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[SWADE] How do you break an opponent's shield in melee?

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  • [SWADE] How do you break an opponent's shield in melee?

    I'm a little bamboozled about how you'd go about breaking someone's shield in melee, and am seeking clarification. Big shields in SWADE give big bonuses (+3 Parry and -4 Cover holy crap) so finding a way to destroy that bonus seems relevant.

    Strictly rules as written, I THINK you make an attack with -4 (Disarm rules targeting the hand, p.100) against a Parry of 2 ("The Parry of an inanimate object is 2," Breaking Things on p.98)

    Does this seem correct? It feels a bit weird that the opponent's own Parry doesn't come into play (though I imagine they wouldn't get their shield's bonus to Parry, as that's the object they're trying to protect!)

    Am I missing something? Thoughts and clarifications are appreciated.

  • #2
    That seems to be what the rules actually say, but I'm pretty sure they intended them to mean that you have to hit the opponent's Parry, not the object's.

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    • #3
      I would also assume it is the opponents parry. Both the opponent and his shield are moving around in a combat, the shield isn´t stationary.

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      • #4
        I'd probably rule it as a regular attack vs their shield-less parry. No other penalties (you're not trying to disarm them, you're just trying to hit the shield).

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        • #5
          Originally posted by bitz-and-richez View Post
          Strictly rules as written, I THINK you make an attack with -4 (Disarm rules targeting the hand, p.100) against a Parry of 2 ("The Parry of an inanimate object is 2," Breaking Things on p.98)
          Held objects are not inanimate. They're held, and animated by the character holding them.

          If you want to smash a foe's shield (not as a trapping of a Soak or similar, but as a deliberate attack) then you'd attack that object.
          First is to make sure you're using an appropriate damage type - bashing or cutting in most cases.
          Next you'd attack the object. By definition this shield covers at least 50% of the target (page 99, Chart), so it should just be Fighting against the foe's Parry (without the Shield bonus).
          Assuming you hit, you get to roll damage that can't Ace (page 98, Breaking Things). Roll 10+ and the shield breaks.
          I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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          • #6
            And, if setting appropriate, you may even create an edge that gives a bonus to hit and/or damage when attempting to break an opponents shield. Perhaps to break weapons as well.
            I have way too much time but do not always edit myself properly. Please do not take offense.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
              Held objects are not inanimate. They're held, and animated by the character holding them.
              That's not what inanimate means. Animate isn't the same as animated. It means something that can move under its own volition. It doesn't stop being an inanimate object when you move it around. Unless it starts moving on its own, it's still inanimate.

              Again, I don't think anyone believes that you should try for a 2 Parry. Almost certainly that is not what the designers intended. It's just that the rules technically say that right now, and it could cause some confusion.

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              • #8
                To follow-up on my original post: The reason I considered the "Attack the Shield's Parry of 2 with a -4 penalty to your Fighting roll" is because the alternative (Making a called shot vs. the shield at -4) is objectively worse.

                Assuming the shield's Parry is not 2, I'd need to target someone's hand to damage/disarm their shield. That's a -4 penalty to my Fighting roll due to Called Shot. The largest of shields gives a +3 bonus to Parry. Assuming I need to overcome someone's Parry to hit the object in their hand - and even if we're discounting the +3 Parry from the shield - it would be harder to hit the shield than it would be to hit the wielder.

                I, too, believe that a held and moving object should probably not have a Parry of 2. I floated the idea because, otherwise, it leads to situations where the shield is better defended than its wielder.

                Regardless, a request for clarification on the issue has been posted in the Feedback forum, so I'm happy to wait and see.

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                • SapphireWyvern
                  SapphireWyvern commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I don’t agree you’d need to target their hand. A shield is way bigger than a hand, plus the foe will generally be deliberately presenting the shield to you, (while protecting their body behind it) and may even try to interpose the shield against an incoming weapon blow! That’s kinda the point of shields. Depending on how large the shield is, the Called Shot penalty should range from 0 (Large/Riot/Ballistic are nearly person height). Probably -2 for “limb sized” Medium shields. Small bucklers could be as much as -4, but honestly I’d probably still call it -2, because most defenders want you to hit the shield instead of their precious bones and meat!

                  Shields should be tough and hard to break, rather than a difficult evasive target. The last thing most fighters would do with a shield in a fight is yank it out of the way of enemy weapons!

              • #9
                It's an attack against the target character's Parry. The shield's Parry bonus doesn't factor in because that's used to prevent attacks from reaching his person (using the shield to block). So purposefully targeting the shield would use the target's raw Parry (i.e. their fighting prowess) as they are attempting to minimize the damage you inflict.

                Come to think of it, unless the target is trying to prevent you from hitting the shield at all (as opposed to angling it so your strike glances off), then the shield's Parry bonus might serve as a bonus to your attack instead...
                ... but that's houserule territory.

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                • #10
                  Properly using a shield inherently includes "attempting to minimize the damage" to the shield. Never take a hit square on the face of the shield. That's a path not only to damaging it, but also allowing it to be used as lever to control you. To take the iconic trial in The 13th Warrior as an example, Herger intentionally presents the worst aspect of his shields to assist Angus to assist him in breaking them.

