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View Full Version : I need a Grappler [PF/3.5]



Mauril Everleaf
2009-09-29, 05:39 PM
I am in a group of that has a more or less revolving group. We have a pretty static core of five players and three or so that show up randomly. We just started a new campaign using the Pathfinder ruleset with 3.5 splats. Non-Pathfinder prestige classes have their skill prerequisites lowered by 3 ranks (to match the Pathfinder skills). Since we are using Pathfinder as a base, Pathfinder feats are given precedence over 3.5 feats.

So here is what I need. A need a grappler, preferably human and preferably starting with some monk levels. No ToB, but only because no one owns that book. Also, no setting specific books. It should be playable from level 4 to 20.

Anyone want to give me a hand?

PinkysBrain
2009-09-29, 05:49 PM
Psionics? 10ch

Mauril Everleaf
2009-09-29, 06:22 PM
I don't think the player is much into Psionics, but toss it out there.

Also, stats are an array: 18, 15, 15, 13, 13, 10

sonofzeal
2009-09-29, 06:56 PM
Psychic Warrior (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/classes/psychicWarrior.htm) gets two critical powers: Expansion (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/expansion.htm) and Grip of Iron (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/gripofIron.htm). I don't know how they interact with PF, as I believe they totally changed the grapple system, but those two powers alone are enough to make a huge difference.

PinkysBrain
2009-09-29, 07:53 PM
Okay ... to keep it simple a monk 5/Warmind X or monk 5/Psionic Fist X if you allow psionic fist levels to be used with Maneuver Training to give +1 CMB per level. He should take Practiced Manifester from Complete Psionic. Goliath from RoS is a really nice race for a grappler, but human works fine (and avoids the LA+1).

The ultimate aim is to get Greater Grapple and tie people up. So first you start grapple, if it succeeds then on the second round you try to maintain+pin with a move action and tie him up with your standard action (get a glove of storing to store the rope and a handy haversack to get a new rope after using it).

The psionics are there for the powers sonofzeal mentioned and flexibility (the power list will be very short, so it will remain very straightforward to play).

This has a lot of information on magic items (and hints on how to deal with Freedom of Movement at higher levels) :
http://web.archive.org/web/20080416124428/forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=849315

It fails to magic the antimagic shackles from BoED though ... which at very high level he might want to have.

Akal Saris
2009-09-29, 08:48 PM
I was actually just making a monk-ish grappler actually. He's an evil character though :P

Basically, the character is a normal grappler from 1st-6th level, with some weird abilities from Thrall of Jubilex thrown in, like extra acid damage on unarmed strikes and stuff. Thrall also has full BAB, all good saves, and a d10 HP, so it's a great base for a grappler.

Later on he can alter self into an outsider for better grappling, and starting at 11th can polymorph into good grappling forms as well - and can also summon oozes and demons as a quickened ability, and since the ability is determined by HD, you can summon up some of the really weird demons from various sources that most people have never heard of. Plus, it'd be fun to be summoning oozes to grapple 1 opponent while grappling another!

Anyhow, it's probably not quite what you'll want, but who knows - maybe somebody else out there would be interested in a slime lord-lovin' grappler :)

Human Monk 1/Barbarian 1/Fighter 1/Thrall of Jubilex 10 (Book of Vile Darkness)/Warshaper 5 (C. Warr)/XYZ 2
Feats:
1st char: Willing Deformity
1st hmn: Thrall to Demon
1st monk: Improved Unarmed Strike, Improved Grapple
2B Ftr: EWP: Sharktooth Staff (This can be replaced with anything, its from Savage Species - its like having improved grab, only better)
3rd: Extra Rage (Also optional, but I like it)
6th: Quicken SLA (BoVD version)
9th: Superior Unarmed Strike (or some non-TOB feat like Improved Natural Attack)

sonofzeal
2009-09-29, 08:54 PM
If you're taking Monk1, IMO Monk2 is usually worth it. Evasion, a feat (choose your variant carefully to maximize this), and +1 all saves counts as a win in most cases, unless you're racing for a specific class feature elsewhere.

PinkysBrain
2009-09-29, 09:00 PM
Later on he can alter self into an outsider for better grappling, and starting at 11th can polymorph into good grappling forms as well
PF nerfed polymorph ...

Zaq
2009-09-29, 09:02 PM
Is Incarnum allowed? Because Totemists make the best grapplers in the game. The only thing standing in their way is the frankly stupid rule that you can't initiate a grapple with something too much larger than you are... but there are ways around that. Totemists still hold their own without size increases.

