Nights In Lankhmar
House Rules - Shield or Two Weapons
The benefits of Shields and Two Weapons come from their use with Parry and Riposte (counterattack).
First, if you straight-up attack someone with your off-hand the roll is Difficult (i.e., Skill divided by 2). Parries and Ripostes do not suffer the off-hand penalty.
Each time you Dodge or Parry in a Round your chance drops by 30%. For example, if you parry with your axe once, then your shield once, then your axe again, your Parry roll with your shield would be at – 30% and the 3rd parry would be your Axe Skill – 60%. Dodges and Parries are not tracked separately either — for example:
Dodge 1 — full skill
Parry 1 — (Parry – 30%)
Dodge 2 — (Dodge – 60%)
Parry 2 — (Parry – 90%)
(regardless of the skill used: shield or weapon)
Dodge 3 — (Dodge – 120%)
… and so on.
If you have a shield or a second weapon and you make a Critical Parry you get a Riposte. A Riposte is a free attack using the non-parrying item. It counts as a regular attack and can also be parried or dodged. You can only make one Riposte per Action Rank.
A Shield Parry gets a +10% bonus to the Parry roll. A Critical Weapon Parry gets a +10% bonus to the following Riposte attack. These adjustments (like most other adjustments) affect the chances for Criticals, Specials and Fumbles. For instance, if your normal shield parry is 60%, the 10% bonus brings you to a 70%, which means that you will get a Special result on a roll of 05-14 instead of 04-12.
Sharla is fighting a goblin. Sharla has an axe and shield, while the goblin has two short swords. Sharla has a skill of 80% with the axe and 70% with the shield. The goblin has a skill of 75% with his swords. (If the goblin were to attack with his off-hand blade his attack roll would be 38%, or half of 75%.) Neither combatant is going to Dodge because we’re not talking about Dodging. ;-)
Round 1: The goblin acts on action Rank 15 while Sharla acts on Action rank 13. On 15 the Goblin swings his short sword at Sharla and rolls a 09 – a Special success. Sharla decides to parry with her shield and rolls a 72. This would be a failure, but Sharla gets +10% to Parry with a shield, so she achieves a normal success. The goblin’s attack glances off Sharla’s shield and strikes her. He rolls 4 damage. Sharla takes 4 damage and her shield also takes 2 points of damage.
On 13 Sharla strikes back, lashing out at the goblin who attempts to parry with his off-hand sword. She rolls a 44, garnering a normal success, but the goblin parries with an 03 — a critical success! He gets a Riposte and rolls his Sword skill. He rolls a 77. This would be a failure, but the goblin gets +10% for the Riposte since he parried with a weapon, so it winds up begin a normal success.
Sharla has already parried with her shield this round, so her skill would be (70 – 30 follow-up parry + 10 Shield bonus) or 50%. If she parries with her axe she would be at (80 – 30 follow-up parry), which is also 50%. Her shield is better at taking punishment, however, so Sharla brings her shield around again. She rolls a 02 on her Parry and gets a critical success! This allows Sharla to counter with her own Riposte and so she swings her axe around.
Sharla is fighting weapon and shield rather than two weapons so she doesn’t get the +10 Riposte bonus. Still, she rolls a 14 with her axe, which is a special success.
Even if the goblin got a Critical success with his Parry he’s already has a Riposte this Action Rank… but he rolls a 97 instead. Since his Parry was at 45% (70 skill – 30 follow-up parry this round) this comes very close to being a Fumble, but is just a regular failure. Sharla does 7 points of damage, the maximum for a hand axe, then rolls her damage bonus. The goblin feels bad.