Level Up (A5E) Wrestler Tradition Brainstorm


One of my players has a (homebrewed) Goliath Fighter/Adept character, and he’s expressed some frustration that none of his maneuvers rely on throwing his weight around the way he wants to.

For example, in the last fight, he wanted to grab the hydra, hurl it over his head (away from the rest of the party) and smash it into the ground. (He has 20 STR, x4 carrying capacity, and is only mechanically Medium, so I let him grapple a Huge creature). In another fight he wanted to try to crush an enemy he had grappled. In these cases I’ve generally improvised the cost and effects of such moves, but I think it speaks to a missing combat tradition that even Adamant Mountain doesn’t quite capture.

I would love to whip up a tradition like this for him, but I need help brainstorming some moves. Any cool ideas?

log in or register to remove this ad


Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
The Serpent's Coils combat tradition

Tier 1 maneuvers:
Improved Grab maneuver. Make an attack, deal damage, grapple your opponent if they fail their save.
Suplex: Deal damage to a grappled creature and apply the prone condition on a failed save.
Dragon's Hide Stance. Take half damage from nonmagical BSP from targets you are grappling.
Haul: Drag a grappled creature without a movement speed penalty.

Tier 2 maneuvers:
Crushing Grip. Extra damage while grappling
Wrenching Throw. Creatures of X size or smaller go head over heels through the air up to 15ft. They do get a save.
Disabling Grip. Choose one method of attacking the enemy has. They can't use it while grappled on a failed save (Holding an alligator's mouth shut, or arm-barring an ogre)
Unyielding Grip. When a grappled character would be pushed or pulled out of your threatened area you can make a strength save to keep them from getting moved. On a failure you get moved with them and the grapple continues.

Tier 3 maneuvers:
Pin. Impose disadvantage to your opponent's save against being grappled as a reaction.
Giant Swing. Use someone you have grappled as a weapon. Your victim and your target both take damage.
Flying Elbow. Move + Attack. Extra damage.
Skullcracker. Your grappled target becomes blinded or deafened for a number of turns equal to your proficiency bonus.

Tier 4 maneuvers:
Hammerlock: Neither you nor your victim can take actions, bonus actions, or reactions until they escape or you end the grapple.
Large Stance. You are treated as one size category larger for determining what you can grapple.

Tier 5 maneuvers:
Piledriver. You deal unarmed damage to a grappled creature and they make a save to avoid being paralyzed for a number of turns equal to your proficiency bonus.

Have I mentioned I like combat traditions?

size categories limitations for grappling need to die in a fire.

if the creature is big, it will be stupidly strong and an uphill battle, but it should be possible to slap them in a sharpshooter once adequately softened up.

Afterall, everybody is the same size on the matt. :cool:


Well that's way more than I have, but you should definitely add a technique that allows you to grapple while both your hands are full. Maybe as the other first level stance?


Josh Gentry - Author, Minister in Training
I post this because it seems relevant to our interests. I wrote a free minigame for O5e for mud wrestling, and I thought y'all might enjoy it! I can only imagine fighters of the Serpent's Coil tradition absolutely smashing one another in the mud pit.

#G Rated Content Only



size categories limitations for grappling need to die in a fire.
i don't think they need to die, necessarily - i just think you need to be able to start ignoring them more quickly. like, level 12 (assuming a fighter) is way too late to be able to count as one size larger for grappling. by level 12 you should be able to find a way to count as two sizes larger at least.

edit: and then, you know, there could be ways to circumvent those limitations entirely, like getting several people to grapple the target at once. i wouldn't be able to hold down a horse, but i think if me and the boys all tried at once that horse would be having a bad time.


Maybe your STR should play into the calculation? If your STR is 20, you can grapple a creature two sizes larger than you? That would open it up by level 8 at least for STR-based characters.

The Weather Outside Is Frightful!

An Advertisement