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(TFT) Shield & Parry

Gathering up the threads on shield & parry.

I don't have any problems with TFT rating system on shields. There is a lot of comment that shields should deflect all or nothing. Or that it should be based on a Dex roll. I disagree (for the most part.) The shield and armor rules may be contrived, but they are quick to grasp, consistant and require no extra die rolls (just math). If you are going to introduce special concepts for shields, make it a special talent so that the generic Joe can stop hits per the normal rules. While those who use the shield like a genius can employ full blocks or fancy combo blocks or flying shield rush or frisbie-matic or whatever.

I propose [this is in no way worked out on my part]:

10 IQ Shield II (2) Prereq Shield. Ability to use a shield remarkably. Forces -2DX to opponent when you declare shield block. You can attack while using this skill, but then you are at -1DX. Shield rush - you can bash your opponent with greater odds of surviving. You can use sweeping shield and roll dex against the second and third opponent's attack. If successful (against each) you stop 1 hit. If you have a small shield in the shape of a frisbie, you can....

Here is almost the same concept from Rick 15 July:

Make a variety of talents that work under different circumstances.
For example, I feel shields are too weak compared to how useful they
are in the real world.  (Blocking a blow completely sounds more
realistic...)  By taking Shield 2 talent (IQ 9) enemies are -3 DX
to attack you thru your shield if you use the talent. This is a popular talent but of no help to those who love to use the Dwarven Ax (ST 18, 4d+2 two handed).

9 IQ Shield 2 (2) Prereq Shield. Ability to use a shield remarkably. Enemies are -3 DX to attack you thru your shield while using this talent. *Rick Smith*

Here are some of the shield suggestions so far:

Justin, 12 July:


Rather than just stopping individual hits of damage to a character, the shield may totally stop an attackers damage. When a character with a shield is attacked from a front hex, the character rolls against adjusted Dexterity (adjDX). If their roll was equal to or below their adjDX, the shield is hit instead of the character. When a shield is hit, the opponent still rolls his damage to see if the shield is destroyed. If the damage against the shield is more than seven points plus whatever the shield stops passively (ie. a +1 magic shield stops three hits plus seven means the damage against the shield would have to exceed ten points in order to be destroyed). Of course, any damage that exceeds the shield being destroyed rolls over and
damages the character.

When fighting against more than one attacker, the following rule applies. When using a shield against two opponents, the shield
roll is -2 DX against both.  When using it against three opponents,
the shield roll is -4 DX versus the trio of opponents.

On the shield block, if you roll a three, four or five the block is
automatic.  If the roll is a three or four, the shieldbearer does
not have to roll to see if the shield is destroyed. On a roll of sixteen through eighteen, the shieldbearer fails to block the attack.

Chris 14 Jul:

Shield Blocks work like parrying; A Shield stops 1D+ its usual hits
stopped. A shield always stops its basic hit stopped even if the shield block fails.

Critical hits and fumbles may disarm an opponent or lose the shield.

A shield bearer may make an attack in the same round they shield
block at DX -2 for the second action (atttack, block or perry)

Note; if the fighter doesn't have the Shield talent, their ADJ Dx
for sheild block is at -4.

Charles 15 July commenting on Ricks shield idea:

I'm not sure about the specific mechanics, but yes, shields should
do a lot more. And the idea that they simply stop a couple of hits
does not really reflect their true use in battle - they can and do
entirely block blows, not just a small portion thereof. The whole
concept needs to be rethought - GURPS has the right idea but clutters the issue up with added die rolls and complexity. Ideally,
the whole to hit roll should be done in one dice throw; the shield
would provide a negative DX adjustment. I'm just not sure of the
exact mechanics. As soon as I figure anything good out, I'll let you know.

I don't have any problems with the Dodge/Defend system either: It is a quick, generic hit or miss system. Adding another die to your opponents roll is a big hindrance to his hitting you. It probably does get rid of subtlety, but again, for the average player, its quick and no need of calculating: Dodge/Defend 'equals' roll 4D6.