Failing that, as has been already said, PsyWars make fantastic grapplers, as do Druids.

Lycanthromancer
2009-09-29, 09:08 PM
Monk 2/psychic warrior X using the Talashtora feat, from Secrets of Sarlona. Grab bite of the wolf, expansion, and later, metamorphosis. Also grab a psicrystal to share metamorphosis with so you have your own personal grappler while you go on to do other things (like trip, etc).

Muy excellente.

However, you would do worse than making a shaper6/constructor 10/some other PrC (or shaper) 4. Astral constructs are AWESOME grapplers, and you don't even have to tie yourself up in one personally.

elliott20
2009-09-29, 09:10 PM
when it comes to grappling, there are two primary objectives:

1. increase your size (or at least get your size to count as being bigger than you really are during grapples)
2. increase your unarmed damaged dice size

#2 is much easier to do. #1 I believe is the reason why most people would suggest psychic warrior since it allows you to enlarge yourself.

Akal Saris
2009-09-29, 10:13 PM
PF nerfed polymorph ...

You can still turn into a large animal with grab and/or pounce, like a tiger, or one with several natural attacks. It loses a lot of its versatility and the best forms, but it's still a solid ability, especially since it's at-will.

Besides, I was making the character for my own 3.5 game, and throwing it out there as an option compared with the 6-7 psionic characters suggested :P

jokey665
2009-09-29, 10:15 PM
Psychic Warrior (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/classes/psychicWarrior.htm) gets two critical powers: Expansion (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/expansion.htm) and Grip of Iron (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/powers/gripofIron.htm).

This is what a player in my current campaign is doing. He's also a Goliath, which helps.

Mauril Everleaf
2009-09-29, 10:56 PM
I will suggest the psionic route to him, but just in case he doesn't go for it, what would be the best "martial" grapple build? The bit about "monk" earlier is unnecessary. He just liked the idea of a martial artist and, in core, monk is the only one that shouts karate master.

BorisTheblade
2009-09-29, 11:01 PM
Reaping Mauler From Complete Warrior page 75
Fierce Grappler From Dragon #295 (May 2002)

Some nice classes that go well with grappling classes:
Bone Crusher From WoW Horde Compendium
Hulking Hurler From Complete Warrior page 40

lsfreak
2009-09-29, 11:05 PM
I will suggest the psionic route to him, but just in case he doesn't go for it, what would be the best "martial" grapple build? The bit about "monk" earlier is unnecessary. He just liked the idea of a martial artist and, in core, monk is the only one that shouts karate master.

There's absolutely no reason a psychic warrior can't be refluffed as a monk who tapped into ki in a different way.

One character runs quickly, attacks at superhuman speed with fist and foot, can vanish and reappear in different places.
Another character runs quickly, attacks at superhuman speed with fist and foot, can vanish and reappear in different places.

Which one is a monk, and which one is a psychic warrior? Exactly. It's just that one of them taps into their ki in more varied ways, such as allowing them to reform their body, create spiritual barriers, and so on.

/slightrant. But seriously, suggest he play a psychic warrior refluffed as someone tapping into ki/chi/whatever rather than "psionics."

9mm
2009-09-29, 11:07 PM
in terms of Martial only; Fighter dipping Lion Spirit Totem Barbarian for the rage boost + pounce. Key feats are Improved unarmed, Iproved Grapple, superior unarmed, Grasp of the Scorpion, 2nd PF Grapple feat; also good is Choke Hold. Again, size modifers are key. weapon Focus: Grapple only boost so much, and you need to be a cleric for Initiate of Kord.

Note: Reaping Mauler is a TRAP, whose abilities are opposite what is fluffed. over the course of the levels you get Mobility, Improved grapple, +2 grapple mod, a redo escape from grapple option, a worse form of Choke hold, and an nearly impossible to pull off insta-kill. Also you need Clever Wrestling to get in, a useless feat for anyone planing to grapple.

Akal Saris
2009-09-30, 12:02 AM
I posted a martial build earlier - totemist is another one, albeit with a weird (but fun!) variant system attached to it.

For just core PF, something like ex-Monk 4/Barbarian 16 would be solid - monks get their level to CMB instead of their BAB, so their grapple checks are still strong, and their unarmed damage is better than a punching fighter or barbarian (scaling damage, plus full strength on unarmed strikes).

