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Author Topic: Walk me through Grapple:Screaming Club  (Read 5837 times)
Sletchman
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« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2012, 03:42:15 PM »

Actually, Delay does let you skip a turn. Full quote:

Quote from: Second Printing, page 219
He may take this action a number of times per round equal to his Initiative bonus + 10, at which point he must act or forfeit his chance to act during the current round.

My mistake.

Quote
So yeah, doing nothing is a legit tactic.

Yes, but it really shouldn't be.  It's just dopey.  Of course I've yet to see a tabletop system that has decent grappling rules, so maybe it's just destined to be a suck subsystem for all time.
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SilvercatMoonpaw
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« Reply #31 on: July 31, 2012, 03:48:07 PM »

Of course I've yet to see a tabletop system that has decent grappling rules, so maybe it's just destined to be a suck subsystem for all time.
I still think the problem is systems trying to be too simulationist.
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« Reply #32 on: July 31, 2012, 04:07:14 PM »

Of course I've yet to see a tabletop system that has decent grappling rules, so maybe it's just destined to be a suck subsystem for all time.
I still think the problem is systems trying to be too simulationist.

I disagree, but that's because the systems don't actually simulate reality in any real fashion.  I think the core of the problem is the "6 second round" (combined with it seeming to be destined to be a full round action forever), as well as the complete lack* of feat support.

* The Wrestling chain doesn't give you any grapple advantages (which is, in itself, baffling).  You can't even claim the ability to Coup de Grace pinned opponents as a grapple advantage - it doesn't say "opponents you pin".  You're actually better of using the Coup de Grace against opponents someone else pins, and using your other spare actions (while they stuff around setting up the pin) for your Piledriver or Clothesline.
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #33 on: July 31, 2012, 04:10:34 PM »

Unfortunately, it all seems to break down due to the full-action mechanic.  Even before the MA-based boosts it is just plain more efficient to attack twice and forgo grapple.  I'd refund the wrestling line but the stat boosts keep me locked in.  Although the one time I got Piledriver to land it was GLORIOUS.  The other 4 times I've attempted it were spectacular failures.

This is generally the problem with grappling. Folks want it to work like a) they perceive reality to work (don't start on what's "actually possible" - please, just don't), and/or b) what they see in the movies. In both cases the desired results are insanely unbalanced vs. merely attacking (shutting another character down entirely, often while injuring them in the process or worse, leaving them vulnerable to a coup de grace, or using them as a weapon, or whatever). So from a game standpoint it becomes vital to either a) de-nut the action (suboptimal, obviously) or balance it against other actions, and as it's an ongoing activity anyway making it a full action has been perceived to be one of the best ways to make it work.

As for the defender prompting a bene for the attacker by struggling... ever see Joyce Gracie fight?  That how that man wins; like a python... the more you struggle the more you give him latitude to work his arm-snapping mojo on you.

See what I mean? To please folks with grappling we have to basically make it incredibly overpowered (and coincidentally, incredibly complex) in comparison to pretty much everything else in the game.
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #34 on: July 31, 2012, 04:13:49 PM »

Actually, Delay does let you skip a turn. Full quote:

Quote from: Second Printing, page 219
He may take this action a number of times per round equal to his Initiative bonus + 10, at which point he must act or forfeit his chance to act during the current round.

My mistake.

Quote
So yeah, doing nothing is a legit tactic.

Yes, but it really shouldn't be.  It's just dopey.  Of course I've yet to see a tabletop system that has decent grappling rules, so maybe it's just destined to be a suck subsystem for all time.

Hold up here a minute. I get that folks are reading Delay as a way to forfeit your action, but that doesn't have anything to do with your opponent's action. The two are not the same - that's one of the reasons we have both characters initiating opposed checks each round. It's not just so each grappling character gets a say in what goes down - it's to avoid obviate strategies like this.

So no, this isn't possible. Someone targets you with something, you deal with it. Immediately. You want to delay your own action in response? Go to town. It has no effect on what your opponent is doing (nor should it, even during a grapple).
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« Reply #35 on: July 31, 2012, 04:45:31 PM »

I don't think anyone is claiming that Delaying forever does anything to your opponent's actions - they're just saying that if you are outclassed while being grappled the best tactic is to do nothing lest you improve your opponent's position.

Essentially it takes two grapple checks to pin someone, correct? Hold, then Pin. Let's assume for a second (or six, ha!) that I am grappling Hulk McSavage and have no chance to win an opposed grapple check. He moves in and Holds me. On my action I am actually better off doing nothing rather than trying an opposed grapple check which he wins and Pins me. It's better for me to make him take another full round action of his own (and therefore another round goes by) for him to do it himself.

