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dstack1776

Grappling in Pendragon

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I'm getting ready for a Pendragon campaign and am studying the rules, as the last time I played it Bill Clinton was in his first term...

I'm finding myself a little bit puzzled about the grappling rules, going by the 5.2 edition. I'm wondering if there's any good examples of it in practice.

With that in mind, here's the questions I find myself having. While I'm pretty comfortable making my own rulings, I'd definitely like to benefit from the experience of others and/or understand the intent of the rules. 

  • To grapple, the attacker must be disarmed and puts his DEX against his opponent's in an opposed roll. What if the defender doesn't want to grapple? What if he instead wants to swing his sword at the grappler? The rules say that a dagger is the only weapon that can be used by a grappled opponent, but the opponent isn't grappled yet.
  • When a character who has been grappled attempts to use a dagger, he uses his dagger skill vs. the grappler's STR. If the grappled wins, does he just escape? Does he get to to do damage with a slash as he escapes.
  • I'm assuming that in the round after the grapple is initiated, if the grappler tries to remove the victim's helm, a successful escape will negate that. 
     

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Good questions.

Quote

To grapple, the attacker must be disarmed and puts his DEX against his opponent's in an opposed roll. What if the defender doesn't want to grapple? What if he instead wants to swing his sword at the grappler? The rules say that a dagger is the only weapon that can be used by a grappled opponent, but the opponent isn't grappled yet.

Logically I'd assume that the guy being grappled should be able to fend off the grappler with his weapon before he gets grappled, the description does state that the tactic is risky, and, in earlier editions of KAP, when Grapple was a skill, you did pit Grapple against the opponent's weapon skill. So I think the intention is that it id an opposed DEX vs. weapon roll until the grappler gets a hold. Then the opponent has to grapple back or use a dagger.

Now in Mallory grappling seems to be much more successful that the KAP rules would indicate, but maybe such actions caught the opponents by surprise and so were unopposed?   

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When a character who has been grappled attempts to use a dagger, he uses his dagger skill vs. the grappler's STR. If the grappled wins, does he just escape? Does he get to to do damage with a slash as he escapes.

I believe the idea is that if the dagger user wins he does not escape (that requires a grapple roll) but he does do damage, as per a dagger (Damage -1d6).

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I'm assuming that in the round after the grapple is initiated, if the grappler tries to remove the victim's helm, a successful escape will negate that.

No, but it seems to be a case of timing, and probably based on their relative DEX scores. If the grappled opponent has a higher DEX score and  wins the opposed STR test he breaks out before the grappler can attempt to remove his helm, forcing the grappler to do something else (like try to grapple again to get a hold).

If the grappler has a higher DEX and goes first, then his attempt to unhelm the other character happens before the other can try to break free, and if successful then the other character is un-helmeted from then on, regardless of it he breaks free or not.

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Atgxtg's answer is pretty much how I'd GM it, too. I'll add as a clarification that if the dagger guy wins the contest and stabs the STR guy trying to pin him down, the pin fails, IMHO. This makes Dagger a very good secondary weapon, especially if you are a bit punier than the average knight. 

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Thanks for the wisdom - I'll be sure to keep these in mind when a throw-down inevitably happens...

<clang> you hit, no damage
<clang> he hits you, no damage

 

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21 minutes ago, dstack1776 said:

Thanks for the wisdom - I'll be sure to keep these in mind when a throw-down inevitably happens...

I've been running KAP since the 1980s and have yet to have an actual grapple happen, outside of the occasional monster that grapples when it bites or constricts, and, more recently, a retarius with a net. 

21 minutes ago, dstack1776 said:

<clang> you hit, no damage
<clang> he hits you, no damage

Doesn't happen all that often. The typical knight should get past armor most of the time, even when shields are used. 

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On 6/1/2019 at 4:39 PM, Atgxtg said:

Doesn't happen all that often. The typical knight should get past armor most of the time, even when shields are used. 

Typical knight does 4d6 or 5d6, with the -1d6 for a dagger, that's 3d6 or 4d6. The weaker knight isn't going to get through armour and shield very often, and needs to roll above average to get through just armour against another knight. Seems it would happen a lot, assuming they even succeed, as their dagger skill isn't going to match sword.

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On 6/21/2019 at 8:41 AM, TerryTroll said:

Typical knight does 4d6 or 5d6, with the -1d6 for a dagger, that's 3d6 or 4d6. The weaker knight isn't going to get through armour and shield very often, and needs to roll above average to get through just armour against another knight. Seems it would happen a lot, assuming they even succeed, as their dagger skill isn't going to match sword.

Slight misunderstanding.

What I meant is that grappling doesn't happen all that often, and that a typicality knight (doing 5d6) should get past a typical opponent's armor (10-12 points during most of the campaign) most of the time, even when shields are used. This assumes that most rolls will be doing 17 points or more (60% chance) and that the opponent doesn't always get his shield. 

In game terms, unless something is going on that makes grappling particularly desirable under the current circumstances, just sticking to melee is better. In all the years I've played, I don't think a PK has ever tried to grapple someone, and it certainly hasn't happened twice. Why bother when all the players are running knights, and are generally much better with a sword than with grappling?

Edited by Atgxtg

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Becaused you fumbled and dropped your weapon, or critical with a non-sword and you opponent critted with a sword and are not weaponless.  Yeah, I know, everyone will say that they will never use any weapon but a sword, and that your skill is over 20, so you will never fumble, but YPMV and other gm's may institute a rule that essentially says to prevent endless ties, I will reduce the highest skill level over 20 to 20 and drop everyone else by the same amount.

So you now have no sword, or fighting someone who will beat you eventually. Grapple might save you as his superior skill is negated.

Humbly submitted.

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5 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

Becaused you fumbled and dropped your weapon, or critical with a non-sword and you opponent critted with a sword and are not weaponless.  Yeah, I know, everyone will say that they will never use any weapon but a sword, and that your skill is over 20, so you will never fumble, but YPMV and other gm's may institute a rule that essentially says to prevent endless ties, I will reduce the highest skill level over 20 to 20 and drop everyone else by the same amount.

 

5 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

So you now have no sword, or fighting someone who will beat you eventually. Grapple might save you as his superior skill is negated.

Except it isn't negated. As the tactic is noted to be risky it would appear that it is opposed by the opponent's weapon skill, as it was in the past. So grappling against someone isn't all that likely to save you. More likely it just hasten your defeat, especially as grappling is now DEX based and not a skill.   

Rather that grappling, I'd call for my squire and fight defensively behind my shield and rearm. DEX+10 is certainly better than DEX, and once outfitted with another weapon the odds are much better - unless a character's DEX is much higher than his weapon skills, which is highly unlikely with standard chargen.

 

 

 

 

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