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Techwarrior
2012-06-13, 02:25 AM
This is the system that the people I campaign with regularly use to make shields more viable. Having a shield under these rules adds a considerable amount to your lifespan, especially if you have taken the feats for it.

Parrying

A parry is a special immediate action made a certain number of times per round with a melee weapon or a shield against a melee attack made immediately adjacent of the character. A parry must be declared after the attack action is declared, but before the attack roll is made. A parry attempt does not reduce the number of immediate actions per round a character gets. A character may not take a five-foot step after attempting a parry. You may not declare a parry if you are flat-footed.

Whether a parry is successful is determined by an opposed attack roll, a success by the person parrying indicates the attack is negated. A success by the attacker indicates the attack is carried out normally. A defender may only attempt to parry a single attack once, but multiple defenders can attempt to parry. Unlike most other attack options, a Parry roll does not take to-hit penalties from 'stances' that are defensive in nature, such as Combat Expertise and Defensive Fighting. A parry does however suffer penalties from Power Attack.

Shields no longer grant an armor class bonus.
Instead shields give you a number of parry actions per round based on the size of the shield. (Bucklers/Light Shields 1, Heavy Shields 2, Tower Shields 4)
Size of the shield also affects the parry roll. Small shields give a +1 bonus. Large shields and tower shields give a +3 bonus to the parry roll. In addition, unlike a weapon, a shield may be used to parry ranged attacks directed at you. These parries are all made at your highest attack bonus.
Bucklers still allow for weapons in your main hand. Small Shields do not. This only brings a Tower Shield up to a Small Shield after attack penalties, but makes Heavy Shields the best at succeeding at a parry attempt. The Enhancement bonus of a shield is applied to parry attempts, not bashes. (unless you enchant it as both a weapon and a shield separately, but the defensive Enhancement bonus still only applies to parries)

A weapon may be used to parry, but this requires prior planning. When you are taking a standard or full round attack action, you may forfeit 1 attack with each weapon you are wielding. These attacks are converted into a parry attempt at the attack bonus that the attack would have originally had, and are made with the same weapon.

Parrying Feats

Improved Blocking
You are especially proficient at blocking attacks.
Prerequisites: BAB +1, Shield Proficiency
Benefit: If you are proficient with the shield you are using, you gain a +4 bonus to parry attempts made with the shield. Certain special weapons are designed for parrying, if you are using one of these special weapons (any weapon that is specified in the description as a parrying weapon) and are proficient with the weapon, you gain a +2 bonus to parry attempts made with that weapon.
Special: A character who has proficiency in a weapon designed for parrying, but not shields, may ignore the Shield Proficiency prerequisite. However, until such a time as he gains proficiency with shields, he may only use the bonuses for parrying weapons. If he gains other feats that have this as a prerequisite, he may only use those feats with parrying weapons until such a time as he gains proficiency with shields.

Improved Reaction
You can wait to parry until you can see if the blow will actually land.
Prerequisites: Improved Blocking
Benefit: You may make parry attempts after the attack roll is made (including a critical confirmation roll).
Normal: You must declare a parry attempt after the attack action is declared, but before the attack roll.

Defensive Parrying
By sacrificing offense you can parry much longer than normal.
Prerequisites: Combat Expertise, Improved Blocking, Improved Reaction, Shield Proficiency, BAB 4+
Benefit: You may 'hold' attacks that you would otherwise be allowed to make. For each 'held' attack you get extra parry attempts with your shield at the attack bonus the attack would have. These attacks are used after normal parries.
Normal: You only have a number of parries a round based on your shield type

Example:
Vassikyn is a 12th level fighter using a longsword and a large shield. He has the Defensive Parrying feat. Garret is a 12th level ranger with the two weapon fighting style fighting with 2 longswords. Vassikyn declares on his action that he will make a full attack. He chooses to 'hold' the first two attacks in his attack chain but uses his third attack to swing at Garret with a +2 BAB. Garret also takes a full attack action. Since he has greater two weapon fighting, Garret makes 6 attacks. Vassikyn may choose to parry any of these attacks, or may choose to continue holding them. 3 of the parries Vassikyn has access to have an attack bonus of 12, the fourth one has an attack bonus of 7. If Vassikyn doesn't use all 4 of his parry attempts, he loses the extra ones that he did not use and starts fresh next round.

Improved Defensive Parrying
By sacrificing offense you can parry much longer than normal.
Prerequisites: Defensive Parrying, Combat Expertise, Improved Blocking, Improved Reaction, Shield Proficiency, BAB 8+
Benefit: 'Held' attacks used to parry use your highest attack bonus. In addition, at the end of the round, you may use any 'held' attacks left as normal attacks with the weapon you held the attack with.

Intercept Arrows
You have defended your friends from the melee attacks of your foes, now, in your attempt to protect your allies you have learned to protect them from missiles.
Prerequisite: Improved Blocking
Benefit: While using a shield or parrying weapon, you may parry ranged attacks (but not rays) that target anyone within your reach.

Intercept Ray
Now, not even rays will affect your friends, so long as you have the power to stop it.
Prerequisites: Improved Blocking, Intercept Arrows, BAB 3+
Benefit: While using a shield or parrying weapon, you can make parry attempts against ray effects, the spells effects will affect you, since the energy of the spell is quite capable of traveling through your shield. You gain a bonus to the save equal to the Enhancement bonus of the shield or weapon used to parry.

