I'm DMing a paperless campaign loosely based on the d&d 3.5 ruleset. One of my players wanted to play a wrestler (a la Hulk Hogan). As of now I've been winging it but, even through this particular campaign is perfectly suited to it since they gave me full control and discretion of how the rules work, I'm wondering if there are any rules I could use to be more accurate on what can be done, how much probability of success is there, how lasting and/or severe the effects are, and so on.

Anything applicable to d&d 3.0, 3.5 or pathfinder is perfectly acceptable, official or homebrew. Thanks!

  • \$\begingroup\$ I've always considered grappling to be the summation of wrestling moves in combat, but it is an interesting thought. \$\endgroup\$
    – BBlake
    Mar 6 '12 at 1:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BBlake the grappling rules don't consider things like special moves (how to do a suplex, for example?), breaking/disjointing bones, choking your opponent (either to death or unconsciusness), etc. I also don't know much about wrestling myself :P so I usually don't know what else I'm missing until my player tries to do it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yandros
    Mar 6 '12 at 1:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not really an answer, but play a couple of hours of Dwarf Fortress: Adventure Mode with a wrestler for ideas. \$\endgroup\$
    – C. Ross
    Mar 7 '12 at 14:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, just reading the wiki article gave me some ideas. Good stuff. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yandros
    Mar 8 '12 at 1:13

There are the grapple rules from Races of War:

Advanced combat is a somewhat disingenuous name, as it implies that these rules are more complex than the "basic" rules found in the PHB. In truth, some of them are and some are not. Mostly, we look at these rules as a revision of the existing rules to make them more useful to players and DMs. In part that means taking incomprehensible portions of the combat system (grapple, for example), and cutting them down into discrete actions people can actually use without a half-hour argument. Partly this means taking basic combat actions and making sure that they have a valid purpose at all levels of play.


Grapple is collectively 3 separate maneuvers that all fall under the super-heading of "grappling". Any grapple attempt provokes an attack of opportunity unless your attack has the edge.

These three manoeuvres are: grab on, Hold down, and lift. When combined with the Tome of Battle manoeuvres that provide for some fairly judo/akido like moves, you should have a fairly straightforward martial arts system. You may also want to look at the Tome of Tactics (homebrew) or the Cthonic Serpent homebrew school or 8 more lesser disciplines. They all offer "grapple" mechanics or powers that should, if synergized, offer an appropriate milieu for your wrestler.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not really interested in throwing moves, but wrestling/submission. the RoW rules aren't very different from standard grapple actions, and the Cthonic Serpent relies on "soft" weapons for what it does. The Giant's Grip discipline in the ToT, however, interests me greatly. I'll read it in detail tomorrow. \$\endgroup\$
    – Yandros
    Mar 6 '12 at 4:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay, so in the end I ended up homebrewing some monk/warblade/swordsage hybrid with Giant's Grip and Stone Dragon as the disciplines with the option of using a maneuver or stance from another discipline as long as it has to do with grappling. Helped balance things nicely, what with the campaign being over-the-top powergaming (over tier 1!) \$\endgroup\$
    – Yandros
    Mar 8 '12 at 1:18

There are rules about constricting an opponent, thus dealing damage, of which a rather general description can be found here.

Also, from Pathfinder, there are some feats that enable a grappler (mostly a monk, but can be reflavored/tweeked to match a wrestler. Look for the feats under Improved Grapple, which is itself under the Improved Unarmed Strike. Here they are.

Lastly, from Tome of Battle, the Stone Dragon discipline has one or two constricting stances that you could give to your player, and the Setting Sun have many throws.

Now, from a homebrew point of view, check out Tome of Battle and the feats i pointed out before, and mod them with the help of your player so they reflect a more "grapply" mindset. It will be lots of work i asume, but will probably save you from improvising rules, conditions and modifiers for when your player says "i will Tombstone Pilledrive you, Undertaker style!".


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