If "losing" a grapple check on your own turn doesn't have a downside, that issue wouldn't crop up.
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Sletchman
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« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2012, 04:48:57 PM »

Unfortunately, it all seems to break down due to the full-action mechanic.  Even before the MA-based boosts it is just plain more efficient to attack twice and forgo grapple.  I'd refund the wrestling line but the stat boosts keep me locked in.  Although the one time I got Piledriver to land it was GLORIOUS.  The other 4 times I've attempted it were spectacular failures.

This is generally the problem with grappling. Folks want it to work like a) they perceive reality to work (don't start on what's "actually possible" - please, just don't), and/or b) what they see in the movies. In both cases the desired results are insanely unbalanced vs. merely attacking (shutting another character down entirely, often while injuring them in the process or worse, leaving them vulnerable to a coup de grace, or using them as a weapon, or whatever). So from a game standpoint it becomes vital to either a) de-nut the action (suboptimal, obviously) or balance it against other actions, and as it's an ongoing activity anyway making it a full action has been perceived to be one of the best ways to make it work.

You know, I totally get that.  I do.  I just think you went too far.  Every weapon in Fantasy Craft (and to a lesser extent, Spycraft) is awesome - which is great (it's one of the easiest ways I've found to convert someone to FC - show them how totally cool their favourite weapon is compared to "hit them" and "hit them again").

Conversely, Grappling has one truly cool trick, and it takes so long to get off the ground that it's simply not worth doing - and it's not even that bad (hitting one guy with another - plenty of feat chains give AoE effects to weapons) balance wise.  Do it once and you're never doing it again - enemies will move out of your reach to avoid getting hit with their friend.  It doesn't even have feat support to give it other cool effects.  Where is the cool stuff - like broken bones, choking people out, and small joint manipulation?  It's not even hard to write balanced options for these things, either - broken bones is a trick that forces a fort save vs broken limb critical injury, Choking out just has "inflict subdual damage, if the save is failed they fail two" small joint manipulation gives an attack penalty - these things exist in similar form elsewhere, so it's not even a huge leap.

It just looks like a lonely, forgotten, combat option when compared to the rest of the (totally amazing) array of combat options.

Quote
As for the defender prompting a bene for the attacker by struggling... ever see Joyce Gracie fight?  That how that man wins; like a python... the more you struggle the more you give him latitude to work his arm-snapping mojo on you.

See what I mean? To please folks with grappling we have to basically make it incredibly overpowered (and coincidentally, incredibly complex) in comparison to pretty much everything else in the game.

I disagree here - Gracie was a true master of the art.  And not even that well rounded - so a master of a single focused thing.  He should win at it.  Just like the guy with Knife B/M/S, TWF and Ambush should totally tear an unaware opponent to shreds.  He shouldn't be the baseline example of the action though (just as a guy with 8 feats dedicated to killing the unaware shouldn't be the basic example of a "Sneaky fighter").  The system can support both - that's what feats and class abilities are for.  It's not like a guy with a knife is overpowered from the start - but 3 feats deep and there's plenty of people who think they might be (as evidenced by the concern of newer converts in some of the knife threads).
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« Reply #37 on: July 31, 2012, 05:03:38 PM »

I don't think anyone is claiming that Delaying forever does anything to your opponent's actions - they're just saying that if you are outclassed while being grappled the best tactic is to do nothing lest you improve your opponent's position.

Except that failing a check doesn't earn your opponent anything. That's one of the reasons the rules are set up the way they are. You try and fail, you don't score any benefits (but neither does your opponent).

Quote
Essentially it takes two grapple checks to pin someone, correct? Hold, then Pin. Let's assume for a second (or six, ha!) that I am grappling Hulk McSavage and have no chance to win an opposed grapple check. He moves in and Holds me. On my action I am actually better off doing nothing rather than trying an opposed grapple check which he wins and Pins me.

See above. This isn't how it works, or at least not how it's intended to work. I see now, re-reading the rules why everyone is interpreting them thusly, but it's not what we planned when we built the system.

This probably won't be an issue in Spycraft Third as grappling will in all likelihood be pretty different, but if we go with something like this for any subsystem again I'm inclined to think that - sigh - the rules may need to triple in size. Not necessarily because the rules must be that complex, but because we'll need at least two detailed examples of an entire grapple to illustrate how they're supposed to work.