Two-Weapon Defense
You are trained in using multiple shields at a time, even with weapons.
Prerequisites: Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Blocking, Shield Proficiency, Dex 15+
Benefit: You may use two shields at the same time. If you choose to use them both, all attacks (and parries) you make in this round suffer the penalties for two-weapon fighting. Heavy Shields are considered one handed weapons for this purpose; Light Shields and Bucklers are considered light. This feat also allows you to use a Buckler and a weapon in the same hand without forfeiting the benefits of the Buckler. However if you do this, not only do your attacks suffer a -1 penalty for wearing a Buckler, but your parry attempts with your Buckler also suffer an additional -1 penalty in addition to the two-weapon fighting penalty.
Special: Even with this feat, you may not use two tower shields.
Note: This replaces the normal Two-Weapon Defense feat.

Riposte
Prerequisites: Improved Blocking, Combat Reflexes, BAB +2
Benefit: After you have successfully parried a melee attack, you may make an attack of opportunity against the opponent that attacked you.

Spells

Shield
Abjuration (Force)
Level: Sor/Wiz 1
Components: Verbal, Somatic
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 1 minute/level (D)

Shield creates an invisible, Heavy Shield-sized mobile disk of force that hovers in front of you. It negates magic missile attacks directed at you. The shield is treated for all intents and purposes as a Heavy Shield granting all the benefits of a heavy shield, except you need not physically wield it and instead of using your Strength modifier, this shield uses your casting stat for it's to hit. Otherwise, any bonuses that you have with a shield apply. Since you are not wielding it physically, the shield forces no armor check penalty or arcane spell failure. This shield can be used to block incorporeal touch attacks, since it is a force effect.
This replaces the standard Shield spell.

Shield, Greater
Abjuration (Force)
Level: Sor/Wiz 4
Components: Verbal, Somatic
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Range: Personal
Target: You
Duration: 1 minute/level (D)

As Shield, except the shield created is treated as a Heavy Shield with an Enhancement Bonus equal to +1/4 caster levels. This spell supersedes the Shield spell if both are active.

Shield Enchantments

Animated
Strong Transmutation; CL 12th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Animate Objects; Price +2 bonus.
Upon command, an animated shield floats within 2 feet of the wielder, protecting her but freeing up both her hands. Only one shield can protect a character at a time. While animated, the shield's Enhancement bonus is considered to be 2 higher than normal, however you are not wielding it, so none of your bonuses affect the shield's parry rolls while it is animated. The shield has a parry bonus equal to Shield bonus (based off of the type of shield) + Enhancement bonus + 4 (the shield has the benefits of the Improved Parrying feat).
Note: This replaces the standard Animated enhancement.

Ray Absorption
Faint Abjuration; CL 5th; Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Dispel Magic; Price +2 bonus
A shield with this ability protects the wielder from ray attacks. Once per round after a ray has been parried by the wielder using this shield, the ray is instead completely negated by the shield.

New Weapons

Main Gauche
Light Martial Weapon
1d4 Piercing 18-20 (x2)
20gp
1 lb.
Special: A Main Gauche is a parrying weapon, this has several meanings. First, it qualifies for the bonuses granted in the Improved Blocking feat. Second, a Main Gauche may be used to parry once per round, in addition to attacking with it as a weapon. However, you may not use any kind of shield in the same hand and gain either of these benefits. You also do not gain the parrying benefits if you are not proficient in this weapons use. A Main Gauche is also a disarming weapon, it provides a +2 bonus on opposed attack rolls made to disarm an enemy (including the roll to avoid being disarmed if such an attempt fails). This weapon is treated as a Rapier in all regards other than those listed above. A character may apply feats and bonuses to this weapon as if it were a Rapier, although it is still a light weapon.

Sai
Light Exotic Weapon
1d4 Piercing or Bludgeoning 19-20 (x2)
Range increment 10 feet
1 gp
1 lb.
Special: A Sai is a special Monk weapon. A Sai is also a parrying weapon, this has several meanings. First, it qualifies for the bonuses granted in the Improved Blocking feat. Second, a Sai may be used to parry once per round, in addition to attacking with it as a weapon. However, you may not use any kind of shield in the same hand and gain either of these benefits. You also do not gain the parrying benefits if you are not proficient in this weapons use. A Sai is also a disarming weapon, it provides a +2 bonus on opposed attack rolls made to disarm an enemy (including the roll to avoid being disarmed if such an attempt fails).
Note: This replaces the standard Sai.


This works really well for us. Shields become a legitimate concern, and often are targeted for sunders. (or called shot disintigrates) This is the version of it we use now. Animated shields can still be used, but they are MUCH less effective, as they attack on their own. In fact it hit the enchantment so hard that we went back and buffed it up a little. Note that the extra bonus from Animated may be used to add to more than 5 Enhancement bonus, this is intentional.
I posted this on the forums with the idea that maybe someone other than us could benefit from this, or if not, might be able to catch something that we haven't.

TuggyNE
2012-06-13, 04:38 AM
Preliminary concern: You're using Large and Small in non-standard ways; please change to the correct Heavy Shield/Light Shield. (Large and Small refer to size categories, not type of shield, so you can have a Large light shield, or a Tiny heavy shield.)

Also, it's not entirely clear how many parrying attempts a two-hander or two-weapon fighter would get.

