OneDnD One D&D Grappling

Zubatcarteira

Now you're infected by the Musical Doodle
My point was the grapple rules are general and all monsters and PC can use them.

Yes, there are monsters use only effect on a hit is to grapple, I was not disputing that. Again, that is only a small handful of monsters, it was not a general rule for monsters. That is the point
And my point is that the only way I've ever seen it appear on a statblock is the hit-grapple one, and I guess a few have a saving throw. The contested check just isn't a mechanic that I've seen them actually using on a monster statblock.
 

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Chaosmancer

Legend
I am away from a device with access to the document: was there a size relationship limit on grapple. Because if not it is stupidly OP against big multi attacking foes.

Both grapple and shove have "possible only if the target is no more than one Size larger than you"

So, you can grapple and shove large creatures (who have no advantage on the save notably) but not Huge. And small characters can't grapple or shove large creatures.
 

Reynard

Legend
Both grapple and shove have "possible only if the target is no more than one Size larger than you"

So, you can grapple and shove large creatures (who have no advantage on the save notably) but not Huge. And small characters can't grapple or shove large creatures.
Thanks. That's not so bad and aligns nicely with the inspirational fiction.
 

dave2008

Legend
And my point is that the only way I've ever seen it appear on a statblock is the hit-grapple one, and I guess a few have a saving throw. The contested check just isn't a mechanic that I've seen them actually using on a monster statblock.
You don't put general Actions that do not have damage in the stat block. General Actions are standard rules in 5e. For example, all monsters can take the Dash, Disengage, Dodge, & Hide actions even though they are not listed on every statblock. The statblock only mentions these actions when the monster can do something different than the general rule. Like using a Bonus Action, instead of an Action, to Dash

Similarily, spellcasting monsters, until recently, didn't have a spellcasting action listed, it was a trait with the spells listed. It was understood that they could take an action to cast a spell because that is the general rule for how spellcasting works.

Do you think monsters can only do what is listed in the stat block?
 
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dave2008

Legend
One of my players asked while reviewing the new playtest material:

So, did they add a way to go from grappled to restrained?

When I answered "No", he was pretty disappointed.

(Before anyone answers, I know the Grappler feat allows this, but its the only way...).
Why didn't you tell him about the feat?

Also, currently some monsters restrain when they grapple. I wonder if that will change or if they will add disadvantage to strength saving throws to the restrained condition.
 

squibbles

Adventurer
[...] I don't follow.

Athletics is strength + prof. Strength attacks are strength + prof. The high save will be strength + prof + 8. Same as every caster if you are a strength based character. [...]
[...] let's take a low level fighter with athletics. They likely have a +5 athletics. The monster probably has a +3 strength. The d20 roll for the opposed roll matters a LOT more than those modifiers. And I have seen very weak characters avoid grapples from dedicated grapplers, purely through the roll of the dice. I think the opposed roll made it very unreliable, where hitting a static number you are already trying to hit makes it more reliable. [...]
Well, as you called out in your first post, rogues and bards (and PCs with the skill expert feat) can get expertise, which makes the skill check math substantially more favorable to a PC than a save or attack roll. After that, you can have a friend cast the 2nd level spell Enhance Ability (Bull's Strength), or cast it yourself, to get advantage on strength checks. That simple combo gets better and better, relative to monsters, as a PC gains levels, since proficiency bonus scales and monsters, generally, get only marginally better at athletics checks due to strength increases (dex tends to be lower than str). Another 2nd level spell Enlarge/Reduce, helps substantially with the size restrictions. Those are most of the tools you need to grapple reliably (for more thorough info, see treantmonk's vid on it).

It's easy, with just a little set up, and without sacrificing very much in other areas, to build a PC that can pretty reliably, for example, grab an iron golem, shove it on its face (so it has disadvantage on all attacks), and give it nuggies while the rest of the party beats on it with advantage on their attacks (from prone).

The new rules have a DC that is only as good as a caster, but the current rules' contested roll is potentially much harder for a monster to beat than caster DC.

True, it does need to be a successful attack, but it is also something you decide after the attack hits, if you grapple, shove prone, or deal damage. But, the AC as Save is a good point.
Unless you're a monk, you have to decide before the attack hits that you're going to make an unarmed strike--which is probably not what you were going to do otherwise.

Which never happened, at least not that I ever saw. No one ever shoved prone. That took a full action instead of an attack before. Now, you can actually do all of this by 5th level, all you have to do is land the hits.
Shove uses "one of your attacks" just like grapple does.

