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Jackal_Strain

Should dodge and Parry be opposed tests?

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I was thinking about this earlier today (in the shower actually sonrojado.gif) and it kinda makes sense to me that dodge and parry should not be flat characteristic tests, but opposed.

Think about the following scenario: Redshirt soontodie guardsman is armed with a common sword. He is fighting a khornate cultist armed with an axe. Said cultist decided that khorne desires the poor guardsmans skull and promptly tries to sever it from his opponents shoulder and attacks. He hits, even though he's got a lousy ws of 23.

Our poor hero however has had some training, so his ws is 30. Add the +10 from his balanced sword, and with a total ws of 40, he parries the attack and send the cultist back to the fiery pits he came from.. or his mom.

Then a Khorne Berserker enters the room and decides to make an all-out attack, probably putting him in the 70-90 range when it comes to ws. Luckily, our hero still has a 40% chance of parrying.... does this sound right to you guys?

 

I admit that I havent thought this all through yet, but I believe I may be on to something here... 

 

Debate!

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 I've thought the same myself, ever since using a parry as a poorly-though-through example for something on here the other day. A skillful thrust should perhaps be harder to counter.

 

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opposed dodge/parry test will slow combat to crawl (we have tested it)

Slightly different idea is taking strenght of  attacker and size of his weapon into account, and if your Strenght is much bigger u have chance of braking opponent parry... or something like that...

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boruta666 said:

opposed dodge/parry test will slow combat to crawl (we have tested it)

Slightly different idea is taking strenght of  attacker and size of his weapon into account, and if your Strenght is much bigger u have chance of braking opponent parry... or something like that...

But combat between two skilled warriors ends up being a dodge or parry festival, as they only need to succeed, not succeed AND beat their opponent.  If you have opposed tests, you still have to pass, it's just (as of the new errata) your opponent can take away your successes.  Doesn't the opposed test simply have you check a number to decide success?  You already should know how many DoS you're getting anyhow.

To me, taking strength and weapon size, while it may make sense, adds another benefit to higher strength while not adding an equal beneft to other stats like agility (so a high strength gives you high damage AND the ability to bash through parries).

Anyhow, I kind of like the idea of the opposed tests myself- something about it feels right- though due to the fact that there are combat manuvers like feint and DW characters get Killing Blow I've not worried to much with it. 

You know though, opposed tests are likely to increase mortality, as there are plenty of weapons in 40k that can deatomize your character.  If you have someone eating at your dodge successes whenever you try and get out of the way of the lascannon blast you're more likely to end up having to burn fate.

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Do remember that this would cause a heavy shift in favor of dodge (which is already favored by the system) for creatures with unnatural agility, since there is no "unnatural weapon/ballistic skill." This would mean that such creatures are at a fairly high advantage of never being hit, which, while certainly entertaining, lends itself to drawn out combats. And I think speed of game is far more valuable than "realism," we have enough abstractions as it is, but as long as we're not constantly reminded of them (as in reminded of the rules, instead of focusing on simpler thoughts of "I want to be over there, I want to attack that target, I want to flank them, I want to befriend this imperial citizen", over "I want to get that +20 bonus to this test, or I need to move 4 m over to get within squad range, or he has unnat agility so I can barely hit him" sort of thing).

 

For some reason, I also had the thought that if this were to be implemented, dodge/parry should not be reactions, but naturally a part of the attack process (not the target taking a reaction when he learns of the impending hit). Not sure why I thought this, just felt like pointing it out.

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The more skilled opponent will win as it is anyway, it just will take more rounds. I am fine with that. I don't think a skilled attacker should be able to take down every somewhat unskilled opponent in two rounds. Also if combats between two high rank opponents take many rounds more, that's okay, gives a more epic feel to the combat.

 

Alex

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sorry Charmander i didn't wanted to criticize your idea, some time ago we were having same thoughts about parry/dodge as opposed tests, in theory it sounded great, in practice it slowed game enough so we have forsaken whole deal.

 

 

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boruta666 said:

sorry Charmander i didn't wanted to criticize your idea, some time ago we were having same thoughts about parry/dodge as opposed tests, in theory it sounded great, in practice it slowed game enough so we have forsaken whole deal.

 

 

It's fine, I just have trouble imagining how it could slow things down any more than combat already was, but I haven't actualy tried it.  I'll take your word for it happy.gif

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 There already is a mechanic that cuts out parries and dodges: It's called Feint - spend a half action to make an opposed WS test. If you succeed, your opponent can't parry/dodge at all.

