Parry DV Determination

Horishijin

Mongoose
On page 160 the DV of parry is described as including the Strength bonus of the character. This is about the only reference I see to this, and it is only after considerable general discussion a page earlier about dexterity, armor, and defense values. I can't help but wonder if this is an error. I can see a rationale for having parry DV be strength determined, but it really seems to make it possible to have a fighter-type who is based entirely around one stat. I prefer to have a mix of stats come into play. Further, there woud appear to be no penalty for wearing as much armor as you please, so long as you rely on a parry defefense.

As a house rule, if it is not the actual rule, I intend to make the DVs for both dodge and parry modified by dexterity.

My apologies if this has been discussed previously.
 

Horishijin

Mongoose
I finally looked at the character sheet, and see that it is STR which is the modifier for parry. I just don't agree with that, I suppose...
 

urdinaran

Mongoose
It makes sense though. A character with a high strength would be able to check an opponent's blows more readily than a weaker one. And as for being a one stat character, high Str won't help defend against Touch Attacks, so there really is an advantage to having both
 

BhilJhoanz

Mongoose
Horishijin said:
I can't help but wonder if this is an error. I can see a rationale for having parry DV be strength determined, but it really seems to make it possible to have a fighter-type who is based entirely around one stat. I prefer to have a mix of stats come into play. Further, there woud appear to be no penalty for wearing as much armor as you please, so long as you rely on a parry defefense.

Wow, lots of good meat here!

First, the rule is (as you determined) correct. Your Parry DV = Parry Bonus + Strength. To quote the oft' used phrase: Parrying is "setting aside" your opponent's weapon -- a good strength lets you counter those powerful blows with greater ease.
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As for 1 stat characters, Conan RPG is anything but:

For one thing, parry cannot be used to counter ranged attacks -- Dodge must be used and for that a good dex is required. Also, since death can be dealt very quickly in this game, a good initiative is also important. For these 2 reasons, a fighter should have a good Dex.

Second, in order to last in combat you need lots of hit points. Of course, hit points won't help you make your massive damage (fort) saves (only 20hp threshold). For these reasons, a good Con is needed.

If all your characters do is beat things up then these 3 stats are all very important in combat.

It's been my experience that skills get lots of usage in Conan -- moreso than in D&D. Without magic, characters have to seriously rely on their wits and skills. Hide, diplomacy & climb have taken the place of invisibility, charm & fly! For this reason, Intelligence is important.

When you start fighting monsters, you will learn that a horror (will) save is required. So players that I GMd also learned that Entrance/dominate can be a vicious spell in combat. For these reasons, a good Wisdom is needed.

Lastly, Conan and related heros are all quite handsome and always get all the ladies. What good is beating the bad guy if you can't win the affections of the wenches!? For this reason Charisma is important.

I've got a Bossonian Soldier and a Kushite Barb\Pirate and both benefit from a nice spread of stats!

On Strength: Don't get me wrong though, for a combat character Strength is of the highest importance. It contributes to:
To Hit
Damage
Parry
Armor Piercing
Opposed trip, bullrush, overrun and grapple checks

Don't get engaged in melee without it!
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Lastly, on armor:

The movement loss, dex limit and Armor Check Penalties associated with heavy armor are very balancing I think. Forget using skills like balance, climb and jump in full plate! My combats like to have varied terrain where these things can be very useful. Think of Archers standing at the top of some ruins giving an ambush to those below. One player's knight couldn't even think of climbing up to get them, so it was: Fire Arbalest -- reload for 3 rounds, fire Arbalest . . .

In a game I played in yesterday, my Bossonian Archer was in mail shirt (light) and had taken fleetfooted. We where ambushed by soldiers in heavy armor in the forest (restricted movement). Once I got some distance beween me and them, I could perpetually stay at range and fire on them until they were dead, dead, dead. Their heavy armor in that environment left them virtually helpless! (and with a Bossonian Longbow with strength bonus +3 my AP was 8!)
 

Yokiboy

Mongoose
Nice post BhilJhoanz, that post did indeed contain a lot of meat, and thanks for pointing that out at the start of the post. :D

Seriously though, good stuff.

TTFN,

Yokiboy
 

argo

Mongoose
I was going to chime in but BilJhoanz prety much already covered it. :) In particular he is correct about having an ability spread, nobody is going to get away with playing a one-stat pony in Conan. IMC espically I noticed that once my players heard that they could use bonus skill points from Int on any skill that Int became a very popular skill. Also, 3 out of 5 players found light armor and Fleet Footed to be a combo that was just too good to pass up.


So far I have found the choice between light armor/dodge and heavy armor/parry to be very well balanced. There are plenty of penalties for wearing heavy armor and parrying. If you switch parry to Dex instead of Str it will, IMHO, make heavy armor inferior.


And that was a great post BilJhoanz.
 

Horishijin

Mongoose
BhilJhoanz said:
First, the rule is (as you determined) correct. Your Parry DV = Parry Bonus + Strength. To quote the oft' used phrase: Parrying is "setting aside" your opponent's weapon -- a good strength lets you counter those powerful blows with greater ease.

I guess my difficulty lies with the fact that the phrase "set aside" is often used in conjunction with parry. It is a term often used in the study of historic combat treatises (sometimes known as "fechtbuchs" since most are in German..) Set aside, to me, speaks of a deflection, a well-timed opposition which brings the opponent's blade off-line, and yours on-line. Something which requires finesse over power; i.e. dexterity.

Perhaps I've fenced too much (both modern and historic) and don't view parrying as an application of strength.

Ah well, as players in my games say; "Keep your reality out of my fantasy!"
 

Arkobla Conn

Mongoose
After having just watched my son fence for a bit, I understand that comment. You are right - fencing isn't about strength, but application of the blade and being dextrous enough to get the blade in the right spot...the blade then does the rest.

We aren't talking fencing though. We are talking overhand smashes, thrusts with HEAVY weapons, vicious arcs with greatswords. Putting the blade in the way won't effectively parry the attack.
 
Have been a fencer for a few years myself I can understand the confusion however I do understand what they are trying to convey with the rule. perhaps the terminology is a little misleading, and the term BLOCK should be substituted. This would imply that you are using your weapon to deflect or stop an incoming melee attack. When you think about it though when you parry in fencing you are in effect blocking/deflecting an incoming attack.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
It should read Blocking. I fenced for seveal years during & after college. Let me just say, I suck. But I really enjoyed it & it was for a short while the only exercise I got (pitiful, heh?). I had only one advantage over everyone else on the team - Strength. I came from a sophisticated technical upper body strength training regime (ok, I was hauling hay-bales around on a farm) & most of the others were, frankly, a little on the wimpish side. But they were fast & could always beat me with subtletly. My only salvation was a strong block (basically a beat to the side) which gave me enough time to get a riposte in. It rarely happened but when it did, their arm was always too far back to parry or counter-strike.
 
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