Finally, I suggest adding something to make Ray Intercept worth taking, preferably some means (a shield enhancement, perhaps?) that prevents the ray's energy from working. As is, it's pretty subpar, requiring a three-feat chain just to change a spell's target under certain circumstances.

Deepbluediver
2012-06-13, 09:48 AM
I certainly agree that making defensive tactics more active (instead of just passive bonuses) might make the fighting style more attractive to PCs.

My first concern is that some types of monsters (like dragons) start to pile on the HD and strength bonus at medium levels and up, giving them drastically higher BAB's than the PC's. In a situation where you can't parry or when it is very difficult, the shield seems like it becomes useless. What do you think of an option where the shield keep their AC bonus, but you give it up when parrying?

Also, would there be special rules for parrying when fighting unarmed? It seems kind of funny and/or awesome to think about a monk parrying sword-strikes with his bare hands.

Techwarrior
2012-06-13, 11:16 PM
Changed to Heavy and Light shields, I thought that they were Small and Large stil... 3.0 was the last time I actually looked at the names of shields I guess.
Clarified parry attempts for non-shield users.
Intercept Ray now gives a bonus to the saves versus the rays.
Added a new weapon enchantment, this should help to aid the shield wielder with rays. Although it might only be worth a +1 enhancement, not sure.


In regards to monks. No there are not, as of yet, special rules for parrying. Although the idea of dual-wielding Sai as monk-weapons is tasty (and is currently being done in a campaign I'm dm'ing). Especially with something that I've allowed for monks. Under my rules, you deal damage with Monk weapons one advancement smaller than with your fists unless the normal base damage is bigger.
In regards to the opposed attack rolls, I looked at about 6 or 7 monsters just now, and all of their attack numbers are on par with what an appropriately leveled character of the same CR would have, not counting the bonuses for shield type or improved parrying. Keep in mind, this has been in use for a long while now. Most of the wrinkles have hopefully been ironed out, that was one of the first.

Azernak0
2012-06-14, 08:06 AM
I almost want to say that it is too good but I would need to test it further. Also, it doesn't make sense that you would have to threaten someone with your weapon in order to parry. It would mean that a spiked chain could not be parried but a crossbow could. Or were you referring to parrying for someone else?

Let's take level 4 Fighter and a troll

Fighter attack:
4 BAB + 1 MW weapon + 1 weapon focus + 3 strength = +9 attack
+4 Large Shield + 4 Improved Blocking = +17 on a block attempt.

The troll attacks at +9/+9/+4, so there is a massive chance for the fighter to be nigh immune considering he has a such a lead on the troll.

And for 9 grand, a +1 Animated Large Shield grants +11 to parry and can still block 2 swings. Let's say 8 BAB + 4 Strength + 1 Weapon + 1 weapon focus + 1 Haste = +14. Total of +25 on the two parry attacks.

A Fire Giant is CR 10 against this level 8 and attacks at +20/+15/+10. While the +20 is not a sure fire thing, the +15 and +10 should be pitifully easy to block.

Also, it makes Combat Expertise paradoxical. "I am going to attack defensively, thereby making my chance to Parry worse?" It's like tying to move the couch when you are standing on it. Oh, and a Tower Shield would also make you worse at Parrying.

Gamer Girl
2012-06-15, 07:31 PM
An opposed attack roll is a bad idea. First off it just does not sound right flavor wise: In order to parry you must make an attack roll? It should be a defense roll.

Second, it has the problem of the folks that are good at hitting are also good at parries. This runs you into the problem that the 'big tough warrior type' is also the 'quick movement parry type', and that gets a bit odd. When you picture a hulking warrior in a ton of armor, you don't really picture them 'diving and deflecting a blow'(Unless your a 4E 'defender' fighter...yuck) But you would see lots of others, say priest types and swashbucklers, who will be hindered by making an attack roll.

And third, and worst of all, you will run into the Coolz Optimizing Cheaters. And they will by like 10th level have like +20 to hit and then in turn have a +20 to parry and, in effect be able to auto parry all the time. And with normal monsters and foes they will parry automatically, unless you Coolz Optimize Cheat every single foe in the game..


So you might want to make your Parry a Defense Roll, and not an attack roll.

Techwarrior
2012-06-16, 11:14 PM
Ok, in order, it seems that when I originally posted, I placed Heavy and Towers as 4 and Lights as 2. These numbers were supposed to be 3 and 1 and have been updated as such.

Azernak0:

The rule is written to allow for parrying for an ally. A reach weapon should be able to be parried. I've hopefully reworded this to be more clear.
Yes, a defensive character becomes hard to affect with normal attacks like this. I hope you realize that your example Fighter took Weapon Focus (Heavy Shield) though. :smallbiggrin: This is the same kind of 'problem' that you could get out of gunning for your AC though. The numbers aren't nearly as scary as you think though. Explanation spoilered for length and being math heavy.
By that level that 4th level Fighter could have had an AC as high as 25 (9 +1 full plate, 1 dex, 1 dodge, 4 combat expertise) easily. He would have better negation capability, has the same amount of investment of feat and resources, and isn't using a shield. Since the shield user has to beat the attack roll of the troll, the 4th level shield Fighter has an ~35% chance to negate either of the claw attacks or an ~60% chance on the bite. However he can only attempt 2 of those. The AC guy has a flat 75% chance to negate the claws and a 95% chance to negate the bite.
Your numbers for an Animated Shields are including the character's statistics. Those don't affect an Animated Shield while it is Animated. This has been clarified further in the description. By the time you can legitimately sink 9k into a shield like this, it only really helps against under-CR-ed stuff.
We actually just came across the exact example you highlighted. The decision was that defensive actions like Combat Expertise and Defensive Fighting don't affect your parry rolls, positively or negatively.