Also, we can't be economical with explanations. The presentation has to work like much of Mistborn did - for example, a full page to say something that could possibly be described in a quarter page if it weren't for having to make sure that each. and. every. word. means one thing and cannot in any possible configuration mean anything else. Ever.

Sigh.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 05:09:08 PM by Crafty_Pat » Logged

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« Reply #38 on: July 31, 2012, 05:25:38 PM »

I don't think anyone is claiming that Delaying forever does anything to your opponent's actions - they're just saying that if you are outclassed while being grappled the best tactic is to do nothing lest you improve your opponent's position.
Except that failing a check doesn't earn your opponent anything. That's one of the reasons the rules are set up the way they are. You try and fail, you don't score any benefits (but neither does your opponent).
I was completely and totally unaware that that is how it works (and so obviously are a lot of other people!) Thanks for clearing that up Smiley (And it makes some sense too!)

As for clear and unambiguous explanations - yep, you got it right there Smiley Way too many game systems use poor or "easy" examples and don't bother pointing out or explaining the grey areas. The cynic in me says that's because they don't know how it works either  Evil
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Crafty_Pat
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« Reply #39 on: July 31, 2012, 05:28:42 PM »

Conversely, Grappling has one truly cool trick, and it takes so long to get off the ground that it's simply not worth doing - and it's not even that bad (hitting one guy with another - plenty of feat chains give AoE effects to weapons) balance wise.  

See, this isn't an argument to change grappling. It's an argument to put screaming club somewhere else. Wink

Grappling doesn't have just "one truly cool trick." That's the problem. It has one trick that folks think is sexy on top of a GAME-BREAKING, FIGHT-ENDING BASELINE EFFECT. It's the baseline effect you have to design for - the rest just isn't as important.

Quote
Where is the cool stuff - like broken bones, choking people out, and small joint manipulation?  It's not even hard to write balanced options for these things, either - broken bones is a trick that forces a fort save vs broken limb critical injury, Choking out just has "inflict subdual damage, if the save is failed they fail two" small joint manipulation gives an attack penalty - these things exist in similar form elsewhere, so it's not even a huge leap.

We could include all of this and it wouldn't matter because grapples simply cannot be as easy as attacks, or even close to as easy - because the baseline result - ignoring any trick you can imagine - ends fights and lives. Ends them, full stop. It borders on godly powerful unless it's very, very carefully contained.

Quote
I disagree here - Gracie was a true master of the art.  And not even that well rounded - so a master of a single focused thing.  He should win at it.  

Even if that means that he can win any fight - entirely, and without rebuttal - with the same number of rolls it takes an opponent to inflict, say, 6 points of damage? End that fight. Entirely? To the point where he can choose to kill his opponent at whim? That's balanced?

Quote
Just like the guy with Knife B/M/S, TWF and Ambush should totally tear an unaware opponent to shreds.  He shouldn't be the baseline example of the action though (just as a guy with 8 feats dedicated to killing the unaware shouldn't be the basic example of a "Sneaky fighter").  The system can support both - that's what feats and class abilities are for.  It's not like a guy with a knife is overpowered from the start - but 3 feats deep and there's plenty of people who think they might be (as evidenced by the concern of newer converts in some of the knife threads).

So you're suggesting that pins only be possible through feats and class abilities? Because the baseline pin is the problem. It's the death blow.

Let me ask a general question because I'm curious (and because I'm actually going somewhere with this, even if I can't tell you where that is - not for a while yet, anyway)...

For a second, imagine a system where the base grapple rules don't include the option to pin someone. It simply isn't possible. You can grab them and hold them for a time but there's zero chance to do so for more than a few seconds, and grabbing someone is mainly a gateway to a laundry list of cool effects you could apply. At the end of the day, however, pinning someone - or really, doing anything with grapple that prevents your opponent from acting freely on his initiative - is off the table without some incredibly difficult add-on process, above and beyond merely grabbing someone.

Pinning and denial are actually so much more difficult than baseline grabbing and its effects that you only consider the option when a) it's your character's schtick (i.e. you've invested heavily in it via class abilities, feats, and so on), and b) it's vital to the current situation.

In this alternate system, Pin might even be a separate action entirely, and again, far more of a gated property in the rules.

