One Small Thing: Grapple


Playtest Reports


Ok, I understand CMB for most things...

Except grappling.

As i look over it i understand it, but what about attacking while grappling with a weapon, or unarmed damage during grappeling?

What can you do while grappled or not?

For some reason it just is not clicking.

Absolutely any help would be appreciated.


Just as a clarification:

In my group they really enjoy grappling and brawls and the like and the removal of shiving someone with a stiletto while grappling is sort of weird.

Basically, what happened to the other while grapple actions, let alone thing like armor spikes and the like.


So yeah, I'm in need of some sort of clarification with grappeling here.

I run in the IK setting and there is alot of stabbing and shooting while grappeling and as of right now there is no way to do it period.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

I'm running out and don't have time to look, but can't you do it after you get them pinned? That would be on the third round of a grapple, 18 seconds after you first lay hands on them.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

I'm not going to try comparing grapple with 3.5 point-by-point but I'll tell you what I understand about PRPG. If I'm wrong, someone will correct me.

If you are grappling with a weapon, and you are humanoid, you take -4 on your grapple check for not having two hands free. (PRPG, p. 150)

If you successfully grapple your opponent, you both have the 'grappled condition'.

The next round, you can attack them. Or, you can pin them. If you pin them, they gain the 'pinned' condition.

If they are grappled, they can attack and you can attack (on the next round) at -4 to Dex and -2 to attacks. (PRPG, p. 400)

If they are pinned, they are flat-footed and take -4 to AC. They cannot attack (it doesn't actually say that but I assume that to be implied). You, having pinned them, are still 'grappled' so you can attack. (PRPG, p. 401)


Tarren Dei wrote:

I'm not going to try comparing grapple with 3.5 point-by-point but I'll tell you what I understand about PRPG. If I'm wrong, someone will correct me.

If you are grappling with a weapon, and you are humanoid, you take -4 on your grapple check for not having two hands free. (PRPG, p. 150)

If you successfully grapple your opponent, you both have the 'grappled condition'.

The next round, you can attack them. Or, you can pin them. If you pin them, they gain the 'pinned' condition.

If they are grappled, they can attack and you can attack (on the next round) at -4 to Dex and -2 to attacks. (PRPG, p. 400)

If they are pinned, they are flat-footed and take -4 to AC. They cannot attack (it doesn't actually say that but I assume that to be implied). You, having pinned them, are still 'grappled' so you can attack. (PRPG, p. 401)

But maintaining a grapple takes a standard action, which does not allow for any other attacks (usually)

I think its removing quite a few options of grappling.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

KujakuDM wrote:
Tarren Dei wrote:

I'm not going to try comparing grapple with 3.5 point-by-point but I'll tell you what I understand about PRPG. If I'm wrong, someone will correct me.

If you are grappling with a weapon, and you are humanoid, you take -4 on your grapple check for not having two hands free. (PRPG, p. 150)

If you successfully grapple your opponent, you both have the 'grappled condition'.

The next round, you can attack them. Or, you can pin them. If you pin them, they gain the 'pinned' condition.

If they are grappled, they can attack and you can attack (on the next round) at -4 to Dex and -2 to attacks. (PRPG, p. 400)

If they are pinned, they are flat-footed and take -4 to AC. They cannot attack (it doesn't actually say that but I assume that to be implied). You, having pinned them, are still 'grappled' so you can attack. (PRPG, p. 401)

But maintaining a grapple takes a standard action, which does not allow for any other attacks (usually)

I think its removing quite a few options of grappling.

Ah, so it does. I guess you're right then. No attack other than that "damage = to unarmed damage"

Liberty's Edge

I think any attack is done in conjunction with the grapple. Thus, if you choose to use a light weapon, instead of rolling an attack roll you roll a grapple check (CMB check). If you succeed against the DC you hit with your chosen weapon.

