Creatures - Imp Grab vs CMB


Combat & Magic

Liberty's Edge

We've been playing CotCT with the Pathfinder rules.

While playing our weekly CotCT last game we encounted an otyugh.

I remember Otyughs were always horrible to encounter.

Thanks to its 11 Str, BAB of +4, and Large sized modifier of only +1 it's CMB was a whopping +5!

Now as a player - I'm glad it couldn't hurt us too bad - but when it went to hit and grab the half-orc in the party, who had a BAB of 3, Str mod of 4, had a plus 7 to CMB - the Otyugh needed a 17 on the die to grapple the guy! (DC 15 + 7 = 22) needed a 17 with +5 to get a 22.

This is a large creature with tentacles and had a mere 15% chance to hold on to the guy.

Like I said, as a player I'm glad we weren't hurt - but I just felt there was something wrong with this.

Has there been any mention of such a creature with tentacles and/or with Imp Grab having inherent bonuses to their CMB?

Robert


Robert Brambley wrote:
Has there been any mention of such a creature with tentacles and/or with Imp Grab having inherent bonuses to their CMB?

What I've done is given monsters 1 feat/2 levels, just like PCs (in direct contravention of the Alpha rules, but I like for PCs and NPCs to follow the same rules). If you do that, most monsters pick up another feat, which I spend on Improved Grapple for the grapplers (ignoring the Improved Unarmed Strike prereq for tentacled monsters).

The otyugh has 6 HD (no extra feat), so you can either swap out Alertness or advance him one HD.


Robert Brambley wrote:


Thanks to its 11 Str, BAB of +4, and Large sized modifier of only +1 it's CMB was a whopping +5!

Now as a player - I'm glad it couldn't hurt us too bad - but when it went to hit and grab the half-orc in the party, who had a BAB of 3, Str mod of 4, had a plus 7 to CMB - the Otyugh needed a 17 on the die to grapple the guy! (DC 15 + 7 = 22) needed a 17 with +5 to get a 22.

This seems correct. I think the main thing is that the Otyugh is lacking STR and the roll determines whether or not the Otyugh grabs AND maintains the grapple.

How would the Otyugh have fared had you used opposed grapple checks under the old rules?


This is an interesting problem. I was worried about the 15+CMB thing when we playtested PF for the first time, since it obviously makes it harder to do combat maneuvers. Someone made the point that it wasn't a bad thing, because, essentially, it means that to have an average shot at doing a combat maneuver, you have to have +5 over your opponent--ie, it makes combat maneuvers more special in the sense that you have to be substantially better than your opponent to do it reliably.

I suppose that makes sense generally, but it ends up with the result that it's much harder for lower CR monsters to grapple, which is odd when those monsters look like they probably should be able to do a lot of grappling (ie lots of tenticles). That wasn't a problem in 3.5 not just because of the opposed rolls, but also because size granted a larger bonus there. Maybe certain monsters should just have some kind of racial modifier to CMB when grappling?

Liberty's Edge

Robert Brambley wrote:
This is a large creature with tentacles and had a mere 15% chance to hold on to the guy.

You've got a good point overall, but it's 20%. Just thought I'd mention that.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
veector wrote:
How would the Otyugh have fared had you used opposed grapple checks under the old rules?

I think this is an interesting point, and something that is maybe getting overlooked in the CMB discussions (both for and against).

Pathfinder system: Otyugh vs. half-orc = +5 bonus vs. DC 22, 20% chance of success.

3.5 system: if the otyugh was merely attempting a grapple (that is, not using its improved grab ability to start one after hitting with a tentacle attack), it's a two-step process:

Step 1) touch attack vs. half-orc's touch AC = +4 vs. DC 11 (? I'm guessing), 70% chance of success.
Step 2) opposed grapple check = +8 vs +7, 55% chance of success.
Total odds of a successful grapple: 70% x 55% = 38.5%

So in a straight grapple attempt, the difference is 20% vs. 38.5%, a pretty hefty drop. One solution I have seen offered is to give Improved Grab creatures either Improved Grapple as a feat (bonus or otherwise), which would bring the difference up to 30% vs 38.5%, still a noticable drop, but not so bad.

The real issue, though, is when the otyugh actually tries to use its Improved Grab. Once the intial attack succeeds, the Pathfinder otyugh still only has a 20% chance of grappling the opponent - while the 3.5 otyugh has a 55% chance. That's a huge variance, and makes the otyugh much weaker than it would be otherwise.


Shisumo wrote:
The real issue, though, is when the otyugh actually tries to use its Improved Grab. Once the intial attack succeeds, the Pathfinder otyugh still only has a 20% chance of grappling the opponent - while the 3.5 otyugh has a 55% chance. That's a huge variance, and makes the otyugh much weaker than it would be otherwise.

