Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Wiki

So far, the bulk of this chapter has dealt with ways to attack. Now, it's time to turn to defense. There are several ways to avoid taking damage. Two of the most common are the saving throw and magic resistance. Somewhat less common, because its use is limited to clerics and paladins, is the ability to turn undead.

Parrying (Optional Rule)

During a one-minute combat round, each character is assumed to block many attempted attacks and see many of his own attacks blocked. In normal combat, characters parry all the time—there's no need to single out each parry.

When a character deliberately chooses not to parry (a wizard casting a spell, for instance), his chance of being hit increases. Thus, choosing to parry, in and of itself, is not a separate option under the AD&D game rules.

At the same time, the assumption is that characters in combat are constantly exposing themselves to some risk—trying to get a clear view of a target or looking for the opening to make an attack. There are times, however, when this is not the case. Sometimes, the only thing a character wants to do is avoid being hit.

In order to make himself harder to hit, a character can parry—forfeit all actions for the round—he can't attack, move, or cast spells. This frees the character to concentrate solely on defense. At this point, all characters but warriors gain an AC bonus equal to half their level. A 6th-level wizard would have a +3 bonus to his AC (lowering his AC by 3). A warrior gets a bonus equal to half his level plus one. A 6th-level fighter would gain a +4 AC bonus.

Note that the benefit is not a perfect all-around defense, and it's not effective against rear or missile attacks. It applies only to those characters attacking the defender with frontal melee attacks. This optional defense has no effect against magical attacks, so it wouldn't do anything to protect a character from the force of a lightning bolt or fireball, for example.

*Excluding polymorph wand attacks.
**Excluding those that cause petrification or polymorph.
***Excluding those for which another saving throw type is specified, such as death, petrification, polymorph, etc.