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Posts Tagged ‘Grappling’

Hello gamers, long time no post.  This blog isn’t dead, but it might be undead.

I’m grappling with the perennially unpopular grappling rules in D&D 5E.  They don’t seem to do what a character typically wants to accomplish when they tackle someone.

First, the rules as written.  This is from an email that I sent to some of my players who are new to 5E.  I will write a follow-up post about how I will house-rule grappling.

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Grappling, tackling, wrestling, restraining.

“Dreaded,” because of the whole grappling mini-game in 3.5E D&D. Anyway, I’m about to run my 2nd Dungeon World session, and I just need to wrap my head around how to handle grappling in this game.  The rules don’t address it specifically.  I know the short answer is “with fictional positioning, dummy.” Well, this dummy just needs to chew it out a bit more, beforehand.  Why?  “Tentacles.”  So, my thoughts based on a quick web search:

Grappling as a PC move:

Hack and slash to grapple an opponent, and maybe deal reduced damage too, depending on circumstances. How this may affect the creature:

  • next move is used just breaking the grapple
  • or, can only attack the grappling PC for reduced damage
  • another PC can damage, rob or tie up the grappled creature, without rolling

Grappling as a GM move:

“You’re grappled.” How this may affect the PC:

  • Before taking action, you might have to Defy Danger using Strength, first.  On a miss, the creature that has you grappled can deal damage, drag you away, hold you while another ties you up, or… On a 7-9, you can get free, but it might cost you your pack /armour /weapon, or some hit points, or maybe you’ll only free your sword arm, or you knock a companion down while getting away, or…
  • Ignoring the grapple (e.g. to cast a spell or something) might count as giving the GM a golden opportunity.

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