Spell save mechanic for grappling attacks
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  1. #1

    Spell save mechanic for grappling attacks

    I don't care for the wild outcome swings that are possible with opposed d20 rolls (and I can't wrap my head around the probabilities involved anyway), so I was wondering if using the mechanic for spell saving throws would also work for grappling.

    Grappling attack: Target makes a Strength or Dexterity saving throw (whichever is better) against the attacker's grappling save DC. If the target fails, he is in the grappled condition. Target may attempt to break the grapple on his next turn by making only a Strength saving throw against the attacker's grappling save DC .

    Grappling save DC: 8 + Strength modifier (+ proficiency bonus if the character has proficiency in Strength saving throws)

    Doing it this way also gives fighters a little extra oomph by making Strength the prominent ability involved.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by iosman123; Yesterday at 05:58 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by iosman123 View Post
    I don't care for the wild outcome swings that are possible with opposed d20 rolls (and I can't wrap my head around the probabilities involved anyway), so I was wondering if using the mechanic for spell saving throws would also work for grappling.

    Grappling attack: Target makes a Strength or Dexterity saving throw (whichever is better) against the attacker's grappling save DC. If the target fails, he is in the grappled condition. Target may attempt to break the grapple on his next turn by making only a Strength saving throw against the attacker's grappling save DC.

    Grappling save DC: 8 + Strength modifier (+ proficiency bonus if the character has proficiency in Strength saving throws)

    Doing it this way also gives fighters a little extra oomph by making Strength the prominent ability involved.

    Thoughts?
    I have been using the following for a long while with no ptoblem...

    Player grapples enemy use passive skill for enemy as DC. So 10 + athletics or acrobwtics. Of target.

    Player resists being grappled - use passive athletics for attacker.

    No problems.

    Imo taking it down to str saves etc is not a good approach as it removes the skills and moves it to class based favorites.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by iosman123 View Post
    I don't care for the wild outcome swings that are possible with opposed d20 rolls (and I can't wrap my head around the probabilities involved anyway), so I was wondering if using the mechanic for spell saving throws would also work for grappling.

    Grappling attack: Target makes a Strength or Dexterity saving throw (whichever is better) against the attacker's grappling save DC. If the target fails, he is in the grappled condition. Target may attempt to break the grapple on his next turn by making only a Strength saving throw against the attacker's grappling save DC.

    Grappling save DC: 8 + Strength modifier (+ proficiency bonus if the character has proficiency in Strength saving throws)

    Doing it this way also gives fighters a little extra oomph by making Strength the prominent ability involved.

    Thoughts?

    I like it, and I'd use it in my games. I would tie it to athletics proficiency, though.

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    I'd also make it solely a strength save but allow an athletics check on your turn to get out of it. Allowing people to use the better of two saves would make it work a whole lot less.

  5. #5
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    This is a good idea.
    I would allow a srength or dexterity save though to resist. To escape you can make an actobatics or athletics check.

    I am not sure how to tie the DC though.

    8+str. Proficiency bonus sounds right. I don't know if I want it to tie to athletics. Expertise on that check sounds like a cheat.
    On the other hand a barbarian should be able to get advantage in rage.
    Probably tying it to strength DC would give it to all classes where you would expect. Fighter, barbarian and Monk.

    I think it would not be the worst idea to do the same to perception checks. Just tie it to class and remove it as a skill. Only keep passive perception as a DC to beat. Probably 8+wis+proficiency bonus for rogue, ranger and fighter.
    Everything else goes to investigation.
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  6. #6
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    Even if you wanted to add a DC save versus grappling, which i dont think is the answer, DCs for saves in 5e always favor the person doing the thing so it qould be 10+ not 8+.

    Really though, if you don't like the grappling rules it's way easier to just not use them. Let you PCs grapple for effect when they want to and rule it out as it goes on an encounter by encounter basis. The RAW doesn't do what people cinematically want out of grappling anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iosman123 View Post
    I don't care for the wild outcome swings that are possible with opposed d20 rolls (and I can't wrap my head around the probabilities involved anyway), so I was wondering if using the mechanic for spell saving throws would also work for grappling.

    Grappling attack: Target makes a Strength or Dexterity saving throw (whichever is better) against the attacker's grappling save DC. If the target fails, he is in the grappled condition. Target may attempt to break the grapple on his next turn by making only a Strength saving throw against the attacker's grappling save DC.

    Grappling save DC: 8 + Strength modifier (+ proficiency bonus if the character has proficiency in Strength saving throws)

    Doing it this way also gives fighters a little extra oomph by making Strength the prominent ability involved.

    Thoughts?
    Opposing d20s aren't terribly wild unless you're using degrees of success. Head over to anydice.com and check it out.

    I don't see a good reason for fighters to have a grappling edge. If anything, the non-fighters have just as much experience trying to escape grapples as fighters have experience starting grapples.

    Since Inspiration still needs love (as far as I can tell), you should allow an inspiration point to immediately let a PC escape a grapple. Or if you're playing 3rd ed, use a hero point from Eberron (?).
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris-77 View Post
    The RAW doesn't do what people cinematically want out of grappling anyway.
    The combination of Grapple + Shove Prone works fine for me, both cinematically and mechanically.... hmm, except that it doesn't benefit from the grappler going to the mat *with* the target, and perhaps it should.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iosman123 View Post
    don't care for the wild outcome swings that are possible with opposed d20 rolls
    Agreed. Passive scores as targets work well. AC is essentially an example. You could start grapples with an attack (though vs a Touch AC would make more sense), and use a STR save to break out.

    Grappling attack: Target makes a Strength or Dexterity saving throw (whichever is better) against the attacker's grappling save DC. If the target fails, he is in the grappled condition. Target may attempt to break the grapple on his next turn by making onlya Strength saving throw against the attacker's grappling save DC.
    DEX save to avoid and STR to escape might make more sense.

    Note, though, that 2 saves to work, and two different saves at that, leaves it a pretty low-percentage option.

  10. #10
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    Monks don't typically have high Str, though.

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