Defender AC for grappling

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JShan101
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Defender AC for grappling

Post by JShan101 »

In a grapple attack, the defender's AC is based on whether or not STR is prime, but then they also get their STR and DEX bonuses, correct?

So a defender with STR as a prime and, let us say, a +1 STR bonus and +2 DEX bonus has an effective AC of 18 + 3 = 21, correct? (Let's not confuddle the example with size differences...I get that part.)

And the same would go for an overbearing attack, but the defender also gets their BtH added in, yeah?

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Captain_K
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Re: Defender AC for grappling

Post by Captain_K »

I am not sure about answering that as I rarely use, but I will add a question to yours... my PC is very dexterous (21 total) normal size and against a hill giant ... it went in for the grapple... its STR against my STR... I did not want to be grabbed.... my first reaction is "I am not in a STR contest, he's trying to catch me this is a DEX contest."

So just adding this to the discussion that follows.
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Traveller
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Re: Defender AC for grappling

Post by Traveller »

JShan101 wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 2:09 am
In a grapple attack, the defender's AC is based on whether or not STR is prime, but then they also get their STR and DEX bonuses, correct?

So a defender with STR as a prime and, let us say, a +1 STR bonus and +2 DEX bonus has an effective AC of 18 + 3 = 21, correct? (Let's not confuddle the example with size differences...I get that part.)

And the same would go for an overbearing attack, but the defender also gets their BtH added in, yeah?
Yes.
Yes.
Captain_K wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:17 pm
I am not sure about answering that as I rarely use, but I will add a question to yours... my PC is very dexterous (21 total) normal size and against a hill giant ... it went in for the grapple... its STR against my STR... I did not want to be grabbed.... my first reaction is "I am not in a STR contest, he's trying to catch me this is a DEX contest."

So just adding this to the discussion that follows.
Once the hill giant declares he is grappling you have to play out the grapple; by the RAW there's no way to interrupt it and declare you're disengaging. If the hill giant fails in his grapple attempt, THEN you can evade, dodge, or run away like "brave" Sir Robin. And based upon the numbers in your example character, it's quite likely the hill giant would fail. With STR as prime the hill giant's target AC would be 24 (+4 for DEX, +2 for size), 18 if STR wasn't prime. The giant would have to roll a 15 on a d20 to succeed if STR isn't a prime. If STR is a prime, by the numbers, the giant couldn't possibly succeed as it would need a 21 on a d20.

I understand that at first blush the optics of this seem crazy, given that you want to not get caught by the hill giant. But his (likely) failure is mechanically how your character evades the giant's grasp.

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Kayolan
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Re: Defender AC for grappling

Post by Kayolan »

I only use the 1st-3rd printing PHBs when running C&C, and I use the rule as it is presented in those printings:

"The armor class of a defender in an overbearing attack is different than
normal. A standard armor class of 15 is used for all defenders, as armor has
little effect on the capacity to defend against this type of attack. The armor
class is modified by the strength and the dexterity modifier of the defender, as
well as the size difference between the two opponents. For each size difference
larger, add +2 to the defender’s armor class. For each size difference smaller,
a -2 penalty is imposed on the defender’s armor class."

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Captain_K
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Re: Defender AC for grappling

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My PC STR is not a prime... so my grapple AC starts at a 12 +2 STR and +4 DEX = 18 AC. lower than my normal AC by just a few. If it were based on my DEX, which is prime, it would be 24 better than my normal AC. The hill giant I think is 9 HD so at least a +9 to his roll (this guy might have been higher hit dice as this was the "boss fight of hill giants")... meaning he is going to grab me more often than not only needing a 9 to hit me.

Is not the size difference also in his favor too making the chance to grab me even easier? PH seems to imply its helps the smaller opponent, which if wrestling is based on how strong the opponent is, that is opposite of all classic wrestling weight class systems, and opposite of this STR based system, the bigger/taller opponent has the advantage in most issues like this. But not here?

