Hello fellow Feng Shui GMs,
since my last session of Feng Shui something bugged me.
A player whoms character was under attack announced a
parry and thus gained a +5 to his AV. The foe fireing
at him missed. No problem this far.
What bugged me, was how the player described
his parry action:"I deflect the bullets with my dagger!"
While I strongly encourage my players to give cool descriptions
of all their actions, this seemed to be a bit "too super", especially
when you consider the book says some stunt like that has
a difficulty of 25!
Actually he could also have said something like:"I catch the bullets
between my fingertips...".
So.. what should I do ? Of course I want grand my players
their successful dodges and parrys... but somewhere has to be a
limit. If I just said something like:"Sorry, you are not good
enough for that...you get hit!" it might have been ok, but the players
would think twice in the future and may become too careful...
I think that it's probably a glitch in the communication between you and the players. Have a talk with them and explain the level that you want to play on.
Otherwise, I tend to see the difficulty levels described on page 11 as a suggestion on how to describe an action, depending on how well you rolled (I know, that's my interpretation). Therefor I'm a little bit confused about parrying bullets, because that's never something that you roll for.
As myself, I see it as everyones game - let them play it like they want to play it. As long as they want to describe something that they already rolled for I have no trouble with bombastic descriptions.
How'd he get +5? An active parry should only be +3, same as any other active dodge. Willow Step or Karate Cop?
I might let this slide once or twice, if the player isn't trying to over-use it or it fit really well with the archetype (think a Masked Avenger doing the Wonder Woman thing with those bulletproof armbands), but if a player tried to do this every time he got shot, then I'd ratchet up the target number really quickly. TN 25 sounds about right, and go up from there. If the player whined about it, I'd probably say something like, "Well, these mooks are using really fast bullets. Suck it up and roll, or find something else to parry with."
Well, if the dodge/parry isn't high enough to beat the attacker's roll, you still get hit and take damage, but the 3-point dodge takes some of the sting out of it. You could say the bullets are being deflected a bit, but not enough for them to miss entirely.
Or, something else you could try:
"Ok, you parry the next bullet with your dagger. Unfortunately, since it just absorbed the full force of a .45 caliber bullet, it's considerably shorter than it was the last time you used it. The bullet whizzes by the much shorter blade and finally decides to slow down about two inches into your spleen."
I've always read 'deflecting bullets with a sword' as the difficulty for actually redirecting them to a different target rather than merely parrying them, and that would be a defensive stunt hence you would need to roll.
When attacked, often the best thing to do is to execute a stunt to not only prevent your opponent attacking you, but to give yourself an advantage of some sort over that opponent.
I've always taken this to imply that if a player wishes to get some benefit from an active dodge, parry, or other defensive action in addition to the +3 to their Dodge AV, they can pull a stunt (probably requiring a Martial Arts check) to achieve the desired result. It does potentially increase the complexity of a fight, but in my experience running FS it is hardly ever used.
Well, if you're going to let them use a dagger to parry bullets, that's up to you - I tend to make them say what they're doing first, and then give the yes/no/difficulty ruling. But I'm a swine.
Of course, they'll probably be needing to go shopping for a new dagger soon. And I'd say that, normally, you wouldn't be able to parry bullets unless you're a) really damn good and/or b) doing a Cap'n America with a manhole cover or something equally sturdy.