Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Parry Missile Weapons as a Technique

For the new Demon Hunters campaign I'll be running, a player with Enhanced Time Sense has expressed interest in being able to parry musket shots with a rapier, using parry Missile Weapons (PMW).

Considering he has dodge twelve, getting an equivalent parry score verses a musket would require Parry Missile Weapons 28 (28/2-2=12). Remember, parrying a bullet is a -5 penalty to parry, and parry is Skill/2+3 for Skill/2-2 when trying to parry a bullet.

Getting a skill to 28 is prohibitively expensive, on the order of 76 points for a DX 10 character, a price that barely drops with increased DX or levels of Enhanced Parry/Combat Reflexes.

So I propose making PMW a technique:
Parry Missile Weapons

      Default: Cannot be used at unimproved default,  Unarmed or Melee Weapon Skill -5
      Prerequisites: Unarmed or Melee Weapon Skill
, cannot exceed prerequisite skill +4.
This Technique allows a character to parry thrown or missile weapons with a ready melee weapon. If you are wearing wristbands or gloves with DR 2+ or have at least this much natural DR, you can also parry with your hands. Your Parry Score is (Technique Skill/2+3), rounded down- based on this technique, not the underlying combat skill that this defaults to.

Modifiers: +4 vs large thrown weapons (axes, spears), +2 to parry small thrown weapons (knives, shuriken), no modifier to parry arrows, -2 to parry smaller low-tech missiles (crossbow bolts, sling stones, blowpipe dates). Enhanced Time Sense and other appropriate advantages (e.g., Precognition) allow you to parry bullets at -5.

With this technique, a fighter with ETS can pay ten points to be able to parry bullets at a -3 to parry. Those without ETS will still enjoy much better parries against large thrown weapons (parry +4), arrows (parry +2), and smaller low-tech missiles (no modifier to parry).

For many characters with decent statistics, dodge will likely remain a better defensive option, and this technique really only benefits characters with high skill with their weapon to begin with- although stacking it with Combat Reflexes and Enhanced Parry certainly makes it even more powerful.


  1. Another solution would be Step and Wait "if fired at I will telegraphically attack the bullet". It's a very small, very fast target but it won't dodge. Maybe even Wait "Will advance 1/2 move and AoA (determined) telegraphic any bullet fired at me."

  2. Let's look at a round. Case length is 2.015 inches, with an overall length of 2.750 inches, meaning the bullet is aprox. .735 inches, or a size penalty to-hit of -11. (Wikipedia has a very helpful sidebar with this info).

    Velocity of a M80 FMJ is listed as 2,733 ft/s (see the final box in the sidebar), or 911 yards/sec, a penalty of -16 to-hit.

    So -27 in total to attack a bullet in flight.

    Even considering a Telegraphic AoA for +8, you're still eating a cool -19 to skill to attack a bullet. I'd take the technique any day.

    1. Velocity in gurps does not work this way. If the object is flying directly towards you (or directly from you), its speed, for the purpose of calculating penalty to hit, is 0. If it flies past you, yeah, you get -16 to hit, but if that's the case, you most likely don't need to parry it anyways, as it's not going to hit you.

    2. Sorry for the delayed response. The reason why you apply the speed penalty in this situation is the same reason the Red Sox hire a man who can pitch a baseball over 10mph- faster pitches are harder to hit, which is conceptually very similar to what parrying a bullet is attempting to accomplish. (Get thing A in the right spot to contact thing B which is moving really fast.)