Friday, July 15, 2011

Grappling with Ogres and Pixies (New Feats)

I never had problems with the original 3.0 (and 3.5) Grapple rules and love to used sometimes to remember the fighter and barbarians of my group that there're things more scary than big attack and damage bonuses. While I loved Pathfinder unified mechanic resolution system (the CMB and CMD stats) there're a few things that still irk me. For example, in D&D 3.5 you had first to touch the target before you could grapple with him, which was very reasonable to me, because it made small targets hard to catch but easy to grapple and big targets easy to touch but hard to subdue with Grapple maneuvers. With the unified system of Pathfinder, the touch attack was removed, creating these weird situations where a small and evasive things like a pixie or quickling are ludicrous easy to capture (I know you can use Escape Artist to counterbalance this, but this skill presupposes that the target was already captured). Maybe I'm worrying too much with the wrong thing (i.e. realism), but the latest consequence of these musings are posted here for your perusal.

Bear's Stance
Your use your body mass and vigor to compensate for you agility.
Prerequisites: Con 13+, medium size or bigger
Benefit: You can substitute your Constitution bonus modifier for Dexterity to determinate your Combat Maneuver Defense (CMD) against bull rush, drag, grapple, overrun and trips maneuvers.
Commentary: I'm using the assumption that Constitution is - on this particular situtation - related to mass and bulk. In order to avoid some strange scenes (titan gnomes in Pathfinder if you want), I added a size prerequisite.

Hard to Catch
You can use your size to evade your opponent and escape from grapple.
Prerequisites: Dex 13+, small size or smaller, agile maneuvers
Benefit: Against opponents bigger than you you gain a bonus to your CMD when suffering grapple attempts. This bonus is based on your size: Small +2, Tiny +4, Diminutive +8, Fine +16.
Commentary: This feat assumes that a small and agile creature is harder to catch and grapple. As said above in Pathfinder's Combat Maneuver mechanics small creatures are ridiculously easy to capture, which seems counter-intuitive to me (it should be hard for an ogre to catch a halfling, much less a pixie). At least in D&D 3.5 a creature had to make a successful attack roll before rolling grapple. With the unified Combat Maneuver mechanic this attack roll is dismissed. What this feat do is basically to negate any penalty derived from size with little creatures, besides giving them a bonus similar to the one possessed by large creatures. This bonus only applies to the CMD and even them only when they're the target of a grapple (in other words: halfings, pixies and the small folk are still terrible grapplers).