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cybercat07

Parry in Play

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Hey folks,

 

 

I have a quick question about parry. I could have totally missed this in the book but I am looking for a narrative ruling here. If I am allowed to parry melee attacks with my saber...wouldn't that inflict damage on an item/body part unless it were protected by something? Example: Clown A attacks my character with a truncheon. I parry the truncheon. Truncheon should not be sliced in half, correct? Another example: Clown B sees me parry and then attack Clown A, but he has no weapon. Clown B tries to punch my character. My character parries with my saber. Clown be should have taken significant(?) damage, correct?

 

Hopefully I didn't skim over this section in the book but I think this is a relatively important rule to clarify. What does everybody else think???

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The ability to cut through solid objects is represented by Breach and Sunder, while the lethality of a lightsaber is represented by its low critical rating and Vicious, if it has it.

 

My general thought would be that, after millennia of use, there are ways to divert a strike without casually destroying property and causing grievous bodily harm.

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The ability to cut through solid objects is represented by Breach and Sunder, while the lethality of a lightsaber is represented by its low critical rating and Vicious, if it has it.

 

My general thought would be that, after millennia of use, there are ways to divert a strike without casually destroying property and causing grievous bodily harm.

Nah, there's no "aggressive parry" in this system.

 

I'm not trying to say that I should get extra hits for just owning a lightsaber. I'm saying that I think the whole premise of parry (while using a lightsaber) seems to be more dangerous for the attacker if they do not have a weapon that can withstand the energy beam of the blade. If I have a lightsaber and a guy tries to punch me (while we are engaged in deadly combat), I'm definitely parrying with my weapon because I know I could just cut his hand off. Likewise, if someone swings a weapon at me, I would parry with the blade. Shouldn't that just cut through melee weapons like a hot knife goes through butter?

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You could parry by side-stepping and striking your opponent's weapon hand or hilt out of the way, rather than the blade itself. Parry is just a mechanical implement that reduces damage done to you...it doesn't have to be blade-on-blade.

 

And going the other way, if you "parry" a Melee or Brawl weapon with your lightsaber, well that can represent you interposing your glowstick between the two of you, and your attacker getting wise and not pressing the attack.

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Generally speaking, a parry is the deflection of an attackers weapon, usually this means minimal contact with it in order to deflect the blow from hitting. Rarely does Parry involved blocking or directly hitting an opponent. Add to this that a combat round in this system is narrative - and thus a series of blows, movements strikes, feints, etc. As such, deflecting an incoming attack via a parry wouldn't leave the lightsaber in contact with the weapon for very long at all, and the act of avoiding that contact may be in itself what cause the attacker to "pull" the swing. 

 

Now, improved parry specifically gives you the chance to damage the opponent, I would certainly allow you to instead declare that damage as to the weapon instead.

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Now, improved parry specifically gives you the chance to damage the opponent, I would certainly allow you to instead declare that damage as to the weapon instead.

 

Definitely! As long as it's not a lightsaber. I mean, "melee weapon damaged" is a Despair result anyway. That would be a great use of extra Threat on the check, too...if he rolls more Threat than is necessary to activate Improved Parry, the attacker's weapon could be damaged multiple steps. 

Edited by awayputurwpn

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Okay that makes sense then. I was thinking of parry as straight on weapon-to-weapon contact. So the regular Parry is less about the contact of the weapon and more about the deflection/ prevention of any contact? Improved parry focuses more on the actual contact with the weapon? Or am I overthinking it all? lol

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Okay that makes sense then. I was thinking of parry as straight on weapon-to-weapon contact. So the regular Parry is less about the contact of the weapon and more about the deflection/ prevention of any contact? Improved parry focuses more on the actual contact with the weapon? Or am I overthinking it all? lol

 

It is very easy to overthink these things :) I'd focus on the actual mechanics of the talents when it comes to game-mechanical effects, and use the dice results and any fluff text from the talents to guide your narrative descriptions.

Edited by awayputurwpn

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RPG combat is often thought as each dice roll is one strike, with FFG SW it's good to step away from that and think of each round as being more of say 30 seconds to a minute.

