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Sunwolfe

Unarmed Combat Skill and Grapple

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Greetings Newt and sundry:

I'd like to ask for some clarification concerning the process of Unarmed Combat and Grappling. The issue concerns the proscribed "...one Combat Action...and one Combat Reaction...per combat round." I offer four scenarios, and while I'm not necessarily seeking comment on all four, I do hope some one can explain step-by-step how a grappling round proceeds. Is it an exception to normal combat procedure?

Thanks in advance,

 

Scenario one: Wherein Bob the Samurai gets two chances "...to dish out the damage!"

Gary the Ninja declares he's making a single Unarmed Combat Attack (UCA) with an intention to grapple. Turns out he has DEX-rank on Bob the Samurai, so Gary takes his ACTION, rolls his attack and hits.

Bob the Samurai then makes his REACTION and tries to parry or dodge Gary's attack. Bob too succeeds and with his parry inflicts 1d8 worth of damage because Bob's katana is a "...crafted weapon..." Bummer, Gary.

To add insult to injury Bob now takes his ACTION and swipes at Gary with his katana.

Ninja Gary, however, fast guy that he is, takes his REACTION in the form of a successful dodge.

End of scenario one: all parties got one A & R each and Gary is wondering why he chose to grapple with an unsympathetic samurai in the first place.

 

Scenario two: Wherein Bob the Samurai objects to the "...injustice of it all!"

Gary the Ninja declares he's making a single Unarmed Combat Attack (UCA) with an intention to grapple. Turns out he has DEX-rank on Bob the Samurai, so Gary takes his ACTION, rolls his attack and hits.

Bob the Samurai then makes his REACTION and tries to parry or dodge Gary's attack. Bob FAILS.

Gary does not do any damage at this point: "Instead [Gary the Ninja] opposes his UCS to [Bob the Samurai's] UCS, in a roll similar to an opposed skill test" (58). Gary succeeds, "...and immediately follows up on this success by Throwing, Inflicting pain or immobilis[ing] the target"(58).

Gary scratches his head, "So I have to roll my Unarmed skill again? Didn't I win?"

"Yeah! It's like he gets another ACTION...where's my ACTION?" demands Bob.

"Right. Sorry" mumbles the GM once again and turning back to his reference sees that Bob may "...attempt to break free or may attempt to turn the tables on..." Gary. "Go ahead and try to Break Free with a UCS. If you succeed and Gary fails then you will have "...succeeded in breaking free--"

"Wait a bloody minute," Gary interjects. "Didn't I win earlier and he fail? Didn't I grapple him?!"

Gary and Bob rise from the table and, on the living room floor, begin acting out the now stalled round while the GM mumbling curses frantically re-reads the grappling rules.

End of scenario two...and the game. All parties didn't seem to get an A & R each.

 

Scenario three: Wherein Bob the Samurai accepts the situation but thinks "...it were crap."

Gary the Ninja declares he's making a single Unarmed Combat Attack (UCA) with an intention to grapple. Turns out he has DEX-rank on Bob the Samurai, so Gary takes his ACTION, rolls his attack and hits.

Bob the Samurai then makes his REACTION and tries to parry or dodge Gary's attack. Bob FAILS.

Bob and Gary now oppose each other with UCAs; Gary succeeds and Bob again fails.

Gary applies the Inflict Pain option, and Bob takes damage.

Bob asks when he can take his ACTION, and the GM explains he already did in his opposed roll.

With a raised eye-brow, Bob nods and asks politely what he can do to break Gary's hold?

The GM explains politely in return that he may attempt to Break Free once per round, which he already did just after he failed to counter Gary's attack.

"Hmmm..." says Bob as he checks off hit-points. He then turns to his smart-phone and begins checking his messages.

End of scenario three...and Bob's interest. Gary of course, can't wait until next round. Did all parties get an A & R each?