                  Using the Disarm rules on p100,

                  "The attacker must first hit the object or the opponent’s hand (see Called Shots on page 99). If the attack hits the weapon, it may shatter (see Breaking Things, page 98). If the attack hits the target and he is Shaken or Wounded from the attack, he must make a Strength roll at −2 or drop whatever is in that hand."

                  breaking what is held is specifically called out as an option of successfully hitting the object. So keeping with the same mechanic, I'd say to break a shield you need to make a called shot to a limb rather than a hand, as a shield is much more significant than a sword. Otherwise, the procedure follows the called out rules quotation above.

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                  • #11
                    Originally posted by bitz-and-richez View Post
                    +3 Parry and -4 Cover holy crap
                    Yeah this seems over porewed to me too what are people expirance with playing with this?

                    p98 "Use the wielder’s Parry if held" It seems clear to me that you use the wielder's parry + including the shield bonus, however this seems unreasonable that it is so hard to hit a shield.


                    But all the different interpretations I read in this thread makes it clear that some kind of clarification is needed.
                    Last edited by Awesomesaurus; 01-12-2019, 11:32 PM.

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Awesomesaurus View Post
                      Yeah this seems over porewed to me too what are people expirance with playing with this?
                      It's as good as an off-hand Improved Trademark rapier, for Parry bonus, with a Cover penalty to being shot from some directions but crappier offense.
                      So, reasonably well balanced compared to the alternatives.

                      How to apply the shield's Parry bonus is a situational modifier, one the GM controls. It would be pretty reasonable to say it doesn't apply, or even grant it as a bonus to the attack roll to hit the shield in some situations.
                      Like a lot of corner cases, Savage Worlds leaves that to the GM at the table.

                      Once you hit, it's just Breaking Objects, and shields are either Toughness 10 or 12.
                      I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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                      • #13
                        You cannot comepare a weapon and two edges with a shield and zero edges. A better comparison would be a shield with improved trademark weapon with would give +5 parry, an armour bonus vs arrows and be as good in battle. Or you could use the two edges to by improved trademark weapon for your main weapon which would be much better offensive and defensive or you could buy the new improved block if you wanted to be truly impossible to hit.

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                        • #14
                          Originally posted by paladin2019 View Post
                          Using the Disarm rules on p100,

                          "The attacker must first hit the object or the opponent’s hand (see Called Shots on page 99). If the attack hits the weapon, it may shatter (see Breaking Things, page 98). If the attack hits the target and he is Shaken or Wounded from the attack, he must make a Strength roll at −2 or drop whatever is in that hand."

                          breaking what is held is specifically called out as an option of successfully hitting the object. So keeping with the same mechanic, I'd say to break a shield you need to make a called shot to a limb rather than a hand, as a shield is much more significant than a sword. Otherwise, the procedure follows the called out rules quotation above.
                          That wasn't the case when this thread was created. Indeed, it was changed in response to feedback given because of this thread.

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                          • paladin2019
                            paladin2019 commented
                            Editing a comment
                            SWADE beta 2.0 was published prior to the 16th, when I saved it. 2.0 uses the highlighted rule. This was started on the 20th.

                        • #15
                          Originally posted by Awesomesaurus View Post
                          You cannot comepare a weapon and two edges with a shield and zero edges.
                          But I did. Does this make me a master of the impossible? Like Flash Gordon?
                          Neat.

                          If you mean I shouldn't compare the two then you'd have a place to argue from. I disagree, but I don't expect you to change your mind just because a stranger on the internet disagrees with you.

                          Parry is already going to get high. Base 9 from Fighting d12+2, +2 for Improved Block, +2 for Man At Arms, with another +2 for an Improved Trademark Weapon plus gear. With Ambidextrous, you can get +2 more for a second Trademark Weapon. And Combat Acrobat tops it off with a flat -1 to being hit at any range. That's a total of 15, with -1, for a single weapon, and for dual rapiers that totals at a shocking Parry 19 with a -1 to all incoming attacks, plus other relevant benefits. If using a large shield instead of a second rapier then you save three edges and still have Parry 19.

                          Incidentally, shields are not listed as weapons, so they shouldn't be allowed to be Trademark Weapons, since that edge clearly states it only applies to a "unique weapon".


                          You did ask for experience. I gave you mine and you have responded derisively. That's not the tone we strive for around here, and if you plan to spend some time on these forums then you may want to rethink that approach.

                          Good luck, good gaming, and welcome to the forum.
                          I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

                          Comment


                          • Deskepticon
                            Deskepticon commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I don't think Awesomesaurus was being derisive. I think he(?) was only voicing caution about comparing someone who invests in two Edges (both of which have pretty steep requirements) to some untrained pleb simply picking up a shield. I don't agree with the rationale, but I don't think there was any actual malice behind the remark.

                            P.S. You are like Flash Gordon: you are King of the Impossible, and you will save all of us.
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