Parry and Binds

August 31st, 2010

In this post I’m going to expand on the last post and show how it works. I figure a good place to start is with parry and bind. Both these techniques (groups of techniques) are similar in execution rules wise. Both require a single MA test (since the change). However there are differences…

All techniques are arranged in a ‘tree’, and in the defence tree: Parry is before Bind. Therefore Parry has to be leant before Bind.

Dodge > Parry > Bind > Grapple


To parry an attack and follow up with a counter strike is a single MA test.


To parry and attack and bind, and then move in with a strike is a single MA test.

So what is the difference?


They work out as exactly the same rules wise: one MA test, and success means you defend yourself and strike back.

The difference only shows up if on combatant is missing a technique, and the options each technique brings.

Missing: The skills in the tree are like ‘trumps’, the more advanced skill trumps the previous skill. If all involved have the same techniques then there is no noticeable difference, but if one combatant has access to a higher technique they will use that to ‘trump’ their opponent.

Example: There are two combatants, both MA:6, armed and armoured the same.

  • If both have the Parry techniques, they will exchange blows using parry to deflect and then counter with a strike. Each parry and counter is a single MA test.
  • If both have the Bind techniques, they will exchange blows using binds. Each bind and counter is a single MA test.
  • If one has the Bind technique and the other does not: the one that knows how to bind will use it to ‘trump’ their opponent. The trumped opponent, who does not know how to counter a bind, does not get a MA test to defend themselves as they have ‘0’ (zero) value in their bind Techniques (unlisted).

In the last of the examples, if should be noted that some techniques could be of lower value as they are skill being learnt. A person would not chose to use the bind as it would lower their chances of successfully defending themselves, but they my use it if forced to do so.

Example: Combatant A (Arnold) and Combatant B (Bernhard) both have MA:6, both have the parry and bind techniques, but Bernhard is skill learning his bind techniques and it is listed with a number; Bind[5]. A fully learnt technique has no number as it will use the base MA:6, because Bernhard’s has a number it means he will use MA:5 instead of his usual MA:6.

Arnold attacks Bernhard with an auto-strike. Bernhard could defend with either a parry (MA:6) or a bind (MA:5), he chooses to parry and counter (MA:6) and is successful. Arnold notes that their was no bind, and suspects a weakness, and decides to bind (MA:6) and counter. Now Bernhard is forced to use his bind techniques (MA:5) and is successful. Now both sides have to use binds, unless one wins and chooses to back off instead of taking their free attack (unlikely).

This naturally leads to escalation of techniques as the two sides press each other.

Binds also open up the possibility of using deeper techniques. Once a bind has been used, the next time around the combatant may opt to close even further and grapple at the sword. Using the previous example as a base;

Example cont. : Bernhard’s defence was successful, he may have had MA:5 but he pulled it off. If Arnold had the ‘grapple-at-the-sword’ technique set, he would now have the option to close in even more. Arnold could close in and grapple, and if Bernhard lack that skill: he would be trumped.

This can be further messed about with by saying only one bind needs to be used to open up the grapple option. Building on the example above, and now assuming both have all techniques;

Example: Arnold directly attacks Bernhard. In response Bernhard successfully binds and counters. Arnold notes that a bind has been used and chooses to counter bind and move in with an aim to grappling (as Bernhard used a bind). Arnold is successful in his MA test and both grapple from now on.

It should be noted that strength (a modifier of Stature) can be used to overpower opponents. While a strike is backed-up and enforced by strength, in grappling higher strength can over-ride an opponent’s MA test. If you are stronger and make a successful MA test, you win (this can be modified later with some advanced add-on rules to take into account the Equational Percentile System). It is a benefit to be strong in a grapple, and those who are strong may seek to grapple as a way to overpower their opponents.

Binding may allow you to trump one who does not know how to bind, but it also opens the door to those who do know how to bind to move in and grapple.

More: Dodge – as in ‘keeping your distance and jumping back out of trouble’ – is a simple MA test to jump back out of range from a swipe. Once this is done the dodger can opt to come back in with an auto-strike. This is much the same mechanic as used for Parry and Bind. However if the dodger takes the auto-strike they can be parried and countered. They cannot dodge a parry and counter, they can only dodge a direct ‘auto-hit’ attack.

In low skill fights where neither has Parry (let alone Bind) this results in combatants keeping their distance, staying on the edge of the other’s reach, and striking when the opportunity arises. A bit like a street knife fight, or any fight. One strikes the other sucks back).

There is an exception that as hands are the main weapons any landing blow can be a grab instead, and this will enable a direct jump to body wresting (not grappling at the sword). This opens up new options (so once you catch the bugger, head lock him, and take control).

Later: needs a bit of a tidy, but I hope it gets across the idea?

This will open up a lot of options later, like a mailed gauntlet being able to grab a Rapier, or hands can grab a bat in used to thrust (so people tend not to do that), and if you swing a bat you can be dodged and attacked after the swing.

I have to figure out how to denote who is doing what on the battle field, and I think different coloured dice may help in this (blue to start off, and red for binds and grapples).

Categories: Concepts |

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