Some clarifications

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Lord Dynel
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Some clarifications

Post by Lord Dynel »

Ran into some issues last night...some that I adjudicated, but wanted to get the popular concensus on.

I know that the defender can do nothing while being grappled, but is there anything the attacker can do? Say PC is grappled and fails to escape on his next action, thus he remains grappled when it is the attackers turn again. Is tehre anything the attacker can do whilst maintaining the grapple? I ruled that the attacker could use one natural attack if he had any (it did...it was a kobold).
Hold Person. What "status effect" is the player considered to be? At first I wanted to say prone and defenseless (+10 to be attacked) but I relented and gave only a +5. A kobold shaman held one of the characters. The spell doesn't really say.

There's no range on a dagger. A player was suprised that he couldn't throw a dagger. I let him, with a range increment of 15 ft.

Thanks!
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Re: Some clarifications

Post by Rigon »

Lord Dynel wrote:
Ran into some issues last night...some that I adjudicated, but wanted to get the popular concensus on.

I know that the defender can do nothing while being grappled, but is there anything the attacker can do? Say PC is grappled and fails to escape on his next action, thus he remains grappled when it is the attackers turn again. Is tehre anything the attacker can do whilst maintaining the grapple? I ruled that the attacker could use one natural attack if he had any (it did...it was a kobold).

I wouldn't allow the attacker to do anything but grapple his opponent. It's hard as hell to do something while trying to keep someone from doing something to you.
Quote:
Hold Person. What "status effect" is the player considered to be? At first I wanted to say prone and defenseless (+10 to be attacked) but I relented and gave only a +5. A kobold shaman held one of the characters. The spell doesn't really say.

Unless the PC was also laying on the ground, he is just defenseless.
Quote:
There's no range on a dagger. A player was suprised that he couldn't throw a dagger. I let him, with a range increment of 15 ft.

Thanks!

A dagger's range increment is 10 ft per the PH 2nd printing.

R-
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anonymous

Post by anonymous »

If someone's Hold Personed, they can't really be missed.

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Re: Some clarifications

Post by Lord Dynel »

Rigon wrote:
I wouldn't allow the attacker to do anything but grapple his opponent. It's hard as hell to do something while trying to keep someone from doing something to you.

I can argree with that. I certainly don't think there could be any weapon attacks, by any stretch of the imagination, and I only had some question with natural attacks.
Rigon wrote:
Unless the PC was also laying on the ground, he is just defenseless.

Only problem is, there's not really a condition for just "defenseless." I'm sure it falls under one of the situational combat modifiers, I'm not sure which one - prone for +5, prone and defenseless for +10 (don't really think so), or stunned for +2.
Rigon wrote:
A dagger's range increment is 10 ft per the PH 2nd printing.

D'oh...I'm an idiot...I was looking at the ranged weapon table and wondering, "Dang where's the dagger?" Thanks!
Tenser's Floating Disk wrote:
If someone's Hold Personed, they can't really be missed.

True...but couldn't the same be said for someone who is prone and helpless?
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Re: Some clarifications

Post by Rigon »

Lord Dynel wrote:
Only problem is, there's not really a condition for just "defenseless." I'm sure it falls under one of the situational combat modifiers, I'm not sure which one - prone for +5, prone and defenseless for +10 (don't really think so), or stunned for +2.

I would extrapolate from the situational modifiers table that if prone is a +5 and prone & defenseless is a +10, then just defenseless would be a +5. Anyway, that's how I'd rule.

Tenser, while a Held Person can't be missed, their armor has to still be taken into account. Yes I can hit the held PC, but do I hit them hard enough to punch through the armor?

R-
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Re: Some clarifications

Post by gideon_thorne »

Rigon wrote:
Tenser, while a Held Person can't be missed, their armor has to still be taken into account. Yes I can hit the held PC, but do I hit them hard enough to punch through the armor?

R-

No it doesn't. If a held creature unable to move, they are dead, cause ya can always stick em in the eye. Simple.
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Post by Treebore »

Yep. I Coup De Grace Held creatures. I'm just nice when its PC's and hold off until the battle is over. If the PC's win, no one dies. IF the PC's lose, TPK, or maybe they go into slavery.
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Re: Some clarifications

Post by Lord Dynel »

gideon_thorne wrote:
No it doesn't. If a held creature unable to move, they are dead, cause ya can always stick em in the eye. Simple.

I see both your points, fellas, but that goes back to my question...why is there a combat modifier for someone who is "prone and helpless?" Shouldn't they be good as dead, too? If I'm missing something, let me know.
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Re: Some clarifications

Post by gideon_thorne »

Lord Dynel wrote:
I see both your points, fellas, but that goes back to my question...why is there a combat modifier for someone who is "prone and helpless?" Shouldn't they be good as dead, too? If I'm missing something, let me know.

