OneDnD One D&D Grappling

dave2008

Legend
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.
OK, so your issue is the feat is poorly designed (and a bit redundant - why do I need to restrain when the feat already gives advantage). That is a different issue. I think a feat seems appropriate, but I could also see it as part of a fighting style. My only point being I think the idea that it is not free makes sense.

However, didn't you already break everything down to half feats?
 

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dave2008

Legend
It doesn't. I already showed two ways to do grappling well that are simply using base class abilities. People are pretending the most extreme case is the only build that grapples well and it's extremely silly. Might as well claim Battlemasters are the only Fighter capable of competitive DPS or something.

No.

We shouldn't have to rely on Feats for stuff currently built into various classes.

Also, making the a tactical option crap-by-default, then forcing you to spec into a Feat to make it work even "okay" is absolutely terrible game design, and it was one of the most major flaws of 3.XE. 5E almost completely corrected it, so going back to 3.XE design here would be truly awful.
I gotta disagree here. I think a general grappling rule is fine, but then class features (like a fighting style) or feats to make it better make perfect sense to me. Anyone can try to grab and grapple someone, but only someone trained (feat, fighting style, etc.) can effectively do additional things. What seems wrong to you about that approach?
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Thinking Fighter on Fighter is extremely silly nonsense.
Don't be rude, please and thank you. Such a response encourages me to not bother continuing the discussion.

D&D 5E isn't designed a game that's about "Fair PvP", which is your starting point and why your ideas aren't helping you understand the issue here.

Think PC on monster, or monster on PC, because that is 99.9999% of cases. Monsters often don't have "attacks" in that sense to even expend. It's not a "standard unit" of action currency.
Fine, PC vs. "monster" if it makes you happy. Plenty of monsters get multiattack, where an attack could be used to break free. Even a bite attack or something could be used to break free of a grapple.

And no, the second one doesn't have to do that. They could equally easily just Shove the PC with their first attack, which will break the Grapple. And they don't need to break the enemy Grapple to Grapple the enemy themselves, not sure why you're suggesting that, doesn't make any sense.
Or you could just as easily have them be allowed to escape the grapple with an attack instead of shoving. Shoving is a STR (Athletics) check, so those DEX-monsters would not be able to escape easily, even though wiggling free is a very viable alternative.

A typical human should be able to grapple effectively, ... to some degree.
Provided a base level of training, sure.

But lots of people are very ineffective at grappling (which reduces the target's speed to 0). It is one reason why Unarmed Strike should still be a simple weapon proficiency, not just allow everyone to have it. Do you understand how many people really don't know how to throw a punch properly??? Wizards and Sorcerers are the only two classes without Simple weapons, so they should not be proficient in Unarmed Strikes, either.

However, didn't you already break everything down to half feats?
We've done both, making all feats half feats but also making all feats ASI +1 feats.

As for the current feat, making it so you can restrain the target but you are NOT also restrained would go a good way towards making it better. Add in 1d4 base damage, and you have a decently solid feat IMO.

Making things part of the Fighting Style would be better than having it as a feat IMO.
 

Simpletense

Explorer
I'm not sure if I'm reading this correctly but can the grappled creature not just attack the grappler with an unarmed strike (no disadvantage), and on a success choose to shove rather than deal damage, thereby moving the grappler 5ft and (assuming standard reach etc) breaking the grapple by moving themselves out of grapple range without using speed?
 

I gotta disagree here. I think a general grappling rule is fine, but then class features (like a fighting style) or feats to make it better make perfect sense to me. Anyone can try to grab and grapple someone, but only someone trained (feat, fighting style, etc.) can effectively do additional things. What seems wrong to you about that approach?
Because if a tactical option doesn't work well without investing specifically in it, it's not a real tactical option, it's just a trap for players who don't understand the mechanics properly. It thus shouldn't be presented as a tactical option.

3.XE/PF1 are absolutely full of this, as were some other games of that design era. Tons of things you can do, but you'll be absolutely awful at them unless you go buy the Feats designed specifically to support them.

