Legend Combat question

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Legend Combat question

Postby LegendaryJWP » Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:25 am

So, I'm reading through the combat rules, and I love some of the realism and the deadliness that I'm seeing. I have a couple issues that I'm sure have been hashed out, but my use of the search function has failed me.

1) Evasion - this is what Dodge turned into, right? How does one go about Evading without losing one's ability to perform an offensive CA on the following action? Because I'm pretty sure that just being a guy with a dagger versus a guy with a great axe doesn't mean I can't sidestep his blow and lash out with my own attack immediately thereafter - it doesn't require that I leap for cover as from a grenade.

If this was intended to be included in Parry, there's an issue, as my dagger (rightfully in many cases) is useless against a Huge weapon.

2) Has anyone ever produced a character that didn't have 3 CA, from the get-go? So far as I can tell, anything else is tantamount to suicide. And even then, they're carrying a second weapon or a shield, for the extra CA, because a difference of one CA can, and often does, mean the difference between living an dying, regardless of relative skill level.

Help me to understand just how a character who isn't so quick, physically or mentally (or both) is supposed to survive against the spritely, intellectual fellow he's facing.
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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby Dan True » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:34 am

LegendaryJWP wrote:So, I'm reading through the combat rules, and I love some of the realism and the deadliness that I'm seeing. I have a couple issues that I'm sure have been hashed out, but my use of the search function has failed me.

1) Evasion - this is what Dodge turned into, right? How does one go about Evading without losing one's ability to perform an offensive CA on the following action? Because I'm pretty sure that just being a guy with a dagger versus a guy with a great axe doesn't mean I can't sidestep his blow and lash out with my own attack immediately thereafter - it doesn't require that I leap for cover as from a grenade.

If this was intended to be included in Parry, there's an issue, as my dagger (rightfully in many cases) is useless against a Huge weapon.
Have you ever tried fighting a guy with a greatsword with a short weapon? I have, and it is not easy. His swing won't be a wide chop-the-head-of-a-dragon-swing that you see in the movies, it'll be a carefully administered strike with the right amount of force contra weapon-speed (at least if he succeeds his skill check).

And even though you don't need to *leap* for cover, dodging such an attack will place you at a disadvantage.. the disadvantage being that you can't attack on your next turn. Bare in mind that your next turn is 1 CA - i.e. roughly 1.6 seconds... so it seems reasonable to me from my experience that stepping out of a strike, will result in your being out of balance or just those important 5 cm too far from him to be able to attack him.

Secondly, event though you managed to attack him after he lashed out, you're still waaay to far away to reach him with your dagger - if you're engaged at greatsword/longsword reach, you're usually 2 meters away from each other or so. You need to close the distance first - then he can't parry.
LegendaryJWP wrote: 2) Has anyone ever produced a character that didn't have 3 CA, from the get-go? So far as I can tell, anything else is tantamount to suicide. And even then, they're carrying a second weapon or a shield, for the extra CA, because a difference of one CA can, and often does, mean the difference between living an dying, regardless of relative skill level.
Well, if you fight creatively, use the terrain to give you an advantage before the fight starts or simply use CMs well, you can actually mitigate that CA bonus. Of course you'll be at a disadvantage - but what do you expect? He's smarter and/or faster than you... of course it won't be a straight up fair fight.
LegendaryJWP wrote: Help me to understand just how a character who isn't so quick, physically or mentally (or both) is supposed to survive against the spritely, intellectual fellow he's facing.
Again, he is faster and smarter, so he has a major advantage that should be reflected in the rules. Generally people who aren't physically or mentally prepared for fighting, should stay away from fighting... But if they do fight, they can attempt:

- Ganging up against the faster/smarter opponent.
- Handle them with missile weapons
- Ambushing them.. if your opponent is smarter, faster and/or stronger than you, it's not in your interest to fight particularly fairly.
- Stick together with friends, fighting back-to-back or in a shield wall to limit the amount of enemies faced at a certain time.
- Wear heavy armour, to allow himself to simply take some hits instead of parrying them.
- Apply CMs effectively to make the opponent loose CAs, trip him, disarm him, use riposte to force him to parry (thus loosing one attack) etc.
- If he put low stats in DEC or INT, he will likely have higher stats in other areas (unless of course he's all around terrible, then he should simply stay out of combat or learn magic). A 2 CA fighter with a +1d4 or +1d6 dmg modifier in heavy armour with a greatsword is a terrifying opponent.. He only needs to hit once and limbs likely starts flying.

