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Tell me why I'm wrong about grappling. Please.

Enkhidu

Explorer
OK, so I've been going over the benefits of grappling in the SRD and ran across a troubling though. Let's start with the SRD text about initiating and completeing a grapple.

SRD said:
Grapple Checks

Repeatedly in a grapple, you need to make opposed grapple checks against an opponent. A grapple check is like a melee attack roll. Your attack bonus on a grapple check is:

Base attack bonus + Strength modifier + special size modifier

Special Size Modifier: The special size modifier for a grapple check is as follows: Colossal +16, Gargantuan +12, Huge +8, Large +4, Medium +0, Small –4, Tiny –8, Diminutive –12, Fine –16. Use this number in place of the normal size modifier you use when making an attack roll.
Starting a Grapple

To start a grapple, you need to grab and hold your target. Starting a grapple requires a successful melee attack roll. If you get multiple attacks, you can attempt to start a grapple multiple times (at successively lower base attack bonuses).

Step 1: Attack of Opportunity. You provoke an attack of opportunity from the target you are trying to grapple. If the attack of opportunity deals damage, the grapple attempt fails. (Certain monsters do not provoke attacks of opportunity when they attempt to grapple, nor do characters with the Improved Grapple feat.) If the attack of opportunity misses or fails to deal damage, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2: Grab. You make a melee touch attack to grab the target. If you fail to hit the target, the grapple attempt fails. If you succeed, proceed to Step 3.

Step 3: Hold. Make an opposed grapple check as a free action. If you succeed, you and your target are now grappling, and you deal damage to the target as if with an unarmed strike.

If you lose, you fail to start the grapple. You automatically lose an attempt to hold if the target is two or more size categories larger than you are.

In case of a tie, the combatant with the higher grapple check modifier wins. If this is a tie, roll again to break the tie.

Step 4: Maintain Grapple. To maintain the grapple for later rounds, you must move into the target’s space. (This movement is free and doesn’t count as part of your movement in the round.) Moving, as normal, provokes attacks of opportunity from threatening opponents, but not from your target.

If you can’t move into your target’s space, you can’t maintain the grapple and must immediately let go of the target. To grapple again, you must begin at Step 1.

OK let's look at this, using, say, a monk of 11th level (BAB +8), with Improved Grapple and a Strength of 18. We'll call him Hogan, and we'll assume that he succeeds on each attack and grapple check.

Now let's asume for a moment that Hogan is fighting a medium sized creature without any feats that affect grappling, and on his turn starts next to that opponent. He makes a touch attack (at +12) and succeeds, and then a grapple check (at +16). After inflicting damage, he then chooses NOT to enter his target's space and thus ends the grapple. Then he begins the cycle anew with another touch attack (this time at +7), and a grapple check of +16.

So, assuming this is true, Hogan has just managed to turn his full attack action into a series of touch attacks at no real cost to himself.

Now is the part where you tell me why I'm wrong. I have the feeling that I am, but I want to know why.

EDIT: Because I suck at tags.
 
Last edited:

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reveal

Adventurer
No, you're right. You can keep grappling for as many attacks as you have. But so what? You don't do any damage. What's the point?
 

Enkhidu

Explorer
Re-read steps 3 and 4. If you succeed in the grapple check, you do inflict damage equal to an unarmed strike (1d10+4 in this case). Hence my problem.
 

glass

(he, him)
reveal said:
No, you're right. You can keep grappling for as many attacks as you have. But so what? You don't do any damage. What's the point?
AIUI, you do deal damage, bit no more than if you had held on and used your remaining attacks to damage your opponent, without all the extra touch attacks.


glass.
 

Shin Okada

Explorer
You are using a full-attack action. For each additional attacks you make, your BAB drops by 5, cumulatively. So your grapple check modifier drops, too. So it becomes harder to inflict damages. Remember the defender uses his full BAB because he is not making a full-attack.

Also, it will become much harder to inflict damages by grapple when opponent has Close Quarter Fighting feat (from CW) or when your opponent is a larger monster.
 

reveal

Adventurer
Enkhidu said:
Re-read steps 3 and 4. If you succeed in the grapple check, you do inflict damage equal to an unarmed strike (1d10+4 in this case). Hence my problem.

Then how about this. It says you "must" move into the square to maintain it and then specifies what happens if you "can't" not "if you decide not to."
 


Infiniti2000

First Post
Enkhidu said:
We'll call him Hogan, and we'll assume that he succeeds on each attack and grapple check.
That's a big assumption. You're turning a single attack roll into an attack roll followed by a grapple check.
 

werk

First Post
dcollins said:
Agree with Shin Okada. Your BAB (for the "Hold") is a different number for each attack in the round.

