Dodging vs. Parrying clarification

deejaay

Mongoose
Reading from the the 2020 updated MGT2 rules pdf.
I am not understanding the subtle differences between Dodging and parrying when associated with 'Close Combat'.
Dodging can be used for both ranged and melee attacks (Offsetting the attack with a DEX or Athletics (dexterity))
Parrying used only in 'Close Combat' melee (Melee skill as offset).
Close Combat is used when within 2m of opponent.

I'm trying to find where a Parry reaction is the only option available, which will give it meaning of being in the rules at all. If someone's DEX or Athletics (dex) is higher, then it seems like parry will never be an option.
I'm trying to find that 'Oh crap!' moment in a cinematic fight where all they have is a parry to work with.
 

Old School

Mongoose
With the rules as written, there will certainly be travellers that are better at dodging and those that are better at parrying, as you've pointed out.

It sounds like you want eliminate the characters ability to dodge. You could rule that the last successful hit by the opponent knocked the traveller off her feet, or resulted in an injury that restricts mobility So dodging is either impossible or comes with a big penalty, making parry the logical (or only) option. Or that the opponent's last successful melee (unarmed) attack resulted in the opponent gaining a hold on the traveller rather than doing damage, so she can't dodge until she frees herself (see the grappling rules, page 74-75).

Or the traveller could be boxed into a corner, so you rule no dodging allowed (or allowed, but with a negative DM). A boxing example: the greatest boxer in recent memory, Floyd Mayweather, rarely keeps his hands up, even though this is literally the first thing a boxer is taught. He's just too fast to get hit. But if Floyd finds himself in a corner or in a clinch, where his mobility is restricted, his hands come up to protect his head. Given the option, he dodges. Take that away, and he parries.
 

Garran

Banded Mongoose
The system isn't really meant to force people to defend in a certain way or make it into a meaningful decision (not the least because many characters will have 0 for one or both 'options'), and whether it would be "more cinematic" is very much subjective. (Players being told that their characters have to parry because dodging wouldn't be cinematic enough are likely to use a rather different word to describe the situation...)

The two could (and probably should) be rolled together as "Defend" and just say that you use your melee or dex DM, whichever is better; I suspect that they only get separate entries for legacy reasons. Any which way, they'll use their melee skill if it's equal to or better than their dexterity (and 'equal' doesn't mean ' both are 0'), which is reasonably likely with a character who is actually any good at melee combat, and not a smart thing for someone to be trying if they aren't trained in it.

In any case, parrying covers any sort of "put something in the way" defense, which is why shields give a bonus to melee for the purpose - even though using a shield is conventionally called blocking. Ensuring that shields are readily available would at ast make it somewhat more likely that melee will actually be the better (and greater than 0) skill in a given situation.
 

Garran

Banded Mongoose
Because there isn't one.

Parry is only useful to someone with Melee 1+. Otherwise, it does nothing.
Dodge is only useful to someone with Dex 9+ or Athletics/Dex 1+. Otherwise, it does nothing.

Many characters won't have either. Many will have one but not the other.

For characters that don't have any of those things, "You can't dodge this and have to parry" means absolutely squat since they get no benefit regardless.
For characters that have only one of those, "You can't dodge this and have to parry" means absolutely nothing to the character with Melee but not Dex (since Parry is the only thing they have) and effectively means "You can't defend against this" to the character with Dex but not Melee (since Parry does nothing for them).

Even for characters that have both, it makes absolutely no difference to those who have Melee equal to or better than their Dex mod (because Parry is already equal or better). The only one who is affected at all is the one with better a Dex mod than their Melee rank. For them it amounts to an arbitrary DM penalty, not something cinematic.


This isn't a system with complex die pool interactions for various defense options; many characters effectively have no defense options, and using a defense option, if you have one in the first place, may not be worth it due to the -1 DM to your own actions. That doesn't change because it's nominally a parry vs a dodge - it may even have the result that, for the Dodge>Parry guy, "you can't dodge this" means that they don't bother with the parry either. Very cinematic, that.
 

Old School

Mongoose
I’m good with all that. Dice pool systems are interesting, but someone with no training not having a parry option is fine with me. The 8+ to hit already assumes (IMHO) the defender doesn’t want to get hit. A bonus for dodging is not because they are the only characters that can dodge, its because they are quicker than the average bear. Same for parrying. A stationary target who is not defending themselves doesn’t require a die roll in melee or close range shooting at all. A hit would be automatic.
 

Condottiere

Emperor Mongoose
In terms of action, whether or not they are successful, they are deliberate decisions on how to conduct melee.

The difference being, one tries to avoid contact, the other deliberately invites it.

Feint would be trying to fool the opponent into thinking which is about to occur.
 

GamingGlen

Mongoose
I think I'll borrow a little something from Runequest and allow Parry checks as a reaction. Successful effect level is a negative DM to the attacker's check. If you have no skill levels to use Parry then it would be better to not make a Parry check. I'll apply this to Dodge as well although at a higher difficulty level (10+) vs. ranged firearms. Rolling natural 2 (fumble! :D ) means the attacker gets a +1.
 

agentwigggles

Banded Mongoose
GamingGlen said:
I think I'll borrow a little something from Runequest and allow Parry checks as a reaction. Successful effect level is a negative DM to the attacker's check. If you have no skill levels to use Parry then it would be better to not make a Parry check. I'll apply this to Dodge as well although at a higher difficulty level (10+) vs. ranged firearms. Rolling natural 2 (fumble! :D ) means the attacker gets a +1.

Its already a reaction. And making it uniquely capable of crit failing is just telegraphing to your players they shouldnt do it.
 

GamingGlen

Mongoose
agentwigggles said:
GamingGlen said:
I think I'll borrow a little something from Runequest and allow Parry checks as a reaction. Successful effect level is a negative DM to the attacker's check. If you have no skill levels to use Parry then it would be better to not make a Parry check. I'll apply this to Dodge as well although at a higher difficulty level (10+) vs. ranged firearms. Rolling natural 2 (fumble! :D ) means the attacker gets a +1.

Its already a reaction. And making it uniquely capable of crit failing is just telegraphing to your players they shouldnt do it.

Auto fail by rolling natural 2 is not unique to one check in my game. Are you that afraid of 2.78% chance of failing? RQ and D&D have auto fail at 5%. In this case it does not mean the attacker automatically hits.
 

agentwigggles

Banded Mongoose
GamingGlen said:
Auto fail by rolling natural 2 is not unique to one check in my game. Are you that afraid of 2.78% chance of failing? RQ and D&D have auto fail at 5%. In this case it does not mean the attacker automatically hits.

DnD hasnt had crit fails since at least 3rd Edition. And you fail on snake eyes even if your DM lets you get a success? If thats true, thats shitty. Also what kind of childish goading is that, being afraid. Its a table top game. Its just bad, outmoded game design, poor table experience.
 
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