 

Scenario Four: Wherein Bob the Samurai accepts but makes an observation

Gary the Ninja declares he's making a single Unarmed Combat Attack (UCA) with an intention to grapple. Turns out he has DEX-rank on Bob the Samurai, so Gary takes his ACTION, rolls his attack and hits.

Bob the Samurai then makes his REACTION and tries to parry or dodge Gary's attack. Bob FAILS.

Bob and Gary now oppose each other with UCAs; Gary succeeds and Bob again fails.

Gary applies the Inflict Pain option, and Bob takes damage.

As Bob checks off the damage, the GM offers that, "...you'll be able to attempt to Break Free next round..."

Bob nods, "This grapple thing...it sure isn't like Close Combat: he acts; I react; I act; he reacts..."

End of scenario four. All parties did not get an A & R each nor will they get them next round...Gary still has control, he will inflict damage (an action); Bob will try to Break Free (a reaction) and the round will end free or not.

Edited by Sunwolfe
punctuation

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Grappling is one of those aquward bits of rules that I inherited from MRQ1, possibly tinkered with a bit during intial development for the first version of OQ and then haven't really touched since because it never turns up in my games, which tend to be Medieval/Dark Aged based and my players come armed to teeth with melee weapons or stay out of the way and pick off enemies with missiles or spells.

It could probably need a good looking at some point.

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Hey, Newt and sundry:

Just an FYI for the interested, here's the Grappling mod we cooked up after consulting the MRQ source document and reviewing BRP & MW.

Grappling is employed when a PC intends to make an entangling/grappling attack meant to immobilize, inflict damage or throw an opponent. The PC must declare such an intention during the Statements phase before he rolls his die. Due to its unique particulars, Grappling modifies the typical combat round and follows the steps and modifications outlined below.

Establish Grapple

PC makes an Unarmed Combat attack roll. If successful, his opponent opposes with an Unarmed [Weapon, or Dodge] skill reaction. If the opponent wins, the grapple attempt will have failed, and PC must face parry damage and an incoming attack (Action). If his opponent fails, the combatants are now engaged in a grappling situation and no longer have access to any Combat Reactions.

Apply Grapple

The combatants will remain locked together, actively engaged, until one Breaks Free or is Thrown. Both will suffer a -25% penalty to any tests that are not targeted at or directly responding to each other.

PC rolls his Unarmed Combat Skill

  • minus DEX + STR for Immobilize

  • minus DEX + CON for Inflict Pain

  • minus DEX + SIZ for a Throw

If PC wins, immediately apply one of the following special Unarmed Combat Actions:

  • Immobilize: Target is helpless; may only attempt to Break Free

  • Inflict Pain: 1d4+db; armor does not help

  • Throw: 2m, 1d4 damage; armor does not help; breaks grapple

In the case of Immobilize or Inflict Pain, the PC's opponent may attempt to Counter-Grapple or Break Free at round's end. In the later-case, the defender uses his Unarmed Combat skill in an opposed test vs. PC's Unarmed Combat skill. If successful, he Breaks Free from the grapple.

 Cheers!

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I just had a situation like this over the weekend. Tribesman Ockasiola the Zebran (armed with a sword) faced 8 unarmed but dangerous Adepts of the Yellow Mountain in the dining room of their ape-temple. They tried a mass Wrestle. One eventually grabbed* Ockasiola and tried to strangle him while the others kicked and punched him. I was using the Elric! rules which as written are similar to ones you listed above except they give the immobilised target a STR vs STR roll (instead of grapple or hand to hand skill) to escape each time the grappler tries to inflict damage. Ockasiola was not as strong as these guys and unfortunately was reduced to unconsciousness. The resistance table is a harsh master, though I did let his armour reduce the damage. He did survive however (a comrade with a 2-handed mace 'distracted' the adepts), but it was a near thing.

Moral of the tale is, even if you are skilled with a blade, don't let yourself get outnumbered 8 to 1!

* I have a rule that if you parry unarmed attacks with a weapon you also inflict the minimum damage for the weapon to the attacker, so these guys were getting cut up as they attacked.