- Dan
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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby Greg Smith » Sun Nov 25, 2012 11:11 am

If you are fighting several opponents, then more CAs is essential.

But as Dan says, trip, disarm etc are the keys to ending a fight quickly.
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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby Vyrolakos » Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:35 pm

Dan True wrote:A 2 CA fighter with a +1d4 or +1d6 dmg modifier in heavy armour with a greatsword is a terrifying opponent.. He only needs to hit once and limbs likely starts flying.

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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby LegendaryJWP » Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:04 pm

Ok, on the Evasion front, I think I'm just going to need to run some battle simulations - that'll likely cement in my head how it works. Still not convinced, but you're right, I've never fought a guy wielding a greatsword before. :)

That said, is anyone else at all concerned with the notion of weapons being classified by a general size category and having that have a bearing on the ability of a weapon or shield to parry the blow? Even a buckler ought to be able to turn the blow of a long spear, I would think, with the same effectiveness as the short spear, as the points aren't any larger, right?

My concern with CAs is probably mitigated by having players roll for stats instead of buying them. The derived characteristics are all a little too largely grained to avoid the power-gamer who finds all the sweet spots. It almost becomes formulaic - INT + DEX >= 25; STR + SIZ > 20, increments of 5; CON + SIZ = 5n +1, maximize n; CHA of 7 or 13...
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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby Dan True » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:01 pm

LegendaryJWP wrote: That said, is anyone else at all concerned with the notion of weapons being classified by a general size category and having that have a bearing on the ability of a weapon or shield to parry the blow? Even a buckler ought to be able to turn the blow of a long spear, I would think, with the same effectiveness as the short spear, as the points aren't any larger, right?
Not really. A buckler is size M and a longspear size L, so a buckler will parry half the damage. This seems about right for me (as a sword and buckler fighter). I may only deflect the thrust, so it may still grace me, I might parry it completely but the sheer force strains my wrist (if he rolled a 1 or 2 on damage) or he might hit my buckler but quickly make a counterthrust around it to hit (albeit with less force than if I had not parried). Only occasionally will I be able to completely mitigate his strike (that is when I crit and choose Enhance Parry).
LegendaryJWP wrote: My concern with CAs is probably mitigated by having players roll for stats instead of buying them. The derived characteristics are all a little too largely grained to avoid the power-gamer who finds all the sweet spots. It almost becomes formulaic - INT + DEX >= 25; STR + SIZ > 20, increments of 5; CON + SIZ = 5n +1, maximize n; CHA of 7 or 13...
Well, Legend is built around a mentality that it is the GMs job to control power games, not the systems. Attempts to make the system tight-fitting enough that no power game can break it, always fails, draws resources away that could have been spent on on a better book in general and it leads to an extreme amount of special-cases that clut up the rules.

As such, yes, a power gamer will likely quickly be able to maximise stats.. but your job as a gm is to either avoid point-buy (as you suggest), bear with it (is it really that bad that he maximises stats?), do something constructive (point buy followed by +/- 1d2 on each stat for randomization) or simply hit him over the head with the book.

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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby Vyrolakos » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:05 pm

Dan True wrote:... or simply hit him over the head with the book.