But ya, the PC needs to be built to have two attacks, expertise in athletics, and, ideally, a source of advantage, to get the most out of grappling. A player that doesn't know the full combo running a PC that isn't built to do grapples isn't going to find them useful. And it isn't intuitive how to set up for the combo or why it's good--since most players haven't read all the monster statblocks and learned that most of them suck at skill checks, and most player's don't immediately grok that bards are gonna be better at wrestling than barbarians.

Grapples are a rule that rewards system mastery. I therefore understand why this change is being made--but I don't particularly like the changes because they make it harder to use grappling in a fun and high impact way.

A decently strong combo, that can be used at will, and that synergizes massively with battlefield control (i.e. cheese grater that troll back and forth across the spike growth for fun and profit) might be getting replaced with a 'give an enemy disadvantage on attacks against targets other than you' effect. It's not terrible, but it needs more cowbell.

I think this is setting up for more feats. Tavern Brawler already gives us a hint, by once per turn allowing damage and shove. I'd be willing to bet that the Grappler feat will interact in interesting ways with this condition, allowing for people to build around it.
That's a good point. If they make the grappler feat strong and/or interesting, I might change my mind about the new rules--something like an option to grapple after hitting with a normal weapon attack or enemies save against your grapples with disadvantage.

---

This is similar to my reaction. @Chaosmancer hasn't thought it all the way through.

These are very bad changes if we want PCs to be any good at grappling monsters, or to achieve anything by grappling monsters, they make grapples hilariously easy to get out of, with far less opportunity cost (particularly to monsters - @Chaosmancer seemed to be considering primarily PC grappled by monster, rather than vice-versa - and my experience is that PC grapples monster is far more common in 5E rules).

They also invalidate literally every single way to improve your ability to grapple in 5E, of which there were absolutely tons.

If they intention is to make grapples much weaker, and drastically decrease their utility to PCs whilst only slightly weakening them for monsters, then mission accomplished. I have a feeling that's not the goal, though.
I strongly agree with the bolded (emphasis mine) line of your post. It is the main issue. There need to be a robust set of player options that make save DCs against grappling harder. Admittedly, there are also a ton of features which impose disadvantage (or other modifications) on saves, but they are always more limited since they work with spells; there's no class feature that lets you double the proficiency bonus in your spell DC calculation.

But, that said, I don't hate the new rules. They make grapples work more like the game's other features do (like spells, for better or worse). And they are more intuitive; the 20 str bruisers you'd think would be good at grappling will now be the best at grappling.

The new rules just need more cowbell for them to work as reliable, functional, forced movement.

---

[...] A brand new trick is that it gives your front line bruisers a psudeo-Sentinal. Anyone with a 2H weapon can have a hand free when they're not attacking. That means that instead of using your Opportunity Attack to dish out damage, you can make an unarmed strike to grapple them and prevent them from moving away from you. Yes, you'll have to release the grapple on your turn to use the weapon again. But you'll have accomplished your goal of preventing them from moving away or past you. [...]
Oooo that's a good catch. I like the fiction of it too; grab that retreating bandit by the collar and he ain't goin' nowhere.

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The save to escape the grapple happens at the end of the monsters turn. That means if you grapple successfully they cannot move for at least one turn and can attack only you without suffering disadvantage. If they do make the save you still have the opportunity to grapple again in the same spot. I think this makes it a powerful tanking ability.
It's a decent tanking ability, arguably better for tanking than the current rules--since grapple+shove is less action efficient, and dragging monsters away from allies only works against monsters without a ranged attack--but it's not a terribly powerful tanking ability. It doesn't make the grappler any tankier--which grapple+shove does do--and it doesn't make the target waste actions (e.g. attacks on the grappler) to escape. The bigger downside, though, is that, because it's harder to maintain a grapple, the new rules are less useful for forced movement, which is, currently, the main benefit of using grappling.
 
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Now it is not possible to make a dedicated grapple build, but grapple is now better integrated in the rules.
Seems like a good thing to me.

The only thing I am not totally content with is how you initialize a grapple. I don't have a better idea that still is so smooth.
Maybe you can just grab and the enemy has to make a dex or str saving throw to get out of your grab immediately.
And you decide what you do before you you make the unarmed attack. Same for shove?

I wonder if passive perception will now just be 8+wis+prof bonus.
 



