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Author Topic: How to Pin an opponent?  (Read 4239 times)
Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #30 on: May 07, 2012, 07:41:49 PM »

I'm coming into this late but it appears from my (admittedly, very quick) skim that a rules question has arisen. Can someone summarize for me?
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« Reply #31 on: May 07, 2012, 08:03:23 PM »

Is there only one grapple check per round where the target's entire non-free-action ability to act is lost to opposing th grapple check, (Blanks position) or are there 2 grapple checks per round, one made by each participant, just like there would be for every other combat action involving opposed checks
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #32 on: May 07, 2012, 08:14:55 PM »

Is there only one grapple check per round where the target's entire non-free-action ability to act is lost to opposing th grapple check, (Blanks position) or are there 2 grapple checks per round, one made by each participant, just like there would be for every other combat action involving opposed checks

I've always run it - and intended it during design, writing, and edits - to be the latter. One check per participant per round, each their entire full action for the round.
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #33 on: May 07, 2012, 08:36:10 PM »

It occurred to me as I was making lunch just now - up there with taking a shower for meditative problem solving - that it's possible to misinterpret my previous statement, so allow me to clarify further.

I am not saying that each side gets a full action Athletics check from a position of strength (holding another participant) in each round. It works like this...

- Character 1 succeeds with an Athletics check and his or her target is held. With a critical success he or she also gains a grapple benefit but let's assume that doesn't happen.

- Character 2's Initiative Count comes up later in the same round. At that point, that character may only make a full-action Athletics check to break free (or do nothing, if he or she so chooses). With success, Character 2 is free and no one is held. With failure, Character 2 is still held and play progresses into the next round.

- In the second round, Character 1 may make another full-action Athletics check and with success gains a grapple benefit, which he or she can use to pin Character 2 (or do any of a number of other things, but let's assume he or she selects pin for this example).

- Later in the second round, Character 2 is pinned and again he or she may either do nothing or attempt to break the pin, the latter requiring a full-action Athletics check. With success, Character 2 is free of the pin but is still held.

...and play continues with the back and forth, until someone cries uncle.
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« Reply #34 on: May 07, 2012, 08:55:16 PM »

There you have it. That avoids the weirdness that I've been seeing in the 2 checks per round bit.  Having 2 escape attempts per round will certainly shorten the length of a grapple unless the initiator has a comparatively high bonus.  This may be more of a problem for me because my players are prone to doing what sounds cool and expecting it to be effective (or explode in their faces).

Is there only one grapple check per round where the target's entire non-free-action ability to act is lost to opposing th grapple check, (Blanks position) or are there 2 grapple checks per round, one made by each participant, just like there would be for every other combat action involving opposed checks

Out of interest, what are these other combat actions that require 2 opposed checks to resolve?
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« Reply #35 on: May 07, 2012, 09:23:31 PM »

Pat,

And what if character 2 while held wants to pin character 1. As written if he wins his grapple check he can reverse the grapple and pin character 1. Also, as written, if character 2 is pinned and he wins a grapple, he can choose to pin character. Also, as written if character 2 makes a grapple check while held and fails character 1 can pin him. If that's not the intent, you need to look at clarifying the language.

Your examples seem to imply that character 2 can't do anything but try to escape. That the defender's only choices are to try and break free or to do nothing. The written rules suggest that they can reverse the grapple and become the aggressor by succeeding in a grapple check, regardless of who started the grapple or the athletics check.

Two of the reasons I like the rule as written is: First it makes things rather simple. You win the check, you get to pick from the list. Pin, break free, etc. Second, it makes grappling risky. Things can change in an instant, so you'd better know what you're doing. Making it so a reversal requires breaking the grapple and then character 2 starting one of their own makes it much less risky for character 1.
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #36 on: May 07, 2012, 09:51:41 PM »

And what if character 2 while held wants to pin character 1.

Without a critical success this requires a minimum of 3 full actions (one to break the hold, one to hold the other character, and a third to pin him or her). This also assumes the other character has nothing to say (or do) about it, which is unlikely, and that no one has any special abilities that affect the grapple.

Quote
As written if he wins his grapple check he can reverse the grapple and pin character 1. Also, as written, if character 2 is pinned and he wins a grapple, he can choose to pin character. Also, as written if character 2 makes a grapple check while held and fails character 1 can pin him. If that's not the intent, you need to look at clarifying the language.

I see where all this is coming from - it's the use of the term "opposed," which infers (incorrectly) that both characters are active in each roll. They're not. What's actually happening there is exactly what I described in my previous post. Each character is active ONLY on their turn, and only the active character may gain a grapple benefit from his or her roll. In all cases the other character takes a defensive / passive role in the opposed check and my NOT gain grapple benefits - his or her roll is there only to, well, oppose the active character's attempt.

This is, BTW, how pretty much all opposed rolls are intended to work in time-sensitive periods, like combat. The reason we don't go to the extreme of defining active and efensive characters in the opposed roll rules is that it would create a whole separate set of rules for each of two different periods of play (in and out of combat, in and away from time-sensitive play, or whatever), and that gets into excessive complexity we feel is more of a detriment than an assist.

Quote
Your examples seem to imply that character 2 can't do anything but try to escape.

I'm not implying - I'm stating. It's fact (as written in the rules, at least). Here's the relevant text in both the held condition...

Quote
Held: The character is flat-footed and may take no non-free actions except an opposed Athletics check to escape the hold. A character who becomes held a second time loses this condition and becomes pinned.

...and in the pinned condition...

