Saturday, August 18, 2012

Simple-ish Grappling Rules for D&D

So, like, grappling:
  1. You must Close to Grapple, which is a combat stunt like the Simple Combat Maneuvers listed here. I envision something like Escrima Stick Grappling, so if you aren't armed with  a 1-handed weapon, your intended target gets a free counter-attack against you. A successful counter-attack spoils the Close attempt.
  2. Upon a successful Close, you roll your Hit Dice plus the better of your DEX bonus or STR bonus, if any; your target does the same.
  3. If your total is higher, you have successfully Grappled the enemy. They may not move and have a 4-point AC penalty. You may drag the enemy 5 feet per round (more, or less, at the GM's option) if you wish.
  4. If their total is higher, the Hold is Broken and they may push you back, or initiate a  grapple on you, without needing to Close to Grapple and without allowing you a free attack.
  5. 3 successive Grapples on a combatant in a row indicates a Choke-Out, and they are unconscious for 1d6 rounds. That is, you must succeed on a Grapple, then continue succeeding without the Hold being Broken at any point. If it is, start over.
Possible considerations:
  • The opponent must be grapplable: no slimes, dragons, or beholders.
  • Sure, you could Grapple a skeleton or an iron golem, but you can't choke it out.
  • Opponents with high hit dice (say, in multiples of 3) may take longer to choke out, so a 4 HD fighter takes four grapples and a 7 HD fighter takes five.
  • Multiple assailants can dog-pile a single opponent; each assailant may add their Hit Dice to the next successive Grapple roll. They must still Close to Attack, but they don't suffer free attacks against them, and the target still has the aforementioned 4-point AC penalty.

Monday, August 13, 2012

A couple of Holmes-isms

My blogging has been sparse due to my computer being stolen. However, I wanted to point out a couple of interesting tidbits I found while re-reading Holmes D&D over the weekend; why these were unknown to me before, I don't know, but I suspect it had something to do with my ingrained AD&D habits and assumptions:

1) Prime requisites can be lower than nine. There is a considerable experience penalty for very low stats, and there are other reasons why having a 3-STR fighter wouldn't be a great idea tactically speaking, but you can do it, according to the rules.

2) A round is one minute, and a turn is ten rounds, but during combat, a round shrinks to a (in my opinion, more reasonable) shorter span of ten seconds. I haven't seen where this affects spell durations, but it is one of those places where I wish D&D had, from the start, (a) picked a more reasonable default, like 10 seconds, and (b) decided to use actual, and not scale, numbers (i.e., instead of measuring distances and spell radii in inches, then converting to feet).