5E's design so far is directly opposed to this. 5E does not present tactical options that don't work well without specific investment. You don't need a Grapple feat to make Grappling work well. Proficiency in Athletics + a good STR makes it work basically better than this, and anything which gives you Advantage on STR checks, or gives the enemy Disadvantage on STR (or DEX, depending) checks is a big bonus. You don't need weird bollocks like Expertise in Athletics or anything, that's for freaks.

Anyway, point is, top-to-bottom, 5E's design opposes 3E's design here. Changing this so it sucked unless you bought a SPECIFIC Feat, or a SPECIFIC Fighting Style, would be very bad. Class features and spells that you get as default? That's less of a problem. But we don't this game to turn into 3E, where you have to pay the Feat tax constantly. That would be bad.
 

Fine, PC vs. "monster" if it makes you happy. Plenty of monsters get multiattack, where an attack could be used to break free. Even a bite attack or something could be used to break free of a grapple.
An attack is still a non-standard unit of currency. You're trying to pay for something in Bitcoins at the corner shop. KISS frankly. Don't make people try and work out attack costs.

Plus, monsters, as you accidentally point out, fairly often have tons more attacks than PCs, so would be able to trivially break Grapples on their turn, which does not, to me, seem right, when almost no PCs have more than 2 Attacks/round with their Action (mainly Fighters above level 11, and hardly anyone is even playing above level 11, let alone playing a Fighter specifically).

Your whole idea here seems to be "I want Grappling to be totally ineffective and useless, and instantly broken by monsters". I mean, really? Is that not what you're thinking. Every single thing you've said has been laser-focused on demanding Grapples be allowed to be broken as trivially as possible.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I'm not sure if I'm reading this correctly but can the grappled creature not just attack the grappler with an unarmed strike (no disadvantage), and on a success choose to shove rather than deal damage, thereby moving the grappler 5ft and (assuming standard reach etc) breaking the grapple by moving themselves out of grapple range without using speed?
Yes, then can.

But that is only really a good option if you have a good Strength (Athletics) bonus. A lot of creatures don't, so allowing them to make a Dexterity (Acrobatics) check instead to wiggle free instead of an attack makes sense. You used an attack to grapple, you should be able to use an attack to escape without having to Shove. Non-strong creatures shouldn't be forced to use their entire action to escape IMO.

KISS frankly. Don't make people try and work out attack costs.
It is very simple. Attack to grapple, attack to escape. Easy. Not difficult at all.

Plus, monsters, as you accidentally point out, fairly often have tons more attacks than PCs, so would be able to trivially break Grapples on their turn, which does not, to me, seem right, when almost no PCs have more than 2 Attacks/round with their Action (mainly Fighters above level 11, and hardly anyone is even playing above level 11, let alone playing a Fighter specifically).
Not really. Most monsters get 1 or 2 attacks, just like most PCs who might try to grapple.

Breaking a grapple wouldn't be trivially easy, either. It would be the same chance as if you used the entire action, but allow such opponents (monster and PC alike!) to be able to still make an attack (or two at most in the vast majority of cases!) after escaping.

Your whole idea here seems to be "I want Grappling to be totally ineffective and useless, and instantly broken by monsters". I mean, really? Is that not what you're thinking. Every single thing you've said has been laser-focused on demanding Grapples be allowed to be broken as trivially as possible.
It is easy to grapple, it should be easy to escape. Make grappling an Action, not just in place of an attack, and then you can keep escaping in the same action economy level.
 

dave2008

Legend
Because if a tactical option doesn't work well without investing specifically in it, it's not a real tactical option, it's just a trap for players who don't understand the mechanics properly. It thus shouldn't be presented as a tactical option.
I don't need it to be a tactical option as the base. Just an option. People can grapple, so it should be an option. It is rarely a good option if you are not good (ie trained) at it.

Conversely, to meet your criteria, the could make the base grapple better and then still have feats to make it even better. Is that what you are thinking?

Personally, I don't want a grapple to generally be an equivalent option to hitting with a sword.
 

