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Parry as a skill. Pros? Cons? A discussion…


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#1 KarmicCycle

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:04 AM

 At first, I really liked the idea that Parry was a skill. Before, it seemed like a hand-out defense to me, but as I have playtested the rules, some thoughts occurred to me.  

Before it was a skill, anyone could parry with anything at any time at full skill (+/- modifiers based on the item; balanced, unwieldy, etc). This means that even without any training on how to use a sword a person could pick one up and Parry at full WS +10% for the balanced weapon trait. Doesn't seem right, does it? 

But, now that it is a skill, there is another disconnect. If I take the talent to learn how to use a melee weapon, I don't get parry? All my training in fighting with that weapon didn't include how to defend with that weapon? I have to buy a completely separate skill in order to parry… who just trains to parry? And again, the issue arises with untrained parrying. With the purchase of one skill, I can parry with any weapon, even ones I am not trained in. That must be an interesting class to watch, people just picking up various objects and parrying with them. 

Next we have the skill level issue. I can become better at parrying than I am at using an item (widening the gap of untrained weapons). I may be -20% to hit with that Power Sword, but I can parry with it at +30% (Oh, and another +10% with balanced). 

So I looked at the reasons it may have not been a skill before, as compared to Dodge. A) It is only effective in melee combat, where Dodge is effective against everything. B) You would only ever choose to Parry in melee if your WS was better than your Dodge skill (Agl+Skill Level), so this made it a viable option only for melee based characters.

I move to take Parry back to its roots, while dealing with the issues I brought up in the second paragraph. In the combat section, discuss parry as a defensive option, stating that Parry is available to all characters and uses the weapon training rules. If you are not trained in the weapon you are parrying with, you take the untrained penalty to parry as you would to hit. The balanced/defensive/unbalanced weapon traits make up for the skill levels, as parrying is equipment based, unlike dodge. 

What does everyone think?


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#2 Varn

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 09:23 AM

Learning to attacking, defending and parrying are three very different things. You can quite easily learn how to effectively kill someone with a given weapon, as well as learn to simply block incoming blows. Leaning to DEFLECT blows and maintain the offensive is something else completely. I'm playing as a Sergeant right now that is heavily specced for melee, and while I have yet to really do any fighting (the game just started) I look forward to putting my Best quality chainsword +10 Parry and Counter Attack talent to good use.



#3 Musclewizard

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 11:10 AM

What Varn said basically.

Killing with a weapon is different from defending oneself with a weapon.



#4 Morangias

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 11:52 AM

Prior to BC, Parry was both a no-brainer option everyone got and a piss-poor option nobody used if they could use Dodge instead. Also, it felt like a fifth wheel - max you could do to improve your parrying ability specifically was purchase Wall of Steel for an extra parry, the rest just happened "accidentally" while you improved your overall CC skill and acquired better weapons.

Right now, it's still limited by the fact that it only works against close combat attacks, but at least you can actually stack it higher than Dodge, meaning for it's more specific niche, it becomes the superior option.

Personally, I'm cool with that.


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#5 KommissarK

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 12:12 PM

Morangias said:

Prior to BC, Parry was both a no-brainer option everyone got and a piss-poor option nobody used if they could use Dodge instead. Also, it felt like a fifth wheel - max you could do to improve your parrying ability specifically was purchase Wall of Steel for an extra parry, the rest just happened "accidentally" while you improved your overall CC skill and acquired better weapons.

Right now, it's still limited by the fact that it only works against close combat attacks, but at least you can actually stack it higher than Dodge, meaning for it's more specific niche, it becomes the superior option.

Personally, I'm cool with that.

This. Previously, Dodge was such a no brainer that Parry the bonuses to dodge simply overshadowed how high Parry could ever get.sure, you could get balanced weaponry, but that required still maxing out WS. Which, while useful, tended to be significantly more costly than just putting it into the dodge advances. Letting Parry get a bonus now is simply better.

As far as the skill/training aspects, I don't really mind that much, if that's the price to pay, then so be it. But as others have said, its not too strange that training in attack, and defense are two different areas.



#6 borithan

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 10:29 PM

I have to say I am not keen on Parry as a skill. In the past the way to improve your parry was to improve your weapon. A balanced weapon was essentially +10, and a best quality balanced weapon was how you got +20. Now, it can get even better. An average (WS 30) character can get a parry of 70 without ever increasing his WS. If he does that can make it a parry of 90. OK, this can be kind of off-set by the way Lightning Attacks etc work, as you need multiple degrees of success to parry a good multiple attack, but it is just daft.

