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Short Fey
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Parrying too weak?

Sun 07 Apr 2024, 15:42

After having run one campaign and several one shots, me and my players began to debate if parrying is possibly a bit too weak in its current state.

Now, i think i can understand the intended design idea. Sense parrying uses the same weapon skill as the weapon you are using (+ shields using whatever weapon skill you want), You don't have to invest in a different skill in order to defend yourself. Plus, if you're lucky, you can perform a counter attack, letting you both attack and defend yourself in the same round.

But despite this, no one really wants to parry attacks, instead of opting to Dodge attacks instead. After a bit of discussion, we came to the following points.

1, You can not parry monster attacks.
Specifically, you can't parry most monster attacks. There are some you can, but they are very few, and some specifically states you can only parry it if you have a shield. This makes players feel it is effectively pointless to even focus on parrying monster attacks sense your so severely limited. Even with the Shield Block HA, it feels that you must invest a lot more into being able to parry monster attacks, when Evading Monster attacks feels like it is much less of a hassel. But also because of-

2, Parrying feels too risky sense weapons could break.
Players feels reluctant to parry sense there is a chance that your weapon could break, and you now have a less effective weapon. Now i understand and agree with the risk of the weapon damage, a lot of players don't like the idea of trying to parry an attack, sense they do not know in advance if the damage is going to be enough to break it (even if some weapons are designed to make this fairly unlikely to happen).

3, Odds to low to Counter attack.
Sense you can only counter attack if you roll a Dragon (a 5% chance of happening), players feel it is not worth it to try and gamble on getting that counter attack. While sure, you can use Enchant Weapon to increase the odds, this either requires a mage learning that spell, or a GM willing to let the player get their hands on such a weapon.

What could be done?

This is of course tricky, but a few things i been testing out is the following:

Shields get part of Shield Block baked in.
Shields can be used to block Monster Attacks (Not aoes). This makes them feel more useful to pick up, and can allow players to avoid taking damage from monster attacks without needing to invest in a HA to do so, but still gives Monster Attacks that can only be dodged. Shield Block still keeps the bonus of giving you an BOON when parrying with a shield.

Defensive costs 2wp instead of 3.
Sense you are taking a risk of your weapon breaking, this gives it an edge over Fancy Footwork, as it could allow you to parry more attacks than what Fancy Footwork can do, and still have WP over to do other things.

Make a HA that let's you counter attack easier.
This one is the trickery one to answer, as this shouldn't be too easily done, but giving players a chance to trigger a counter attack without the need to roll a dragon when parrying could be a useful option. Some examples are:

A: You can for 3wp attempt to counter attack if you successfully parry the attack, but you make the attack with a Bane.
B: You can after you have rolled your parry spend up to 3wp to increase what number you must roll to roll a dragon (could add that you don't get an advancement mark when you use this ability).

What do you think? Is parrying fine as is, or could it do with some adjustments?
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Kartong Karlsson
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue 23 Feb 2021, 02:33

Re: Parrying too weak?

Wed 10 Apr 2024, 23:11

After having run one campaign and several one shots, me and my players began to debate if parrying is possibly a bit too weak in its current state.

Now, i think i can understand the intended design idea. Sense parrying uses the same weapon skill as the weapon you are using (+ shields using whatever weapon skill you want), You don't have to invest in a different skill in order to defend yourself. Plus, if you're lucky, you can perform a counter attack, letting you both attack and defend yourself in the same round.

But despite this, no one really wants to parry attacks, instead of opting to Dodge attacks instead. After a bit of discussion, we came to the following points.

1, You can not parry monster attacks.
Specifically, you can't parry most monster attacks. There are some you can, but they are very few, and some specifically states you can only parry it if you have a shield. This makes players feel it is effectively pointless to even focus on parrying monster attacks sense your so severely limited. Even with the Shield Block HA, it feels that you must invest a lot more into being able to parry monster attacks, when Evading Monster attacks feels like it is much less of a hassel. But also because of-

2, Parrying feels too risky sense weapons could break.
Players feels reluctant to parry sense there is a chance that your weapon could break, and you now have a less effective weapon. Now i understand and agree with the risk of the weapon damage, a lot of players don't like the idea of trying to parry an attack, sense they do not know in advance if the damage is going to be enough to break it (even if some weapons are designed to make this fairly unlikely to happen).

