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Bandededed
2008-03-25, 02:42 PM
We all know that grappling is a rather awkward mechanic, which, although realistic, is rather clunky.

This, however, is not my problem with it.

My problem is what is added together to make a grapple check, BAB + STR Mod + Spec size mod. Actually, my problem is with the BAB portion of this. At it's core, BAB represents how well your character can whack something. This is not a good representation of how you grapple someone, beyond the melee touch attack.

Also, it makes no sense to me for a character who spends as much time grappling as he can to only be as good as another character (same lvl + stats) who does not.

Thus, I propose that we make grappling a skill - with all full BAB classes retaining it as a class skill, some 3/4 BAB classes keeping it, and no 1/2 BAB having it.

Thoughts?

sonofzeal
2008-03-25, 02:47 PM
Skills are ridiculously easy to pump. It's not hard to get an item that'd give you a +10 to grapple skillchecks, and it would basically force every other character in the game to invest heavily in it or in Freedom of Movement. As it stands, most full-bab chars can expect to be decent in a grapple, while specialists still have plenty of options to boost their power.

What I'm trying to say is, it ain't broke. Don't fix it.

Bandededed
2008-03-25, 02:58 PM
Skills are ridiculously easy to pump. It's not hard to get an item that'd give you a +10 to grapple skillchecks, and it would basically force every other character in the game to invest heavily in it or in Freedom of Movement. As it stands, most full-bab chars can expect to be decent in a grapple, while specialists still have plenty of options to boost their power.

What I'm trying to say is, it ain't broke. Don't fix it.

1. You could get an item to do that already, not to mention that the ease of getting skill boosting items is entirely dependent on you DM.

2. And? If you want to be good at grappling, put skill points into grapple. If you don't, buy a ring of freedom of movement, it's not going to cost you much, and I feel that this adds to the realism. So my level 20 fighter, who's never been in a grapple in his life (let's say), can't randomly beat your level 15 fighter who grapples for a living (read: wrestler). Unless you roll a 1, but that's beside the point.

3. Yes, a full-BAB character could be decent in grapple, unless he wants to start one and gets punched in the face by his opponent (AoO).

4. No, it's not broken. It is more diseased, in my opinion. I simply wish to cure it.

Breaw
2008-03-25, 02:58 PM
Proficient grapplers (for this instance, we'll call those who have 'Improved grapple' as proficient grapplers) are in fact much better at grappling already.

If a non proficient grappler is hit by the AoO he receives for starting the grapple, it fails. That's a pretty big deal. On top of that you get a +4 to your grapple checks. Consider +4 in terms of BaB or Str bonus, that's pretty huge

Now, if you are simply talking about keeping a grapple going against a non proficient grappler (and ignore the +4 bonus you get), the tables are even against an equally good fighter (similar BaB, str and size). Once you are in a grapple, this is pretty reasonable imo. I don't care how good you are at Judo, if you are fighting someone equally proficient in a fighting style and equally strong, you aren't going to have much of an advantage tossing them around.

Third and final: a successful grapple can all but take someone out of the battle, so if you change things so that proficient grapplers have more than the advantage they currently have, grapplers will dominate anyone 1on1 who doesn't have some still spells memorized (or a lot of ranks in escape artist)

Sorry, I thoroughly disagree with your views on grappling. It is pretty cumbersome to figure out all the details until you get used to it, but you can do a lot with it without much imagination.

Edit:
A level 16 fighter who is proficient at grappling is already on roughly equal ground with a level 20 fighter who is not a proficient grappler. How much of an edge do you want him to have? 4 levels is a pretty huge difference!

Try using a level 16 wizard to shut down a level 20 wizard with counterspells/dispels sometime, let me know how it turns out.