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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby LegendaryJWP » Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:51 pm

Dan True wrote:Not really. A buckler is size M and a longspear size L, so a buckler will parry half the damage. This seems about right for me (as a sword and buckler fighter). I may only deflect the thrust, so it may still grace me, I might parry it completely but the sheer force strains my wrist (if he rolled a 1 or 2 on damage) or he might hit my buckler but quickly make a counterthrust around it to hit (albeit with less force than if I had not parried). Only occasionally will I be able to completely mitigate his strike (that is when I crit and choose Enhance Parry).
Given your buckler experience - wouldn't all of that be true if the opponent was wielding a size M shortspear as well? Or do you feel comfortable that you'd have the same odds of blocking all damage against the shortspear as you would a short sword or a battle axe?
Well, Legend is built around a mentality that it is the GMs job to control power games, not the systems. Attempts to make the system tight-fitting enough that no power game can break it, always fails, draws resources away that could have been spent on on a better book in general and it leads to an extreme amount of special-cases that clut up the rules.

As such, yes, a power gamer will likely quickly be able to maximise stats.. but your job as a gm is to either avoid point-buy (as you suggest), bear with it (is it really that bad that he maximises stats?), do something constructive (point buy followed by +/- 1d2 on each stat for randomization) or simply hit him over the head with the book.
I guess I should have expected that answer. The same thing can be said of games that are explicitly point-based like HERO System - there it's explicitly spelled out in the game philosophy in the introduction to the rules that the GM is counted upon to maintain game balance, and just using the points as a guideline.

I'm a fan of games that strive for the necessary level of granularity to allow for finer control and tend to default to that level of thinking. I'm even a little unsatisfied with the skill list in the game, coming from earlier RQ variants.
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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby Dan True » Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:10 pm

LegendaryJWP wrote: Given your buckler experience - wouldn't all of that be true if the opponent was wielding a size M shortspear as well? Or do you feel comfortable that you'd have the same odds of blocking all damage against the shortspear as you would a short sword or a battle axe?
It might happen, but not as often (in game terms: when I fail a parry or he crits). The longspear is significantly longer, has a larger point, is often used in two hands and weighs more in the point. It is harder to avoid being hit by.. and, the point that it is a spear might also have something to do with it - from what I've heard from fellow historical fencers, spears are notoriously hard to handle because even a low-skilled opponent will quickly realise how to thrust, jab the spear back quickly and thrust where the parry is not present (this goes very fast). The point here being that if a longspears shaft is broken, you might very well reduce its size to S.

Generally I feel that the size rules very well reflects how stuff works. Of course there are small variations that can not be handled by a game system without it becoming extremely complex (for instance bucklers have no mobility advantage over larger shields), but this I can live with. I don't want it to become Rolemaster ;)

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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby GamingGlen » Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:52 pm

LegendaryJWP wrote:
... The same thing can be said of games that are explicitly point-based like HERO System - there it's explicitly spelled out in the game philosophy in the introduction to the rules that the GM is counted upon to maintain game balance, and just using the points as a guideline.
As one that tends to roll less than average for characteristics, I applauded the use of point buy. But now I feel it tends to take some of the flavor out of character creation. I don't mind point buy for the Hero System as the game is structured that way. For D&Dish type games, and RQ, I prefer some rolling method, even if it might be structured to generally give above average results.

But, I would hate to want to play a spellcaster and end up with characteristics more fitting a melee-based warrior. One thing I would do, if I ever ran an RQ game, and have convinced a new GM to try, is to allow some flexibility in character creation by using the "Random Roll, Assign" method. You can still min/max to some extent, but you're stuck with the numbers rolled.
I'm a fan of games that strive for the necessary level of granularity to allow for finer control and tend to default to that level of thinking. I'm even a little unsatisfied with the skill list in the game, coming from earlier RQ variants.
I like the current skill list. I played the older variants long ago, I don't miss those skill choices. Even before Perception became the combination of Listen and Scan (in D&D 3.5 and RQ), I thought it was kind of silly to have the two different ones. I tended to keep both as close as possible anyway. Now if you want a keen-eared character, or someone with a keen sight, then just list some modifier to the Perception roll when that type of Perception is specified.

