I don't even see it as going limp. At that point, you aren't playing to win, your playing to not lose.
Or should those be your only options in a grapple? Your either trying to pin your opponent or trying to break free? Because you really can't make an Athletics/Grapple check with the sole purpose of trying to maintain the status quo.
"Yay, I won the Grapple check!"
"Damn, you going to break free?"
"Oh, your going to pin me."
"No, I just wanted to keep things like they are now..."
I just hear the lispy guy from Family guy "Hey there ogre, I see you're trying to kill me. I can't let you do that. Maybe you can kill me later. How does that sound?"
I'm bad about starting a reply, taking a nap, and coming back to finish it. I saw your post and had things that might be useful to say before I shut up. I think it's perfectly reasonable to not apply a grapple benefit when you've earned one and it's supported by the language of the rules. It's less reasonable to refuse to make a check because you're going to lose. Again, grappling has this unique ongoing quality. I'd think at the end of the delay you forfeit your action and thus have a 0 athletics check. There's probably room for a few tricks that change the skill you use in a grapple, at least defensively.
Of course it should be treated like every opther action. That's where your reading fails.
You may want to reread what I wrote.
The problem with your reading is that the defender in the initial grapple check is not taking an action, they're opposing a check.
Go back and read this line:
Note that I'm not referring to the initial check as defender isn't under the limitations of the grapple rules until after he fails it.
The entire post is clearly about what happens in a grapple. The initiating Athletics check does not take place within a grapple and thus has nothing to do with the point I'm making. You are not under the restrictions of a grapple when you make this check. If the defender wins this check, he's free to do as he pleases because he's not in a grapple.
According to your interpretation, when a character is the target of a threaten action, they should loose a standard action on their turn since they burned that rolling Resolve. Same with Taunt and Sense Motive.
Yes, that's a direct consequence of my interpretation because being threatened places you in the posturing state that lasts from round to round and requires the participants to make full-action opposed Chest-bumping checks. Taunt has the same sort of thing but involving rubber and glue and what sticks to who.
Oh, wait. I never claimed that opposing a check was any sort of action. I claimed that the "state" of "grappling" imposes a limitation on what actions are possible. Let's look at the relevant sentence in the rule book.
Finally, the only non-free action any grapple participant may take is an opposed full-action Athletics check, with the bigger character gaining a +2 bonus per Size category of difference....
In all cases, the cooperative check rules are used to determine the results (see page 66).
In my interpretation, which is mine, grapplers participate in a single Athletics check each round. Others say one check per side. That's certainly a reasonable interpretation and may be the correct one as it seems to be the common one. But I think my interpretation is better for several reasons:
1) It's always a cooperative check so at most you should check once per side.
2) The grapple check is an opposed action that can be won by any participant. Multiple checks allow a single character to benefit from multiple full actions in a single round. An optimized grappler can begin a grapple, pin his opponent, and then tie him up in the space of a single round, ending his turn outside of the grapple. This is more effective than continuing to grapple in most cases as the opponent must spend a round (or more) escaping from his bonds while the grappler is free to move on to another target.
3) The failure rate for non-optimized grapplers skyrockets.
4) Adding a third side exacerbates both of the previous problems. Rare, admittedly.
5) In global thermonuclear war, the only winning move is not to play. This should not be true of grappling. You shouldn't be able to choose whether or not to make a check in an active grapple. Delaying until you lose your action or otherwise not acting in the grapple should be the same as getting a check of 0 plus your size bonus.
6) A better use of delay is to delay when the grapple is resolved. That's useful when you have a friend outside the grapple who can kill or incapacitate your opponent. Plus it makes sense as standing your ground.
Hopefully now you understand where I'm coming from and can disagree with the argument I actually made.
Also, Grapple is a full action, not a full round action. Full actions consist of 2 half actions. Full round actions would resolve on your next initiative count. The only full round actions are casting some spells.
A reasonable person might note that the phrase "full round" appears once in my post and that I did not in fact claim that a grapple was a full round action. A careful person might see that each time I referred to a grapple check I said it was a full action and this didn't need to be corrected. But yes, that "full round" should have been a "full action." Also, I left out the word "the" before "defender" in the sentence I pasted from my original post. Mea Culpa
As for grappling actions, that's how I do it. It works well for me. Everyone, if you continue with your double-grapple-checking ways, I will nonetheless continue to hold you in the same esteem and respect that I do now and would humbly request the same of you.