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Grappling multiple opponents


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Question that i wasnt able to find a good answer for. How is grappling against multiple opponents work with mythras. Ive only been using mythras imperative but doing a quick read through of the mythras core book i cant find much on it under these circumstances. i remember reading about augmenting and group rolls but i cant see where this might apply. heres the scenario i am envisioning. a player is trying to get away from a group of demon possessed children. the children all want to gang up on the player to grapple him biting and scratching at him and bring him down. how do i do this? it seems like the children would be helping each other. would i make 1 roll for all the children. roll 10 different rolls. and the player does he get only to defend with the number of action points he has or can he attempt to wrestle free from all 10 of the demon possessed children? 1 on 1 a full grown man against 1 or even 2 children would be no roll needed but what if the children are all working together for the same purpose of disabling the man (player). i know grappling in alot of role playing game systems is clunky and sometimes not very well done. im not sure what to do with the situation i described above. any advice? did i miss it somewhere? thanks for any help.

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I don't think it's called out in the rules. I've done soemething like this though with kobolds, and with unarmed commoners.

probably the most straight forward way is to just make the rolls... child grabs an arm or a leg. I might rule they can only take legs since they are presumably smaller.  At that point they could attempt to trip to bring the adult down. I would allow an addition child. Per leg to assist in the take down, augmenting the trip attempt with their own brawn or unarmed skill. The smart adult would use outmaneuver to avoid the children in the first place, limit it to one or two. 

If you want something simpler, treat the mass of children as a single entity, with brawn or other skills as whatever their base is +20% of skill per additional child. 

No reason the adult can't make an attempt to break free of all of them... sort of an outmaneuver but for escaping. If several children get to roll one of them could easily get a crit and hang on. 

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This is an interesting problem.  For simplicity, I might just reduce this to a single equivalent entity with Augmented skills, as Raleel suggests.  My concern with that, though, is the Action Point economy.  Those several (small) grapplers still have far more APs than their lone victim, and soon will outspend him into submission.  If you don't have AP, you don't get to resist the grapple.  I think if we were talking about 2 adults grappling 1 adult victim, we would not fudge this aspect.  We also would not fudge it if this were plain attacking rather than grappling (though that strays from the OP, I admit).

With the AP tally in mind, then, I think I would actually keep separate rolls and handle it in full detail.  However, remember that line in the rulebook under "Contests of Strength" that goes something like, "Some enemies may be so powerful that no amount of skill can overcome them."  In this case, that concern applies to the demon children.  Even if s/he has unnatural strength, a kid's Damage Mod is sure to be at best -1d2, and probably worse.  Combine this with a low Brawn score (unless the demon somehow improves it), and any individual kid will almost always fail to grapple the Brawnier, bigger+stronger adult.

This is where the mob effect comes in:  Some of those levels of advantage that the adult enjoys are erased by the levels of advantage that cooperating kids enjoy.  This, to me, is they key aspect of the problem that you as GM need to sort out, and which RAW does not cover explicitly.  If these kids are trying to grapple Conan, it may take even more than 10 of them to neutralize his advantage, but if they are jumping on Mr. Magoo, it may take only 2 or 3.

There is also the ultimate intent to consider.  If the mob is trying to immobilize or even knock down the adult, then I think that can be accomplished handily.  If they are trying to inflict damage using puny natural weapons, though, I think the demons are out of luck:  Using tiny fists, etc. at reduced 1d2 or even 1d1 (!) damage due to small SIZ (I don't have the chart in front of me), with a damage mod of -1d2 or -1d4, they are unlikely to inflict any actual harm.  If the dude has armor, they are probably totally ineffective.  There are Special Effects, though, like Bleed (if they bite; we usually don't talk about that for humans, but I would allow it here), and there is choking.  Think about it.

One more thing:  Not all of a mob may be able to attack effectively.  Some part of the mob is blocked by the other part; this is the principle behind Outmaneuver.  How many kids can actually get close enough to attack effectively?  In the first round, it may only be 4 (2 per leg) or 6 (add abdomen), and subsequently any others trying for upper locations have to test Athletics as well as Brawn in one roll, to jump up.

Whatever you decide in the end, this should be a memorable combat!  I agree about grappling being handled poorly by many systems; when I first read Mythras, I was pleased to see that its approach is seamless and natural, not clumsily bolted on as an afterthought to swordplay.  In our game, many characters with advanced Combat Styles (not just "Frontier Commoner" or whatever) actually have Unarmed as one of their "trained weapons", so that they can use it with facility for punching or grappling during standard melee--and they do.  For example, if you're up against a heavy hitter with a 2-handed weapon, grappling either arm is an excellent way to neutralize that threat.





Edited by Matt_E

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The children's primary attribute in helping them grapple down a fully grown man would be to be so adorable as to be unpunchable. Even in 10 on 1 situation, all ten can't attack at one, and their attacks, even if demonic and devoid of normal children's mental safeguards (such as they are), will at best be feeble.

