Monday, May 2, 2016

Advantage: Dark Souls Riposte

Sweet sweet damage.
In some video games, like the Dark Souls franchise, parries allow us to set up an extremely damaging riposte. I want to see how hard it might be to theoretically create an advantage that covers these mechanics. Let's check it out.


First off, GURPS has a parry/riposte mechanic, but it is not as "cinematic" as the type I want. For details, look at Martial Arts, pp. 124-125. Now, reverse engineering a bit from a technique that is somewhat forbidden, let's say that a technique to cancel out the maximum penalty for parrying plus the typical Unusual Training perk would cost 10 character points. two fifty percent cosmic modifiers each allowing an extra defense to be weakened, so all three nominal defenses are affected, to this would make it cost 20 points, add another 5 points to make it work when parrying with any weapon or unarmed skill and finally, cancelling out the original ten points, with a -100% modifier that ignores the bonus to parry from the original technique, we come up with some monster that looks like this:

Riposte Power Up (+0%):  Riposte Technique + Unusual Training(Cosmic, Affects Block Defense, +50%; Cosmic, Affects Dodge Defense, +50%; Cosmic, Technique Applies to parrying with any weapon, +50%; Accessibility, Penalty to Parry not actually mitigated, -100%)[15]

This assumes that if there were a Riposte Technique, it would cost 9 points as a hard parry technique, with one more point for unusual training, making a base price of 10 points.
This book!
The other half of this advantage now is the bonus damage. Ripostes are pretty difficult to pull off in my opinion, so I think an accessibility of 50% to Striking ST is fair if we require a penalty of at least -4 to the parry, maybe even slightly generous for a really strong riposte. That would look like:

Striking ST 10(Accessibility, Only during a Riposte with the maximum penalty levied, -50%)[25]

This could add a bit more than a dice of damage to a typical thrusting weapon, or almost 3 dice of damage for a swinging weapon. The combined effect then of this advantage that lets us gamble defenses for an extremely powerful counterattack would be 40 points. We can call this "Strong Riposte."

Other Thoughts

This advantage could be obviously turned into a leveled advantage if 40 points is too expensive in one shot, making it so that the minimum cost is 20 points for a bonus ST of 2 when parrying, and each additional 5 point level beyond is 2 additional ST.
For limitations to make it more affordable, one could take the following on the leveled or full cost versions:
  • One Skill Riposte, -10%: Specialize the advantage by one weapon.
  • Only Two Defenses Mitigated, -10%: Besides the appropriate defense associated with the attack you blocked, as per the rules of a normal riposte, you may only choose one other defense to mitigate.
  • Only One Defense Mitigated, - 25%: Only the defense associated with the parried attack is mitigated.
Alternatively, for one skill riposte, consider limitations on the order of the specializations for Weapon Master. This will give bigger discounts, which might even be considered slightly munchkin-ish. Hold players accountable by punishing the specialization sometimes... but also remember they spent points on it, and deserve to get a return on that investment.

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