By making it a standard action you can't grapple AND do other things. That's really where it becomes confusing. When you have 4 ititerative attacks... Can you pin them in the first round? Do they get their full BAB on each check while you take a -5 on each additional? If you're fighting with 'natural weapons' why do you get ititerative attacks, but a troll doesn't? Just one per natural attack...

It was a mess. So, yeah, it takes a standard action to do anything in the grapple, but you choose which of the effects you want from the list.

Scarab Sages

Grapple is definitely one of the things that needs a lot of clarification. I suppose we'll have to see what comes down the pipes as we get closer to that part of the playtest.


Well... Howabot some suggestions:

I like the following:

When grappeling, you can do two things: Maintain the grapple a standard action and deal your best unarmed or natural attack damage, or take a normal action while still in the grapple.

If you do the first, nothing changes, but if you do the second:

You have none of the penalties to hit as long as you only focus on the other grappler (ac penalty is still there) and the opponent get a +5 (or less) to end the grapple if they so wish.

this goes both ways.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Card Game, Rulebook Subscriber

My understanding is that the person doing the grappling (i.e. grabbing the other) cannot attack with a weapon and grapple as his hands are full. He could grapple in round 1 and then stab in round 2 while the other has a loss of AC though. But that would loosen the grapple as one hand at least is now more interested in wielding a weapon than holding. The exception to this might be those monsters with more than 1 attack or who grapple with a bite attack.

On the other hand, the person being grappled can choose to attack, except now with a penalty.


Ah, but the fun part is that after you initiate a grapple with someone, they AND you are "Grappled", so now THEY can attempt to Pin YOU before you get your next turn!
"Once you are grappling an opponent, a successful check allows you to continue grappling the foe, and also allows you to perform one of the following actions." (Move/Damage/Pin)

I really think Grapple should be changed to work with Iterative Attacks normally, but that you only change their Grapple CATEGORY (Grappled/Pinned) one tier/ round (other uses, like Move would be OK.) Any left-over Iterative attacks you have can be used for Grapple-legal Attacks, which should be changed back to Light Weapons only, but in comparison to THE SIZE OF THE LARGEST GRAPPLER, so if you're being Grappled by a Dragon, your Greatsword is still legal (though if both hands aren't free your CMB/Grapple is penalized), but vs. another Human, Daggers only (more or less).

The Grappled Condition itself needs to be clarified, to encompass a "Top" grappler and "Bottom" grappler, so that my first example, of the subject of a grapple attack immediately (on their turn) being able to PIN their attacker, would no longer be possible. (They should just be able to attempt to turn the tables so THEY are the "Top" Grappler, and can attempt a PIN on their NEXT turn (if they're still on "Top") Having worse penalties for the "Bottom" Grappler would make sense, especially as a Grapple like this between semi-even opponent could easily go on quite a while, with all opponents getting other non-Grapple Iterative Attacks, so a consistent "Bottom" should have heavier AC/ Attack penalties.
As is, the initiator of a Grapple among equals is most likely to get Pinned.


What about throwing an opponent? How far can you throw someone (against their will)? What if they were willing to be used as a missle? What about damage?
This seems to come up every other gameplay and I am still at a loss as to how it is supposed to work. For the time being it is simply disallowed. "I dont care what your carry capacity is or what you rolled. Your not throwing the orc into his buddy."


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

rght now there is another bad ruling bug with te grapple rules - using escape artist to slip from a grapple there are two diefferent and contradictory mechanisms employed by the rules - the one described in the skill summary and one in the grapple section of the combat chapter.

Since the later one uses the CMB-mechanism, we assume it is the one to actually use (the initial one getting contributed to a copy-and-paste error).