Eldariel
2008-03-25, 03:04 PM
The idea isn't all that horrible though. We all know how the skill system sucks, but if you make a quick fix-up on it:
1. Disallow all magical skill-enhancing items (or heavily moderate them); you can make all the necessary DCs through stat boosters and mundane items
2. Cut down the efficiency of all the usual skillboosting spells, skills and classes to about half, and axe crap like Item Familiar.
3. Give just about all classes at least 1 extra skillpoint per level (save maybe for the 8+Int/level ones), and just about all martial classes at least 2 more (Monk and Fighter to start with)
4. Generate few combined skill such as Athletics (Climb/Swim and maybe Balance/Jump or so), Perception (Spot/Listen) and Stealth (Spot/Listen).
5. Make all checks that interact with other characters opposed checks of some sort (Tumble, Diplomacy et co.).

the system isn't very breakable anymore (and all breaking attempts are Rule 0:able), and while it's not perfect, it'll serve its purpose. If you make a bunch of changes like that, Grapple as a skill will work out just fine and actually be probably more interesting than the present Grapple. While at it, that'll fix up all the stupid skill-abusing classes like Incantatrix, Artificer and archetypes like Diplomancer and all the derivatives. In fact, I see no reason to use the present skill system since it just doesn't work logically.

Bandededed
2008-03-25, 03:26 PM
I don't care how good you are at Judo, if you are fighting someone equally proficient in a fighting style and equally strong, you aren't going to have much of an advantage tossing them around

That is of course, unless his fighting style doesn't deal with grapples. Let's put it this way, i was messing around with a friend who wrestles. I know a little martial arts. We wrestled, and he shut me down. Anything I thought to do, he knew exactly how to stop me.


a successful grapple can all but take someone out of the battle

Note that it takes you out as well, and any spell user (or UMD user) will have fun dropping whatever spell is in their wand on you. With no grapple check required.


A level 16 fighter who is proficient at grappling is already on roughly equal ground with a level 20 fighter who is not a proficient grappler. How much of an edge do you want him to have? 4 levels is a pretty huge difference!

Try using a level 16 wizard to shut down a level 20 wizard with counterspells/dispels sometime, let me know how it turns out.

I said 15, not 16. Then, see my first response. Then, think a little. Your wizard does spells for a living. Of course the level 16 wouldn't have a chance in a straight fight. One of my points is that a Full BAB class does not have to grapple for a living, and so may not be any good at it at all.

edit: and I like your idea, Eldarial.

sonofzeal
2008-03-25, 03:44 PM
1. You could get an item to do that already, not to mention that the ease of getting skill boosting items is entirely dependent on you DM.
Okay, let's compare options. A continuous +10 bonus to grapple skill checks would cost 10,000 gp as per standard pricing rules. The closest I know of anywhere is the Universal Psi Item "Gloves of Titanís Grip", which provide a smaller bonus, for only 7 rounds a day, and costs more. It's not comparable.


2. And? If you want to be good at grappling, put skill points into grapple. If you don't, buy a ring of freedom of movement, it's not going to cost you much, and I feel that this adds to the realism. So my level 20 fighter, who's never been in a grapple in his life (let's say), can't randomly beat your level 15 fighter who grapples for a living (read: wrestler). Unless you roll a 1, but that's beside the point.
"Not going to cost you much"? Most of my chars would kill for a 40,000 ring! That's more than a +5 Fullplate of Light Fortification. I'm sorry, but no, unless you're playing exclusively nigh-epic games, those rings are far from cheap.

Oh, and if your lvl 15 fighter who "grapples for a living" lacks any sort of item/feat/whatever that gives him a bonus on grapple, he deserves to lose. By that point he should have Improved Grapple, EWP: Scorpion Claw, Weapon Focus: Grapple, and those Titan gloves I mentioned before, at which point he beats his lvl20 friend by.... oh, +12 easily, enough to basically ensure victory. And that's before piling on size increasers and the various Aberrant feats that boost grapple.


3. Yes, a full-BAB character could be decent in grapple, unless he wants to start one and gets punched in the face by his opponent (AoO).
See my previous comment. A grapple specialist under the current rules does just fine against anyone who isn't heavily invested in defending against it. But a full-BAB character should be good with their body, and be able to out-wrestle a wizard without any special training or focus (ie without taking ranks in it).


4. No, it's not broken. It is more diseased, in my opinion. I simply wish to cure it.
I've yet to see evidence of that.

Eldariel
2008-03-25, 03:59 PM
See my previous comment. A grapple specialist under the current rules does just fine against anyone who isn't heavily invested in defending against it. But a full-BAB character should be good with their body, and be able to out-wrestle a wizard without any special training or focus (ie without taking ranks in it).

