Level Up (A5E) Parrying Weapons & Duelist subclass.

Stellardrifter

First Post
Hello! I'm currently building a Duelist Fighter, and my DM and I aren't quite sure of what's happening with parrying weapons and the level 7 Duelist feature, Parry and Thrust.

The feature mentions "[...] whenever you use your reaction to add an expertise die to your AC using a parrying weapon [...]"
However, the Parrying weapon property (page 312 of the adventurer's guide) does not specify the cost of a reaction when the property is used.

Is the Parrying property truly free? And if so, can dual wielded Parrying weapons apply multiple expertise die to the fighter's AC ?
 

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Stone Dog

Adventurer
Even the Parrying weapon property says it can only be used once per turn. I bet it is supposed to be a Reaction and not a free action, though.
 


Stone Dog

Adventurer
It's what we're most enclined to believe, yes. Which would make Dual-wielded shortswords unable to add 1d6 or 2x 1d4 to your AC for free at level 1.
It would definitely be just the 1d4, not the 1d6.

When you are wielding this weapon and you are not using a shield, once before your next turn you can gain an expertise die to your AC against a single melee attack made against you by a creature you can see.

If dual wielded shortswords let you give expertise to parrying for each blade (which, honestly, sounds cool and I'd want to figure out how to allow it), you'd get 1d4 vs one attack and then 1d4 verses another. Which may be what you meant in your post, in which case, my apologies.
 

Sepaulchre

Villager
It would definitely be just the 1d4, not the 1d6.



If dual wielded shortswords let you give expertise to parrying for each blade (which, honestly, sounds cool and I'd want to figure out how to allow it), you'd get 1d4 vs one attack and then 1d4 verses another. Which may be what you meant in your post, in which case, my apologies.
Expertise dice stack, so if it doesn’t take a reaction, you could use both against 1 attack, I think.
 

Stone Dog

Adventurer
Raw is still once before your next round you can get one expertise die to your AC against a single attack. However, having that be per weapon so you can parry two separate attacks sounds like fun and if you can do THAT then something to use both parrying weapons against a single attack for 1d6 sounds fun too. Cross those shortswords and bind up the incoming strike!

Might be room for a feat for that... maybe building on the dual wielding master feat. But definitely out of scope for parrying in the book.

Maybe
 


Stellardrifter

First Post
Thank you for the answers!

The question remains, if the parrying property does not use a reaction, does the level 7 Duelist feature
"[...] whenever you use your reaction to add an expertise die to your AC using a parrying weapon [...]" not apply to, well, parrying?

The only reaction use that could grant you an expertise die I've found in the Adventurer's guide is from the Parrying Counter maneuver (p474).
However, this maneuver is used at the end of your turn and grants you AC for a turn against a specific enemy, not an incoming attack.

This goes against the writing of Parry and Thrust which specifies "whenever you use your reaction [...] and the triggering attack misses you"

So, RAW, if the parrying property is free, you cannot use Parry and Thrust with it because it is not using a reaction.
If the parrying property costs a reaction, it falls in place.

We're leaning pretty heavily on "houseruling" the parrying property to expend a reaction, but we can only hope for an official answer.
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Thank you for the answers!

The question remains, if the parrying property does not use a reaction, does the level 7 Duelist feature
"[...] whenever you use your reaction to add an expertise die to your AC using a parrying weapon [...]" not apply to, well, parrying?

The only reaction use that could grant you an expertise die I've found in the Adventurer's guide is from the Parrying Counter maneuver (p474).
However, this maneuver is used at the end of your turn and grants you AC for a turn against a specific enemy, not an incoming attack.

This goes against the writing of Parry and Thrust which specifies "whenever you use your reaction [...] and the triggering attack misses you"

So, RAW, if the parrying property is free, you cannot use Parry and Thrust with it because it is not using a reaction.
If the parrying property costs a reaction, it falls in place.

We're leaning pretty heavily on "houseruling" the parrying property to expend a reaction, but we can only hope for an official answer.
Heightened reflexes maneuver can give an extra 1-3 reactions beyond the one everyone gets each round on top of whatever you might be able to squeeze out elsewhere
 

Stellardrifter

First Post
Heightened reflexes maneuver can give an extra 1-3 reactions beyond the one everyone gets each round on top of whatever you might be able to squeeze out elsewhere
Yes, I didn't mention this one because it does not come in handy if you consider parrying to be a free action.
And if parrying does cost a reaction, RAW, you can gain an expertise die to add AC "once before your next turn"(p312).
So multiple reactions can't unfortunately do anything to help you, RAW so far.
 



tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Yes, I didn't mention this one because it does not come in handy if you consider parrying to be a free action.
And if parrying does cost a reaction, RAW, you can gain an expertise die to add AC "once before your next turn"(p312).
So multiple reactions can't unfortunately do anything to help you, RAW so far.
There are a bunch of parry maneuvers too (spinning parry, parrying counter, tidal parry, maybe others). AG192/193 has a few parry related things I'm not entirely certain about as well
 


Anselm

Adventurer
The other option is that anybody can use the Parrying property without a reaction, but if a Duelist uses a reaction to do so then they get the benefit of Parry and Thrust.
I think in the absence of clarification from an official source this is the way I'd rule it. The most parry's you can get normal is two. One from a main hand one off hand. Each is a gamble of whether it'll actually work (unless the attack just meets the AC). None of that seems so overpowered as to limit it to one time by spending a reaction. Adding the optional reaction to make essentially an opportunity attack makes a lot of sense and I'd even allow waiting to see if the trigger is successful before spending the reaction (though the wording as written would require it up front).
 

rules.mechanic

Craft homebrewer
My first reaction was to think that parrying with both weapons creates a stacking loophole (no other A5E weapon property seems to have the potential to stack with something in the other hand). However, since one-handed weapons with the parrying property are limited to the d6 damage group, and your off-hand weapon is limited further to d4 until you get the Dual-Wielding Expert feat (only the parrying dagger has both the dual-wielding and parrying properties), I think the balance is fine. If/when you do get the Dual-Wielding Expert feat, you also have an incentive to keep one of your weapons a short sword. The Duelist messes with that a bit, with Parry and Thrust giving finesse weapons the parrying property, but that's probably ok balance as a key subclass feature, even if all Duelists end up dual-rapier wielders again.