Overall, the grapple rules "as are" are definitely a not an improvement over 3.5 at all, loosing options like the "shiving" mentioned above (right now the iconic action of stabbing away at the Kraken's tentacle grabbing you is strictly impossible as is - even/especially so if a roll vs. CMB is contemplated. The CMB + 15 mechanism is awkward with the +5 modifier later added in

Some other recommended stuff to fix/clarify would be

- Targeting mechanism if attacking into an existing grapple (melee, reach weapon and shooting) - just who gets stabbed/gets cover/has what modifiers, if possible considering the difference in sizes of grapplers involved ?

- joining grapples/grappling with multiple opponents

- rules for positioning - is a pinned target considered prone or can it be made so ? Right now, it is quite impossible to grapple and tackle someone to the ground unless you trip them....
Can a large or bigger creature actually pin someone under a limb or its belly ?

Some comment or hints at how this is going to be reworked would be appreciated !


Also, spellcasting ina a grapple-

Depending on where you look, you'll find at least 3 different sets of rules.

There's the "DC 15+Spell Level" Spellcraft Check in the Grappled condition- along with "DC15 + spell level, nothing with a focus, material component, or somantics period" in the Pinned condition

In the "Spellcasting" chapter, both get a "DC 20 + spell level, no somantic component, must have material focus in hand".

The "combat" chapter simply doesn't list it as one of the options (implicitly impossible), and seems to imply you'd need to win an opposed grapple check to even try any action.

And, of course, you cannot take an AoO against a spellcaster you're grappling. Even if they have the hand free to use a somantic spell or attack with a light weapon.


I don't like the grapple checks being required to maintain the grapple. If your opponent doesn't try to break free, I don't see why there's a chance you'll drop him. I don't think the guy initiating the grapple should gain the grappled condition until the opponent "counters" to grapple him. This might create a problem with some other rules, but I like the idea.

eg: Fighter grappling a commoner and using her as a human shield. This method would allow the fighter to grab the commoner and pin them without taking any penalties (except perhaps encumbrance) and given the style's pervasiveness in entertainment, I think it should be an option.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

We ran into some grapple issues in my game on Sunday. Perhaps they've been addressed somewhere, but we did spend a good half hour trying to figure it out:

How does one enter a grapple that is already in progress? And once one is in the grapple, is there a way to pull someone out of the grapple?

And did we just miss info on attacking with a weapon while in a grapple? I remember seeing somewhere that you can only use a light weapon, but the Beta says it's just unarmed damage.


dthunder wrote:

I don't like the grapple checks being required to maintain the grapple. If your opponent doesn't try to break free, I don't see why there's a chance you'll drop him. I don't think the guy initiating the grapple should gain the grappled condition until the opponent "counters" to grapple him. This might create a problem with some other rules, but I like the idea.

eg: Fighter grappling a commoner and using her as a human shield. This method would allow the fighter to grab the commoner and pin them without taking any penalties (except perhaps encumbrance) and given the style's pervasiveness in entertainment, I think it should be an option.

I somewhat agree with your first point, there should be no standard action grapple checks to maintain a grapple.

I disagree with your second point. Even though you are grappling me, you should get the grappled condition because, regardless of whether I am actively breaking free, or trying to poke you in the eye, or trying to cast my teleport spell, or whatever, I am not just a limp rag that you toss about easily without incurring penalties to your AC or DEX. I hinder you, even if I am not actively returning a grapple against you.

As for using a commoner as a shield, I think losing some of your mobility and DEX in exchange for getting cover (at least 20%, maybe even 50%) seems reasonable. It's also totally reasonable that you cannot easily cast spells while grappling me, nor can you take any action that requires both of your hands to be free - both of which are covered by the grappled condition.


