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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Lightbulb -Usable- Grappling Rules? You decide! [Homebrew]

    Hey everyone. This is part of my combat rules from a homebrew system I've been working on for a while now. I'm not looking to crowd-source the thing, but grappling is one particular mechanic that I know is a huge pain-point in other systems, so I wanted to get some mob feedback on it early on.

    The main question I care about here is: Would you use grappling under this system, when appropriate, or would you still seek to avoid it at all costs?

    Grappling and Throwing AKA "Presume People are Potential Projectiles"
    Grappling in DANTE seeks to be as simple as possible while still providing some degree of interesting strategy and realism, mostly in hopes that players will use it when appropriate, instead of seeing it as something to avoid at all costs.

    Once per turn, a character may attempt to initiate a grapple by moving adjacent to an opponent and rolling a strength check; see chart below for more information. They must have one hand free. This is only counted as part of the character's movement, so regardless of the outcome they may still perform a combat action afterwards.


    Please pardon my spelling errors; I can't fix this chart while I'm at work.

    During a grapple, certain things behave slightly differently from normal combat. On their turn, the agressor has access to two additional options for their combat action:
    • Crush Attack: Basic Attack that never misses, with damage of 1d20 + (STR/2) + 4.
    • Throw: Treat grappled enemy as Ranged (b) thrown weapon.


    When a grappled character is thrown into another character or breakable object, both receive damage. If thrown character survives, handle damage normally for both. If thrown character dies, the person or object hit is instead struck by damage equal to thrown character's Defense plus HP at time of launch.
    Example: Charles the cruel grapples a mouse and throws it at Danny the dunce. He rolls a 14 for his Ranged (b) attack. (14 + 5 from DEX = 19 accuracy. 14 + 7 from STR = 21 damage.) The mouse only withstands 12 of that 21 damage (10 blocked by its Defense, 2 reduced its HP to zero) before splattering all over Danny's helm and a little bit in his mouth (12 damage - 10 blocked by his Defense); this inflicts 2 damage and permanent emotional scarring.
    (Note that for the sake of simplicity, this example ignores the “improvised weapon” penalty.)

    While in control of a grapple, characters receive a bonus to their Defense. This is +1 for grappling someone one size smaller, +2 if they are the same size, and +4 if they are larger. Additionally, attacks targeting the aggressor that roll accuracy of 1 (for smaller defender), 1-2 (same size), or 1-4 (larger), hit the defender instead. There are minor downsides: movement speed is reduced to one half while dragging along someone of equal size, or one fourth while dragging along someone larger. While controlling a grapple there is a -2 penalty applied to rolls for all two-handed actions. The aggressor in a grapple may choose to end the grapple at any time.

    While being grappled, the defender cannot move or take a defensive stance, and takes a penalty of -4 to basic rolls for other combat actions (attacking, casting, misc). They also cannot perform an Attack of Opportunity.

    TLDR: You can grab somebody and hurl them at somebody else, all in one turn. The whole process requires just two rolls from you and one from them.
    Last edited by DaMunky89; 2012-07-13 at 08:35 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: -Usable- Grappling Rules? [Homebrew]

    Quote Originally Posted by DaMunky89 View Post
    [diagram]
    I like the distinction between defending with Dex v. defending with Str.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaMunky89 View Post
    Crush Attack: Basic Attack that never misses, with damage of 1d20 + (STR/2) + 4
    A 1d20 roll for damage seems extreme. It sounds like your homebrew system's combat is very different from 3.5.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaMunky89 View Post
    If thrown character dies...
    I don't see the value of making more rules for this case.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaMunky89 View Post
    You can grab somebody and hurl them at somebody else, all in one turn.
    I like the idea of assigning special options to the one who wins the title of 'aggressor.' I think you should flesh out the throwing rules, and those rules should account for the weight of the throwee and the encumbrance v. carrying capacity of the thrower. If you don't have the capacity to throw, you could perhaps accomplish a 'shift' -- moving 5ft.

