Grapple and You

What’s that, you say? Grappling is a convoluted and arcane process that drives men mad? The last time you tried to grapple something, it took so long to figure out that you were declared legally dead by the government? Do you have a separate GM screen devoted entirely to grapple tables and special actions, with a sidebar for the profanity that grappling incites?

Well, we fixed all that. Grapple in Legend is three combat maneuvers, two conditions and absolutely no fuss. The only downside to our Grapple rules is that you can’t make jokes about them.

14 comments on “Grapple and You

  1. Patrick Phelan on said:

    Every new project update on Legend makes me happy in new and interesting ways. These rules seem to work pretty dang well.

    Making a character to take advantage, I note that this does make a Knight incredibly dangerous, unless the GM rules that Choke – not using a standard action – isn’t a combat maneuver. (Which would kind of go against the rules saying it’s a “grapple combat maneuver”.) Otherwise, the Knight pins the opponent, Chokes once a turn, and with that single move action, deals not only its character level, but also its character level plus its KOM. So this level 4 orc ranger-knight trades up from 4 automatic damage per move action to a pinned target to… 13 automatic damage per move action.

    Works with the character concept, since she’d have a kusarigama chain around her enemy’s neck and be on the verge of breaking it. And I can buy it being acceptable – to do the damage, she’d have to have succeeded on a Grapple and a Pin, and with the enemy failing the Reflex and Fortitude save each turn.

    Anyway, my point is, yes. I like that each game mechanic is inspiring for new character builds, all of which are workable.

  2. Dave on said:

    Move action seems a little over powered in my mind. especially for escaping. There is no risk/reward balance in wanting to do a grapple attack if the opponent can just pop out and strike you as if the grapple had no effect. I never like when something that should show strain and effort is made a move action instead of a standard action (lets face it, this is an ESCAPE action, just because it involves movement doesnt make it a good fit to be a move action at all.) because of the simple fact that if victom makes there escape roll with thier move action they will be able to use thier standard action to make an attack. In my mind if your struggling to get free then when you finally do you should be exhausted to the point you wouldnt be able to make an immidiate attack (at least without a penalty of some kind) So i suggest that if you do keep escaping a move action, impose a “out of breath” penalty unless they make their escape roll by X amount. or perhaps make it a standard action, but if they make thier successful escape roll by X amount then the escape is counted as a move instead of a standard. (soemthing along those lines)

  3. ShneekeyTheLost on said:

    You guys just deciphered the grapple rules and presented a cleaned up version in a single page?

    We’re not worthy, man. Just… not worthy. You are the Joss Wheaton of the gaming world. You took on a Herculean task, and made it look easy.

    Incidentally, in real life, you can go from pinning an opponent to out cold in an eyeblink. I’ve done greco-roman wrestling, Akido, and Judo… you let your grip relax for a moment, and you’ve got an elbow in your temple, a heel in your crotch, and NFC of how you ate mat. I find a move action to be entirely realistic.

    Unless you’re trained in proper grappling techniques, it could be a very bad move for you. Presumably, you’ve already got weapons and armor… use them. They’re better. That’s why they were invented. Grappling should take a poor second to sticking someone with three feet of sharpened (and possibly enchanted) steel.

  4. Silva on said:

    Those don’t seem to allow for a small character to attach themselves to a larger one without immobilizing the latter, or for a larger character to carry a helpless smaller opponent around. I’m out of jokes ATM, though.

  5. Sydney on said:

    Just for clarity, a [Grappled] person can’t move of their own volition, but I assume the grappler can push them around a bit. Is this handled by the grappler making bull rushes, making further Grapple attempts, or simply moving?

    Am I correct to assume that you can use these grapple rules to get a rifleman in a headlock and fend off his companion with my broadsword. All the while making attacks of opportunity whenever he tries to use his gun on me?

    • Mr. S on said:

      You’d need to bull rush your opponent to move him.

