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  • Grappling and Disciplines

    Sorry if this has been asked before.

    Grappling: You have to win the grapple to act normally, but what about powers like Dominate, Majesty, Protean, Nightmare. Say you are being pinned, restrained and can't get out of the grapple, could you turn into mist or sink into the ground? Or Could you Charm / Mesmerize them? Or even nightmare them away from you?

    What do other story tellers do when logic conflicts with rules?

  • #2
    I don't see why you couldn't activate a discipline when grappled, in fact I'd encourage players to do it. The only restriction I'd put is that they couldn't contest in the grapple (ie they'd have to let their opponent auto-win it) if the activation of the discipline is an instant action and maybe that dominate would require winning the grapple and forcing their opponent to make eye contact, provided the opponent is avoiding eye-contact that is.

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    • #3
      I find that Disciplines have a flavor of being natural tools/actions, kind of like how a fish naturally swims, or everything naturally eats and breathes or flees danger. Likewise I would expect a Discipline to be something that you just want or intend to do, and it just happens without much concentration or effort.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Rathamus View Post
        I find that Disciplines have a flavor of being natural tools/actions, kind of like how a fish naturally swims, or everything naturally eats and breathes or flees danger. Likewise I would expect a Discipline to be something that you just want or intend to do, and it just happens without much concentration or effort.
        I can definitely see the thought behind this. However Mechanically they (most) are "instant actions" which you lose the ability to do instant actions unless you win the grapple. You even lose your turn on the first one... ( I did ask that one a long long time ago )

        Mechanically you have to:

        Each turn, both grappling characters make a contested
        Strength + Brawl versus Strength + Brawl action on the higher
        of the two characters’ Initiatives. The winner picks a move from
        the list below,
        or two moves on an exceptional success.

        • Break Free from the grapple. You throw off your opponent;
        you’re both no longer grappling. Succeeding at this move is
        a reflexive action, you can take another action immediately
        afterwards.


        Which the other action would be your instant action for the turn. IE disciplines. Which conflicts with logic that even if you were wrapped up and pinned down, why couldn't you just sink into the ground, burst into mist or dominate them to let go, ect All of those are instant actions...


        Which is why I wanted to know what other story tellers did for this conflict.

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        • #5
          Mages can cast while grappled, but they're at -3 if the lose the roll. I find this is a pretty good rule of thumb to apply to other splats in similar circumstances.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Fumus View Post
            I don't see why you couldn't activate a discipline when grappled, in fact I'd encourage players to do it. The only restriction I'd put is that they couldn't contest in the grapple (ie they'd have to let their opponent auto-win it) if the activation of the discipline is an instant action and maybe that dominate would require winning the grapple and forcing their opponent to make eye contact, provided the opponent is avoiding eye-contact that is.
            I agree with you but I want just to point out, regarding dominate eyes contact, that Rose in a recent post, said that the eyes contact is more a flavor thing then an impediment and the normal roll to impose mesmerize, already count also as the successful eye contact.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Marcus View Post

              I agree with you but I want just to point out, regarding dominate eyes contact, that Rose in a recent post, said that the eyes contact is more a flavor thing then an impediment and the normal roll to impose mesmerize, already count also as the successful eye contact.
              That's fair, personally I use the eye contact requirement to make things more interesting / challenging for dominate heavy characters. It means they can't just win the situation anymore when the person they're talking to is aware of dominate and avoids direct eye contact or when the victim is just not looking into their eyes and they may have to do something like force the person to make eye contact physically or through conversation.

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              • #8
                Yes this is also true, but this implies that Majesty is far more effective and easy way in front of dominate cause it doesn't require anything else that the presence of the vampire.
                Last edited by Marcus; 02-07-2017, 04:27 AM.

