Monday, February 4, 2013

Technique: Human Shield

Here's a new technique I made up for my campaign at the request of a player. (KF, who plays the lizardman Quexechetl.) It's certainly cinematic, and not many could pull it off, but this PC has ST 18 and Wrestling-18. He ought to get something for all the points he's spent.

Human Shield                            Hard

Default: DX-4, Judo-4, Sumo Wrestling-4, or Wrestling-4, cannot exceed default +2.

Use Human Shield to move your opponent, or some part of your opponent's body, into the way of an oncoming attack. You are at a -3 for attacks from the side. You cannot use a Human Shield defense
against an attack from behind.

To use this technique, you must first win a Quick Contest with your opponent as explained in Martial Arts, p. 118, Shoving People Around. Each contestant uses the highest of ST, DX, or best grappling skill. If you are successful, you may Block with your opponent as a shield. Use (Human Shield/2)+3 as your Block
score. Apply the standard bonus for Combat Reflexes, but not Enhanced Block. If you fail, you cannot attempt another Active Defense!

Your "shield" does not grant you any Defensive Bonus, and you are at a further -1 if you are grappling your opponent anywhere but the Torso. You may make repeated Blocks in the same turn at a cumulative -5, but each Block requires a successful Quick Contest as above. In order to combine this defense with a Retreat by dragging your opponent with you, you must also win a second Quick Contest.

If your Block succeeds, the blow strikes your opponent and he takes damage as if the attack were intended for him.

This is a cinematic technique and may only be improved by a character who has Trained by a Master or a Weaponmaster specialization that includes shields.

My thinking: Shield has a default of DX-4 (B220), so this technique ought to have a default at least that difficult. The opponent attempting to strike you already has a -2 for striking into close combat (B392), so you don't get any Defensive Bonus.

For a wrestler who's merely good, with ST 12 and Wrestling-14, say, this technique will be disastrous. You are likely to win the Quck Contest against someone with ST 10 and Wrestling-12, but the odds aren't something you want to depend on. Even if you succeed, you'll be trying to Block at (14-4)/2 + 3 = 8, which is not that great.

Quexechetl, on the other hand, wins the Quck Contest quite dependably, and Blocks using Human Shield at (18-4)/2 + 3 +1 = 11 (he has Combat Reflexes), which is better than his Dodge and gives him a chance of inflicting extra damage on his grappled opponent. So it's a technique that only going to be useful against a mob of inferior opponents, which is what I was aiming for.

Sadly, Quexechetl has yet to acutally use this technique, because he usually manages to incapacitate an opponent in one turn anyway. But now that they're up in orc country, who knows....

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