You don't parry an Ogre

You don't parry an Ogre

Postby arnkel » Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:35 am

I realize D&D is a game about heroic stories, and that Codex attempts to correct that to some extent, but you still end up with situations where rogues using knives are effectively parrying Titans wielding Great Axes. I don't really know where to draw lines on what can and can't be parried short of simply resorting to DM fiat, but I do know that a human on foot, regardless of weapon should not be physically able to parry an ogre swinging a massive club two handed due to the sheer mass advantage of the ogre. I'd even suggest lowering(if not dropping outright) many of the requirements for large creatures using the feat Awesome Blow, found in the MM, though altering slightly so that say, the character only gets knocked back 5' per every attack die or knocked prone, with damage only occurring if an obstacle is hit and the character traveled 10+ feet.
Having said that, I think there should be an alternative to the Weapon/Shield bonus to defense for characters who aren't even trying to defend themselves in that fashion, but instead simply trying to avoid being hit altogether. Maybe getting your Reflex Save as a bonus, or maybe double your BDB. Even tumble could possibly provide some sort of bonus(or just grant synergy to the active defense roll).
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Re: You don't parry an Ogre

Postby Galloglaich » Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:02 pm

arnkel wrote:I realize D&D is a game about heroic stories, and that Codex attempts to correct that to some extent, but you still end up with situations where rogues using knives are effectively parrying Titans wielding Great Axes. I don't really know where to draw lines on what can and can't be parried short of simply resorting to DM fiat, but I do know that a human on foot, regardless of weapon should not be physically able to parry an ogre swinging a massive club two handed due to the sheer mass advantage of the ogre. I'd even suggest lowering(if not dropping outright) many of the requirements for large creatures using the feat Awesome Blow, found in the MM, though altering slightly so that say, the character only gets knocked back 5' per every attack die or knocked prone, with damage only occurring if an obstacle is hit and the character traveled 10+ feet.
Having said that, I think there should be an alternative to the Weapon/Shield bonus to defense for characters who aren't even trying to defend themselves in that fashion, but instead simply trying to avoid being hit altogether. Maybe getting your Reflex Save as a bonus, or maybe double your BDB. Even tumble could possibly provide some sort of bonus(or just grant synergy to the active defense roll).



The Codex system is kind of designed for combat in the real world, so it may not (yet) have a perfect answer to this particular dilemma, however there is some wiggle room.

First, weapons can be broken, you can specifically target a persons weapon if they are parrying, and apply your damage to it. So if someone is parrying with a broad dagger and the ogre hits a tremendous blow for 20 damage (not all implausible even without dynamic criticals)- the dagger hardness absorbs 10 points, the dagger hit points takes up 5, then the dagger breaks. Goodbye dagger. All he has to do is do 15 points of damage to break it, 11 to damage it. This also happens automatically in a bind, incidentally.

If they were using something a bit more flimsy, like a small staff, the threshold to break it is only 8 points (5/3)

Shields can be broken even more easily. A Viking style shield has a toughness of 3 and 10 hit points, so it's dead after 13 points of damage. (just like in the sagas)

Second, you can indeed protect yourself without parrying. This is called voiding. Many of the martial Feats are based on this tactic, for example the Nachriesen, which requires you to void (i.e., defend from an attack without your weapon defense bonus) before counterattacking with your free dice. If you void you will not accidentally get a bind either. The Martial Feat Distance Fighting gives you a Free Dice for voiding so long as you have some room to back away during the fight. The Codex version of the Spring Attack Feat is also based on the void.

Japanese fencing is largely built around using voids.

That said, weapons like swords can parry very efficiently, you use the geometry and angles of contact to greatly reduce the strength it takes to parry even a really powerful blow. A small person can parry attacks from much larger people, if their form is good. I train 120 lb girls in my fencing club to effectively parry against 200 pound men. As an example, here is a match at the Swedish tournament in Swordfish a couple of years ago between the 5' 4", probably 150 lbs Nathan Grepares of Texas (one of the top longsword fencers in the US) against 6' 4" FMA stickfighter Staffan Sannemalm, who is I'm going to guess 220 lbs (probably more).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KgCf0tP7SY

Nathan eats him alive and has no problem parrying his powerful strikes, nor do the swords break. Now if Staffan had something with a lot of mass like a two-handed godendag or Morgenstern, I'm sure Nathan would void more (and cut Staffans hands).

Parrying isn't really about meeting strength with strength. All you have to do is misdirect a blow, you can use the impact of a strong hit to snap your own sword around to cut them from another angle.