I've always played that the grapple check in step 3 is at the same AB as the touch attack in step 2.

Otherwise you could never successfully grapple unless you had iterative attacks.

Grapple 1, step 2: Touch attack at BAB+Str= +12
Grapple 1, step 3: Grapple check at BAB+Str+Size mod=+12
(if win grapple check them unarmed damage, skip step 4, no move)
Grapple 2, Step 2: Touch attack at +7
Grapple 2, Step 3: Grapple check at +7

So, to me, the grapple check should either be at FULL BAB, or the same as the touch attack.

Now is the part where people tell me that I'm wrong...but I don't see where the OP got +16.
 


dcollins

First Post
werk said:
I've always played that the grapple check in step 3 is at the same AB as the touch attack in step 2. Otherwise you could never successfully grapple unless you had iterative attacks.

I completely agree. I was addressing the part where the original poster was reducing the Touch rolls, but not the Hold rolls.
 

DanMcS

Explorer
Step 4 is not at the player's option. The only way to avoid moving into the opponent's space is for it to be impossible for some reason (you're webbed/entangled in place or something).
 

Enkhidu

Explorer
OK so far we've got the two positions that I expected (and indeed used myself before posting): BAB reduces for the purposes of the hold (something that I agree with, but that my DM does not - this is partially an exercise to show why it needs to reduce), and that Step for is not an option.

Its the step 4 part that I've got my issues with:

"To maintain the grapple for later rounds, you must move into the target’s space."

To me this implies that the moving into a target's space is optional, as it is a condition placed on the maintnence of the grapple. Has this been addressed in errata/FAQ/Sage?
 

reveal

Adventurer
From the FAQ:

If a creature with reach, such as an assassin vine, grapples you, it then pulls you into its space. Does this move happen all at once or is there a limit to how far you are pulled in a round?

When an attacker grapples, the attacker must move into the defender’s space, not the other way around. If you can reach a foe and you establish a hold, you move into the foe’s space as part of the grapple attack; this movement is free and doesn’t count against your movement for the turn (see Starting a Grapple in Chapter 8 of the Player’s Handbook).

A monster with the Improved Grab special attack, such as an assassin vine, pulls the foe into its own space rather than moving into the foe’s space (see the Improved Grab entry in the
Monster Manual glossary). This is also part of the attack and does not count as part of the attacker’s or defender’s movement.

(Emphasis Added)
 

Pinotage

Explorer
I think part of the confusion probably arises from the 'step' approach to explaining the grapple process, which in the past has had a lot of people confused. If you think about it physically, you can't really grapple and cause damage without moving into the opponent's space. Sure, you can grab them, but to do the damage I'd argue you had to move into their space. To me it makes more sense that way. Otherwise, if you just grab and then release, how are you actually damaging them?

Pinotage
 


Belbarid

First Post
Shin Okada said:
Also, it will become much harder to inflict damages by grapple when opponent has Close Quarter Fighting feat (from CW) or when your opponent is a larger monster.

Close-Quarters Fighting allows the AoO, even if your opponant has Improved Grapple, correct?
 

darthkilmor

First Post
Enkhidu said:
OK so far we've got the two positions that I expected (and indeed used myself before posting): BAB reduces for the purposes of the hold (something that I agree with, but that my DM does not - this is partially an exercise to show why it needs to reduce), and that Step for is not an option.

Your DM is wrong, and since that puts You at a disadvantage I'm surprised he'd be arguing it.
note also the SRD says:
If You’re Grappling

When you are grappling (regardless of who started the grapple), you can perform any of the following actions. Some of these actions take the place of an attack (rather than being a standard action or a move action). If your base attack bonus allows you multiple attacks, you can attempt one of these actions in place of each of your attacks, but at successively lower base attack bonuses.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Belbarid said:
Close-Quarters Fighting allows the AoO, even if your opponant has Improved Grapple, correct?

Yes, but the damage you deal does not automatically negate the grapple in this case. Instead, you add the damage you deal to your grapple check.

Frankly, I consider this a must have feat for fighters of mid levels or so, at that point everything you fight is large or larger practically and they all seem to grapple:)
 

Liquidsabre

First Post
Stalker0 said:
Frankly, I consider this a must have feat for fighters of mid levels or so, at that point everything you fight is large or larger practically and they all seem to grapple:)

Here here! I never play a fighter of level 6th+ without this feat. If you spend all this effort to be a fighter-type and your heavy damage dealing capacity is suddenly negated by a silly grapple, you betcha I'm going to try and avoid that! :cool:
 

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