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AdInfinitum
2005-08-09, 06:15 PM
So why don't cats (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/cat.htm) get a racial bonus to grapple? Sure, they're not going to pin many large foes, but they're remarkably hard to hold when they don't want to be, and their primary method of fighting other cats is grappling.

Granted, it's not going to come into play very often, but...

jdrich
2005-08-09, 06:22 PM
Improved Grab (Ex)

To use this ability, a tiger must hit with a claw or bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can rake.

From zee tiger description in the SRD. A racial grapple bonus, AFAIK, does not exist (I am probably wrong in this regard).

sktarq
2005-08-09, 06:23 PM
Also you'd think they would since grappling IS the way they take down large prey. The bite is more a coup de grace.

jdrich
2005-08-09, 06:33 PM
They have a pretty high grapple bonus. A tiger has a grapple bonus of +14 and is only CR 4 (your average 6th level fighter has a grapple bonus of +10). A dire tiger has a grapple bonus of +24 and is only CR 8 (your average 16th level grappler has a grapple bonus of +24).

So grappling is a big part of what they do.

.

sktarq
2005-08-09, 06:38 PM
Personally I'd HR them a bonus because that IS how they hunt and a bigger bonus for sabertooths....that was ALL they did-they had massivly built up forequarters (though smilodon fragiles showed it least and is the most commonly pictured saber/dirk/or knife toothed cat - yes long toothed cats evolved three seperate times - so far)

But that would be a personal HR

jdrich
2005-08-09, 06:59 PM
What kind of bonus, though? Do any other races have racial bonuses to trip/disarm/grapple checks?

sktarq
2005-08-09, 07:03 PM
does that make them impossible?


call it racial, inherent, training (a feat perhaps), whathaveyou

jdrich
2005-08-09, 07:05 PM
does that make them impossible?

Not at all, I was just wondering if it would be some sort of named bonus, or if you don't see setting racial bonuses to special attack modes as setting a form of precedent that could get ugly.

sktarq
2005-08-09, 07:12 PM
Not with house rules....I control them FAR too tightly to let it get ugly.....also as a RP heavy DM most of my players couldn't care less about HOW the bonus gets there just how it effects the beast that is trying to make them an example of "how to hunt" for their cubs.

valadil
2005-08-09, 10:17 PM
I think escape artist makes more sense than grapple for them. I'm not sure if this is a house rule or not, but my group lets escape artist work for getting out of grapples. Kinda mkes the skill worth taking.

AdInfinitum
2005-08-09, 10:22 PM
No, it's an official rule (DC: your opponent's grapple check). I would say, perhaps, a bonus to grapple creatures of the cats size or smaller, and a bonus to escape artist for creatures larger than it.

Norhg
2005-08-09, 10:37 PM
From zee tiger description in the SRD. A racial grapple bonus, AFAIK, does not exist (I am probably wrong in this regard).
You are, I know there is at least one feat in lords of madness that gives a +2 racial bonus to grapple. [deepspawn feat]
I recall seeing monsters with it as well. Not just which one.
(atm)

sktarq
2005-08-09, 11:37 PM
*I would say, perhaps, a bonus to grapple creatures of the cats size or smaller, and a bonus to escape artist for creatures larger than it.
I'd totally disagree. Look at a lion take down a zebra or buffalo for example. The larger the cat the larger proportionally the prey they generally take (when given a full menu of options). House cats take the much smaller mice Lynx take the smaller hare Leopard take antelope roughly the same mass (but are notorious for going heavier-but that may just because they are easy to see doing that) and Lions prefer prey significantly heavier than themselves. The still heavier extinct cats (such as smilodon or say dire tigers) would go after prey animals significantly larger than themselves (this is one of the reasons i've always had a problem with 30' long dire tigers-besides the physical requirements of increased mass just...gah)

AtomicKitKat
2005-08-10, 12:25 AM
(this is one of the reasons i've always had a problem with 30' long dire tigers-besides the physical requirements of increased mass just...gah)

Let's see, a lion is about 6 feet long, give or take. Given that a pride of 1 male and 4 females generally eats about 1 ton of flesh(average water buffalo or wildebeest) a day, a Dire Tiger being 5 times the length(and presumably all dimensions) would be what, 125 times the mass? So it would probably need about 300(Lion's share) times 125=37500 kg of meat a day, or about 37 and a half TONS of flesh in one day. That's 10 or more elephants! :o

sktarq
2005-08-10, 12:42 AM
well lions don't eat quite that much....about 20lbs a day if i remeber correctly....they might gorge on a wildebesat but then not eat for 3-4 days. *Also while a cape water buffalo might weigh allot (say for arguements sake...a ton) but there is some left for vultures and jackels afterward who also leave some for the flys and bone worms. *but it does work out to something like 1-2 buffalo a day for the dire tiger - eaten whole.

yeah that's allot of meat....

plus the damn thing wouldn't actually be able to movee right. The mechanics of how cats support themselves (as in muscles and bones here-most seen in the legs) become less effienct the larger you get. Not even the 10' Siberian tigers have citical problems with it but 15-20' would do so - 30' wasn't even considered (we used this example in an evolution/paleontology class)

Umael
2005-08-10, 12:55 AM
Before we get into how realistic a Dire Tiger would be, might I suggest a simple magical solution?

