View Full Version : Strangulation [3.P] [P.E.A.C.H.]

2013-08-22, 12:08 PM
Strangulation [Condition]

Strangulation refers to offensive suffocation, a creature that is being strangled is not calm and cannot properly hold or conserve their breath as a character would while free-diving or holding their breath from toxic gas.

A creature that is being strangled can only hold their breath for 1 round per point of constitution, after which they must make a DC10 Fortitude save with a +1DC for every successful check (stacking) until they can breathe.

When a creature breaks free of the strangulation they recover all the breath that wasn't forced out of them, if that creature suffered loss of breathing rounds or increased stacking DC by Strangle or other such additional means they recover 1DC or 1 round of lost breathing per round times the creature's constitution modifier.

When a character breaks free of the strangulation they recover all the breath that wasn't forced out of them by a Strangle or other forced loss of breathing rounds.

Creature's being strangled are considered mute and may only speak by wasting a round of breath (this is labored and will fail speech such as command words, verbal spell components and the like 50% of the time), once they are out of rounds they cannot speak or they will automatically fail their save to stay conscious.

Creatures that don't need to breathe cannot suffer from Strangulation.


When grappling you may attempt to strangle an opponent, this is an additional option added in substitution of Damage, you may also substitute constriction damage to add a single strangle action.

Whenever a creature is successfully strangled they gain the Strangulation condition until they break free from the grapple or otherwise escape the strangle.

Each round that you strangle a creature at least once they lose an additional 1 round of breath from their Strangulation condition, if they have no rounds left you instead add an additional +1 to their Strangulation DC to stay conscious.

Odd Opponents:
To strangle an odd opponent (one that has multiple mouths, one that has gills, ect) you must take a -8 to grapple checks, or -4 with improved grapple, this negative modifier takes an additional -2 for each additional odd thing of the same type or -4 for a new type of strangeness. A 9 headed hydra for instance would be -8 with an additional -16 (not taking size modifiers into account).

Expanded Usage of the grapple option "Move":
If a creature you are moving is equal to or below your light load you may pick them up and carry them while grappling, you may only move 1/4 your speed or take -10 to grapple. While a creature is held you may move them anywhere within your reach.
Fall damage can be applied to a creature held off the ground, but only applies to a creature who ended their last turn off the ground, or one who is dropped, you may not swing a creature from the ground then slam them back down in the same round causing instant fall damage.


Terrifying Strangle [Combat/Monstrous/Aberrant]
Requires: Intimidate class skill or ability to inflict shaken condition
Whenever a creature is currently being strangled by you they are considered Shaken.

Sleeper Hold [Combat]
Requires: BAB +8
Once you pin an opponent they lose up to 2 additional rounds of air or their DC increased by +2 per round of Strangle.
This may be taken as a fighter or monk bonus feat.

Diaphragm Strike [Combat]
Requires: Stunning Fist or +5 BAB
Whenever attack an opponent, including the Damage option while grappling the opponent must make a fortitude save of [DC 10 + Level + Strength Modifier] or have it also count as a successful Strange attempt.

Wind [Monstrous]
Requires: Strength 15
When scoring a critical or when an opponent takes fall damage while grappling with you you may opt to deliver a massive blow dealing an additional 1d4 nonlethal damage and causing them to lose 2 rounds of breath.

Rules for Suffocation from 3.5:

A character who has no air to breathe can hold her breath for 2 rounds per point of Constitution. After this period of time, the character must make a DC 10 Constitution check in order to continue holding her breath. The save must be repeated each round, with the DC increasing by +1 for each previous success.

When the character fails one of these Constitution checks, she begins to suffocate. In the first round, she falls unconscious (0 hit points). In the following round, she drops to -1 hit points and is dying. In the third round, she suffocates.

Slow Suffocation: A Medium character can breathe easily for 6 hours in a sealed chamber measuring 10 feet on a side. After that time, she takes 1d6 points of nonlethal damage every 15 minutes. Each additional Medium character or significant fire source (a torch, for example) proportionally reduces the time the air will last. When a character falls unconscious from this nonlethal damage, she drops to -1 hit points and is dying. In the next round, she suffocates.

For example, two people can last for 3 hours, after which they each take 1d6 points of nonlethal damage per 15 minutes. If they have a torch (equivalent to another Medium character in terms of the air it uses), the air runs out in only 2 hours.

Small characters consume half as much air as Medium characters. A larger volume of air, of course, lasts for a longer time. So, for instance, if two humans and a gnome are in a sealed chamber measuring 20 feet by 20 feet by 10 feet, and they have a torch, the air will last almost 7 hours (6 hours/3.5 people and torches  4 10-ft. cubes = 6.86 hours).
Source: DMG

Thoughts? Balance?

Silva Stormrage
2013-08-22, 01:22 PM
This actually does seem like a good addition and doesn't really complicate grapple too much. I think letting a character subsitute constriction damage to allow strangulation might be a bit much. Just because I could see a dedicated warblade with this just start strangling people left and right if he had a good enough grapple score. Then again once a character is pinned by a good grappler they are usually screwed by the grappler's allies anyway. Also there ARE plenty of ways to get out of grapple.

I would need to test this out in actual play before I give an accurate comment on balance. I will send someone using this rule against my PC's. I will tell you how it works.

2013-08-22, 04:02 PM
This takes many rounds for any given character. Assuming you've got them pinned and you are doing a sleeper hold, a 12-Con character takes four rounds of strangulation before they start taking checks. They will likely survive for another couple rounds. That's 36 seconds minimum, mind you.

Using a garrote, in any kind of real-life situation, you're unconscious very quickly. Easily 6 seconds, if done right.

2013-08-22, 04:15 PM
Well, dunno how could it actually change such nice homebrew, but most of actual, at least roughly 'technical' holds on the neck actually cut the bloodflow off.

So breath and suffocation don't even have to enter it.

2013-08-22, 06:27 PM
These are really nice. Recently, I was also trying to incorporate suffocation into an homebrew ability, but wasn't sure how to do it properly. The loss of breath "units" I like a lot.

2013-08-23, 12:47 AM
I'm curious if there could be any synergistic effects if you caught someone flatfooted. Perhaps like half as many rounds in their hold breathe action? Maybe as feat for sneak attack builds or something?

2013-08-23, 03:02 AM
Thing is, shock, circulation and use of a garrote or other means do accelerate that level of shock enough for them to pass out, but there are plenty of ways to resist that too.

I would never say 6 seconds is enough time, i would say 18 minimum, 12 is enough to squeeze the life outta someone but they'd still recover. Reality has a gradient threshold for helplessness in that case, but you do get weaker and more panicked as you go.

You can also substitute and take damage vs. circulation.
Such as, if a BJJ gets you around the neck you can tuck your chin in, and instead he will be turning your jaw into mashed potatos.

Perhaps there should be a separate pool for strangulation damage, and it effects DC, rounds lost and nonlethal damage at the same time? Or would that be too complicated.

There should def. be more ways to accelerate lost breath though, to a maximum of about 5 rounds lost/+5DC per round, and then it should hard-cap.

Garrote should be an exotic weapon, but I'm afraid I've never used one nor have it taught to me on a martial setting from anyone of knowledge, so I can't determine it's rules. I'm guessing you need to deny the opponent their dexterity bonus to AC and initiate a grapple, increasing the potency of rounds lost or DC by 1 in exchange for low damage and no reach.

I'll be adding this into the Ozodrinē 's ruleset as they are like, all grapple and there would be a lot of benefit from being able to play around with this as a flavor concept.