It is easy to grapple, it should be easy to escape. Make grappling an Action, not just in place of an attack, and then you can keep escaping in the same action economy level.
This fails to holistically understand how grappling works, and that it exposes the grappler to risk as well as the person being grappled. You're just suggesting symmetry for the sake of symmetry, there's no actual logical rules-argument there. It taking a hand alone is a huge thing (no shields, no 2H weapons, no dual-wield, no casting, etc. etc. etc. - you don't seem to realize this, you seem to think it's cost-free beyond the attack to start it), as is being in melee, as is inflicting the Slowed condition on the grappler whilst they're moving.

It shouldn't be utterly trivial for some size S or M monster who doesn't have any special abilities at all related to escaping grapples (or the like) to escape grapples, but you're proposing a scenario where it is.

Part of why I care, to be clear, is that I've seen grapples used very intelligently and tactically in 5E, on both sides of the table. This makes grapples so easy to break and so impossible to improve that they're pretty silly and the Slowed condition means tons of new risk for the grappler. We don't need both that and trivializing breaking grapples - which are already much easier because of the save.

I mean, you complain about action-economy, and totally ignore that you get to break out for FREE now? Come on.
Conversely, to meet your criteria, the could make the base grapple better and then still have feats to make it even better. Is that what you are thinking?
Yes. Otherwise do not include it as a base option. It's just a trap for less-savvy players who do not realize how bad it is. Again, this was a core problem with 3E, that 5E intentionally got rid of.
Personally, I don't want a grapple to generally be an equivalent option to hitting with a sword.
It'll never be that - see my explanation to DND_Reborn above. You put tons of disadvantages on yourself by grappling, and limit your own options. That's not "equivalent to hitting with a sword". Also you give up your damage for that attack.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Conversely, to meet your criteria, the could make the base grapple better and then still have feats to make it even better. Is that what you are thinking?
Grappling should be a viable tactical option since IRL people grapple a lot, even if they have weapons available.

Another thing we do is make Unarmed Strikes/Grapple/Shove a "light" weapon so you can use it with TWF. This is very cinematic as well and we see it all the time when someone blocks with a weapon and then punches, headbutts, or trips their opponent.

ersonally, I don't want a grapple to generally be an equivalent option to hitting with a sword.
On a purely damage level not unless there was a heavy investment (Fighting Style, feats, etc.).

Grappling should be used for locking down, moving, restricting, etc. and possibly do some damage, but not generally on level with weapon damage.

This fails to holistically understand how grappling works, and that it exposes the grappler to risk as well as the person being grappled. You're just suggesting symmetry for the sake of symmetry, there's no actual logical rules-argument there. It taking a hand alone is a huge thing (no shields, no 2H weapons, no dual-wield, no casting, etc. etc. etc. - you don't seem to realize this, you seem to think it's cost-free beyond the attack to start it), as is being in melee, as is inflicting the Slowed condition on the grappler whilst they're moving.
It doesn't expose the grappler to any risk. For one thing, anyone making an unarmed strike/grapple/shove against a weapon-holding opponent should face an OA before being able to get close enough to grapple, etc. unless they have special training to remove that restriction, but they don't face an OA.

It shouldn't be utterly trivial for some size S or M monster who doesn't have any special abilities at all related to escaping grapples (or the like) to escape grapples, but you're proposing a scenario where it is.
Again, that word "trivial"... :rolleyes:

What makes you think it would be trivial? Just because you can use an attack to escape a grapple doesn't mean it will be easy.... You seem to keep thinking that and I have no clue as to why...

Anyway, I feel like we are either talking past each other or never going to agree, so I see little point in continuing, do you?
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
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.

Okay, but I also pointed out that many people saw Bards and Rogues being the absolute best grapplers in the game as a problem. They don't have the iconic fantasy roll of being the person who manhandles the massive ogre or golem. Yes, expertise allowed you to be a better grappler, but it also wrecked the fantasy unless you had a feat investment. Fixing that is good, IMO.

And then you get to talking about casting spells, which, fine, but at that point we can instead use the 1st level Silvery Barbs to give disadvantage on the save or have someone spamming mind sliver to give them a -1d4 on the save. What you are talking about is purely the extra optimization, and we have optimization for saving throws.