The way I look at it is that during that time two melee combats will be moving, ducking, spinning etc as well as trying to strike.

When an opening appears the attacker swings for it and defender blocks and whilst mechanically you only roll once you're actually hitting multiple times (hence why you can parry but still take damage.

The attacks that you parry are often more the defender closing the opening and stopping an attack than an actual parry.

Edited by Cynthorus

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Lightsabers are already very potent weapons, and in FaD are not as difficult to come by.  So giving them the ability to automatically damage an attacker's weapon as a result of using the Parry talent pushes them from "very potent" to "high potential for game-breaking" since it amounts to a free use of the Sunder quality, which itself requires at least one uncancelled success and one uncancelled advantage to damage an opponent's weapon one step.

 

So while the mechanical result of using Parry is "negates X amount of damage," the narrative result can be handled any number of ways, as the posts above have illustrated, and so doesn't have to be literally blocking the incoming attack with your lightsaber.  Of course, you can certainly make use of threat or Despair results on your enemy's attack roll to cause damage to your enemy's weapon, though I'd recommend setting it to at least 2 threat to damage an enemy's weapon by one step, and even that would only be allowed if you're using Parry with a weapon that has the Sunder quality vs. a weapon that can be Sundered.

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It may help to think about what each of the 3 types of injuries represent too:

Strain is your commitment to the current situation, exceeding your strain is your character giving up on what they are doing, waving the white flag so to speak. Perhaps they stop running after the bad guy, stop arguing or lay down their arms. How far can you push your mental composure?

Wounds represent physical exhaustion, being out of breath, cramping, bruises and scratches, it's being unable to physically carry on, but not permanent injury. How far can you push your physical endurance?

Critical Injuries are the real deal, full blown wounds, broken bones, concussions etc. everyone dies on a 150...

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My personal houserule on this is as follows: if your weapon has Sunder, you can activate it for 2 Threat when attacked, regardless of if you parry or not. Because let's be honest, if you put your Lightsaber in the way of someone's swing, their weapon is getting sliced in two unless they do something to prevent it. Now, the newly free-flying piece can still hit you and do damage, so to avoid that you'll still need to parry, but I see no reason why a Lightsaber can't be used to defensively destroy an enemy's melee weapon if they're repeatedly trying to whack you with it.

Edited by Absol197

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My personal houserule on this is as follows: if your weapon has Sunder, you can activate it for 2 Threat when attacked, regardless of if you parry or not. Because let's be honest, if you put your Lightsaber in the way of someone's swing, their weapon is getting sliced in two unless they do something to prevent it. Now, the newly free-flying piece can still hit you and do damage, so to avoid that you'll still need to parry, but I see no reason why a Lightsaber can't be used to defensively destroy an enemy's melee weapon if they're repeatedly trying to whack you with it.

Question: Do you allow this for any weapon with Sunder, such as the vibro-ax, or just lightsabers?

 

If just lightsabers, then again this edges a bit towards making 'sabers a bit too good, as I mentioned above as they already stand pretty well above any other melee weapon in the game, balanced by their comparative rarity and that you need a specialized skill in order to wield   It's not as bad as the OP's notion of using Parry with a lightsaber should automatically equate to the attacker's weapon being destroyed, but it's a sizeable step in that direction.

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If the weapon has Sunder, no matter what kind of weapon it is, you can do this. So not just lightsabers.

It is strong, but keep in mind a couple of things: if you're not spending your own actions, it costs twice as many symbols to use (2 Threat versus 1 Advantage), and that's for a single activation. With an undamaged weapon, it takes at least 3 activations before the weapon is unusable, 4 to destroy it completely. And this applies only to attacks with Melee weapons, so backing up and shooting with a blaster will remove the issue completely.

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I also see Parry as symbolic of you using your lightsaber not necessarily to deflect a blow, but dissuade an opponent from following through on a strike that could have dealt serious damage. For example, if you reduce a blow down to 1 damage, I would describe the opponent pulling his strike just short as your lightsaber swing makes him err on the side of caution rather than aggression; as a result, you're left with a nick rather than a deep gash in your side.

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