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bradknowles

Parry and Reflect mechanics are broken — let’s fix them

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By having Parry and Reflect both count as damage mitigation (though not precisely soak since they're unaffected by Breach and Pierce)...

 

This actually sort of felt weird to me, and was part of my feedback during beta. I feel like those talents should remove soak bypassing abilities such as Breach and Pierce. If you Reflect, you get the benefit of adding soak since 9/10 times the majority of blaster weapons don't have those qualities. If you're going into melee where you will use Parry, you're going to end up facing off against more weapons that have at least Pierce, if not Breach when it comes to lightsaber fights. I found it unfair that essentially at range you're still allowed the benefit of soak, but not when you're facing off against melee weapons--many of which have things like Pierce and Breach. 

 

I houseruled at this point that Parry and Reflect remove soak negating abilities when used. This really makes no difference when it comes to ranged attacks, because as I said, less ranged weapons have Breach or Pierce. It helped to make saber fights last a little longer at least. 

 

 

Keep in mind that Melee/Lightsaber/Brawl only has one range band (engaged) compared to all ranged skills (and gunnery) that can have potencial access for up to 5 range bands, including engaged. This change would effectively neuter melee combatants entirely, pretty much nagating one of their only meaningful advantages for such a style (others being that generally melee weapons, aside from Lightsabers are unrestricted and the other being crit heavy and possible to take huge ranks in vicious, something that certain ranged bands can do pretty well.).

Of course, if it's a campiagn heavily centred around such conflicts, thats cool. But otherwise I would expect the entire group to favour ranged weapons that are generally capable of dealing greater damage over the same length of time and have greater tactical flexability. Though if that works for your group, fantastic!

 

 

On a different note:

Personally, I heavily lean towards the climatic side of things in the sense that unless the Hero was involved in an intense "kill them all" style of fight (e.g. The kind of combat that you would have when not attempting to achieve some other objective, such as escaping chasing imperials). I would probably handwave it as "Make a Lightsaber or Coordination check as full round action and if you succeed you impressively ward them off." Otherwise if you were fighting in an intense battle with the objective of either breaking through or dealing with an advesary, I would expect you to parry/reflect to show that his very intense concentrated enviroment will take it's toll on you. As a DM, unless he was the only character to step out, I wouldn't focus fire him down as it wouldn't be fair and I would assume that other members of the party would actively be doing things that would prevent the stormtroopers from simply brushing them off as a threat. If they don't? Well to be honest theres a limit to what even a Jedi can do and even they cannot deflect a barrage of bolts indefinately.

 

 

Otherwise I see wounds and strain as a themeatic rather then a physical resource. "Why would parry deal me damage?" Because your getting worn down by constantly blocking and even with all the training in the world, you still need a sangificant investment (in body as well as spirit) in order to beat off attacks effortlessly though ranks in Parry and Reflect are decent it isn't going to turn you into an absolute combat monster without additional investment, and the ability to pick the fights well.

 

Even if your ranks in Lightsaber can allow you to use other skills, in order to be a frontliner you really should have at least a passing consideration towards brawn, protect and other such traits to allow you to better take those hits. If you want to be a prequil Jedi knocking away shots left right and center, you better take your physical (Brawn) and mental (Willpower) condictioning seriously and actually commit to the concept, it's fully doable for a beginner character to be really formidable in that sense. If your a sagey type like Obi-Wan from the old trilogy, then stealth and careful uses of the force are your friends with direct saber combat being a last resort/a calculated action against reasonable odds.

 

Just picking ranks in Parry alone isn't going to make you invinciable, just with the correct training and vs certain weapons (lightsabers) it will improve your ability to take shots even more effectively. It's like my emerging force senstive character has around 400/500 exp invested in him but because his force senstivity has only recently emerged and that his defences haven't been properly built up (he a gadgeteer/stealth character by trade) even though he can throw out a ton of red dice through two ranks of dodge, a rank in defensive stance by maxing out the defence side of the sense tree, Tobin still needs to learn much more about formal combat before he is anywhere near as formidable as a Jedi from the movies (no ranks in parry or protect, infact, he currently only has two pips and sense.). I am glad for this because it means that the Hero's journey can be built up slow, but epic! That even a Guardian that drops a ton of exp on deflecting and parrying isn't entirely invinciable in the early stages of the game.