I guess I was very suspicious of the Otyugh's ability based on its strength. Sure, its a large monster, but it isn't very strong. No matter what size you are, if you aren't stronger than the half-orc, it's really not an issue.

If you wanted to fix the encounter, I'd bump up the otyugh's STR.

Sovereign Court

veector wrote:
Shisumo wrote:
The real issue, though, is when the otyugh actually tries to use its Improved Grab. Once the intial attack succeeds, the Pathfinder otyugh still only has a 20% chance of grappling the opponent - while the 3.5 otyugh has a 55% chance. That's a huge variance, and makes the otyugh much weaker than it would be otherwise.

I guess I was very suspicious of the Otyugh's ability based on its strength. Sure, its a large monster, but it isn't very strong. No matter what size you are, if you aren't stronger than the half-orc, it's really not an issue.

If you wanted to fix the encounter, I'd bump up the otyugh's STR.

This was something I noticed myself when I played a Beast Heart Adept with an Otyugh companion. They're not very strong creatures, in actuality. Even playing under the 3.5 rules, my otyugh rarely managed to grapple or even do damage to other creatures. I don't think the CMB is at fault here so much as the design of the creature. Large creatures usually have a little more strength than the otyugh, which is probably why they're a lower CR than other multi-attacking grapplers.

Liberty's Edge

Shisumo wrote:


So in a straight grapple attempt, the difference is 20% vs. 38.5%, a pretty hefty drop. One solution I have seen offered is to give Improved Grab creatures either Improved Grapple as a feat (bonus or otherwise), which would bring the difference up to 30% vs 38.5%, still a noticable drop, but not so bad.

The real issue, though, is when the otyugh actually tries to use its Improved Grab. Once the intial attack succeeds, the Pathfinder otyugh still only has a 20% chance of grappling the opponent - while the 3.5 otyugh has a 55% chance. That's a huge variance, and makes the otyugh much weaker than it would be otherwise.

The latter was the case in point. The creature actually hit the two-handed wielding (no shield) half-orc and when it went to use its special racial ability - it had only a measly 20% chance to do so - when compared to the 3.5 grappling rules - I remember otyughs being something you flat-out stayed away from at that level for that reason.

Suggestions to just 'bump up strength' on the creature is the wrong answer I believe.

What I was fishing for on this thread was to see if there was an official or psuedo-official recommendations by the designers that such creatures would have major bonuses to the CMB for grappling.

That I believe would be the right answer. Having a carte-blanch rule that "creatures with improved grab...." or "creatures with tentacles for grappling receive a bonus....."

That way you're not going through the MM and changing every creature's STR or some-such - you're instead adding a bonus to creatures with such a trait.

It doesn't appear that this is done (yet) but my guess is that it may be addressed in the BETA or any upcoming Monster-based releases.

My thoughts - since a Dwarf gets a +4 bonus to resist a few of the CMB maneuvers, there's no reason why such a tentacles creature shouldn't get a flat racial modifier of +4 to grappling. Seems to be a precedent.

Furthermore, the creature should have the Improved Grapple feat - or have that benefit as part of the Improved Grapple creature trait.

This would give a +6 bonus to the otyugh in question, and the CMB would have been +11.

DC of 22 means the creature would have needed an 11 - 50% success - which is in line with the 50% chance of opposed grapple checks illustrated previous posts on this thread.

Robert

Liberty's Edge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Robert Brambley wrote:
Has there been any mention of such a creature with tentacles and/or with Imp Grab having inherent bonuses to their CMB?

What I've done is given monsters 1 feat/2 levels, just like PCs (in direct contravention of the Alpha rules, but I like for PCs and NPCs to follow the same rules). If you do that, most monsters pick up another feat, which I spend on Improved Grapple for the grapplers (ignoring the Improved Unarmed Strike prereq for tentacled monsters).

The otyugh has 6 HD (no extra feat), so you can either swap out Alertness or advance him one HD.

Good though Kirth.

Personally - as DM, I am loathe to swap out the "alertness" feats given to creatures for the purpose of more "min/max" ones.

I had a DM who always got rid of every feat that wasn't directly effective in a particular encounter against us and replaced then with weapon focus and improved initiative.

The CR of the creature that is listed takes into account the less than optimal feat structure. If you optimize all the feats and make them more feasible in combat - it skews the CR. Thats my experience at least.

Ogre for instance - getting toughness (3 hit points) swapped out with Imp Initiative is a big difference. I tried explaining that to this DM. He never really "got it" He said - well the ogre now maybe has a chance to go before you and do damage before you can.

But it changes more than just that. The rogue may not have a chance to catch it flat-footed. The wizard may not be able to get a defensive spell up before being clubbed half-to-death.

It makes a big difference and does change the dynamic of a combat - more than just how much quicker the creature acts.