What I would change in grappling:

1. The grapple check to maintain a grapple becomes a move action. This prevents people from using iterative attacks while grappled (explained below).
2. The grappled condition becomes split into grappler and grapplee. The conditions are similar, but the grappler can move at half his movement rate (but only if he uses his standard action to move since his move action is used to maintain the grapple).
3. The grapplee can use his standard action to try to escape, or to try to reverse roles so that he can become the grappler.
4. Anyone who is a grappler at the start of their round and successfully makes their move action grapple check can use their standard action to injure the grapplee, using a fist or a light 1-handed weapon. They can also pin the grapplee.
5. Another option for the grappler should be to choke the grapplee (preventing spells with verbal components).
6. I agree with all the requests for clarification of the ambiguous, multiple, or unclear rules, and inclusion of additional rules for multiple grapplers, etc.

As for iterative attacks involving grappling:

Grappling is immensely powerful. It allows one combatant to take another combatant completely out of a fight. Even if the attacker does no damage and never maintains the grapple, the defender is using his entire round to escape the grapple.

Don't want a mage to cast a spell? Well, you can hit him with your sword, and next round he makes a 5' move and nukes you and your friends. Or you can grapple him and next round he does nothing by try to escape, or at the very worst he tries to cast from within your grapple with a significant chance of failure.

Don't want the enemy healer to keep healing your foes? Grapple him. You don't even care if he can cast while grappled - what's he going to do, heal you? He can't reach of his allies since you've robbed him of his mobility.

The drawback is that you only get one chance to successfully grapple, and you might miss.

But give iterative attacks and now you can make multiple attempts to grapple and maintain grapples and even do damage to your victim, all of which guarantees that you can remove your intended target from the battle much much more easily.

That makes grappling way too powerful - it becomes the only option for many classes. It becomes the tool a group of 8 orcs uses to kill a party of 6 PCs. Grapple 6 of them while the other two run around lopping off heads.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
DM_Blake wrote:

What I would change in grappling:

1. The grapple check to maintain a grapple becomes a move action. This prevents people from using iterative attacks while grappled (explained below).
2. The grappled condition becomes split into grappler and grapplee. The conditions are similar, but the grappler can move at half his movement rate (but only if he uses his standard action to move since his move action is used to maintain the grapple).
3. The grapplee can use his standard action to try to escape, or to try to reverse roles so that he can become the grappler.
4. Anyone who is a grappler at the start of their round and successfully makes their move action grapple check can use their standard action to injure the grapplee, using a fist or a light 1-handed weapon. They can also pin the grapplee.
5. Another option for the grappler should be to choke the grapplee (preventing spells with verbal components).
6. I agree with all the requests for clarification of the ambiguous, multiple, or unclear rules, and inclusion of additional rules for multiple grapplers, etc.

As for iterative attacks involving grappling:

Grappling is immensely powerful. It allows one combatant to take another combatant completely out of a fight. Even if the attacker does no damage and never maintains the grapple, the defender is using his entire round to escape the grapple.

Don't want a mage to cast a spell? Well, you can hit him with your sword, and next round he makes a 5' move and nukes you and your friends. Or you can grapple him and next round he does nothing by try to escape, or at the very worst he tries to cast from within your grapple with a significant chance of failure.

Don't want the enemy healer to keep healing your foes? Grapple him. You don't even care if he can cast while grappled - what's he going to do, heal you? He can't reach of his allies since you've robbed him of his mobility.

The drawback is that you only get one chance to successfully grapple, and you might miss.

But give iterative attacks and now...

Excellent post, will seriously consider stealing your ideas^^

Some additional options to be considered for clarification/ruling as to their feasbility within a grapple (by the grappler or the grapplee )

- Use of supernatural(Su) powers (what is possible, what is not, especially for the use of abilities such as Channel Positive Energy which do not really specify a specific mode of employ aside from stating that energy must be channeled through a holy symbol.... in hand ? On the person ?
Same hold's true for gaze-attacks or "on sight" effects

- use of (Sp)powers - guidelines for what sort of effects are possible, which ones are not

- Use/risks of touch delivered special attacks (such as mummy's rot, worms from a spawn of Kyuss ) and ranged-touch effects

- Disabling senses such as sight or scent through appropriate aplication of hands/appendages (such as muffling your victims "free action" screams for help )

- pick-pocketing in a grapple (stealing or planting stuff on someone )


DM_Blake wrote:

What I would change in grappling:

4. Anyone who is a grappler at the start of their round and successfully makes their move action grapple check can use their standard action to injure the grapplee, using a fist or a light 1-handed weapon....