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                • #9
                  Even if we were dealing with mortals, there's nothing stopping you from using your action to sing your national anthem, plead with your attacker, or any other non-physical action. Grappling does not force you to engage in a struggle for physical supremecy. Grappling does not force you to lose your action. What's happening is that the grappling rules are assuming that you are struggling physically with your attacker, and that you are using your action to try and overpower him. If you struggle physically, you use your action at the same time as your opponent, but you're not being forced to do so if you opt out of the physical struggle for a different kind of action. In which case, you use your action as normal while the opponent uses his action to do grappling techniques or something else, as the situation calls for it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Vitalis View Post

                    I can definitely see the thought behind this. However Mechanically they (most) are "instant actions" which you lose the ability to do instant actions unless you win the grapple. You even lose your turn on the first one... ( I did ask that one a long long time ago )

                    Mechanically you have to:

                    Each turn, both grappling characters make a contested
                    Strength + Brawl versus Strength + Brawl action on the higher
                    of the two characters’ Initiatives. The winner picks a move from
                    the list below,
                    or two moves on an exceptional success.

                    • Break Free from the grapple. You throw off your opponent;
                    you’re both no longer grappling. Succeeding at this move is
                    a reflexive action, you can take another action immediately
                    afterwards.


                    Which the other action would be your instant action for the turn. IE disciplines. Which conflicts with logic that even if you were wrapped up and pinned down, why couldn't you just sink into the ground, burst into mist or dominate them to let go, ect All of those are instant actions...


                    Which is why I wanted to know what other story tellers did for this conflict.

                    Because if you win the grapple roll, using a special power or merit is NOT on the list of permitted actions in that same turn. You aren't in the mindset needed to activate the powers. I allow the reflexive use of disciplines but that pretty much rules out the vast majority of disciplines except activation of physical disciplines or a few high level other powers if Conditions were installed previously. I might consider allowing them to be activated as extended actions across multiple turns while grappling but no, I'm not allowing all disciplines to be a Get Out of Jail Free card after the player's just made a series of multiple screw ups that got them grappled in the first place.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by MCN View Post
                      Even if we were dealing with mortals, there's nothing stopping you from using your action to sing your national anthem, plead with your attacker, or any other non-physical action. Grappling does not force you to engage in a struggle for physical supremecy. Grappling does not force you to lose your action. What's happening is that the grappling rules are assuming that you are struggling physically with your attacker, and that you are using your action to try and overpower him. If you struggle physically, you use your action at the same time as your opponent, but you're not being forced to do so if you opt out of the physical struggle for a different kind of action. In which case, you use your action as normal while the opponent uses his action to do grappling techniques or something else, as the situation calls for it.

                      In this scenario, who would go first. Say the Gangrel has 15 dice to grapple and your Daeva has 3. the Gangrel is going to win probably with an exceptional. He wants to feed/Damage and the Daeva wants to charm. Grapple says they go on the same initiative. What if that feed damage would put the Daeva down, but the charm would stop the Gangrel. Who goes first?


                      I was told that when you get pulled into the grapple, you lose the first turn. Say the Gangrel went first and initiated the grapple by touching the Daeva. The Daeva now needs to wait until the next turn for them to both roll the opposed Str+Brawl checks. if the Daeva won, he could charm (dot2), because he could reflexively break free and take the instant action. But there is no way the Daeva could win that check in this scenario.

                      If that's not how Grapple works, I have been doing it wrong, but I know I asked forever ago and the powers that be ( you guys on the forums ) told me that's how it worked... << unless I am simply remembering wrong...>>



                      This could be a simple sneak attack on a Ventrue. A Nos has 15 dice to Str+brawl, jumps him to feed, there is no way this 5 dice Ventrue is getting out. So this wasn't a "series of multiple screw ups that got him grappled in the first place" Couldn't he just roll to Dominate to have the Nos let him go? Again that brings in the question. Who goes first?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well, let's see what the usual disciplines can do in that situation.
                        -All three physical disciplines : Nothing except give the usual passive bonuses when applicable I guess. For the active uses, vigor does allow you to use large objects as weapons. An opponent is kind of a large object. I'd allow a vigor user to swing their opponent around if they first succeeded a grappling contest. "Use human as a baseball bat" isn't in the list, but the list was made to be applicable for all types of characters, including humans, so it has its limits. Active celerity probably wouldn't be of use except to have the grapple contest higher in the initiative queue.