G
Last edited by Galloglaich on Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: You don't parry an Ogre

Postby arnkel » Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:02 am

Galloglaich wrote:Second, you can indeed protect yourself without parrying. This is called voiding. Many of the martial Feats are based on this tactic, for example the Nachriesen, which requires you to void (i.e., defend from an attack without your weapon defense bonus) before counterattacking with your free dice. If you void you will not accidentally get a bind either. The Martial Feat Distance Fighting gives you a Free Dice for voiding so long as you have some room to back away during the fight. The Codex version of the Spring Attack Feat is also based on the void.


That explains why I didn't see the rule. Because I'm not seeing it elsewhere(looked at Nachriesen, Distance Fighting, Sidestep, and in the Appendix to see that Dodge is unchanged), is there a method of voiding that DOESN'T require the expenditure of a feat?
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Re: You don't parry an Ogre

Postby Galloglaich » Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:18 am

arnkel wrote:
Galloglaich wrote:Second, you can indeed protect yourself without parrying. This is called voiding. Many of the martial Feats are based on this tactic, for example the Nachriesen, which requires you to void (i.e., defend from an attack without your weapon defense bonus) before counterattacking with your free dice. If you void you will not accidentally get a bind either. The Martial Feat Distance Fighting gives you a Free Dice for voiding so long as you have some room to back away during the fight. The Codex version of the Spring Attack Feat is also based on the void.


That explains why I didn't see the rule. Because I'm not seeing it elsewhere(looked at Nachriesen, Distance Fighting, Sidestep, and in the Appendix to see that Dodge is unchanged), is there a method of voiding that DOESN'T require the expenditure of a feat?


Yes, I guess it's not clear enough in the rules though I think it does spell it out a couple of times, once in the beginning. You can void any time you like by simply not using your weapons defense bonus in your defense roll. Any time you are facing a weapon which could easily break the one you are using this is probably a good strategy. Like you don't want to parry a mace with a rapier so it's best to forgoe the defensive bonus and stick to voids.

The Martial Feats in question just give you an extra reason to do the void. Unless you are worried about your weapon breaking, or worried about a bind, or have some MF like Nachriesen which gives you a Free Dice when voiding, then you would normally want to use your defensive bonus for your weapon(s) (i.e. not void).

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Re: You don't parry an Ogre

Postby Galloglaich » Sun Jan 18, 2015 5:22 am

Also that should have read "120 lb girls" there is no way in hell I could train 120 girls.

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Re: You don't parry an Ogre

Postby arnkel » Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:22 am

Cool. I'd probably still grant some sort of bonus to the void defense roll then(either double Dex bonus, a flat dodge bonus based on speed, or adding the Reflex save bonus) otherwise there's mechanically no incentive to voiding unless you're feat-specced out for it, but instead an incentive for players to bring along piles of backup weapons/shields.

Galloglaich wrote:Also that should have read "120 lb girls" there is no way in hell I could train 120 girls.


Training 120 anything sounds like a nightmare.
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Re: You don't parry an Ogre

Postby Galloglaich » Mon Jan 19, 2015 2:43 am

arnkel wrote:Cool. I'd probably still grant some sort of bonus to the void defense roll then(either double Dex bonus, a flat dodge bonus based on speed, or adding the Reflex save bonus) otherwise there's mechanically no incentive to voiding unless you're feat-specced out for it, but instead an incentive for players to bring along piles of backup weapons/shields.


I prefer, personally, to rely on the real world for balance. Some people would train for fighting this way, and you can make more feats for that to give those kinds of enhancements, but usually you do want to parry with your weapon if you have one. Carrying lots of extras was actually done to some extent (cavalry often carried many extra lances for example, and pike armies would bring extra pikes, the Swiss brought along halberd makers to repair and rehaft broken weapons and so forth). But on the small unit DnD party level, an individual person can't carry dozens of swords.

Galloglaich wrote:Also that should have read "120 lb girls" there is no way in hell I could train 120 girls.


Training 120 anything sounds like a nightmare.[/quote]

Yep, that is what I meant.

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Re: You don't parry an Ogre

Postby arnkel » Mon Jan 19, 2015 3:04 am

Galloglaich wrote:But on the small unit DnD party level, an individual person can't carry dozens of swords


You'd think so, but my regular group and the encumbrance rules disagree with us. ;) Though, come to think of it, if I do it your way, it'd give me an excuse to institute the Bulk Point rules from AD&D 2e's Skills & Powers.
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Re: You don't parry an Ogre

Postby Galloglaich » Mon Jan 19, 2015 4:28 am

Well if you are going to DM fiat something a "sorry man you can't carry 4 longswords" rule is probably pretty reasonable.

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Re: You don't parry an Ogre

Postby TheVor » Mon Jan 19, 2015 5:24 pm

Carrying two arming swords was very popular in Palestine during the crusades, one as a replacement if it got lost or broken. ;)

No really good reason to carry multiple longswords though... you should get killed before you can draw the second one.
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