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DonRamirez's picture
Timing of Parry / Riposte Maneuvers
parry, riposte, maneuvers, dueling

So the parry and Riposte actions state that they can only be used on your turn and on "The action imediatly following the Maneiver that caused..."  Does this mean that you need to use YOUR next action on this or that the next action in the combat is the parry?


Example 1:  Villian attacks you with slash for 3 damage, but still has more raises that you so spends at least one raise doing something that does not deal you damage, can you still parry since it is the first action YOU have taken?

Example 2:   Villian attacks you with slash for 3 damage, your companion-in-arms attacks the villian dealing them some damage.  Can you then parry?

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Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

Good questions.

By the original rules written, you could only parry or riposte the immediately preceeding Maneuver. So if your opponent used Slash then had more Raises than you and used Bash, when you acted next, you could only Parry or Riposte the Bash since that was the last Maneuver used against you.

The writers (Mike Curry) have since stated that when errata comes out, Parry and Riposte (and the other special maneuvers that mimic them) will be written so that they are used out of turn, just like reducing Wounds is now. You'd still spend a Raise on them but you'd spend the raise immediately after taking the Wounds. So if you're opponent had 7 Raises and you had 3 Raises...Your opponent spends a Raise to use Slash, you can spend a Raise to Parry. Then your opponent might use Bash, and you could spend a raise to use Riposte. Then you're opponent might Slash again, and you would be able to Parry. Now you're out of Raises though and your opponent has 4 left.


Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Under the current RAW, it'd be #2, in that you can only use Parry or Riposte against the last action that was used to inflict Wounds.

Now, something to bear in mind is that you still have the option to burn Raises to negate Wounds on a 1-for-1 basis the same as every other character.  It's just not efficient for a Duelist to do so since they have access to the Parry maneuver.

As for the 'upcoming errata' about changing the timing of when Parry or Riposte can be used, I'd say wait until it actually gets published before worrying about "do I have to make that change to my game?"  There's been instances across a number of RPGs where someone on the design team said "yeah, we're thinking about making this change" and utlimately wound up not making the change for a variety of reasons, most of which centered around "well, it sounded better on paper."

Personally, I've played a few sessions with the altered timing of Parry/Riposte, i.e. using them out of turn, and it certainly does add another wrinkle to playing what is already one of the most mechanically complex character types in the system.  If your or your foe starts out with a signficant Raise advantage over the the other, the fight can become one-sided real fast as the person that started with fewer Raises will pretty much be unable to keep up as they'll be burning Raises to Parry long before they'd get a chance to react.  So from my experience, while it's a "sound greats on paper!" in actual play it's been a bit of a mixed bag.  Under the curent system, if your foe has 3+ Raises more than you, then it is possible for you to "catch up" and maybe even have a chance to take over the flow of combat and mount an offense of your own, where as the revision has the likelihood that you simply won't be able to "catch up" and be entirely on the defensive with few chances to take the offensive.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

Under the curent system, if your foe has 3+ Raises more than you, then it is possible for you to "catch up" and maybe even have a chance to take over the flow of combat and mount an offense of your own, where as the revision has the likelihood that you simply won't be able to "catch up" and be entirely on the defensive with few chances to take the offensive.

Keep in mind the Parrying character in your example does not NEED to parry the early attack. It's just an option. If they choose not to parry, they are in exactly the same situation they would have been in under RAW. The change just gives the defending character more options (which is always good) rather than making them sit there and take it.

So if someone has 3+ Raises than you, under RAW you *must* sit there and take it. Under the proposed rules, you have a *choice* of whether to defend and how many times to defend. In our game, having that choice makes all the difference between having fun and feeling in control and 'sitting there twiddling your thumbs while someone sticks you like a pig'.


Donovan Morningfire
Donovan Morningfire's picture

Except that the "stands there and sticks you like pig" may very well happen at the end of the Round instead of early on as it would under the current rules, which can still lead to a sense of frustration on the player's part if what they were hoping would be a cool and dramatic dueling sequence simply turns into them getting smacked around like a redheaded stepchild simply because their foe got lucky on their dice.  At least with it happening early, the player knows that their chance is coming, and that they just need to stick it out.

And most players are of a mindset that "taking damage = bad!" (thank you 40+ years of D&D) so the likelihood of most players not wanting to use their Parry or Riposte as out of turn reactions to avoid taking several Wounds' worth of damage is pretty slim, especially if those Wounds could result in a Dramatic Wound.

Maybe you have a group of players that metagame the hell out of dueling and plan it out like they're playing chess, but my own experiences is that players tend to get caught up in the action, especially if the GM has done their job and created an Action Sequence that is equal parts fun, compelling, and exciting, and begin to lose track of tactical/strategic thinking; even more so if they're the type of players that enjoy 7th Sea's general lack of tacical combat simulationism.  But if the players are able to coldly and dispassionately plan their tactics during what in cinema would be the money shot of a summer action blockbuster film, then I think the GM has failed to fully engage the players.

I think it also depends on what style the Duelist knows.  If their chosen style is one that offers what amounts to extra uses of Parry (Mirelli, Torres, and Valroux for instance), then the temptation becomes a lot higher for the Hero to burn their Raises on defensive reactions without really ever getting a chance for much of an offense, where more aggressive styles might have to take a few more lumps simply because they've only got access to Parry and Riposte.  Eisenfaust may well want to use that Riposte fairly early to get in at least one huge hit, while Leegstra may just take the lumps and wait until they can break out the Slash-Crash-Slash trio, or Aldana the Feint+Ruse+Slash/Riposte combo.

Dono's Gaming & Etc Blog

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

I'm not sure if you're subtlely trying to insult me and my players or not (It's hard to tell sometimes with your comments), so I'll assume not.

What I am saying is that by offering the player's the CHOICE when use their Parry, Riposte or other defenses, it increases their participation and immersion. If they choose to parry/defend against all the early attacks and are out of Raises at the end, it's now their choice. If you tell the players "You have to stand there and take these 3 attacks before you can act," that results in a lot more lack of immersion and interest. It also hampers the 'fun, compelling and exciting' Action Sequence. 

With 7th Sea, Heroes are not penalized for taking a Dramatic Wound (in fact they are rewarded), so I've not had an issue with players not wanting to take a Dramatic Wound early on. Our combats are a lot more fun and dynamic when a player who just gets attacked gets to make a pithy remark and riposte the attack, doing something they otherwise could not by waiting until several more attacks go by.

Obviously, every table is different and if the RAW work for your group, continue at it. I've found the dynamic nature of combat comes out a lot more for our group by allowing players the choice about when their characters act.


Bonhumm's picture

Here's my interpretation of this rule.


The 'Action' is the actual 'turn' of this sequence so lets say we are at 'Action/Turn/Raise' #5 and the villain can do an action at that turn.

- If you can also do an action at turn #5 then the Villain goes first. So say he does an attack on you and do damage. You can can do Riposte (unless you already did Riposte as you last action, you cannot do the same dualing maneuvers twice in a row) because you can do an action at the same time he does (Riposte is not an healing action, it stops/reduce the damage you would have taken and counter-attack the bad guy, so it HAS to happen at the same time as the attack). This would be 'the action immediatly following the Maneuver that caused the damage'


- If you have no action at turn #5 then the Villain did his attack and his sword is already into your flesh. It is too late to do anything about about this at turn #4.


The upside to this is that since a Vilain always play first when if you have an action at the same turn as him, he cannot Riposte you.


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