Then again Rick 15 July says:

In a TFT combat a one on one fight is usually over in under 20
seconds. This is pretty fast paced even by real world standards. Partly this is because Defending is such a poor option normally
(you can never hit him while defending, but he is sure to get thru
to you sooner or later).  The rule that you can 'Aim' while
defending helps, but it could be more.  Also the -3.5 DX that the
extra die averages to is not enough to help you against capable
figures (the one you most want to fight defensively against).

I'll get into this business of Parry via Justin's 12 July rule change:

Two Weapons Talent Change:

This talent permits a character fighting with two weapons, on his turn, to do one of the following:

a)  attack with both weapons at adjDX for the first attack and
-4DX for the second one.  The attacks may be against the same or
different figures.

b) make a normal attack with one weapon and DEFEND, as option (1b), with the other. If the opponent misses the character by 4 DX points, the character can counterattack at -6DX with the
second weapon.  Example: Attacker needs adjDX 10 to hit and rolls
a 14 or better, the character with an adjDX of 15 can attack with
their secondary weapon with the adjDX of 9

c)  parry with both weapons, the opponent must roll 5d6 to hit the
character. If the opponent misses the character by 4 DX points, the character can counterattack at -6 DX with their main weapon.

Justin, I would leave a) & b) like the book (ITL:14)  I would have

c) parry with both weapons, defend as option (1b). If the opponent misses the character by 4 DX points, the character can counterattack at -6DX with their main weapon.

I suggest this variation because I like what Justin suggested of using defend rule, but I feel that is too much for b). [however, its so late at night right now, I forget why its too much. sorry]

I would make parrying a talent too. Any clod can defend or dodge to force the opponent into 4D6 Dex rolls, but the Parrier has trained in this style of defense.

10 IQ PARRY (1) Ability to tactically defend WELL with ready weapon. You must already have the weapon skill you are parrying with. Your AdjDex may not fall below 11 when you use this ability. When you parry, you and your opponent roll to hit:

	If Parrier loses and opponent loses, both miss.
	If Parrier loses and opponent wins, take damage.
	If Parrier wins and opponent wins, the amount that the
		parrier wins by is subtracted from damage.
	If parrier wins and opponent loses, parrier blocks and can
		whip his weapon around and get a 'free' swing.  Roll
		and if successful, do half damage.
	{this isn't how GURPS does it, is it?}
	Multiple parries and unbalanced weapon rules to be determined.

Here are some parry suggestions so far:

Rick 15 July:

The last point bares some explanation.  Some parrying rules don't
do enough especially against powerful foes. Yes good fighters still should be able to hit you some time, but if a DX 16 can virtually ignore your parry, what is the point of parrying? Some
systems make it so powerful to parry that it can be done all the
time which slows down what is suppost to be a clean, fast combat
system.  And the parrying systems that are both are the ones that
shut down weak characters and do nothing against the powerful ones.

While I have been reading the todays TFT posts and writing these
last two I've been thinking of a new system.  You say who you parry
which does not use up your action. However you are at -6 DX for each figure you parry so your own attacks are far less likely to hit.
Any enemy you parry against must hit someone else or defend and aim
against you.  If they defend and aim vs you, next turn you can not
parry them again.  If both figures parry, both defend and aim or
attack other figures. If you attack someone else, then the other guy can parry against you next turn.

The advantage of this is weak characters can do this against powerful foes and slow them down, and our Conan figure can fight
defensively but still retain some offense.

Chris 14 July

A tft house rule I use is to let fighters parry as an action instead of making an attack.

Alf the Orc (A) strikes at Bill the Dwarf (B) - [A rolls a hit]
Bill trys to parry instead of making his own attack - [B rolls under his adj Dx]

If Bill fails his adjDx roll Alf's attack cuts through and hits,
If Bill makes his AdjDx he parries Alf's attack.
Alf and Bill both roll for weapon damage;
  Subtract Bills damage from Alf's Damage. [A hits - B hits]
If Alf inflicts more than Bill stops then Bill takes the surplus hits;
  [eg Alf rolls 8 hits, Bill rolls 6 hits, Bill takes 2 hits]
  If Bill stops more than Alf inflicts then neither take any hits.

Critical Hits and Fumbles count for both attack and Parry rolls.
  If a Parry fumbles they can lose their weapon as for an attack
If a Parry scores a crit success they get doubled or tripled hits in defence.