So the giant would either need an 11 or a 7 to hit me, either way, not what I wanted... and it hit me... but have no fear, breaking out by STR was NOT going to happen (cleric -assassins) as I would need to do a grapple on the giant... so I "commanded" him to "drop" me. He might have brought me with him on the stand by "flee". So he did and I let him play with the widow maker.. Odin's Blessed Spear.. it loves Giant's blood. Flee is nice to get a surprise parting shot from behind.
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Re: Defender AC for grappling

Post by Captain_K »

Offensive focus, does that work with ranged attacks or was that meant mainly for melee combat? Thoughts?
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Re: Defender AC for grappling

Post by Traveller »

Kayolan wrote:
Sat Nov 28, 2020 4:12 am
I only use the 1st-3rd printing PHBs when running C&C, and I use the rule as it is presented in those printings:

"The armor class of a defender in an overbearing attack is different than normal. A standard armor class of 15 is used for all defenders, as armor has
little effect on the capacity to defend against this type of attack. The armorclass is modified by the strength and the dexterity modifier of the defender, as well as the size difference between the two opponents. For each size difference larger, add +2 to the defender’s armor class. For each size difference smaller, a -2 penalty is imposed on the defender’s armor class."
Yeah, that isn't how it works now. It was changed to include a check as to whether or not STR is prime, which made the change from 15 to 12/18 necessary.
Captain_K wrote:
Sat Nov 28, 2020 1:51 pm
My PC STR is not a prime... so my grapple AC starts at a 12 +2 STR and +4 DEX = 18 AC. lower than my normal AC by just a few. If it were based on my DEX, which is prime, it would be 24 better than my normal AC. The hill giant I think is 9 HD so at least a +9 to his roll (this guy might have been higher hit dice as this was the "boss fight of hill giants")... meaning he is going to grab me more often than not only needing a 9 to hit me.

Is not the size difference also in his favor too making the chance to grab me even easier? PH seems to imply its helps the smaller opponent, which if wrestling is based on how strong the opponent is, that is opposite of all classic wrestling weight class systems, and opposite of this STR based system, the bigger/taller opponent has the advantage in most issues like this. But not here?

So the giant would either need an 11 or a 7 to hit me, either way, not what I wanted... and it hit me... but have no fear, breaking out by STR was NOT going to happen (cleric -assassins) as I would need to do a grapple on the giant... so I "commanded" him to "drop" me. He might have brought me with him on the stand by "flee". So he did and I let him play with the widow maker.. Odin's Blessed Spear.. it loves Giant's blood. Flee is nice to get a surprise parting shot from behind.
AC would be 20. +2 for STR, +4 for DEX, +2 for size differential (L vs M). The wording on the size differential specifically focuses on whether or not the attacker is larger than the defender, thus the defender - your PC in this example - gets the AC bonus or penalty. The size differential is set up this way to emulate the evasion attempt. A smaller creature is more difficult to deal with and vice versa.

The giant would need an 11 to successfully grapple. If STR were prime the giant would need a 17 to hit. That said, NOT trying to grapple with the giant is the best move.

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Re: Defender AC for grappling

Post by Captain_K »

As you can guess, my PC did not decide to wrestle with the giant... it decided, and I think we might have done the grapple bonus in the wrong direction. I agree much of DnD and stories have fast little people evading giants (aka dwarf bonus vs giants). But once grabbed, it ended all ability to attack, luckily it failed its save vs command.... very effective of the giant to grab and throw one off the cliff.

Any comments on offensive focus???
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Re: Defender AC for grappling

Post by Captain_K »

The size differential for grappling.... so a halfling with a prime str and say a cloud giant belt of STR is the best grappler out there... he would do even better against Titans or Dragons due to the size bonus going to the halfing....

Magic and Extrapolation, ain't they fun.
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Captain_K
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Re: Defender AC for grappling

Post by Captain_K »

Another grappling question, if "Freedom of movement" lets you not get Held, webbed, or entangled or move through quicksand with ease, I would also assume you could not be grappled or help no matter how big and strong or skilled the creature holding you be it a giant, a python, or a dragon paw ...
Thoughts?
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Grandpa
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Re: Defender AC for grappling

Post by Grandpa »

Captain_K wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 8:24 pm
Another grappling question, if "Freedom of movement" lets you not get Held, webbed, or entangled or move through quicksand with ease, I would also assume you could not be grappled or help no matter how big and strong or skilled the creature holding you be it a giant, a python, or a dragon paw ...
Thoughts?
This spell is derived from the AD&D 1st Ed Ring of Free Action. It did not keep the wearer from being physically grabbed and held by others. So no. No use against being grabbed by a person or monster.

