View Full Version : Another Parry Thread

2008-11-19, 08:52 AM
Hi all,

I've seen a couple of threads on parry, from a long ways back, and I wanted to get some opinions on my own version(s). I am currently developing a d20 ruleset (which I would love to share with all of you once its done), and one of the talents that is available is a parry talent. It is meant for a class that is a caster that uses a staff (to cast spells with), so it is mean for defense against melee, to make the caster a bit more survivable. With that in mind, here are the options I was thinking about for the talent.

Parry: as a reaction you may negate a melee attack by making a successful opposed attack roll. (If your attack exceeds or equals the attacker's roll, the attack is negated)

The rest of it I am undecided on so here are some things I was thinking of.

1) This attack counts as an attack of opportunity, and thus you may only block once per round unless you have the combat reflexes feat
2) This attack is a reaction that costs you your move action next turn.
3) This attack is a reaction that costs you your standard action next turn.
4) This attack replaces your defense score, if you fail to negate the attack you are automatically hit. (You would have to declare that you want to parry prior to the enemy's attack)

To give you some idea of the context, my system uses wound/vitality system, vitality is used to cast spells. I want to have parry as an option that the player can use to prevent an attack against themselves, but not so that they would want to do it 100% of the time. I do not want it to be like Star Wars where Jedi block blasters all the time just because they can and there isn't any downside to it, I want this to be a choice they have to make.

Any thoughts? :smallsmile:

2008-11-19, 04:57 PM
I like the idea. I'd either have it take your attack of opportunity or replace your armor class; taking up actions screw you over for making a parry, because it prevents you from making a full attack. Perhaps make it replace your armor class by default (only allowing one parry per round and counting as your attack of opportunity), then have a feat like Improved Parry where it doesn't replace your armor class, and then a feat requiring Combat Reflexes where you can make as many parries as you have attacks of opportunity.

Mando Knight
2008-11-19, 05:11 PM
I do not want it to be like Star Wars where Jedi block blasters all the time just because they can and there isn't any downside to it, I want this to be a choice they have to make.

In SAGA, at least, a Jedi with a lightsaber has to take a cumulative -5 penalty to their Block/Deflect rolls each round. For example, a Jedi with a +11 UTF modifier blocks a melee attack, so for the next attack he wants to block, he's only got a +6. The third time he tries to stop an attack on that round, he only has a +1 modifier, regardless of whether the previous blocks were successful or not. When it's the Jedi's next turn, the Block/Deflect modifier resets to +11.

You might want to implement this into your system. That said, SAGA's Vehicular Combat, and D&D 3.5's Mounted Combat, use skill checks to negate one attack per round, if it would otherwise hit.

(Also, from experience, I can tell you that not every failed parry leads to an automatic hit. The parry skill/talent should be used to negate an otherwise successful attack.)

Zeta Kai
2008-11-19, 06:14 PM
To quote myself:

I've seen a number of attempts to make a parry action in 3.5, & most of them are feat-based. But this is no worse than any of the others.

2008-11-19, 06:28 PM
To quote myself:

Ha, ha. That list gets longer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=23175&page=2) and longer (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=22979&page=2). I agree with Zeta Kai. :smallbiggrin:

If you want to limit it to once per round, I would recommend it be an immediate action. Depending on what your new system is like, spellcasters probably don't need more help at resisting being attacked.

2008-11-20, 10:20 AM
Heh I do realize I am the 100th person to make a thread like this, so why don't I explain a little bit about where I am coming from in order to make it more unique.

My system is for a harry potter system set in the medieval days. The basics of the system is that it uses vitality and wound system, so melee combat has the potential to be very deadly. A critical hit means going to wounds which could conceivably kill you in a single round. Vitality is also used to cast spells in this system. It also uses class defense bonuses, and armor as damage reduction. In addition to that it takes many elements from Star Wars saga edition, such as feats like rapid strike, mighty swing, dual weapon, double and triple attacks. (No multiple attacks for high bab in this system)

The two "casting" classes are wizards and warlocks (the name of my system as well) Wizards are like what you would see in the harry potter books, in modern era, they use wands, they study, etc. The other class, warlocks are casters who use staves to cast their spells. The warlock has a little less casting ability than the wizard class, but is meant to be more defensible in a era where magic users distrusted, hunted, or burned at the stake.

More specifically, I am (re)designing my system to have base classes and advanced classes like d20 modern did, The classes alternate between getting bonus feats and talents up to 10th level. Both the wizard and warlock have two of their own talent trees and can pick from a third chosen "house" talent tree (from the four houses in harry potter). There is also a base class called muggle which is used for NPCs that I haven't developed quite yet. There won't be any multiclassing allowed for base classes, but you will be able to pick tons of different advanced classes, things like (Auror, Dark Wizard, Animagus etc)

The warlock is the person who I am designing the parry talent for. The staff talent tree has options that let them store a spell in their staff, substitute their staff for a different wooden polearm, and also the parry talent. Their other talent tree is an armor talent tree, where they can select options like increasing the max dex bonus of armor, negating movement penalties, or lowering their total spell chance failure due to armor.

I may also include this special ability in one of the advanced classes for NPCs, since there is a warrior type advanced class for non-magic users, as it is the medieval times, and there are plenty of people like that.

So now that you know a little more about what it is that I am designing it for...

My goal is to have the ability to be useful in the sense that it could prevent the character from taking damage when they couldn't afford to otherwise, but not have them use it all the time, since it would slow down game play. In this particular system, someone with this ability would certainly want to use it to prevent a critical hit which could be fatal, and warlocks would also want to use it to prevent a regular attack from depleting their vitality which they use to cast from.

That being said, I agree with Mando, in that it should be used after you know you are hit. They should then have to make a decision, can I take this hit? If I get hit again I'll have no VP left and I can't cast that awesome spell I wanted to...

After reading your comments so far I think that the direction I am starting to lean towards is the following

Parry: when you would be otherwise hit in melee combat, you may as a reaction negate a melee attack by making a successful opposed attack roll. This is a reaction that costs your standard action in your next turn.

Improved Parry: when you would be otherwise hit in melee combat, you may as a reaction negate a melee attack by making a successful opposed attack roll. This is a reaction that costs your move action in your next turn.

Special note, if you are struck by a critical hit in combat, you may attempt to parry the confirming critical roll. If successful the force of the critical hit damages your weapon instead. (Like a free sunder)

I think that in my particular system, that this will work out pretty well. The standard version of Parry would be useful for blocking critical hits of course. And blocking regular hits would be done at the cost of your standard action, so you could then "withdraw" on your turn. Cinematically speaking it would be like block an attack and fall back possibly repeatedly. In that case you would be wait for them to miss you and then launch your counter attack. It seems rather appropriate.

As far as improved parry, characters only have 5 talents to choose from so it is an investment to gain improved parry. This would allow you to block and then come back with an attack or spell of your own, but there is still a downside. You wouldn't be able to move away from them, so if it a really badass melee type character who has dual weilding ability or double or triple attack feats, you could be in for a world of hurt the following round since you didn't move away.

Well if anyone actually read through my huge post, I'd be glad to hear more thoughts.