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


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Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
That being limited by spell slots thing very rarely works out in actual play.
Our spellcasters run out of almost all their spell slots before pretty much 80% of our long rests. That's often the reason for a long rest - spell casters are down to only a couple slots left.

Though I should point out our DM strictly enforces time tracking, and we can only long rest once every 24 hours, and we use random encounter rolls every single session for every single long rest and for any additional time we're just sitting around waiting to be able to long rest.
 
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MuhVerisimilitude

Adventurer
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.

---
You would perhaps have a point regarding grappling if it was the case that grappling builds completely dominated and steered the game in an unhealthy direction. But they aren't. I have never seen anyone in 5E actually grapple anything.
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
And the reverse would also hold in a hypothetical world where casters were underpowered and fighters dominated. Imagine a world where casters had no way to actually do damage and almost no spells whatsoever. Would you argue then that if you wanted to deal damage you would have to play a fighter? No. I don't think so.

You would perhaps have a point regarding grappling if it was the case that grappling builds completely dominated and steered the game in an unhealthy direction. But they aren't. I have never seen anyone in 5E actually grapple anything.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
I used to never see grapple used, but in the last two sessions of the game I'm in, we've actually used grapple twice! The first time, there was this rift of arcane energy in a chamber, guarded by devils. One of them tried to shove our Ranger into one and failed. In response, he grappled the devil and pulled it inside instead!

Then last session, we were fighting a lich who was seated on this throne that gave them protection from magic. The Cleric grappled her and dragged her off of it so we could affect her with magic. Our DM was surprised, he didn't think we'd do anything like that.

If grappling was harder to do, both of those moments might not have happened, which would be a shame. Also, we'd have probably died to the lich, lol.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
You would perhaps have a point regarding grappling if it was the case that grappling builds completely dominated and steered the game in an unhealthy direction. But they aren't. I have never seen anyone in 5E actually grapple anything.
Maybe discuss that with those complaining in this thread?

It is them, not I, who feel grappling is so essential to their fighter enjoyment that the "nerf" ruins D&D for them.
 

And the reverse would also hold in a hypothetical world where casters were underpowered and fighters dominated. Imagine a world where casters had no way to actually do damage and almost no spells whatsoever. Would you argue then that if you wanted to deal damage you would have to play a fighter? No. I don't think so.

This is a strawman. Grapple is not nerfed for most. Actually for non specialized builds it is buffed. Now every str based character and monks can try it with a * chance on a reaction.
On the other hand it is not bypassing the save system which is used for such things.
Monsters have uses this grapple (and trip) system simce 2014.

And while we are at it, there are spells that also bypass this system in an unhealthy way:
Polymorph, hypnotic pattern, levitate, phantasmal force, suggestion, gate, wall of force, maze to a lesser extend.
(All those spells cited for being game breaking, as they invalidate everything martials can do.)

Those need to be brought in line too by adding save ends. Or at least 3 failed saves to stick.

*reasonable (about the same chance as succeeding with a spell)
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I think it's an "active vs reactive" concept. Reactive rolls are usually saving throws, while actions are usually ability checks. This actually brings it more in line with the rest of the game.
Trying to grab someone is an active check, so it should be a roll. Further, opposed ability checks(see contests in the PHB), which a grapple is, involve rolls by both parties. None of grapple should involve saves.
 

MuhVerisimilitude

Adventurer
This is a strawman. Grapple is not nerfed for most. Actually for non specialized builds it is buffed. Now every str based character and monks can try it with a chance on a reaction.
How is that a strawman? I don't care whether or not grappling is nerfed or whatever. Grappling is boring. I don't give a crap about it.

My point is that the argument I quoted was bad:

I would like to encourage you to play a spellcaster if you believe spells are better than weapons.

Although now that I read it again, I see it can have two different interpretations and I am no longer sure which one is intended.

1: The quote is saying "it doesn't matter whether or not weapons suck because you can always opt to play a spellcaster if you want to not suck".

2: Or possibly "if you play a spellcaster you would understand that they're not that good actually"
 

How is that a strawman? I don't care whether or not grappling is nerfed or whatever. Grappling is boring. I don't give a crap about it.

My point is that the argument I quoted was bad:



Although now that I read it again, I see it can have two different interpretations and I am no longer sure which one is intended.

1: The quote is saying "it doesn't matter whether or not weapons suck because you can always opt to play a spellcaster if you want to not suck".

2: Or possibly "if you play a spellcaster you would understand that they're not that good actually"
I guess it should be something along the lines of 2.
 

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