Again the ugly grappling problem rears its head.
I like the new system. It is simple, elegant and easy to remeber. But I am having some trouble still with the grapple manuever.
Let me give an example...
A choker is a CR 2 creature. Following the new CMB rules, it has a CMB of 2 (Base Attack Bonus based on 3 HD; as Cleric of same HD) + 3 (STR modifier for STR of 16) -1 for small size. This means a CMB of 4. For grappling it has an additional Racial bonus of +4 (MM 35), raising its CMB for grappling to +8 (up +3 from its former Grapple Attack Bonus). Facing a party of 4 characters, as per its CR, it shopuld be able to grapple a 2nd level Fighter (that is its role in a dungeon setting, thus the name "choker"). To do so, it must make a d20 roll of 12 or higher (a 2nd level Fighter's CMB is 5 with an equal STR of 16; added to the DC of 15 for a DC of 20). And that is only to get a HELD condition. This does not take into account any bonuses given or not for Improved Grab; the Improved Grab ability only allows the attack to go off without provoking an Attack of Opportunity. If the creature chooses to hold the PC, it takes "a -20 penalty on grapple checks..." (MM 311) making it impossible for this creature to attempt the hold.
Am I missing something? Does Improved Grab need reworded to work with the new system?
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Am I missing something?
Don't forget constrict. In a playest I ran with chokers, the constrict damage they dealt was considerably more effective than any of their actual grapple results, since constrict kicks in even if the target is only held.
My problem with the new grapple rules was creatures that don't have improved grab. If you don't have improved grab, you're wasting a standard action to (more often than not) just hold someone. You'd accomplish more, especially at lower levels, by just attacking for nonlethal damage.
If the creature chooses to hold the PC, it takes "a -20 penalty on grapple checks..." (MM 311) making it impossible for this creature to attempt the hold.
Am I missing something?
Yes, you're missing that the "-20 penalty" applies only if it attempts to maintain the hold *only* with the appendage that made the grapple, and thus not be considered grappled itself. It does not, and usually will not, have to choose that option. That option is for your Krakens, etc., with huge modifiers.