Or a wall... or the floor... or table.

:) Let's support more dynamic combat!


toyrobots wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

What I would change in grappling:

4. Anyone who is a grappler at the start of their round and successfully makes their move action grapple check can use their standard action to injure the grapplee, using a fist or a light 1-handed weapon....

Or a wall... or the floor... or table.

:) Let's support more dynamic combat!

I agree!

However, I think this amounts to pretty much the same thing as doing your unarmed damage. The rules already provide for doing unarmed damage as either lethal or non-lethal.

I interpret this as smashing them in the face, or smashing their face against furniture or walls, or biting their ear off, or whatever.

It would be nice, however, to mention this in the rulebook, that doing unarmed damage is not limited to simply pummeling the grapplee with your fist.


DM_Blake wrote:

What I would change in grappling:

1. The grapple check to maintain a grapple becomes a move action. This prevents people from using iterative attacks while grappled (explained below).
2. The grappled condition becomes split into grappler and grapplee. The conditions are similar, but the grappler can move at half his movement rate (but only if he uses his standard action to move since his move action is used to maintain the grapple).
3. The grapplee can use his standard action to try to escape, or to try to reverse roles so that he can become the grappler.
4. Anyone who is a grappler at the start of their round and successfully makes their move action grapple check can use their standard action to injure the grapplee, using a fist or a light 1-handed weapon. They can also pin the grapplee.
5. Another option for the grappler should be to choke the grapplee (preventing spells with verbal components).
6. I agree with all the requests for clarification of the ambiguous, multiple, or unclear rules, and inclusion of additional rules for multiple grapplers, etc.

I like the change to maintaining a grapple a move-action. If you get rid of the +5 bonus on subsequent rounds, then the grappler/grapplee conditions sound good. But reversing roles should also be a move action. It allows for more action to take place without making grapple more deadly as you state, and stays in line with the standard action/move action norm.

Use a light weapon should be added to the list of options you can do while grappling.


anthony Valente wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

What I would change in grappling:

1. The grapple check to maintain a grapple becomes a move action. This prevents people from using iterative attacks while grappled (explained below).
2. The grappled condition becomes split into grappler and grapplee. The conditions are similar, but the grappler can move at half his movement rate (but only if he uses his standard action to move since his move action is used to maintain the grapple).
3. The grapplee can use his standard action to try to escape, or to try to reverse roles so that he can become the grappler.
4. Anyone who is a grappler at the start of their round and successfully makes their move action grapple check can use their standard action to injure the grapplee, using a fist or a light 1-handed weapon. They can also pin the grapplee.
5. Another option for the grappler should be to choke the grapplee (preventing spells with verbal components).
6. I agree with all the requests for clarification of the ambiguous, multiple, or unclear rules, and inclusion of additional rules for multiple grapplers, etc.

I like the change to maintaining a grapple a move-action. If you get rid of the +5 bonus on subsequent rounds, then the grappler/grapplee conditions sound good. But reversing roles should also be a move action. It allows for more action to take place without making grapple more deadly as you state, and stays in line with the standard action/move action norm.

Use a light weapon should be added to the list of options you can do while grappling.

Maybe.

I considered reversal to be a move action, but it really feels like an attack. After all, it is the grapplee (the victim who is being held) making an aggressive action to turn the tables and become the grappler.

To me, agressive actions that harm your opponent sound like attacks.

Attacks are not move actions.

That doesn't mean that grapple must follow this reasoning. Maybe it would be better to make it a move action.

But to me, that seems counterintuitive - reversals are attacks and therefore standard actions in my mind.