The Otyugh's alertness feat is a flavor feat - to illustrate its awareness and the number of eyes it has on those antenae etc. Sure it's probably not the most directly useful feat - but if every creature was designed from that perspective I feel it would really change the dynamics of the CR system.

But this discussion could be a thread all of its own.

Robert


How about a racial bonus to CMB for monsters that are traditionally "grapplers" or swallow whole like the Otyugh?

It's a simpler solution than swapping out feats or doing detailed rebuilds and there is plenty of precedent with monsters having racial bonuses to their skills.

Thoughts?


Robert Brambley wrote:
The CR of the creature that is listed takes into account the less than optimal feat structure. If you optimize all the feats and make them more feasible in combat - it skews the CR. Thats my experience at least.

I agree. However, Pathfinder characters are a tad better than their 3.5e counterparts. As it is, skills consolidation probably makes it possible for the otyugh to reach its "Perception quota" without Alertness (or, now, the Skill Focus (Perception) feat). Swapping it for Improved Grapple doesn't so much "optimize" the otyugh as put him back on his 3.5e footing -- and the Pathfinder characters are still better off, in comparison. And if some other monsters get slightly better optimized, that's OK, in my book, because the slight increase in chacter power has given us that bit of "wiggle room."

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16

I've had two thoughts about this. First, consider improved grab to have the same +2 bonus that the imrproved grapple feat gives. I'm hoping that one way or another, that the most common monster special abilities are in the Beta rules to address how they interact with other changes such as CMB.

The other thought I've had is that when nerfing the size modifier for CMB compared to grapple in 3.5, it may have gone too far - instead of +1, +2, etc, I'm thinking that a happy medium would be +2, +4, etc.

Either way, at this point, I'm waiting for Beta before considering any changes in my game.


Brian Dunnell wrote:
How about a racial bonus to CMB for monsters that are traditionally "grapplers" or swallow whole like the Otyugh? Thoughts?

Yeah! To the description of "Improved Grab [Ex]" you could just add the following: "a creature with this ability gains a +2 competence bonus to its CMB when grappling." Then, stick a line at the end of Improved Grapple saying "this bonus stacks with the bonus from the Improved Grab extraordinary ability, if applicable."

Liberty's Edge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Robert Brambley wrote:
The CR of the creature that is listed takes into account the less than optimal feat structure. If you optimize all the feats and make them more feasible in combat - it skews the CR. Thats my experience at least.
I agree. However, Pathfinder characters are a tad better than their 3.5e counterparts. As it is, skills consolidation probably makes it possible for the otyugh to reach its "Perception quota" without Alertness (or, now, the Skill Focus (Perception) feat). Swapping it for Improved Grapple doesn't so much "optimize" the otyugh as put him back on his 3.5e footing -- and the Pathfinder characters are still better off, in comparison. And if some other monsters get slightly better optimized, that's OK, in my book, because the slight increase in chacter power has given us that bit of "wiggle room."

You're right Kirth - for the most part the PF characters are a bit more staunch. In such a case, I wouldn't have had a problem upping the HD to 7 and adding a feat.

Regardless - creatures with physical characteristics designed to grapple should have an inherent racial bonus to do just that - as I suggested. I'm thinking +4 is an appropriate amount - using the dwarves +4 racial ability of Stability as a precedent.

Robert


JoelF847 wrote:
The other thought I've had is that when nerfing the size modifier for CMB compared to grapple in 3.5, it may have gone too far - instead of +1, +2, etc, I'm thinking that a happy medium would be +2, +4, etc.

I'm just gonna go ahead and disagree with ya on that. I feel like changing the size modifiers affects more than changing Improved Grab. I still feel like the Otyugh's strength is the main limiter in the presented scenario.

If you don't want to change the strength, understandable, definitely redefining the feats Improved Grapple and Improved Grab is the way to go.

Liberty's Edge

JoelF847 wrote:

I've had two thoughts about this. First, consider improved grab to have the same +2 bonus that the imrproved grapple feat gives. I'm hoping that one way or another, that the most common monster special abilities are in the Beta rules to address how they interact with other changes such as CMB.

The other thought I've had is that when nerfing the size modifier for CMB compared to grapple in 3.5, it may have gone too far - instead of +1, +2, etc, I'm thinking that a happy medium would be +2, +4, etc.

Either way, at this point, I'm waiting for Beta before considering any changes in my game.

Thats exactly the changes we made for our campaigns. Large is +2, Huge is +4 etc - all on multiples of 2 - also for easy reference and calculations.

It also helps 'un-nerf' the Enlarge Person spell that went from getting a hefty +4 modifier on size for opposed checks to just a +1 to the CMB which was already pretty difficult to be successful with.

Regardless the change to DC 12 + CMB (instead of 15) and the +2 multiples for size has seemed to be far more acceptable for our group during our playtesting.

However the DM in my Original Post is doing everything as written in Alpha 3 without changes - and so the otyugh in that case struggled signifcantly.