Gamer Girl

You're attempting to hit my weapon with your weapon (or shield). If I was attempting to sunder it, it's an attack roll. As someone who has wielded weaponry myself, I can attest that it is the same kind of motions. The guys who are quickly deflecting blows are using light weapons and/or shields with finesse. The big tough warriors you're talking about are using their brute force to move that Tower Shield into place.
Actually the finesse rogue using a Main Gauche has the same parry roll as the shield spec-ed Fighter in the current campaign (before 2wf that is). The Sai-wielding finesse Monk also has the same parry rolls as the Fighter, now that I look at his character sheet. This is a 9th level party as well, so bear that in mind.
I'm pretty sure that it doesn't take a lot of 'Coolz Optimizing Cheats' To get a to-hit that high at 10th level. If I recall correctly the NPC Fighter has almost the same numbers. I do understand your point though. My question about this is if I'm supposed to worry about the Coolz Optimizing Cheaters inflating their parry rolls, shouldn't I also be worrying about the Coolz Optimizing Cheaters Coolz Optimized Cheating at anything? Those kinds of people are not welcome at my table, so I don't design things with them in my mind. This was a system designed to make an underused style (Sword and Board) more effective, more active, and more usable. I know that in practice at my table, it is all of these.
Also, I'm not sure I understand what you mean by a Defense Roll

Glimbur
2012-06-17, 07:49 AM
An opposed attack roll is a bad idea. First off it just does not sound right flavor wise: In order to parry you must make an attack roll? It should be a defense roll.

There's a ToB maneuver that uses an attack roll to represent blocking an attack with your weapon. What mechanics would a defense roll have?


Second, it has the problem of the folks that are good at hitting are also good at parries. This runs you into the problem that the 'big tough warrior type' is also the 'quick movement parry type', and that gets a bit odd. When you picture a hulking warrior in a ton of armor, you don't really picture them 'diving and deflecting a blow'(Unless your a 4E 'defender' fighter...yuck) But you would see lots of others, say priest types and swashbucklers, who will be hindered by making an attack roll. People who are good at fighting should be good at fighting. Big tough warriors have a habit of using Power Attack, which reduces your to-hit and therefore your parry as well. Rogues and swashbucklers tend not to power attack, and use weapon finesse so they can block using Dex. If you really wanted to be fancy about it you could impose a penalty to parry rolls based on how heavy your armor is, but D&D characters tend to get superhuman pretty quickly and they spend a lot of time fighting so I wouldn't. Priest types aren't as good at blocking because they aren't as good at fighting in general. They spent more time praying and practicing magic, so they have less martial ability. That is, until they cleric-zilla but that's a separate issue.


And third, and worst of all, you will run into the Coolz Optimizing Cheaters. And they will by like 10th level have like +20 to hit and then in turn have a +20 to parry and, in effect be able to auto parry all the time. And with normal monsters and foes they will parry automatically, unless you Coolz Optimize Cheat every single foe in the game..


So you might want to make your Parry a Defense Roll, and not an attack roll.

The last point has already been addressed by Techwarrior.

Azernak0
2012-06-18, 12:28 PM
Ok, in order, it seems that when I originally posted, I placed Heavy and Towers as 4 and Lights as 2. These numbers were supposed to be 3 and 1 and have been updated as such.

Azernak0:

The rule is written to allow for parrying for an ally. A reach weapon should be able to be parried. I've hopefully reworded this to be more clear.

Yes, a defensive character becomes hard to affect with normal attacks like this. I hope you realize that your example Fighter took Weapon Focus (Heavy Shield) though. :smallbiggrin: This is the same kind of 'problem' that you could get out of gunning for your AC though. The numbers aren't nearly as scary as you think though.


No, that was Weapon Focus Longsword. It is based off an attack roll, right? So Weapon Focus Longsword would help. If not, than even Weapon Focus: Shield and going a shield fighter would work. I always did like the Smiter builds :smallwink:

The difference between Armor Class and an opposed attack roll is that you would have both. You could have that 25 AC and the opposed attack roll. Before, if you just had the AC, the troll has little reason to attack you. You are full Combat Expertise (attacking at like +6 with 18 strength, weapon focus, and a masterwork weapon) and doing 1d8+6 damage. You are tough to hit and not a massive threat. With the opposed roll, you are even tougher to hit and don't have to sacrifice +4 hit for the AC. I like the concept of being able to protect allies but even that doesn't seem that great. Shift + attack someone that the Fighter doesn't have protected. Or blow the Rogue to Kingdom Come. It just seems to hammer in the "I am REALLY difficult to hit!" concept that any intelligent creature will just say "Yes, but he isn't."




Your numbers for an Animated Shields are including the character's statistics. Those don't affect an Animated Shield while it is Animated. This has been clarified further in the description. By the time you can legitimately sink 9k into a shield like this, it only really helps against under-CR-ed stuff.

We actually just came across the exact example you highlighted. The decision was that defensive actions like Combat Expertise and Defensive Fighting don't affect your parry rolls, positively or negatively.