I suspect the reaction thing is just a hangover from a previous version of the parrying property as @Faolyn suggested, and @Stone Dog 's approach is very sensible and probably what the A5E designers now intend.

PS I'm a big fan of the parrying property - it's a good alternative to the Defense Dice we've been using (thumbnail below, I think clicking will bring a full-size image, or it's on tomeofvariance.wordpress.com or GM Binder) and I'm working on a conversion for my groups.

Tome of Variance v3.5 0-09.jpg.
 

Stalker0

Legend
So to summarize the RAW right now:
  • By the book, two parrying weapons would absolutely stack. Either you could gain an expertise die against two different attacks, or two expertise die (aka +1d6) on a single attack. We know expertise die stack, there is no clause that says weapon properties do not stack, so this is the only RAW conclusion.

  • Parry and Thrust requires a parrying weapon (aka any finesse weapon for a duelist), but that in itself does NOT activate the ability, as there is no reaction spent. Effectively this ability requires some secondary source, probably a maneuver, to activate.

We will see what the designer's intended, but that is definitely how it works based on RAW right now.
 

Doskious

Explorer
I posted an analysis of this on Morrus' discord...

As presently written, suppose I'm a 15th level Duelist dual-wielding Scimitars (which effectively have the parrying property thanks to Parry and Thrust), and that I have the Parrying Counter combat maneuver.

Under RAW, I can:
  1. Use my reaction at the end of my turn to, for 0* exertion, activate Parrying Counter against That Opponent (a creature I can see), for at minimum a d6 expertise die to my AC against them.
  2. with the scimitar in my left hand, once before my next turn gain an expertise die (d4) to my AC against a single melee attack made against me by a creature I can see.
  3. with the scimitar in my right hand, once before my next turn gain an expertise die (d4) to my AC against a single melee attack made against me by a creature I can see.
* assuming I still have Panache uses left

Then, supposing that That Opponent makes a single melee attack against me, it would seem that the attack might be at:
[my AC] + 3 + 2 + 2 = [my AC] + 7 (range: 3 - 14 on a bell curve)​
and that if That Opponent's attack misses, I would be entitled to:
  1. a melee weapon attack against it (from Parrying Counter)
  2. a melee weapon attack against it at the cost of 1 exertion (from Parry and Thrust)
Supposing that That Opponent makes two melee attacks against me and I used the parrying property on my two scimitars independently, one against each attack, it would be at:
[my AC] + 5 (range: 2 - 10 on a bell curve)​
and I would be entitled to, if both attacks missed, three melee weapon attacks against it at the aggregate cost of 2 exertion.

Note that I am not factoring in the usual Expertise Die scaling effect intentionally.

EXPERTISE DICE​

Some class features or traits grant you an expertise die for an attack roll or saving throw, or in a specific skill or tool proficiency. When you make a d20 roll with which you have gained an expertise die, roll 1d4 and add the number rolled to the result of your check.

You can never roll more than one expertise die on the same roll. If another class feature or situation grants an expertise die of any size that applies to the same roll, you don’t gain another die; instead, the size of the largest expertise die increases for that check, from 1d4 to 1d6, or 1d6 to 1d8. For example, if you have gained two expertise dice, a 1d6 and 1d6, you now have a 1d8 expertise die. If you have a 1d8 expertise die on a check, further expertise dice have no effect.
The rules regarding the scaling of expertise dice are very clearly only expressed in the context of rolls with which you have gained expertise dice. Your AC is not a rolled value. Therefore, rules-as-written, the (almost certainly intended-to-apply-in-this-case-too) scaling of expertise dice does not apply, as the expertise dice are not modifying a rolled value.

Now, I'm ... almost certain ... that it's not the intent of the abilities to potentially add (assuming that there is some mechanism by which the Parrying Counter expertise die can be bumped up to a d12 through synergistic bardic effects, and that the maximum value is obtained from all rolled dice used to modify AC against a single attack) 20 to a very lucky and well-coordinated duelist's AC.

I say "almost certain" because the degree of both coordination and luck that would need to transpire to bump AC by 20 using this combination of gambits strikes me as the kind of thing that would make for an exceptionally compelling narrative scene where the Human Duelist wielding two regular scimitars parries a Gundam wielding a blade the size of the Chrysler building (after which the Duelist gets three free attacks).
 

Stone Dog

Adventurer
The rules regarding the scaling of expertise dice are very clearly only expressed in the context of rolls with which you have gained expertise dice. Your AC is not a rolled value. Therefore, rules-as-written, the (almost certainly intended-to-apply-in-this-case-too) scaling of expertise dice does not apply, as the expertise dice are not modifying a rolled value.

By the same argument, you can't apply expertise dice to AC at all because AC isn't a rolled value. Only "an attack roll or saving throw, or in a specific skill or tool proficiency" gets an expertise die.

However, due to the specific rule for parrying weapons we can add an expertise die to AC. The specific rule doesn't mention the stacking rule, so the general rule for stacking should still apply.
 

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