newbie question AP weapons

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newbie question AP weapons

Postby mwsasser » Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:51 pm

Ok guys, heres another newbie question. Why is there AP on weapons? Am I missing something?
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Re: newbie question AP weapons

Postby master of reality » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:04 pm

mwsasser wrote:Ok guys, heres another newbie question. Why is there AP on weapons? Am I missing something?
Weapon armor points are used to determine damage reduction from a successful parry. For example, if the combat result is a successful parry against a successful attack, damage is reduced by the AP of the weapon used to parry. On a critical parry success versus a normal attack success, damage is reduced by twice the the AP value of the weapon. This info is given in the combat matrix. I recommend using the matrix from the GM's guide or the player's update. The matrix given in the Core book is a little confusing.

Don't confuse weapon armor points with weapon hit points. A weapon's hit points are a measure of how much damage the weapon itself can take before breaking, whereas weapon armor points are a measure of how much damage the weapon can deflect on a successful parry. A weapon's APs generally do not change. A weapon's hit points change according to how much damage the weapon takes. Rules for determining weapon hit point loss are practically nonexistent in the Core Book, but references to damage to a weapon are made in the fumble tables given in the GM guide or player's update.
The Player's update can be obtained for free as a pdf from this website.
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Postby weasel_fierce » Thu Jun 11, 2009 11:51 pm

If using the opposed roll combat from the deluxe rulebook and gamemasters guide, AP rarely come up in a fight. They do come up if an enemy deliberately targets the weapon though
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Postby mwsasser » Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:20 pm

Fantastic answers, thanks guys!
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Postby ozchandler » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:13 am

I'm assuming then that the parrying weapon or shield hit points are reduced after a successful parry result, damage rolled normally, minus the AP.

Is that correct?
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Postby master of reality » Tue Jul 21, 2009 9:55 pm

ozchandler wrote:I'm assuming then that the parrying weapon or shield hit points are reduced after a successful parry result, damage rolled normally, minus the AP.

Is that correct?
No, at least not according to my reading of the rules.

In reference to a successful parry against a successful attack, page 51 from the Core book states:
"Attack Succeeds but AP of Parrying Weapon/Shield is Deducted from Damage: The parry is at least partially successful. The attack still causes damage, however, the damage is reduced by the AP of the parrying weapon or shield."
There's nothing to indicate that any damage left over after the AP of the parrying weapon is deducted is applied exclusively to that weapon. In fact, targeting the weapon in order to damage it is one of the four options listed as "precise attack" on page 49 of the Core Book:
"The attacker declares that he is attempting to attack the target's held weapon or shield. If the attack is successful, any damage is dealt directly to the opponent's weapon, using the rules for attacking inanimate objects in the Adventuring chapter on page 93."
The only published combat example involving a successful attack versus a successful parry is given on page 67 of the GM guide:
"Cross-referenced on the Parry Table, Jurgen's attack succeeds for normal damage, but is reduced by twice the Baron's Great Sword AP. Jurgen's damage roll is 7 points, so the Baron easily turns Jurgen's attack."
While it might seem that a weapon used to block another weapon should take damage before any is applied to the defender, hitting a weapon used to parry so hard that it causes the defender's wrists to bend, allowing some damage to get through without damaging the weapon itself, is a perfectly reasonable scenario. Furthermore, the amount of AP deducted from attack damage varies from 1/2 x AP or 2 x AP depending upon level of parry success. Does 1/2 x AP imply that the defender parried in a way that is particularly destructive to his weapon or does it imply that less attack damage was diverted? The latter possibility makes more sense to me.
It is unfortunate that rules for weapon breakage are not explicitly covered in the rules. It should at least have been given as an optional rule. In other games, damage to a weapon used to parry an attack is treated as a probabilistic event.
I hope this is helpful. Perhaps my explanation will elicit responses from those on this forum who work for Mongoose or had a hand in MRQ's design, if my interpretation of the rules is not correct.
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Postby ozchandler » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:04 am

Thanks MoR

I agree with your assessment of the rules and the lack of damage to weapon coverage. I've instituted that damage to weapon or shield occurs when the attacker rolls a crit and the defender successfully parrys the attack. The parrying weapon or shield will take the damage first, minus the AP, then any left over damage will be absorbed by armor AP. If any damage still remains, then the character is injured. Also, any crit result from the attacker that is successfully parryed reduces the weapon/shield AP by 1. If the parry is unsuccessful, then the armor location AP is reduced by 1.

Hope this makes sense.
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Postby Kamelion » Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:08 pm

You could also try making a distinction between a "parry" and a "block". It requires no extra complication where rules are concerned, just a choice by the player. When a player wants to deflect an incoming blow, they choose parry or block (or dodge, of course).

With a parry, any damage not reduced by the weapons' AP is applied to the wielder. In other words, treat a parry as it currently stands in the rules.