Allow magic to violate the Laws of Thermodynamics.

(I actually believe magic does this already - enlarge anyone?)

This allows for the creation and destruction of energy, and hence you do not have to worry so much about the conservation of mass. Without worrying about the conservation of mass (and energy), you can have magic create creatures (such as Dire Tigers), either out of nothingness or out of an existing tiger, or create the prey for the Dire Tigers.

As for cats and a bonus to grapple, I do not believe that is what tigers do when taking down prey larger than themselves, at least, not in the sense of pinning the prey down. If your smilodon was to take down a mammoth or mastodon (not sure which), wouldn't it attach itself to, say, the back of the creature so that it could sink its teeth into the brain (through the skull) or into the neck? That does not seem quite like grapple as I come to understand it.

jdrich
2005-08-10, 01:13 AM
into the brain (through the skull)

That's like trying to dig through steel with a piece of corrugated cardboard.

The large cat family jumps on the arse of the prey, and attempts to take it down by sheer force. If this doesn't work, the cat tries to break the creatures neck and/or limb with powerful claw rakes.

Stories of smilodons taking down mammoths are a bit farfetched, but it could happen.

Umael
2005-08-10, 01:46 AM
That's like trying to dig through steel with a piece of corrugated cardboard.

The teeth of a lion are two inches long. Mankiller lions can and have killed by biting through the skull of a human. A smilodon has four?, six? inch long "fangs" (they aren't incissors... canines, I think). Could it have killed a mammoth or mastodon through the skull?

I don't know. Having never seen a smilodon or a mastodon in action, it makes it a little difficult to tell.



The large cat family jumps on the arse of the prey, and attempts to take it down by sheer force. If this doesn't work, the cat tries to break the creatures neck and/or limb with powerful claw rakes.

Hmm...

When a lion kills a buffalo or buffalo-like creature, it usually has most of its weight on the back of the animal (one documentary I saw had the lion confused about how to kill a buffalo that was mired up to its shoulder in mud - it finally settled on pushing the buffalo's head under the mud and suffocating it).

Most of the prey that the large cats take down get attacked from behind, but the kill is different, and even the larger cats with the larger prey tend to go for one that cannot carry its weight.



Stories of smilodons taking down mammoths are a bit farfetched, but it could happen.

Believe me, I agree. I am just trying to figure out how. Elephants have no natural predators (take away the guns and whatnot, and then tell me that humans can go hunt elephants well enough to keep the population in check). I have a hard time imagining an elephant being threatened by even a smilodon, let alone a smilodon threatening one of the elephant's larger, extinct cousins.

Phasm
2005-08-10, 02:16 AM
As the owner of a kitten, I would just like to say that small (domestic-sized) cats should DEFINITELY have a mad bonus to Escape Artist. Anyone who's tried to pick up and hold a cat that would rather be on the ground can attest to this. As for Grapple... not quite as good as kitty's Escape Artist skill, but still pretty darn good with the claws, teeth, and insane flexibility.

And of course Dire and Giant creatures are magical. How else do you explain the Dire Bat or the Giant Spider? Those sure as heck don't follow the rules of physics!

Umael
2005-08-10, 02:42 AM
Giant Spiders are physically impossible.

Dire Bats are not. Think Pterodactyl - even with a weaker atmosphere, a 9-foot wingspan Bat is not impossible.

(My earlier post was to illustrate how you could satisfy the answer of how a Dire Tiger could survive by a simple solution. The Dire Tiger thus is not magical (physics might debate this, especially if the Dire Tiger moves like a normal tiger), but it should rely on magical means (indirectly, possibly) to stay alive.)

AtomicKitKat
2005-08-10, 05:45 AM
The teeth of a lion are two inches long. *Mankiller lions can and have killed by biting through the skull of a human. *A smilodon has four?, six? inch long "fangs" (they aren't incissors... canines, I think). *Could it have killed a mammoth or mastodon through the skull?

Too long=brittle.

A Lion's fangs versus human skull is like punching a fist through acrylic. Smilodon's famous "Sabres" vs a Mammoth's skull is more like trying to drive a wooden chopstick into a cinderblock. More often, Smilodon would go for the throat. The length of the fangs pretty much ensured that you'd leave your foe with 2(or 4, if they were pencil-necked) holes in their neck, with massive blood-loss killing the prey shortly after. Bite, release, wait.

