Rules - Shield use

The enemy lurks in shadows
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Cardboardant
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:37 am

So, I have been playing 4ed for over 6 months now and (more than any edition previous - been playing for 20 years) I am struggling to get a handle on all the RAW.

Shield use is the current bugbear.

Shields have Shield and Defensive.
Are either of these 'passive'?

The wording on defensive suggests that you benefit from just holding the shield:
"If you are weilding such a weapon, gain a bonus of +1 SL to any melee test when you oppose an incoming attack"
So is this passive?

The wording on Shield suugests that the shield must be used to oppose the attack directly:
"If you use this weapon to oppose an incoming attack, you count as having (rating) Armour Points..."
So, this is active?

So, Clem Shirestock has a sword and shield.
He is attacked by a goblin and uses the sword to defend himself - he gains the shield's defensive quality and rolls with a +1SL bonus.
Next round he is attacked again, this time he wants the extra armour so he rolls with a -20 penatly but with +1SL (-20 for off hand, +1SL defensive) but receives +2 armour.

Is Clem correct?

Cheers to everyone that helps me navigate this edition - it really hurts my head with all the fiddlyness...
Shambler
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2020 4:53 pm

Edit: just saw that I misremembered your post. So ignore the text I wrote and replace it with "Yes, I think that's how it works"."and the continue with the link and my last phrase. ;)


I think it's the other way around: you always get the +1 SL when defending while having a shield even if you're technically defending with the handweapon in your hand.

To use the shield rating, you have to actively defend with the shield (and thus maybe getting -20 for offhand use if you don't use Melee parry).

Here's the cubicle 7 article I am getting this from:

https://www.cubicle7games.com/wfrp-in-d ... f-defence/

But English is not my mother tongue so who knows if I understood correctly.
legion
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2021 11:23 am

"The Defensive Quality also allows shields to be used with Melee (Parry), which forgoes the –20 penalty you’d receive for using Melee (Basic) in an off-hand (if you don’t have Ambidextrous)."

Which means if you only have Melee (Basic) you defend with the -20 malus, otherwise you defend with your pure Melee (Parry) score.

So assuming you don't have neither Ambidextrous nor SW(Parry), when you wield a shield, either you parry with you Hand weapon and gain +1 SL, or you use your shield with -20 penalty but +1 AP (I don't see it making sense, since -2SL in an opposed test means +2 damage against you).
HappyDaze
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:59 am

The fact that the off-hand penalty more-or-less eliminates the benefit of the Shield APs seems really messed up, but for non-bucklers, it at least allows a parry of missile attacks. For most other situations, I'd suggest just parrying with the hand weapon and enjoying the +1 SL the shield gives.
adambeyoncelowe
Posts: 121
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:54 pm

Learn Melee (Parry). It's better in the long run.

But yes, you get Defensive even if you use your hand weapon.

Though, the APs from a shield are not to be sniffed at. Crit negation is literally life or death in this system. (But yes, you need to defend with the shield to get them.)

If you can just focus on Melee (Parry), that's a better idea than spreading Skill points between different Melee Skills. Though I appreciate that's not always possible.
HappyDaze
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2021 8:59 am

adambeyoncelowe wrote:
Mon Feb 08, 2021 1:14 am
Learn Melee (Parry). It's better in the long run.

But yes, you get Defensive even if you use your hand weapon.

Though, the APs from a shield are not to be sniffed at. Crit negation is literally life or death in this system. (But yes, you need to defend with the shield to get them.)

If you can just focus on Melee (Parry), that's a better idea than spreading Skill points between different Melee Skills. Though I appreciate that's not always possible.
Unless I'm missing something, Melee (Parry) doesn't really work all that great alone as the weapons it covers pretty much suck offensively. If you want to attack and defend, then you'll need to couple it with at least one other Melee skill (usually Basic or Fencing, but you can do Brawling if you want to couple it with a shield and be Captain America).
macd21
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:28 am

If you’re using Melee (Basic), you probably won’t want to defend with the shield unless you’re not wearing any armour, unless you get Ambidextrous.

Melee (Parry) is an option, but it’s harder to pick up than Melee (Basic), and the weapons harder to come by. Remember that a combat character can start off with 15 advances in Melee (Basic). Melee (Parry) is really for characters who want to go all-in on two weapon fighting.
Cardboardant
Posts: 10
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:37 am

Thanks for the clarity - this system has little fiddly rules all over the blooming place (which I know much ink has been spilt on that subject already).

As a follow up (and its more general system based than shield specific) is the +1SL for defensive applied wether or not you succeed on your melee roll?
Is this the same across the board with all +SL situations (except extra talents, which only add SL if you succeed the roll)?

Further, what happens if you fail by 0, does the +1SL mean you end up with +0 or +1?

How does it effect the maths if you do away with all the +/-SL and just have +/-10 instead?

Cheers, as always, for the assitance.
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Orin J.
Posts: 437
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2019 10:39 pm

the way defensive is worded, you will always get the +1SL when defending regardless of the roll.

as for replacing the +1SL with +10 this has the rather profound effect of altering the odds of your opponent because melee is a contested roll and so you're increasing your WS (and thus hurting their difficulty roll) by 10 which makes the game more prone to extremes than the simple +1SL. not that i'm altogether sure they knew that given the rest of the shield rules.
adambeyoncelowe
Posts: 121
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:54 pm

Yep, Parry is harder to come by and the weapons fewer. You can find some more in Forien's Armoury.

Personally, my go-to is Melee (Fencing) with a Rapier and Side-Sword, but there are limited options for that (it's a good choice for nobles, though).
Certain Death
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:31 am

So basic shields are largely pointless - you get two armour points and defensive, but you get -20 to defend (effectively giving your opponent +2 damage), so a net of only +1. Sure you get armour to defend against opposition crits, but at the same time you decrease your own chance to crit and increase your chance to fumble on the defensive roll.

I feel another house rule coming on! I'm thinking a new talent:

Shield Combatant
Max: 2
Tests:
You are highly trained at using a shield in combat maximising its defensive bonus. The first time you time you take this talent you only suffer a penalty of -10 to Tests relying on a Shield in your off-hand, not -20. If you have this talent twice you suffer no penalty at all.

Rules amendment: All Careers with 'Shield' as a trapping have the Shield Combatant Talent in their list
adambeyoncelowe
Posts: 121
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:54 pm

Honestly, the shield APs aren't to be sniffed at. Crit deflection is kinda essential in this edition for survival.

There's also no penalty if you use Melee (Parry). This Talent also duplicates Ambidextrous, which is strictly speaking more widely useful -- e.g., if you lose an arm, it means you have no penalty using the other one.

You might be better off allowing all shield users access to Melee (Parry) or Ambidextrous instead.
Certain Death
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 3:31 am

Could use either of those, but the only problem is that those talents don't really align with typical shield using careers and I don't really want to add ambidextorous to lots of careers (which is the best alternative)
adambeyoncelowe
Posts: 121
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:54 pm

Then add Melee (Parry)? Melee (Parry) should be the shield user's preferred type anyway. Swap it for another Melee Skill that is in the Career.
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