Block and Strike without a Shield???

Can you script a Block and Strike action if you are unarmed? Just you and your mitts…

I’ll give you a sample situation. My English Knight has just “accidently” insulted the foreign ambassador at a fancy dinner party. They both engage at Hands without any weapons. Me with B5 Brawl and Shield Training. Him with a B5 Martial Arts.

First Action of Volley 1. He scripts Counter Strike. I script Block and Strike… WTF happens!!!

I say both actions go off. We both split our dice between attack and defense, but I don’t get any bonus dice for my Block action.

I think the simple answer is that you can’t script Block & Strike - pg 442 “…who are fighting with a shield or parrying blade, or with Two-Fisted Fighting Training and two weapons”.

You don’t have anything to lock with, save your hands. Counter-Strike is what you want to do if you want to defend and attack. It’s virtually identical to Block and Strike with 0 bonus block dice anyhow, barring attack interactions.

e: If you can snatch up a pan or a dinner plate or something after a successful Assess, though, block and strike to your heart’s content :smiley:

e: If you can snatch up a pan or a dinner plate or something after a successful Assess, though, block and strike to your heart’s content
I like this.

Templar21 is one of my players. He asked me this question on Wednesday, and I said I’d need to mull it over.

The way I’m leaning right now is that Block & Strike requires something in your off-hand. Some piece of equipment or a trait like Hands of Iron that would turn your hand into a weapon. So the scavenged plate would work. Plated mail gauntlet would probably work.

Since Block & Strike is only accessible through the Shield Training skill, it makes sense to me that the action has to be related to a fighting formed learned while using a shield.

Yeah, Assess for a dinner plate or tray or something. And c’mon, you know you want to Assess for a serving tray so you can justify a Cooking FoRK.

My character has Fey Blood [Fanged and Clawed]. I can use that to lobby for a 1D parrying blade bonus. I could also pick up and use a stout beer mug or leg of mutton or a pepper mill* etc…

I don’t think I should absolutly have too. I can script a Block without having a shield , yes useing a shield gives me a bonus, but shields aren’t essential for Blocking. Shield Training mean that you know how to defend and attack at the same time. The wording my not be as such, but I think that’s the intent.

*Note to self: This sounds badass. Do it.

Seems to me that Shield Training without an object to use as a shield is roughly as useless as being proficient with a pistol yet being unarmed. Shield Training is how to use an object to defend yourself. Take away the object, and what’s left?

Totally into improvised shields, though, after an Assess.

Yeah, I’m in agreement. Blocking without a shield is an action on its own because it takes your whole body. Learning how to use a shield conveys an advantage because you can let the shield do the blocking while you do the killing.

And defending yourself while attacking is Counterstrike, which anyone with a weapon skill can do.

I definitely get the impression that Block and Strike is a situation where something you hold absorbs the energy of the blow while you riposte. You do not deflect a blow with your hand and then riposte - that’s Counterstrike.

So there. If you find yourself in a fight at a banquet, use an Assess to scrounge up a temporary shield, then Block and Strike all you want.

Remember task and intent rules are still “on” even in Fight. You’ve got to describe your task, how are you doing it? The script is the intent, Block and Strike is verbal shorthand for the intent described by the rules associated with that action.

The GM gets to call on whether the task is appropriate for the intent.

I’m not sure to what happens when the GM decides this is the case what with the action of the opponent being already revealed and all… be prepared to compromise on intent or task should the GM request it.

If you have two-fisted training, Block-and-Strike can be a better option than Counterstrike if you’re fighting multiple opponents, it free’s you up to attack whichever one is presenting the better target at the time. If you don’t have two-fisted training, it wouldn’t be an available option.

Strike is something you can do. Block is something you can do. Counterstrike is two things you do in rapid succession: block, and then riposte.

Block and strike is different: you are doing two things at exactly the same time. That’s actually very difficult, as anyone who has tried doing to things at once can attest. You need shield training to know how to use a shield without paying any attention to it so you can focus on attacking while still defending yourself. Two-fisted training is explicitly training on doing two things at once in combat, one with each hand. Without either of those, it doesn’t matter how dangerous your hands are or how armed you are. And with shield training, it doesn’t matter what you have in your hands if you can’t use it as a shield, because that’s the only way you know how to strike without leaving yourself open.

It is quite explicit in the rules than you can not perform Block & Strike without a shield or a sword. With respect to find a improvised shield… At least it is clear that there are shields or anything else that can reasonably be used as a shield around (which probably rarely will be the case) I think a roll of the Die of Fate would be appropriate. Maneuvering to get close and take that “shield” is another matter entirely.

p442 - Block & Strike: Restrictions. Yup, it’s all there, you need two weapons.

It’s interesting to note you will not receive shield bonuses on Block & Strike actions with a shield if you are using Two-fisted Training instead of Shield Training.

Here’s something similar. I want to Strike with my sword skill. But I don’t have a sword with me. So can I use the sword skill with a double obstacle penalty? A sword is technically a tool and that’s the rule for using a skill without having the tool!

This is why the Task and Intent come in as such an important element. How are you attacking the guy? With your knuckles. GM sets the skill; that’s brawling, not sword. Block and Strike is a similar situation.

My old instructor informed & demonstrated to me how a lot of basic judo is an extension of kenjutsu, so it’s not as absurd a proposal as it sounds.

That’s a situation where you can successfully lobby for a FoRK. The Intent is still bare-handed striking, so the Task must be Brawling or Martial Arts.

I think a roll of the Die of Fate would be appropriate
I’d definitely go with an Assess or a similar test - you’re looking around quickly to see if you can find something that doubles as a shield. I don’t like using the DoF when the situation can be resolved by a legitimate test on the part of the player.

Yes, but, what about if that’s unlikely? If you are in a battlefield with dead bodies all around then I think it’s appropriate. But if you are in the middle of nowhere with only trees and grass I think is not. You are searching for something we don’t know if there yet.

But maybe you’re right, so if the group thinks it may be something usable as a shield a hight Obstacle for Perception can work.

Yeah, situation would definitely make a difference. That’s up to the player to get creative in exactly what they’re looking for and how they can pitch it as a shield. A slab of stout bark would be a viable thing to find in a field of trees, though it’s probably going to be harder than a serving tray at a dinner party.

Shields are normally strapped to the arm or held somewhere on the back. You can’t really do that with a tray since it has no grips. You’d have to hold the edge, making it very awkward as well as very flimsy. I’d definitely start throwing higher Obs out for using something that you can’t even hold like a shield as a shield.

The woods are a little more forgiving, I think. You’re more likely to stumble upon fallen limbs with branches positioned so that you can at least plausibly hold it like a buckler, and a good piece of wood will hold up to damage much better than a thin sheet of metal.

Sure it does. Lots of serving trays have fancy handles on each end. Or if not a serving tray, how about one of those fancy platter lids with the handle on top?

Would they be effective? Not very. Maybe a +1D shield at most. I’d even consider saying, “OK, sure, but it doesn’t give you any advantage dice.” The Assess just allows access to the action in that case.

And I would still allow a Cooking or Waiting Tables FoRK, because why the hell not.

Combat waitresses for the win!