                        For the other disciplines, I'll agree that those needing an instant action don't benefit from winning a contest. The entire point of the grapple contest, as I understand it, is to get the upper hand in the grapple, so the entire idea is that the action you take is that upper hand. Reversing the grapple only to do nothing is almost the same as failing it. Now, you could argue the point could be to waste a turn during which the opponent could put you in trouble, while you activate a discipline. That could work too I guess, but let's go for the first option here.


                        -Protean : That seems like the most obvious choice and definitely a potential get out of jail free card. Instead of looking to contest the grapple, just grow spikes, become all soft or turn into smoke. Getting into the ground, maybe, it's not like the vampire who gets in the ground can do much afterwards, not to mention their opponent now knows where they are.

                        -Majesty : Sounds like the other instant win strategy with level 5, Idol, plus it's reflexive. The other levels could probably work in the sense that the vampire is trying to magically talk their opponent out of the fight. Sounds, fair, but you could argue they would need a little bit of time. Awe does take an instant action to use, so does level 2 and 4, so that's two grapple contest forfeited.

                        -Dominate : Now, we're getting in the more borderline area. Let's only focus on level 1 because the rest mostly doesn't work without it. Mesmerize is an instant action. While the eye contact thing is mostly fluff, I'd make it an issue here. I would ask the player to succeed a grapple contest and choose the action "achieve eye contact". Sure, it's not part of the list, but it's not particularly harder than putting handcuffs on someone. Then, in the next turn, they'd have to forfeit the contest in order to activate dominate.

                        -Nightmare : For Face of the Beast I'd say more or less the same than Mesmerize.

                        -Animalism : levels 3 and 4 sound like they'd work. For level 3, win a grapple, than use it to smear blood on your opponent's face or something. Next turn, forfeit action and active the power. Level 4, same thing basically, but the blood on the ground. If the vampire is already wounded, though, letting your own blood spill on the ground would be automatic.

                        -Auspex : Probably no use, but you could use the grapple to use Spirit Touch, for all the good that would do.

                        -Obfuscate : Hm, given both characters are already grappling I don't see how disappearing would help. At most, it could startle a human enough that they'd break the grapple. Otherwise, since they're touching, it's good for making the fight more discrete, which, in a situation of infiltration, could actually be useful. Get grabbed, use Touch of Shadow with Cloak of night to make the opponent disappear and make yourself disappear. Costs 3 vitae in total, but it can potentially all be done in one turn since only reinforcing Face in the Crowd requires an instant action.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Vitalis View Post
                          In this scenario, who would go first. Say the Gangrel has 15 dice to grapple and your Daeva has 3. the Gangrel is going to win probably with an exceptional. He wants to feed/Damage and the Daeva wants to charm. Grapple says they go on the same initiative. What if that feed damage would put the Daeva down, but the charm would stop the Gangrel. Who goes first?
                          I think you have that backwards, Daeva get Vigor added into grappling, while Gangrel don't. I find that Daeva actually make the best grapplers in the game between Celerity, Vigor, and Enfeebling Aura.

                          Anyways, lets set aside stereotypes for a moment. My point is that the grapple rules are designed with the assumption that people are going to be engaged in mutual overpowering attempts. If one character isn't going to be engaging in grappling... then we just don't use the grappling rules. Keep regular initiatives and go on.

