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Re: Parrying rules in Thail. -- Rick says "just say NO!"

Huh. Well it's interesting to hear Rick say he disliked the Thail parry rules, since my experience with those rules was as a player when Rick was GM of Thail, and I actually liked the parry rules most of the time. I though am a GURPS player/fan who really likes having active defenses, and doesn't see them as tedious at all. In fact I think the lack of active defenses is one of the main things that makes me not want to play TFT without some sort of house rule for them.

So when Rick was GM, he was doing all the rolling and calculating, but I did study the rules, which I now forget, but I remember they felt surprisingly somewhat similar to how GURPS feels - that is, the people with some DX or skill would have more chance to defeat incoming attacks. Where I thought it broke down was with the high-powered elite fighting talents, which IIRC added dice to your defense, which seemed to me to add a kind of level system on top of everything, but only for the relatively few elite people who had them at all, because they were fairly tough to get. I do agree with Thomas though that it felt broken when the elite guys showed up, and yeah there were guys who were clearly a couple of notches above most everyone else, but I remember thinking it was mainly about the elite weapon talents rather than the high DX people.

GURPS 4e has a rule where defenses go down if you try more than one per turn, but all earlier editions have an even stricter rule where you only get one defense per turn, after which you're down to dodging (which is almost always harder), and also you can give ground to get an advantage once per turn. And various things can affect defenses too, such as facing, using a flail, and feinting. I almost never see boring parry-fests - it tends to indicate novice play - if two opponents are good enough to have high parries, then they have better things to do than just do a vanilla attack each turn.


At 05:18 PM 9/30/2016, Thomas Fulmer wrote:

I was mostly throwing them out as an example of the dice bidding like was being discussed in the note I responded to.

I didn't mind them as much as you, it was just another mechanic that had to be taken into account for me. With that said, I do think that it had major scaling issues.Â

While, <=40 attribute characters it added an occasional dramatic save and an additional theatric attack vector (higher dice attacks), once you started talking about > 40 attribute fighters you started to have problems. Once you are at a dex where a 5 vs DX roll becomes trivial, then you are nearly invulnerable to starting players who can't ever count on a 4d attack succeeding. This always resulted in campaign issues when the party came up against "boss" level characters where only the most advanced character or two had a chance of scoring melee hits.

I think GURPS has a mechanic where after the first parry/dodge/whatever you are at additional penalties for each subsequent dodge/defend/parry in the same turn. That might be a good way to address the issue.

This is, of course, if you actually want to introduce parry/defense into TFT combat instead of just leaving it abstract.


On Fri, Sep 30, 2016 at 3:27 PM Rick Smith <<mailto:rick_ww@lightspeed.ca>rick_ww@lightspeed.ca> wrote:
Hi all, Thomas.
  I hated those rules even tho my character (Flinch) was hugely helped by
them.  I took a very high DX since I was a thief / spy character.  Dave told
me that the campaign was not heavily oriented towards combat so I took
ZERO weapon / defense talents.  My weapon was a crowbar, since clubs
didn't require a talent.

  It turns out that Dave's campaign was huge for fights.  I was hosed right?

  No.  I had DX.

  In combat, my character could not be hit.  I became a combat monster,
who was far more capable than characters with more attributes than me
who took many combat talents, and had armor.

  One thing I like about TFT was that the three attributes were about equal
in importance.  Dave's rules totally broke that.

  Additionally he had talents which made the situation worse.  I would have
been less put out about the rules, if NO talents modified the parrying rules.
(Now it could be argued that better design of the talents might have made
the situation better rather than worse - which is a fair point.  But I would
hardly hold up Dave's Thail campaign as an exemplar of parrying in TFT
done well.)

  Warm regards,

On 2016-09-30, at 12:05 PM, Thomas Fulmer wrote:
> Dave Seagraves has a fairly well developed set of Parry Rules. The attacker chooses the number of dice to roll to hit (min 3). The defender rolls two dice more than the attacker to parry. Some of the advanced weapons talents give bonus dex to parry ratings to make it easier for higher talented fighters to parry.
> So if you are attacking a high dex figure, you have to make "complex attacks" of 4 vs Dx or 5 vs Dx in order to get them up to a high enough number of dice to make them have a chance of missing their parry (6 vs Dex and 7 vs Dex in these examples).
> I think people who have played under the rules have mixed reviews overall, but I found them relatively easy to understand and use. It definitely biases the combat system towards dex heavy characters though. It's not enough to be strong and have a big weapon if the thief can parry you 99% of the time with his short sword.
> --Thomas

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