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 (a wizard casting a spell,
for instance), his chance of being hit increases. 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
In order 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.
Note that the benefit is not a perfect all-around defense, and it's not
effective against rear or missile attacks. It applies only to those characters
attacking the defender with frontal melee attacks. This optional defense has no
effect against magical attacks, so it wouldn't do anything to protect a character
from the force of a lightning bolt or fireball, for example.
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