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15 minutes ago, Questbird said:

I have a rule that if you parry unarmed attacks with a weapon you also inflict the minimum damage for the weapon to the attacker, so these guys were getting cut up as they attacked.

Absolutely! The, "...PC must face parry damage..." mentioned above is a reference to just such parries. Rather than minimum damage, however, I go with the "...rolled damage of the parrying weapon, with no damage modifier" (58).

Great description, by the way: "...8 unarmed but dangerous Adepts of the Yellow Mountain in the dining room of their ape-temple." Awesome.

Cheers!

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6 hours ago, Sunwolfe said:

Absolutely! The, "...PC must face parry damage..." mentioned above is a reference to just such parries. Rather than minimum damage, however, I go with the "...rolled damage of the parrying weapon, with no damage modifier" (58).

Great description, by the way: "...8 unarmed but dangerous Adepts of the Yellow Mountain in the dining room of their ape-temple." Awesome.

Cheers!

I was using minimum weapon damage + minimum damage bonus actually, ie. the minimum damage that defender could inflict, with each successful parry. Additionally I allow ripostes on a critical success, that is an extra attack from the defender with the non-parrying hand weapon (or fist, as happened once in this fight, to the surprise of the Yellow Mountain Adept on the receiving end).

Edited by Questbird
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On 2/12/2017 at 7:13 PM, Sunwolfe said:

Greetings Newt and sundry:

I'd like to ask for some clarification concerning the process of Unarmed Combat and Grappling. The issue concerns the proscribed "...one Combat Action...and one Combat Reaction...per combat round." I offer four scenarios, and while I'm not necessarily seeking comment on all four, I do hope some one can explain step-by-step how a grappling round proceeds. Is it an exception to normal combat procedure?

Thanks in advance,

Hi Sunwolfe,

I see you point in general but I think the rules kind of work rather well without messing with the combat rationale (that much!).

 

On 2/12/2017 at 7:13 PM, Sunwolfe said:

Scenario one: Wherein Bob the Samurai gets two chances "...to dish out the damage!"

Gary the Ninja declares he's making a single Unarmed Combat Attack (UCA) with an intention to grapple. Turns out he has DEX-rank on Bob the Samurai, so Gary takes his ACTION, rolls his attack and hits.

Bob the Samurai then makes his REACTION and tries to parry or dodge Gary's attack. Bob too succeeds and with his parry inflicts 1d8 worth of damage because Bob's katana is a "...crafted weapon..." Bummer, Gary.

To add insult to injury Bob now takes his ACTION and swipes at Gary with his katana.

Ninja Gary, however, fast guy that he is, takes his REACTION in the form of a successful dodge.

End of scenario one: all parties got one A & R each and Gary is wondering why he chose to grapple with an unsympathetic samurai in the first place.

Agreed and quite expected to happen like this. The ninja should be sneakier :) 

 

On 2/12/2017 at 7:13 PM, Sunwolfe said:

Scenario two: Wherein Bob the Samurai objects to the "...injustice of it all!"

Gary the Ninja declares he's making a single Unarmed Combat Attack (UCA) with an intention to grapple. Turns out he has DEX-rank on Bob the Samurai, so Gary takes his ACTION, rolls his attack and hits.

Bob the Samurai then makes his REACTION and tries to parry or dodge Gary's attack. Bob FAILS.

Gary does not do any damage at this point: "Instead [Gary the Ninja] opposes his UCS to [Bob the Samurai's] UCS, in a roll similar to an opposed skill test" (58). Gary succeeds, "...and immediately follows up on this success by Throwing, Inflicting pain or immobilis[ing] the target"(58).

Gary scratches his head, "So I have to roll my Unarmed skill again? Didn't I win?"

"Yeah! It's like he gets another ACTION...where's my ACTION?" demands Bob.

