One D&D Grappling

Chaosmancer

Legend
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.

And new options were opened up. Every example so far of current optimization has included spellcasters casting spells, you can still do that with the new rules to optimize the grapple. 100% of options were removed and 100% of new options were created.

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.

Maybe it seems that way because you continually ignore my posts?

The math change is only massive IF YOU ARE TALKING EXPERTISE.

A level 5 fighter with proficiency in Athletics is getting 1d20+3+3 for a total of +6. The level 5 fighter in this system is getting 1d20+3+3 for a +6 to hit, and their save DC is 8+3+3 for 14. Your fighter likely has a 16 AC, using standard equipment.

Let's stop talking trolls and iron golems for a second and say that we grapple an Orc Raider. They get a +3 and have a 13 AC.

The old way gave the fighter an opposed roll, 1d20+6 vs 1d20+3, If I understand the math correctly that gave the fighter a 62% chance of starting the grapple and maintaining it whenever the orc attempted to break out.

The new way gives the fighter a 70% chance of initiating the grapple (they need to roll a 7 or better) and the orc only has a 50% chance of breaking free. If they decide to attack and shove instead, they would have a... 50% chance, because +5 to hit AC 16.

So, we are 8% more likely to start the grapple, and 12% less likely to maintain it. Considering DnD works in 5% increments for things like this, it is a change, but I'm not sure it is massive. Significant sure, but the math still works in the fighters favor.



But here is the other thing... why would the orc try and break the grapple? That's the big thing I think you are ignoring. The Orc is perfectly fine hitting the fighter instead of wasting an action to simply break free of the grapple and standing there to be grappled again, because they can't disengage so they can't move away from the fighter anyways.

And this same logic applied to the PCs. Monsters that grappled on a hit basically just held anyone with any sense of system mastery forever, because taking your entire action to break free was never worth it.

Let's move on to this fighter and Bard fighting a Vampire Spawn. They can grapple when they hit with their claws, escape DC 13. There is no opposed check. So, the Fighter and the bard are very likely to escape that grapple.. but it costs them their entire action, and if they move away they get an opportunity attack, which will reestablish the grapple. Or they can break free... and next turn get attacked which reestablishes the grapple. There is no benefit here to breaking the grapple instead of just hitting the enemy.

This change means that you can potentially escape automatically at the end of your turn, which means that not only are you not tempted to make a poor tactical choice, but since you are attacking, you have a chance to use an attack to shove and break the grapple while escaping.

The thing is, these rules cut both ways. PCs are more likely to deal with auto-grappling monsters, and monsters aren't ruined by specially built grappling builds.
 

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But here is the other thing... why would the orc try and break the grapple? That's the big thing I think you are ignoring. The Orc is perfectly fine hitting the fighter instead of wasting an action to simply break free of the grapple and standing there to be grappled again, because they can't disengage so they can't move away from the fighter anyways.
This is nonsensical.

Answer this question: Why would the Fighter initiate a grapple if they didn't have a specific goal?

Until you can answer that, you have a nonsense-example, and you're just supporting my entire argument.
The thing is, these rules cut both ways. PCs are more likely to deal with auto-grappling monsters, and monsters aren't ruined by specially built grappling builds.
They vastly favour monsters.

PCs no longer have any ways to scale grapple at all. But loads of monsters have stats which mean they do keep scaling against grappling, and now they get out of grapples at zero cost thanks to the save instead of an action and their multiple attacks, and the fact that Shove is now much easier.

The undeniable reality is that PCs only grapple when there's a tactical reason to do so, already. Your super-grapple Bard is just going to die horribly with his crummy AC and HP leaping into melee if he just grapples everything, and he doesn't make monsters unless in 5E, he gets pounded in the face by them until he dies. Which doesn't take long. It's all very well grabbing a demon or whatever, but it's basically the Bard handcuffing himself to a demon rather than vice-versa, and just asking to get ripped apart.

Whereas monsters often grapple PCs automatically and for free as part of an action, and often are able to do mean things to people who are grappled. They're impacted far less by this.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
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.

They fixed Tavern Brawler, and a lot of people have seen the new grappling system and thought of the exact same solutions for grappler.

It isn't a distraction to say that they probably accounted for the feat named Grappler when overhauling the grappling system. The only question is what form that takes, and we don't know yet.

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.

You realize that every time you insult people in your posts we just listen to you less, right? You are calling me a liar, saying I'm moaning, and frankly, I don't feel like that makes it worth my time to engage with you, because further engagement will just get more and more screeds about how I'm a terrible perverse liar who doesn't understand the system.

