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Basic Parry-Strike

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ST: 11+ (11)
CN: 10+
SZ: Any (9)
WT: 15+ (21)
WL: 9+ (15)
SP: 9+
DF: 7+ (13)

Parry-Strikes (pikers) get a lot of bad press as the worst style in Duelmasters,
but they can be a dominating force in Basic if used correctly. Any rollup that has
wit, con, and speed (in that order of priority) will make a good Parry-Strike.
Advantages of the Parry-Strike style: Huge weapon selection, low endurance burn
(not as low as Parry-Riposte), perform better than their bases indicate, versatility.
Disadvantages: Low skill bases, goofy skill learns (they learn parry and
decise–two skills that have nothing to do with each other).

Design:
1) Wit should be 15, 17, or 21. Only.
2) Strength must be at least 11, more is okay, but don’t add any.
3) Deftness 7, unless you can reach 11. No more than this.
4) Will 9, unless you can reach 15.
5) Everything else on con and speed (yes, I’m serious), especially con.

A beginning Parry-Strike should run just like a Striker: 10-10-X. The Decise
tactic can be used if you think you’re pretty fast already. As far as weapons go,
just use the Broadsword. Finding a piker’s favorite is an exercise in futility since
they can use so many. The Broadsword is a very good weapon and they will use it to
good effect.

After a few fights, you will see what kind of skills your piker is learning. If
they’re offensive type (Decise, Attack, Init), then keep running the fast strategy.
If they’re defensive type (Parry, Defense, Riposte), then switch to a defensive
strategy. This is where the 11 deftness comes in, because you can give your piker an
off-hand weapon or shield to go with his Broadsword.

Some defensive minute one strategies: 5-1-3 Parry tactic. 5-5-5 Riposte (only
if you have a decent Riposte rating). 5-10-5 Responsiveness. The last one is a
pretty good piker tactic in general. Pikers can use Response much more safely than
any other style.

Keep in mind that pikers are extremely versatile. If you know who you’re
fighting, you can adjust your numbers and tactics to beat any other style.

Captain K., manager of Men of the Sea in DM 12 and assorted others

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