Robert

Liberty's Edge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Brian Dunnell wrote:
How about a racial bonus to CMB for monsters that are traditionally "grapplers" or swallow whole like the Otyugh? Thoughts?
Yeah! To the description of "Improved Grab [Ex]" you could just add the following: "a creature with this ability gains a +2 competence bonus to its CMB when grappling." Then, stick a line at the end of Improved Grapple saying "this bonus stacks with the bonus from the Improved Grab extraordinary ability, if applicable."

I like where this is going, but in the example in the OP, the Otyugh would only have a 30% chance of grappling even after this bonus.


Insert Neat Username Here wrote:
I like where this is going, but in the example in the OP, the Otyugh would only have a 30% chance of grappling even after this bonus.

Give him Improved Grapple, as I mentioned earlier, and he's up to 40%... hmmm, I see what you mean. Maybe the improved grab bonus should be +4?


I ran an otyugh encounter myself not long ago. I hadn't used them in a while and the idea that they only have an 11 Str really hadn't sunk in. What other Large-sized creature in the Monster Manual has such a low score? Just one, the large viper has a Str of 10. The next lowest Str score for a large creature beats the otyugh by 2: the large centipede with a 13 Str.

Other than these two, the usual bottom-line for Str in Large creatures appears to be a 14. The belker, carrion crawler, air and fire elementals, and the dark naga all seem to typify "weak" creatures of their size. Even the humble light horse is stronger than the otyugh, also sporting a 14 Str.

I suppose my point here is that using the otyugh as an example of the CMB as a mechanic in need of change is a faulty one. The otyugh itself, considering its main mode of attack, is poorly built to function in the niche it was originally designed for.

Liberty's Edge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Insert Neat Username Here wrote:
I like where this is going, but in the example in the OP, the Otyugh would only have a 30% chance of grappling even after this bonus.
Give him Improved Grapple, as I mentioned earlier, and he's up to 40%... hmmm, I see what you mean. Maybe the improved grab bonus should be +4?

Maybe there should be an added bonus for having both. Like if you have one it's +2 but if you have both it's +2 for each and another +2? That would bring it up to 50%, which seems reasonable considering that its opponent had a good CMB due to a high strength mod.


Shadowborn wrote:

I ran an otyugh encounter myself not long ago. I hadn't used them in a while and the idea that they only have an 11 Str really hadn't sunk in. What other Large-sized creature in the Monster Manual has such a low score? Just one, the large viper has a Str of 10. The next lowest Str score for a large creature beats the otyugh by 2: the large centipede with a 13 Str.

Other than these two, the usual bottom-line for Str in Large creatures appears to be a 14. The belker, carrion crawler, air and fire elementals, and the dark naga all seem to typify "weak" creatures of their size. Even the humble light horse is stronger than the otyugh, also sporting a 14 Str.

I suppose my point here is that using the otyugh as an example of the CMB as a mechanic in need of change is a faulty one. The otyugh itself, considering its main mode of attack, is poorly built to function in the niche it was originally designed for.

That's a very significant observation. Thanks Shadowborn.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Insert Neat Username Here wrote:
I like where this is going, but in the example in the OP, the Otyugh would only have a 30% chance of grappling even after this bonus.
Give him Improved Grapple, as I mentioned earlier, and he's up to 40%... hmmm, I see what you mean. Maybe the improved grab bonus should be +4?

The flip side of the problem is that if you have a 50% chance of succeeding on a grapple, the opponent has a puny chance of escaping (10%). In Pathfinder there's only a tiny zone where the attacker has a decent chance of succeeding and the defender has a decent chance of escaping: note that the two probabilities will always add up to 60% (until the point where one of the parties only succeeds on a "20").

Shadowborn wrote:
I suppose my point here is that using the otyugh as an example of the CMB as a mechanic in need of change is a faulty one.

No, it's a good example. It was a weak CR 4 creature with one thing going for it -- its halfway decent grapple bonus (+8) + Improved Grab. Now it's a really weak CR 4 creature with a poor grapple bonus (+5 at CR 4 is pretty lame).

The same goes for the choker or the giant octopus: fairly lame creatures, but decent grapplers.


My 2 cents; simple is easy and better give the Otyughs and tentacle creatures a flat +4 to grabble roles. The reasoning for this being also very simple tentacles are filled with rows of suckers and teeth that allow them to maintain a firmer grasp then non tentacle creatures.
Or for more dynamic systems for tentacle creatures:
Tentacle grant +1 to CMB for grabble checks for each size level starting at tiny. Or maybe some variation of this.
In general its not the creature itself that seems to be the problem Its the fact the tentacled creatures have historically been both gaming and fantasy stories been scarily effective in grappling and the new rules done seem to accommodate that fact.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Insert Neat Username Here wrote:
I like where this is going, but in the example in the OP, the Otyugh would only have a 30% chance of grappling even after this bonus.
Give him Improved Grapple, as I mentioned earlier, and he's up to 40%... hmmm, I see what you mean. Maybe the improved grab bonus should be +4?

