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A Warrior may defend twice as many times as he/she can attack. Priests may defend once at level 1 to level 6, twice at level 9+. Rogues may Parry/Block once per round but Dodge as Warriors. Wizards may defend once per round. In no situation may a character attempt to defend twice against the same attack unless he/she is taking the "Turtle" maneuver. (see below)

The following is a list of basic maneuvers that would be available to a character on the defense.

  • Maneuvers
  • Parry/Block: These are synonyms for the same maneuver. A character must have some sort of weapon or hard arm protection to use this maneuver against a weapon. Only melee and thrown weapons may be parried (thrown weapons parried at -1). Shields give a bonus to parrying (see below). Roll a d20 and add the pertinent bonuses. If the roll equals or exceeds the attack roll, the attack has been foiled.
  • Dodge: Any sort of weapon attack can be dodged. However, fired missile weapons are dodged at a -3 to the total--they move darn fast. A character who dodges may not attack after he/she dodges in that round. (For those of you who debate the usefulness of this maneuver; it is designed to give characters a chance against bows, and to give Rogues a real flavor in combat. It's just very much in genre for a thief to be in a face-to-face fight, never getting tagged, but never able to get in a telling blow--that's what back stabbing is for.)
  • Turtling up: Sometimes you just don't care if you ever get a swat in--all you want to do is not get hit. That's what this maneuver's for. A player *must* declare this maneuver before making any defense or attack rolls that round. When making this maneuver a character may make two (and no more) defense rolls against an incoming attack. However, these must be rolled simultaneously (two d20 rolls, thrown at once.) The character may not attack, but may use his/her attacks as extra defense rolls. If the character wishes to Parry/Block twice, he/she must have a weapon in each hand. If the character is also using a medium or larger shield, he/she may roll a third die if she so wishes and has defense rolls available, but utilizing the shield in this manner negates any and all bonuses gained that round from wielding the shield. (the character isn't parrying with it, just flailing madly, hoping to block something)

    Note: It should be noted that the maximum number of defense rolls a character can get by turtling up is 4. If you use your shield and 2 weapons getting 3 rolls against your attacker that only gives you 1 left at the end of the action phase. If you opponent has 2 attacks left this could leave you undefended in one phase.

Defense Bonus
The defense bonus is calculated much the same way as the attack: Take the base from the defense table and *subtract* the Dex AC adjustment (remember, for high Dex, the number is negative, so a Dex 18 character would subtract -4 or add 4).

For GMs who like smaller bonuses--like me: These bonuses reproduce the probabilities given in the AD&D game. However, they can be a touch unwieldy at higher levels. Therefore, a GM may want to halve all Attack and Defense bonuses (round down). This will give defense an edge.

Defense Bonus Bases
Level Warrior Priest* Rogue** Mage
1 3 3 2 0
2 6 5 3 1
3 9 8 5 2
4 12 10 6 2
5 14 11 7 3
6 15 12 8 3
7 17 14 9 3
8 18 15 9 3
9 20 16 10 4
10 21 17 11 4

*And Bards parrying (This compensates for the fact that Bards cannot back stab).
**Only Thieves, and only for parrying. Thieves and Bards dodge as a Warrior of equal level. Monster defenses eventually outstrip Warriors since they still gain more HP per hit die over 9 than Warriors gain per level over 9.

Shield Attributes
Shield Size Parry Bonus Damage
Buckler 1 d2
Small 2 d3
Medium 3 d4
Large* 3 d6

*May use bonus while Dodging missile weapons.

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