I'm trying to discuss the changes with you, can you at least be polite enough not to hurl insults at me every paragraph?



As for why I said merely good? That was because the first person I was responding to in this thread was @squibbles , and when they were responding to me about being able to grapple reliably, this was their response

"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.
"

Now, maybe you disagree with them. But they didn't say that good grapplers just need proficiency in athletics, they have actually consistently called out the use of a variety of spells, expertise, and linked an entire video about optimization. And for a few of us, we are seeing that that old way isn't viable, and we aren't mourning its loss. That sort of cheese is INEVITABLE with how the old grappling rules were designed. Meanwhile, the new grappling rules over some exciting opportunities. We don't know how everything works yet, but there is a good chance that nets and whips will work better in this new system. But you completely pass by the fact that new options are possible and want to focus only on the options that were lost... while at the same time saying that no one needed those options and that the characters who did so were just hyper-specialized and not worth bringing into the discussion.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
This is nonsensical.

Answer this question: Why would the Fighter initiate a grapple if they didn't have a specific goal?

Until you can answer that, you have a nonsense-example, and you're just supporting my entire argument.

But you are actually helping prove that the new grapple rules are an improvement. Before you never grappled unless there was something to drag the enemy into. Grappling as a stand-alone factor was useless.

Now grappling has tanking usefulness and focuses attacks by granting disadvantage against allies. This is 100% an improvement.

They vastly favour monsters.

PCs no longer have any ways to scale grapple at all. But loads of monsters have stats which mean they do keep scaling against grappling, and now they get out of grapples at zero cost thanks to the save instead of an action and their multiple attacks, and the fact that Shove is now much easier.

The undeniable reality is that PCs only grapple when there's a tactical reason to do so, already. Your super-grapple Bard is just going to die horribly with his crummy AC and HP leaping into melee if he just grapples everything, and he doesn't make monsters unless in 5E, he gets pounded in the face by them until he dies. Which doesn't take long.

Whereas monsters often grapple PCs automatically and for free as part of an action, and often are able to do mean things to people who are grappled. They're impacted far less by this.

Increasing your strength score scales grappling. Increasing your ability to hit scales grappling. There are ways to decrease enemy saves that scales grappling.

Seems all that is more than nothing. And we can easily assume that there is going to be a feat which scales grappling.

And again, you are pointing out an entire reason some of these grapple changes are good. Because now there is a reason to grapple, even if someone didn't cast a spell to make dangerous terrain. It has benefits, and since this is only the baseline with no extra bells and whistles, this speaks well to the chance of improving it further.

And frankly, if that is your only concern, that we don't see enough pieces that show us the improvement, then instead of going scorched earth everything must remain the same, just be ambivalent because we can't see enough to fully judge the sub-system.
 

Now, maybe you disagree with them.
I do. You can't hold me to what other people's opinions are. It's deeply misleading for both of you to call it "good", when it's in fact "the absolute maximum optimization you can apply within the rules".

As for "perverse", no, I did not call you that, and asserting I did is proving my point. I said that the argument you were presenting was logically perverse. You didn't actually even refute that.
But you completely pass by the fact that new options are possible and want to focus only on the options that were lost...
Sure, I agree.

Because I'm focused on the actual facts. The actual rules. What's on the page.

Whereas you're focused on imagining stuff that this new system might or might not maybe possibly allow. It's possible everything you're imagining will happen, but extremely unlikely. What's a lot more likely, given WotC's history, is literally none of what you're imagining will happen.

But this is the crux of the issue. I want to talk about the actual rules. You want hope there'll be more to them. I very much doubt there will be. 5E has not had a good history in that regard. I did say, much earlier though, that if they added class features and so on, they could fix this! So let's not pretend I didn't. But I'll adjust my opinion when those features appear and not one second before it.
 

There are ways to decrease enemy saves that scales grappling.
None of which are available to classes which are likely to grapple, so that's misleading.
then instead of going scorched earth everything must remain the same, just be ambivalent because we can't see enough to fully judge the sub-system
I'm not saying it should "remain the same". You seem to have missed my responses to others. My position is that, if they change grappling, the baseline ability to grapple needs to be better than what they're offering, given that you now get to escape FOR FREE.

I'm not ambivalent, because I'm looking at the actual rules, and right now, they're bad, real bad. Will they be bad later in the playtest? I dunno. Depends entirely on factors we can't account for, like, will WotC add class features, Feats, spells, etc. to allow grappling to work better for PCs?

Also you keep ignoring the Shove issue.