I just redid my own character sheet, for RQ2 (reason: larger print for us old gamers :D ), and wonder why Gambling is an advanced skill. Is it in Legends as well? What skill percentage do I use if I want to join a gambling game and I don't have Gambling "opened"?
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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby LegendaryJWP » Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:52 pm

GamingGlen wrote:As one that tends to roll less than average for characteristics, I applauded the use of point buy. But now I feel it tends to take some of the flavor out of character creation. I don't mind point buy for the Hero System as the game is structured that way. For D&Dish type games, and RQ, I prefer some rolling method, even if it might be structured to generally give above average results.

But, I would hate to want to play a spellcaster and end up with characteristics more fitting a melee-based warrior. One thing I would do, if I ever ran an RQ game, and have convinced a new GM to try, is to allow some flexibility in character creation by using the "Random Roll, Assign" method. You can still min/max to some extent, but you're stuck with the numbers rolled.
I came back to D&D by way of HERO and GURPS, so I was happily surprised to see point-buy there when I first got started. Then I realized that the system isn't finely grained enough to prevent too many "sweet spots" in every ability, and went back to appreciating random character generation for some systems.
I like the current skill list. I played the older variants long ago, I don't miss those skill choices. Even before Perception became the combination of Listen and Scan (in D&D 3.5 and RQ), I thought it was kind of silly to have the two different ones. I tended to keep both as close as possible anyway. Now if you want a keen-eared character, or someone with a keen sight, then just list some modifier to the Perception roll when that type of Perception is specified.
Yeah, that's definitely a stylistic yin/yang situation I've run into many times. I'm much more of a fan of too many skills rather than not enough - or at least areas of specialization that you mention - I'd go so far as to let a player in Legend decide that he's harder of hearing, taking a -10% to auditory perception rolls, in exchange for a +10 bonus to visual perception.
I just redid my own character sheet, for RQ2 (reason: larger print for us old gamers :D ), and wonder why Gambling is an advanced skill. Is it in Legends as well? What skill percentage do I use if I want to join a gambling game and I don't have Gambling "opened"?
By god you're right. It is still an advanced skill. And while a critical success with the skill lets you win even a rigged game, there's no default apparent for Joe Rube who picks up the knucklebones and gives them a whirl.
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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby Da Boss » Sun Nov 25, 2012 10:03 pm

Getting mele combat "right" in rpgs is always difficult.

Do you go for realism where one successful stirke can kill outright or heroric where the character can wde through whole swathes of enemies.....

I tend to be in the middle but balanced towards the Heroic /narrative.

One thing I have found interesting is that as I have started martial arts - japanese swordmanship (with a bit of knife work and hand to hand) - the primary rule is get out of the way but you are certainly taught to take advantage by moving past and offering the opporunity for a counter strike- so evade then immediately attack...........

I doubt there is ever a perfect system -especially given everyone likes different things - and I keep tinkering with the D100 system :) Legend does not do it for me as is but I do like elemetn s- like CAs.
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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby LegendaryJWP » Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:14 am

Da Boss wrote: I doubt there is ever a perfect system -especially given everyone likes different things - and I keep tinkering with the D100 system :) Legend does not do it for me as is but I do like elemetn s- like CAs.
I've been thinking about trying to integrate some of the combat mechanics from Legend into vanilla BRP, but haven't quite grokked Legend well enough to start in.

I'm definitely on the realistic side of the argument, and would love to make GURPS a bit more perfect as I move along in my understanding of that system as well.
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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby Dan True » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:18 am

LegendaryJWP wrote: By god you're right. It is still an advanced skill. And while a critical success with the skill lets you win even a rigged game, there's no default apparent for Joe Rube who picks up the knucklebones and gives them a whirl.
Because then it's simply up to chance ;) Gambling represents knowledge of chances, counting cards, bluffing / reading a bluff etc.