 

Also, unless you have no option there is little reason to increase parry. If you have to choose between the two skills, dodge is clearly better. With the changing of Step Aside and Wall of Steel you can never be forced to parry (the extra reaction from Wall of Steel could only be used for a parry, and they allowed Frenzied characters to dodge ages ago). With the old rules there were reasons why you might want to have parry as a back up, and as it essentially improved for free while you increased WS it was often at a reasonable score, while Agility is a more specialist increase (Only certain characters are going to want to massively improve Agility).

Basically it has polarised parry even more than in the past. In the past everybody could have it as a back-up. Now only melee devoted characters are probably going to have it, and quite possibly at ridiculous levels.

 



#7 ParadigmShift

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Posted 26 July 2012 - 11:15 PM

I don't see that being a problem, dodge should be the fall back evasion of everyone simply because, using a weapon to stop incoming attacks requires a lot more training than just leaping out of the way of incoming attacks.



#8 LuciusT

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 04:23 AM

Firstly, Varn I don't know where you learned to sword fight but where I learned parry was trained as a basic part of handling the blade.

Joking aside, one thing that has quickly come up in our games is that Dodge and Parry are "no brainer" skills. Everyone needs them. Everyone buys them. I honestly think they shouldn't be skills but simply basic combat maneuvers that everyone can do. Failing that, they should be trained skills for every Guardsman and Support specialist. They're just too basic and essential.



#9 Cymbel

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 08:44 PM

Doesn't BQ for melee weapons just give a +10 to the Attack? Also, I like it being a skill, it makes it more viable for focused PCs and not the "easy" way out in melee for non-focused ones.



#10 Santiago

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:23 PM

Cymbel said:

Doesn't BQ for melee weapons just give a +10 to the Attack? Also, I like it being a skill, it makes it more viable for focused PCs and not the "easy" way out in melee for non-focused ones.



Yes, only to attack, ever to parry…



#11 Zakalwe

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Posted 27 July 2012 - 10:52 PM

Cymbel said:

Doesn't BQ for melee weapons just give a +10 to the Attack? Also, I like it being a skill, it makes it more viable for focused PCs and not the "easy" way out in melee for non-focused ones.

I think you are correct.  It is Lathe Blades that give +10 to all WS tests. Lathe Blades - gotta love 'em.

 

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#12 DJSunhammer

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 01:25 PM

Best quality melee weapons give you +10 WS, not +10 to attacks.



#13 Mercucio

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 09:36 AM

Cymbel said:

 

Doesn't BQ for melee weapons just give a +10 to the Attack? Also, I like it being a skill, it makes it more viable for focused PCs and not the "easy" way out in melee for non-focused ones.

 

 

Chainswords have the Balanced trait, which is where +10 to Parry is coming from. As Best Quality adding +10 to attack or +10 all WS tests, this has changed depending on which book you look at. In DH it is just +10 to attack rolls, while in OW it's been changed +10 on all WS tests.



#14 JuankiMan

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 10:24 AM

Incidentally, using an untrained melee weapon imposes a -20 penalty to WS tests with it, so if you're trained in Parry but not in the weapon you get a -20. If you're trained with the weapon but don't know how to Parry you suffer -20 too. If you're trained in neither you suffer a whooping -40 penalty and probably shouldn't even bother. So yeah, wielding the weapon and parrying with it are two very different things, and you need both to parry effectively.



#15 Emperor Castaigne

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:04 PM

It seems to me that Parry and Dodge should be an Opposed Skill Check against the Weapon Skill/Ballistic Skill Check of the attacker. As it stands, most single-shot weapons can be completely neutralized with and there's nothing an attacker could do about it.

For example, a PC with 44 BS fires a Ryza Pattern "Wrath" Plasma Pistol (Rogue Trader: Into the Storm) at an enemy 10 meters away (Short Range +10) with a Standard Attack (+10) after an Aim Action (+10 for Aim, another +10 for Accurate) and rolls 23 (7 degrees of Success). Should that enemy succeed in a Challenging +0 Dodge test with just a single degree of success, then the attack fails.

I might be missing something, but it seems that single shot weapons, even Accurate ones, are crippled when it comes to normal fights since degrees of success simply don't matter and your enemy can (and will) simply Dodge your attack.