So... In theory and without hard mechanics to consider, would that be an acceptable approach?
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 05:33:28 PM by Crafty_Pat » Logged

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« Reply #40 on: July 31, 2012, 05:30:41 PM »

As for clear and unambiguous explanations - yep, you got it right there Smiley Way too many game systems use poor or "easy" examples and don't bother pointing out or explaining the grey areas. The cynic in me says that's because they don't know how it works either  Evil

At least in our case, it's because we like to limit rules to the space they deserve. Frankly, grappling has never seemed important enough to waste three whole pages on. That's a huge amount of prime real estate for something that comes up that infrequently.
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« Reply #41 on: July 31, 2012, 05:38:45 PM »

Quote
In this alternate system, Pin might even be a separate action entirely, and again, far more of a gated property in the rules.

So... In theory and without hard mechanics to consider, would that be an acceptable approach?
It sounds vaguely like the Pathfinder approach, particularly in the "grapples aren't ongoing shutdowns" language. But Pathfinder porked every option that's not "I hit him with my sword!" in the ass (CMB is of the Devil!), so it's probably not a good example.

(As an aside, I'll reiterate that I've not seen the grapple rules break the action at the FC table in any application. We can natter on and on about balance and shutdowns and pinning and hoo-hah in a vacuum, but in at-the-table FC play I've never seen grappling be the OMG ROXXOR option people fear. But that's really neither here nor there, nor will it convince anyone of anything, I imagine.)
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« Reply #42 on: July 31, 2012, 05:45:58 PM »

(As an aside, I'll reiterate that I've not seen the grapple rules break the action at the FC table in any application. We can natter on and on about balance and shutdowns and pinning and hoo-hah in a vacuum, but in at-the-table FC play I've never seen grappling be the OMG ROXXOR option people fear. But that's really neither here nor there, nor will it convince anyone of anything, I imagine.)

I suspect that the second a player could build a character that would reliably shut down most opponents in a single round, or even two, you'd see the opposite furor in a thread roughly entitled "Why is Grappling Broken?" Personally, I prefer where we are, though I still think there's room for improvement.
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« Reply #43 on: July 31, 2012, 05:55:26 PM »

So... In theory and without hard mechanics to consider, would that be an acceptable approach?

I'd be fine with it.

And I said it before, but I'll say it again: If people want cool grappling effects then moves should be designed that pretend to be grappling but are mechanically status afflictors.

Example:
"Screaming Club": At base this seems to be "cause damage to two targets (while possibly moving one)".  So design and balance an action that does just that.  There's no lockdown: the "grapple" is over as soon as the move is done.  It goes off in only 1 full action.

NOTE: I don't mean the Crafty guys should have to do this designing.  I'm just saying I think it's the best way and that someone should do it.
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« Reply #44 on: July 31, 2012, 06:09:12 PM »

As for clear and unambiguous explanations - yep, you got it right there Smiley Way too many game systems use poor or "easy" examples and don't bother pointing out or explaining the grey areas. The cynic in me says that's because they don't know how it works either  Evil
At least in our case, it's because we like to limit rules to the space they deserve. Frankly, grappling has never seemed important enough to waste three whole pages on. That's a huge amount of prime real estate for something that comes up that infrequently.
I'm a firm believer in having one example, as long as that example demonstrates the unclear aspects of the system. If (and I'm making things up here) there's a mechanic that says "When you win an opposed grapple check you can choose to deal damage, pin, or break your opponent's limb" and later on there's a section that says "If you are Held or Pinned, on your turn make an opposed grapple check; if you win you become Free or Held, respectively" it's intuitive to most folks (since it's not spelled out directly) that if you lose that check - which is to say the other guy wins it - the previous sentence states that they get to apply an effect, even though it's not their turn.

Having an example where Joe Guy is grappling Hulk McSavage (I'm getting fond of that name Smiley ) and fails a grapple check on his own initiative, but Hulk does not get to apply his effect goes a long way to resolving that ambiguity. (Note that I'm not saying that's how SC2.0 or MasterCraft works - I'm at work and it's been a long time since I've played it)

To address this:
Quote
At the end of the day, however, pinning someone - or really, doing anything with grapple that prevents your opponent from acting freely on his initiative - is off the table
I think that's a really interesting idea - in essence it sounds like you're replacing the entire grappling subsystem with what boils down to a different kind of unarmed attack - one that doesn't have ongoing consequences for your opponent (other than whatever damage/conditions you inflict on them as a result of the "grab" attack). I could really get behind that. I think a lot of systems have looked at the D&D3 grappling system and taken that as the "this is how grappling works" baseline instead of going back to first principles and reimagining the whole thing, taking a "this is the result we want; how do we do that" approach. If this is the direction you're heading in, I heartily approve Wink

While I was typing this, SilverCatMoonpaw posted his reply - which is the same thing I'm tryng to say. It's the effect/"status afflictor" that is important.
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