I wanted to start up a thread to post some different issues I've encountered while running Pathfinder RPG since Beta was released.
This post will focus on my groups experience with Grapple and CMB
DC 15 vs. DC 12 When my group first started playing, I had them use the DC for Combat Maneuvers at 15. We found that this made maneuvers much harder to accomplish, even at low levels against weaker opponents.
For example, at DC 15 our level 2 Fighter (CMB6: +2 BAB, +4 Str) had to beat a DC 21 against a CR2 Choker (CMB6: +2 BAB, +3 Str, -1 Small, +2 Natural Bonus), which had a 25% chance to succeed. Players see these odds and are discouraged, effectively removing the point of special combat attacks to begin with.
Unfortunately DC 12 still runs into some difficulties as well. For example when our level 4 Monk went up against a CR4 Giant Crocodile (CMB15: +5 BAB, +2 Size, +8 Str). The Monk (CMB7: +3 BAB, +4 Str) had to beat a DC 27 to escape the Crocodiles grapple, which had a 5% chance to succeed, while the Croc had to beat a DC 19 against him, which had a 80% chance to succeed. With a creature that can do 2d8+12 a round in a grapple such odds come off as a grossly unfair to players. Of note as well: The Croc in this example was fighting the most CMB oriented character in the group. If it had been the sorcerer, the Croc would have automatically succeeded and the sorcerer would need a 20, or 5% chance to escape.
What I'm really hoping to see is Jason develop some of the suggestions of allowing all attack mods to be added against a CMB AC. If I could find a comprehensible write-up on this I would try it out.
Escaping Grapple I was wondering if there was a reason why Escape Artist (which is an untrained skill) has a lower DC to escape a grapple then making a grapple check in general? Grapple, as we have it in our game, is DC 12 + CMB (normally DC 15 + CMB). Escape Artist, normally DC 10 + CMB, we ruled as DC 8 + CMB.
My thoughts on this is: What I end up seeing is players with any Dex Mod at all (regardless of having Escape Artist as a trained skill) rolling the lower number. Maybe instead a bonus should be given to CMB if a player has Escape Artist trained? Or, just allow a player to use their Dex Mod in CMB rather than Str, because basically that is what a dex-based, untrained skill allows a player to do.