A +10 is pretty harsh, but even a character just held down, or tied up, could wiggle. A person in a hold spell is screwed.
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Re: Some clarifications

Post by paladin2019 »

Lord Dynel wrote:
I know that the defender can do nothing while being grappled, but is there anything the attacker can do? Say PC is grappled and fails to escape on his next action, thus he remains grappled when it is the attackers turn again. Is tehre anything the attacker can do whilst maintaining the grapple? I ruled that the attacker could use one natural attack if he had any (it did...it was a kobold).
I'll go with precedent here. Weapon attacks on the defender are possible IF the weapon was drawn before the grapple AND IF it is tiny (as per D&D3e weapon sizes, 2 sizes smaller than the wielder), like a dagger. Full defensive bonuses to the defender in this situation.

Damage from a natural weapon can be in lieu of the normal damage a successful grapple check inflicts.

Also, if the attacker is willing to take a -20 on his grapple checks, sure, he can do things besides grapple.

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Re: Some clarifications

Post by Rigon »

gideon_thorne wrote:
No it doesn't. If a held creature unable to move, they are dead, cause ya can always stick em in the eye. Simple.

Damn it, Peter! Way to shot holes in my responses.
Seriously, I didn't think of that. Good call.

R-
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Post by Lord Dynel »

Okay. Sounds good, y'all. I think I'll rule autohits on held characters from here out.

As far as actions taken while grappling someone goes, I still think the jury's out on that one. But some excellent points so far.
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Re: Some clarifications

Post by gideon_thorne »

Rigon wrote:
Damn it, Peter! Way to shot holes in my responses.
Seriously, I didn't think of that. Good call.

R-

I have a weapons specialisation in axe logic.
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Post by MacLeod »

Unless that same person is wearing a really sweet helmet. Then you would have to lift it off of his head and then poke him in the eye.
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Post by Treebore »

MacLeod wrote:
Unless that same person is wearing a really sweet helmet. Then you would have to lift it off of his head and then poke him in the eye.

When your opponent isn't moving there is always a seem/gap/opening through which a judiciously applied dagger or sword will kill someone. Even if its into the artery in the crotch, causing them to bleed to death in minutes.

Only something like Full Plate may present a challenge, even then, to remove the helm, the cooperation of the helmet wearer is usually needed.
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Post by gideon_thorne »

MacLeod wrote:
Unless that same person is wearing a really sweet helmet. Then you would have to lift it off of his head and then poke him in the eye.

That's what the poniard dagger is for. Its designed to slide through narrow gaps in armor. ^_~`
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Post by MacLeod »

Both of these things seem pretty detailed for C&C. @Treebore: I bring a can opener to my sword and steel battles.
Now, what if we are talking about an iron golem? Targeted, of course, by a wizard who has the mighty Magic Ignores Magic Immunity Orb of Game Breaking?
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Post by Treebore »

MacLeod wrote:
Both of these things seem pretty detailed for C&C. @Treebore: I bring a can opener to my sword and steel battles.
Now, what if we are talking about an iron golem? Targeted, of course, by a wizard who has the mighty Magic Ignores Magic Immunity Orb of Game Breaking?

Fortunately Full Field types of plate will be the only time you'll really need. Plate, half plate, Full Chain, etc... all have pieces easily lifted out of the way, or gaps that are now easy to hit because they are standing perfectly still, through which to quickly deliver death blows.
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Post by bighara »

re: actions while grappling. The SRD has the following to say. C&C SRD, but it might give you a place to start.

If you are grappling an opponent, melee-wise:
Quote:
You can make an attack with an unarmed strike, natural weapon, or light weapon against another character you are grappling. You take a -4 penalty on such attacks.

While grappling, you can deal damage to your opponent equivalent to an unarmed strike. Make an opposed grapple check in place of an attack. If you win, you deal nonlethal damage as normal for your unarmed strike (1d3 points for Medium attackers or 1d2 points for Small attackers, plus Strength modifiers). If you want to deal lethal damage, you take a -4 penalty on your grapple check.

Exception: Monks deal more damage on an unarmed strike than other characters, and the damage is lethal. However, they can choose to deal their damage as nonlethal damage when grappling without taking the usual -4 penalty for changing lethal damage to nonlethal damage.

Draw a Light Weapon

You can draw a light weapon as a move action with a successful grapple check.

