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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Hi everyone,

    it may appear a bit odd to some posters, but here's my question:

    Currently I'm playing a spellcaster (a level 14 bard with STR 13 only) and I was wondering, if there is a spell out there for bards that can be cast while being grappled (for instance, due to a surprise attack) to get out of the grapple?
    The problem: dimension door is banned in that campaign (as is blink and teleport), so is there an alternative?

    Ideas for spell tactics are what I am looking for primarily, since escape artist takes a standard action and leaves you only with a move action before the opponent can move/charge up to you again and re-establish the grapple. Similarly, a ring of freedom of movement would be unobtainable right now, while a freedom of movement spell cannot be cast in a grapple.
    The suggestion spell is my first idea (the campaign has no material spell components in but the rarest of circumstances), but it allows a save, so any other ideas would be welcome!

    Available sources: preverably core, PHB II, Tome of Battle and Spell Compendium. I guess ToB maneuvers/stances cannot be used while in a grapple, since you need the ability to move for those - but I may be mistaken here. Otherwise, if there is an exception that can maybe gained as a martial study feat, please let me know!

    - Giacomo

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    I don't know where you get that maneuvers can't be initiated while grappled. Like, if you have a reference, let me know, but I've never seen that before.

    The cheap way out of your predicament is Martial Study: Shadow Jaunt. 2nd-level Shadow Hand maneuver, short-range dim door as a standard action. Shadow Stride is a move action, and is a 5th-level maneuver. The first is available right now with Martial Study, the second would take a little bit of effort.

    The problem you might run into is if dim door is already banned, the DM might not like it being duplicated another way. Also, because it's a really short range dim door, you would still be in charging range unless you got to some unreachable terrain or something.

    Alternatively, Escape Artist is your standard, drinking a potion of invisibility is your move, and stand very still and hope the grappler doesn't have lots of Spot or Listen ranks.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Greater Mirror Image (lv4, PHBII) is good for avoiding grapples in the first place.

    Magic Item Compendium has several short range teleporation items.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    I read the "must be able to move" requirement as needing to be able to move your body and limbs at all (i.e. not paralyzed), not to move from one square to another.

    Whether the DM will allow Shadow Jaunt probably depends on why Dimension Door, Blink, and Teleport are banned. If it's to prevent skipping through walls and such, point out that Shadow Jaunt (and both higher level versions) requires both line of sight and line of effect, so you'd have to knock a hole in the wall to be able to teleport through it and if you can do that you could probably just walk through the hole without teleporting.

    Without actually taking levels in a martial adept class, however, this will be strictly limited to once per encounter. It is also only 50' and takes your standard action so you couldn't also cast a spell in the same round, but it can go up and down sufficiently short cliffs and such and leaves your move action available to get further away.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Thanks for the fast replies!

    Yep, shadow jaunt may work - will ask the DM about that.
    The problem is that martial maneuvers do not even necessitate a concentration check to do when grappled - on the other hand, the PHB grappling rules do not specify maneuvers as something doable in a grapple at all (small wonder, since the THB came out afterwards). Will discuss that with the DM.

    Ah, and @imperialspectre: drinking a potion is a standard action, drawing it is a move action. With a belt of battle, that would be possible - but I think in that campaign it is not obtainable/available.

    @imperialspectre, douglas: concerning the ability to move, the ToB section is not that clear (p. 38):
    "To initiate a maneuver or stance, you must be able to move. You do not need to be able to speak."
    It could be interpreted as some sort of somatic and vocal components.
    And you definitely cannot move in a grapple (only when you win a grapple check), although you can move parts of your body. And you can attack, so maneuvers that are part of an attack should work (in case these attacks are done with light weapons.)
    I guess stances will work always in a grapple (since they do not need to be initiatied when active).

    - Giacomo

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by Iku Rex View Post
    Greater Mirror Image (lv4, PHBII) is good for avoiding grapples in the first place.

    Magic Item Compendium has several short range teleporation items.
    The Greater Mirror Image may do the trick in most cases, thx- overlooked it! But it's an immediate action - so it cannot be cast when flat-footed, so for a surprise grapple attack it would not help.

    - Giacomo

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Try benign transposition. Suddenly your opponent isn't grappling with you: he's grappling with the party tank.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    The Greater Mirror Image may do the trick in most cases, thx- overlooked it! But it's an immediate action - so it cannot be cast when flat-footed, so for a surprise grapple attack it would not help.

    - Giacomo
    If someone manages to get a surprise grapple on you, you should just be glad they didn't try to gut you instead.
    But really- you'll never be able to prepare for all contingencies. Just try and have as much general protection as you can get and go from there.

    I have no idea how effective this would be, but if you managed to Still or use concentration to cast a G'elsewhere Chant, then you could get out of grapples. 3rd level random teleportation spell for the bard, essentially. You could either use it on yourself or the person grappling you, which could be interesting.

    Edit: Fax, he's a Bard. Unless he gets a wand or something, he can't cast that.
    Last edited by AmberVael; 2008-12-22 at 11:17 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    I didn't see MIC listed in your sources, but you were talking about Belt of Battle which is an MIC item, so I'm gonna give more MIC advice.