Well, as you called out in your first post, rogues and bards (and PCs with the skill expert feat) can get expertise, which makes the skill check math substantially more favorable to a PC than a save or attack roll. After that, you can have a friend cast the 2nd level spell Enhance Ability (Bull's Strength), or cast it yourself, to get advantage on strength checks. That simple combo gets better and better, relative to monsters, as a PC gains levels, since proficiency bonus scales and monsters, generally, get only marginally better at athletics checks due to strength increases (dex tends to be lower than str). Another 2nd level spell Enlarge/Reduce, helps substantially with the size restrictions. Those are most of the tools you need to grapple reliably (for more thorough info, see treantmonk's vid on it).

It's easy, with just a little set up, and without sacrificing very much in other areas, to build a PC that can pretty reliably, for example, grab an iron golem, shove it on its face (so it has disadvantage on all attacks), and give it nuggies while the rest of the party beats on it with advantage on their attacks (from prone).

The new rules have a DC that is only as good as a caster, but the current rules' contested roll is potentially much harder for a monster to beat than caster DC.


Unless you're a monk, you have to decide before the attack hits that you're going to make an unarmed strike--which is probably not what you were going to do otherwise.


Shove uses "one of your attacks" just like grapple does.

But ya, the PC needs to be built to have two attacks, expertise in athletics, and, ideally, a source of advantage, to get the most out of grappling. A player that doesn't know the full combo running a PC that isn't built to do grapples isn't going to find them useful. And it isn't intuitive how to set up for the combo or why it's good--since most players haven't read all the monster statblocks and learned that most of them suck at skill checks, and most player's don't immediately grok that bards are gonna be better at wrestling than barbarians.

Grapples are a rule that rewards system mastery. I therefore understand why this change is being made--but I don't particularly like the changes because they make it harder to use grappling in a fun and high impact way.

A decently strong combo, that can be used at will, and that synergizes massively with battlefield control (i.e. cheese grater that troll back and forth across the spike growth for fun and profit) might be getting replaced with a 'give an enemy disadvantage on attacks against targets other than you' effect. It's not terrible, but it needs more cowbell.


That's a good point. If they make the grappler feat strong and/or interesting, I might change my mind about the new rules--something like an option to grapple after hitting with a normal weapon attack or enemies save against your grapples with disadvantage.

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I strongly agree with the bolded (emphasis mine) line of your post. It is the main issue. There need to be a robust set of player options that make save DCs against grappling harder. Admittedly, there are also a ton of features which impose disadvantage (or other modifications) on saves, but they are always more limited since they work with spells; there's no class feature that lets you double the proficiency bonus in your spell DC calculation.

But, that said, I don't hate the new rules. They make grapples work more like the game's other features do (like spells, for better or worse). And they are more intuitive; the 20 str bruisers you'd think would be good at grappling will now be the best at grappling.

The new rules just need more cowbell for them to work as reliable, functional, forced movement.

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Oooo that's a good catch. I like the fiction of it too; grab that retreating bandit by the collar and he ain't goin' nowhere.

---


It's a decent tanking ability, arguably better for tanking than the current rules--since grapple+shove is less action efficient, and dragging monsters away from allies only works against monsters without a ranged attack--but it's not a terribly powerful tanking ability. It doesn't make the grappler any tankier--which grapple+shove does do--and it doesn't make the target waste actions (e.g. attacks on the grappler) to escape. The bigger downside, though, is that, because it's harder to maintain a grapple, the new rules are less useful for forced movement, which is, currently, the main benefit of using grappling.
Another way that made grapples extremely effective was Warlock + Barbarian. Warlock uses Hex to give disadvantage on STR checks, Barbarian gets advantage on STR checks whilst raging. Tons of monsters got dragged to bad places that way.
 

Now it is not possible to make a dedicated grapple build, but grapple is now better integrated in the rules.
Seems like a good thing to me.

The only thing I am not totally content with is how you initialize a grapple. I don't have a better idea that still is so smooth.
Maybe you can just grab and the enemy has to make a dex or str saving throw to get out of your grab immediately.
And you decide what you do before you you make the unarmed attack. Same for shove?

I wonder if passive perception will now just be 8+wis+prof bonus.
Why is having fewer real build and combat tactics options better? That seems perverse.
 

jgsugden

Legend
What concerns me is that when you grapple someone, the only ways for them to be freed before the end of their next turn is for you to be incapacitated, or for them to be force moved out of your grapple's range. Other than that, the target is locked down.

This can be a nasty way to lock down a powerful melee force for a couple rounds of combat by using a fairly minor ally. If you're a PC, that may be a summons. If you're a bad guy it could be a CR 1/2 toss in during a high level encounter.