FWIW, I would probably allow all these things. But drawing the weapon (i.e. a dagger) would probably be the only thing you could do that round, attacking the next round if you still are grappling the target. You could initiate the grapple with a dagger already drawn. Only one though, I think; you'd need at least one hand free to grab the guy. Also. I'd use the C&C unarmed damage rules, not the size-based above.

Looking at the above, the Monk exception can make them pretty scary, even at low levels.
EDIT: I don't I'd give the grappler the +10 for a defenseless opponent in the PHB though. They're kinda busy holding the target still. But if you've got the guy in a half-nelson and your buddy want to take a shot at him, I'd say he's got a definite edge. For the grappler, I'd say the target loses his DEX bonus to AC.
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Post by CKDad »

WRT grappling, if you have enough grapplers - say, several goblins on a human - or a sufficiently strong single grappler, such as a 17-18 STR creature grappling a halfling - the grapplers could always try to carry the victim off.

Perhaps only useful in certain situations, but still handy.

Regarding Hold Person - I agree, coup de grace should apply barring exceptional circumstances. I assume a "Prone & defenseless" person can at least wriggle or roll a little - still much easier to hit, just not a sure thing. The thing to ask is "Can the target take any action at all, however feeble, in their own defense?" If the answer is yes, I rule "It's attack with big bonuses." If the answer is no, then whatever the attacker can do to you, they will.

This might not be something immediately fatal. Lassos spring to mind. Having a band of kobolds capture your party is a great way to instill a bit of humilty without actually killing them outright.
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Re: Some clarifications

Post by Jonathan of White Haven »

Lord Dynel wrote:
Ran into some issues last night...some that I adjudicated, but wanted to get the popular concensus on.

Having had the benefit of reading everyone's previous responses...
Quote:
I know that the defender can do nothing while being grappled, but is there anything the attacker can do? Say PC is grappled and fails to escape on his next action, thus he remains grappled when it is the attackers turn again. Is tehre anything the attacker can do whilst maintaining the grapple? I ruled that the attacker could use one natural attack if he had any (it did...it was a kobold).

I would rule that the kobold could either bite his grappled opponent or draw a dagger (if so equipped) and attempt to stab it (still has to hit the AC, minus any DEX bonus, if any.) A medium-sized critter (or NPC) could draw any light weapon (nothing bigger than a short sword, though) and attempt to strike with it. Or, as noted elsewhere, use an unarmed attack (fist, knee to groin, et cetera), but in any event, the attack would still need to hit the target's unmodified AC.
Quote:
Hold Person. What "status effect" is the player considered to be? At first I wanted to say prone and defenseless (+10 to be attacked) but I relented and gave only a +5. A kobold shaman held one of the characters. The spell doesn't really say.

The PC or NPC stands there, unable to move. Can be tipped over (PC tipping, anyone?) and be made to be prone and helpless. Or, simply ignored until combat is over with. To-hit attacks during combat must still penetrate AC (no DEX bonus), unless you're willing to allow "coup de gras" during melee. (I wouldn't. After all, one really needs time to do the job properly--and enjoy it. ) The same ruling should fit Hold Monster, but I'd be willing to pay to see Dragon Tipping in action!
Quote:
There's no range on a dagger. A player was suprised that he couldn't throw a dagger. I let him, with a range increment of 15 ft.

Previously dealt with. Further, deponent sayeth not.
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Post by Lord Dynel »

These are some great ideas. I'll admit, I'm still on the fence about any weapon use by a grappler, but I think I will definitely allow a natural attack to be attempted.

As far as held characters go, I think the AC with a Dex of 0 might be the way to go there.
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Post by paladin2019 »

I just want to make sure I understand what folks are saying. Do you agree that the grapplers retain their dex bonus to AC ONLY with respect to each other? And those OUTSIDE the grapple ignore the grapplers' dex bonuses?

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Post by bighara »

paladin2019 wrote:
I just want to make sure I understand what folks are saying. Do you agree that the grapplers retain their dex bonus to AC ONLY with respect to each other? And those OUTSIDE the grapple ignore the grapplers' dex bonuses?

Different folks have different interpretations. Mine is that the "grapplee" loses his DEX bonus to AC v. the "grappler." An outside opponent (ally of grappler) gets a +10 v. the defenseless grapplee. The grappler is not defenseless v. other ("outside") attacks, but maybe should lose his DEX bonus. That may be an unnecessary complication, though.

@Lord D -

I look at weapon use like this: Imagine that an attacker jumps out of the shadows, grabs a victim and twists his arm up behind his back then plunges a dagger into his chest. That sure seems like a grapple + weapon attack to me. I wouldn't let him attack with a great sword, but a dagger or club or similar? Sure. YMMV
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