As far as Parry as a skill go, I would rewrite the Defensive quality so that Defensive weapons can be used to Parry without the penalty (or with a decreased penalty) for lacking the skill. Holding a Shield in place would be far easier to a layman than trying to block with a sword.



#16 WittyDroog

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 01:21 PM

 I remember the single-shot vs. dodge debate being brought up somewhere in the Black Crusade forum where they tried to find a solution, can't remember what happened there though. 

In practice, at least in BC, yeah single shot weapons were hard to make stick on a target if he dodged. It stressed an importance of putting more attacks, not shots, on a target so that his reaction would be used up and forcing the target to think carefully about if he wanted to use his dodge against a sniper shot or against a well-trained full auto weapon. In my games it seemed to work "okay" but I agree that fundamentally the rule might need a second look.

I would also wonder if the lowered abilities of OW characters versus BC characters would make the effect of dodge less overwhelming, but it doesn't seem like it would by that much.



#17 HTMC

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 04:00 PM

"I might be missing something, but it seems that single shot weapons, even Accurate ones, are crippled when it comes to normal fights since degrees of success simply don't matter and your enemy can (and will) simply Dodge your attack."

Yes, but normal enemies/mooks aren't going to have high enough Ag/WS to guarantee avoiding the damage, whereas with more experienced enemies the PCs should be ganging up on the enemy anyway, so even if they block one PC's attack, the other(s) will get through.

 

The other thing people are forgetting about the usefulness of Dodge vs. Parry is that they don't exist in a vacuum, and ways exist to augment both. Off the top of my head, the best example for Parry is the Counter Attack talent, which lets you attack after a successful parry, and is an advantage that Dodge can't offer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#18 Cifer

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 11:07 PM

It seems to me that Parry and Dodge should be an Opposed Skill Check against the Weapon Skill/Ballistic Skill Check of the attacker. As it stands, most single-shot weapons can be completely neutralized with and there's nothing an attacker could do about it.

If you want to neutralize parry/dodge in melee, you Feint - that's exactly where the opposed check comes in. In ranged combat, you focus fire. The ratling can do that on his own with the set-up shot, other PCs will have to work together. A delaying sniper who already aimed for a half action last round can be downright mean: Either the enemy saves up his dodge and eats every other attack that comes his way, possibly wasting the dodge if the sniper doesn't hit after all, or he'll be literally out of dodge by the time the sniper's turn comes around.



#19 JuankiMan

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 01:58 AM

Another reason, I believe, to make Evasion checks just flat-out Challenging(+0) check instead of opposed checks is precisely for PC survivability. Making it an opposed check adds an added element of randomness, and additional randomness tends to aid the GM more than the players, since usually the GM is going to make many more rolls than the players. Think about that the next time the GM rolling an 01 at point blank doesn't make a rokkit unevadeable 



#20 KommissarK

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 03:21 AM

Emperor Castaigne said:

It seems to me that Parry and Dodge should be an Opposed Skill Check against the Weapon Skill/Ballistic Skill Check of the attacker. As it stands, most single-shot weapons can be completely neutralized with and there's nothing an attacker could do about it.

For example, a PC with 44 BS fires a Ryza Pattern "Wrath" Plasma Pistol (Rogue Trader: Into the Storm) at an enemy 10 meters away (Short Range +10) with a Standard Attack (+10) after an Aim Action (+10 for Aim, another +10 for Accurate) and rolls 23 (7 degrees of Success). Should that enemy succeed in a Challenging +0 Dodge test with just a single degree of success, then the attack fails.

I might be missing something, but it seems that single shot weapons, even Accurate ones, are crippled when it comes to normal fights since degrees of success simply don't matter and your enemy can (and will) simply Dodge your attack.

As far as Parry as a skill go, I would rewrite the Defensive quality so that Defensive weapons can be used to Parry without the penalty (or with a decreased penalty) for lacking the skill. Holding a Shield in place would be far easier to a layman than trying to block with a sword.

If you turn it into an opposed check, things get a bit messy.

Its really not that bad. If the big bad is spending all its reactions to dodge the "big stuff," its allowing itself to be hit by the little things. The heavy damage dealers could delay their actions until later in the initiative order to try and go after their allies. That way, the enemy has to make a judgement call to dodge earlier attacks in expectation of the larger attack.

While there are plenty of bonuses to WS, I do feel that the limitations normally on parrying (melee attacks only, some enemies can't be parried) are enough such that its fine it is now a skill.






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