That would still be the case, but it's reflected by Strength. A very strong Wizard could concievably stand on an even ground with such a Fighter, but that's just if the Fighter hasn't trained grappling at all. It wouldn't be a stretch to make BAB give synergy-bonuses to Grapple though; +2 for 5, +4 for 10, +6 for 15 and +8 for 20. That way warriors would retain their edge against wizards of equal physical prowess through their training with arms even if they hadn't trained grappling specifically. That's just minor though.

The point is that purely skillwise, a Monk or Fighter specialized in Grappling only has at max. +5 bonus over one who isn't purely skillwise (Improved Grapple and Weapon Focus: Grapple, which is questionable as it's not listed as a Weapon and thus not eligible for Weapon Focus according to the strict reading; makes sense RAI though), and that's reflected by two feats. Two feats turns a swinger of swords into a master wrestler and he can then no longer further improve upon his skill.

Let alone some guy who wants to wrestle with bigger monsters; no matter how much he trains and how strong he becomes, unless he can actually turn into a being of their size, he's never going to win that wrestling match even if he was stronger than the being he intends to grapple with and had all the techniques of using opponent's strength against him, etc. hammered down.

Breaw
2008-03-25, 04:03 PM
I said 15, not 16. Then, see my first response. Then, think a little. Your wizard does spells for a living. Of course the level 16 wouldn't have a chance in a straight fight. One of my points is that a Full BAB class does not have to grapple for a living, and so may not be any good at it at all.

edit: and I like your idea, Eldarial.

First of all, I can read. You did in fact say 15 in your post. However I said 16. Why would I change the number by 1 you might ask? Well because unless the 20th level fighter took 1 point of str at level 20 bringing up his +str bonus up 1 more, the +4 to grapple would be perfectly canceled by the 4 extra BaB the higher level fighter would have.

The difference between the grapple modifier of a naked 16th level fighter (with imp grapple) and a naked 20th level fighter (without imp grapple) is 0. That is to say they are on equal ground.

The difference between the grapple modifier of a 15th and 20th level fighter is most likely 2 (in favor of the level 20 fighter).

Do you see now why I chose 16 instead of your arbitrarily chosen 15? Unless of course there is some specific reason you feel a level 15 fighter should be able to wrestle a level 20 fighter to the ground...

Continuing on: You feel that imp grapple isn't enough of an edge, otherwise you wouldn't have made this thread. I contest that it gives around a +4 level adjustment when dealing specifically with grapple. Admitedly both characters are taken out of a fight in a grapple, but you are still doing damage as you go along (assuming you are in control of the grapple).

My wizard analogy was the best thing I could think of off the top of my head as far as comparing 2 different level characters 'canceling' each other out.

In the case of grapple, a level 16 fighter is on equal footing with a level 20 fighter so long as the level 16 fighter has 1 feat the level 20 doesn't.

In the wizard case, consider a level 16 wizard who prepared every spell he had today with the goal of shutting down another wizard. Then pit him against a level 20 wizard.

He would get blown away! 1 feat allows a fighter to do something that full preparation (the wizards ultimate tool) could not. I mean, he MIGHT be able to pull it off but it would be really tough.

If you don't understand my point then I suggest you play a caster, preventing opposing magical damage is one of their greatest strengths. But it still doesn't hold a candle to the relative effect of improved grapple.

My point is this: Improved grapple is really (really) good and already makes a huge gap between those that have it and those that don't. You are proposing a change that has no purpose that I see. Level 16 fighters (or level 15 fighters if you insist) SHOULDN'T be able to take down a level 20 fighter on average, I don't care what talent they took. It doesn't make sense, and it doesn't make for good gameplay.

P.S. I'm not sure I know what to say about your friend being able to pin you to the mat, I have no idea about you and your friends relative proficiency in anything whatsoever. However, if you watch some UFA or similar, you'll find that it doesn't just come down to who wrestles best. It certainly wins some fights, but knockouts win their fair share as well.

Proficiency in fighting is more than having good aim with a sword. If that was the case baseball players would be the best fighters out there. It has to do with keeping balance, positioning, and striking while maintaining those two. I repeat, just because you don't know judo doesn't mean you should be a rag doll when tossed into the ring with someone who does.


