Author Topic: Warblade Grappler  (Read 1685 times)

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Endarire

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Warblade Grappler
« on: June 11, 2011, 05:54:12 AM »
I don't recall reading any builds about this.  The point of the Warblade Grappler is to use his maneuvers, refresh 'em via grappling, pummel his grappled foe with maneuvers, and pin by refreshing again.  Or somesuch.

This also assumes I can use a grapple attempt as part of the attack to refresh.  I recall being able to use combat techniques (grapples, trips, etc.) in place of normal attacks, but I don't have the rules reference off-hand.
Hood - My first answer to all your build questions; past, present, and future.

Speaking of which:
Don't even need TO for this.  Any decent Hood build, especially one with Celerity, one-rounds [Azathoth, the most powerful greater deity from d20 Cthulu].
Does it bug anyone else that we've reached the point where characters who can obliterate a greater deity in one round are considered "decent?"

Saxony

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Re: Warblade Grappler
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2011, 08:38:20 AM »
Just on first impression, I'm pretty this doesn't work, like most hopeful and unresearched attempts at "new" builds. Next time, please research beforehand.

...

And after doing the research, the answer is "No", like I suspected. It is impossible to use a standard action strike manuever while grappling unless you're a super special character (or someone with a nifty magic item which only works 1/day), though you can use swift action and move action maneuvers (more on that later, see bottom). But I have a contingency plan. Actually, I just did a lot of research and I don't want it to go to waste. I'll explain possible debate points for convincing your DM initiating while grappling doesn't suck. And then explaining how initiating would work in a grapple if allowed not to suck and what will probably be good.

In any case, all this research has made me wonder Endarire, why the hell do you want a grappling Warblade? Even if it works, it sucks ass, like most grappling. There are lots of things you can't do while grappling, like threaten squares, jump, fly, or charge, or have a Dexterity bonus to AC versus everyone you're not grappling. Freedom of Movement = grappling immunity and Teleport only requires verbal components. Maneuvers do not make grappling good. They just make any kind of attacking better. And grappling a shitty method of attacking, so why not just attack from superior reach as normal without nuking yourself and risking a pin?

Skip to the "If your DM rules initiating maneuvers in a grapple works without using the standard action to move so you can move, Yo dawg section" if you're already playing with house ruled grapple initiating and don't care about the possible debate.

"
Initiating maneuvers and stances:
To initiate a maneuver or stance, you must be able to move.
"
 Tome of Battle, page 38.

"
Grappling Consequences:

...

No Movement: You can’t move normally while grappling. You
may, however, make an opposed grapple check (see below) to move
while grappling.
"
Player's Handbook, page 156.

"
Concentration:

...

Enemy interference might make certain maneuvers
impossible to complete. For example, if an enemy who
readied an action to trip you when you started you turn
knocks you prone, you would not be able to use a maneuver
that required you to charge. Similarly, if you begin your
turn grappled or pinned, you might find that most of the
maneuvers available to you simply won't be of any use until
you get free.

"
Tome of Battle, page 39


The phrase "You must be able to move to initiate maneuvers and stances" combined with the phrase "No movement: You can't move normally while grappling" means ZERO initiating whatsoever while grappling.

But let's say you go "Alright, I'll just use the grapple option to move".

You need a successful grapple check to "move your opponent" so you "can move" to initiate, which costs a standard action, meaning zero ability to move your opponent and use another standard action to initiate a maneuver, meaning no maneuvers at all (unless you have standard actions laying around, Factotum 8, Belt of Battle, etc.). Which of course totally sucks ass.

The phrase "You might find most are unusable" nearly suggests some maneuvers can be used, because then there's a chance one of your maneuvers can be used. But that slight suggestion is negated by the above. To move initiate most attacking manuevers while grappling, you need two standard actions.

You can't cast spells with somatic components while in a grapple. So...? Maneuvers requiring movement is kind of like a spell with a somatic component requiring movement. And those don't work. Call that circumstantial evidence. Your DM might bring this up as a "Something similar works not, so your idea also works not".

If your DM rules initiating maneuvers in a grapple works without using the standard action to move so you can move, Yo dawg section:

It is way justified as a house rule. Hell, I'm sure most DMs don't even know enough about grappling to stop you. You can use all your attacks afforded by high BAB in a grapple even without a grapple check (nearly a full attack, no Rapid Shot, though), so eh. But no flying, charging, or jumping. You gotta stay connected to that orc-shaped anchor, no prancing about like a swordsage. You pansy.

To refresh warblade maneuvers, you must spend a swift action, and then make a melee attack or use a standard action to do nothing for the round. So making an attack with an unarmed strike, natural weapon, or light weapon inside a grapple would refresh your maneuvers. Pretty sure that part is legit. You can't use the full attack option by name, and you can use extra attacks granted by high BAB (I assume they were trying to dodge the "take a 5ft step" option of a full attack so people couldn't end a grapple or whatever). So no Rapid Shot.