Ahh, I was writing that post for some time. Either it was changed as I was typing it or I was just blind from the beginning. Makes Animated much less of a "get and win" thing.

I don't know about the shield stuff. I am not completely sold on the concept that having a good offense would/should stop another person's offense. It makes Sword and Board okay overall but seems to be a little unfair against a 2-handed sword user.

Tank McGee (Dwarf Fighter 4)
Armor: 10 Base + 1 Dex + 9 Armor +1 Dodge = 21
Attack: 4 BAB + 1 Weapon Focus + 4 Strength + 1 Masterwork Weapon = +10 1d8+6
Block:10 + 3 Shield + 4 Feat = +17
Feats:
1: Weapon Focus
1B: Improved Parrying
2B: Dodge
3: Combat Expertise
4: Weapon Spec

Kill McGee (Water Orc Lion Totem Barbarian 4)
Armor: 10 Base + 2 Dex + 5 Armor - 2 Rage = 15
Attack: 4 BAB + 1 Weapon Focus + 8 Strength + 1 Masterwork Weapon = +14 2d6+12
1: Weapon Focus
2B: Improved Trip
3: Power Attack

So Kill has a 75% chance to hit Tank, and then has to beat a D20 + 17 with a d20 + 14. If Kill managed to hit, he averages 19 damage. Tank has am 80% chance to hit, averaging 10.5. Kill had to have much more offense in order to break the defense of Tank. Tank could still Combat Expertise and figure that he could still hit him 60% of the time.

It seems a little too powerful against guys that only have 1 or 2 attacks. Against a Troll with a club, it pretty much stops all damage. Against a 6 headed Hydra, it does much much less. I think that is my biggest concern. It feels a little too cheap and easy to negate someone (Shield + 1 Feat).

I really do like the concept of stopping attacks in order to parry with a weapon. That is really cool and fits well. Maybe even add a feat that if you successfully Parry an attack with a weapon, you get a free Attack of Opportunity against the opponent. Obviously it would need a couple prerequisites so it doesn't have the same kind of problem that (I feel) Shield has. Kind of like the tactic of letting your opponent swing first so you could parry and counterattack before they could defend themselves. Then there would be a cost to attempting to Parry. You would lose an attack if they didn't attack you or if you could not beat their attack roll.

Nice job overall mate.

Techwarrior
2012-06-18, 02:48 PM
It is based on an attack roll, but you're using your shield to make the parry attempt. Weapon Focus (Heavy Shield) would affect your shield parries. If you held an attack during your chain as described in the parrying rules, you could use Weapon Focus (Longsword) while parrying with your Longsword, but not while using your shield.

Sure you can gun AC and parrying, but as you pointed out, then you have almost nothing left for damage. 2HF does take a bit of a hit, but it's a well-deserved hit. It's the only style that doesn't have any kind of feat tax to make effective. Now, you really want Improved Sunder so that you can bypass that shield. The 2WF doesn't need it as much because he's got enough attacks to get around it. Shield on shield has been really long fights, but I haven't thought of an appropriate way to make it not take ZOMGWTFBBQ numbers of rounds.

Nah, the Animated Shield thing was my bad. I hadn't made it actually specify it. There was implication that it did originally, but not actual right-out stating of it. Now it does have that.



I really do like the concept of stopping attacks in order to parry with a weapon. That is really cool and fits well. Maybe even add a feat that if you successfully Parry an attack with a weapon, you get a free Attack of Opportunity against the opponent. Obviously it would need a couple prerequisites so it doesn't have the same kind of problem that (I feel) Shield has. Kind of like the tactic of letting your opponent swing first so you could parry and counterattack before they could defend themselves.


Ask and you shall receive (AKA I thought that sounded cool and should have been there to begin with.)

Riposte
Prerequisites: Improved Blocking, Combat Reflexes, BAB +2
Benefit: After you have successfully parried a melee attack, you may make an attack of opportunity against the opponent that attacked you.

Not sure what you mean by Shield having a problem. Should it have more prerequisites? More would make it even less effective.

Andorax
2012-06-20, 11:14 AM
Dragon 301 introduced a whole line of Parry feats...some of which seem to have a measure of similarity to what you propose.

In brief:

A Parry attempt (Parry Feat) is an attack roll to oppose the attack roll that hit you.
It "costs" your allowed AoO for the round
It exposes you to a free disarm attempt from your foe.
It can only be done in light or no armor.
It can only be used against weapons of a reasonable comparable size (note 3.0 source, size rules)

Additional feats allowed:
Parrying in heavier armor
Parrying bigger weapons
Parrying attacks against ajacent allies
Parrying with an unarmed strike
Removing the free disarm
Granting additional parries using up extra AoOs (Combat Reflexes was a preq).
Attempting a Sunder against the weapon you parry.





Taking a bit from this, a bit from what you came up with, I'm thinking...

1) Parrying with a shield as a default option (no feat required) with a bonus = the old AC bonus. Drop the # of parries based on shield size, and drop the buckler down to a +0 AC/bonus to parry.

2) Parrying with a weapon is a default option (no feat required), but suffers from some of the above system restrictions (free disarm, limited to 2 size/hand category jumps - light vs two-hander, or Medium one-hander versus huge one-hander).

3) Parries "cost" AoOs as a resource, making combat reflexes a favored feat even for shield fighters.
Alternate rule: you can attempt as many parries as you have iterative attacks per round.