Most of the African big cats use the "pounce and snap" technique, some alternate with the "trip".

A Cheetah basically tries to keep the pressure on its foe(typically gazelle), and when it gets close enough, either swats the hindquarters, or the gazelle gets careless and trips/skids, giving the cheetah the opening it needs to leap for the neck for the CdG.

Leopards do the pouncing thing best, leaping from branches 20 or more feet in the air, and either break the neck from sheer force, or bite into it while the prey is standing.

Lions leave most of the hunting to the lioness. Lionesses typically work in 3s(or more), with 2 flanking the herd(and moving to the opposite end of the third), followed by the third one surprising the herd, causing them to stampede past the 2(or more) lying in wait. The hidden ones ambush the weakest looking one of the herd, then take turns grabbing its ankles or biting a leg, and finish with a jump to the side of the throat and rip off a hunk of flesh, again, resulting in death for the victim. The male sometimes does the CdG, using his superior weight to bring the head down.

Tigers are more solitary. Therefore, their hunting style is again, different. They typically stalk their prey(standard cat tactic), then burst out of the underbrush, attempting to pin the prey down with mass, paws, and as many attempted bites to the throat as can be managed(if it cannot bite, it keeps crushing the prey with paw swats and pounces till it can, or the prey manages to squeeze out).

Umael
2005-08-10, 09:43 AM
Smilodon has long teeth for killing, but also thick ones.

But I see your point. Why risk breaking your valuable teeth when you can save them by slashing the more vulnerable neck?

Also, thanks for the cat-kill info.

AtomicKitKat
2005-08-10, 03:45 PM
Smilodon has long teeth for killing, but also thick ones.

But I see your point. *Why risk breaking your valuable teeth when you can save them by slashing the more vulnerable neck?

Also, thanks for the cat-kill info.

They're thick, but dimensionally, length vs thickness, they're thinner than a lion's, relatively speaking. It's like a small chunk of lead(the tip) from a wooden 2B pencil vs the entire chunk of lead from another wooden 2B pencil(basically, strip off all the wood. They may be composed of the same material, and be just as thick as one another, but relatively speaking, the longer piece is more brittle(structurally weaker, since more force can be applied or something. I'm not a Physics major, so I'll leave them to clear up the terms). It's also why people punch more often than they jab with their (singular)fingertips.

Edit: For the cat-kill info, amazing what 15 years of watching Eco-programs and an avid interest in reading can do for one's knowledge.

Umael
2005-08-10, 09:05 PM
The physics, I understand.

The reality, I didn't.

I was imagining them being much thicker, and from that, took a leap of imagination into the idea of mastodon-skull-punching-teeth-of-horror.

Feh.

I know I am being brain-lazy.

Back on topic, anyone going to use the cat tactics for their monsters? What would a displacer beast do (or that relative of the displacer beast, it's mentioned in Fiend's Folio, 1st edition, I believe...)?

AtomicKitKat
2005-08-10, 11:21 PM
A displacer beast is most like a leopard or jaguar, so it would either use the tentacles to maintain a steady position in the trees, or crouch very low in tall grass/brush and in both cases, pounce. After that, most likely use the tentacles to assist in the pinning of the opponent for the dreaded bite to the throat.

Umael
2005-08-11, 12:24 AM
What's wrong with using the tentacles to rip whole chunks of flesh off the prey and then let it bleed to death? Those tentacles are barbed, if I recall.

(Death by exsangination is under-developed in fantasy worlds among the more beastial creatures, methinks.)

sktarq
2005-08-11, 12:32 AM
As for how cats kill - the main bite is almost always as carefully PLACED attack done after they have at least partially controled (Pinned) the animal. Some initial bites are used to maintain grip. Also the most common way for most of the big cats to kill is actually suffocation-they either maintain a bite to the throat as a choke hold or bite the mizzle of the animal and cut of the air that way. When they do break the neck it is done in two very different ways both of these much more common when the prey is smaller- Bite throat and shake or bite the spine. The latter wouldn't work for any of the long toothed cats only the cone tooths used it. The long toothed cats instead of chokeing the throat severed it-often along with the jugular and cartoid artiers (all in one bite). The bite had to be even more carfully placed because they were laterally VERY fragile. These carefully placed bite are only possible because they prey is wrestled to the ground first. Long toothed cats (all three times) developed bigger forequaters for just that. When you see pictures of lions jumping on the rumps of zebras and such it is to bring the animal to the ground where they can THEN go for the throat. A few exception are noted-Jaguars use a specialized skull popping technique to kill capybaras-leopards preffer to take down dogs, babboons, and other primates (including our ancestors) by goiing for the back of the skull-the temples in fact.