Quote
Pinned: The character is flat-footed and may take no actions except an opposed Athletics check to escape the pin (in which case the character becomes held instead). He may be bound with 1 free action and may only speak as the pinning character allows. The pinning character may use him as a human shield, gaining 1/2 personal cover. Finally, each adjacent opponent gains a +4 bonus with attacks targeting the character.

Bold for emphasis in both cases.

Quote
Two of the reasons I like the rule as written is: First it makes things rather simple. You win the check, you get to pick from the list. Pin, break free, etc. Second, it makes grappling risky. Things can change in an instant, so you'd better know what you're doing. Making it so a reversal requires breaking the grapple and then character 2 starting one of their own makes it much less risky for character 1.

In our experience it makes grappling both unattractive (read: in the "I'd rather just attack twice" column for many folks) and hard to run. Of course, YMMV.
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« Reply #37 on: May 07, 2012, 10:14:07 PM »

Without a critical success...

The rules don't list any benefit to a critical success though.

I see where all this is coming from - it's the use of the term "opposed," which infers (incorrectly) that both characters are active in each roll.

Actually, it's coming from the text of the Grapple action.

Quote
GRAPPLE
1 Full Action • Unarmed/1-Handed Melee Attack Action
The character tries to wrestle an adjacent opponent whose
Size may be no larger than 1 category bigger than his own. He
steps into the target’s square and they make an opposed Athletics
check. The smaller character gains a +2 bonus per Size category
of difference. If the character wins, both combatants remain in the
square and the opponent becomes held; otherwise, the character
is pushed back into his original square and becomes flat-footed.
The character may release the opponent at any time as a
free action but until he does he remains flat-footed. Further,
any combatants may move through adjacent squares without
restriction. 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. The winner of this check may pin the opponent or
choose 1 Grapple benefit (see next).

Up to 2 characters may grapple a smaller opponent, up to 4
characters may grapple an opponent of the same Size, and up to 8
characters may grapple a larger target. In all cases, the cooperative
check rules are used to determine the results (see page 66)

Bolded the relevant part. The conditions do specify it has to be an escape, but that's honestly not the best place to stick that since I ran it the way described because it's what the grapple action says and I must have skipped over the escape only notation of the conditions.

To be clear, I'm not arguing how the rule works or was intended, but pointing out where my and others interpertation came from.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 10:25:34 PM by Krensky » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: May 07, 2012, 10:29:39 PM »

The rules don't list any benefit to a critical success though.

I must be recalling an earlier draft. At one point there was a critical success option that allowed you a bonus grapple benefit (or in the case of escaping, a grapple benefit in addition to the escape). I'd probably still run it that way at my table, but I can see why it was omitted (even if I don't recall when it happened).

Quote
Bolded the relevant part. The conditions do specify it has to be an escape, but that's honestly not the best place to stick that since I ran it the way described because it's what the grapple action says and I must have skipped over the escape only notation of the conditions.

Yeah, organization fail. Our bad - mine in particular, as I was lead editor on that project. We'll get it sorted in future iterations. Already have, honestly, based on related material already developed for Third.

Quote
To be clear, I'm not arguing how the rule works or was intended, but pointing out where my and others interpertation came from.

I feel ya, and it's helpful to know when our intentions vary from interpretations in the wild, so thanks!
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« Reply #39 on: May 07, 2012, 11:25:20 PM »

The benefits of the critical have been missing since first printing, but I'm pretty sure everyone has just been turning to the 2.0 grapple check rules to grab the 2nd benefit

I for one like the simplicity of the check winner gets to choose a benefit interpretation as it speeds up the minigame no end.
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2012, 11:44:16 PM »

Now I'm curious. Anyone out there feel the constant, unavoidable possibility of an instant reversal from any position in a grapple is not a good idea? Inquiring designers want to know.
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« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2012, 11:59:51 PM »

Now I'm curious. Anyone out there feel the constant, unavoidable possibility of an instant reversal from any position in a grapple is not a good idea? Inquiring designers want to know.
as a gm i would say it depends on the level of success, or maybe as a bonus should the defending player land a critical. so if the defending player defeats eh attacker by say 10 or more or scores a critical success. it would work great. but just because the defender won is no reason to do this.
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« Reply #42 on: May 08, 2012, 01:41:01 AM »

Now I'm curious. Anyone out there feel the constant, unavoidable possibility of an instant reversal from any position in a grapple is not a good idea? Inquiring designers want to know.

My father taught high school wrestling - which is what I think of when I see the word "grapple".  So, yes, an instant reversal is a great idea because it matches reality.  Nothing is quite as surprising as thinking that you have the upper hand only to end up on the receiving end of a reversal.
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« Reply #43 on: May 08, 2012, 01:52:19 AM »

Wow, I've had several errors of understanding when it came to grappling rules. I've let the defending grappler gain a benefit if he won the opposed check, and I've treated both grapplers as held, not just the defending one (though in hindsight it'd make grappling ridiculously risky for all but the most dedicated grappler). Guess I need to sit down and have a solid re-read of the grapple rules again.
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« Reply #44 on: May 08, 2012, 02:45:42 AM »

Now I'm curious. Anyone out there feel the constant, unavoidable possibility of an instant reversal from any position in a grapple is not a good idea? Inquiring designers want to know.

I think it's actually a very good idea (as in the opposite of "not" - just to be clear).


WRT Critical Success and Grapples, I run it a bunch of different ways.  If the player is chosing to inflict damage, I allow them the option of a critical hit (per normal combat), or they can choose a second advantage (ala Spycraft).  Just depends on the suitation and what they're doing (advantagewise).  I would like to see something in the core book that says "this is how it works" though.
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