Liberty's Edge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Insert Neat Username Here wrote:
I like where this is going, but in the example in the OP, the Otyugh would only have a 30% chance of grappling even after this bonus.
Give him Improved Grapple, as I mentioned earlier, and he's up to 40%... hmmm, I see what you mean. Maybe the improved grab bonus should be +4?

Well that was pretty much in line with my thinking.

Improved Grab grants the +2 as you suggested Kirth; but creatures with physical anatomies built for grappling (such as tentacles) have a RACIAL bonus of +4. (much like a dwarf has a racial bonus to resist being tripped and bullrushed).

Then creature with Improved Grap ability gains a +2 to the feat - just like Improved Grapple would do.

The Otyugh in my instance would have a +6 bonus to his +5 for total of +11. Thats more in line with my thinking of a "LARGE" sized creature with big-ol tentacles should be able to do if someone is foolish enough to hang around it....

Robert

Liberty's Edge

Granfather wrote:

My 2 cents; simple is easy and better give the Otyughs and tentacle creatures a flat +4 to grabble roles. The reasoning for this being also very simple tentacles are filled with rows of suckers and teeth that allow them to maintain a firmer grasp then non tentacle creatures.

Or for more dynamic systems for tentacle creatures:
Tentacle grant +1 to CMB for grabble checks for each size level starting at tiny. Or maybe some variation of this.
In general its not the creature itself that seems to be the problem Its the fact the tentacled creatures have historically been both gaming and fantasy stories been scarily effective in grappling and the new rules done seem to accommodate that fact.

yeah a flat +4 for "tentacled" creatures used for grappling was my suggestion for fixing it.

Having a scaled bonuse based on size is not the right idea IMO - since such creatures are already gaining a global bonus for its size already. Doubling that bonus would just increase the whole calculations exponentially. A flat bonus and then adjusted by the creatures size already figued in still makes HUGE sized tentacled cratures better than large sized ones.

Robert


hogarth wrote:
Shadowborn wrote:
I suppose my point here is that using the otyugh as an example of the CMB as a mechanic in need of change is a faulty one.

No, it's a good example. It was a weak CR 4 creature with one thing going for it -- its halfway decent grapple bonus (+8) + Improved Grab. Now it's a really weak CR 4 creature with a poor grapple bonus (+5 at CR 4 is pretty lame).

The same goes for the choker or the giant octopus: fairly lame creatures, but decent grapplers.

The assassin vine, another grappler, gives up 2HD to the otyugh, but only 6hp on average. It dishes out 7 more points of damage on a constricting attack. Yet it ranks as a CR3 monster.

My thinking is that the otyugh simply got a raw deal in 3E conversion. A simply boost in its Str, which would not be out of line for a large creature, would go a long way to bringing back its quality, without having to make special exceptions for it in the rules.


Shadowborn wrote:
The assassin vine, another grappler, gives up 2HD to the otyugh, but only 6hp on average. It dishes out 7 more points of damage on a constricting attack. Yet it ranks as a CR3 monster.

I think the assassin vine's low CR is due to its lack of intelligence, 30' visual range and extremely slow speed. It's really more like a trap than a creature, in some ways.

I agree that the otyugh was on the low end of CR 4 creatures already, but with the grapple changes it's even worse.

The Exchange

veector wrote:
I think the main thing is that the Otyugh is lacking STR and the roll determines whether or not the Otyugh grabs AND maintains the grapple.

That's why everyone should use this Otyugh...

(no longer an aberration [because they are average fighters] and with an improved Str)

(1)Otyugh (Revised) CR 4
N Large magical beast
Init +4; Senses darkvision 30 ft., low-light vision, scent; Listen +4, Spot +5
[Defense]
AC 17, touch 9, flat-footed --
(-1 size, +8 natural)
hp 39 (6d10+6)
Fort +6, Ref +5, Will +3
[Offense]
Spd 20 ft
Melee 2 tentacles +7 (1d6+2) and
bite +5 (1d8+1 plus disease)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with tentacles)
Special Attacks constrict (1d6+2), disease (filth fever DC 14), improved grab
[Statistics]
Str 15, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 6
Base Atk +6; Grp +12
Feats Improved Initiative, Multiattack, Skill Focus (Listen)
Skills Hide +5 (+13 in lair), Search +3
Language Common
SQ all-around vision
Advancement 6-8 HD (Large), 9-18 HD (Huge), 19-36 HD (Gargantuan), 39+ HD (Colossal)
[Special Abilities]
All-Around Vision (Ex) An otyugh’s flexible eyestalk allows it to rapidly look in all directions. An otyugh is never flat-footed and never flanked. It has a +4 racial bonus on Spot and Search checks.
Disease (Ex) Filth Fever – bite, Fortitude DC 12, incubation period 1d3 days; damage 1d3 Dex and 1d3 Con.
Improved Grab (Ex) To use this ability, an otyugh must hit with a tentacle attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can constrict.
Natural Colouration (Ex) Due to its natural colouration, an otyugh receives a +8 racial bonus to Hide in its lair.