Also, allowing escaping to be a move action also seems to break grapple. The round could go like this:

Joe: I grapple. A good roll, so I succeed.
Orc: I escape. A good roll, so I'm free. Now I use my standard action to hit Joe with my axe.
Joe: I grapple. A good roll, so I succeed again.
Orc: I escape again. Another good roll, so I'm free. Now I use my standard action to hit Joe with my axe.
etc.

As you can see, escaping then attacking breaks grapple since the grappler never gets to damage the enemy and in return, he takes incoming fire every time his enemy escapes. Sooner or later he'll run out of HP, or give up grappling all together.

So it seems to me that escaping and reversing both need to be standard actions.


Reversal doesn't seem like an attack to me. You don't actually hurt or hinder your opponent... you just put yourself in an advantageous position with it. If you accomplish this, a nice reward would be the standard action.

Picture two grapplers of equal ability. It may be commonplace for them to accomplish essentially nothing over several rounds while grappling because all they do to each other is reverse grappler/grapplee each other.

A big reason I find your idea interesting is because it helps to preserve the move-action/standard action set-up that combat normally has, which the current grapple rules lack.


anthony Valente wrote:

Reversal doesn't seem like an attack to me. You don't actually hurt or hinder your opponent... you just put yourself in an advantageous position with it. If you accomplish this, a nice reward would be the standard action.

Picture two grapplers of equal ability. It may be commonplace for them to accomplish essentially nothing over several rounds while grappling because all they do to each other is reverse grappler/grapplee each other.

A big reason I find your idea interesting is because it helps to preserve the move-action/standard action set-up that combat normally has, which the current grapple rules lack.

I hear what you're saying, and if we were discussing the real world I would agree.

But this is a game, and games have turns, and actions, both move and standard.

Consider the implications of your viewpoint. If what you say is true in game terms, then it should be equally true that INITIATING the grapple should be just a move action. After all, when you initiate the grapple, you don't actually hurt or hinder your opponent... you just put yourself in an advantageous position with it.

If you think of it that way, then the picture becomes clearer.

I stand by reversal as a standard action to keep it consistent with initiating the grapple.

After all, reaching out and grabbing someone doesn't take any more energy or time than breaking free from or squirming around in your opponent's grapple and finding a weakness you can exploit to break his hold and acquire one of your own.


DM_Blake wrote:

I hear what you're saying, and if we were discussing the real world I would agree.

But this is a game, and games have turns, and actions, both move and standard.

Consider the implications of your viewpoint. If what you say is true in game terms, then it should be equally true that INITIATING the grapple should be just a move action. After all, when you initiate the grapple, you don't actually hurt or hinder your opponent... you just put yourself in an advantageous position with it.

If you think of it that way, then the picture becomes clearer.

I stand by reversal as a standard action to keep it consistent with initiating the grapple.

After all, reaching out and grabbing someone doesn't take any more energy or time than breaking free from or squirming around in your opponent's grapple and finding a weakness you can exploit to break his hold and acquire one of your own.

I'm actually trying to look at it in game terms...

Initiating a grapple as a standard action seems fine to me since you are opting to go into a "sub-set" (if you will) of combat. In the round in which you initiate a grapple, you are still entitled to a move and standard action.

But once you are grappling:

1) Under the current rules, you essentially "lose" your move action each turn and effectively are taking a partial action each round. Sure you still have a move action... you just can't do anything with it.

2) In your system, it makes your move action somewhat relevant, which I like. The reversal to me seems like a good alternative to the current +5 bonus from winning a previous check and makes your move action worth something. (less math too) Since you're now fighting in a "sub-set of normal combat, the reversal can go either way equally for grappler or grapplee. Attempting to break a grapple should still be a standard action (after all, you are the grapplee)

3)Resolving grappling combat under either system will at times be very slow. If you keep reversal as a standard action, then your system will be slower than the current.