3, Odds to low to Counter attack.
Sense you can only counter attack if you roll a Dragon (a 5% chance of happening), players feel it is not worth it to try and gamble on getting that counter attack. While sure, you can use Enchant Weapon to increase the odds, this either requires a mage learning that spell, or a GM willing to let the player get their hands on such a weapon.

What could be done?

This is of course tricky, but a few things i been testing out is the following:

Shields get part of Shield Block baked in.
Shields can be used to block Monster Attacks (Not aoes). This makes them feel more useful to pick up, and can allow players to avoid taking damage from monster attacks without needing to invest in a HA to do so, but still gives Monster Attacks that can only be dodged. Shield Block still keeps the bonus of giving you an BOON when parrying with a shield.

Defensive costs 2wp instead of 3.
Sense you are taking a risk of your weapon breaking, this gives it an edge over Fancy Footwork, as it could allow you to parry more attacks than what Fancy Footwork can do, and still have WP over to do other things.

Make a HA that let's you counter attack easier.
This one is the trickery one to answer, as this shouldn't be too easily done, but giving players a chance to trigger a counter attack without the need to roll a dragon when parrying could be a useful option. Some examples are:

A: You can for 3wp attempt to counter attack if you successfully parry the attack, but you make the attack with a Bane.
B: You can after you have rolled your parry spend up to 3wp to increase what number you must roll to roll a dragon (could add that you don't get an advancement mark when you use this ability).

What do you think? Is parrying fine as is, or could it do with some adjustments?
I think I might be inclined to agree with you, parrying is on the weak side for player characters. Parrying monsters is either very inconsistent with what attacks can be parried, or very expensive when it comes to what heroic abilities are needed and WP points spent, along with the other issues you mentioned.

If it were me I would probably choose the first option of giving shields the ability to block non-aoe attacks without Shield Block.

Reducing the cost of Defensive would also have the effect of making enemies with the ability a good bit tougher, which might not be what you intended.

Making new heroic abilities for parrying means that a shield user would need to invest even more of their heroic abilities to get the most out of the shield, maybe this could be combined with the first option where Shield Block is less necessary, or alternatively make it a part of Shield Block in some way?
 
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Short Fey
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Re: Parrying too weak?

Thu 11 Apr 2024, 08:51

It would indeed make boss npcs more dangerous. But you don't bump into them too often, and unless your in a 1v1 your still going to have an edge over them. What usually makes bossess dangerous is not the bosses abilities in themself but the number of lackies that can distract and harass the players. Plus not every boss might opt to pick it depending on what they are supposed to be. So it might make them a bit more dangerous but i don't think to a noteworthy degree.

The reason i pitched an heroic ability is making you be able to counterattack on demand, or at least be able to do it easier, would be pretty powerful, so it would need to be an investment.
I can agree that having too many ha can bog it down a bit. Though will point out my suggestion can work without shileds (Broad and Long sword have comperable durability). But it's deffenetly the trickest point to anwser.
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sbwallace
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Re: Parrying too weak?

Fri 12 Apr 2024, 23:21

My players and I have been having this same discussion. But I think a point you missed is that you can Parry while wearing heavy armor without a bane. Any dodge made while wearing Chainmail or Plate would be done with a bane - that makes the calculus significantly less favorable unless you happen to be wearing heavy armor and have an unusually high evade skill.

I do still feel like the cost on Shield Bash might be to high. It feels like it should be split into two HAs, one that just gives you the ability to parry monster attacks with your shield for no wp cost and another that gives you the ability to spend 2 wp for a boon on a parry. Getting a boon is definitely worth it since a dragon will give you an auto hit free attack.
 
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Short Fey
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Re: Parrying too weak?

Sat 13 Apr 2024, 06:21

My players and I have been having this same discussion. But I think a point you missed is that you can Parry while wearing heavy armor without a bane. Any dodge made while wearing Chainmail or Plate would be done with a bane - that makes the calculus significantly less favorable unless you happen to be wearing heavy armor and have an unusually high evade skill.

