Melee (Parry) and Shields

Cubicle 7 // 2018
Clint
Posts: 21
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:12 pm

Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:21 am

Okay after having a headache for about an hour over this topic, heres my take on how shields, parry weapons and using them each can be useful:

1: Just having a Defensive Weapon in your off-hand grants you +1SL to Oppose incoming attacks, even when your not actively using that weapon. Neat.

2: Using Melee (Basic) To parry with your shield gives you a -20% Penalty, meaning that the opponent have a higher chance of hitting that than if you used your main hand weapon. BUT! Say that your opponent has accumulated a large amount of Advantage, and you dont think that you could win the Opposed Test anyway. Then using the Shield to contest the Attack might actually be better, because it will grant you Additional Armor Points, and a possible extra crit negation. So, you would most likely get hit either way, but will definitely take less damage using the shield.

2,5: If you are not good at dogding, using the shield you are being able to contest a Ranged attack with a -20% penalty. I will take that over not being able to at any time.

3: With the Dual Wielding Talent, you Definitely do not want to use the Shield, as it is Undamaging. Here you have to option of using a Parry Weapon, which will still give you the Defensive +1SL for defending, which is essential as you get -10% to defend incoming attack when you have attacked two times in a turn.

4: Having the In-Fighting option in mind, dual wielding a Parry Weapon and say a Fencing weapon gives you additional options. Say you want to deal some good damage or face off an opponent with a short weapon? Use the Rapier for damage and giving your opponent -10% to hit you. Say your opponent has a Bastard Sword? Use your Main Gauche to In-Fight with your opponent to make his weapon Improvised.
You could even switch your weapons from main to off hand mid fight for optimised usage.

Just my thoughts on how the mechanics could work and be fun.
CapnZapp
Posts: 205
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Location: Norsca

Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:13 am

We had to simplify the rules a lot to make them work for us.

Rolling doubles no longer gives criticals. Only getting to negative Wounds gives criticals. Rolling doubles instead give special results (which are simpler faster effects like falling prone or dropping your weapon)
Armor (and shields) no longer negate criticals.
Shields don't provide Armour Points (getting a bonus to parries already means less damage, so the rules don't need both)

So a regular Shield simply gives you +10% to parries, the ranged cover thing, and that's it.

Our characters still feel they're useful. But mainly that they're fast and simple to use. And that they no longer manage to be both way too good AND confusing as hell at the same time...

In fact, just like how Shields used to work before C7 messed it all up :)
fluminor
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri May 24, 2019 1:30 pm

Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:50 pm

Cap: so are you using only one type of shield? Damage alone is too small a differentiating factor to justify the gap in cost and encumbrance between a buckler and a large shield.

Have you tried modulating the defense bonus, e.g. 10/15/20 from buckler to large shield?

I assume no stupid off hand penalty for shields?

Does melee(parry) grant any bonus to using a shield in your current rules?

Thanks in advance
CapnZapp
Posts: 205
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Location: Norsca

Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:51 am

I'm using all three shields. Theoretically at least, nobody has expressed any interest in going more specific than "shield" yet. (And nobody's using them for attacking, so their Damage rating is a minor issue)

There is no off-hand penalty for using a Shield for it's intended purpose, i.e. to parry.

The Parrying skill is for fighting with things like a main gauche.

Had I known then what I know now I would probably have rewritten Dual Wielding to require Parrying for the off-hand - the current implementation tries to curb the power of another attack, but mostly accomplishes being complicated and fiddly.
Glorthindel
Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:07 am

Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:07 am

Clint wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:21 am
2: Using Melee (Basic) To parry with your shield gives you a -20% Penalty, meaning that the opponent have a higher chance of hitting that than if you used your main hand weapon. BUT! Say that your opponent has accumulated a large amount of Advantage, and you dont think that you could win the Opposed Test anyway. Then using the Shield to contest the Attack might actually be better, because it will grant you Additional Armor Points, and a possible extra crit negation. So, you would most likely get hit either way, but will definitely take less damage using the shield.
Actually, I believe this doesn't help - if the opponent hits when you are using a Shield with the -20 modifier, and would have hit even if you had parried with your main weapon, although you have the extra AP from the Shield, your opponent would have got two extra SL (due to the -20 you are suffering), and therefore two extra damage which would offset (or even potentially exceed for the lowest level shield) the Shields AP. Granted, you still have the crit negation, but that is a slim potential benefit.
Jakhtur
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed May 29, 2019 1:31 am

Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:37 am

Glorthindel wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:07 am
Clint wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:21 am
2: Using Melee (Basic) To parry with your shield gives you a -20% Penalty, meaning that the opponent have a higher chance of hitting that than if you used your main hand weapon. BUT! Say that your opponent has accumulated a large amount of Advantage, and you dont think that you could win the Opposed Test anyway. Then using the Shield to contest the Attack might actually be better, because it will grant you Additional Armor Points, and a possible extra crit negation. So, you would most likely get hit either way, but will definitely take less damage using the shield.
Actually, I believe this doesn't help - if the opponent hits when you are using a Shield with the -20 modifier, and would have hit even if you had parried with your main weapon, although you have the extra AP from the Shield, your opponent would have got two extra SL (due to the -20 you are suffering), and therefore two extra damage which would offset (or even potentially exceed for the lowest level shield) the Shields AP. Granted, you still have the crit negation, but that is a slim potential benefit.
It will be even worse if you have reversal talent, becouse it will decrease chance of triggering it (say you have 63 WS, if you parry with shield you will get 43 WS so a roll of 55 will not trigger +1SL (or more) from reversal, and change critical success into fumble).
To use shield in off-hand weapon you need parry skill or ambidexterous talent. But you can also try having shield in your dominant hand and using off-hand weapon.
fluminor
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri May 24, 2019 1:30 pm

Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:21 am

CapnZapp wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:51 am

There is no off-hand penalty for using a Shield for it's intended purpose, i.e. to parry.
The off hand penalty for the shield is really weird. It’s like giving a penalty to wear boots on your feet. The shield is intended to be used in the off hand, that’s how you train if you have a weapon in the main hand, so that is the natural way of things. Parrying with a dagger is much harder - hence the need for an extra skill.

