side but also makes it easier to hit.
It's not the same, but it is the 4e replacement, and it's more plausible. Much like replacing the 3e Hit Location technique with the new 4e one.
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Old 05-20-2010, 06:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: Concentrated Defense rule from 3e

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It's not the same, but it is the 4e replacement, and it's more plausible. Much like replacing the 3e Hit Location technique with the new 4e one.
It's certainly less clunky, but doesn't allow for things like vampires focussing on guarding themselves from being staked or Highlander-style immortals (or indeed Immortal-style immortals, for those who remember that particular ... game) largely disregarding attacks that aren't aimed at their neck. Which is a shame.
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Old 05-20-2010, 02:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Concentrated Defense rule from 3e

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Originally Posted by The Benj View Post
It's certainly less clunky, but doesn't allow for things like vampires focussing on guarding themselves from being staked or Highlander-style immortals (or indeed Immortal-style immortals, for those who remember that particular ... game) largely disregarding attacks that aren't aimed at their neck. Which is a shame.
You can just ignore attacks that can't hurt you. In which case you retain unpenalized parry and block for those that can.
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Old 05-21-2010, 02:03 AM   #10
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Default Re: Concentrated Defense rule from 3e

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
You can just ignore attacks that can't hurt you. In which case you retain unpenalized parry and block for those that can.
But in duels there's not much point, since you generally have a mere -1 (maybe -2) for repeated parries, but need to burn FP to get better than -3 on repeated attacks. And that's assuming you use a one-handed sabre, not a staff-sword or a sabre+maingauche.
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