    Do grapplers occupy the same square(s) in your system? That should be clarified for better peaching.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: -Usable- Grappling Rules? [Homebrew]

    It is apparent I should have posted this excerpt with more context, haha.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz10019 View Post
    A 1d20 roll for damage seems extreme. It sounds like your homebrew system's combat is very different from 3.5.
    I agree, but this is intended. When one average person swings a sword at another average person in DANTE, the game balance is supposed to result in a one-hit-kill 25% of the time. If you use a spell or ability instead, generally we expect to see more like 50% one-hit.

    Lethality in my system is VERY high because death doesn't matter. Coming back from the dead is incredibly easy, so cranking the lethality up really high is how I make combat run fast. Generally a 5v5 is expected to end within 2-5 rounds of combat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz10019 View Post
    I don't see the value of making more rules for this case.
    This rule is in place so that you can't take a small, squishy person or creature and use it to deal high damage to a large, well protected creature. Like in my example, where it wouldn't make sense for Danny to die from having a rat thrown at him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz10019 View Post
    I think you should flesh out the throwing rules, and those rules should account for the weight of the throwee and the encumbrance v. carrying capacity of the thrower. If you don't have the capacity to throw, you could perhaps accomplish a 'shift' -- moving 5ft.
    I have about a page of rules on throwing not covered here which accounts for how far you can throw somebody based on their size vs. your strength. Very short throws (like a strong warrior throwing a dragon) aren't really throws at all, and are described as being "more like a forceful shove".
    Edit: As for just moving around while holding somebody, you can just do that at will on your turn. It's just that your speed is reduced if they're bigger than you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz10019 View Post
    Do grapplers occupy the same square(s) in your system? That should be clarified for better peaching.
    DANTE uses 'zones' which is much like the 'area' system seen in Ravenloft or FATE, but it's trimmed down and streamlined quite a bit.
    Edit: Which is to say, theyre're usually in the same 'zone' anyway, even before the grapple begins.

    If you're interested/curious about any of the things I mention above I'd be happy to explain them in brief here, or make another post with other rules excerpts. Thanks for your feedback!
    Last edited by DaMunky89; 2012-07-13 at 12:26 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: -Usable- Grappling Rules? [Homebrew]

    Quote Originally Posted by DaMunky89 View Post
    When one average person swings a sword at another average person in DANTE, the game balance is supposed to result in a one-hit-kill 25% of the time. If you use a spell or ability instead, generally we expect to see more like 50% one-hit.
    That's interesting. I suggest you give us some weapons damage examples so we can compare things properly: longsword, great-axe.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaMunky89 View Post
    Like in my example, where it wouldn't make sense for Danny to die from having a rat thrown at him.
    Ah, I see the logic now, thanks. Total HP as a representation of the size of the creature makes sense. The "remaining HP" part seems strange to me. A beat-up 700 lb minotaur with 2 hp remaining does the same (or similar) damage as a healthy mouse? Sorry, maybe I need more numbers to follow you.

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    Default Re: -Usable- Grappling Rules? [Homebrew]

    I like the simplicity, and I'm starting to adapt them to my own tastes in a text file. The given grapple rules really are overcomplicated and annoying. One thing I changed is that the chance to hit the wrong grappler only applies to ranged attacks.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaMunky89 View Post
    I agree, but this is intended. When one average person swings a sword at another average person in DANTE, the game balance is supposed to result in a one-hit-kill 25% of the time. If you use a spell or ability instead, generally we expect to see more like 50% one-hit.

    Lethality in my system is VERY high because death doesn't matter. Coming back from the dead is incredibly easy, so cranking the lethality up really high is how I make combat run fast. Generally a 5v5 is expected to end within 2-5 rounds of combat.
    Alright, I'm curious. How's this all work?