I like how you simplified shields. For the 3 types of shield I would rule that buckler gives +10 WS for defense but no protection vs range, medium gives +10 WS and protection vs ranged, and large gives + 15 WS and protection vs ranged. Just a thought.
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Orin J.
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Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:48 pm

off-hand penalties don't make any sense to begin with in the current system- there's no advantage to it besides gaining benefits of traits from a different weapon (like a shield) and there's no reason why you'd need to inflict a penalty to attacks for it when you only have the one attack to begin with.
fluminor
Posts: 36
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Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:45 pm

Orin J. wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:48 pm
off-hand penalties don't make any sense to begin with in the current system- there's no advantage to it besides gaining benefits of traits from a different weapon (like a shield) and there's no reason why you'd need to inflict a penalty to attacks for it when you only have the one attack to begin with.
What about dual wielding? It's not too common a talent, but it allows to attack with both hands, unless I am missing something.
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Orin J.
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Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:49 pm

fluminor wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:45 pm
Orin J. wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:48 pm
off-hand penalties don't make any sense to begin with in the current system- there's no advantage to it besides gaining benefits of traits from a different weapon (like a shield) and there's no reason why you'd need to inflict a penalty to attacks for it when you only have the one attack to begin with.
What about dual wielding? It's not too common a talent, but it allows to attack with both hands, unless I am missing something.
i can't bring myself to call that an extra attack so much as a follow-up since it has to be the same target, relies on the same diceroll, and plays on advantage requiring both attacks to connect to count as one successful roll. which makes it greater risk than reward if advantage is used. for all the restrictions to it i can't justify using it to begin with, which is boggling!
CapnZapp
Posts: 205
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:23 am

fluminor wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:45 pm
What about dual wielding? It's not too common a talent, but it allows to attack with both hands, unless I am missing something.
You aren't missing anything.
CapnZapp
Posts: 205
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:29 am

Orin J. wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:49 pm
i can't bring myself to call that an extra attack so much as a follow-up since it has to be the same target, relies on the same diceroll, and plays on advantage requiring both attacks to connect to count as one successful roll. which makes it greater risk than reward if advantage is used. for all the restrictions to it i can't justify using it to begin with, which is boggling!
We really should have a thread on that Talent, because "boggling" is a good summary for it!

In short, yes, it's very complicated, but no, that doesn't stop it from being very powerful. All the convoluted hoops the Talent makes you jump through mostly serve to... make it convoluted. All without effectively curbing its power.

Like everything else in 4E, your effectiveness depends on being good. That is, don't take it if your Weapon Skill is low. Take it if your Weapon Skill is high. In this specific case, we're talking about your own absolute score as opposed to your score relative to your opponent (which remains very important of course).

Both my Warrior characters have it. It definitely amounts to an extra attack in practice.
CapnZapp
Posts: 205
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:35 am

Orin J. wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:48 pm
off-hand penalties don't make any sense to begin with in the current system
To return to fluminor's query:

While I generally agree off-hand penalties should serve the lesser role of only being applied when you're forced to fight with your "wrong" hand, dual wielding is an exception.

About the only real limit to the Talent's ability to provide you with an extra attack comes from the off-hand penalty. For that reason, I don't think anyone should simply remove the off-hand penalty.

That doesn't mean it should apply to Shields. It should apply to:
- when you attack or parry with your off-hand because your main hand is mangled by a crit
- when you make a second (or "follow-up" if you prefer, though note the second attack is not limited to targeting the same opponent as the first) attack through dual wielding
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Orin J.
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 9:42 am

In all honestly, my plan for dealing with shields was making parry a separate matter from melee skills entirely making the off-hand penalty moot and avoid the way WS is so overpowered in 4th's melee system. the gist of it was:

-Parry is separated from the melee specializations, moves to its own skill (test if Ws, Agi, or Init works best for the bast stat)
-Defensive trait only provides bonus if used in main hand, only defensive weapons can be used with parry from off hand
-Parry no longer a melee skill, so off-hand penalty no longer applies to defending rolls
-Shield trait only comes into play against attacks parried from shield, avoid the "i have free armor" issue that might arise.

some of the other details i was toying with
-Defender has to declare what they're opposing the roll with before asking if it will work, intended mostly to keep people from bogging down combat with silly "can i bluff the orc" arguments but also encourages the payers to ask details about the combat as it goes instead of assuming stats.
-Successful dodging instantly pulls an opponent out of infighting if they desire it, dodge can't be used in certain circumstances (entangled conditions, surrounded, ect) intended to make focusing entirely on one defense a risk
-Defensive trait can be applied to non-weapons, allowing for parries with properly sturdy objects

that said, i have no way to test this since my old gaming group has split up and i haven't got the time to build a new one and i don't like suggesting anyone try something i haven't played with myself.
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