4) A Parry is BAB + Str + shield's (old) AC bonus (or weapon's enhancement bonus). Other feats/boosts need not apply.
Alternate rule: BAB + Dex instead to reward dexy fighters in the parrying style.

5) Weapons designed for parrying (Sai, Main Gauche) either get a +2 bonus (similar to weapons designed for tripping/disarming) or inherently negate the counter-disarm, or both.

6) Similar to Spiritual Weapon...Shield creates a Tower Shield that makes CL/5 parry attempts on your behalf per round, using CL instead of BAB and PCS instead of Str/Dex.

7) Animated Shields function similarly to the Shield spell (using their CL as BAB and # of attempts, but their normal shield bonus for the + instead of PCS+4).

8) Combat Expertice (and only Combat Expertice) isn't subtracted from Parry attempts. Power Attack, etc. still are. Similarly, Defending weapons that shift their bonus to AC don't count those shifted plusses against parry attempts using that weapon.




Shields will be superior parrying devices, with their inherent (up to +4 for tower) bonuses to parrying before magic and the inherent lack of a counter-disarm that weapon parriers have to mitigate with a feat.

Depending on the variation, some versions of this allow for Dex to be an important stat rather than a dump stat even for heavy-armored PCs. Good or bad thing...that's a matter of opinion.



To look at Azernak0's examples (Assume Str parry and BAB iteratives):

Fighter 4 vs Troll. BAB +4, +3 Str, +3 (Heavy Shield) = +10 blocking attempt (+14 with Improved Blocking)

Stands about a 50/50 chance of blocking 1 attack, or a good chance with a feat.

Fighter 8 vs Fire Giant. BAB +8, +4 Str, +5 (+2 Heavy Shield) = +17 (or +21).

Stands about a 50/50 chance with the feat of blocking the first attack, better against the second.
Stands a worse chance of blocking the first attack without the feat, but 50/50 against second.



I think I like where this is headed.

137ben
2012-06-21, 09:24 AM
I like this system. I always liked shields, but thought they were too passive.


And third, and worst of all, you will run into the Coolz Optimizing Cheaters. And they will by like 10th level have like +20 to hit and then in turn have a +20 to parry and, in effect be able to auto parry all the time. And with normal monsters and foes they will parry automatically, unless you Coolz Optimize Cheat every single foe in the game..

1. That isn't optimized at all
2. Well then, I guess we can't use the RAW system either, since people will optimize their AC...and their attack rolls, and everything else.
3. For that matter, "Coolz Optimize Cheaters" wouldn't think about damage/blocking at ALL. They would just use casters to instantly annihilate all of their opponents. Oh, and Dominate every NPC. Or just polymorph into something more powerful than the monster.

Roderick_BR
2012-06-21, 01:16 PM
I like. Makes shield use active and useful, instead of a passive tool to increase AC/effects.

Just lemme see if I can understand it clearer:
- Wielding a shield doesn't give the normal AC bonus.
- You gain parry actions every round, a number of times based on shield size. Any physical attack allows you to use this parry action to make a "counter attack roll" with the shield. If you win that roll, you deflect the attack.
- A shield's size, and magic bonus is applied to the counter roll.
- You can forfeit one attack with every weapon you hold to gain a parry action with that weapon.
- Some weapons gains a bonus as to parry, like a shield's size.

Feats can give a bonus to parry, allow you to forfeit extra iterative attacks for additional parry actions, and to parry attacks against other characters, protect against ranged attacks, and even use counter attacks.

I did think about a similar rule, using attacks of opportunity, as it was said Dragon used, but I thought that would be too much. We want fighters to be effective, not damage immune. This works very well.
I'd only add that a character can , every round, choose if he'll use the shield normally (using CA, unable to use parry) or for parry (losing CA) (and probably someone will propose a feat that allows all...).

Techwarrior
2012-06-21, 05:40 PM
Andorax
What you have looks like it could work. I personally like the way I've got mine set up, so don't take offense when I say that I'll be keeping what I've got, unless someone sees a drastic design error.

Roderick_BR
You seem to have the general gist of how it works.


I'd only add that a character can , every round, choose if he'll use the shield normally (using CA, unable to use parry) or for parry (losing CA) (and probably someone will propose a feat that allows all...).

By use the shield normally, what do you mean? Also, not sure what CA stands for.

Neek
2012-06-22, 08:21 PM
Second, it has the problem of the folks that are good at hitting are also good at parries. This runs you into the problem that the 'big tough warrior type' is also the 'quick movement parry type', and that gets a bit odd. When you picture a hulking warrior in a ton of armor, you don't really picture them 'diving and deflecting a blow'(Unless your a 4E 'defender' fighter...yuck) But you would see lots of others, say priest types and swashbucklers, who will be hindered by making an attack roll.

"Big tough warrior" which equates into a hit-point sink that can take hits through-and-through is a quick of mechanics and gaming logic. If you adjust the rules for more lethal combat (i.e., the Injury variant), you'll see that any benefit that reduces your chances of getting hit, the more likely you're going to take it.

