The trigger's cannot be taken as verbatum cannon, because they're also incorrect. The trigger for parry says: "A successful close combat attack being made against the character.", while the one for dodge says: "A successful ranged or close combat attack being made against the character.. However, we know that shields can be used to make parries. It says so right in the equipment descriptions (and in other portions of the rulebook).
So. If we are to assume that we must take the word "successful" literally, and that the trigger description is the final rule, then we must also assume that shields cannot parry ranged weapons, despite being described as able to do so in several places in the book. Oh. And this error is repeated again in the "Restrictions" section where it simply states "Ranged attacks may not be parried." (no qualifiers). Also clearly wrong. I'm leaning with "too much crack smoking while writing this section" personally...
To me, the fact that the individual descriptions for Kite and Target shields (but not for Bucklers) list the ability to parry ranged weapons indicates an exception to the rule you quoted.
Hehe. Yeah. I was being a bit snarky with that bit. But basically, my point is that it's dangerous to take rules literally when it's clear that there are errors and/or stuff left out.
Let me put on my SFB hat:
One can also debate the term "successful" if one wished. It could just as easily mean that the opponent has "successfully expended a CA to make an attack". After all, in the general section for Reactions, it says that reactions are expended after the trigger has occured but before it is resolved. It seems quite contradictory to then immediately list off a couple of reactions in which the trigger requires that one wait to see if an attack "succeeds".
If we were to continue the "how many other ways can we interprete this", then we can quickly run into a paradox. After all, I'm only allowed to make a reaction if an attack "succeeds". But, if I critical my dodge (for example), then the "attack fails". Does this mean that I couldn't have used the dodge in the first place? After all, the attack must succeed for me to dodge, right? It's a paradox! Run for the hills!!!
My tounge in cheek example isn't intended to be taken seriously, but to point out that "success" of an attack is not strictly defined in the rules to mean "attacker rolls under his skill". The charts themselves use "succeed" and "fail" as results of the two skills
. In fact, I'm not aware of any location in the rulebook where simply rolling under your skill roll for an attack makes the attack a "success".
Heck. To carry the silliness further. Under the Close Combat Attacks section, it calls rolling under his attack skill "he has hit the target". Note, that the attack is not called a "success" until after the defender spends a reaction (or choses not to) and the result of that reaction is resolved. The part that says "If the attack is successful, damage is rolled.", kinda implies that an attack is only called a "success" after the reaction (it's in part 3 afterall) has been resolved. My paradox scenario isn't sounding so far fetched after all.
The whole section is just plain not well writen. It could very well be that they intended from the start that you only have to choose to use a reaction after you see if the opponent rolled under his skill roll. I personally think that gives the defender far too many options, but it's a workable way of doing it. But if so, then it needs to be clearly stated that way. More importantly, the game needs to be balanced to that mechanic. I have a sneaking suspicious that this is *not* the way the game was originally intended, but when the error was found and pointed out in the combat tables, the "official" statement was that they were in error, and the statement at the time re-affirmed the implication that reactions are only made to attacks that succeed (using the more general definition here). That's now put Mongoose in a corner, since they either have to continue with that definition (which I'm 90% certain is *not* the way the game was playtested), or reverse the statement made in the playersguide pdf.
But that's just my assumption of the series of events that brought us here. I could be wrong...