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: -Usable- Grappling Rules? [Homebrew]

    I've been using that exact homerule for YEARS now. Only I added a "defender with Str needs to beat the attacker by 4+ to control, otherwise grapple ends".
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: -Usable- Grappling Rules? [Homebrew]

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz10019 View Post
    That's interesting. I suggest you give us some weapons damage examples so we can compare things properly: longsword, great-axe.
    Ah, well. Weapons in my game are a bit abstract. Damage-wise, the only distinction is melee, unarmed, ranged (bludgeoning), and ranged (precise). The way weapons differ is the special effects they can get (sharpness, ability to ensnare limbs, ability to disarm) and what is easier to enchant on them. I can't go into the "special effects" too much because I haven't really written them yet, haha. Anyway, here's my basic attack table:

    1) Roll d20 just once, compare against table for both accuracy and damage.
    2) If accuracy > target defense, deal damage equal to damage minus defense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fitz10019 View Post
    Ah, I see the logic now, thanks. Total HP as a representation of the size of the creature makes sense. The "remaining HP" part seems strange to me. A beat-up 700 lb minotaur with 2 hp remaining does the same (or similar) damage as a healthy mouse? Sorry, maybe I need more numbers to follow you.
    You understood it correctly. My system treats PCs and monsters like meat-balloons that burst harmlessly after they hit 0 HP. I thought that would be fine for my purposes, but now that you mention it I should probably think of a way to account for size better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Corm View Post
    I like the simplicity, and I'm starting to adapt them to my own tastes in a text file. The given grapple rules really are overcomplicated and annoying. One thing I changed is that the chance to hit the wrong grappler only applies to ranged attacks.
    Matter of taste really. I'm picturing the grappler using their victim like a shield. Flattered you like the rules enough to adopt some variation of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Baron Corm View Post
    Alright, I'm curious. How's [death/respawn] work?
    The physical plane and Plane of Death are spatially very close, in my setting. As long as you're old enough to walk, and too young to die of old age, you have the strength to slip back through the "Black Curtain" and return to life. The consequence is there's nasty energy down there, and usually you come back with some horrifying mutation; picture someone with an extra arm growing out of their head, or their eyes popping out as soon as they respawn.

    Mutations are pretty easy and moderately affordable to fix once you get back to town, but if you're in the middle of a dungeon crawler it's very important to avoid getting the whole party so mutated you can't continue. If you have to retreat from the dungeon or get TPK'd, all the monsters respawn, and they get mutations too!

    Quote Originally Posted by The Boz View Post
    I've been using that exact homerule for YEARS now. Only I added a "defender with Str needs to beat the attacker by 4+ to control, otherwise grapple ends".
    I see NO reason why grappling needs to be harder than what we're doing. Your 4+ strength rule makes things more stable, so control passes back and fourth less. For any combat system slightly less frantic and madcap than my own, that is probably advisable.
    Last edited by DaMunky89; 2012-07-13 at 08:25 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: -Usable- Grappling Rules? You decide! [Homebrew]

    How would your system deal with using a willing person as a projectile. I ask because of some hijinks one of my parties created that we called the monk o canon.
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: -Usable- Grappling Rules? You decide! [Homebrew]

    Quote Originally Posted by Virdish View Post
    How would your system deal with using a willing person as a projectile. I ask because of some hijinks one of my parties created that we called the monk o canon.
    No check needed to initiate the grapple, and no improvised weapon penalty is imposed on the throw because they are intentionally trying not to squirm. If the person being thrown is sufficiently acrobatic, I would also let them make a DEX check to provide an accuracy bonus to the person throwing them.

    This is a fun idea. One time in a friend's game I was playing as a small winged ferret, and my ally was a living catapult monster. Shenanigans ensued.
    Last edited by DaMunky89; 2012-07-14 at 11:35 AM.

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    Default Re: -Usable- Grappling Rules? You decide! [Homebrew]

    We had a gnome or halfling monk and a very strong half orc fighter. We took the monk text to the effect that his whole body is a weapon and catapulted him at a troll I think. Well he hit then our dm allowed him to roll a grapple check. It was amazing. Our fighter criticalled his attack so in two rounds it was down and our monk rode it's body down a hill into another one.
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    Default Re: -Usable- Grappling Rules? You decide! [Homebrew]

    Obviously your system works a little different from standard D&D 3.5, but these rules would work well, I think.

    I'm working on my own fix for a variety of combat manuevers, including trip, fient, and disarm, and this provides some excellent inspiration. I hope you don't mind if I borrow a few ideas.
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: -Usable- Grappling Rules? You decide! [Homebrew]

    Of course, I'd be flattered if you can use my material as inspiration. If you do anything cool with it, maybe send me a PM so I can see too. ;D

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