    Anklets of Translocation!

    Seriously, 10' pseudoteleport as a swift action twice a day with no concentration required for a meer ~1400g? Best part...get 2 of them, or 3. No attunement period means you can wear 3+ of them at once, and then take them off one at a time as you use both charges. By DMG stacking rules, only the last one put on will be effective, so you just peal away the outer layers as you adventure. So cheap so effective.

    Also useful for standing up from prone, getting past pesky doors, avoiding pits, getting out of "swallowed whole" and "pinned" special cases of grappled and getting out of AoO range of a large creature so you can cast spells.

    Its good, get 3 or more.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Concentration to cast, cast Suggestion, Bluff check.

    "You know, I just contracted Mummy Rot two days ago, you might want to unhand me."
    Last edited by Telonius; 2008-12-22 at 01:46 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    You could also take the Sudden Still feat from PhBII. That will let you cast any spell stilled 1/day with no level adjustment. You can now cast FoM, Grease, Gaseaous Form or a host of other usefull spells even in grapple.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    well, if you don't want to tie up your only 5th level spell slot with still freedom of movement (understandable) you could go for sudden metamagic still (as suggested by others) or an item.

    I'd suggest a ring of freedom of movement at 40k it's a big chunk of budget but if you make it yourself its a much more affordable 20k
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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by Vael View Post
    Edit: Fax, he's a Bard. Unless he gets a wand or something, he can't cast that.
    Bards get UMD as a class skill and generally have stellar CHA scores. I'm not seeing a problem.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    Bards get UMD as a class skill and generally have stellar CHA scores. I'm not seeing a problem.
    Might be a bit difficult to get out and manipulate the item as necessary to activate it when he's in a grapple, though.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by douglas View Post
    Might be a bit difficult to get out and manipulate the item as necessary to activate it when he's in a grapple, though.
    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Activation

    Wands use the spell trigger activation method, so casting a spell from a wand is usually a standard action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity. (If the spell being cast, however, has a longer casting time than 1 standard action, it takes that long to cast the spell from a wand.) To activate a wand, a character must hold it in hand (or whatever passes for a hand, for nonhumanoid creatures) and point it in the general direction of the target or area. A wand may be used while grappling or while swallowed whole.
    Emphasis mine.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by SRD
    Activation

    Wands use the spell trigger activation method, so casting a spell from a wand is usually a standard action that doesn’t provoke attacks of opportunity. (If the spell being cast, however, has a longer casting time than 1 standard action, it takes that long to cast the spell from a wand.) To activate a wand, a character must hold it in hand (or whatever passes for a hand, for nonhumanoid creatures) and point it in the general direction of the target or area. A wand may be used while grappling or while swallowed whole.
    Emphasis mine.

    Unless he plans to hold this particular wand in his hand all the time, he will have to draw it after the grapple has already started, which requires a successful grapple check. If he were reasonably confident of succeeding on such a check this whole discussion would be pointless.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by douglas View Post
    Emphasis mine.

    Unless he plans to hold this particular wand in his hand all the time, he will have to draw it after the grapple has already started, which requires a successful grapple check. If he were reasonably confident of succeeding on such a check this whole discussion would be pointless.
    If he were going to draw it, sure. Just clip it to your belt, drop it in a wand bracer, or pop it into a storing glove.
    Last edited by Fax Celestis; 2008-12-22 at 05:45 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    The greater problem is that if teleport type spells are banned then benign transportation is likely to also be banned.

    wand of freedom of movement. there, now continue arguing how to use a wand in a grapple.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    hi again,

    great ideas everyone - I think I can get one or the other settled with my DM.

    And yes, qwhile drawing an item in a grapple is difficult, you can hold and use a wand while in a grapple (some of you may know why I see it that way, too... )

    Telonius also brought up a good idea - the idea to use bluff. I guess your "mummy rot" bluff is so good that it may work even without the suggestion spell (and thus the concentratio check).

    - Giacomo

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Thanks Giacomo! The drawback is that it's only good against enemies that can understand you and that would be threatened by it. If you're being grappled by something unintelligent, something that doesn't speak common, something that is immune to mummy rot, or a mummy, you're out of luck. If whatever's grappling you is immune to mind-affecting effects, you'll have to go with Bluff alone.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Well, PHBII has the Combat Focus feats. If you invest in Combat Focus, Combat Vigor, and Combat Stability, you get +4 to your Will Save, Fast Healing 4, and +8 to resist special attacks (Trip, Grapple, Bull Rush, etc). You'd be surprised at how many problems these feats have solved for me.

    Of course, that's probably not what you're looking for. But it works.

    Anywho, Alter Self (for wings) or Fly will solve your Grapple problem most of the time. If your enemy can't reach you, they can't Grapple you. If you have a Flying enemy, then Invisibility or Greater Invisibility works wonders. Just Summon instead of attacking. Seriously, the Bard has a phenomenal spell list and UMD. Instead of trying to get out of a Grapple, you should use your spells and wands creatively so that you're never Grappled in the first place.
    Last edited by Person_Man; 2008-12-23 at 10:46 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    I'm not sure why shadow jaunt would be allowed if dim door is banned, as I'm pretty sure it also requires both LoS and LoE.