At the end of the day, ultimately, this is a game. The only question really worth asking is: Does this ability need a buff? It is weak enough that it is pretty much useless? I contend that grappling, as it is current implemented, is situationally extremely useful. It isn't broken, there's nothing wrong with it.

horseboy
2008-03-25, 04:10 PM
Thoughts?Play Rolemaster.

sonofzeal
2008-03-25, 04:27 PM
That would still be the case, but it's reflected by Strength. A very strong Wizard could concievably stand on an even ground with such a Fighter, but that's just if the Fighter hasn't trained grappling at all. It wouldn't be a stretch to make BAB give synergy-bonuses to Grapple though; +2 for 5, +4 for 10, +6 for 15 and +8 for 20. That way warriors would retain their edge against wizards of equal physical prowess through their training with arms even if they hadn't trained grappling specifically. That's just minor though.

The point is that purely skillwise, a Monk or Fighter specialized in Grappling only has at max. +5 bonus over one who isn't purely skillwise (Improved Grapple and Weapon Focus: Grapple, which is questionable as it's not listed as a Weapon and thus not eligible for Weapon Focus according to the strict reading; makes sense RAI though), and that's reflected by two feats. Two feats turns a swinger of swords into a master wrestler and he can then no longer further improve upon his skill.

Let alone some guy who wants to wrestle with bigger monsters; no matter how much he trains and how strong he becomes, unless he can actually turn into a being of their size, he's never going to win that wrestling match even if he was stronger than the being he intends to grapple with and had all the techniques of using opponent's strength against him, etc. hammered down.
As to Weapon Focus being questionable, I would direct you to the actual text of the feat in question (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#weaponFocus), which specifically states that Grapple is valid.

I do agree there's not much room to scale upwards, but that's just a question of being creative inside the rules. LoM has more feats that boost your grapple, and Sandstorm has more options. There's also the Reaping Mauler which, while underpowered, does provide extra bonuses. And there's a number of feats to help grapplers deal with larger opponents.

But yes, there could be a better spread in grapple scores, but you could say the same about weapon accuracy. I mean, say my guy wants to focus on striking as accurately as possible - as far as training goes, there's pretty much just Weapon Focus (which sucks), Weapon Finesse if he has low str (but that just trades one problem for another), and maybe a couple obscure feats or class powers somewhere that lets you trade dam for atk or somesuch. And connecting on attack rolls is a far more common goal than wrestling! If anything needs fixing, I'd focus on that. Grapple's far more richly nuanced already.

As for wrestling things over four times as big as you... if you really want to see that, take the Mighty Throw maneuver chain from ToB. Same basic idea, and gets around all the icky implausible "how exactly are you doing this" arguments.

Anyway, I'm just not sure what the problem is here. If it's not nuanced enough, maybe add a feat chain that provides a stackable +2 for each feat in the chain? If it's that characters who are physically talented (ie have high bab) shouldn't be good at wrestling, I'm afraid I have to disagree. I've had no wrestling training, and I can hold my own against anyone my own size (and I'm neither large, nor strong for my size). It takes Varsity-level wrestlers to really beat me, and even then I can put up a good fight. I know D&D doesn't accurately model real life, but I have no trouble believing that BAB should be a major factor in wrestling prowess.

Riffington
2008-03-25, 05:23 PM
Bandededed, you may have taken some martial arts, but you're still a first level aristocrat. It's true that D&D doesn't distinguish well between first level characters, but... well, grapple is hardly the worst example of this flaw.


In general, anyone with a good BAB knows how to grapple. To suggest they'd have such a glaring hole in their defense would be like saying "well, you never described your character as having faced a flail before. You are flat-footed against them."

Now, it's very plausible that grapplers should get some more feats beyond "Improved grapple". (as sonofzeal suggests, each should give +2 on grapple checks along with their special ability; nice ones might include "when you pin an opponent, do your unarmed damage to him", or "anyone you are currently grappling loses the benefits of Freedom of Movement", or the like)

The biggest change I see the need for is to make monks a bit better at grappling. Either give them a couple free feats in that chain, or give them a class bonus of 1/4 to 1/2 their class level to make up for their BAB. Nobody else needs this bonus, just monks.