I'd treat them as singular rabble in groups of 2 or 3, depending on size. Only two groups can attack at a time, and with a success they'll effectively grip, not grapple. If a second group scores a success, they pile up and can use the grappling effects. Even so, they might struggle to hang on. If the children wants to stop the adult from leaving, they should take a rock to his toes to even the odds.

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On 8/31/2017 at 2:44 AM, Raleel said:

No reason the adult can't make an attempt to break free of all of them... sort of an outmaneuver but for escaping. If several children get to roll one of them could easily get a crit and hang on. 

I've seen a number of films/TV Series where one big chap has been mobbed by a load of people, then he does a mighty shrug and throws them all off.

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so this is what i did and it seemed to work fairly well for my group. please tell me what you think if you agree disagree etc. any tips would be helpful.


Grappling with Multiple Opponents

Grappling against Multiple Opponents is not easy and unless you have a specific Combat Style to compensate for this you are at a severe disadvantage. The easiest way to do this within the Mythras rule set is to use the Attackers and Defender Size traits. If all the attackers are close in Size than they each attack the Defender Separately following the standard rules.

If there are multiple smaller attackers simply tally up the Sizes into groups that are equal to or close to the Defenders Size. All the attackers use the Augmenting skill rule. An augmenting skill increases the value of the primary skill by twice its Critical range (ie, 20% of the skill). However, the chances for Critical and Fumble are the same as if the primary skill was not augmented.

Next you add the number of attackers in the group' not counting the original attacker that is being augmented, and using that number increase the damage that many dice steps. Unarmed damage for a normal person is 1d3 plus their damage modifier. If there are varying damage modifiers you take the lowest.

For example a Defender's Size is 16. There are 10 demonic children attacking him. The demonic children each have a size of 5, a Strength of 6 and an Unarmed skill of 27%. So you add up their size and divide them into groups to equal the Defenders Size and in this case groups of 3 demonic children per group with 1 demonic child attacking separately. That means there will be 4 groups attacking the Defender. Group 1 (demonic child 1 size 5, demonic child 2 size 5, demonic child 3 size 5. totaled = size of 15) they than add 6% per extra attacker past the main attacker (20% of the main attackers Unarmed Combat Skill) to the main attackers skill in their group and in this case 12% to 27% for a total of 39%.

After the calculations are done that means there are 4 groups attacking the defender and each group gets 1 roll to attack the defender. Group 1 (3 demonic children) 39% Unarmed Combat Skill and. Group 2 (3 demonic children) 39% Unarmed Combat Skill, Group 3 (3 demonic children) 39% Unarmed Combat skill, Group 4 (1 demonic child) 27% Unarmed Combat Skill. Damage for groups 1 to 3 on a successful attack is 1d6 -1d4 (-1d4, because of their damage modifier and the 1d6 damage is because there are 2 extra people augmenting their attack so 2 extra dice steps for damage) damage for the single demonic child would be 1d3 -1d4 for the child's damage modifier.

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Got 2 comments here...

1st is actually a query/comment:  Do the demons carry any special skills / knowlege over to the children they possess?  Or are they "just" kids, with "just kids" abilities, just ALSO with that demonic motivation?  Because (potentially at least) the demons will know how to fight VERY dirty, in ways the kids won't.  They may not hit any harder than normal kids, but if they're grabbing sharp sticks and rocks and going for the backs of the knees, eye-shots, etc etc etc ...  Even that old standby of thumbs-in-eyes... they are WAY more dangerous than ordinary kids!

2nd:  this has actually happened to me, more or less.  I was parent "chaperone" on a big ol' middle-school field trip, 7th & 8th graders.  On the way home, teachers decided it was time to stop at the beach and let the kids blow off some excess energy.  There I was "chaperoning" on the beach when one of the boys thought it'd be a good idea to wrestle with one of the Dads on the trip... yours truly.  I don't think it took even 2 melee rounds before MOST of the boys on the trip (10ish of them) decided that "take down the Dad!" was the best activity on the beach.  :blink:   At least one of them played football, and was going for the full-power tackle hitting just above the knee, preferably from behind.

And before you cry "it's not the same!  they weren't demonic!" let me reiterate:  a dozen over-excited middle-school boys needing to blow off excess energy.  Demonic, I tell ya!

Nobody got hurt, and mostly I was able to fend them off (Mr. Football did take out my leg, costing me an AP (or delaying me for a few StrikeRanks's)).

But it was VERY clearly not something well-modeled by Chaosium/RQ "SR's" or TDM/Mythras "APs" -- at least, not either of the RAW.

Like Matt_E, I commend heathd666 for his solution.  I'll have to think back on that episode, and figure out how else I might model it.

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