Parrying (Optional Rule)
During a one-minute combat round, each character is assumed to block many
attempted attacks and see many of his own attacks blocked. In normal combat,
characters parry all the time--there's no need to single out each parry.
When a character deliberately chooses not to parry, his chance of being hit
increases. A mage casting a spell, for instance, gains no AC adjustment for
Dexterity. Thus, choosing to parry, in and of itself, is not a separate option under
the AD&D game rules.
At the same time, the assumption is that characters in combat are constantly
exposing themselves to some risk--trying to get a clear view of a target or
looking for the opening to make an attack. There are times, however, when this is
not the case. Sometimes, the only thing a character wants to do is avoid being
To make himself harder to hit, a character can parry--forfeit all actions for
the round. He can't attack, move, or cast spells. This frees the character to
concentrate solely on defense. At this point, all characters but warriors gain
an AC bonus equal to half their level. A 6th-level wizard would have a +3 bonus
to his AC (lowering his AC by 3). A warrior gets a bonus equal to half his
level plus one. A 6th-level fighter would gain a +4 AC bonus.
This benefit is not a perfect all-around defense, and it's not effective
against rear or missile attacks. It applies only to those foes attacking the
defender from the front. This optional defense has no effect against magical attacks,
so it wouldn't do anything to protect a character from the force of lightning bolt or fireball spells.
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