Sunday, February 17, 2013

Delving into AD&D: Parrying and other combat options.

From Page 104 of the Player's Handbook

Participants in a melee can opt to attack, parry, fall back, or flee.

Attack can be by weapon, both hands, or grappling.

Parrying disallows any return attack that round, but the strength "to hit" bonus is then subtracted from the opponent's "to hit" dice roll(s), so the character is less likely to be hit.

Falling Back is a retrograde move facing the opponent(s) and can be used in conjunction with a parry, and opponent creatures are able to follow if
not otherwise engaged.

Fleeing means as rapid a withdrawal from combat as possible; while it exposes the character to rear attack at the time, subsequent attacks can only be made if the opponent is able to follow the fleeing character at equal or greater speed.
Even after 30 years still finding stuff I didn't know back in the day.


Peter D said...

It's rarely noticed, commented on, or (AFAIK) used in play.

I like how Parrying only works for ST 17+ characters, not so well at that, and that most monsters can't use it . . . they don't get a ST "to hit" bonus. It's like a strong fighter only option.

Tim Shorts said...

Yeah that Parry rule sorta sucks. Probably why we didn't use it. Running away never seems to work unless you're on a horse. Running just means dying tired.

SAROE said...

We used the free attack when breaking off (fleeing) rule.
We would have used Parry, but I doubt anyone who could use it wanted to waste an attack for so little gain.

Hedgehobbit said...

The parry rule where you give up your attack goes all the way back to Chainmail. It's a suckers choice. As a DM, I don't know if it's cheating to make the monster attack some other non-parrying PC as the PC who is parrying isn't a threat anymore.

Peter Fröhlich said...

I didn't like that rule either, I replaced it with something that gave the level of the defender as a penalty if I recall correctly? For low-level play giving a fixed penalty probably works just as well. However, given the nature of the D&D combat system, I could never figure out why you'd waste your attack to parry unless you're really low on hit points, so it's really only a cover for the "withdrawal" step in any case. So why not roll it into that one?

Clovis Cithog said...

I use a house ruled variation of HOLMES for parrying.

With a suitable weapon,

“A player may elect to have a character parry an opponent’s blow. He must announce that he is going to do so before the opponent strikes. The parry subtracts 3 from one designated opponent’s die roll.”

The person parrying rolls d12 (instead of d20) to hit for his next attack (s).

“If defender is parrying or using a shield, and the opponent makes his to hit roll and gets exactly the number needed, the parrying weapon or defender’s shield may be SHATTERED, but no damage is inflicted. It takes one round to draw a new weapon, but one in the off-hand can be employed immediately.”

this house rule makes even high level fighters dangeroous when on the defensive; mages - not so much, but they could could get lucky on a poorly armored opponent.