While pinned, using a maneuver is impossible, because of the "You must be able to move" rule. Not even a slight wiggle room there. Not happenin'. So getting pinned sucks, same as normal.

Now can you use maneuvers while pinning? The only way it'd be possible is if you used his weapon against him (no other way to attack once you're pinning). Otherwise... You can attack with an unarmed strike, natural weapon, or light weapon while normally grappling (no successful grapple check required).

Wolverine Stance (Tome of battle, 3rd level Tiger Claw stance) will of course be useful. No -4 penalty for fighting while grappled, use one-handed weapons (meaning bigger damage dice), and +4 to damage if your grappling someone larger than you. Will be as useful as something else? I dunno. +4 accuracy and more damage is good. You're already focused on grappling.

The promised "Using swift action and move action maneuvers while grappling (more on that later) section:

Use the "Move your opponent" grapple option to "be able to move".

Then use a swift action or move action manuever. Like Sudden Leap (Tiger claw 1). Dropping your foe over a pit of lava takes 3 grapples checks (to start the grapple, then move your foe, and escape your foe). Use Cloak of Deception (Shadow hand 2) if possible (trade your move action for another swift action?) so it looks like telekinesis happened while you land in some bushes.

Then use One with Shadow (Shadow hand 8) to escape the grapple.

Or Shadow Stride (Shadow hand 5) / Shadow Blink (Shadow Hand 7) to escape.

There's of course White Raven Tactics, good as ever.

Basically, any boost or counter will work.

Sorry for late night posting.

- Sent from my iPhone.
« Last Edit: June 11, 2011, 08:40:42 AM by Saxony »
If I say something about real world physics, and someone disagrees, assume I am right 90% of the time. This number goes up to 100% if I am late night posting - trust me, my star dust sibs.

skydragonknight

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Re: Warblade Grappler
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2011, 09:43:55 AM »
It wouldn't be a pure Warblade I'm sure. It would likely to be a Black Blood Cultist with a couple Warblade maneuvers/stances from a dip, Like Wolverine Stance and one of the Mongooses.
It always seems like the barrels around here have something in them.

Endarire

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Re: Warblade Grappler
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2011, 08:08:29 AM »
One of my players is stuck on this idea.  I was curious how it would fare.  It sounded spiffy in the original sense; I'd never heard of it before.

I want it to work, and I understand just how icky it can be.
Hood - My first answer to all your build questions; past, present, and future.

Speaking of which:
Don't even need TO for this.  Any decent Hood build, especially one with Celerity, one-rounds [Azathoth, the most powerful greater deity from d20 Cthulu].
Does it bug anyone else that we've reached the point where characters who can obliterate a greater deity in one round are considered "decent?"

Saxony

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Re: Warblade Grappler
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2011, 08:30:44 AM »
One of my players is stuck on this idea.  I was curious how it would fare.  It sounded spiffy in the original sense; I'd never heard of it before.

I want it to work, and I understand just how icky it can be.
It's shit. It's grappling. Just with maneuvers. Don't think of it as maneuvers with grappling sprinkled on. You still need a good grapple check to avoid pinning, you still lose your Dex bonus to AC to everyone you aren't grappling, you still lose your threatened squares (good bye ALL battle field control), you still need to be either enormous or have some other way of getting a huge grapple check. Player characters are not enormous. Monsters are enormous.

Monsters win grapple fights. Players do not win grapple fights.

It's absolutely everything grappling normally is, but you just get a few better attack options to sprinkle in with your grappling.

It's grappling. It's shit.

It is interesting. Like a halfling multiclassed monk/barbarian is interesting. From a flavor standpoint. It sounds cool. But in terms of efficiency, it's shit.

I'm not going to put any more effort into this. And by the looks of things, no one else will help, either. Why would they? It's grappling. Those rules.... must not be named. And it sucks.

If you put together a build, show a little bit of effort, give some actual details, and present some of your own research I can build off, yeah, I might pitch. That's a big if. That's if you surprise me with a new cool idea, not some Warblade 20 build shooting itself in the foot by grappling. I really don't see amazement happening. I'd suggest not trying because, well, I just don't see a miracle happening.

I'd suggest letting your player down easy. No optimized results returned. House rules only. Etc. etc. Just ain't there.
If I say something about real world physics, and someone disagrees, assume I am right 90% of the time. This number goes up to 100% if I am late night posting - trust me, my star dust sibs.

Endarire

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Re: Warblade Grappler
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2011, 06:52:52 PM »
Thanks, though.

Too bad the best way to win fights for martial characters is "hit," and "hit harder."  Tripping seems like the only viable combat technique (tripping, grappling, disarming, etc).
Hood - My first answer to all your build questions; past, present, and future.

Speaking of which:
Don't even need TO for this.  Any decent Hood build, especially one with Celerity, one-rounds [Azathoth, the most powerful greater deity from d20 Cthulu].
Does it bug anyone else that we've reached the point where characters who can obliterate a greater deity in one round are considered "decent?"