Chosen_of_Vecna
2008-03-25, 06:02 PM
"anyone you are currently grappling loses the benefits of Freedom of Movement", or the like)

Unfortunately for anyone with this special, you cannot ever be considered "currently grappling" with someone who had FoM up before you started the attempt, so this would be of limited usefulness. Though of course it should be since one purpose of the spell/ring is to protect people, like Fighters against being outgrappled by any old Grapple specialist.

Prometheus
2008-03-25, 06:43 PM
I've thought about this before. Clearly BAB scales the same way as skillpoints do, but not the same way skill bonuses do. As long as you (follow Eldariel's basic advice to) make a rule that magic that enhances skills doesn't necessarily do the same for Grapple and fighter types get an extra skill point, it works out fine.

As for me I don't have any problem assuming that those who excellent in combat training also excel when grappling. I don't think even the most grapple-intense wizard (without magic) should be able to take a soldier of the same level even if he doesn't wrestle.

As an extra note, the same variant rule works for disarming, although less plausibly.

Animefunkmaster
2008-03-25, 07:57 PM
That is of course, unless his fighting style doesn't deal with grapples. Let's put it this way, i was messing around with a friend who wrestles. I know a little martial arts. We wrestled, and he shut me down. Anything I thought to do, he knew exactly how to stop me.

I always assumed a martial artist was more akin to a monk while a wrestler was more like a barbarian/fighter... meaning, your friend would have a higher bab than you... OR he is better at wrestling than you are in your selected field of martial arts study.

Also, this is where we find that dnd generalizes fighting so they don't have to accommodate every little style of combat. It is assumed that BAB is how well you use your weapon in addition to grappling. Stating a warrior type has never been in a grapple and therefore shouldn't be good at it is the same thing as saying that this warrior has never actually used a sling and shouldn't be as good at it as he is with a bow and arrow (which he spends his life on). With class levels you get giant grab bags of things you are good at, in hopes that you will make your own character with your own style and not worry about how bad you should be at something because you are focusing on something else.

With that said, I don't find your idea of a grapple skill all that unreasonable (I believe besm 3.0 does this). However, the number of people who are already in danger of a grapple would just get that much bigger and your warrior who wants to be good at a grapple will find that it sucks up what few skill points he has. I am a heavy believer that combat should not be skill dependant and if someone is good at a certain thing in combat he should take feats to mirror it instead of skill points.

horseboy
2008-03-25, 08:05 PM
That is of course, unless his fighting style doesn't deal with grapples. Let's put it this way, i was messing around with a friend who wrestles. I know a little martial arts. We wrestled, and he shut me down. Anything I thought to do, he knew exactly how to stop me.There is no style of fighting that doesn't deal with grapples in one way or the other.

sonofzeal
2008-03-25, 09:11 PM
There is no style of fighting that doesn't deal with grapples in one way or the other.
Except that, for a lot of them, their philosophy of "dealing with it" is to not get into one in the first place. Speaking as an Iaidoka myself, this is especially true of armed combat. The closest I've seen in Iaido to a grappling move involves striking the enemy's hand with your hilt followed by clawing at his face with your free hand. Good fun for the whole family.

Most unarmed fighting styles focus on grappling to some extent because it's hard to avoid, and this is reflected with the Monk and Unarmed Swordsage doing big damage in a Grapple. However, most schools of armed combat I know of focus far more on preventing that from occurring, usually by killing anyone stupid enough to try to get that close.

Bandededed
2008-03-25, 09:30 PM
In general, anyone with a good BAB knows how to grapple. To suggest they'd have such a glaring hole in their defense would be like saying "well, you never described your character as having faced a flail before. You are flat-footed against them."

Actually, there is quite a difference between someone swinging something at you (even if you haven't seen it before) and someone who knows how to move your arm to keep you completely immobile, but I see your point.

Thanks to everyone who argued with me. No, seriously. If I really want this change to work I'm going to need to change more than one thing, and I might just end up throwing the concept out after it gets too complicated, but hey, I'm on break. It's not like I have anything else to do.

horseboy
2008-03-25, 09:31 PM
Yes, but it does teach you how to avoid them. Hence, you know how to deal with them.

Also, western weapon styles does have quite a few weapon grapples (well, outside fencing, but that's not a fighting style, that's a sport :smallwink: )

sonofzeal
2008-03-25, 10:05 PM
Actually, there is quite a difference between someone swinging something at you (even if you haven't seen it before) and someone who knows how to move your arm to keep you completely immobile, but I see your point.

