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Um, Grapple *does* have a size limit, right?


Rules Questions

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I could have sworn that a Medium creature simply can't grapple a Huge creature.

Lots of Combat Maneuvers have size limits.

But now that I go to find the exact wording, it isn't there!

Please tell me I am missing something.


I don't recall seeing the verbage in the current PRD for size limits. I think the monsters CMD scales with the size and CR level. Once you are running into Huge creatures you likely are facing a monster with high 30's and low 40's in their CMD.


While, logically, there'd be size limitations, if there's no actual wording that says it can't be done, then it can be done.

Plus, the thought of a 3' tall Halfling grappling a 30' tall dragon is rather hilarious.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In PF, grappling is just restraining in some way. You aren't laid out all over your target like you were in 3.5. It could be as simple as just holding their arm back, or whatever.

I don't see a size limit, other than the de facto limit of size bonus to CMD.


There is no size limit.

Cheliax

There's a size limit on the monster ability Grab, but no limit on grapple itself.


The only combat manouver with a size limit is trip.

Tiny pixie tetori monks for everyone!

Cheliax

7 people marked this as a favorite.
The_Scourge wrote:

The only combat manouver with a size limit is trip.

Tiny pixie tetori monks for everyone!

"Oh gods, my nose! HE'S GOT MY NOOOOOOSE!"


There are no size limits to grapple. There ARE size limits to Grab (equal to or smaller with occassional exceptions).

- Gauss


Wow.

That's.

Well, I was looking to make some simple rules for scaling very big creatures. Now I'm gonna patch this while I'm at it.


Ninjaiguana wrote:
The_Scourge wrote:

The only combat manouver with a size limit is trip.

Tiny pixie tetori monks for everyone!

"Oh gods, my nose! HE'S GOT MY NOOOOOOSE!"

Got your nose in a full nelson hold, punk!


Evil Lincoln wrote:

Wow.

That's.

Well, I was looking to make some simple rules for scaling very big creatures. Now I'm gonna patch this while I'm at it.

I just happen to have a thread favourited that does just that


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Size doesn't matter - it's how you use it that counts!

Back in the days of 3.5, I ran a solo game for my brother in which he played a big, dumb fighter "adventurer." Of course.

He had monstrously high Strength, and he had Improved Grapple. The occasion came for him to fight a Gargantuan white dragon. He grappled it quite successfully, and we "flavored" it thustly:

He grabbed the end of the white dragon's swinging tail. Gripping the swishing appendage, he leaped into the air and slung the tail over and around the dragon's neck. Gripping tight and pulling, the fighter held the dragon in place by wrapping its own tail around its neck and pinning its head down by tugging hard on the tail.

Kord was proud of his servant, that day.


The_Scourge wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:

Wow.

That's.

Well, I was looking to make some simple rules for scaling very big creatures. Now I'm gonna patch this while I'm at it.

I just happen to have a thread favourited that does just that

Thank you sir!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Evil Lincoln wrote:
The_Scourge wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:

Wow.

That's.

Well, I was looking to make some simple rules for scaling very big creatures. Now I'm gonna patch this while I'm at it.

I just happen to have a thread favourited that does just that

Thank you sir!

You're quite welcome. The only think I found trouble with using those rules was the auto-crits when attacking a creature's head. Tweak that and those rules are great and really fun.

Flavouring things is all well and good, but it's nice to have some ground rules to give yourself a baseline. I've found some players feel coddled when you give over the top descriptions to their actions without some rules backing. This lets them earn their crawl up the titan's leg to yank on his nose hair.


What else are you hanging on to there, Scourge?


Whatever's handy.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I wish none of them had size limits. If you actually have the CMB to trip/bull rush / etc... the Tarrasque, by gods you should be able to! Just being able to match a giant monster's numbers means you're well beyond human capability. The size bonuses are supposed to reflect the inherent advantages of having a lot of mass, there's no need for the double protection.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I had a halfling make a successful grapple check against a gargantuan dragon and hold him in place for two rounds. It was described as leaping up, sticking his stubby little arms into the dragon's nostrils, grabbing fistfuls of nose hair, yanking down hard, and hooking his little feet under the dragon's chin so as to clamp its mouth shut and give him leverage from which to pull with. The eye-watering pain was so intense the dragon couldn't do anything but stagger around in its space (gaining the grappled condition).

It's all in how you choose to imagine.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I also seem to recall reading something somewhere about other ways size affects grappling. Maybe it was a 3.5 rule? At the very least, I think there should be something about pinning, moving and tying up foes that are much larger. While I can see a goblin grabbing an ancient dragon's foot in order to bite his ankle, it's a bit harder to imagine a single goblin pulling the dragon across a cave, pinning him and tying him up.

