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Author Topic: Walk me through Grapple:Screaming Club  (Read 5732 times)
Sletchman
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« Reply #165 on: August 06, 2012, 05:28:12 AM »

As it is, at best, you force your GM into some stupid skill check pissing contest because he doesn't want his setpiece villain to be down for the count in the first round. 

See here is the problem this shouldn't be happening this is what Mooks are for, to start stabbing you when you have the big bad held down.  This becomes very dangerous real quick for a grappling PC as they are subject to sneak attack damage and other issues with losing ones dex bonus.

You wouldn't be a bit ticked off if you made a focused grappler (wrestling chain, a converted-from-sc submission chain, skill feats, etc) and then found that all the mooks had Sneak Attack?  I would.

It demonstrates what I'm saying perfectly, too.  If you play a Sword and Shield guy, the GM doesn't have to adapt his fights to suit you.  If you play a Whip guy, the GM doesn't have to adapt his fights to suit you.  It goes on like this, but if you play a Grappler, the GM does have to adapt to suit you - he has to either get into an Athletics pissing contest (that no one actually wins), or accept that his BBEG exists to keep you flat footed for 2-3 rounds before he dies from a Coup de Grace and give all the mooks Sneak Attack.  Neither is good and the fact that it's a situation that doesn't come up with any other combat option makes it stand out as a problem all the more.  It is also totally unlike any other combat option - many supremacy feats have auto kill effects, but Grappling is the only one that applies universally.  Tough, Special NPC, high health - nothing stops it, nothing defends against it.  It sits totally outside the existing pattern.

Keep in mind that I like grappling - I love watching a pair of talented grapplers go at it in the ring, and I've done some BJJ and loved it too (though at heart, I'm a stand up and bang kinda guy).
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LordKruelos
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« Reply #166 on: August 06, 2012, 09:45:24 AM »

This has been a really interesting discussion centering on the paradox that grappling (particularly with Pin, particularly with grapple-optimized characters) is both "not cool enough" (because you get to act fewer times) and "overpowered" (because a specialist can reliably shut down a non-specialist).

There have been a lot of very good comments here, so I'm going to reply to some as they strike me and hopefully correctly attribute them to the right person. I'll preface this with saying I haven't had a player twink-out a grappling specialist, so much of my observation is based on how it functions between non-specialists and then more abstracted cases.

I DO see the case being made for making Grapple based on Unarmed Attack rather than Athletics (though as I commented previously, I would expect a logical follow-on ability similar to the Eagle Eye trick allowing you to substitute your Athletics (Str) bonus for your Unarmed Attack bonus X number of times per combat).

Cinematically, I'm ok with the initial grapple being a full-round action -- there's a lot of action happening within a single die roll there, and I would gently disagree with Sletchman(?) in that just because it's slower-developing than your standard 2 half attack actions doesn't make it inherently more boring.

Particularly, want to point out comments by two of the newer members:
I think it was Takeru who essentially suggested the addition of a Grab condition -- I could see this being a useful addition, as Grab - Held - Pinned allows you to rebin some of the Grapple Benefits, there are some Benefits that make sense to only require a preexisting Grab rather than a full Hold.

Wireless suggested making the Grapple defense/escape (on the Held character's turn) a Half action -- I could see that working, maybe even along the lines of Half Action if successful, Full Action if fail (which would help inspire Action Dice used to escape, since a success would leave you a Half Action to move away or otherwise escape being immediately re-grappled.
In conjunction w/ Takeru's suggestion mentioned above, I could see the initial grapple check resulting in a Grab condition, with the defender on their turn choosing to either attempt to escape the Grab (via the opposed Athletics/Grapple roll, possibly allowing for substitution of Acrobatics, etc) OR choose to do something else (possibly requiring a Concentration check) and becoming Held at the end of their action -- I see this described cinematically as someone being grappled by guards but rather than attempting to fight off the grapple, they choose to forgo resisting the grapple to get off a last desperation thrown dagger (etc).

I imagine a revised sequence could look like (again, this is not a reflection of how things currently work but one possible way it COULD work):
Round 1, Init 19)  On his initiative count, McAwesomepants: initiatives grapple vs Gobby 1 (Full Action) and wins the initial opposed Athletics check. (Gobby 1 is now Grabbed and, unless he succeeds with an opposed Grapple check to resist/escape on his action, will become Held)
Round 1, Init 9) Gobby 1 chooses to either contest the Grapple with an opposed check OR attempt some other action and voluntarily fail the opposed Grapple check without rolling (becoming Held at the end of his action)
--> On a successful opposed Grapple check to escape, Gobby 1 breaks the Grab and has a half action remaining (to attack, move away, etc) / on failure, the Grab becomes a full Held condition. Alternately, Gobby 1 takes some other action and automatically becomes Held at the end of his action.



In keeping an emphasis on cinematics, after adding Grab to the sequence (Grab-Held-Pinned), adding the ability to apply additional Grapple Benefits per AD spent on a Critical (rather than the flat 2 benefits from Spycraft 2.0), this would mean that on a Critical initial grapple, a single AD would result in the Grapple target being Grabbed + Held, 2 AD might allow Grabbed + Held + Pinned in a single action, or Grabbed + Held + Throw -- I see this making things flow better and making Critical Successes feel just that much more awesome.
This would also be a point to potentially integrate one of MA's major concerns, ie allow special characters to spend AD to cancel some Grapple Benefits (perhaps on a 1:1 basis vs Standard Characters, 2:1 basis vs Special Characters)

Just some thoughts from my end of the asylum...
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 09:48:45 AM by LordKruelos » Logged
SilvercatMoonpaw
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« Reply #167 on: August 06, 2012, 10:13:53 AM »

What about the idea of making some of the cooler grapple benefits like Screaming Club also available as separate Tricks that don't require or create any of the Grab - Held - Pinned conditions?

