GURPS Active Defense Modifiers
Part of the GURPS For Dummies Cheat Sheet
In GURPS combat, defending your character by avoiding and effectively absorbing a hit is sometimes more important than landing a hit. Good weapons for defense are shields and armor, but remember not to weigh your character down. When performing a dodge, block, or parry, figure your active defense roll by
Taking your calculated Dodge, Block, or Parry score.
The Combat Reflexes and Enhanced Defenses advantages increase these values above their base.
Applying the relevant modifiers below.
All modifiers are cumulative.
A roll of this number, or less, means you avoid the attack.
Parrying with dagger or knife: –1 to Parry
Parrying with kusari or whip: –2 to Parry
Parrying with quarterstaff: +2 to Parry
Shield or cloak: +DB of shield, except vs. firearms
Unarmed parry vs. weapon: –3 to Parry (+0 vs. thrust, or with Judo or Karate)
All-Out Attack: No defense possible!
All-Out Defense (Increased Defense): +2 to one of Dodge, Block, or Parry
Move and Attack: Dodge or block only; you cannot parry
Crawling or lying down: –3
Kneeling or sitting: –2
Above attacker: +1 for 3' difference, +2 for 4', or +3 for 5'
Affliction (coughing, retching, etc.): See Afflictions on p. 428 in GURPS Basic Set: Campaigns
Bad footing: –1 or more (GM's option)
Below attacker: –1 for 3' difference, –2 for 4', or –3 for 5'
Can't see attacker: –4, and a block or parry requires a Hearing –2 roll
Close combat: Only reach "C" weapons can parry
Distraction (e.g., clothes on fire): –1 or more (GM's option)
Encumbered: Penalty equal to encumbrance level to Dodge, or to Judo, Karate, or any fencing Parry
Mounted: Penalty equal to difference between 12 and Riding skill (no penalty for Riding at 12+)
Nature of Attack
Attack from behind: No defense possible (defense at –2 with Peripheral Vision)
Attack from side or "runaround" attack: –2 (no penalty with Peripheral Vision)
Attacker used laser sight: +1 to Dodge if dot is visible
Deceptive Attack: –1 per –2 the attacker took to his attack
Dual-Weapon Attack: –1 if both attacks strike the same target
Flail: –4 to Parry/–2 to Block (–2/–1 vs. nunchaku); fencing weapons can't parry at all
Successful feint: Penalty equal to attacker's margin of victory
Thrown weapon: –1 to Parry, or –2 to Parry if weapon is small (1 lb. or less)
Other Actions by Defender
Acrobatic Dodge: +2 to Dodge if Acrobatics roll succeeds, –2 if it fails
Dodge and Drop: +3 to Dodge vs. ranged attack
Feverish Defense: +2 (costs 1 FP)
Multiple parries: –4 to Parry per parry after the first, cumulative (halved for fencing weapons and for Trained By A Master or Weapon Master)
Off-hand parry: –2 to Parry (no penalty with Ambidexterity)
Retreat: +3 to Dodge, or to Boxing, Judo, Karate, or any fencing Parry; +1 otherwise