"Hogarth wrote:

I think the assassin vine's low CR is due to its lack of intelligence, 30' visual range and extremely slow speed. It's really more like a trap than a creature, in some ways.

I agree that the otyugh was on the low end of CR 4 creatures already, but with the grapple changes it's even worse.

Agreed. I suppose I'm wondering if the fix isn't so much a change in the CMB mechanic, but a change in "grappler" monster builds in general, that helps them work better with the system in place. I'm not really sold one way or the other at this point, just promoting discussion.

I came down on the otyugh because I think 3E really did a disservice to those guys. I mean, my characters used to be terrified of them. Now, they're a yawn, even with grapple. (Well, except for that one time our 1st levels had to use the sewers to avoid arrest...)

Liberty's Edge

Shadowborn wrote:


My thinking is that the otyugh simply got a raw deal in 3E conversion. A simply boost in its Str, which would not be out of line for a large creature, would go a long way to bringing back its quality, without having to make special exceptions for it in the rules.

I'm not trying to make special rules for the otyugh; i'm trying to appropriately assign a global modifier for all creatures whose physical characteristics are logically designed to be better at certain type of maneuvers.

Simiar to the idea that you can't trip or grapple an ooze. It's physical form simply defies that kind of maneuver. A creature like an Otyugh or large octopus or giant constrictor snake - should gain some bonus to such a maneuver across the board.

Robert


Just to further support the idea of a flat bonus for either tenticle monsters or even monsters with a racial improved grab ability, you could compare it to the fly skill. If you can naturally fly, you get bonuses or penalties to using that racial ability. This is a similar situation, where a flat bonus should apply for a specific physical characteristic.

Dark Archive

I think that we're looking at it the wrong way. From my experiences with CMB and grapple here I think the problem isn't so much with the monsters but with the base DC. By the time that grapple monsters have a big enough bonus to be able to reliably grapple foes, the chance for a PC to escape goes down to 5%. Get a +5 advantage on your opponent in CMB and you will win anything against you and have 50/50 chance winning anything against your opponent. 15 is too high for the base DC. It needs to be 10+CMB.

If the DC was set at 10+CMB in the First Post's example, the Otyugh would have needed a 12 to grapple the Half-Orc (10+7-5=12). If the Half-Orc was grappled, he would need a 8 (10+5-7) to break free. In comparison, if the DC was set at 15, he would have needed a 13 less then a 50/50 chance against a foe that he is better then. And in later rounds, the Otyugh would need a 7 to continue the grapple, where if the DC was 15, he would need a 12 to continue the grapple.

At 15 the numbers needed are just too high.

Liberty's Edge

BM wrote:

If the DC was set at 10+CMB in the First Post's example, the Otyugh would have needed a 12 to grapple the Half-Orc (10+7-5=12). If the Half-Orc was grappled, he would need a 8 (10+5-7) to break free. In comparison, if the DC was set at 15, he would have needed a 13 less then a 50/50 chance against a foe that he is better then. And in later rounds, the Otyugh would need a 7 to continue the grapple, where if the DC was 15, he would need a 12 to continue the grapple.

At 15 the numbers needed are just too high.

I agree with you that 15 is too high. that was one element of my original thoughts. For my games, I've been using 12 + CMB, and it seesm to work quite well. We did try 10 but it was too easy to succeed; 15 was too hard to succeed. 12 was a good medium that we found.

Robert


Robert Brambley wrote:
I agree with you that 15 is too high. that was one element of my original thoughts. For my games, I've been using 12 + CMB, and it seesm to work quite well. We did try 10 but it was too easy to succeed; 15 was too hard to succeed. 12 was a good medium that we found.

Why not 11 + CMB, to exactly match the caster level dispel check formula? Yeah, it's a little low, but I'm a sucker for consistency in the rules.


Another solution is to leave the CMB check the way it is and add a new feat for tentacle monsters ala...

Multi-Grapple - Receive a +5 Circumstance bonus to any grapple checks due to having more than two appendages.

Liberty's Edge

veector wrote:

Another solution is to leave the CMB check the way it is and add a new feat for tentacle monsters ala...

Multi-Grapple - Receive a +5 Circumstance bonus to any grapple checks due to having more than two appendages.

Thats the wrong approach IMO. Thats requiring a creature to spend a feat just to receive something thats already part of their physical make up.