So, if two opponents just gambles it out with no specific knowledge how to beat the system, it's simply random who wins.
Da Boss wrote: One thing I have found interesting is that as I have started martial arts - japanese swordmanship (with a bit of knife work and hand to hand) - the primary rule is get out of the way but you are certainly taught to take advantage by moving past and offering the opporunity for a counter strike- so evade then immediately attack...........
Funny, I had the exact opposite realisation at some point doing medieval historical fencing. I realises that when I dodged instead of parried, I could "immediately" attack afterwards, but my attack was delayed 0.5-1 seconds compared to if I had turned his blade instead. This fits neatly with 1 CA without an attack.

But many things can become stylished. Do you use wooden swords? Only able to strike at certain points on the body? Many of these can mean the difference between out experiences.

But, on top of that it is also a matter of looking at what represents what. If you use proper footwork and angle your blade to protect yourself while you move past his swing and strike him.. it is more of a parry, as this uses your skill with this specific weapon (and therefore is a combat style skill check). Evade has nothing to do with knowledge of the weapon, only athletic ability and training in evading stuff (a greatsword or a boulder .. does not matter). So, one can realise that when you evade it means that you've thrown those fancy "angle, take a step to the right and move through"-moves to the wind, to simply dodge the blow and to hell with the consequences.

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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby HalfOrc HalfBiscuit » Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:39 am

GamingGlen wrote:But, I would hate to want to play a spellcaster and end up with characteristics more fitting a melee-based warrior. One thing I would do, if I ever ran an RQ game, and have convinced a new GM to try, is to allow some flexibility in character creation by using the "Random Roll, Assign" method. You can still min/max to some extent, but you're stuck with the numbers rolled.
[/quote]

When I first started playing D&D back in the 70s, before we'd ever heard point-buy we used to roll up stats for about half a dozen characters then choose the one(s) we most wanted to play.
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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby Da Boss » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:04 pm

Dan True wrote:
Da Boss wrote: One thing I have found interesting is that as I have started martial arts - japanese swordmanship (with a bit of knife work and hand to hand) - the primary rule is get out of the way but you are certainly taught to take advantage by moving past and offering the opporunity for a counter strike- so evade then immediately attack...........
Funny, I had the exact opposite realisation at some point doing medieval historical fencing. I realises that when I dodged instead of parried, I could "immediately" attack afterwards, but my attack was delayed 0.5-1 seconds compared to if I had turned his blade instead. This fits neatly with 1 CA without an attack.

But many things can become stylished. Do you use wooden swords? Only able to strike at certain points on the body? Many of these can mean the difference between out experiences.

But, on top of that it is also a matter of looking at what represents what. If you use proper footwork and angle your blade to protect yourself while you move past his swing and strike him.. it is more of a parry, as this uses your skill with this specific weapon (and therefore is a combat style skill check). Evade has nothing to do with knowledge of the weapon, only athletic ability and training in evading stuff (a greatsword or a boulder .. does not matter). So, one can realise that when you evade it means that you've thrown those fancy "angle, take a step to the right and move through"-moves to the wind, to simply dodge the blow and to hell with the consequences.- Dan
We study Shinkendo

http://www.shinkendo.org.uk/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinkendo

We do mainly train with wooden weapons - however we don't have any of the points scoring, target areas only etc and fre sparing is also part of the training.

re evade/parry - I agree and disagree - yes its like a parry but the game mechinism mean that the weapon you use to parry often determines the outcome - so moving to one side, or diangonally etc to put yourself in a better striking position whilst your opponent is off balance does not work if they have a sword and you don't as your parry would be with a very small, very short weapon.

will think on this more!
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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby DamonJynx » Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:35 pm

Haven't read the whole thread, it's late and I'm tired, one of my players had a Pan Tangian Deathbringer cultist who only had 2CA. He wielded a Greataxe and had a positive DM. As Dan mentioned a PC like this a terrible foe. Not many NPC's got the better of him! One decent hit and they're likely out of the fight and he was canny enough not to let folk gang up on him. So, whilst I agree that the more CA the better, generally, it is possible to have a character that is survivable with less, you have to optimise your weapon choice.
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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby LegendaryJWP » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:09 pm