I don't know if the size/CR argument always works. A typical huge hydra is only CR4 and has a paltry CMD of 21. The huge CR3 Giant Whiptail Centipede is actually +1 better at CMD than the hydra. I could also just throw the Giant Creature template on a CR2 Sasquatch and get a huge CR3 monster with a CMD23. Being bigger does help a colossal CR9 Titan Centipede avoid grapples (+8 CMD for size,) but it doesn't completely save it from being manhandled, pinned, tied and coup de graced by a grapple-focused Brownie monk.


The other part to the manhandled, pinned, tied and coup de graced chain is that the monster gets to roll to break free on it's turn, plus they can attempt to break free of whatever you are using to tie them up. There's a lot of chances to negate a great roll from a PC that is undersized compared to the target.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quantum Steve wrote:
Ninjaiguana wrote:
The_Scourge wrote:

The only combat manouver with a size limit is trip.

Tiny pixie tetori monks for everyone!

"Oh gods, my nose! HE'S GOT MY NOOOOOOSE!"
Got your nose in a full nelson hold, punk!

Points for anyone who creates this character based on the gnomes from Discworld, either Wee Mad Arthur or the Mac Nac Feegles.

Osirion

Halfling v. Dragon toehold FTW....hangnails, bunions and athlete's foot fungus means El Dragono ain't goin' nowhere!


I don't like it, and I plan to use two steps of difference as the cutoff between grappling and clinging.

The game needs clinging rules. It should be hard, but it is a classic monster-slaying trope. Even without rules it keeps cropping up in my game ( I am a description-heavy GM). My hand has been forced. Stay tuned!


I see no problem with a smaller combatant grabbing a giant around the neck (grappling) and then slowly choking him to unconscious (doing unarmed damage every round until it reaches 0).


Evil Lincoln wrote:

I don't like it, and I plan to use two steps of difference as the cutoff between grappling and clinging.

The game needs clinging rules. It should be hard, but it is a classic monster-slaying trope. Even without rules it keeps cropping up in my game ( I am a description-heavy GM). My hand has been forced. Stay tuned!

I don't necessarily dislike the idea of being "grappled" since its really not as severe as 3.5. Not even close to being as severe.

I DEFINITELY want some sort of clinging rules. I had asked about trying to ride an unwilling Huge or greater creature. As it stands in RAW, there's not really anything for it except for Grapple checks...which just doesn't make sense to me.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
darth_borehd wrote:

I see no problem with a smaller combatant grabbing a giant around the neck (grappling) and then slowly choking him to unconscious (doing unarmed damage every round until it reaches 0).

I don't have a problem with something clinging on and doing damage. I do have problems with the fact that a dragon can't move from where it is simply due to that 35 pound halfling hanging on.

Sczarni

A Halfling grappler can know a special nerve pinch that grapples and keeps a foe from attacking... so no, no limit. I can also teach a 6 year old a hold that will put a 350 pound man on the floor begging not to be hurt any more. (and they instinctively know the "headbutt to the groin" CM which works mostly in surprise rounds on unsuspecting or innatentive adults)

If you know who Hidi O'Chia is (spelling may be off, but basically he is a martial artist instructor in upstate NY and does Olympic training as well (now that he is older))... you know he is only 5 foot nothin... and can restrain anyone on two feet. There are ways, even before Pathfinder, that people do these things. Being +16 means you learned the methods and can apply them to Huger opponents...

Sczarni

Sarta wrote:
darth_borehd wrote:

I see no problem with a smaller combatant grabbing a giant around the neck (grappling) and then slowly choking him to unconscious (doing unarmed damage every round until it reaches 0).

I don't have a problem with something clinging on and doing damage. I do have problems with the fact that a dragon can't move from where it is simply due to that 35 pound halfling hanging on.

Applying a hold, not hanging on... big difference. Obviously a halfling can be carried by a dragon. But a halfling who is prying a Dragon's claw from its' bone, or is twisting its eyelid shut, or is in its ear squeezing its eardrum, or... well you get the point... has the full and complete attention of said dragon... ergo, grappled.

(grandma wasn't but a buck nothing, but when she grabbed BUBBA's ear and twisted... the yells that big brute let out could wake the dead)


maouse wrote:
If you know who Hidi O'Chia is (spelling may be off, but basically he is a martial artist instructor in upstate NY and does Olympic training as well (now that he is older))... you know he is only 5 foot nothin... and can restrain anyone on two feet. There are ways, even before Pathfinder, that people do these things. Being +16 means you learned the methods and can apply them to Huger opponents...

It's a question of mass. A colossal opponent is the size of my house.

