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Dodging is the act of moving your ENTIRE body out of harm’s way. This is the most energy intensive and difficult defensive act to perform as it requires the most effort. On the flip side however, as long as your speed allows you to relocate far enough to avoid the damage area, you are able to dodge the attack. If the attack’s area of effect is greater than the Move of the defender the defender needs to use a stunt to explain how they are dodging. With Perception the attacker is predicting where the dodging defender is going to be while the defender is noticing the best spots to be or watching for telegraphed movements in the case of dodging a brawl or melee attack.
Calculation: (Dexterity + Athletics + Legend)/2 + Epic Dexterity bonus – (Perception differential)**
Blocking is the act of imposing a tough body part, weapon, a shield, or an improvised item to intercept an incoming attack and brace against it. Depending on the attack and type of defense it may be effective against some area attacks. It requires more exertion than a parry, but less than a dodge. Block is a cruder attempt but very effective at defense than Parry based on toughness or strength rather than finesse. A stronger attacker can punch through a block while a stronger defender can stop an attack cold giving a huge defensive advantage.
Calculation: (Stamina + Brawl/Melee + Legend)/2 + Shield Bonus + Weapon Bonus* + Epic Stamina bonus – (Strength differential)**
Note: Without special equipment such as a weapon, shield, armor, or active knacks such as Body Armor, no lethal or aggravated attack may be blocked without a stunt.
For example, an applicable stunt would be blocking the arm holding the lethal weapon or grabbing a chair and interposing it between your opponent’s sword and your body. A block with a weapon is a solid imposition of your weapon in the path of your opponent’s weapon relying on Strength, Stamina and position in order to thwart your opponent versus footwork for Dodging or subtle handwork for parrying.
The Shield bonus is in addition to the blanket bonus to DV that Shields provide via cover. The bonus is equal to the normal Shield bonus. So, a Kite Shield that provides + 2 DV from cover would also provide another +2 DV to Blocks against a single attacker. Shields do have a drawback in that they block visibility which is most commonly taken advantage of by the use of stunts.
Parrying is the act of using hand and footwork to subtly manipulate your opponent’s weapon away as a form of defense. On the flip side however, if the incoming attack is an area effect, like steam the parry cannot deflect the attack. Rather than directly resisting an attacking power it would be more appropriate to think of Parrying as channeling or redirecting an attack which gives the advantage to the fighter who can think on his feet the best in order to maneuver for advantage.
During duels threshold successes from parrying defenses can be stored allowing for ripostes against a single enemy. If the character changes target than all saved threshold successes are lost. A riposte is simply a parry that is successful enough to have placed the defender with bad footing or blade position allowing for an easier attack for the defender. The defender can apply the full threshold successes on his next attack after a successful parry.
Calculation: (Dexterity + Brawl/Melee + Legend)/2 + Weapon Bonus* + Epic Dexterity bonus – (Wits differential)**
*Weapon Bonus is different for Blocks and Parries. Usually large well constructed weapons have great blocks while more precision based weapons have good parry bonuses. A mace has an excellent block while only an okay parry while a rapier has a great parry but is only good for blocks by the hilt. For most weapons this should be fairly obvious and the total bonus listed in the book should be the total bonus if you were to add together the Parry and Block bonus and divide by two. So for example a Rapier has a +1 defense in Scion:Hero so it would have a +2 Parry and +0 Block as it is a light and maneuverable weapon.
**When dueling (important one on one battles or Holmgangs) the differentials allow for a new challenge and more in depth combat making defensive choices important and allowing for different builds to have advantages. The differentials only apply to one enemy.
Attribute differential Equation: (Attacker’s Attribute + Epic successes) – (Defender’s Attribute + Epic successes +1)