Additionally, you no longer need Enlarge, because being large confers no benefits or penalties to grappling. Yes, things have changed, but I don't think that means we can't optimize it again. And I think it is far more useful to look at a single character grappling a single creature, rather than a single character getting to buff spells which require concentration (meaning two casters) because we can make that swing either way.

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.

Sure. However, since it is an attack, you can make an attack of oppotunity that grapples, reduces speed to zero, and grants disadvantage on attacks. The enemy gets to make the save sooner, but there is no cost here.

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 guess what I'm not getting is that the WORST thing is that the enemy doesn't need to use their action (which if they are as terrible compared to you they won't bother doing anyways) and they might break free at the end of their turn, in which case you can grapple again.

I mean, I know if I was a DM and I knew you had two buff spells running and a third spell for spike growth, and you were a bard rolling 2d20+7 vs my 1d20+4, I'm just going to attack you three times instead. It would be a pointless waste of my action to try and escape.

Now with these new rules.... I just attack you instead, because I don't need to use my action to escape.

The only difference is that if you want to continue cheese grating the troll, it isn't free. I don't see a difference in the practical application of actions, because Grapple used to do NOTHING beyond reducing speed and allowing you to drag someone. So it wasn't penalizing the creature to remain grappled and just try to kill you instead of using an action which would be negated when you used your next action to put me back in the same position.

This just feels more dynamic to me.

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.

I fully expect the grappler feat to give saves disadvantage, that design space is right there, it may also allow you to grapple and deal damage with an unarmed strike, similar to how Tavern Brawler works right now. Or maybe it gives you an option to restrain them without penalizing you quite as heavily.
 

It doesn't expose the grappler to any risk. For one thing, anyone making an unarmed strike/grapple/shove against a weapon-holding opponent should face an OA before being able to get close enough to grapple, etc. unless they have special training to remove that restriction, but they don't face an OA.
I demonstrated that it does.

That's cold fact. It exposes them to risk and cost beyond the attack. That is not open for debate. You can deny it and be factually in error but that's up to you.
What makes you think it would be trivial? Just because you can use an attack to escape a grapple doesn't mean it will be easy.... You seem to keep thinking that and I have no clue as to why...
Yes it does, because the new saving-throw based approach makes it vastly easier to break grapples, especially considering you get a free saving throw to break the grapple every round, which you did not get before. You're demanding that, on top of the new, free escape attempt 1/round (which was the most you could have before, so you get 100% of what you had before), that they get they ALSO get to break grapples on for just 1 attack.

This isn't opinion on my part to be clear - this is how the new rules work. You've avoided mentioning the free escape attempt repeatedly.

You're demanding things become hugely easier than 5E, even though grappling is weaker already in 1D&D. That's bizarre. And you're refusing to acknowledge that you're demanding that. You keep acting like you're just asking for how it is in 5E, but in 5E it costs you an Action to even try.

So yeah, you want it to be trivial by comparison with 5E. That's a fact. You want it to go from costing an action to being 1/turn free, and if the free escape fails, to keep trying for 1/try per attack, which is incredibly cheap.

As for talking past each other, well, what it looks like to me is you literally don't understand the 1D&D grappling rules and possibly are approaching this from how you've houserule'd 5E's grappling rules, rather than what 5E's grappling rules actually are.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I feel grappling is an "attack", not a skill check. I like this aspect of making it an unarmed strike.

The combination of effect choices also helps me make sense of why unarmed might not be a kind of "weapon".

Yeah, I was thinking about this.

Normally I allowed people to make unarmed strikes as a bonus action, because it was bizarre to me that you can make two attacks if you have an empty fist and a dagger, because the dagger is so fast, but not two empty fists. But now I can imagine that an "unarmed strike" relies on a much larger and more dedicated set of movement.

I might still allow people to do the damage stuff, but not the rest? I'm not sure where I will land on that.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
No.

We shouldn't have to rely on Feats for stuff currently built into various classes.

Also, making the a tactical option crap-by-default, then forcing you to spec into a Feat to make it work even "okay" is absolutely terrible game design, and it was one of the most major flaws of 3.XE. 5E almost completely corrected it, so going back to 3.XE design here would be truly awful.