Does a lion need to use a feat to Rake? Does an elf need to spend a feat to automatically notice secret door due to its uncanny alertness? Does a dwarf need to spend a feat to remain stable on its feet due to its short and stocky build? Does a purple worm need to spend a feat to swallow something due to its enormous mouth diameter?

These are provided as 'given' due to traits and characteristics of their species.

I dont see why an Otyugh, or an giant Octopus, or a giant constrictor snake or a grell would need to spend a feat just to get a bonus based on something it was born and 'evolved' to be capable of doing.

Robert

Liberty's Edge

Kirth Gersen wrote:
Robert Brambley wrote:
I agree with you that 15 is too high. that was one element of my original thoughts. For my games, I've been using 12 + CMB, and it seesm to work quite well. We did try 10 but it was too easy to succeed; 15 was too hard to succeed. 12 was a good medium that we found.
Why not 11 + CMB, to exactly match the caster level dispel check formula? Yeah, it's a little low, but I'm a sucker for consistency in the rules.

Good point, Kirth, and I won't begrudge you for you being a sucker for consitency.

That being said - as devil's advocate, 10+ is more of a precedent on many mechanics than 11 by far.

Taking 10
DC of concentration
DC to save vs all effects are 10+ X,Y
Knowledge check DCs.
etc.

that being said - I think 10 would be too easy.

Robert


I give creatures the same bonus to CMB and CM DC for size as they get under 3.5; +4 for large, +8 for huge, etc. I also give a bonus of +2 to the CMB if you attempt a grapple against someone who doesn't have both hands free (they can drop what they're holding as a free action to negate the bonus).

Liberty's Edge

Dan Davis wrote:
I give creatures the same bonus to CMB and CM DC for size as they get under 3.5; +4 for large, +8 for huge, etc. I also give a bonus of +2 to the CMB if you attempt a grapple against someone who doesn't have both hands free (they can drop what they're holding as a free action to negate the bonus).

Personally I think that amount of a bonus is too steep for the CMB mechanic. +2 increments seems to be much better in balance.

at +4 it gives a CR 3 ogre a +12 to their CMB Thats a DC 27 to affect them at all. in order for a 3rd level party to affect the ogre, it would require a 19 or 20 by even the strongest person in the party!

On the flip side, the ogre only needs to roll a 10 to affect the party's strongest foe.

Compare that to the grapple of 3.5; the 20 str fighter in the party would have +8 grapple vs the +12 grapple of the ogre. meaning that the fighter could potentially affect the ogre every round provided the ogre didn't roll a 16+ (meaning only a 25% chance of eliminating the fighters chances).

That all being said: I do like the +2 to the DC for not having both hands free.

Robert

Dark Archive

Robert Brambley wrote:
Dan Davis wrote:
I give creatures the same bonus to CMB and CM DC for size as they get under 3.5; +4 for large, +8 for huge, etc. I also give a bonus of +2 to the CMB if you attempt a grapple against someone who doesn't have both hands free (they can drop what they're holding as a free action to negate the bonus).

Personally I think that amount of a bonus is too steep for the CMB mechanic. +2 increments seems to be much better in balance.

at +4 it gives a CR 3 ogre a +12 to their CMB Thats a DC 27 to affect them at all. in order for a 3rd level party to affect the ogre, it would require a 19 or 20 by even the strongest person in the party!

On the flip side, the ogre only needs to roll a 10 to affect the party's strongest foe.

Compare that to the grapple of 3.5; the 20 str fighter in the party would have +8 grapple vs the +12 grapple of the ogre. meaning that the fighter could potentially affect the ogre every round provided the ogre didn't roll a 16+ (meaning only a 25% chance of eliminating the fighters chances).

That all being said: I do like the +2 to the DC for not having both hands free.

Robert

Yeah, adding larger numbers doesn't really fix the problem, and really in all truth, makes the problem worse. See the above link in my post for why.

As for the base number, I could deal with a 11. That is a flat 50/50 chance of beating someone with the same bonus as you.


Robert Brambley wrote:
at +4 it gives a CR 3 ogre a +12 to their CMB Thats a DC 27 to affect them at all. in order for a 3rd level party to affect the ogre, it would require a 19 or 20 by even the strongest person in the party!

Using my rules, an ogre's CM DC would be 15 base, +3 BAB, +5 Str, +4 size for a total of 27. A 3rd level fighter's CMB would be +3 BAB, +3 Str (or so), +2 if the ogre kept his weapon in hand, for +8. So you're right; the fighter would need a 19 or 20 to grapple him, so yes, it's nearly impossible.

Then again, when you consider that an average D&D human is 5' 9", 125 lbs. and that an average ogre is 9' 6", 625 lbs., would you expect the human to be able to grab and hold the ogre? I don't think so. Not without A LOT of training (which in D&D terms means high level).