Shoving is much easier now. That massively advantages monsters, because it still has the size restriction (and monsters tend to be larger), and because it no longer involves Athletics (which monsters often don't have).

Shoving allows a creature to easily break any grapple at a very low cost (one attack) as long as they're not more than one size larger. It trivializes breaking grapples even. I mean, I'd propose the solution is that you can't Shove a creature who is grappling you, but they didn't put that rule in place.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
I demonstrated that it does.
Not really. You demonstrated what you consider the additional costs (lack of shield or great weapon, for example), not additional risk.

Additional risk is provoking on OA against a weapon-wielder when you are basically making an unarmed attack.

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.
It's the wrong fact. Deny that if you want to.

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.
No, I am not demanding an attack on top of the new "free" escape attempt. I am demanding an attack INSTEAD OF allowing it for free.

This is what I meant about talking past each other.

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.
Right, which is because THAT isn't what I've been talking about.... There is a ready why I never mentioned it. ;)

So, yeah, I am dropping this conversation. Have a good one.
 

No, I am not demanding an attack on top of the new "free" escape attempt. I am demanding an attack INSTEAD OF allowing it for free.
Fair enough - I didn't see a post where you made it clear that you wanted to delete the free roll, just ones asking for Attack to allow you to break out. I assume it's further back somewhere.

Also, what's your opinion on 1D&D's Shove? That does what you want. If your attack connects, using normal attack rules, you break the Grapple by moving them 5' away. That's a lot easier than 5E, where it's an opposed challenge and the PC is a lot more likely to have Proficiency/Expertise/Advantage.

As for provoking an OA, I mean that's just not how 5E/1D&D works. I think that'd be fine in a game where OAs were provoked vastly more often, but it should very much also apply to most grappling monsters.
 



DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
No worries. I know we sometimes butt heads, but I felt like there was a disconnect someplace...

Also, what's your opinion on 1D&D's Shove? That does what you want. If your attack connects, using normal attack rules, you break the Grapple by moving them 5' away. That's a lot easier than 5E, where it's an opposed challenge and the PC is a lot more likely to have Proficiency/Expertise/Advantage
I'm fine with it. I prefer it to skill checks for grapple and shove since the expertise thing makes some weird scenarios, but what is still missing IMO is an option to escape via the attack (instead of a free save at the end of the round) using a DEX-attack instead of STR.

As for provoking an OA, I mean that's just not how 5E/1D&D works. I think that'd be fine in a game where OAs were provoked vastly more often, but it should very much also apply to most grappling monsters.
Yeah, I know 5E removed such things, but I agree most grappling monsters would also provoke an OA if such rules were used again.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
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.
@DND_Reborn

I feel unarmed needs to be a viable attack, even for Wizards, perhaps especially for Wizards.
 





TheSword

Legend
The new rules have simultaneously made grappling easier to do and also more effective. While making them easier to break. That seems to me to be a fair and sensible approach.

Now you have a reasonable chance of grappling even if you’re dex based monk or fighter. You might not be able to keep hold of them for long, but you can stop them for a round or two and throw them about.

Disadvantage against other people is a significant debuff. Particularly useful if your barbarian grappler has resistance, or has a particularly high AC or you just want to stop a party member being attacked. Added to the 0 move debuff it’s a decent effect that is useful in lots of situations…

… that said if those were applied without making it easier to break out it would also be unbalanced. Under the current rules it’s possible to be great at grappling very easily. A 5th level character can get +7 Athletics at the cost of a skill and be considerably better with class abilities (barbarian etc). A troll - a large viscious powerful creature that should be a challenge for a whole party of 5th level characters gets +4 Athletics - because monsters as a general rule don’t have skills. The troll gets a 50-50 chance of breaking out at the end of its turn, after a minor debuff. Sounds fair to me.

The old system was too easy to break, and not good enough to be worthwhile. Happy days that they have come up with some tweaks.

Five or six more combat maneuvers like this and we could be on to a winner.
 



Stalker0

Legend
The bottom line for me is that these rules make grappling significantly weaker than it was before.

Because you need to hit, grappling is no longer a way to bypass a high ac opponent.

Monsters in general will have a much much MUCH higher chance of resisting a grapple, so much so it’s night and day. Not to mention legendary resistance options.

The auto escape removes a lot of the benefit of grapple, forcing them to consume actions to escape. Actions are everything, this is a huge change.


Grapple is weak now, and I don’t like weak options so I’m a no on this right now. I do understand why they did it, hell I’ve had a pit fiend in my game just tossed around like a rag doll because he doesn’t have athletics prof…but you can solve that in monster design, not by making grappling crappy.
 

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