I've seen people play the CMB game, monks, in my own campaign. At 8th level, I was straining to describe this silliness in a manner that was not a farce. Now my party is 13th level. Shall I allow a medium sized character to Pin a Rune giant? As stated before, I am a description-heavy GM. I will never, ever allow something to happen if I can't make my players picture it vividly. That is my guiding star for all rules adjudications, and by accounts my players truly enjoy that.

The fact is, there should be something in the game for getting up close and climbing on creatures, and that should start at the point where comparative mass makes for silly outcomes.

My mind is made up.


I dunno, I enjoy the ridiculousness every once in awhile. Last time I got to play (at the beginning of Summer), I was playing a Monk in Legacy of Fire. We had just been ambushed by a group of Gnolls + Gargoyles, and after the fight, we were all fairly wounded. I don't know if anyone has every played Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, but there is a scenario where Link grabs hold of a bull-like creature as it's 'charging' and stops it, then twists and knocks the creature over.

I did the same thing when I full sized Bulette leaped out of the ground after the fight. We were wounded, and tired, and I stepped, put on my sunglasses and was all, "Hold up guys, I got this!"

Rolled a natural 20, and grappled him. We were doing the rolls in total view, because my GM was so amused, and confidant he could break the grapple, or reverse it and eat me. He rolled a natural 1 in front of us, then I got another 20, and pinned him. I managed to maintain the pin for 1 more round (but couldn't tie him up, had no rope! The rope I did have was on one of the dead gargoyles) before we managed to put it down.

My group is now demanding to see me grapple a dragon. I'm hoping I can live up to the hype.

Shadow Lodge

Ravingdork wrote:
It was described as leaping up, sticking his stubby little arms into the dragon's nostrils, grabbing fistfuls of nose hair, yanking down hard, and hooking his little feet under the dragon's chin so as to clamp its mouth shut and give him leverage from which to pull with.

Now THATs just silly. Dragons don't HAVE nose hair. If they did the breath weapon would fry it.


Must be a house rule for us.... I knew we had ONE house rule... just couldn't remember what it is ;)

In our game... (with a large constricting snake), we have the rule, you can not grapple a creature more than one size catagory bigger than you.

The halfling may be able to GRAB the dragon... but he's not going to pin/distact/restrain it if it wants to move across the room.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
It was described as leaping up, sticking his stubby little arms into the dragon's nostrils, grabbing fistfuls of nose hair, yanking down hard, and hooking his little feet under the dragon's chin so as to clamp its mouth shut and give him leverage from which to pull with.
Now THATs just silly. Dragons don't HAVE nose hair. If they did the breath weapon would fry it.

How would you know? You ever see a dragon up close?

Besides, there's a precedent for dragons having hair. Also, nearly all dragons are immune to the energy type of their own breath weapon, which would also protect said nose hairs.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
It was described as leaping up, sticking his stubby little arms into the dragon's nostrils, grabbing fistfuls of nose hair, yanking down hard, and hooking his little feet under the dragon's chin so as to clamp its mouth shut and give him leverage from which to pull with.
Now THATs just silly. Dragons don't HAVE nose hair. If they did the breath weapon would fry it.

Incorrect, Dragon's are immune to their own breath weapon energy type. So they could breath acid, fire, electricty, etc, on themselves all day long and take no damage.

[Edit] CURSES! Foiled Again!

Sczarni

Evil Lincoln wrote:
maouse wrote:
If you know who Hidi O'Chia is (spelling may be off, but basically he is a martial artist instructor in upstate NY and does Olympic training as well (now that he is older))... you know he is only 5 foot nothin... and can restrain anyone on two feet. There are ways, even before Pathfinder, that people do these things. Being +16 means you learned the methods and can apply them to Huger opponents...

It's a question of mass. A colossal opponent is the size of my house.

I've seen people play the CMB game, monks, in my own campaign. At 8th level, I was straining to describe this silliness in a manner that was not a farce. Now my party is 13th level. Shall I allow a medium sized character to Pin a Rune giant? As stated before, I am a description-heavy GM. I will never, ever allow something to happen if I can't make my players picture it vividly. That is my guiding star for all rules adjudications, and by accounts my players truly enjoy that.

The fact is, there should be something in the game for getting up close and climbing on creatures, and that should start at the point where comparative mass makes for silly outcomes.

My mind is made up.

So are you saying that anything that can carry you can ignore your grapple attacks? Personally, I still prefer to use the rules and apply the size bonuses and subtractions. Same as the thread on two CON 16 people drinking contest. Just because one has a smaller belly doesn't mean he can't drink as much "slow poison"/"alcohol". The STAT is the same, then the amount is the same. Though the gnome may have to pee more, CON 16 = CON 16.


