Breaking Free From Grapple

The rules state when Grappled the figure may make an Athletics/Acrobatics test against the original Effects that grappled them. They may not move or act in any other way.

  1. Does this mean they cant fight back while ensnared at all? So when grappled a figure is basically helpless?
  2. Does this mean if they succeed at the Athletics/Acrobatics test they are then free to act normally? Do they get to then act that same turn?
  3. It isnt possible then for two opponents to be locked in a ‘grapple’ and fighting each other like we witness so often in the Conan stories? (Recalling such foes as Thak, the gorilla in the Belverus dungeon etc.)
  4. The figure that initiated the grapple may then, within the confines of the grapple rules, attack the figure they have ensnared normally but cant move or act otherwise or lose the grapple?
  5. Is there a penalty for an ally trying to hit a foe who is ensnaring a friend? I would assume the possibility of hitting their friend with a complication of course but that doesnt seem to be enough of a hindrance.
  1. Yes, though breaking a grapple isn’t too terribly hard most of the time.
  2. I have always ruled that breaking a grapple takes your action but you can still move or take an action.
    3/4) It is absolutely possible. The test is essentially the mechanics of how that works and the one doing the grappling is still able to act.
  3. I usually increase the difficulty to hit by one with the warning that if they generate doom they might end up hitting their ally.

All personal opinions based on my experiences running the game of course.

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I instituted a number of spur of the moment house rules to handle the situation but was taken by how flimsy the actual grapple rules seem to be. If the intent is for the GM to ‘wing it’, then Im absolutely ok with that, I take a lot of creative license with my GMing. I just wanted to make sure I wasnt missing something.

Also I dont see where its possible for someone to initiate a Grapple unless they have a weapon or special ability to do so. So its impossible technically for someone to just tackle a foe, jump on them with a dagger or even bare fists, wrestle them to the ground etc.?

Am I missing a Hand to Hand attack option somewhere? Is this an option in one of the follow up companion books? If not I find it oddly absent in a game immolating Conan stories, he does this quite a bit.

Ah I see the special talent under the Melee tree. That helps, although if seems odd that it requires special training to just tackle a foe and wrestle with them. I smell a house rule coming.

On page 152 of the core book it explains that you can replace qualities on improvised attacks with other qualities. So you could add Grapple to the unarmed attack.


Hmm, I missed that. Have to check it out.

For 2, breaking a grapple would consume an action since it is skill check performed in combat. Could be followed by Swift Action to attack in the same round.

Breaking a Grapple is a Clear Action (Minor Action). Page 113 The character can attempt a skill test to clear an unwanted status effect or problem that afflicts the character, an animal the character is handling, or a carried piece of equipment. The test Difficulty is Challenging (D2), or the rating of the status effect (if any), whichever is higher. The skill used varies based on the condition affecting the character (Resistance for physical effects, Discipline for mental ones), or an object the character is using (normally Crafts or Warfare). Tending to a mount’s conditions uses the Animal Handling skill.

As an example, if the PC is hit in a round by an NPC/Creature that has the Grapple Effect, and the NPC gets 2 Effects on their damage roll? Then the PC will need a D2 Clear Action on the next round to free themselves of the Grapple Condition. While Grappled the PC cannot perform a Parry, Move or any other Action. Page 152 of the Core Book. The next round the PC can attempt a Acrobatics or Athletics test (Clear Action) as a Minor action to clear the condition. It is not a Standard action but I suppose that can be a house rule.

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