D&D 5E The Grappler's Manual (2.0) - Grappling in 5th Edition

This came up recently in another thread but it might be worth repeating here:

Grappling isn't an attack (PHB 194), so technically it doesn't break Sanctuary. That neatly solves the problem of "won't the guy I'm grappling just kill me to death instead of trying to move away?" Sanctuary is a bonus action spell which lasts for a minute without concentration, so if you want, you can cast Sanctuary with your free hand, and then grapple an enemy while holding a shield in your other hand. (Then on subsequent rounds you can Dodge while you drag the grappled enemy over to the cliff and shove him off.)

Sanctuary is available to Oath of Devotion paladins and to clerics.
 
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While prone, the greatsword fighter will have disadvantage on all his attack rolls. You can also start attempting Disarming Attacks once they are stuck on the ground, either through Fighter maneuvers or through the DMG Disarm rule. The DMG Disarm rule is particularly nasty here because they will have disadvantage on the opposed attack roll to avoid being disarmed.

The opposed roll in the Disarm maneuver is an Athletics or Acrobatics check, not an attack roll. Attacker makes an attack roll, defender makesn an Athletics or Acrobatics check. Attacker will have disadvantage on his attack roll because a greatsword is held in two hands; defender suffers no disadvantage on his Athletics/Acrobatics check from being prone. Advantage: greatsword wielder--but most monsters have rubbish Athletics so you might win anyway.
 

ktkenshinx

First Post
This came up recently in another thread but it might be worth repeating here:

Grappling isn't an attack (PHB 194), so technically it doesn't break Sanctuary. That neatly solves the problem of "won't the guy I'm grappling just kill me to death instead of trying to move away?" Sanctuary is a bonus action spell which lasts for a minute without concentration, so if you want, you can cast Sanctuary with your free hand, and then grapple an enemy while holding a shield in your other hand. (Then on subsequent rounds you can Dodge while you drag the grappled enemy over to the cliff and shove him off.)

Sanctuary is available to Oath of Devotion paladins and to clerics.
I disagree with this, but would be happy to see the discussion in the other thread. It seems pretty clear to me that grappling breaks Sanctuary.

Sanctuary is broken "If the warded creature makes an attack". Grapple is defined as "a special melee attack", and is even listed under the "Melee Attacks" section of the Combat chapter. It even says "If you're able to make multiple attacks with the Attack action, this attack replaces one of them" (emphasis added).

If Sanctuary broken when "the warded creatures makes an attack roll", then I would agree that grapple doesn't break it. But it just says "attack", and by two definitions grapple appears to be considered an "attack". So unless I'm missing something, I don't see how these two interact like others think they do.
The opposed roll in the Disarm maneuver is an Athletics or Acrobatics check, not an attack roll. Attacker makes an attack roll, defender makesn an Athletics or Acrobatics check. Attacker will have disadvantage on his attack roll because a greatsword is held in two hands; defender suffers no disadvantage on his Athletics/Acrobatics check from being prone. Advantage: greatsword wielder--but most monsters have rubbish Athletics so you might win anyway.
That's right. Got the check/attack roll part backwards. It's unclear if the attacker (the one doing the disarm) has disadvantage or they have neither disadvantage nor advantage. If the defender is prone, then the attacker would normally get advantage on all attack rolls made against them. Therefore, the disadvantage from two hands would be cancelled out by the advantage of attacking a prone target. Then again, are you attacking the target or are you attacking the sword itself, which isn't prone in its own right. How would other people rule this? For reference, prone states "An attack roll against the creature has advantage if the attacker is within 5 feet of he creature." Is the attack roll in Disarm "made against" the creature?
 


ktkenshinx

First Post
Will this guide be completed at any point?
Absolutely! I just have a lot of things on my plate and can't always put hours into it each day. I'll roll out some more changes to it today and then keep the updates coming. The original guide on the Wizards forum is done: I just need to paste it, reformat it, and edit/update it.
 

Shove your enemy prone.

Easy enough, but once you do, you are either letting them go ( breaking the grapple) or following them down.

Pick up his ankle. Tuck that ankle in your armpit with his foot behind your back and curl your arm around it, bringing your hand to your chest. You now have a free hand and it will definitely take an athletics or acrobatics check to escape. Consider standing on his crotch or nearest joint/limb/putting your big toe in his mouth.

This would require a second grapple attempt if you are still standing, which is possible if you have 2 attacks per attack action.
 

ktkenshinx

First Post
Easy enough, but once you do, you are either letting them go ( breaking the grapple) or following them down.



This would require a second grapple attempt if you are still standing, which is possible if you have 2 attacks per attack action.
As a DM, you would be free to rule these things, but your players would also be free to argue against you with the RAW. The RAW is very clear that shoving an enemy prone does not break the grapple. The only two things that break a grapple are incapacitating the grappler or removing the grappled creature from the grappler's reach (PHB, 290). Shoving an enemy prone just knocks them prone without actually removing them from your reach. So RAW, there is absolutely nothing that suggests you are breaking the grapple or prone yourself.

As other users have said, including Bal Sofs Tihl, this also makes sense from an RAI perspective. There are countless examples in real-world grappling where a standing grappler can be grappling a prone opponent. Add the magical and fantastical elements in D&D and it's totally within RAI, as well as already being within RAW.

People are always welcome to change those RAW mechanics to fit their game, but I have no interest in doing that in this guide. This guide is designed to follow the RAW 100%, and all the grappling interactions are within those RAW.

Also, I will definitely be finishing the guide before the end of the month. Lots of things came up to get in the way but the project will be done!
 

Noctem

Explorer
Yeah I have no idea why someone would claim that me shoving someone prone while grappling them forces me to either release the grapple or also become prone. That's very clearly not part of the rules and completely nonsensical.
 
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grave77digger

First Post
I have some who are insisting if I grapple someone into an AOE (Cloud of Daggers) That I would also be in the AOE. Is there a rule that plainly states they are wrong?
 

ktkenshinx

First Post
I have some who are insisting if I grapple someone into an AOE (Cloud of Daggers) That I would also be in the AOE. Is there a rule that plainly states they are wrong?
They are wrong, although you could choose to be in the AOE if you wanted. As per the PHB rules on point of origin (PHB, 203), "You select a cube's point of origin, which lies anywhere on a face of the cube effect... A cube's point of origin is not included in the cube's area of effect, unless you decide otherwise". Simply project the cube into one 5 by 5 by 5 cube and then stand on the edge of the cube, dragging the enemy into the cube's area. They will be affected by the Cloud and you will not.
 

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