Bennie Option - active parrying

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dugfromthearth
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Bennie Option - active parrying

#1 Postby dugfromthearth » Sat Oct 03, 2009 12:17 pm

the only active defense in SW is a soak roll. A skilled but non-Vigorous character does not get as much benefit from a bennie when trying to survive in combat.

So I have the idea of allowing an active parry.

After a melee attack hits a character can spend a bennie to parry it. The character makes a fighting check - on a success they parry the attack and it has no effect. If the attack got a raise, then the parry needs a raise to stop it.

The target number is the normal 4, not the to hit roll.

It is generally easier to parry an attack then it is to soak an attack that does a lot of damage - but you have to choose to spend the bennie before damage is rolled. So it is sort of the safer but more expensive option.

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zeth
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#2 Postby zeth » Sat Oct 03, 2009 2:22 pm

Well I might restrict this option to players. I find it hard enough to hit people with a d6 or d8 do to them having a parry score of 5 or higher already. Making an active defense seems to kind of slow the game down and cheapen it a little.

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Re: Bennie Option - active parrying

#3 Postby DerFinsterling » Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:12 pm

dugfromthearth wrote:the only active defense in SW is a soak roll. A skilled but non-Vigorous character does not get as much benefit from a bennie when trying to survive in combat.

So I have the idea of allowing an active parry.


The parry value already constitutes an "active parry". That's why it's tied to Fighting - the better you're at fighting, the better you're at parrying.

Then there's already the Full Defense maneuver - while it's not quite what you're looking for, this could be a start.

Plus, something rubs me the wrong way that a d4 fighter and a d12 fighter would both roll against a 4 for an active parry, but it's late, and I can't quite put my finger on what it is.

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Re: Bennie Option - active parrying

#4 Postby UmbraLux » Sat Oct 03, 2009 4:47 pm

dugfromthearth wrote:The target number is the normal 4, not the to hit roll.
This makes parrying easy, far easier than the actual Fighting roll was. If you want it to be successful that often why not just make it automatic? Spend a benny and parry the attack.

As for using either version at all, what will it do to combat? How much will it slow combat down? Does it turn it into a game of 'he who runs out of bennies first loses'? Finally, what does it do to spending bennies? Will players avoid spending them in other situations?

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#5 Postby Edgeworth » Sat Oct 03, 2009 5:25 pm

Well, it's kind of the point of having vigor that you're able to take some damage. But instead of changing the rules, how about a new edge like

That was close!
Req. Novice, Agility d8, (Acrobat?)
The hero has a bad habit jumping around in combat, avoiding taking hit. Whenever soaking wounds, the player may choose to roll Agility as if he rolled Vigor.


Or


Master of parrying, Mister Parryman
Req. Seasoned, Fighting d8, an object to parry with
Just when it looks like the hero's going to take a hit, he might be able to put his object of parrying between himself and the opponent's hurt-hurt-thing. Whenever soaking wounds, the player may choose to roll Fighting as if he rolled Vigor.


These both Edges probably need some work to get them balanced with the rest of game, but I'm too tired to start thinking trivial things like that.

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Re: Bennie Option - active parrying

#6 Postby 77IM » Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:38 pm

Another option would be "abort to dodge" style. Like:

- When you are attacked, you can make a Fighting check (vs. a melee attack roll) or an Agility check (vs. a ranged attack) to negate it. This causes you to become Shaken.

This seems a bit more balanced than the TN 4 option, and Shaken means it might cost you a benny, but might not. It's a sort of desperation move for when you get jumped by somebody with huge damage.

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#7 Postby FoxBlue » Sat Oct 03, 2009 8:23 pm

The full defense action allows you to use your fighting as your parry... essentially it is an active parry. Also Parry is is based on skill rather than agility so it already to an extent accounts for the skill of the defending character.

There is an edge in NE called "take the hit" which gives a bonus to soak rolls. You could use it to represent knowing how to roll with a blow (rather than just taking it). It has a high vigor req but you could probably change that to agility for what you want to do with it.

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#8 Postby dugfromthearth » Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:54 am

Edgeworth wrote:Well, it's kind of the point of having vigor that you're able to take some damage. But instead of changing the rules, how about a new edge like

That was close!
Req. Novice, Agility d8, (Acrobat?)
The hero has a bad habit jumping around in combat, avoiding taking hit. Whenever soaking wounds, the player may choose to roll Agility as if he rolled Vigor.

Or

Master of parrying, Mister Parryman
Req. Seasoned, Fighting d8, an object to parry with
Just when it looks like the hero's going to take a hit, he might be able to put his object of parrying between himself and the opponent's hurt-hurt-thing. Whenever soaking wounds, the player may choose to roll Fighting as if he rolled Vigor.