As a side note this is one fo those things that makes cats very differnt than the other large carnivores...most large carnivores actually kill their prey by eating it.

yes i studied paleo for years - N.A. oligicene cats were my specialty.

Ayana
2005-08-11, 12:53 AM
While I'm not familiar with big cats, the household ones should definetely have a grapple bonus due to their claws. Ever tried to remove one from a couch/bed when it didn't want to go and dug its claws in the fabric? While they loose in size and body strength they definetely have a big advantage in secure grips.

Wren
2005-08-11, 12:57 AM
And 18 charisma, they're cute and know how to manipulate.

Although not so much so when they use their rake attack down the side of your head. I think my cat went down a reaction rating then.

MisterRaziel
2005-08-11, 02:49 AM
Chokers, Cloakers and Darkmantles get bonuses to grapple, just off the top of my head.

Anyway, cats are good at grappling. Maybe not the Tiny Animal cats (sure, your pet kitty is good at grabbing your hand, but it's not hard to tear yourself free with relatively minor wounds), but the big cats do it very well.

Ayana
2005-08-11, 05:37 AM
That is not surprising, a household cat (without any bonuses) has a grapple roll of 1d20-12 while an average human commoner has one of 1d20+0. Even if it received somewhat of a bonus its odds of holding on would still be very very poor.

sktarq
2005-08-11, 11:52 PM
Just to some minor detail up....



Lions leave most of the hunting to the lioness. Lionesses typically work in 3s(or more), with 2 flanking the herd(and moving to the opposite end of the third), followed by the third one surprising the herd, causing them to stampede past the 2(or more) lying in wait. The hidden ones ambush the weakest looking one of the herd, then take turns grabbing its ankles or biting a leg, and finish with a jump to the side of the throat and rip off a hunk of flesh, again, resulting in death for the victim. The male sometimes does the CdG, using his superior weight to bring the head down.

Actually Lions do hunt-and just as well as the females it is just that once they take over a pride most of them get lazy and stop. *Many males do not have prides and hunt just fine thankyouverymuch. Also in a few prides (this is a minority but still) the males are just as much a part of the hunt as the females.

Also they generally don't "rip out a chunk of flesh" from the throat...its that suffocation thing I mentioned before.

AdInfinitum
2005-08-12, 12:00 AM
That is not surprising, a household cat (without any bonuses) has a grapple roll of 1d20-12 while an average human commoner has one of 1d20+0. Even if it received somewhat of a bonus its odds of holding on would still be very very poor.


Then that's the instance when i thought it should have a bonus to escape artist to break the grapple.

Teepo
2005-08-12, 01:43 AM
I think things work just as they are. There is no way my cute little kittie is going to pin me to the carpet, rendering me helpless only to be hit by her vicious tiny claw attack. The other cat's grapple bonuses are expressed thru thier strength scores. How much better at grappling is a cat than say, a snake? Escape artist bonuses? Nah. They have a higher dex than the average man, and a mouse can get out of a human's grasp if thier not very careful. I think the bonuses needed are explain in the ability scores given to them. But if you really want to calculate how much more advantage a cat has to keeping it's prey in place compared to a hawk, I won't complain. :-)

sktarq
2005-08-12, 06:17 PM
Looking at the strength score of say a big cat and a horse, elk or some other large prey animal i'd say they should get the bonus

strange_person
2007-10-03, 01:13 PM
I would think that a Dire Tiger hunts Seismosaurs (MMII). Long on meat, short on pokeys, and a neck that makes the broad side of a barn look like a small target.

The Giantbane tactical feat seems appropriate, but they're too big to meet the prerequisites. Darn anthropocentric size chart!

....
2007-10-03, 01:25 PM
Believe me, I agree. I am just trying to figure out how. Elephants have no natural predators (take away the guns and whatnot, and then tell me that humans can go hunt elephants well enough to keep the population in check). I have a hard time imagining an elephant being threatened by even a smilodon, let alone a smilodon threatening one of the elephant's larger, extinct cousins.


Primitive humans killed elephants and mammoths without guns. They'd chase them over cliff or into deep mud so they'd get stuck and chop off their legs.

Don't underestimate natural human ingenuity.

Starbuck_II
2007-10-03, 01:29 PM
Chokers, Cloakers and Darkmantles get bonuses to grapple, just off the top of my head.

Anyway, cats are good at grappling. Maybe not the Tiny Animal cats (sure, your pet kitty is good at grabbing your hand, but it's not hard to tear yourself free with relatively minor wounds), but the big cats do it very well.

Don't forget: That Damn Crab has a +4 racial bonus to grapple. So non-abberations get racial bonuses too.