Alternately (this is up to the GM's Dramatic Interpretation!)
A critical Parry may disarm an attacker, and/or leave the attacker
open to a follow up attack.

If the defender has to make multiple parries in the same round then
they incur  -2 DX penalties for each additional parry.

A fighter can make an attack and a parry in the same round at -4Dx for the second action (attack or parry).

Things get complicated when you start figuring in two weapons or
Main Gauche!
Then Dx-2 for the first action and Dx-4 for the second (as standard AM two weapons rules?)

Brewer 15 July

I've played around with allowing the players to allocate
their attacking skill(dex roll) as follows:
Each round of combat the player decides how aggressive
they will be and this influences their attack roll.
Ex/ character is using a sword and has a base attack roll
of 15 or less to hit. First round he's fighting "normally" and
makes his roll and hits but gets hit back even harder, making
him more cautious.
Round 2 he decides to go on the defensive to protect himself
from another such blow and only rolls vs. 11 or less for his attack,
keeping back a -4 dex penalty vs. his attacker connecting.
(note- I limited the "defensive" points to 1/4 of their Dex total to
avoid situations where they used excessive defensive points and
just stood there invincible on defence for the whole combat. Didn't
happen but have to plan for it)
so, basically, the player can shift up to 1/4 of his character's attack roll (adj. dex +> weapon skill or adjusted dex roll to hit) back to defence on a round by round basis depending upon their own aggressiveness and how powerfull their opponent looks. This just represents being more cautious and more aggressively parrying their blows at the expense of reducing your opportunity to attack. (hence the lessened attk roll) So, Conan, was just so damn GOOD with his weapon that he had points to spare for both attack and defence.

And Jim adds 15 July

I think Mack is really on to something. This is simple for the GM
(the players have to make the descision on their character's aggressiveness) and it allows flexability for the players. K.I.S.S. I always say. You could also add an all out attack option where a shield user forgoes the defensive ability (hits stopped by the shield) in order to gain a DX plus on his next attack. Note: as a GM I would not allow this adjusted DX make the character faster, just make it easier for him to hit his foe. These are some good options for players.

I feel this is too complicated for a "let me whip this battle out." As a GM, I don't want a sliding scale of Dex (already happening because of shock) being determined each round. I'd have to calculate it all just to make sure my players did it right each turn. [Then again, If I sat down and playtested this out, I might like it and my suggestion might be complicated with dice rolling.]

Jostin writes 17 July

This same concept is used in both MERP and Rolemaster, except it is called OB.

I totally agree with what Rick stated but Mack's solution is good
but it could become confusing for the GM to control or "Didn't you say -3 on attacker A, -1 on attacker B, and 0 on attacker C?" This would get confusing especially if you are running a battle with a large amount of characters.

This would be a big deal under Troop Movement.

Dan writes on 15 July

I kind of like this idea, but what about making it simpler by
applying the following table:

Parry Table:
                        DX Adj
   Ready Weapon    Self        Opponent

    Broadsword     -1             -2
    BattleAxe      -6             -4

The actual numbers are open to debate, but the way this system
would work is that when you use a broadsword to parry, the
attacks of your opponent are at -2DX, but your attacks suffer
a -1DX adjustment.  BattleAxes, which are two handed weapons, may
make parrying easier (hence the -4) but are unbalanced, hence
the -6.

You may want to make the change from ready weapon to the CLASS
of the ready weapon.  The parrying table would then have an
entry for One-Handed Sword and this entry would be used for all
Scimitars, longswords, etc.

I like this.  Got my suggestion for unbalanced weapons from this.

Justin writes 15 July

I think part of the reason we began writing about this topic is because of realism and more personal participation in the game
itself.  TFT's defense is too passive, except for DEFEND and DODGE,
their is nothing much character's can do except hope their armor or magic will stop the damage of the opponent. No person will freely allow themself to be hit without doing something to prevent the attack from damaging that person. I believe we are trying to fix that flaw though this forum without destroying the ease of
play that you mention.

Keep defend and dodge, add parry & shield talents and some type of quickness-defend talent. Thats about as far as I will go in my campaigns.

John Paul

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