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Considering all of the other reality breaking rules/concepts in D&D/PF I don't really care if a halfling can bring a dragon to a screeching halt with a grapple check. It is a game with rules. Try to apply reality those rules and the game falls apart.

- Gauss


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I have to put on my helm of excessive game balance and ask if you need to reign in the power of a PC using grapple later in the game? Do you want the PC's to have less options against the bigger opponents?

I fear that you are forcing martials to obey the laws of physics at a level when other classes are making those laws cry.

Paizo Employee Modules Overlord

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Having had my entire attention taken up by trying to prevent a cat from scratching off my face, to the degree that I lost track of the world around me and fell over, suddenly having a cat I was having to hold above my body and being unable to get the leverage needed to fling it away without being hurt, I have no problem with a PC grappling things three sizes bigger than him.


Friggin housecats man. They're out to get us.

Osirion

Look man, all I'm saying is if a 3 year old grabs my jiggly bits, even though I am 6'3" and 340 lbs, I will pretty much NOT go anywhere and I will submit to the Dora the Explorer marathon on tv.

Grappled indeed.


It seems like the main difference of 'Clinging' vs. Grappling would be prevention/non-prevention of movement (but penalized?) and the no-2-handed rule (potentially, though a Clinging scenario where 2-handed actions were still barred seems reasonable, i.e. the first size tier where Clinging kicks in). What would Clinging escalate to, compared to Grappled->Pinned? To Grappled?

The difference about the movement part just reminds of an un-clarity in the CRB grappling rules, namely whether the grappled condition solely prevents you (a grappler) from moving yourself, or whether it prevents all outside force-induced movement (e.g. gravity when the floor beneath you is disentigrated, a titan with truestrike and barbarian strength surge using knockback against some halflings who are grappling each other).

The wording isn't as strong as the 'anchored' version of entangled's prevention of all movement, but it doesn't unambiguously only apply to self-movement. Of course, if outside force-induced movement IS allowed (like gravity), there is NO mechanic whatsoever to adjudicate 'contested' scenarios (like an ally bullrushing you away from the clutches of a grappling monster). For that matter, nothing even stops the Grappled condition even if you are TELEPORTED well away from the Grappler, the condition only ends when it isn't maintained.

...So I would be thrilled to have a Clinging condition, but would prefer the basics taken of first :-)


Tell this guy there's a size limit to Grapple...


Nothing in RAW that I can see puts a size limit on grappling. There is nothing to support denying the attempt to grapple. CMD for the monsters that are Huge size or larger are going to be high enough to make it a challenging roll for a specialized character. If the character is THAT specialized to make it a relatively likely occurrence then they are forgoing some other area like damage.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

For those who want to houserule size limitations on grapple, I suggest you look at this.
Now tell me that the idea of a mouse wrestling a bear isn't awesome.

By the way, Mouse Guard is awesome.


Quandary wrote:
It seems like the main difference of 'Clinging' vs. Grappling would be prevention/non-prevention of movement (but penalized?) and the no-2-handed rule (potentially, though a Clinging scenario where 2-handed actions were still barred seems reasonable, i.e. the first size tier where Clinging kicks in). What would Clinging escalate to, compared to Grappled->Pinned? To Grappled?

Actually, in the writeup I am drafting now, it escalates to Hidden (as per the stealth playtest, +2 attacks, enemy loses dex to AC/CMD, no line of sight).

I don't have a problem with the super-hero comic thing where physics are simply ignored. And though I respect my fellow Owen upthread, being savaged by a housecat (I have scars) is not the same as being grappled by one.

What more can I say? I am a description heavy GM, and I want rules to describe the situation in my head — a situation that seems at odds with capless grappling. It seems completely obvious to me that grappling over a certain size disparity should have different effects, and those effects are both action-packed and totally classic.

That's all I'm gonna say for now. Expect my further answer in the houserule forum soon enough.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

For those who want to houserule size limitations on grapple, I suggest you look at this.

Now tell me that the idea of a mouse wrestling a bear isn't awesome.

By the way, Mouse Guard is awesome.

And the Mouse Guard RPG has hard limits on what you can even hurt, let alone grapple.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Yeah, we had a game in which a size tiny octopus familiar was thrown at a flying gargoyle with a strength of 22. The two-pound octopus was able to grapple and immobilize him, causing them both to crash to the ground.


not the wushu finger hold! no! anything but that!


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber

I'm a description based GM too. And those descriptions are based on the fact that PCs are superheroes. If you can generate the numbers to beat the Tarrasque's CMD, then you are badass enough to grapple him. An immense creature's size and strength gives enough protection without making maneuvers outright impossible.

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