    A good investment for you may be a Cloak of Displacement. Or a gleaming enchant on your armor (+3 price modifier, grants concealment - Expanded Psionics Handbook). Both are really nice for avoiding attacks outright and are always active.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by mangosta71 View Post
    I'm not sure why shadow jaunt would be allowed if dim door is banned, as I'm pretty sure it also requires both LoS and LoE.
    I really doubt it for the main reason that it is possible to teleport into a solid body with DD. If you required LoS, then that wouldn't happen and they wouldn't bother making rules for what happens when you do.
    Last edited by metagaia; 2008-12-23 at 11:21 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by mangosta71 View Post
    I'm not sure why shadow jaunt would be allowed if dim door is banned, as I'm pretty sure it also requires both LoS and LoE.
    Nope, all Dimension Door requires is that you know where you want to go and it's not too far away. You only need line of effect by default to the spell's target, which is yourself, and DD doesn't override that. The destination location is just an incidental point in space with no requirement beyond that it be unambiguously specified and within a certain distance. You could skip right past a 500' thick endless wall with ease with Dimension Door.
    Last edited by Douglas; 2008-12-23 at 11:25 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Anywho, Alter Self (for wings) or Fly will solve your Grapple problem most of the time. If your enemy can't reach you, they can't Grapple you. If you have a Flying enemy, then Invisibility or Greater Invisibility works wonders. Just Summon instead of attacking. Seriously, the Bard has a phenomenal spell list and UMD. Instead of trying to get out of a Grapple, you should use your spells and wands creatively so that you're never Grappled in the first place.
    Wouldn't grappling someone while flying cause you both to stall?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Get still spell. Cast still freedom of movement (or w/e). Make sure you have a good concentration modifier too, and hope for dear life that the grappler doesn't pin you and cover you mouth.

    IMO bluff or diplomancy can only be used to make the subject think you're being honest about what your saying or (for diplomacy) make him friendly in regard to a reasonable request. i.e, bluff and diplomacy can only be used to make a bluff or engage in diplomacy (shocking, I know). And using bluff in place of suggestion is against the spirit, if not the letter, of the bluff rules. Regardless of how you "cleverly" reword it so it's "not phrased like a suggestion". This is all in addition to "What language are you speaking and what's mummy rot anyway?"

    Try casting still suggestion if anything.
    Last edited by ericgrau; 2008-12-23 at 11:47 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    Wouldn't grappling someone while flying cause you both to stall?
    By RAW I don't know the answer.

    My personal house rule is that it depends on size and then intent of the person who initiates the Grapple. If a Huge dragon Greapples a Medium raptorian with no intent to fall, then I would say that they don't fall. If a Medium dragonborn Grapples a Medium raptorian with the intent of getting on his back and plunging him to the ground, then I would force the Medium raptorian to make a Reflex Save or something similar.

    Frankly, I hate the rules for flying in virtually every miniature game I've played (with the exception of a WWII game that a friend of mine created and successfully sold for a few years). It's just too cumbersome to deal with 3 dimensions on a tabletop grid.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    By RAW I don't know the answer.

    My personal house rule is that it depends on size and then intent of the person who initiates the Grapple. If a Huge dragon Greapples a Medium raptorian with no intent to fall, then I would say that they don't fall. If a Medium dragonborn Grapples a Medium raptorian with the intent of getting on his back and plunging him to the ground, then I would force the Medium raptorian to make a Reflex Save or something similar.

    Frankly, I hate the rules for flying in virtually every miniature game I've played (with the exception of a WWII game that a friend of mine created and successfully sold for a few years). It's just too cumbersome to deal with 3 dimensions on a tabletop grid.
    See, what I'd go with is, "yes, they'd stall, unless two things: 1: both fliers are flying under magical power; or 2: both fliers have perfect maneuverability."

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    See, what I'd go with is, "yes, they'd stall, unless two things: 1: both fliers are flying under magical power; or 2: both fliers have perfect maneuverability."
    I'd modify those rules to say that they fall unless they can both Hover, or move the necessary distance to maintain flight without stalling. In the case of a large monster that wants to keep flying, it can do so if it can carry the grappled foe and still be within it's encumbrance limit for flight. In the case of a large monster grappling a small, it can still move freely on it's turn.

    Creature with good maneuverability can hover, after all, and Overland Flight doesn't grant the ability to hover in place, since it's only average maneuverability.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Question on how to escape a grapple

    Quote Originally Posted by Sir Giacomo View Post
    Hi everyone,

    it may appear a bit odd to some posters, but here's my question:

    Currently I'm playing a spellcaster (a level 14 bard with STR 13 only) and I was wondering, if there is a spell out there for bards that can be cast while being grappled (for instance, due to a surprise attack) to get out of the grapple?
    The problem: dimension door is banned in that campaign (as is blink and teleport), so is there an alternative?
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