This allows those who invest in the Tricks to avoid both the long sequence drawback and the making-self-vulnerable drawback at the cost of character resources.
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #168 on: August 06, 2012, 10:27:40 AM »

Well, just how do you use someone as a screaming club if you don't already have them pinned?
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LordKruelos
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« Reply #169 on: August 06, 2012, 10:33:18 AM »

Well, just how do you use someone as a screaming club if you don't already have them pinned?

Frankly, I don't think Screaming Club should require Pinned any more than Throw does (which it doesn't per RAW) since it seems easier to grab a limb and swing than it does to fully pick up a squirming, resisting body and throw them.
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SilvercatMoonpaw
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« Reply #170 on: August 06, 2012, 11:08:12 AM »

Well, just how do you use someone as a screaming club if you don't already have them pinned?
I don't understand the question.

The move replicates Screaming Club, i.e. you do damage to two characters you can reach while moving one of them.  What's so necessary about the Pinned condition in that context?
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Mister Andersen
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« Reply #171 on: August 06, 2012, 11:29:46 AM »

Screaming club is a use it and keep it move; once you have the opponent pinned, you get to use them as a weapon until the GC decides they're too broken to do any more damage.
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SilvercatMoonpaw
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« Reply #172 on: August 06, 2012, 11:34:47 AM »

Well this would be more like a "Screaming Hammer Thrown 5-ft" or "Coconut Skull Slam" or something.

The point is still to allow for a kind of pseudo-grappler that pulls off moves similar to the cooler grapple benefits without the lag time but at the expense of proficiencies.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 11:37:59 AM by SilvercatMoonpaw » Logged
Mister Andersen
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« Reply #173 on: August 06, 2012, 11:56:13 AM »

Technically you can bullrush someone without actually moving, which pretty much gives you the result you're looking for
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SilvercatMoonpaw
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« Reply #174 on: August 06, 2012, 11:58:13 AM »

I'll look that up next time I have access to my book.

If the moves can be done already then all that's needed is to find them and point them out.

UPDATE: Okay, Bull Rush does unarmed damage, whereas Screaming Club does damage as a club of the used character's size.  Can't find unarmed damage so don't know how they compare.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 02:15:00 PM by SilvercatMoonpaw » Logged
LordKruelos
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« Reply #175 on: August 06, 2012, 04:30:08 PM »

I'll look that up next time I have access to my book.

If the moves can be done already then all that's needed is to find them and point them out.

UPDATE: Okay, Bull Rush does unarmed damage, whereas Screaming Club does damage as a club of the used character's size.  Can't find unarmed damage so don't know how they compare.

Unarmed Damage is subdual if untrained, Lethal if trained.
Whereas the club is likely subdual.
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SilvercatMoonpaw
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« Reply #176 on: August 06, 2012, 04:40:24 PM »

I meant amount of damage: I can't figure out where it says in the book how much unarmed damage you do.

Also that unarmed damage would be by the size of the attacker, not the size of the opponent used as in Screaming Club.
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LordKruelos
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« Reply #177 on: August 06, 2012, 04:46:24 PM »

I meant amount of damage: I can't figure out where it says in the book how much unarmed damage you do.
Bottom of page 206 -- 1d4 L if trained, 1d3 sub if untrained.

Also that unarmed damage would be by the size of the attacker, not the size of the opponent used as in Screaming Club.
I think that's not the case -- Screaming Club reads "The opponent is treated as a club of his Size" so a small opponent = 1d8 subdual, increase die size by 1 per step above Small.
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Gentry
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« Reply #178 on: August 06, 2012, 05:48:44 PM »

I concur with Kruelos on the screaming club damage: a medium character swings like a greatclub.
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Sletchman
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« Reply #179 on: August 06, 2012, 06:14:08 PM »

Cinematically, I'm ok with the initial grapple being a full-round action -- there's a lot of action happening within a single die roll there, and I would gently disagree with Sletchman(?) in that just because it's slower-developing than your standard 2 half attack actions doesn't make it inherently more boring.

I'm ok with it being a full-round action too.

But here's what it is (RAW):
Round 1:  Initiate Grapple.  Opponent is Held.
Round 2:  Win Grapple.  Opponent is Pinned.
Round 3:  Win Grapple.  Coup de Grace / Screaming Club.

That's the bit that makes it boring - it's the end of the 3rd full round, by RAW (as clarified by Pat) that you do something.  Just look at how many people have gone "Yeah, I'm gonna ignore Pat's clarification" simply because it takes so long to do anything.  Yeah, I know there's other options, but most of them are pretty lame - Inflict Damage (could have done that at least 6 times), Throw (it's adjacent square - may as well just ignore that option and use bullrush, since you can throw them further and do it more often).

I was also thinking about GMs - you forget to add Athletics 8-10 to you BBEG (or Freedom of Movement) and that fight becomes really boring, really fast.  It also sets a Player vs GM atmosphere, and that is never good.  I've previously had a player grapple my BBEG and just ended the fight immediately (in Round 1).  It was a foregone conclusion at that point, so I just handled it with narration (that almost entirely involved making the grappling PC look awesome).

I agree with your points though, well thought out and written.  Just thought I'd clarify.  It's not that it takes a full round - it's that it takes multiple full rounds, and then you only have 2 really worthwhile options (one of which is entirely too good).
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 06:52:44 PM by Sletchman » Logged
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