DamonJynx wrote:Haven't read the whole thread, it's late and I'm tired, one of my players had a Pan Tangian Deathbringer cultist who only had 2CA. He wielded a Greataxe and had a positive DM. As Dan mentioned a PC like this a terrible foe. Not many NPC's got the better of him! One decent hit and they're likely out of the fight and he was canny enough not to let folk gang up on him. So, whilst I agree that the more CA the better, generally, it is possible to have a character that is survivable with less, you have to optimise your weapon choice.
I think I really do need to run a few dozen sample combats with these various combinations. My gut says that the additional, unrespondable-to CA in a 2 CA vs 3 CA fight would mean, if not the flying off of limbs, at least the death by a thousand cuts for the slower fighter. But maybe there's enough terror in trying to parry a heavy weapon that people wind up evading more often and sacrifice that extra combat option.

I suspect that relative skill level enters into this conversation as well - two tyros, hacking at each other with 30% in their skills, it's going to come down to who manages to get in the first hit, which will probably be unanswered. If the faster fighter is markedly better, the extra CA is going to mean he makes short work of his opponent. If the slower fighter is markedly better, the weaker fighter may never get to capitalize on the extra CA. It's when the skill levels are high on both sides that I can see a potential problem for the slower character.
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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby Da Boss » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:17 pm

We play Clockwork + Chivalry - and quite a bit of sword and gunplay ensues - and CA are absolutely vital. The two "fighting characters" - myself as a flamboyant Lord and my former highwayman friends have 3 CAs each and an extra for sword and pistol. The Doctor has 2 but also has sword and pistol so much of the time has 3CA

I tend to burn hero points alot to make sure I don't get hit for lots of damage - as we all wear minimal armour. However we don't often come across people with weapons different to our own....

It really does depend on your setting as the combat will run very differently - also if you are running mook rules.
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Re: Legend Combat question

Postby Dan True » Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:39 pm

LegendaryJWP wrote: I suspect that relative skill level enters into this conversation as well - two tyros, hacking at each other with 30% in their skills, it's going to come down to who manages to get in the first hit, which will probably be unanswered. If the faster fighter is markedly better, the extra CA is going to mean he makes short work of his opponent. If the slower fighter is markedly better, the weaker fighter may never get to capitalize on the extra CA. It's when the skill levels are high on both sides that I can see a potential problem for the slower character.
But, if two people of equal skill fight and the other one is significantly smarter and/or faster, then of course the other guy will be in trouble...? Anything else would be silly.
Da Boss wrote: re evade/parry - I agree and disagree - yes its like a parry but the game mechinism mean that the weapon you use to parry often determines the outcome - so moving to one side, or diangonally etc to put yourself in a better striking position whilst your opponent is off balance does not work if they have a sword and you don't as your parry would be with a very small, very short weapon.
But this is also the case in a real fight. If I am fighting with Sword & Buckler against another an opponent with the same, a "parry" might not necessarily mean I block the sword in a strict sense. Perhaps I merely place my buckler in a proper guard and feint against an opening (which I cannot truly reach, else I would have hit it). This means he breaks of his attacks as he instinctively senses the danger.. Thus I have parried a M weapon with an M weapon and taken no damage (other times of course I parry in a more traditional sense).

But, if I had had a dagger I wouldn't have been able to threaten him to break off his attack - thus I need to block in a more traditional sense, which means his larger weapon will likely get through to some degree.

So instead of viewing an attack vs. parry merely as a strike against a blocking object, view it as a cumulative test of one warriors skill against another. Small feints, footwork, small dodges combined with a block etc. are all a part of this matching of skill. It need necessarily not be strict attack vs. parry or dodge.

- Dan
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Author of the Eberron for Legend/MRQ2 conversion:
http://runequill.com/files/Eberron_Legend.pdf

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