The situation with our dear Redshirt guardsman versus the berserker wouldn't come to pass that way either - sure, the guardsman may parry an attack. Whereupon the Khornite remembers his Furious Assault talent, which allows him to follow a succesful All-Out Attack with a second blow while the guardsman has no parry left.

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As un-cinematic as this sounds, a Parry is usually not actually blocking your opponent's weapon. Skilled parries are generally deflections that set you up for a killing stroke. And a Dodge is just getting the fudge out the way. Of coruse, Marines grinding chainswords together is way cooler to imgine. :)

So yeah, an exceptionally nimble, cowardly or lucky guardsmen might live a few rounds against a Daemon Prince's flailing blade of awesomesauce. Parrying though? I dunno. If I wanted the scene to be gritty and realistic, I would probably fudge the rules a bit, and have the guardsmen make Dodge rolls, and disallow parries completely (if he were fighting something like a Daemon Prince).

 

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 So yeah, an exceptionally nimble, cowardly or lucky guardsmen might live a few rounds against a Daemon Prince's flailing blade of awesomesauce.

And we all know what an exceptionally nimble, cowardly and lucky Commissar might manage...

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I've run some tests on this and I'm 100% certain that it's a more realistic and deadly way of representing combat, but the only thing that currently keeps me from implementing it into my game is that is slows combat down considerably.

I will probably try it out in tomorrow nights session, and see how my players like it.

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 It might slow a combat *round* down, but if it removes or reduces the requirement for five rounds of 'hit, parry, hit, parry' then it's speeding combat itself up. My mental jury is still out on the idea, but I'm leaning towards doing as the book says for now.

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 We are running it as opposed tests, and have not experienced any noticeable slowing down of the combat - on contrary lesser enemies are often felled faster, as they do not as often manage to dodge/parry the players.

I have left it up to the players whether they wanted to keep using this custom rule, and they all want it, even though it also makes dangerous enemies even more deadly, as a 75% parry chance, might not be 75% flat, as they still need to beat the elites/masters with high WS as well. But they like the fact that they also have a greater chance of hitting, when they make truly good hits.

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The idea of making dodge and parry opposed tests has come up during my DW game, mainly because players were annoyed when enemies dodged their 8-degree-of-success attack rolls, and we decided to keep things as they are. Here are our reasons:

1. It would add yet more bookkeeping for the DM, and since that is me, that is extra bad

2. It is very easy to stack huge bonuses to melee and ranged attacks (for example: full auto at point blank range +50), but very difficult to stack bonuses to dodge and parry. Making dodge and parry contested would therefore render dodge and parry far less effective, and in a lot of cases useless. This would seriously impact PC survivability.

3. When dodging attacks from a burst, you dodge a number of hits equal to your degrees of success. How would this rule work if dodge rolls are contested?

4. Normally, characters have only one reaction per round, so the effectiveness of parry and dodge are limited anyway. Against multiple enemies, or against melee freaks with two weapons and lightning attack, parry and dodge only let you escape a fraction of the attacks being made against you. I therefore don't see the need to de-power parry and dodge further.

5. Parry and dodge add an important random quality to combat, and when combined with the use of fate points to re-roll, they seriously improve PC survival. Making them contested would take out a fun wildcard element from the game, and kill the PCs faster, especially when the PCs are fighting boss monsters with huge WS.

Those were our reasons, which you may find compelling. Ultimately though you should run your game however you like!

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WatchCaptainGothicus said:

The idea of making dodge and parry opposed tests has come up during my DW game, mainly because players were annoyed when enemies dodged their 8-degree-of-success attack rolls, and we decided to keep things as they are. Here are our reasons:

1. It would add yet more bookkeeping for the DM, and since that is me, that is extra bad

2. It is very easy to stack huge bonuses to melee and ranged attacks (for example: full auto at point blank range +50), but very difficult to stack bonuses to dodge and parry. Making dodge and parry contested would therefore render dodge and parry far less effective, and in a lot of cases useless. This would seriously impact PC survivability.

3. When dodging attacks from a burst, you dodge a number of hits equal to your degrees of success. How would this rule work if dodge rolls are contested?

4. Normally, characters have only one reaction per round, so the effectiveness of parry and dodge are limited anyway. Against multiple enemies, or against melee freaks with two weapons and lightning attack, parry and dodge only let you escape a fraction of the attacks being made against you. I therefore don't see the need to de-power parry and dodge further.

5. Parry and dodge add an important random quality to combat, and when combined with the use of fate points to re-roll, they seriously improve PC survival. Making them contested would take out a fun wildcard element from the game, and kill the PCs faster, especially when the PCs are fighting boss monsters with huge WS.