On another note, it would be good to try to work a full-round action into the grapple rules. And find more options after pinning an opponent.

Of course, there is always the idea of eliminating maintaining a grapple round-to-round altogether.

And actually, I haven't thought of what happens if you don't maintain the grapple with a move-action. Hmmm... "maybe itsa notta so good Luigi."

*Edited*


anthony Valente wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

...

I stand by reversal as a standard action to keep it consistent with initiating the grapple.

I'm actually trying to look at it in game terms...

Initiating a grapple as a standard action seems fine to me since you are opting to go into a "sub-set" (if you will) of combat. In the round in which you initiate a grapple, you are still entitled to a move and standard action.

But once you are grappling:

1) Under the current rules, you essentially "lose" your move action each turn and effectively are taking a partial action each round. Sure you still have a move action... you just can't do anything with it.

Exept you can still move both you and your target up to half your speed according to PFBeta p.151.

So moving, and then doing the half move, and still maintaining a grapple would be a bit much.

anthony Valente wrote:

2) In your system, it makes your move action somewhat relevant, which I like. The reversal to me seems like a good alternative to the current +5 bonus from winning a previous check and makes your move action worth something. (less math too) Since you're now fighting in a "sub-set of normal combat, the reversal can go either way equally for grappler or grapplee. Attempting to break a grapple should still be a standard action (after all, you are the grapplee)

However, a revesal IS breaking the grapple. The grapplee breaks his opponents hold (the grapple) and substitutes one of his own. It is essentially just a single action, though, not two, so it can be played as a single action - a single standard action, since you're in effect initiating a new grapple with you being the grappler.

anthony Valente wrote:

3)Resolving grappling combat under either system will at times be very slow. If you keep reversal as a standard action, then your system will be slower than the current.

With grappling, I think slow is OK.

When a giant contrictor snatches up your mage, you want your fighters to have time to hack it to bits before the mage is dead.

As a DM, you don't want your PCs wading through rooms full of orcs, grappling, sqeezing, crushing, killing them in a single round, each PC able to gapple and kill an orc every round.

As a DM, you don't want any PC able to grab any of your badguys and grapple him quickly into submission or death.

It's bad enough that a PC grappler can effectively eliminate one of your favorite bad guys, taking him out of the encounter and doing some damage to him at the same time. Let's not make it easy to kill him fast and move on to take a 2nd bad guy out of the same encounter too quickly.

anthony Valente wrote:

On another note, it would be good to try to work a full-round action into the grapple rules. And find more options after pinning an opponent.

This goes back to killing the grappled bad guy very quickly.

High-level PC fighter grabs an enemy mage. Next round, bam, 4 attacks against the mage with no dexterity. Dead mage.

Do we really want to turn grapple into a 2-round-kill-anything tool?

anthony Valente wrote:

Of course, there is always the idea of eliminating maintaining a grapple round-to-round altogether.

Yes, this is doable. Once you establish it, you have it until you let go or the enemy finds a way to break out or reverse.

I could agree to this quite easily.

Anyone skilled enough to grapple someone isn't likely to be idiotic enough to let them go by accident.

Why punish the grappler to make him roll to maintain AND also allow the grapplee to roll to escape - that's two chances to fail every round?

anthony Valente wrote:
And actually, I haven't thought of what happens if you don't maintain the grapple with a move-action. Hmmm... "maybe itsa notta so good Luigi."

I've thought of it.

Death to the Grapplee.

Round 1 - Joe grapples the archmage.
Round 1 - Archmage struggles to break free but fails
Round 2 - Joe lets go of the archmage and full-round attacks him
Round 2 - Dead archmage doesn't get a round 2.

Many combatants rely on being mobile to prevent high-BAB foes from using their full attacks.

If it becomes a viable tactic to move and grapple on round 1, then full attack on round 2, then high-BAB combatants will use this to consistently full attack every other round, which is preferable to single attacking every round.

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