      Yes, you can grapple one person while fighting another one normally, since unless the rifleman tries to counter-grapple you, or you pin him, you yourself are not [Grappled] and your actions are not restricted. Of course, the rifleman would have to be pretty dumb to try and shoot you while you have him in a headlock, and his companion is well advised to Bull Rush you off of him (or Grapple you himself)!

  6. The reason i dislike the escaping a grapple being a move action is (for using the above example) there is no reason for a grappled person to use a rifle while grappled, they simply use their MOVE action to escape the grapple THEN use their STANDARD action to shoot the person that was grappling them, this means getting out of grapple is too easy, and why i really think it would make better sense to make escaping a grapple a Standard action. this way they have a choice.. escape or shoot, because they wont be able to do both. if you keep escaping a MOVE action then there is no motivation to even try grappling someone who can just escape then attack you in their turn. it also make those who are grappled decide “do i want to get out of this situation, or do i want to attack in this current condition” which would be a perfect interpretation for any MMA submission hold.

    • Sydney on said:

      But you already used the move action to escape the grapple. You’re still adjacent and subject to attacks of opportunity.

      • let me put it this way.. this is what is gonna be the normal for grappling if “escaping” remains a MOVE action instead of a “standard” action.

        (player) Move, Grapple attack (grapple successful)
        (NPC) Escape, Attack player
        (player) Grapple attack again (grapple successful)
        (NPC) Escape, attack player

        what ends up happening is the PLayer is waisting all his standard attacks on grappling to only have his grapples not only escaped but also have return attacks made in the same turn. so what ends up happening is the player dies fast or realizes that “grappling sucks” and quits trying to do it. the benefits gained from grappling do not outweigh the fact that a mere Move action can undo everything you worked for AND leave you getting attacked as well. instead it should be a a tug of war for positioning from Escaped to Pinned. each grapple attack should move the progression towards pinned and each escape action should move the position toward escaped, this way someone who is pinned cannot just luck out on a escape roll and be “free”, also escape attempts and grapple attempts should be STANDARD action. they are both attacks, one is attacking for a pinn the other is counter attacking to get escape.

        • Sydney on said:

          Are we reading the same rules? You don’t simply spend a move action to escape. There is a roll to make. You can fail it. Especially because it’s a reflex save where the DC includes the grappler’s strength or dex. If you fail, you can then also use your standard to try to get out, but then you don’t get any new actions.

          The situation you described is completely impossible. Especially because the grapple deals damage. It’s like a regular attack. You’re still attacking the person, except you get the bonus of keeping them from running away.

          I honestly suggest you go over the rules there one more time.

    • Sydney on said:

      Oh, and sorry to make this two replies, but it appears you still deal damage with your grapple attempt. You’re not really sacrificing anything except maybe a special attack to make a grapple.

  7. The only damage that should be dealt in grapple is when in choke position. dealing damage AND grappling is too powerful. it should be. Free-Grapple- Pinned- Choke. if you are choked and do a successful escape (standard) action then you become Pinned (not free) and when pinned a successful escape (standard) action would alow you to be grappled. if you succeed in a (standard) action escape when Grappled you are free. Choke should be Level+ STR mod. i dont like the idea that a level 3 puny caster can do more damage than a OX built melee character at level 2. there also can be other feats/ tracks that modify or effect the 3 grapple conditions. you can have special unarmed attacks that do different things while in different stages of being grappled, for example ARM BAR= if not grappled allows victim to become grappled and take x damage, if grappled victim must make a save vs strength or drop any item carried in their hands, if pinned victims arm is wounded and must suffer a -4 to use any weapon with the arm of choice for the rest of the encounter (this is just an example but it is a great way to make each of the stages of grappling more enticing. and important.)

    • Marshall on said:

      It really depends on how you are describing your grapple. If you have ever had your arms twisted behind your back by someone skilled in self defense, then you would know that a grapple can hurt. Regarding your assertion that a caster shouldn’t be able to deal high choke damage let me remind you that they are MAGIC. They could, mechanically speaking, do practically anything to the person that they were choking. If the caster has some fire magic it could be described that he is burning up the oxygen around the target’s head, or maybe he is creating a small ward of sorts around the target that filters out the air.

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