With a block, any damage not reduced by the weapons' AP is applied to the weapon or shield. So the wielder is taking all the blow on his weapon or shield. He won't take damage himself, but his weapon or shield will be damaged, or even destroyed (indeed, it will be rendered useless after a few solid blocks).

This gives the wielder a nice tactical choice to make, and gives added relevance to the hit points of weapons and shields. (Plus, of course, enemies can target a character's weapon or shield with a precise attack, as per the normal rules).
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Postby kintire » Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:33 pm

While it might seem that a weapon used to block another weapon should take damage before any is applied to the defender, hitting a weapon used to parry so hard that it causes the defender's wrists to bend, allowing some damage to get through without damaging the weapon itself, is a perfectly reasonable scenario.
Do not attempt to apply realism to this: there is none. I would suggest using the opposed dice rule where this rarely comes up and not bothering too much with the details...
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Postby master of reality » Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:43 pm

kintire wrote:
While it might seem that a weapon used to block another weapon should take damage before any is applied to the defender, hitting a weapon used to parry so hard that it causes the defender's wrists to bend, allowing some damage to get through without damaging the weapon itself, is a perfectly reasonable scenario.
Do not attempt to apply realism to this: there is none. I would suggest using the opposed dice rule where this rarely comes up and not bothering too much with the details...


I'm not sure whether you're suggesting that a successfully parried attack can never cause damage to the defender without breaking the parried weapon, or whether you're simply telling me not to think too hard about the details of combat. If I attempt to apply realism, what will happen? Will my brain explode? If I want to worry about the details, that's my business. If you're an expert in Medieval hand to hand combat and you do not believe that my scenario is realistic, then by all means, educate me. Otherwise, I will run my MRQ sessions as I see fit.
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Postby kintire » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:50 am

I'm not sure whether you're suggesting that a successfully parried attack can never cause damage to the defender without breaking the parried weapon
Indeed. Solid objects do not interpenetrate.
If I attempt to apply realism, what will happen? Will my brain explode?
Hyperbole much? You will find that it does not fit the RQ APs based parrying system.
If you're an expert in Medieval hand to hand combat and you do not believe that my scenario is realistic, then by all means, educate me.
Hardly an expert, but an interested amateur with some basic knowledge. Such as:

When two solid objects collide, one does not pass through the other without breakage

If straining the wrists was the cause of damage, one might expect the damage to be applied to the arm, and the strength of the defender to have some impact.

A successful parry deflects the course of the attacking weapon, not necessarily (or even usually) stopping it dead with a head-on block.
Otherwise, I will run my MRQ sessions as I see fit.
Oh please! Who said you couldn't?
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Postby Mongoose Pete » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:25 pm

kintire wrote:
I'm not sure whether you're suggesting that a successfully parried attack can never cause damage to the defender without breaking the parried weapon
Indeed. Solid objects do not interpenetrate.
I can categorically state that I've taken damage from my own shield a number of times, when I interposed it between me and an incoming blow. Although the attacking weapon itself didn't touch me, the transferred force of the blow managed to smash it back into my face. I've also had my wrists sprained and pulled muscles in my forearm from successful parries. I've even cleanly parried a vertical head shot from a greatsword with an axe, and had the axe sweep down from the absorbed momentum and cut my own leg - which served me right for demonstrating a manoeuvre without wearing full armour. ;)

Despite taking damage to my body, in none of these cases was any damage caused to my parrying weapon or shield.

So yes, it can happen.
Nice to get a reminder that these rules were written assuming a quite different sort of campaign from the munchkin "It's in the rules so you have to let me do it, look at me buffing my character I'm going to go kill now arrgrgrgrh" approach. -dbhoward
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Postby master of reality » Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:42 pm

Pete Nash wrote:
kintire wrote:
I'm not sure whether you're suggesting that a successfully parried attack can never cause damage to the defender without breaking the parried weapon
Indeed. Solid objects do not interpenetrate.
I can categorically state that I've taken damage from my own shield a number of times, when I interposed it between me and an incoming blow. Although the attacking weapon itself didn't touch me, the transferred force of the blow managed to smash it back into my face. I've also had my wrists sprained and pulled muscles in my forearm from successful parries. I've even cleanly parried a vertical head shot from a greatsword with an axe, and had the axe sweep down from the absorbed momentum and cut my own leg - which served me right for demonstrating a manoeuvre without wearing full armour. ;)

Despite taking damage to my body, in none of these cases was any damage caused to my parrying weapon or shield.

So yes, it can happen.
Thanks Pete. These are the kinds of scenarios that I have in mind when a defender still takes damage despite a successful parry.
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Postby kintire » Fri Jul 31, 2009 8:39 am

So yes, it can happen.
I'm not sure I would describe those as successful parries...