"Right. Sorry" mumbles the GM once again and turning back to his reference sees that Bob may "...attempt to break free or may attempt to turn the tables on..." Gary. "Go ahead and try to Break Free with a UCS. If you succeed and Gary fails then you will have "...succeeded in breaking free--"

"Wait a bloody minute," Gary interjects. "Didn't I win earlier and he fail? Didn't I grapple him?!"

Gary and Bob rise from the table and, on the living room floor, begin acting out the now stalled round while the GM mumbling curses frantically re-reads the grappling rules.

End of scenario two...and the game. All parties didn't seem to get an A & R each.

It is quite risky to initiate a grapple so I think it is fair to consider a grapple action as part of the initial attack (even though it is another action). Bob may protest freely though... :) 

 

On 2/12/2017 at 7:13 PM, Sunwolfe said:

Scenario three: Wherein Bob the Samurai accepts the situation but thinks "...it were crap."

Gary the Ninja declares he's making a single Unarmed Combat Attack (UCA) with an intention to grapple. Turns out he has DEX-rank on Bob the Samurai, so Gary takes his ACTION, rolls his attack and hits.

Bob the Samurai then makes his REACTION and tries to parry or dodge Gary's attack. Bob FAILS.

Bob and Gary now oppose each other with UCAs; Gary succeeds and Bob again fails.

Gary applies the Inflict Pain option, and Bob takes damage.

Bob asks when he can take his ACTION, and the GM explains he already did in his opposed roll.

With a raised eye-brow, Bob nods and asks politely what he can do to break Gary's hold?

The GM explains politely in return that he may attempt to Break Free once per round, which he already did just after he failed to counter Gary's attack.

"Hmmm..." says Bob as he checks off hit-points. He then turns to his smart-phone and begins checking his messages.

End of scenario three...and Bob's interest. Gary of course, can't wait until next round. Did all parties get an A & R each?

I don't think that the grapple counts as an action for Bob. In every CR the two 'grapplers' have one action (which is always opposed). Both will get their turn to break free or inflict pain or immobilize.

 

On 2/12/2017 at 7:13 PM, Sunwolfe said:

Scenario Four: Wherein Bob the Samurai accepts but makes an observation

Gary the Ninja declares he's making a single Unarmed Combat Attack (UCA) with an intention to grapple. Turns out he has DEX-rank on Bob the Samurai, so Gary takes his ACTION, rolls his attack and hits.

Bob the Samurai then makes his REACTION and tries to parry or dodge Gary's attack. Bob FAILS.

Bob and Gary now oppose each other with UCAs; Gary succeeds and Bob again fails.

Gary applies the Inflict Pain option, and Bob takes damage.

As Bob checks off the damage, the GM offers that, "...you'll be able to attempt to Break Free next round..."

Rather at his combat order if Bob hasn't played yet.

On 2/12/2017 at 7:13 PM, Sunwolfe said:

Bob nods, "This grapple thing...it sure isn't like Close Combat: he acts; I react; I act; he reacts..."

End of scenario four. All parties did not get an A & R each nor will they get them next round...Gary still has control, he will inflict damage (an action); Bob will try to Break Free (a reaction) and the round will end free or not.

 

The above illustrates how I understood grapple works when I read the rules and it makes sense (in a kind of abstract way which is what OQ offers in several rules).

Even if I misunderstood the rules, this is how I would play it in my campaigns.

What do you think?

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi, Karask!

Bloody Grappling! We wrestled with this so much (pun intended) and finally found a resolution (posted earlier) we felt was in keeping with OQ simplicity but filled in the holes we felt were there: 

And I'm glad to report that it has worked out so far and no one has been hurt but the bad guys, BUT, my grappler is justifiably wary of how badly things could go south if her opponent decides to parry her grappling attempt with a broadsword. 

Cheers!

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Ah... I read it the first time but I replied the day after and I forgot about it !

The way I understood the rules the only difference (other than providing clearer description!) is that you have a penalty depending on the grapple action attempted. Very interesting... I think I will see how it goes in practice with the default rule and consider it later.

Thanks again for you time!

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