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Grappling and Disciplines

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  • #16
    Re: characters losing actions when someone with higher Initiative successfully grapples them, this is one of those things that gets debated every time it comes up, and a conclusion is never reached. In the previous discussion Vitalis quoted me from, I demonstrated why I believe the slower party loses their action based on the text, but for what it's worth, Malcom was a playtester for the 2e core rules and said in that same conversation that they specifically remembered discussing that interaction and coming to the conclusion that it wouldn't work to do it that way. Ultimately it's going to come down to an ST call because the text is evidently not clear enough on this matter.


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    • #17
      Originally posted by Charlaquin View Post
      Re: characters losing actions when someone with higher Initiative successfully grapples them, this is one of those things that gets debated every time it comes up, and a conclusion is never reached. In the previous discussion Vitalis quoted me from, I demonstrated why I believe the slower party loses their action based on the text, but for what it's worth, Malcom was a playtester for the 2e core rules and said in that same conversation that they specifically remembered discussing that interaction and coming to the conclusion that it wouldn't work to do it that way. Ultimately it's going to come down to an ST call because the text is evidently not clear enough on this matter.

      I can see it that way too. I just couldn't find the older thread and I don't remember if a Developer answered or not.


      But this goes back to my original question. Can you use disciplines like Majesty, Nightmare, Protean, Dominate ect to get out of a grapple without rolling the Str+Brawl?

      Mechanically I am inclined to say no you can not. you have to win, (which I have been doing for the last couple of years,) but one of my players just recently made a very strong case and It made me second guess my original ruling. I wanted to know what Other STs came up with for this mechanical vs Logical debate.

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      • #18
        I think that winning the contested str+brawl is needed just to obtain the physical control of the grapple in order to take physical action. But Majesty is not a physical action, your presence simply become awesome. The same for Dominate, or protean. Your body change its shape even if someone is holding you blocked down. And if your body become mist.... freedom from the grapple.

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        • #19
          I'd say to handle it like Mage and allow them to use their magic equivalent as normal if they win the grapple, and at a -3 if they lose it.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Vitalis View Post
            I can see it that way too. I just couldn't find the older thread and I don't remember if a Developer answered or not.


            But this goes back to my original question. Can you use disciplines like Majesty, Nightmare, Protean, Dominate ect to get out of a grapple without rolling the Str+Brawl?

            Mechanically I am inclined to say no you can not. you have to win, (which I have been doing for the last couple of years,) but one of my players just recently made a very strong case and It made me second guess my original ruling. I wanted to know what Other STs came up with for this mechanical vs Logical debate.
            From a strict reading of the rules, I would agree. In a grapple, you have to win the Strength + Brawl to do anything, and you're typically limited to the overpowering maneuver options. That said, it doesn't really make sense not to be able to take actions that don't involve a physical component, such as activating Majesty or Nightmare. Mage gives us some precedent for this sort of thing with its rules for casting in a grapple:

            "Mages can cast spells in a single turn without making any outward sign. A mage in a grapple (whether he initiated it or not) can cast a spell whether he wins the grapple check for the turn or not, but suffers a –3 penalty to the spellcasting roll if he lost. Mages in a grapple cannot employ any Yantras involving movement, but if the grapple was initiated part-way through casting a spell, any Yantras the caster has already spent turns incorporating into the spell have their full effect." - MtAw2, page 118

            So extrapolating from that, I would say that powers that don't require physical action to use can be performed at no penalty in place of a grapple maneuver on a successful Strength + Brawl contest, or at a -3 penalty after the contest on a failure. Powers that do require a physical component (such as the eye contact for Dominate, or spellcasting Yantras involving movement) cannot be used in a grapple.


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            • #21
              There's another game that does include performing an instant action despite losing the contested roll in a grapple: Mage. Mages are able to cast their spells after the contested roll has been made but suffers a -3 penalty to the spell casting roll. A simple house rule would be to extend that to all supernatural abilities that requires an instant action. Now, several Disciplines don't require a roll to activate meaning the -3 penalty doesn't do anything, but losing the grappling roll will still put you at a disadvantage since the opponent will get to perform their action first.

              Edit: What Charlaquin wrote.
              Last edited by Tessie; 02-07-2017, 04:35 PM.

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              • #22
                While it depends on circumstances, mental and social Disciplines should work fine in a grapple. And physical Disciplines provide their usual bonuses.

                Protean is, as usual, the one that doesn't fit the pattern, but honestly what's the point of being able to turn into smoke if you can't do it when a dude's got you in a headlock? I'd allow it.


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                • #23
                  Thank you everyone for the thoughts and advice on the matter! I greatly appreciate it.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Vitalis View Post
                    But this goes back to my original question. Can you use disciplines like Majesty, Nightmare, Protean, Dominate ect to get out of a grapple without rolling the Str+Brawl?

                    Mechanically I am inclined to say no you can not. you have to win, (which I have been doing for the last couple of years,) but one of my players just recently made a very strong case and It made me second guess my original ruling. I wanted to know what Other STs came up with for this mechanical vs Logical debate.
                    Well, changelings can escape out of a grapple with just spending a point of glamour to slip bonds. Maybe a Clash of Wills if the grapple involves magic somehow. And mages can cast magic explicitly (they're at a penalty due to distractions and bad movements), though I'm ill inclined to associate what mages do with what vampires or werewolves do. Magic for a mage is a mental exercise while its more natural for others.

                    Anyways, my main point here is that we do have examples of other games that have magic used in grappling situations. It seems to be rather consistant, though I do admit that combat should invoke some penalties here. Making eye contact in a grapple is not easy (especailly for someone in the know), and trying to flirt with someone hurting you is difficult at the best of times.


                    The best we can do, given the practically infinite possibilities in combat, is to keep things consistant with the story we're telling.

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