For the past 6 hours I’ve been agonizing about whether or not to cut this rule from Legends & Labyrinths:
Grappling: A combatant can grapple an opponent by making an opposed grapple check, which is a type of action check:
1d20 + grapple attack bonus vs. opponent’s grapple check
If the check is successful, the combatants enter a grapple. Combatants in a grapple can escape by taking an attack action.
When attempting any action (including escaping the grapple), a grappling combatant must first succeed at an opposed grapple check against everyone else in the grapple. This check is a free action. Opposing characters can choose to automatically fail their checks. (Note: When making a full attack, a combatant must make an opposed grapple check for each attack action.)
These would be the entirety of the rules for grappling. They take my Super Simple Grappling rules and boil them down even further to their core essence. I’m also playing with the idea of embracing the Pathfinder method of a grapple check vs. a static defense score (CMB vs. CMD).
Either way, though, it means including an extra set of rules, at least one extra stat for every character, and extra information cluttering up the Creature Size table.
To put this in perspective, the only other combat maneuver you’d currently find in Legends & Labyrinths is a stripped-down version of a partial charge. (And that’s only there because it was the easiest way to make surprise rounds work. The other option was to give everyone a full set of actions on the surprise round, and that seems to be too powerful in playtesting.) The goal is to make the game as simple as absolutely possible, but not to the point of crippling its utility.
This grappling rule obviously adds complexity and a little bit of extra baggage to the rules. The question I can’t quite answer is this: How essential is the ability to grab somebody else and wrestle with them? If this rule doesn’t exist, is every DM running the game going to end up needing to figure out how to adjudicate it?
What do you think? Keep it or cut it?