Escaping bonds; which DC to use?

Rules Questions

While statting up a creature of my own, I came to the part where I check the DC for the various special abilities.

One of those abilities involved tightly wrapping its helpless victims in webs, and I was soon aware of the vast difference in DC between the rules for bindings and those for webs.

PFSRD wrote:

Escape Artist

Ropes/Bindings: The DC of your Escape Artist check is equal to the binder’s combat maneuver bonus +20.
PFSRD wrote:

Web

An entangled creature can escape with a successful Escape Artist check or burst the web with a Strength check. Both are standard actions with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the creature’s HD + the creature’s Con modifier. Attempts to burst a web by those caught in it take a –4 penalty.

As can be seen, the first case has a DC that scales with BAB and Strength. The second case has a DC that scales with half Hit Dice and Con.

As BAB is always at least half HD, it is clear that the first half of each equation will scale faster in the first instance than the second, and will continue to improve as the attacker gains class levels, whereas the second situation would (I assume) be capped at the racial HD, ignoring further HD from classes.

Strength also appears to rise further and more often than Con, according to the size advancement chart, giving a further advantage to formula number one.

The specific creature I was working on was an 8HD outsider, with Str 16 and Con 14. That results in DCs of 31 for the first formula, and 16 for the second (20 if using Strength).

Those DCs vary considerably, so my question is in several parts;

• is it the intent that the first, higher DC represents a more secure bond? That of an attacker taking the time to really test his handiwork? With the DC reflecting increased skill (BAB)?
• is it the intent that the second, lower DC represents a more easily achievable, hit and run snaring, with the DC representing increased 'stickyness' from increased physical vigor (HD and Con)?
• if a creature is taking the time to wrap a helpless victim, is it therefore more appropriate to use the first formula rather than the second (once the victim regains movement)?
• if the victim has poor Dex, and/or insufficient ranks in Escape Artist, is it fair to allow them to attempt to break the bindings, using a Strength check at formula one?
• if a Strength check is allowed to escape the higher DC bindings, would it be reasonable to apply the same minus 4 penalty, quoted in the second formula? I.e. is trying to force tight bindings always an inefficient tactic?
• or would you set the DC for wrapping in webstrands at something else entirely? Scale with Con over Strength (for stickyness over tight knotwork)? Or Dex (for skilled weaving)?

Typing all that has served to focus my thoughts somewhat, but I'd still like to hear what others think.
I want to be fair to both sides, by not setting a DC that is pitiful, while not creating a situation in which 'only halfling rogues with Skill Focus need apply'.

The way I would rule it is:

Web is usually an attack that a creature can make at range, and as such is not subject to the normal grappling/pinning rules that using ropes/bindings is, which is why it is in a sense easier (albeit the -4 to the check is nice) to deal with them. If, however, a creature with the web special attack was binding up a helpless or pinned victim, I would simply treat those webs like bindings.

Example: Giant Spider has a web attack. They can use this ability at range, and the DC to escape or break is 12, as listed in the block.

Example 2: The exact same giant spider has rendered a target helpless through Str damage from poison, and proceeds to wrap up the victim. The DC to escape these bonds is 22.

Snorter wrote:

While statting up a creature of my own, I came to the part where I check the DC for the various special abilities.

One of those abilities involved tightly wrapping its helpless victims in webs, and I was soon aware of the vast difference in DC between the rules for bindings and those for webs.

PFSRD wrote:

Escape Artist

Ropes/Bindings: The DC of your Escape Artist check is equal to the binder’s combat maneuver bonus +20.
PFSRD wrote:

Web

An entangled creature can escape with a successful Escape Artist check or burst the web with a Strength check. Both are standard actions with a DC equal to 10 + 1/2 the creature’s HD + the creature’s Con modifier. Attempts to burst a web by those caught in it take a –4 penalty.

As can be seen, the first case has a DC that scales with BAB and Strength. The second case has a DC that scales with half Hit Dice and Con.