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Captain_K
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Re: Defender AC for grappling

Post by Captain_K »

I just re-read my old DMG, it is just about word for word from the ring and the ring makes no mention of physical hold not working.. it allows full fighting magically in water and avoid or negates hold and entangle and such... so if a 50 willow tree which has been animated by entangle cannot grasp the character with the ring / spell but a treant can grab the character that is illogical... quicksand, no problem, held and you cannot move a muscle or turn your eyes, no problem, but a python... you got a problem now? for sure I would give the person with this spell in affect a great advantage to being NOT grabbed and held and restrained from anything... it only makes sense... being held or restrained is just that I do not care if the source is magical or mundane and the examples are both magical and mundane... but then again, it is magic, we are each free to do as we please.
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Grandpa
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Re: Defender AC for grappling

Post by Grandpa »

Captain_K wrote:
Fri Dec 25, 2020 2:10 pm
so if a 50 willow tree which has been animated by entangle cannot grasp the character with the ring / spell but a treant can grab the character that is illogical..
Not at all. The ring protects against magical powered entanglement/holds not non-magical and allows liquid to be treated as air..

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Re: Defender AC for grappling

Post by Traveller »

Cap, did you read from the AD&D DMG or the d20 version? You should be reading from the latter, not the former.

Anyway, "Grandpa" is correct in that the Freedom of Movement spell (and ring) do not work against non-magical methods of impeding progress. This means that a naturally occurring hedge row of thorns would hinder movement while a wall of thorns cast by a spellcaster would not. The treant's attack is non-magical in nature, so the freedom of movement spell or ring would not work. The willow tree entangle on the other hand would be affected.

FYI, the Trolls cut down the Freedom of Movement spell from its d20 System version. The d20 version worked against both magical and non-magical means of impeding progress. Using the AD&D DMG as a comparator to C&C is not usually a good idea, even though C&C thematically shoots for the old school vibe. It's why I always refer to the d20 SRD on these things, as it's much easier to see what changes the Trolls made.
Freedom of Movement
Abjuration
Level: Brd 4, Clr 4, Drd 4, Luck 4, Rgr 4
Components: V, S, M, DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Personal or touch
Target: You or creature touched
Duration: 10 min./level
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless)
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)
This spell enables you or a creature you touch to move and attack normally for the duration of the spell, even under the influence of magic that usually impedes movement, such as paralysis, solid fog, slow, and web. The subject automatically succeeds on any grapple check made to resist a grapple attempt, as well as on grapple checks or Escape Artist checks made to escape a grapple or a pin.

The spell also allows the subject to move and attack normally while underwater, even with slashing weapons such as axes and swords or with bludgeoning weapons such as flails, hammers, and maces, provided that the weapon is wielded in the hand rather than hurled. The freedom of movement spell does not, however, allow water breathing.

Material Component
A leather thong, bound around the arm or a similar appendage.

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Captain_K
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Re: Defender AC for grappling

Post by Captain_K »

That is a great explanation and you hit it right on... I only compare to the good old days of my youth in 1st or at most 2nd ed DnD.. I tried 3, 3.5, and threw in the towel at 4.0... so I look to the first edition with occasional peaks at second edition.

The hint that it only works on magical holding forces is great, but directly contradicts what the Trolls wrote... free movement in water or any other liquid (aka quick sand is the only other one that comes to mind unless they're swimming in molasses (that stuff killed 19 workers once when a tank of the stuff burst) or say a large vat of beer or in our game blood and gore.. anyway the spell write up clearly note mundane liquids and magic. That alone if we wish to limit freedom of movement only in relation to non-magical liquids and magic spells is fine.... not sure how over powering it would be to let it work for everything, but I see this goal.

Druids get woodland stride... helps with non-magical natural stuff. So what spell or magic item prevents being grappled or grabbed magically or in a mundane manner. Oil of slipperiness comes to mind... not sure what else... armor off slipperiness for a thief could be handy.... like a slick leather scented bar of soap....
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