Thanks to everyone who argued with me. No, seriously. If I really want this change to work I'm going to need to change more than one thing, and I might just end up throwing the concept out after it gets too complicated, but hey, I'm on break. It's not like I have anything else to do.
Good to hear! I agree the system could still be tweaked, and I look forward to seeing your contribution on those fronts. It seems the current complaint is mostly "not enough sheer training difference between fighters who specialize and fighters who don't", with a secondary complaint that "it's kind of a clunky system". I suppose I might suggest a tertiary complaint of "it's too easy to initiate one, but not powerful enough once you're in it".

....I still think the lack of ways to boost your melee attack bonus is the bigger flaw though. ;)

Person_Man
2008-03-26, 10:37 AM
If you're really into Grapple, the Justicar can substitute Use Rope for Grapple checks. And as others have mentioned, its quite easy to pump up. A Marshal/Factotum/Justicar/Exemplar can pretty much auto-grapple and hogtie anything. Or you can use the nanobots trick, summon or animate tiny minions, use Aid Another a few dozen times to boost your check.

Indon
2008-03-26, 11:25 AM
Thus, I propose that we make grappling a skill - with all full BAB classes retaining it as a class skill, some 3/4 BAB classes keeping it, and no 1/2 BAB having it.

Thoughts?

Master Grappler
Requirements: +8 BAB, Improved Grapple, Weapon Focus (Grapple)
Your grappling is exceptionally effective.

Add your strength modifier times one-and-a-half, rounded down to your grapple check.

Normal: You add your strength modifier to your grapple checks.

Now grapple specialists can indeed get a pretty huge advantage over non-specialist grapplers - a character with 18 strength and those three feats is 7 points better-off than a character with 18 strength without those feats, and as levels (and strength) increase, the advantage increases even further.

And it's way simpler.

Occasional Sage
2008-03-26, 11:42 AM
Another thing to think about, which hasn't been brought up in this thread yet....

I'm currently the tank of my small group, and have not yet (lvl 9) taken Improved Grapple. I need to do that, though, and soon. Why? Because I hate grapples.

The problem for me isn't that I'm not successful in them (although I'm not). I'm fine with not winning. It's that I very abruptly stop having any fun at all until the end of the encounter. I get to make a couple rolls with essentially zero chance of success, then sit back for another round and do nothing while other people have fun.

What I'm getting around to here is, whatever your new rules are to make Grappling stronger will apply just as much to the other side, and there are lots of large carnivores out there that take advantage of Grappling. Be careful about whether your house rules will be fun not just to play, but to play AGAINST as well.

Indon
2008-03-26, 11:45 AM
I'm currently the tank of my small group, and have not yet (lvl 9) taken Improved Grapple. I need to do that, though, and soon. Why? Because I hate grapples.

Alternately, you could go into pumping your Escape Artist skill. As noted, being a skill it's much easier to increase than a Grapple check.

SadisticFishing
2008-03-26, 11:50 AM
Have you ever grappled in real life? Someone who really knows how to fight would get some sort of bonus, though, though probably not full BAB. Improved Grapple would let you apply your full BAB, whereas, without it, you only add half.

That's my realistic fix - but it's not very pleasant, and underpowers melee fighters even more. Icky. Don't touch, the regular rules are mildly balanced-ish.

Occasional Sage
2008-03-26, 11:54 AM
Alternately, you could go into pumping your Escape Artist skill. As noted, being a skill it's much easier to increase than a Grapple check.

Yeah, except that EA is cross-class for fighters, so I'd need rediculous amounts of stuff to make that approach feasible.

These all sound like great ideas for somebody who wants to play a grappling character. A monk or Greco-Roman meleeist gets loads more flavor and options to play with, nuance to their progression and character choices, et cetera. But for anybody else it appears that they simply make things less fun, or else cost you loads of skill points (already in short supply for fighters) or lots of magic item slots.

Gaiwecoor
2008-03-26, 12:35 PM
My suggestion: Rather than reworking the entire grapple system, just introduce some new feats to make allow you to gain more advantages. The Mutants and Masterminds system (another d20 system) has some decent ones (you may recognize some of them as monster abilities):

Chokehold - If you pin an opponent, you can apply a chokehold, causing your opponent to begin suffocating for as long as you maintain the pin.