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Something I've been considering about Improved Parry..

 

Do passive weapon qualities apply to the character's counterstrike?  For instance, if using a lightsaber and you activate Improved Parry, would the Breach 1 quality of the 'saber be applied?

 

My own answer on this (and how I'll be handling when this talent shows up in any games I run) is "Yes, passive weapon qualities do apply."  Otherwise, it really cuts down on the effectiveness of Improved Parry for the one weapon that most characters who'd have the talent would be using, given that it only shows up for the Lightsaber Form specs.  And that technically, the attacker could use Parry against that counterstrike since the damage from Improved Parry is described as "a hit."

Edited by Donovan Morningfire

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OBJECTION!!! (Sorry, I liked that from Ace Torney DS game XD)

 

My first impression about Improved Ref/Parr is that was underpowered or too difficult to activate. My players also agree with me on that point, but after remember the movies and the Clone Wars movies the ratio of "returned hits" weren't so high.

 

After realizing a lot of rolls... A LOT! (I'm sick XD) I arrived to the conclusion that with the actual rules, above 20% of the incoming bolts at medium range are reflected. If you reduce the cost 2 Threats this becomes 30-40% of reflected shots.

 

Movies and CW ratio is above 25-30% (again I'm sick...or need a girlfriend XD).

 

The general roll I used is 2 Proficency 1 Ability vs 1 Challenge 1 Difficulty 1 Setback. So, based on this info, feel free to mod the talent if you wish of course :)

Edited by Josep Maria

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And that technically, the attacker could use Parry against that counterstrike since the damage from Improved Parry is described as "a hit."

 

You have to look at the PC Parry Talent closely but it requires a hit from a combat check. So with the PC variety you cannot Parry a hit from Improved Parry.

 

Note however that by the letter an Inquisitor or Fallen Master can Parry a hit from Improved Parry becasue their variety of the Talents do not require a hit from a combat check (or even a strain cost for the Inquisitor).

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usgrandprix,

I'd say that Sam Stewart and Max Brook disagree with you on the "Parry cant' be used against a hit from Improved Parry."

 

A while back on their respective Twitter feeds, they were both talking about the 'cool scene' in their in-house game where there was an interchange of multiple Parry activations between Max's PC and the NPC villain he was dueling with in the course of a single exchange.  Been a while, but I believe the breakdown was "NPC w/ double-bladed saber hit twice, Max's PC used Parry twice then Improved Parry twice (apparently either had double Despair or Despair and 3 Threat), and the NPC used Parry against both of those."  They both burned through a bunch of strain to do it, but it was sufficiently cool that they both tweeted about it.

 

Ultimately, it was a cool scene, so the GM let it fly.  And ultimately, the Parry activations were all part of a single combat check; the talent itself doesn't say it has to be an opponent's combat check that results in the hit, just that there had to be a combat check to start the process.  Those hits from the PC's use of Improved Parry only resulted because the NPC rolled enough Despair/Threat on their Lightsaber combat check to trigger that talent.

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Gotcha. The Lightsaber combat check hit can be your own. It's a mad world!

All the more powerful that some adversaries do not need to spend strain to activate it.

I consider that to be an as-yet-unaddressed typo in the stat blocks, and fully plan to have any Inquisitors that show up in my games have to suffer the strain cost to use Parry/Reflect. Otherwise, it just makes them too **** durable when combined with 3 ranks of Adversary as the PCs would be lucky to score even a couple points of wounds when the Inquisitor can simply chose to negate 7 points of melee or ranged damage (or both if they've got Parry 5 and Reflect 5) from every attack without consequence.

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Not sure if this has been addressed already, but in my version of Force and Destiny, it says Parry/Reflect add (failure) results to the opposing dice. Improved say if the check would result in a failure, that you deal damage to the attacker. So Parry becomes way more do-or-die, and it's not a damage soak at all. Is this the new canon or do I just have a weird copy?

Edited by Acanous

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