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In a game I am in, the DM wants to encourage the fighter, who is a very reluctant defender to more actively defend. The fighter is built on the "gentleman adventurer" lines, and the DM has expressed interest in providing an item which allows the fighter to parry strikes meant for other players as an interrupt.

The fundamental desire is to entice the fighter closer to the center of the action and to have exciting immediate interrupt powers such that he wants to pay attention to the game outside of his own turn (which is a horrible failing in a fighter, but generalized fixes are outside the scope of this question).

A parry, functionally, is an immediate interrupt that, on hit, does a bit of damage and reduces the to-hit rolls of the opponents on the primary target or redirects the attack to the fighter.

Are there any items, powers, or class features that provide for the visual aspect of rushing around the battlefield, parrying strikes meant for other people?

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I like the dungeongs-and-dragons-4e tag more than the dnd4.0 one, but the question is if all the old questions could be easily converted to the new tag. Else it would not make sense to branch off a new tag... –  Michael Barth Nov 14 '10 at 9:16
    
@Michael There are a couple ways, being discussed on meta. I decided it was interesting to explore how it works in practice. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Nov 14 '10 at 9:33
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4 Answers

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There are several ways to achieve that. The following lists are drawn from a quick browsing of the Compendium, including heroic/paragon tier feats and non-essentials Fighter powers up to and including level 20. I'm sure I've been missing some powers and feats, but it should still get you started with ideas.

Powers:

Feats:

And don't forget that the marked penalty against adjacent enemies can easily be described as the Fighter trying to parry/deflect their attacks.

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The Swordmage in the Forgotten Realms Players Guide has the power to deflect damage when his marked enemy attacks an ally. It's called Swordmage Aegis: Aegis of Shielding. You could either allow the player to play a swordmage instead or, if he prefers to remain a fighter, switch the class features for marking.


You could also alter the power to affect only adjacent Enemies (making it effectively a Close Burst 1 power) and change the effect like so:

If your marked target makes an attack that doesn’t include you as a target, it takes a –2 penalty to attack rolls. If that attack hits and the marked target is within 2 squares of you, you can use an immediate interrupt to intercept that attack and reduce the damage dealt by that attack to any one creature to 0. This can be used only once per round.

You'll have to see how this works out balance-wise.

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The swordmage aegis is interesting, but doesn't neatly capture the flavour of a parry (as redirection of attack or penalty to attack) rather than arcane sigils. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Nov 14 '10 at 9:33
    
Well, if it's only about the fluff, think of something new. Instead of magic shielding, it could be a parry by the fighter or the fighter distracting the enemy with a thrown stone or something like that. Be creative! ;) –  Michael Barth Nov 14 '10 at 10:14
    
Oh, I know how to refluff powers, but the mechanics don't match the requirements. The Aegis of Shielding doesn't match the idea of parry very well. –  Brian Ballsun-Stanton Nov 14 '10 at 23:56
    
@Brian: I see. I edited the answer with a house-ruled version of the aegies that should fit better. –  Michael Barth Nov 15 '10 at 6:34
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Baelnorm's got a pretty good list of powers & feats, so I'll just add a couple of extras/combos here.

Shield Push Feat + anything else that can increase push distance = potential to negate a melee attack by a marked enemy as an immediate interrupt by pushing the enemy from the target with your Combat Challenge attack.

Some ways to increase pushing distance include:

  • Rushing Cleats (Level 7 item)
  • Battering Shield (feat, requires a heavy shield)
  • Bludgeon Expertise (feat, requires hammers or maces)
  • Spear Push (Paragon feat, requires spears)
  • Gauntlets of the Ram (Level 8 item)
  • Ring of Ramming (Level 18 item)

Some other things that work nicely with Shield Push: - Mobile Challenge (lets you shift 1 after you hit with combat challenge) - Distracting Shield is nice as it allows you to stack an extra -2 penalty to attack rolls if you hit with Combat Challenge (making the penalty to attack your ally -4 instead of -2), handy if you can't push them far enough away. - Hindering Shield (Paragon feat, slows an enemy you use forced movement on)

There are also nasty things you can do with spears and shields, mainly revolving around Polearm Momentum, which knocks enemies prone after you push/pull/slide an enemy two or more squares (check out the Spartan build here)

And also hammers and shields, which can at epic eventually allow you to "parry" an enemy so hard you daze them as well. At-will :P (Shield Push + Hindering Shield + Overwhelming Impact) (e.g. Tank).

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Paladin's have a fair number of powers that allow this. You could convert him to a paladin, or just move powers over as you deem appropriate.

  • Marty's BlessingDDI - an attack meant for an ally hits you instead.
  • Price of CowardiceDDI - an attack that ignores you from a marked enemy provokes a 2W hit that blinds.
  • Knightly IntercessionDDI - An attack hits an ally within 10, instead it hits you and the enemy is pulled to you and gets hit for 2W. (My paladin has this - IT ROCKS)
  • Angelic IntercessionDDI - teleport next to an ally that got hit and take the hit for him.

Granted, these aren't specifically parrying, but you can reskin them pretty easily. Generally its better for the party for the defender to take hits rather than other people, so it works out pretty well.

Also, look into the Cavalier in the newly released Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms. They are all about protecting other people. A couple sample powers:

  • L1 - Righteous Shield: Interrupt, you take the damage instead of the target, also gain +2 to hit until the end of your next turn.
  • L16 - Angelic Intercession - Interrupt, teleport next to an ally within 5. Take the damage instead of the target.
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Should that first one be "Martyr's Blessing" instead of "Marty's Blessing"? I've been out of D&D for a year or two now, but I don't remember a god named Marty.... –  GWLlosa Dec 8 '10 at 14:18
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