If the goal behind this addition is to make combat more realistic, then by all means do it. A strong fighter IS agile and swift with his weapons. He's able to block with as much strength and finessee. Then again, a swashbuckler is much better at it--but his damage output is relative to his weapon, which is much lighter. It's much lighter for a variety of reasons (the attacks aren't as brutal, but a pierce in the right spot can and will kill you; precision saves energy, reduces length of engagement and increases the chances of survivability; swift, precise forward motions of a weapon are easier to utilize in close-quarter situations and does not expose you to attacks; thin, light weapons are cheaper to produce than heavy swords and shields and while require much more training, training's cheap, good metal isn't.) Of course, the swashbuckler concept is one born out of a reaction against the *reduction* of armor due to expense and necessity, insofarasmuch as lethality of weaponry has rendered the effectiveness of armor negligible.

Then again, all these statements lose their accuracy when D&D is understood to be a collection of historic and fantastical themes and tropes--the swashbuckler exists not because of historic reasons, but because someone wanted to play that sort of character. The rules are sort of built in that matter and to reduce these sorts of rules.

Defense statistics aren't active or passive statistics. It's an abstraction of the concept of defense--whether dodging and weaving or simply being able to blow off blows with your shield or armor. Heavy armor deflects blows. High AC makes you more likely to dodge. Both are factored into Armor Class.

If you (that is, Techwarrior) want combat to be realistic, get rid of Armor Class. Get rid of HP. Go Injury variant, make armor damage reduction, and make all defense rolls opposed rolls and all parry attempts (with shields or weapon) an attack roll against another attack roll.

If you want to give combat the ability to make an active parry attempt, by all means, proceed. I think giving the disarm ability as a penalty for the action isn't all that fun--I like the idea of denying the shield bonus for that round to be much more of a hindrance in using shields for parrying.


And third, and worst of all, you will run into the Coolz Optimizing Cheaters. And they will by like 10th level have like +20 to hit and then in turn have a +20 to parry and, in effect be able to auto parry all the time. And with normal monsters and foes they will parry automatically, unless you Coolz Optimize Cheat every single foe in the game..

If all is fair and average at 10th level with a +20 to hit and to parry, then the odds of hitting are still around 50%. This isn't too unfair. The issues related to minmaxing only arise when the favor comes into the player's favor. If you require a massive feat-sink to accomplish a parry-every-hit, then you've marginilized your supposed minmaxed character into a one-trick pony. The same goes with Tripmeisters, Sundersmiths, and Disarmistas. I think marginalizing yourself in such a matter is self-limitting in the sense that you soon realize how uninteresting combat is when you always "win."

@Techwarrior

The concepts provided are interesting. In addition to what was said prior, it requires a few notes.


Parrying should have greater limitations in the rules presented. I don't dislike the idea of parries/round as being a limiting factor when wielding shields, however it should possess the limitations that AoOs provide--that is, reach. Possessing reach doesn't incline you to make farther parries--rather, you should have to sink a feat (or a class ability) that lets you parry within reach. This would also prevent a giant standing far from your combat reach, but well within his, from blocking attacks made to his allies unless he's equally threatened.
When you say parries can be only attempted once per attack per defender, how does that work? Can an adjacent ally attempt to parry an attack not made at them? If so, that should be specified in the wording.
In addition, you state that you can make a parry attempt after an attack roll, but before a damage roll. This should be featworthy, rather, you have to make a parry attempt when the attack action is declared, but before the roll is made.
The wording should go as such then: A parry is a special immediate action made a certain number of times per round with a melee weapon or a shield against a melee attack immediately adjacent (or within reach) of the character. A parry must be declared after the attack action is declared, but before the attack roll is made. A parry attempt does not reduce the number of immediate actions per round a character gets. A character may not take a five-foot step after attempting a parry. This wording then implies that you can make parries against attacks not directly targetted against you.
The wording should go on to further specify why shields get additional parry attempts. Without additional training, parrying reduces the number of attacks for the next round per each parry attempt against a melee attack. Training with shields provides additional parries/round. Utilizing a shield untrained requires an attack action to parry an attack at a -4 penalty. Certain weapons have a Parry descriptor allowing benefits gained from feats to apply and an additional number of parry attempts per round. A character non-proficient with a weapon can parry at a -4 penalty, but gains no additional benefit of a weapon with the Parry descriptor. Unless otherwise noted in feat description, weapon description, or class ability, this should be the norm of how the rules operate.
Defensive Parrying should work the opposite (as my wording already indicated). Parrying should be something you're forced to give up if you make the attempt for the next combat round. It should reduce your combat effectiveness by simply making you waste all your attacks on the parry attempt if you so choose, whether or not they hit. Defensive parrying shouldn't allow you to be reactionary: Rather, it should allow you to hold off a certain number of your own attacks for the purpose of parrying. In addition, it should allow you to declare a parry after the attack roll so you don't have to waste the parry attempts. This seems like a good limiting factor. I'd also suggest dropping the bonus by +2/+1 for shield/weapon, and add in Improved Defensive Parrying which might let you take a five foot step afterwards.
Intercept Arrows and Intercept Rays should have a BAB requirement in addition to the feat chain, just so they're not accessible out-of-the-gate (well, Intecept Arrows, maybe out of the gate, but not Rays--a first level Fighter shouldn't be able to pick up all three, that is.)
Does utilizing the Shield spell to parry attacks consume one attack per round? I think it would be good to specify.
You should consider including a feat that lets you use non-standard items as a parrying device (bar stool, backpack, gnome, etc.). This may add some more character and depth to someone's character.


But those are just my thoughts.