Not being able to break the grapple through trying to escape can lock PCs out of the main combat. It can keep powerful bruisers totally away from the PCs.

I think they really need to reintroduce a way for PCs to sacrifice an attack in order to break a grapple during their turn.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I like grappling as a normal attack roll.

Grappling should work on any size. If a Medium grapples a Tiny, it means grabbing tight in ones grip. If a Medium grapples a Gargantuan, it means successfully riding a dinosaur.

The size has more to do with who controls the direction of movement. But the grappling itself - in the sense of holding on - works either way regardless of size.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
What concerns me is that when you grapple someone, the only ways for them to be freed before the end of their next turn is for you to be incapacitated, or for them to be force moved out of your grapple's range. Other than that, the target is locked down.

This can be a nasty way to lock down a powerful melee force for a couple rounds of combat by using a fairly minor ally. If you're a PC, that may be a summons. If you're a bad guy it could be a CR 1/2 toss in during a high level encounter.

Not being able to break the grapple through trying to escape can lock PCs out of the main combat. It can keep powerful bruisers totally away from the PCs.

I think they really need to reintroduce a way for PCs to sacrifice an attack in order to break a grapple during their turn.
Maybe grappled condition denies reaction, but a bonus action can attempt to break free, so the action can reverse the hold?
 

Why is having fewer real build and combat tactics options better? That seems perverse.
I think perverse is a nice word... but hey...

I think a grappler build is close to be an exploit, as enemies even like giants have a very low bonus compared to PCs.

I think the newer version opens it up for more normal characters.
Actually always when I hear about "builds" instead of characters, I know that it is not what I want at my table.

That does not mean, that you can build a character that focusses on a game aspect, but it is the character, which is important, not a "build". I think looking at the game in this way is "perverse" if I use your words here.
But that is only my point of view and I would not use that kind of words. If you like the game that way. Play that way.
I don't particularily like it.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Interesting. It makes some sense to me. Anyone can grapple, but being able to restrain someone takes some training. Why is that "lame" in your view?
For reference:

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1. Its a feat. Although most games use feats, not all do. I agree being able to restrain should require some training, but a feat? shrug You are already using a second attack to progress from grappled to restrained, that should be sufficient. Now, if you grapple and attempt to restrain, but fail, then perhaps the creature escapes automatically or at the very least allow advantage on the next escape attempt.

2. If you restrain a creature, you are also restrained. Which means your speed is also 0, so you can't move the creature. Your speed should not be reduced as it is already half when attempting to move grappled creatures.

3. The Restrained Condition is weak. A restrained creature should not be able to take any actions other than trying to escape being restrained. What is Restrained should be more of a Grappled Condition (at least the new playtest material is heading in the correct direction in that respect...), but with half speed instead of 0 speed.

4. It deals no damage. If you want to deal damage, you also need to take the Fighting Style... The feat should make your grapple deal 1d4+STR mod damage IMO.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Another way that made grapples extremely effective was Warlock + Barbarian. Warlock uses Hex to give disadvantage on STR checks, Barbarian gets advantage on STR checks whilst raging. Tons of monsters got dragged to bad places that way.
Except you can't do it. You can't maintain concentration on Hex when raging, so as soon as you Rage the spell ends, so no disadvantage on the STR checks.

Now, if you mean two separate PCs working together for it, then sure, but it seems like you meant one PC. If not, my mistake.
 

I think perverse is a nice word... but hey...

I think a grappler build is close to be an exploit, as enemies even like giants have a very low bonus compared to PCs.

I think the newer version opens it up for more normal characters.
Actually always when I hear about "builds" instead of characters, I know that it is not what I want at my table.

That does not mean, that you can build a character that focusses on a game aspect, but it is the character, which is important, not a "build". I think looking at the game in this way is "perverse" if I use your words here.
But that is only my point of view and I would not use that kind of words. If you like the game that way. Play that way.
I don't particularily like it.
I mean logically perverse, not as a value judgement. I.e. the opposite of good design.

And you honestly need to explain the claim re opening up options. If anything this odes the opposite. It also means tons of stuff which currently supports grappling is now next to useless.
 


Except you can't do it. You can't maintain concentration on Hex when raging, so as soon as you Rage the spell ends, so no disadvantage on the STR checks.

Now, if you mean two separate PCs working together for it, then sure, but it seems like you meant one PC. If not, my mistake.
I mean two separate PCs. There are very few MCs in any game I play in or DM. In fact only two I can think of our of over twenty characters.
 

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