Ahh, the Parry Lunge. Strikes fear in the.. wait a minute, it doesn't strike fear into anyone now does it? I hope to change that my freinds. The Parry Lunge is probably one of the most diverse styles in the game and that can be a good and a bad thing. Good because you can do lots of things with them but also bad because they can be tough to figure out their favorites. The PL has the games best weapon in the SC, the games best defensive tactic in Dodge and arguably the best offensive tactic in Lunge (and Decise!). It can be used offensively and defensively with great efficiency.
STATS: I am going to be going with my all around PL instead of the Tank version or the LU version. I may throw in a few of those later but most people already know what a tank version (high CN) and a LU version (Low CN) looks like.
SZ: as small as possible
ST: 9+ is where I try to keep it for SC use. 7 is ok to start with but try to get 9 as quickly as possible. You want Normal+ Damage
CN: Like I said at the start if you go very low you will have to go offensive with your PL which is ok, but for the purpose of this PL (the all around PL) I want to keep it at least "takes normal damage".
SZ: Small as possible for defensive points (3-6) and for points being better elsewhere
WT: 15+ I know a lot of people make PL's with lower 11/13 etc.. But for this version I want to have as good a WT and learning as possible. For Tanks its ok to go lower and bump the CN/WL but I want to make a versitile PL with this one.
WL: 15+ I never go below Normal Endurance, and prefer Good+. Plus 15 WL and 17WL give you Att/Par/Def so the higher the better!
SP: Isn't needed. We aren't going to be trying to jump anyone.
DF: 11+ Again Att/Par/Def of 2 each starting at 11DF get as much as possible without hurting your other stats.
Ever had one of those trip 17 WT/WL/DF? But just didn't want another LU? A PL is perfect for those!
So lets take a look at a few of my favorite PL's that I have graduated and ones that I have had the most success with:
10-10-9-17-17-4-17 (VL/HI, SC)
11-12-7-21-15-5-13 (HI/HI, LS) 2 Time TV
11-9-8-17-15-9-15 (HI/HI, SC, Parry) 1 Time TV
9-13-10-21-15-5-11, (VL/HI, SH, Dodge) 1 time TV
7-11-13-17-21-4-11, (MO/HI, SS, Parry) 1 time TV
9-13-10-15-15-7-15, (LO/VH, LO)
10-12-5-17-21-8-11, (LO/MO, SC)
STRATEGY: Ok now we get down to it. Strategy. The bread and butter. The PL's can have favorite Offensive Efforts of VL to HI and favorite Activity Levels of LO to VH, so no VH OE and no VL AL as favorites. They can be blessed (and hosed) in everything. A majority of favorites according to terrabloods is MO/MO which seems to fit the mold. However, I will have to say that I have graduated 12 PL's over my entire career and only 1 has ever gotten MO/MO. A majority have gotten VL/HI (4) or HI/HI (3), the rest are scattered around MO/MO.
Ok I am going to use the second PL above for my strategy as I think that is a fairly easy set of numbers to come by. 11-12-7-21-15-5-13. Lets take a look at the starting skills: 9/8/13/5/8/6. First thing that comes to mind? Man is he slow! And wow not much parry! Thats all good though. #1 we aren't looking to jump anyone. #2 the dodge makes up for it! Here is a little secret. Parry stinks! Dodge is king! I am not saying I don't use it. I do, but remember that secret when your PL starts moving up into the Init/Adept ranks. Parry is good early, not so good middle+.
ARMOR/WEAPONS: I NEVER go over encumbrance unless I specifically am challenging say a ST and know the fight will be over quickly. For the most part I will stick with Encumbrance or below, in this case 16. So ASM/H (11), vs Light: SC/DA (4), vs Medium: LO/DA(4), vs Heavy: SC(3), backup DA(1). I always want an offhand weapon in my PL's grip be it a dagger or shortsword. I am hopefull going to be dodging more than parrying. A shield would be good if you were just going to parry, but I always say heck if I am going to hopefully be dodging why have a shield? Put a weapon there and if you have to parry you still have something in your offhand as well.
Ok now the tricky part. How the heck do I run this guy? His best numbers are (attack 13 and dodge with a nice mix of init (9) and rip (. So we want to what? Attack and dodge and hopefully be able to keep the init and rip when we do it. Great. So why not just run 10-10-x and be a lunger? Because then your missing out on Dodge, natural want to parry and his rip. Why miss out on that stuff when its there? With this brand new PL I want to use that nice attack but also be ready to move around if need be. This particular guy has greater defense skills than he does parry skills. However, PL's like to parry as well. As much as I have been talking about dodge, don't forget they will parry a lot as well.
Here is how I would run him in his general strat to start:
Min 1: MO/HI Dodge (probably: 5-8-x Dodge).
Min 2: MO/MO (probably: 6-5-x)
Min 3: MO/LO (probably: 5-3-x)
Min 4+: LO/VL (probably: 4-1-x)
Desp: LO/HI Dodge (probably 3-8-x Dodge)
Now the strategy will indeed change depending on the setup of your PL and you need to really watch how your PL responds to the strategy. I have had many PL's that will swing like CRAZY going VL/HI or VL/MO. And some that never swing at all running HI/HI. PL's take a lot of work and a lot of care. It is not one of those styles that you simply put on autopilot with 1 strat and let go. If you want that go pick a ST or TP or something. This takes work and is why you will end up loving your PL's more than other styles IMHO.
If you know you are going against an offensive style use the strat above and even armor up a bit more if you want (although when I am dodging I don't like to go above encumbrance). If you are going against a Scum (you probably want to stay away from them if possible) but if you have to go with very low armor ALE/L, SC backup SC. A normal endurance PL can go a LONG time if running right. Something like: Min1: 5-3-x, Min 2+ 4-1-x.
As your PL's begin to get older and gain more skills, drop the tactics! I normally drop the tactics after Expert in that area. So if he has 16 Parry and 12 Defense. Use Dodge but not parry. If he has 16 Parry and 16 Defense. Don't force it to use something it doesn't want (unless in specific situations) let it go at MO/MO or MO/HI no tactic. Most of my PL's before they graduate never use tactics at all except in special circumstances. One of my favorite PL's ever was a decise favorite. And the PL CAN get the Decise tactic as favorite. You would be shocked at how much decise they get and quickly. Heck if they learn it early on fast, USE the decise tactic and suprise some Lungers and Slashers out there.
Last note: This is the Tripwire PL. I definately don't mean to step on anyones toes or say this doesn't work or that doesn't work. I am not a fan of Tank PL's with low WT, but many people can tell you they work. I am not a fan of the low CN version that runs like LU's. It works for some, but I haven't had great success. Next time you are struggling with a rollup that "Should" be a good something. Think about PL. It can open up a world of new posibilities.
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