Grapple Clarification: Have I grasped the concept or am I still grappling it in my mind?


Combat & Magic

Owners: Jason Weymouth & Julian Rodriguez - Emerald Knights Comics and Games

Assume an ogre with the improved grapple feat has a CMB of +11, and attempts to grapple a human druid with a CMB of +3.

The ogre rolls a 1d20, rolls a 17 for a total CMB result of 28.

The human druid is grappled DC 28 (25 + druid’s CMB +3), and suffers the grappled penalties.

On his round the druid attempts to break the grapple, is the DC 28? The druid has no chance to break the ogre’s grapple on his own, but can attempt an Escape Artist check with a DC of 21. Are both of these attempts (breaking the grapple and the escape artist check) standard actions, so only one attempt may be made per round?

Does the grapple attempt end there, since the ogre cannot ever pin the druid (DC 33) – no further grapple checks are necessary – is this a correct assumption?

Thanks for all input and direction.

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Jester King wrote:

Assume an ogre with the improved grapple feat has a CMB of +11, and attempts to grapple a human druid with a CMB of +3.

The ogre rolls a 1d20, rolls a 17 for a total CMB result of 28.

The human druid is grappled DC 28 (25 + druid’s CMB +3), and suffers the grappled penalties.

Does the grapple attempt end there, since the ogre cannot ever pin the druid (DC 33) – no further grapple checks are necessary – is this a correct assumption?

Don't forget that: If your target does not break the grapple, you get a cumulative +5 circumstance bonus on grapple checks made against the same target in subsequent rounds, to a maximum bonus of +15. So the ogre could turn the grapple into a full pin after a couple of rounds if the druid doesn't escape.


Alpha 1.1 wrote:
If you are grappled, you can attempt to break the grapple as a standard action by making a combat maneuver roll or Escape Artist check (DC 10 + opponent’s CMB). If you succeed, you break the grapple and can act normally.

I'd say that the character has to make a normal CMB roll, just as if he were attempting a combat maneuver himself, to break the grapple, not make an opposed roll against the opponents current "check." It doesn't mention an opposed roll of any sort.

But I could be wrong.

Owners: Jason Weymouth & Julian Rodriguez - Emerald Knights Comics and Games

Wintergreen wrote:
Don't forget that: If your target does not break the grapple, you get a cumulative +5 circumstance bonus on grapple checks made against the same target in subsequent rounds, to a maximum bonus of +15. So the ogre could turn the grapple into a full pin after a couple of rounds if the druid doesn't escape.

Would you add that bonus to the initial die result, so in the previous example of the ogre the result now is an automatic total of 33, which would be sufficient to pin the druid. Or would it be considered a new roll with a +5 bonus for a CMB of +16? What if the ogre rolled a "1", does not seem conceivable to ogre suddenly gets a weaker grapple or looses it entirely.

KnightErrant Jr. wrote:

Alpha 1.1 wrote:
If you are grappled, you can attempt to break the grapple as a standard action by making a combat maneuver roll or Escape Artist check (DC 10 + opponent’s CMB). If you succeed, you break the grapple and can act normally.

I'd say that the character has to make a normal CMB roll, just as if he were attempting a combat maneuver himself, to break the grapple, not make an opposed roll against the opponents current "check." It doesn't mention an opposed roll of any sort.

But I could be wrong.

Yes the Alpha 1.1 is unclear if this is just a normal CMB roll or a roll to be made against the CMB result. I am thinking a DC is set to break the ogre’s grabble, but if not the DC of 15+ ogre’s +11 CMB for a 26 is still a daunting task for the +3 CMB druid.

Any other thoughts, suggestions or out right answers?

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Jester King wrote:

[

Would you add that bonus to the initial die result, so in the previous example of the ogre the result now is an automatic total of 33, which would be sufficient to pin the druid. Or would it be considered a new roll with a +5 bonus for a CMB of +16? What if the ogre rolled a "1", does not seem conceivable to ogre suddenly gets a weaker grapple or looses it entirely.

Yes the Alpha 1.1 is unclear if this is just a normal CMB roll or a roll to be made against the CMB result. I am thinking a DC is set to break the ogre’s grabble, but if not the DC of 15+ ogre’s +11 CMB for a 26 is still a daunting task for the +3 CMB druid.

Any other thoughts, suggestions or out right answers?

Personally I'd say that the bonus is to new grapple checks so the Ogre would keep on making checks to try and secure the pin. Yes there is a chance it could roll very poorly but that would just mean it fails to improve the grapple. The druid would still have to make a successful roll to break free.

I think to keep it simple, it is intended that they be just normal CMB rolls not opposed checks. So the DC is set but yes for a human to break free of an Ogre's grapple it should be daunting.

Owners: Jason Weymouth & Julian Rodriguez - Emerald Knights Comics and Games

Wintergreen wrote:

Personally I'd say that the bonus is to new grapple checks so the Ogre would keep on making checks to try and secure the pin. Yes there is a chance it could roll very poorly but that would just mean it fails to improve the grapple. The druid would still have to make a successful roll to break free.

I think to keep it simple, it is intended that they be just normal CMB rolls not opposed checks. So the DC is set but yes for a human to break free of an Ogre's grapple it should be daunting.

Ah, yes I agree. The simplicity is the key, so should said ogre roll poorly it still has maintained whatever DC increment it had previously accomplished, but does not automatically pin the druid on subsequent rounds.

Thank you, Wintergreen I believe I have seen the light.

The Exchange

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps Subscriber
Jester King wrote:


Ah, yes I agree. The simplicity is the key, so should said ogre roll poorly it still has maintained whatever DC increment it had previously accomplished, but does not automatically pin the druid on subsequent rounds.

Thank you, Wintergreen I believe I have seen the light.

That's what I'm here for :-D


Jester King wrote:


Would you add that bonus to the initial die result, so in the previous example of the ogre the result now is an automatic total of 33, which would be sufficient to pin the druid. Or would it be considered a new roll with a +5 bonus for a CMB of +16? What if the ogre rolled a "1", does not seem conceivable to ogre suddenly gets a weaker grapple or looses it entirely.

Not entirely "inconceivable" (I love that word)... maybe the ogre's footing slips, or the druid's smaller frame slips through the ogre's (much larger) grasp. It actually makes sense. Think about it... Andre the Giant grappling Jet Li. Jet Li could totally escape artist his way out, but Andre would have the reach and the strength (and thus a higher CMB).

Liberty's Edge

As I understand it you're always rolling against your foes' CMB rating, similar to attacking AC. No opposed rolls now, with the new rules.


My understanding of the Alpha rules is that each round your ogre can make a grapple check as a standard action. This check will always be against DC=15+the target's CMB whether it is the round he starts the grapple or the 37th round of the grapple. If the ogre neglects to make this check or fails it on a particular round then the victim of his grapple is free. For each consecutive round where the victim doesn't break the grapple the ogre gets a +5 bonus to the grapple check.

On the victim's turn he can attempt to break the ogre's grapple. This is a standard action, and you can use either a combat manuever roll or Escape Artist. The DC for Escape Artist is 10+opponent's CMB. Based on the wording it is unclear to me whether the DC for the combat manuever roll is the same or defaults to the normal DC for combat manuever rolls (15+opponent's CMB). On a second reading I'm guessing the latter, but hopefully it will be clarified in the next release. Anyhow, if you are pinned you get a -5 to this roll.

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