Sovereign Court

I hope this request is appropriate. Can someone provide where we're at in this thread in terms of what the going consensus seems to be? The CMB is a very important Pathfinder innovation to me. As a DM I find this tool to be a centerpiece of the "fix-a-few-3.5-rules" approach PAIZO is taking. This is something I'm quite proud of. I want to jump in but am unsure where this thread places the discussion... can someone summarize?

Liberty's Edge

Pax Veritas wrote:
I hope this request is appropriate. Can someone provide where we're at in this thread in terms of what the going consensus seems to be? The CMB is a very important Pathfinder innovation to me. As a DM I find this tool to be a centerpiece of the "fix-a-few-3.5-rules" approach PAIZO is taking. This is something I'm quite proud of. I want to jump in but am unsure where this thread places the discussion... can someone summarize?

I'll try; to summarize:

Most seem to agree DC 15 is too high. Most seem to think that 10-12 is more appropriate. Most seem to think that creatures built to grapple with tentacles and/or have Improved Grab feature should have a bonus when grappling.

Most believe the size bonuses for large are a little low - but some argue +4 is appropriate (as it is in 3.5) and others argue that +2 is more appropriate.

Regardless - the discussion has been mostly about testimonies that we've experienced using the rules as written and what steps we've taken or suggested in improving them.

I'm sure Paizo has no intention of removing the CMB mechanic as it is very game-friendly.

Robert


In my opinion you could keep CMB base DC as 15.

In the other hand, you could rise the Maneuver Feat bonus from +2 to +4 (as they already are in D&D 3.5).

As a Result you would have a Base DC 15 for untrained characters attempting combat maneuvers, ...

AND... a Base DC 11 for trained characters attempting combat maneuvers with the specific feats (DC 15 -4 from the feat = DC 11).

Liberty's Edge

Gabriel Domingues wrote:

In my opinion you could keep CMB base DC as 15.

In the other hand, you could rise the Maneuver Feat bonus from +2 to +4 (as they already are in D&D 3.5).

As a Result you would have a Base DC 15 for untrained characters attempting combat maneuvers, ...

AND... a Base DC 11 for trained characters attempting combat maneuvers with the specific feats (DC 15 -4 from the feat = DC 11).

Wow, this post looks familiar..... ;-)

I'll reiterate - that this doesn't really help the issue of the DC being to high - it just gives a bigger boost to those who take a feat - which of course favors the fighter even more since he has so many feats to burn.

It doesn't help at all most people and creatures since most are not going to have those feats.

A rogue for instance would probably never have Improved Grapple. If something grappled him that had the feat - not only is the DC quite difficult for the rogue to try and escape, but the feat gives an even bigger bonus to the attacker to be successful against that rogue and sealing his fate.

Robert


Remember that a rogue can use Escape Artist Skill to escape from a grapple, and that the Escape Artist skill has a better progression than Fighter's BAB (Escape Artist = rogue´s character level + 3).

Also, a rogue who really wants to stay out from grapplings, can take the skill focus feat to boost his Escape Artist skill even more, gainning an additional +3 bonus (for a total skill bonus equal to his Character level + 6).

You also have reffered to the problem of creatures that are not going to have those maneuver feats. It´s an easy problem to solve. Since most creatures that relly on grapple maneuvers normally have the "IMPROVED GRAB" special ability, just let the "Improved Grab" provide a +4 bonus on grapple checks. With this little tweak your problem is solved.

Liberty's Edge

Gabriel Domingues wrote:

Remember that a rogue can use Escape Artist Skill to escape from a grapple, and that the Escape Artist skill has a better progression than Fighter's BAB (Escape Artist = rogue´s character level + 3).

Also, a rogue who really wants to stay out from grapplings, can take the skill focus feat to boost his Escape Artist skill even more, gainning an additional +3 bonus (for a total skill bonus equal to his Character level + 6).

You also have reffered to the problem of creatures that are not going to have those maneuver feats. It´s an easy problem to solve. Since most creatures that relly on grapple maneuvers normally have the "IMPROVED GRAB" special ability, just let the "Improved Grab" provide a +4 bonus on grapple checks. With this little tweak your problem is solved.

ok, use a wizard instead of a rogue in the example then.

The +4 for Improved Grab was indeed suggested on this thread - it is pretty much the reason the thread was started. I think its a good idea and was trying to lobby support for it.

Thanks
Robert

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Gabriel Domingues wrote:
Remember that a rogue can use Escape Artist Skill to escape from a grapple, and that the Escape Artist skill has a better progression than Fighter's BAB (Escape Artist = rogue´s character level + 3).

Escape Artist is based on Dex though, and characters in a grapple suffer a Dex penalty. Escape Artist is also a skill that tends to get minimalized relative to most other skills, since it's generally less useful.

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Roleplaying Game / Alpha Playtest Feedback / Alpha Release 3 / Combat & Magic / Creatures - Imp Grab vs CMB All Messageboards
Recent threads in Combat & Magic