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Instead of trying to completely evade melee or thrown projectiles, you can parry these attacks using a melee weapon. You can use some ranged weapons to parry, but such uses consider the weapon improvised. Like the Dodge skill, parrying is completely reactionary, requiring no IP to perform.
To perform a parry, you must have means of using a melee weapon, improvised melee weapon, or unarmed attack. When attacked, you roll a weapon test appropriate for the melee weapon at your disposal, except this acts as your defense test to oppose your attacker’s roll. Parrying can only be used to block melee attacks or hand-thrown weapon attacks. Any projectile accelerated beyond a human’s capacity to throw it cannot be parried.
Like Dodge, each time you perform a parry, it becomes harder to employ the same defense effectively against additional attacks. After you resolve each parry attempt, whether successful or not, you take a cumulative -1 penalty to all future parry tests you roll. This penalty reduces by 1 at the start of your turn every intiative pass. If your turn starts and you made no parry tests since the start of your previous turn, this penalty is reset to 0. This defense frequency penalty is tracked separately from any other type of defense test. Parrying with different weapons is not considered a different type of defense test; any parry test adds to this penalty, regardless of which weapon is used.
While you can parry with any melee weapon, it may not be the best choice. Some weapons suffer an extreme disadvantage when parryin different weapons; some weapons simply aren’t designed for parrying altogether. The following table lists what dice penalty you take to your parry test based on the weapons you and your attacker are using. If your attacker is using a weapon that isn’t listed in any column for your weapon, then you take no penalty to parry it.
|Your Weapon||-1 dice||-2 dice||-4 dice|
|Daggers||Bludgers, Light Swords, Whips||Spears||Axes, Flails, Heavy Swords|
|Light Swords||Bludgers, Spears||Axes, Flails||Heavy Swords|
|Longarms||Axes, Daggers, Flails, Heavy Swords|
|Pistols||Bludgers, Daggers, Light Swords||Spears, Whips||Axes, Flails, Heavy Swords|
|Spears||Axes, Flails||Heavy Swords, Whips|
|Unarmed (no weapon)*||Axes, Daggers, Spears||Flails, Whips||Heavy Swords, Light Swords|
|* Fist weapons and technique weapons vary. See their individual descriptions.|
If you use a weapon in an opposed test involving a parry, whether you are attacking or defending, your weapon can be damaged. If you fail the opposed test and glitch, your weapon takes damage equal to the opponent’s base DV plus their net hits.
Because parrying is similar to a weapon attack, you can employ called shots with your parry test. You must declare the called shot as a Free (Interrupt) action. Your called shot effects are limited to targeting the weapon you’re parrying or the body location of the enemy that holds the weapon. For example, you could try to Disable the enemy’s hand or arm, but you can’t really try to Blind them. The GM chooses whether your called shot effect is allowed or not. You are otherwise allowed to attempt multiple effects per called shot just as you could with normal attacks. Any increase to the threshold effectively adds to the attacker’s result.
Remember that a parry test is a defense test, in which a tie goes to the attacker. Thus, in order for your called shot to succeed, you must score at least one net hit over your attacker.
Exploit Opening: If you perform this kind of called shot on your Parry test and succeed, your DV bonus instead applies automatically to your next attack targeting the attacker.
You can aid the defense of others with your parry. During your turn, before you roll any attack or defense tests, you must declare who will benefit from your parrying. You may exclude yourself, but you would not be allowed to parry for your own defense. Until the start of your next turn, your weapon tests take a dice penalty equal to the total number of targets you are guarding, counting yourself. This penalty applies to both attacks and parry tests you perform.
When a designated target is subject to an attack that can be parried, the target rolls their defense test and you roll a parry test and combine the results. The dice you add are reduced by the penalty for guarding multiple targets, wound modifiers, and defense frequency, but these penalties cannot reduce the target’s normal dice pool. Additionally, each time you guard a target in this way, it counts as a parry for purposes of your own defense frequency penalty.
To guard a target using a parry, the target must be within your melee reach. If a designated target is outside of your reach, you still take the full penalty for defending multiple targets.
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