Author Topic: More Grapple options  (Read 76 times)

TKDB

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More Grapple options
« on: September 26, 2017, 06:18:50 PM »
Spinning off from the discussion on grappling starting roughly here in the FC Q&A thread, I thought I'd put up my thoughts on options to make grapples a bit more flexible and dynamic.

I think some good points were raised in that thread regarding the unfun-ness of being on the receiving end of a grapple. The RAW vs. RAI debate is really ancillary to the more fundamental point that being grappled is simply brutal for a character with much lower Athletics than his opponent. Running grapples by RAI helps to mitigate that by limiting the pace at which the aggressor can progress the grapple and not penalizing the victim for trying to fight back, but even there it's still not much fun for the guy who's sitting there just praying that either his buddies get him out or the dice miraculously align in his favor. The house rules proposed here by Slashes-With-Claws are on to something, I think, but I feel that a trick-based approach would be more streamlined.

Advanced Actions & Tricks
Clinch Casting
   Spellcasting trick: As a full action, you may cast a spell with range of Touch and casting time of 1 half action while held, provided you succeed with a Concentrate check. This spell must target the character holding you, and your Spellcasting result must beat his Athletics result. Your error range increases by 3 if you use a 2-handed mage's pouch. You may use this trick a number of times per combat equal to your starting action dice.
     Special: If you have Hidden Spells, you may also use this trick when pinned, though in that case you cannot use a mage's pouch or equivalent that requires hands.

Dirty Jab
   Grapple/Injure trick: You may attempt to gain this benefit while held, using Prestidigitation in place of Athletics for this check. You may use this trick a number of times per combat equal to your number of Covert feats (minimum 1).

Hands Off!
   Initiative Action: Once per round when an opponent attempts to initiate a Grapple against you, you may make a free unarmed or melee attack against that opponent before the Athletics check. This attack inflicts only 1/2 damage, but if you hit and the opponent's Grapple attempt is not thwarted by the damage, you may use your attack check result in place of your Athletics check to resist the Grapple attempt. You may use this ability a number of times per combat equal to your number of Basic Combat feats (minimum 1).

Wriggle Free
   Grapple/Break Free trick: You may use Acrobatics in place of Athletics for this check. You may use this trick a number of times per combat equal to your starting action dice.

Those wishing to make these universal options rather than opt-in stuff you need to spend a proficiency slot on can accomplish this simply by making a Campaign Quality that grants all characters the options they wish to universalize (and perhaps also increasing/waiving the use limits).


A couple notes:
First, these options are all compatible with both RAW and RAI grapples, since they only apply to what the victim is doing on his turn.

Second, I have deliberately avoided explicitly prompting Concentrate checks for the grappler, because I feel that this would set a dangerous precedent. The open-ended, GM-dependent nature of where Concentrate checks are to be called for makes them a very powerful safety valve against potentially abusive exploits, and I think making options that explicitly force a Concentrate check as a rider on something that logically could prompt one to begin with would have a chilling effect on use of that extremely handy tool for a GM to have in his belt. When certain options explicitly invoke something that's otherwise subject to GM discretion, that tends to make people more sparing in how much they'll apply it outside of those options. I think it's better to simply go by a general understanding with your group that your rule of thumb when GMing is to always call for Concentrate checks in X, Y, and Z scenarios. Damage being dealt to a grappler is absolutely one such scenario that would be appropriate, and although I did not explicitly attach a Concentrate check to Clinch Casting, Dirty Jab, or Hands Off!, it is my assumption that damage inflicted by those options to a grappler will prompt a Concentrate check.

paddyfool

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Re: More Grapple options
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2017, 12:29:14 AM »
Thank you for selling those out! The mechanics for Hands Off! do seem a little clunky, but I can see why you went with executing  it the way you did rather than with my original suggestion.

Some more ideas:

Can't touch this![/b]
 Initiative action Once per round when an opponent attempts to initiate a grapple against you, you may make an Acrobatics roll instead of an Athletics roll to defend against the attempt.

Sidestep[/b]
 Initiative action Once per round when an opponent attempts to make a bull rush against you, you may make an Acrobatics roll instead of an Athletics roll to defend against the attempt. On success, you take a 5' step out of the way in a direction of your choice and their bull rush continues at least as far as the space beyond your original position.

Toro! Toro![/b]
 As Sidestep, but uses Prestidigitation