PF Monk still isn't that good, but it's much better than 3.5, which is what most of the posters here are used to thinking about. PF Monk 4 is a good drop point - you get +1 BAB, a damage increase, your ki pool, the CMB bonus, slow fall, and an AC bonus there. Add on a monk's belt later on for a slight boost.

Mauril Everleaf
2009-09-30, 12:33 AM
Sorry, Akal, I must have missed that one. :smallredface:

PinkysBrain
2009-09-30, 02:30 AM
#2 is much easier to do. #1 I believe is the reason why most people would suggest psychic warrior since it allows you to enlarge yourself.
Enlarging however isn't the huge bonus it used to be (Fine 8, Diminutive 4, Tiny 2, Small 1, Medium +0, Large +1, Huge +2, Gargantuan +4, Colossal +8). Being able to grow larger is more about getting the ability to grapple larger creatures.

An important effect of the nerfing of polymorph is that aside from the giant form spells (level 7&8) the polymorph effects aren't very useful for a grappler, since it's hard to tie people up without hands and equipment (tieing people up is the most effective way to grapple ... damage in a grapple is now rather low, 2 unarmed strikes is the best you are going to do).

KiltedGrappler
2009-09-30, 05:44 AM
Whatever you do, DON'T go with Reaping Mauler.

One of the pre-req feats only works if you're Medium or smaller (IIRC), taking away the only option you have to grapple huge, gargantuan, and colosal opponents. Plus, the DCs of it's abilities are based off of the PrC class levels, of which there are only five, making them very, very weak at higher levels.

This is what happens when you let people who've never grappled try to design grappling rules/classes. (pet peeve, never been happy with a grappling system except maybe GURPS, and that's still not as good as I would like)

BorisTheblade
2009-10-01, 05:37 PM
Whatever you do, DON'T go with Reaping Mauler.

One of the pre-req feats only works if you're Medium or smaller (IIRC), taking away the only option you have to grapple huge, gargantuan, and colosal opponents. Plus, the DCs of it's abilities are based off of the PrC class levels, of which there are only five, making them very, very weak at higher levels.

This is what happens when you let people who've never grappled try to design grappling rules/classes. (pet peeve, never been happy with a grappling system except maybe GURPS, and that's still not as good as I would like)

Well unless they are not creative what so ever, they can easily alter the class. Saves can be HD based not class based. I don't think there is anything in the class that justifies the medium or smaller requirement for the feat, so they can toss it out. Or you can alter the feat where it doesn't matter what your size is, you could gain a bonus equal to your Intelligence mod to grapple checks. You could replace it with Improved Grapple from pathfinder. Lots of options.

The game can be a lot more fun if the players and the DM have the knowledge to alter/design classes/abilities/feats or whatever and keep them balanced.

The Grappler class I played was:
Half-Ogre 3
Barbarian 2
Reaping Mauler 5
Bone Crusher 10
Thrall of Kostchtchie 10
Hulking Hurler 3
total of 33 levels.

Worked out amazing. He was Huge size with insane strength, triple his carrying capacity, which allowed him to throw heavier stuff with Hulking Hurler. Core rules he would not have been that great, but with some minor alterations and rulings it allowed the class/race combinations to work well.

Xenogears
2009-10-01, 06:33 PM
Replace both your arms with the grappling tentacle grafts from Fiend Folio. If I recall properly they give an untyped +4 bonus to strength each if you use them for anything and an additional +4 for all grapple attemtps with the tentacles.

Keld Denar
2009-10-01, 06:44 PM
Monk2/PsyWarX with Tashalatora is proabably one of the best. Nab Aberrant Blood (Flexible Limbs) along with Inhuman Reach and Deepspawn for a +4 unnamed bonus to grapple and 10' reach with your natural weapons. Then look into Shape Soulmeld (Kraken Mantle) and Open Lesser Chakra to bind it to your arms. This nets you a form of Constrict, which is super sexy when you are grappling since you deal 1d8+str EVERY time you win a grapple check. You grab a foe and win...damage. Your squeeze your foe for damage...damage. Your foe tries unsuccessfully to wriggle away...damage. Just keep stacking that damage up till your foe stops moving.

Also, don't forget Scorpion's Grasp from Sandstorm. Gives you what is effectively Improved Grab so you don't even HAVE to try to to grab someone. Just puch em and if you hit, you may elect to squeeze them till their eyeballs pop out. You know, just for fun!