And with RQ APs, it doesn't sometimes happen. It happens every time you parry. That certainly wasn't my experience with fencing.
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Postby Mongoose Pete » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:19 am

kintire wrote:
So yes, it can happen.
I'm not sure I would describe those as successful parries...
Depends on your perspective. For me personally, a successful parry is when I've deflected enough of a blow so that I remain functional (i.e. I may or may not get hurt, but I can still fight).:D

But in this thread I had assumed that we are talking system mechanics. Therefore a successful parry is when you succeed in your Parry skill roll, thus interposing your weapon or shield before the attack lands.

What happens because the weapon is in the way, then depends on which rules-set you favour. :wink:
kintire wrote:And with RQ APs, it doesn't sometimes happen. It happens every time you parry. That certainly wasn't my experience with fencing.
Which is why in some respects opposed roll combat can model reality better, depending on what aspects of combat you want to focus on. Reduced bookkeeping vs. equipment attrition, or significant wounds vs. chipping away at HPs for example.

Parries in opposed roll combat suit weapon styles which are based on thrusting, as thrusts are easy to deflect if you parry, yet tend to do full damage if you don't. Straight roll combats are more suited to swung weapons, since blocks and parries tend to only partially reduce the force of these type of attacks.

No system is perfect though, they are all simplified abstractions. We just have to interpret them in a way which suits our conceptions! :)
Nice to get a reminder that these rules were written assuming a quite different sort of campaign from the munchkin "It's in the rules so you have to let me do it, look at me buffing my character I'm going to go kill now arrgrgrgrh" approach. -dbhoward
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Postby kintire » Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:04 pm

Depends on your perspective. For me personally, a successful parry is when I've deflected enough of a blow so that I remain functional (i.e. I may or may not get hurt, but I can still fight).
Speaking as a wuss, I set the bar a little higher :wink:
But in this thread I had assumed that we are talking system mechanics. Therefore a successful parry is when you succeed in your Parry skill roll, thus interposing your weapon or shield before the attack lands.

What happens because the weapon is in the way, then depends on which rules-set you favour.
It does, but attempts were made to inject the word "realism" into this debate. Realistically, the pary's success does not in the slightest depend on the toughness of the weapon, unless that toughness is so low the weapon actually breaks. It depends on the skill and strength of the defender as compared to the attacker. A dark troll hitting a trollkin's parry may well result in some serious wrist wrenching: the other way around, not so much.

Of course, if we're really talking realism, I might question the use of an attack skill roll at all.
Parries in opposed roll combat suit weapon styles which are based on thrusting, as thrusts are easy to deflect if you parry, yet tend to do full damage if you don't. Straight roll combats are more suited to swung weapons, since blocks and parries tend to only partially reduce the force of these type of attacks.
I venture into swung weapon combat with great care, as my experience is limited to foil fencing (which is thrusting, obviously and pretty stylised) and renactment combat in the Sealed Knot (which is even more stylised). However, I gathered from reading that deflection parries combined with counterattackes were the favoured technique against swung weapons as well... for exactly that reason. Not always possible in practice of course.
No system is perfect though, they are all simplified abstractions. We just have to interpret them in a way which suits our conceptions!
That's true of course, but in some ways RQ and similar systems are vulnerable to this, since their greater detaail and such things as hit locations make them look more realistic than others. That can lead to higher expectations that they aactually model reality to some degree: which makes moments like this, when they don't, a little jarring.
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Postby Simulacrum » Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:38 pm

To add a few thoughts

Whether you block or parry with a weapon, it is usually regarded as good form to attempt to move your body out of the way at the same time - the combination of putting a weapon in the way and moving your body is what stops the blow from making contact with you (and this is true of unarmed combat as well).

Now of course the process can be only partially successful - because the blow is being turned, not blocked, you might stop that axe coming down the centreline of your head, but it can still make contact with you (while the parrying weapon remains intact). That's happened to me back in the days of the Vike and more recently in martial arts. So one way or another, a successful parry vs a successful attack can result in damage to the defender without assuming the parrying weapon has to have been shattered for this to happen. So for example: roll damage, subtract weapon AP, apply this to defender; is perfectly "realistic". Maybe dock a weapon HP for good measure.

A straight block is a clumsy way to stop a blow, but if using a shield of any size and weight, the only option unless you are quite strong/skilled. It's an entirely plausible move with a weapon, and fully in keeping with hollywood fight choreography which informs the imagination in play during RPG combat. I agree that a successful "block" vs a successful attack should result in roll damage, subtract weapon AP, the remainder goes to weapon HP, if those are exceeded the weapon breaks, and any remaining damage points hit the defender. HOWEVER - we have to account for the simple "breaking through" where the guard is literally beaten down/away, not because the weapon ran out of HP, but because the defender is simply not strong enough to resist the force of the blow - he loses his grip ont he weapon, or perhaps as suggested above, the defending weapon becomes part of the package that hits him in the face, or is simply brushed aside.

I have to sayI don't have a formula for that off the top of my head, but I'm sure it wouldn't take any experienced GM long to come up with something

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