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I can't find anywhere stating when I can use my rope skill to tie someone up.

I know it's obvious that if they're incapacitated I should question this but I'm wondering if, after I trip them and they're prone, I can do a rope check on them.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I'd rule that as a no, not directly. Even though a character/monster may be prone, that doesn't mean he can't defend himself. Prone creatures may even attack in melee (with some difficulty) or cast spells if they have one empty hand.

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/conditionSummary.htm#prone

Therefore I don't think one would be able to simple tie a prone character with a rope, at least easily.

You could probably offer the prone creature an opportunity attack (seems appropriate as the prone creature is probably armed while the rope user holds only a rope with his hands) as the rope-user attempts a grapple or melee touch attack the victim and then allow them a Use rope check to tie the target with a DC of your choice (presumably rather high or opposed by an escape artist check from the prone creature.)

In that way you do allow the player a chance of performing the desired task mid-combat against a merely prone target, with a certain amount of risk involved though, which seems perfectly fair to me considering the advantages of having someone restricted in that way.

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Note that Use Rope has an action of one minute to bind a character, meaning you'd (technically, RAW) need to have them prone for ten rounds. –  AceCalhoon Feb 2 '12 at 13:55
    
That would be when you need to secure someone. The reason I recommend a rather high DC/challenge is because of how the rope-user attempts to restrict the target swiftly, in such a manner that he can then proceed to a proper bondage. I can imagine a rope expert doing that in one round with some luck and skill ;) –  Eldebryn Feb 2 '12 at 14:07
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Agree with the "no". -1 because the suggested fix isn't right according to the RAW, and I don't think granting an AOO is sufficiently penalizing to the rope-using player. At a minimum, the opponent should have to be pinned using the grapple rules. –  RMorrisey Feb 2 '12 at 15:31
    
I did mention use of grapple checks actually along with difficult skill checks. You say that in RAW it's 10 rounds, strictly, yet I see little point in whether the target is pinned down for 1 round, 10 rounds or 10 minutes. If he is conscious and perfectly functional it should still take about the same effort. –  Eldebryn Feb 2 '12 at 16:33

I would argue that you cannot tie someone up after just tripping them. You would need to wrestle them into some sort of pin, and while Character A maintains the pin, Character B does the hog-tying. Not sure which version you are playing, but at least in Pathfinder, there are rules to go from a trip to a pin.

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According to the RAW, the character must be pinned for 10 rounds while you tie him. See the grapple rules.

As a DM, I would probably house-rule to reduce the time if a second character maintained the pin while the first one did the tying. In a non-combat situation, I could see waiving the multiple escape checks that a character would normally get.

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