"Why doesn't gurps just let me put my hands or my weapon in front of the enemy and make no attempt to brush it off to the side?"Well these rules are going to attempt to bring those into reality. These rules are going to be rather complex and will bring in some housekeeping or it will slow the down the game. They also make shields a bit better to say the least
What is a Desperate Defense?It is basically a block that always takes damage to the thing you are blocking with and provides no DB. The name Desperate Defense comes from the fact that you are not even attempting to get off unscathed but want the damage to go somewhere else. For example putting your arms in front of your face to block a punch to the face, placing your shield up to avoid a dragon's breath to your face, or just raising a sword to catch a blow coming your way.
How does one use a Desperate Defense?To use a Desperate Defense one must declare a parry or a block to be one.
For a Block the following rules apply: You double the DB of the shield for this one block and you always suffer the full effects described under Damage to Shields (B. 484). Failure means the attackers gets to chose to hit their original target, your shield, or your shield arm.
For an Armed Parry the following rules apply: You gain a bonus of +1 to your defense roll or a bonus of the SM difference between you and the attacker. If you or the attacker are using over/under sized use the SM for those instead. For parrying arrows or the like use the modifiers listed under Parry Missile Weapons skill (B.212) but add +2 instead of +1 if you are parrying with a weapon of reach 1 or more. Overpenetration rules (B.402) should be applied here, and the stats of the weapons listed in the character sheet in order to not slowdown play as much. Failure means the attacker gets to chose to hit their original target, your weapon, or your weapon arm. If your weapon is struck in this fashion it becomes unready.
For an Unarmed Parry the following rules apply: You gain a bonus of +1 per limb to the defense roll and another +1 per SM difference in your favor. You can even use your legs for a total of +4 to the defense roll but only if you are sitting. Failure means the attacker gets to chose to hit their original target, or any limb you are using for the parry. Overpenetration rules (B.402) should, once again be applied here, except you use 1/2 HP because its only the limbs giving the rest of the body "cover".