These both Edges probably need some work to get them balanced with the rest of game, but I'm too tired to start thinking trivial things like that.


I like the idea of making it an edge.

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#9 Postby shadd4d » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:02 am

You're increasing your dice rolling, something I'm not too keen on. I think Umbra Lux is on the right track as it's going to be a lot of who can keep a hold of their bennies the longest.

One question: Are your combats mostly hacking away at each other? A combination of gang-up and wild attacks do wonders as do tricks and such. Which is one other thing, is how will this affect characters who have been the victims of tricks or tests of will or who are still shaken? Do they get to attempt to parry, even if shaken? What about against a grapple?

Part of me says that you're trying to change the combat system to compensate for the combat style of your players, rather than branching out to more tricks and tests of will and other things of that nature.

Don
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#10 Postby Merlin_Sylver » Sun Oct 04, 2009 11:48 am

Wow... so many of you make so many good points!

My own personal take on it, and not that it's better than anyone else's, is that the soak roll itself can simply be declared an Agility soak, or a Vigor soak. If the PC has no room for evasive maneuvers, then Agility is not an option.

However, if I allow an Agility roll in place of the Vigor roll, I compel my players to describe just what they are doing that justifies it... roleplay it!

Still... my players don't use many of their bennies on soak rolls, even though they do take their share of wounds. Those re-rolls save their butts so often that they rarely think about soaking. Also, I have institued that a bennie can be used to convert a critical failure (a '1' on both dice) into a normal failure... but that's another matter altogether.

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#11 Postby shadd4d » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:03 pm

But don't you end up over-valuing Agility as opposed to the other attributes? I'm wondering if Agility ends up what everyone puts more points in, at least in your game.

Do they also do a lot of acrobatic tricks?

Don
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Fear is when you worry about what might be.

Horror is when you are certain." Dannyboy01

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#12 Postby Merlin_Sylver » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:12 pm

Actually, my games don't do a lot of hack and slash type combat... so Agility is only usually highest in one out of three or four characters. My games tend to focus heavy on the roleplay and non-combat action, making Smarts and Spirit the two heaviest attributes in my games.

I see how the way I do things could easily make Agility the 'only' attribute to worry about in a pure tactics game, though.

Ah yes.. .the only character I've ever even needed to offer an Agility soak roll to was actually an Acrobat (by the edge).

As for tricks... I keep trying to get them to use them, but my players are still a bit 'D20'd, if you know what I mean. I show them how effective tricks are by having my monsters and NPC use tricks... they are coming around, but slowly.

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#13 Postby shadd4d » Sun Oct 04, 2009 12:31 pm

I would say my players, after our session last night, have been doing an interesting job; one of them printed up and then laminated the GM reference screen which had everything like combat modifiers and such on it. We got a lot of use out of that. They had a better idea of combat options and used them to great effect.

Don
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Fear is when you worry about what might be.

Horror is when you are certain." Dannyboy01

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#14 Postby Merlin_Sylver » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:09 pm

I do have something like that... it's just that my players spent so many years playing D20 and nothing else, that a clearly defined list of combat actions is ingrained in them. The idea of generic tricks just goes over their heads.... but they are coming around.

On a side note... I sure hope the OP doesn't mind the thread coming off topic like this?

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#15 Postby shadd4d » Sun Oct 04, 2009 1:24 pm

Regarding the original topic: it comes across a lot like how damage works in the old Shadowrun system or in classic Deadlands with attempts to parry or soak with various attributes after a "hit" has been achieved, which does add time to the combat rolls.

I can see using Agility instead or or as a choice to Vigor in a sort of wire-fu setting, where there are guys like in Feng Shui, as it comes to mind.

I just still think that the active parry as stated by the original poster is something to compensate for possibly bad tactical choices or character builds rather than a design flaw. I don't mean this in any condemnationary manner. I think you're having a skilled persons try to wade in and then getting stomped due to possibly getting surrounded or because they are trying to "wade in" rather than playing to strengths of higher skill and possibly higher damage but not real...staying ability. What comes to mind is to change tactics.

Don
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Fear is when you worry about what might be.

Horror is when you are certain." Dannyboy01

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#16 Postby 77IM » Sun Oct 04, 2009 6:30 pm

Merlin_Sylver wrote:My own personal take on it, and not that it's better than anyone else's, is that the soak roll itself can simply be declared an Agility soak, or a Vigor soak. If the PC has no room for evasive maneuvers, then Agility is not an option.

I think that would make a fine Edge.

DEFENSIVE ROLL (Combat)
Requirements: Seasoned, Agility d8+
When you spend a benny to soak damage, you may make an Agility check rather than a Vigor check to soak the wounds. You can't do so if you are bound, grappled, restrained, or are in a space too narrow to maneuver.

-- 77IM


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