D&D (2024) The Great Nerf to High Level Martials: The New Grapple Rules


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Horwath

Legend
I assure you, it is entirely possible to throw or force someone onto the ground and hold them there with an arm or wrist lock while you are still standing or crouching next to them.
You need to be crouching at least and probably forcing your knee on their back/neck.
As for standing up and having someone prone in a grapple you need really long hands.
 

MuhVerisimilitude

Adventurer
I'm not sure why this thread is so absurdly obsessed about grappling being realistic when nobody seems to question whatever BS the casters are up to with the same demands of realism. Heck the monk can run on walls.
 

I'm not sure why this thread is so absurdly obsessed about grappling being realistic when nobody seems to question whatever BS the casters are up to with the same demands of realism. Heck the monk can run on walls.
Almost by definition magic gets to break the demands of realism. And Monks are explicitly magical.
Fighters are the warriors that are limited to what real-life martial artists are capable of. (At least at low levels).
 

I'm not sure why this thread is so absurdly obsessed about grappling being realistic when nobody seems to question whatever BS the casters are up to with the same demands of realism. Heck the monk can run on walls.
Spellcasting and realism. Hmmm... I wonder if that is a valid comparison to martial arts and realism. I can see wanting there to be a balance of the perception of effectiveness between the two.

There are those who have "real" experience with a diverse variety of martial arts, and the monk does not always deliver on the fantasy of a badass martial artist. That real life experience is far more easily quantified than real spellcasting (to be clear, I'm not interested in talking about "real" spellcasting). Martial arts afficionados may want their fantasy martial arts to measure up to at least to what they perceive as real capabilities, even before adding the mystical aspect on top of that.

I think the new Unarmed Strike rules (1+Str mod Damage, plus Grapple, and Shove options with Save DCs) is perfectly acceptable to represent basic unarmed combat. It doesn't need a complicated unarmed combat system at that level. That basic proficiency with nonmagical unarmed combat is not something that should rival weapons combat, especially when in D&D you'll be fighting monsters larger than you, with claws, teeth, and energy attacks. Go ahead and grapple even a mundane mountain lion and see what happens. But the mystic martial artist that is the Monk should be as effective as a normal weapon user and be able to contribute to a fight with a dragon.

How should a monk contribute to a dragon fight in a fantasy game like D&D? Not with something that looks like basic unarmed strikes. That isn't fantastic or fun. The Monk, the very pinnacle of an unarmed combatant, is the one class that deserves maneuvers and cool abilities that can embody a fantasy martial artist who can contribute to a fight with monsters. Martial arts afficionados have all kinds of styles in our mundane world. What can a fantasy game like D&D bring to the table that helps embody the martial artist fantasy?

The base level of competency people are looking for in their fantasy unarmed combatant are a variety of extraordinary mundane styles, stances, and maneuvers that can be reskinned as effective versions of mundane martial arts. Add some awesome magical options on top for flavor. It's fine if subclasses add some of those options. Let fantasy monks be tough movie-level boxers/martial artists, Batman-level beatdowners, as well as wuxia masters, ninjas, and element benders.

I do think monks deserve d10 hit points. Just about every mighty martial artist is portrayed as tough as nails that keeps getting up. I mean, Second Wind or something similar would really work for Monks too.
 





CapnZapp

Legend
So why single out grappling characters, and not spellcasters whose spell lists are all loaded with the kind of things that bypass all of the above?
Because the former is not the intended path to victory for the martial while the latter very much is the intended path to victory for the caster?

Anytime the monster's AC and hit points doesn't matter for a martial, something's gone wrong. It is far from the first time a dev team finds out that their "alternative" combat system (whether it's a separate system for unarmed combat, weapon duels or grappling etc) means minmaxer dump the regular combat system. (Likewise if there's a "spell duel" system that bypasses regular spell resolution. Either it sucks or it is OP)

In short, it's practically impossible to achieve total parity between competing systems. (Unless, you know, you make the systems work identically, which kind of defeats the point). Put simply, either grappling is better than regular combat or it is worse. Either everybody uses it or nobody uses it.

Again and again AND AGAIN we have a situation where it comes as news to a dev team, who hastily has to remove or nerf the alternative system so it's no longer used by minmaxers. This is just another such day. It has happened countless times before and it will happen countless times again.

If it sounds like I've seen it before it is because I have. This question ("why did they take away my toys?") was asked ten years ago. It was asked twenty years ago. It was asked thirty years ago.

The answer remains the same.

---

The only thing left to do is respond to your implication: that spellcasters get an unfair advantage since they get to use spells instead of weapons.

I'm not going to argue against this. Instead I would like to encourage you to play a spellcaster if you believe spells are better than weapons.

Have a nice day
 
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