Grappling Finesse - You can use your Dexterity bonus, rather than your Strength bonus, to make grapple checks. You retain your dodge bonus to defense [essentially Dex bonus to AC] against all opponents while grappling.

Improved Grab - When you hit with an unarmed attack you can immediately start a grapple against that opponent as a free action. The opponent must be no larger than your size. Your unarmed attack inflicts normal damage and counts as the initial attack roll required to start grappling.

Improved Grapple - You can make grappling attacks with only one hand, leaving the other free. If you pin your opponent, you can maintain the pin while still using your other hand to perform actions. [I know, this one is entirely different than the one in PHB. Perhaps we should call it One-handed Grapple?]

Improved Pin - Your grappling attacks are particularly difficult to escape. Opponents suffer a -4 penalty on grappling checks against you to escape a grapple or pin.

Anyhow, I've built some awesome grappling characters in that system with those feats. Those, plus the PHB's Improved Grapple give you six feats to choose from when making a grappling character; more if you count Improved Grab + Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization and Greater Weapon Specialization (Unarmed Strike). That should be plenty to have the advantage you're looking for.

I'm pretty sure all that is OGC. If anybody thinks otherwise, let me know and I'll truncate appropriately.

Bandededed
2008-03-26, 01:25 PM
*snip*

This actually makes me happier than trying to figure out what sort of synergy bonus BAB gives to grapple checks, sign me up!

Craig1f
2008-03-26, 02:54 PM
I've often thought that there should be a choke hold maneuver that is similar in effect to drowning, that results in unconsciousness instead of death.

So, they get their CON score in rounds. Every round, they attempt to escape. Failure costs them a point of CON. Iterative attempts to escape cost another point of CON (because they're panicking and wasting energy) . On your turn, you attempt to tighten the hold. Success costs them yet another point of CON.

So, each round you remove 1, 2, or 3 points from their CON score, and that's how close they are to passing out.

If they manage to loosen your grip (escape the choke hold) they recover CON at a rate of 2 points a round. You can, of course, regain the chokehold and take away one of those two points again.

Anyway, thats how I would do it.

Bandededed
2008-03-27, 12:01 AM
Without the feat, you could probably talk your DM into it with another grapple check after you pinned someone, but then they could still hold their breath for CON mod rounds, before they had to start making Fort saves, so it would be rather difficult to pull off effectively.

Your mechanic should work rather well, however, and it would take into account any damage that they've already accumulated. Then again, that way you are possibly sitting there choking them for an even longer period of time, (CON /2 rounds), so I'm not sure that would be an effective way to go about it either...

Combat - depending on who's opinion you look at - takes between 4 and 8 rounds normally. Maybe, instead of giving them CON mod rounds for free, we could start right into the Fort saves with the increasing penalty. DC = you grapple check, maybe?

Lord Tataraus
2008-03-27, 12:15 AM
I've often thought that there should be a choke hold maneuver that is similar in effect to drowning, that results in unconsciousness instead of death.

So, they get their CON score in rounds. Every round, they attempt to escape. Failure costs them a point of CON. Iterative attempts to escape cost another point of CON (because they're panicking and wasting energy) . On your turn, you attempt to tighten the hold. Success costs them yet another point of CON.

So, each round you remove 1, 2, or 3 points from their CON score, and that's how close they are to passing out.

If they manage to loosen your grip (escape the choke hold) they recover CON at a rate of 2 points a round. You can, of course, regain the chokehold and take away one of those two points again.

Anyway, thats how I would do it.

Dragon Magazine #355 pages84-85 Strangulation and Garrote rules. You got it mostly right. This is one of my favorite rules from Dragon., garrote with a spiked chain ftw!

Bandededed
2008-03-27, 12:42 AM
Dragon Magazine #355 pages84-85 Strangulation and Garrote rules. You got it mostly right. This is one of my favorite rules from Dragon., garrote with a spiked chain ftw!

... um, ow....

Lord Tataraus
2008-03-27, 01:05 AM
... um, ow....

Yeah...deals normal damage +1d8 in addition to the strangling, not bad and the image is great. I hope to make a rogue who specializes in garroting, if your DM is nice, you might even get SA damage on it too!