Fitz10019
2012-06-23, 03:56 PM
I like the idea that one of my attacks can be saved to be used defensively later.

I've been toying with the idea that one should get [.5*strength bonus] to AC when using a shield, under the normal shields-as-AC scheme.

This could be based on declaring 'active shield use'. When you don't declare, a shield is just AC. When you declare, you get these parry options.

Roderick_BR
2012-06-27, 09:21 AM
By use the shield normally, what do you mean? Also, not sure what CA stands for.

Normally, I mean, you add the shield's AC to your AC, as usual. In any round you choose to actively use it to parry, you lose that AC, like what happen when you use it to bash.
CA was a typo, I meant AC.

Techwarrior
2012-07-22, 12:52 PM
If you (that is, Techwarrior) want combat to be realistic, get rid of Armor Class. Get rid of HP. Go Injury variant, make armor damage reduction, and make all defense rolls opposed rolls and all parry attempts (with shields or weapon) an attack roll against another attack roll.


I personally dislike Injury and Armor as DR variants' workings, and am working on an armor as DR variant in addition to this.



If you want to give combat the ability to make an active parry attempt, by all means, proceed. I think giving the disarm ability as a penalty for the action isn't all that fun--I like the idea of denying the shield bonus for that round to be much more of a hindrance in using shields for parrying.



I intend to leave it without a disarm attempt, and as written, shields grant no AC bonus at all.


@Techwarrior

The concepts provided are interesting.

Thank you.


Parrying should have greater limitations in the rules presented. I don't dislike the idea of parries/round as being a limiting factor when wielding shields, however it should possess the limitations that AoOs provide--that is, reach. Possessing reach doesn't incline you to make farther parries--rather, you should have to sink a feat (or a class ability) that lets you parry within reach. This would also prevent a giant standing far from your combat reach, but well within his, from blocking attacks made to his allies unless he's equally threatened.

Hm.. fair point, I'll reword it.


When you say parries can be only attempted once per attack per defender, how does that work? Can an adjacent ally attempt to parry an attack not made at them? If so, that should be specified in the wording.

Yes, an adjacent ally can. Will clarify.


In addition, you state that you can make a parry attempt after an attack roll, but before a damage roll. This should be featworthy, rather, you have to make a parry attempt when the attack action is declared, but before the roll is made.

Point taken, I'll do that.


The wording should go as such then: A parry is a special immediate action made a certain number of times per round with a melee weapon or a shield against a melee attack immediately adjacent (or within reach) of the character. A parry must be declared after the attack action is declared, but before the attack roll is made. A parry attempt does not reduce the number of immediate actions per round a character gets. A character may not take a five-foot step after attempting a parry. This wording then implies that you can make parries against attacks not directly targetted against you.

Thank you, much less clunky. I'll be stealing most of that.


The wording should go on to further specify why shields get additional parry attempts.

I disagree, simply stating that it does should be enough.


Without additional training, parrying reduces the number of attacks for the next round per each parry attempt against a melee attack. Training with shields provides additional parries/round. Utilizing a shield untrained requires an attack action to parry an attack at a -4 penalty. Certain weapons have a Parry descriptor allowing benefits gained from feats to apply and an additional number of parry attempts per round. A character non-proficient with a weapon can parry at a -4 penalty, but gains no additional benefit of a weapon with the Parry descriptor. Unless otherwise noted in feat description, weapon description, or class ability, this should be the norm of how the rules operate.

Again, I'll be stealing parts of that, thank you.


Defensive Parrying should work the opposite (as my wording already indicated). Parrying should be something you're forced to give up if you make the attempt for the next combat round. It should reduce your combat effectiveness by simply making you waste all your attacks on the parry attempt if you so choose, whether or not they hit. Defensive parrying shouldn't allow you to be reactionary: Rather, it should allow you to hold off a certain number of your own attacks for the purpose of parrying. In addition, it should allow you to declare a parry after the attack roll so you don't have to waste the parry attempts. This seems like a good limiting factor. I'd also suggest dropping the bonus by +2/+1 for shield/weapon, and add in Improved Defensive Parrying which might let you take a five foot step afterwards.

I disagree on several of your points. I dislike "I'll pay for that later" abilities like you've presented, as a general rule. I'll leave it to be for this round. I'll allow for an Improved Defensive Parrying though, definitely not a 5-ft step. I've got a different idea though.


Intercept Arrows and Intercept Rays should have a BAB requirement in addition to the feat chain, just so they're not accessible out-of-the-gate (well, Intecept Arrows, maybe out of the gate, but not Rays--a first level Fighter shouldn't be able to pick up all three, that is.)

Will do, that does make a lot of sense.


Does utilizing the Shield spell to parry attacks consume one attack per round? I think it would be good to specify.

It consumes a parry attempt. It's a Heavy Shield. I'll clarify that.


You should consider including a feat that lets you use non-standard items as a parrying device (bar stool, backpack, gnome, etc.). This may add some more character and depth to someone's character.

Emphasis mine on the important one. :smallbiggrin: I'll consider it.


But those are just my thoughts.

Which I thank you for.


Normally, I mean, you add the shield's AC to your AC, as usual. In any round you choose to actively use it to parry, you lose that AC, like what happen when you use it to bash.
CA was a typo, I meant AC.

Hm... I dislike the idea personally, I'm trying to move away from shield as AC, not give more options to make it used as AC.