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Modiphius > Robert E. Howards CONAN roleplaying game

PLEASE modify the Parry rule.

posted Feb 18, 2016 09:42:15 by GlennFleetwood
Hello All,

Having read the kickstarter-issued 'rules-lite' last night (UK time) I found them to be original in concept (having never played any other 2d20 games) although a little concerned about the obvious typos. Brigandine spelled Brigadine? But anyway - it's not the final document...

... which is just as well because there is one glaring flaw in an otherwise intriguing system.

The rule that Parry generates Doom.

I really don't think that was thought through.

It is relatively easy for someone to hit in combat as it's a level 1 difficulty test. The only way someone can avoid being hit is to Parry. But the first Parry of the round hands the GM Doom!!??

Subsequent parries generate 2, then 3, then 4 etc. Doom.

There are two significant problems with this.

Firstly - if two people are practicing, or there is internal party conflict, why should parrying - and everyday, normal, expected move in combat, generate Doom?

Second - yes, there needs to be a way of limiting 'infinite parries' when a lone adventurer faces a large group (apart the horde rules ofc...), but the FIRST PARRY should NOT produce Doom. Mano-a-mano duels between heroes and villains shouldn't be decided by someone realising (as they will, I can assure you) they shouldn't really parry because it's fuel for the evil sorcerer's spells, or for the serrated spear wielding champion's special attacks. It's going to be meta-play-fuel, and really, the first parry in a round should not do this - it's expected. Do you really want combat to be Vigour&Wound Whack-a-Mole until someone goes down?

Please, please modify the rule so that the first Parry in a round doesn't generate Doom. Thereafter, sure - make taking on more than one opponent a dangerous proposition... but not 1-v-1 - that just doesn't sit right...
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6 replies
Nathan.Dowdell said Feb 18, 2016 12:26:29
There are other ways to avoid being hit; Defence reactions are one way, kind of a last-gasp "I'll avoid this attack, who cares what happens next". We're currently adjusting the way Guard and Reach work on defence to help emphasise the value of a spear or large shield. Further, Momentum can be spent to increase the difficulty of enemy skill tests - including attacks. One or two points of Momentum can make a massive difference here.

Beyond that, reducing the Doom cost of a Parry is covered by a talent (a couple of the pregens have this), which helps illustrate the difference between a practiced warrior who can defend themselves easily and with minimal effort, and someone who might not be so skilled but who can still contribute in a fight.

Your feedback will go into the list of feedback to consider, though.
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GlennFleetwood said Feb 18, 2016 13:13:15
Thanks for the feedback. Interesting - I have re-read the document and seen the NPCs who have that. I noticed that though you have example uses of Momentum on page 15 which states you can Immediately increase difficulty, your later p26 list of Combat uses of Momentum doesn't have it. Probably a good idea to have tables with combat and non-combat uses of Momentum separate to avoid confusion.
David Thomas said Feb 18, 2016 14:12:31
Glenn, please give the rule a try at your table. Originally it was different in the beta and fights dragged on a bit with loads of back and forth dice rolling. It works pretty brilliantly now, as you can end up with brutal, all out offensive fights (when the player's don't want to hand over the Doom), and back and forth parry-fests (when the players and GM trade that Doom back and forth for reactions.)
It's quite good!

@Nathan - I'm glad to hear Guard and Reach are being looked at again.
[Last edited Feb 18, 2016 14:14:30]
trystero said Feb 22, 2016 15:00:37
I like the rule as is; it puts a bit more tension into fights.

I wouldn't apply the Doom costs in practice fights, for the same reason that I wouldn't have PCs doing full damage to one another in practice fights. The Doom pool is for when it counts. :-)

And I think PC-vs.-PC fights are an excellent reason to boost the Doom pool; it lets the players know that they are making things worse by directing their attacks at the wrong people. (If you really want a game with lots of PC-vs.-PC combat, you can always house-rule the costs to be one less.)
schielhau said Feb 23, 2016 04:45:57
And I think PC-vs.-PC fights are an excellent reason to boost the Doom pool; it lets the players know that they are making things worse by directing their attacks at the wrong people.
I really like this reasoning. The PCs aren't supposed to go for each other's throat. If they do, they might feed the Doom pool and cause more trouble later.
Benn said Feb 23, 2016 08:54:03
@Glenn please also bear in mind that there is a Talent (Deflect) which reduces this cost to 0 for the first parry. If your wanting to play a warrior you don't have to put any talents into your defence and you can stack heavily on attack but defensive talents are a worthwhile investment.

@tystero Practice fights have a habit of turning nasty (ask Henry the 8th) but if its just two warriors engaging in banter and bravado there's fair reasoning that its not a fight and is more a contest of style and flair (Persuade struggle perhaps?) Ultimately the GM controls their table and can cut the players as much slack as they feel appropriate.

Everyone's welcome in the pit!

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