                          I was told that when you get pulled into the grapple, you lose the first turn.
                          Not actually in the rules. That sounds more like a local call than something cannon. The official rules just say "on subsequent turns." Doesn't touch on what happens when someone initiates a grapple when the second hasn't actually gone yet.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MCN View Post
                            I think you have that backwards, Daeva get Vigor added into grappling, while Gangrel don't. I find that Daeva actually make the best grapplers in the game between Celerity, Vigor, and Enfeebling Aura.
                            Everyone adds Vigor into grapple as Vigor gives you passive dots in STR and grapple is a STR+brawl roll. So both gangrel and daeva are allowed to add vigor into the checks. And while I agree that Daeva can be created as one wicked nasty fighter having celerity and vigor as in clan. Enfeebling aura is open to anyone. One or the other of Majesty or Resilience will be out of clan, so a Gangrel could have it just like a Daeva. I used those examples as a quick and dirty this guy has 15 dice while this guy has 3. I did not want to draw up character sheets...

                            How can one not engage in a grapple, if someone has tackled them and is trying to restrain them? ( Logically, you don't fight back ) Mechanically you are suppose to roll to win the grapple, then you get to pick from a list of choices, one is if you win, you get to act normally. Which didn't answer the question, if one doesn't fight back. who goes first, because the two get moved to the same initiative when in a grapple.

                            If you aren't fighting back does that mean that they just get free damage on you? What if they choose restrain as their move then you are immobilized. Which might include not being able to move your mouth and if you are immobilized, can you sink into the ground or turn into mist?

                            Originally posted by MCN View Post

                            Not actually in the rules. That sounds more like a local call than something cannon. The official rules just say "on subsequent turns." Doesn't touch on what happens when someone initiates a grapple when the second hasn't actually gone yet.

                            Which is why forever ago I asked here what happened.


                            EDIT: Found these in another thread. It pertains to it. I couldn't find the original question in the vampire forums. My googlefu is not that great...

                            Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
                            Chronicles of Darkness uses "turn" to describe what most RPGs call a "round", and "action" or "initiative" to describe what most RPGs call a "turn". The GMC rules update is a bit more explicit as to how it works.

                            "To grab your opponent, roll Strength + Brawl – Defense. On a success, both of you are grappling. (...) When grappling, each party makes a contested Strength + Brawl versus Strength + Brawl action on the higher of the two characters’ Initiative. - God Machine Chronicle, page 199.

                            So, if the character with the higher initiative is the one who initiates the grapple, the other does effectively lose their action for that turn.
                            Originally posted by LLegume View Post

                            You initiate a grapple. You get less than 5 successes but you're still grappling and your opponent with a knife loses their turn because they're grappled and can't make a normal attack. When you hit the subsequent turn you're into Strengh+Brawl contested rolls and the weaponry user is hosed because their weapon was useless for defending themselves.

                            Also, something like Spear and Bayonet 2 (Keep at Bay) is completely useless at actually keeping a grappler at bay because it doesn't matter if the grappler loses his Defense as a penalty for coming at you. His Defense never actually comes into play once a grapple is initiated.

                            I'm not adverse to a grappler having the advantage once they're in the grapple but it should not be so easy and so safe to grapple someone who's skilled in wielding a lethal weapon.
                            Last edited by Vitalis; 02-07-2017, 03:18 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MCN View Post
                              Not actually in the rules. That sounds more like a local call than something cannon. The official rules just say "on subsequent turns." Doesn't touch on what happens when someone initiates a grapple when the second hasn't actually gone yet.
                              Actually IIRC that's how its been confirmed to work. Using the grappling rules, assuming you play it out as written, if grappled before your turn you lose your action because your action becomes participating in the grapple regardless of what you originally planned on doing that turn*. It's come up a lot in various threads about grappling in the base Chronicles of Darkness section of the forums.

                              Actually, it seems like it might not be that you lose any action, just lose any action a grapple would prevent you from doing, like attacking, running away, etc.
                              Last edited by Ashenrogue; 02-07-2017, 03:19 PM.

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