I do still feel like the cost on Shield Bash might be to high. It feels like it should be split into two HAs, one that just gives you the ability to parry monster attacks with your shield for no wp cost and another that gives you the ability to spend 2 wp for a boon on a parry. Getting a boon is definitely worth it since a dragon will give you an auto hit free attack.
We discussed that too, and came to the conclusion that sense it gave evade a bane, heavy armor became undesirable (that armor won't help you against a dragon's fire breath for instance), unless you have grinded your evade to the really high levels. We had a knight in our campaign who ended up being the only one that died, after which he switched to leather on his next character so he could dodge like everyone else. At which it falls back to my previous points that you'll just evade attacks than parry them, sense your unlikely to parry attacks due the percived risk and lack of reward.

I'd say instead of splitting sheild bash into two HA, the "parry monster attacks" would be a passive feature, while you could activate the ability for the Boon.
Beware the fey!
 
Kartong Karlsson
Posts: 59
Joined: Tue 23 Feb 2021, 02:33

Re: Parrying too weak?

Sat 13 Apr 2024, 10:23

My players and I have been having this same discussion. But I think a point you missed is that you can Parry while wearing heavy armor without a bane. Any dodge made while wearing Chainmail or Plate would be done with a bane - that makes the calculus significantly less favorable unless you happen to be wearing heavy armor and have an unusually high evade skill.

I do still feel like the cost on Shield Bash might be to high. It feels like it should be split into two HAs, one that just gives you the ability to parry monster attacks with your shield for no wp cost and another that gives you the ability to spend 2 wp for a boon on a parry. Getting a boon is definitely worth it since a dragon will give you an auto hit free attack.
We discussed that too, and came to the conclusion that sense it gave evade a bane, heavy armor became undesirable (that armor won't help you against a dragon's fire breath for instance), unless you have grinded your evade to the really high levels. We had a knight in our campaign who ended up being the only one that died, after which he switched to leather on his next character so he could dodge like everyone else. At which it falls back to my previous points that you'll just evade attacks than parry them, sense your unlikely to parry attacks due the percived risk and lack of reward.

I'd say instead of splitting shield bash into two HA, the "parry monster attacks" would be a passive feature, while you could activate the ability for the Boon.
That would definitely be a good change for Shield Block, would make parrying monsters less expensive in WP unless you really happen to need the boon in that moment.
 
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aramis
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Re: Parrying too weak?

Mon 15 Apr 2024, 12:12

I noticed pretty quick that Dodging is better both mathematically and by general ability to be used.

It felt very self-evident.

The ability to push the opponent on a parry success is cool, but not enough.
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Fenhorn
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Re: Parrying too weak?

Mon 15 Apr 2024, 13:19

That you can have good armour can be extremely powerful, so I've noticed.

You can parry a fair number of monster attacks, sure, more than people think (before anyone starts to count, remember that there are some attacks that can't be parried or dodged, so don't just count the number of parry entries). One good thing with parry is that if you fail, you have armour that will soak up damage, most often, dodging characters don't have so much armour. To shove enemies away from you and perhaps to someone else can be good sometimes, especially in combination with other characters actions or in some situation when you can use terrain to your advantage (or to your targets disadvantage)..

Is dodge better than parry, probably for a lot of adventurers, but for heavily armoured adventurers, no. Such characters should probably have a decent skill level in dodge as well, so at least they have some chance if an adventure calls for it, but they can handle themselves in a fight just fine with parrying.

I think the idea is that all the various options in the game aren't equally good for everyone.
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inkBot
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Re: Parrying too weak?

Thu 18 Apr 2024, 01:30

Something that I think is easily overlooked with parries is that a successful parry allows you to reposition both yourself and the attacker. I've noticed an increase in parries after pointing that out. Dodges still dominate, but the situational utility of parries does come into play.

I do agree that the fear of the weapon becoming damaged is the main disincentive for parries. Similarly to the previous point, it became less so after noting that weapon damage from parrying isn't cumulative. A weapon becoming completely unusable after being damaged is the bigger issue there. I'm not a big fan of it, and prefer to give a bane on a damaged weapon being used. (If you want, multiple banes per threshold a weapon has been damaged).
 
Dendron
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Re: Parrying too weak?

Thu 18 Apr 2024, 14:38

Not sure if that will shift the perception but I do like the idea that the weapon would not break but be damaged which would be mean that it is used with bane after that. If a damaged weapon gets damaged again it breaks.

I also think that armor + shield and/or parry is rather strong as you will absorb some of the damage even on a fail (or can even just take the hit to still have an action during that turn). Depends on the opposition but still makes sense.

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