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I've heard horror stories about various methods of resolving grappling attacks, and I've been in situations like that before. The grappling system in many games is so broken it's a long-running joke. A big joke.

I was wondering if there was an official patch for 2nd edition AD&D that improves the system — I don't think so, but If there is, it'd be perfect.

Failing that, can anyone recommend a different house-ruled system? Ideally it'd be for 2nd edition, but anything usable that is balanced and quick would be good.

I'm keen for a variety of ideas, so any system that fits these guidelines, even if it's not D&D, would be appreciated (though less than ideal).

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Also, this is exactly what I want to avoid. – Dakeyras Nov 28 '12 at 20:39
It became a joke because of 3e. It wasn't a long-running joke before that. What problems have you had with the 2e system? As I recall it is quite easy to use, and no more complex than any other combat rules. Have you used it yet? – SevenSidedDie Nov 30 '12 at 1:04
@SevenSidedDie I have had combat stall when one person says "I grab the enemy fighter to stop him using his 2-handed sword" and we spend 10 minutes using various dice and tables for action in one round. – Dakeyras Nov 30 '12 at 14:44
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In our AD&D 2e we use an opposed strength roll, followed by an opposed Str or Dex roll each subsequent round to maintain the grapple--which ever makes sense.

  1. move to the character you are trying to grapple (if needed)
  2. spend a round doing an opposed strength roll to successfully grapple the opponent -if you tie the characters are locked together struggling and can't do anything else
  3. once grappled, keep doing an opposed roll on each of the grappled character's initiatives to determine if they break free, in some cases strength might be the appropriate roll in others Dex might be right (ex if you are grappling a child who is trying to runaway they might be more squirmy than brutally strong).

This method doesn't account for if the character is trying to choke/inflict damage the grappled person, just hold them.

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I sketched out (and I mean sketched--there's plenty of room for interpretation and embellishment) a simple set of house rules for 1e, Basic Edition, and retro-clones here. It should be applicable to 2e as well.

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