Those were our reasons, which you may find compelling. Ultimately though you should run your game however you like!

I have to agree with pretty much everything you've said. I like the idea of the opposed roll, but if it IS going to work, it needs to be a different mechanic in my mind. Personally, I find the RAW are fine and the fewer dice we can roll per round, the better overall.

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Macharias the Mendicant said:

WatchCaptainGothicus said:

 

The idea of making dodge and parry opposed tests has come up during my DW game, mainly because players were annoyed when enemies dodged their 8-degree-of-success attack rolls, and we decided to keep things as they are. Here are our reasons:

1. It would add yet more bookkeeping for the DM, and since that is me, that is extra bad

2. It is very easy to stack huge bonuses to melee and ranged attacks (for example: full auto at point blank range +50), but very difficult to stack bonuses to dodge and parry. Making dodge and parry contested would therefore render dodge and parry far less effective, and in a lot of cases useless. This would seriously impact PC survivability.

3. When dodging attacks from a burst, you dodge a number of hits equal to your degrees of success. How would this rule work if dodge rolls are contested?

4. Normally, characters have only one reaction per round, so the effectiveness of parry and dodge are limited anyway. Against multiple enemies, or against melee freaks with two weapons and lightning attack, parry and dodge only let you escape a fraction of the attacks being made against you. I therefore don't see the need to de-power parry and dodge further.

5. Parry and dodge add an important random quality to combat, and when combined with the use of fate points to re-roll, they seriously improve PC survival. Making them contested would take out a fun wildcard element from the game, and kill the PCs faster, especially when the PCs are fighting boss monsters with huge WS.

Those were our reasons, which you may find compelling. Ultimately though you should run your game however you like!

 

 

I have to agree with pretty much everything you've said. I like the idea of the opposed roll, but if it IS going to work, it needs to be a different mechanic in my mind. Personally, I find the RAW are fine and the fewer dice we can roll per round, the better overall.

+1 to both. Remember that this is all still an abstraction, as much it seems that it should be a kendo fight between two duelists, it's equally likely that those attacks will be hacking away at number of people in a confusing melee with people shooting in all directions as well.

If you got to dodge or parry every attack I could see it being opposed but's a lot more dice rolling and calculation than one precious reaction. If people want to try it out it could be for sniping attacks, stealthy backstabs or honor duels. Again though, is essence it makes the reactions far weaker so you may well find he goes first wins everytime.

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I have used the opposed DoS for parry & dodge houserule since Dark Heresy.

Once it everyone learns how it works, it becomes second nature and doesn't slow our combat sessions down. Of course, I've run a number of sessions with 6 to 8 players, where combat is sometimes almost glacial (at least it has felt like it at times). When I get to run a 4 player kill team, rounds are lightning fast, even with the houserule.

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Have tried it with our group with the only change being that when you dodge you need to beat or equal the degrees of success of the attack. The reason for this was in reaction to a high level Dark Heresy game we had run where one the characters had a 80%+ dodge/parry and multiple reactions making them almost untouchable.

Eventually we abandoned the house rule as we found that bonuses to attack meant the chance of being able to avoid the attack was often impossible.

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Opposed parry makes some sense.

Opposed dodge sounds stupid.

 

It is however really irritating that you can achieve a natural 1 on a roll with a perfect sniper shot to the head or have silly DoS on the shot which by all account should get a perfect hit and someone can just barely scrape their dodge roll by one point and avoid losing their entire face. The compromise of course would be to have the shot skim or something but it's a tough one to balance...opposed parry though, that is still logical.

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Opposed parry makes some sense.

Opposed dodge sounds stupid.

 

It is however really irritating that you can achieve a natural 1 on a roll with a perfect sniper shot to the head or have silly DoS on the shot which by all account should get a perfect hit and someone can just barely scrape their dodge roll by one point and avoid losing their entire face. The compromise of course would be to have the shot skim or something but it's a tough one to balance...opposed parry though, that is still logical.

 

Crits can't be dodged or parried though, so the scenario would never happen, unless I'm remembering rules wrong

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Crits can't be dodged or parried though, so the scenario would never happen, unless I'm remembering rules wrong

 

IIRC by default you can attempt to dodge any attack, regardless of how many Wounds (positive or negative) the PC has. The one you might be thinking of is the Killing Strike talent (a starting ability of all Astartes), where if you make an all-out attack and spend a Fate Point, your hit cannot be dodged or parried.

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