Okay, but lets be real here. The current options may not require feats, but require either specific combos or spells. Meanwhile the feats were useless for the people who wanted to grapple.

If you want to talk about perverse game design, the idea that a player who wants to be a grappler, so plays a fighter and takes the grappler feat needs to be told "No, if you actually want to grapple, then play a bard, take expertise in athletics, and cast enhance person. That's how you make a good grappler" is utterly insane.

This system is far more intuitive and works exactly like people expected grappling to work. Strong people (hopefully with the feat meant to improve it) are better at it. That's good design.
 

Yes, things have changed, but I don't think that means we can't optimize it again.
Right now, it literally does mean exactly that.

100% of 5E ways to optimize grappling were removed from the equation. Including class features clearly designed to help with grappling. Only the intentionally tiny number of things which penalize spell saves, none of them available to PCs likely to be grappling under these rules, impact it.
This just feels more dynamic to me.
It's now much easier to escape from a grapple. You seem to be ignoring the massive math changes and the FREE escape attempt every single turn.

This will make using grapple tactically far harder, because monsters will constantly break it for free. The only advantage to the new way is that the monster can't use it's action then move away, because the save comes at the end of its turn. But they can still Shove or the like to do that.

Oh and look Shove is much easier for monsters to do too - it's just an attack, not a contest, so the PC cannot do anything to really make it harder.
 

I demonstrated that it does.

That's cold fact. It exposes them to risk and cost beyond the attack. That is not open for debate. You can deny it and be factually in error but that's up to you.

Be careful. When I wrote this about an actual fact, some people could not stop piling on me.
But I agree, some things are facts.
Some people prefer "felt facts" .
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Provided a base level of training, sure.

But lots of people are very ineffective at grappling (which reduces the target's speed to 0). It is one reason why Unarmed Strike should still be a simple weapon proficiency, not just allow everyone to have it. Do you understand how many people really don't know how to throw a punch properly??? Wizards and Sorcerers are the only two classes without Simple weapons, so they should not be proficient in Unarmed Strikes, either.

I'll disagree, because wizards and sorcerers are trained in staff fighting and dagger fighting to the same degree as a fighter. No one trains someone to be effective with knives and staves without also going over how to throw a punch. Everyone has SOME combat training in DnD and that is the most basic of combat training.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I'm not sure if I'm reading this correctly but can the grappled creature not just attack the grappler with an unarmed strike (no disadvantage), and on a success choose to shove rather than deal damage, thereby moving the grappler 5ft and (assuming standard reach etc) breaking the grapple by moving themselves out of grapple range without using speed?

That would work, yes.
 

Okay, but lets be real here. The current options may not require feats, but require either specific combos or spells. Meanwhile the feats were useless for the people who wanted to grapple.
That's not "being real". The Feats are still useless as far as we know. Talking about them is a total distraction because we haven't seen if they're even 1D&D! Yes, about 30-40% of 5E's Feats were extremely badly designed and Grappler was one of them. Fix that, don't ruin grappling.
If you want to talk about perverse game design, the idea that a player who wants to be a grappler, so plays a fighter and takes the grappler feat needs to be told "No, if you actually want to grapple, then play a bard, take expertise in athletics, and cast enhance person. That's how you make a good grappler" is utterly insane.
That's absolute and total hyperbole, though, as I've said. Even just having a good STR and being Proficient in Athletics makes you extremely good at grappling in real terms under 5E rules. You don't need Expertise, and indeed, it's much less valuable than getting Advantage on STR (outside the sort of levels no-one plays at), which can be gained multiple ways.

What you're describing is not a problem with the grappling rules at all, but a constant issue in every edition of D&D, which is that hyperspecialized corner-case PCs often aren't the ones you'd expect. And you're moaning about something that requires significant investment (it costs the Bard to be like that) and isn't "a good grappler", is "the optimal grappler".

If you want to obsess over hyper-optimized PCs, go ahead, but building rules around them is bad design nine times out of ten.

You want to get real? Stop confusing "good" with "literally maximally optimized". You do that in the bit I quote. It's just a lie to say that's merely "good" at grappling.
 


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