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ericgrau
2011-07-29, 12:09 PM
Recently I set out to become familiar with the Pathfinder grappling rules and I was shocked. It gives no special advantage to someone with good unarmed strikes over someone using a one-handed weapon; in fact the one-handed weapon probably does more damage. You can't even disable casters anymore. The whole point is to knock out someone else's offense while, though reduced, your offense does more. It's also to provide tactical options for your allies; in Pathfinder grapplers aren't even denied dex anymore. If my target does as much damage as me or possibly more, and my allies get no special advantage, there's no point. Initiating a grapple became a standard action that doesn't even deal damage anymore, so I'm potentially wasting time while everyone else (besides me and my target) actually does something. I'd rather attack normally and get the fight over faster.

At the same time I like how Pathfinder combined all special attacks into CMB/CMD to make things simpler. I've looked at some numbers on those and not much has changed there. Dex adds more to CMD but size modifiers aren't as big, so in the end it's about the same. I don't mind that part.

So here's an attempt to make PF grappling more like 3.5 while keeping the simplicity of CMB, to create grapple rules that fit on a single page:


Grapple
Grappling presents a variety of options depending on your current condition. Unless otherwise noted each option below may be done in place of a regular attack and requires a check using your combat maneuver bonus against your opponent's combat maneuver defense. Include penalties such as those to secondary attacks. You may not fight with two weapons in a grapple. If there is no longer any creature or effect to maintain the grappled condition, a creature with the grappled condition loses that condition.

While not Grappled

Initiate a grapple: This provokes an attack of opportunity unless you have the improved grapple feat. If the attack of opportunity hits, the attempt to initiate a grapple is canceled. Deal unarmed strike damage or armor spike damage to the target if successful. Both you and the target now have the grappled condition; neither of you have any special advantage. Those with the grappled condition are denied their dexterity bonus to AC against those who are not grappled. You may join an existing grapple automatically regardless of your check result, but you still make a check to determine whether you deal damage.

While Grappled

Deal unarmed strike or armor spike damage to a grappled opponent
Attack a grappled opponent with a light weapon: You get a -2 penalty to your check. You may deal damage or perform a combat maneuver with the weapon, using your bonuses for that maneuver rather than any bonuses to grappling for the check. You may use a pinned opponent's light weapon instead of your own by taking a -4 penalty instead, but your opponent retains possession of that weapon. You may use the steal maneuver on a well secured object from a pinned opponent at a -4 penalty. The steal maneuver may not be used on well secured objects carried by opponents who are not pinned.
Draw a light weapon: Use a move action rather than replacing an attack.
Escape from the grapple: Make checks against every opponent in the grapple. You may use acrobatics in place of your CMB but doing so is a standard action rather than replacing an attack. Success means you no longer have the grappled condition.
Move the grapple: Use a standard action rather than replacing an attack. Make checks against every opponent in the grapple. If successful move yourself and everyone involved in the grapple a distance up to half your speed.
Pin a grappled opponent: The opponent gets the pinned condition until the beginning of your next turn.
Free an ally from a pin: If successful the ally no longer has the pinned condition but he still has the grappled condition.
Release a pin: Use a free action rather than replacing an attack. No check is required. An opponent you pinned no longer has the pinned condition nor the grappled condition.
Activate a Magic Item: Use the normal activation time rather than replacing an attack. No check required. You may not activate scrolls.
Cast a spell: You don't need a CMB check but you do need a concentration check and you may not cast spells with somatic components. Any material component must already be in hand.
Draw a spell material component: Use a full round action rather than replacing an attack. No check is required.

While Pinned

Escape from the pin: If successful you no longer have the pinned condition but you still have the grappled condition. You may use acrobatics in place of your CMB, but doing so is a standard action rather than replacing an attack.
Cast a spell: You don't need a CMB check but you do need a concentration check and you may not cast spells with somatic nor verbal components (EDIT: unless the one pinning chooses to leave your mouth uncovered). Any material component must already be in hand.



Thoughts? Balance issues in Pathfinder that I'm not aware of (for example, maybe some change from 3.5)? Good? Bad? Like the PF or 3.5 version better?

Vrall
2012-07-28, 10:59 PM
Actually

Direct Quote from Piazo website

"creatures without two free hands attempting to grapple a foe take a 4 penalty on the combat maneuver roll"

So, they do in fact give you a bonus for no weapons.

Maquise
2012-07-29, 05:25 PM
Why couldn't you cast spells with verbal components?