As BAB is always at least half HD, it is clear that the first half of each equation will scale faster in the first instance than the second, and will continue to improve as the attacker gains class levels, whereas the second situation would (I assume) be capped at the racial HD, ignoring further HD from classes.

Strength also appears to rise further and more often than Con, according to the size advancement chart, giving a further advantage to formula number one.

The specific creature I was working on was an 8HD outsider, with Str 16 and Con 14. That results in DCs of 31 for the first formula, and 16 for the second (20 if using Strength).

Those DCs vary considerably, so my question is in several parts;

• is it the intent that the first, higher DC represents a more secure bond? That of an attacker taking the time to really test his handiwork? With the DC reflecting increased skill (BAB)?
• is it the intent that the second, lower DC represents a more easily achievable, hit and run snaring, with the DC representing increased 'stickyness' from increased physical vigor (HD and Con)?
• if a creature is taking the
...

The first number is thematically "taking 20"(getting the flat +20 modifier) on 'rope use'(now abstractly represented by CMB instead of a skill rank value) to tie a person up securely to the best of your ability and know-how when time isn't a factor. When building an in-combat power/use the Web style would be the way i would suggest to go.

That was quick!

Those thoughts echo my own.
My only reservation at this point is whether to apply the -4 penalty to brute force attempts to force the bindings, i.e. in the example above, would it be 'Escape Artist DC 31, or Strength check DC 35'?

Or is the fact that ability checks are already hindered, by the lack of skill ranks, enough of a hindrance?

AS Rathendar said, if you're trying to make an ability that a creature can use in combat, you should use the Web rules. Binding someone using ropes/etc is something can can only be done in a grapple when the target is pinned (and imposes a -10 on the check unless the target is helpless.)

Snorter wrote:

That was quick!

Those thoughts echo my own.
My only reservation at this point is whether to apply the -4 penalty to brute force attempts to force the bindings, i.e. in the example above, would it be 'Escape Artist DC 31, or Strength check DC 35'?

If the creature is using its webs to bind the target, yes, I would impose the -4 penalty on Str checks to burst.

Quote:
The first number is thematically "taking 20"(getting the flat +20 modifier) on 'rope use'(now abstractly represented by CMB instead of a skill rank value) to tie a person up securely to the best of your ability and know-how when time isn't a factor...

The only problem there is that it only takes you a Standard Action to do this (about 3 seconds)... but I'd agree that, overall, the 'tie up' version is 'hog-tying' someone, whilst the 'web' version is closer to throwing a net over them.

The -4 penalty to burst is near to the 5 point difference between the Escape Artist DC (20) of a net and the 'burst' DC (25) of a net - so it's seems in line to keep that extra 'toughness' that the webs have.

Brotato wrote:
Binding someone using ropes/etc is something can can only be done in a grapple when the target is pinned (and imposes a -10 on the check unless the target is helpless.)

Aha; that's the bit I was missing.

If the target is helpless, you can do what you like, but if they're still kicking, no matter how feebly, you do a more messy job, and they can buy themselves some more 'give' in the bindings.
Like the escapologist's trick of tensing up during the binding, then shrugging off the ropes when they relax.

ProfPotts wrote:
The only problem there is that it only takes you a Standard Action to do this (about 3 seconds)... but I'd agree that, overall, the 'tie up' version is 'hog-tying' someone, whilst the 'web' version is closer to throwing a net over them.

I wouldn't be treating this as a single standard action.

I'd be making it take several rounds, or longer if the victim's allies are distracting the creature.

The point about the higher DC to burst a net is well taken.
This stuff is spread out over several chapters.

Thanks to all posters.

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Tools                                           New Rules Suggestions                                     Alpha Release 2                                           General Discussion                                           Races & Classes                                           Skills & Feats                                           Combat & Magic                                           GM Tools                                           New Rules Suggestions                                     Alpha Release 1                                           General Discussion                                           Races & Classes                                           Skills & Feats                                           Combat & Magic                         Advanced Player’s Guide Playtest                               General Discussion                               Investigator Playtest                               Oracle Playtest                               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