View Full Version : Grappling/Strangling Build

2007-12-04, 12:56 PM
Alright, this idea has been sticking in my head recently but I can't quite work out how to make it actually work.

The idea is this. A strangler. Descriptive eh? More to the point, using the strangling rules in one of the Dragon magazines, wherein you essentially get another option in a grapple and that is to strangle your opponent with your bare hands or an object. The stranglee can hold their breath for 2xCon rounds and after that makes a Fort save for 10 (+1 for every previous round). Once that fails they fall to -1 and the round after their dead. Same as drowning mostly except your forcing the issue yourself instead of actually drowning somebody. The stranglee can make a bluff check though to 'fake death', which means semi-decent ranks in Sense Motive would be very helpful.

The build I'm looking at coming up with is high Strength and high Con (Y'know...for hit points and if they try and strangle back), using a steel cable (60 gp. gives a +3 bonus when used to strange, does 1d8 damage is a variant rule is used ((That you do damage while strangling instead of/in addition to cutting off the air supply)), with a locking mechanism (Helps out a lot) ) for his choice of strangling weapon. I'm thinking a half-giant or goliath would probably be the best race because of the strength and constitution bonus and powerful build ability. Heres where I start losing ideas here. Hide and Move Silently could help immeasurably in sneaking up on an unsuspecting target but I don't know of many (if any) class that has those as class skills AND full BAB. Improved Grapple is also a must.

But what else besides that? Consider it for a 20th level build, but I need suggestions on classes, PrCs, and feats that could help out on this. Something to keep in mind though is that strangling is this characters main thing. Obviously it won't help against in every encounters (Things over Huge size for example make this a lot harder ((Barring the enlarge person spell of course which makes creatures larger then Huge possible.)) ) So an alternate 'combat style' for when strangling is not efficient, though I'm not entirely sure how many free feats might be open for use.

2007-12-04, 07:47 PM
Is this really a practical combat strategy? How often will you have an opportunity to use your strangling? I suppose if you plan to sneak around all the time by yourself and take on enemies one at a time, this is a flavorful build, but strangling as you describe it takes like 10 or more rounds of iterative grappling. Multiple attackers totally mess up your gameplan, unless you're some crazy tentacled thing. And other players aren't going to want to wait through the dice rolling - someone will probably just coup de grace whatever you've got left when they're done with the rest of the attackers. I'm not sure it's a very playable choice. Just something to think about.
Mechanically, it sounds like you're on the right track. Poison use would be a good addition, as there are good Con damage poisons to be found, and it'll help make sure you finish your opponents in under a minute.
If you can add to the conventional damage done while grappling/strangling, you might be able to come up with something that can keep up with conventional melee attackers, with a greater flexibility thanks to the Con damage and associated physical damage for the adjusted modifier.
Take ranks in Concentration, because you're probably going to take damage from outside attackers while grappling, and it always helps to be able to do other stuff while maintaining your grapple.

2007-12-04, 08:11 PM
I do this with all my grapple based posts... This thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60698) is more combat oriented than surprise oriented but it should give you some ideas.

As for suggestions, definitely take a dip into Psychic Warrior for Expansion and Grip of Iron.

Aside from that, find a way to work sneak attack damage into it.

2007-12-04, 08:39 PM
I'm not sure if you'll ever encounter something you can strangle before you can deal enough grapple damage to bring it down first.

For grapplers, I always recommend this build:
I find it amusing, and it has some ideas.

2007-12-04, 10:00 PM
I'm not sure if you'll ever encounter something you can strangle before you can deal enough grapple damage to bring it down first.

For grapplers, I always recommend this build:
I find it amusing, and it has some ideas.

Trollman always comes through in the clinch. I need to make this guy.

2007-12-04, 10:10 PM
There is also a prestige class in the Complete Warrior that focuses on grappling and such. If I remember correctly one of the abilities of the class says that after you have "pinned" your opponent for three consecutive rounds they have to start making saves or they die.

2007-12-05, 10:49 AM
Reaping Mauler isn't an entirely useful build with the whole size restriction on it basically.

And no I don't think strangling will always be entirely useful, I didn't think it would, but it does work out nicely for certain situations (Mages for example need to breath to talk, and by extension cast most spells, so this is handy against them) and I just like the idea behind it mostly. I hadn't thought about the Con poisons though and I am going to try and press the normal damage with strangling or without since it...well makes it more worthwhile.

As for the wizard idea, just no.

2007-12-05, 11:54 AM
If I were you, I'd talk to your DM about housebrewing some rules. You shouldn't have to strangle them for Con*2 rounds. to achieve your result. First of all, it would only be CON rounds if they're struggling, because drowning is CON*2 only if you do nothing, and CON rounds if you take actions.

I'd be inclined to say it would be more like their CON bonus in rounds. If you can get your DM to agree to that, it would be a good build.

I've always envisioned a "pinned" opponent as being choked out anyway, unless a light weapon is involved.