In Dungeons the Dragoning, each sword school provides an action type (generally only one) that can then be used as the basis of a maneuver. When grappling, if you are not in control of the grapple, the only thing you can do is try to escape or gain control. Maintaining control requires a full-round action. Successfully doing so allows one of a relatively short list of follow-up actions, none of which appear (so far as I can tell) to be unlocked as the basis for core rules sword school maneuvers. Successfully gaining control just yields the same set of available actions.

At the same time, the Setting Sun sword school has an optional (-2) drawback of "may only be used while grappling". It seems that this implies that it should be possible to use sword school maneuvers in some fashion while in a grapple. How can this be done?

Note that this question is specifically about the rules in the core books - Dungeons the Dragoning and For a Few Subtitles More. I'm not looking for solutions from homebrew.


1 Answer 1


From page 176 of the Dungeons the Dragoning 1.6 core book:

At the first level of any sword school, a martial adept gains access to the Universal Advantages and Restrictions, and may use Standard Attack actions to build Special Attacks. These represent the basic training and universal abilities that all adepts can access.

So every sword school allows building a special attack that may be used whenever you can use a Standard Attack (as well as whatever other options the specific school provides). Then, from page 246:

The controller of a grapple must spend a full action every turn to maintain this grapple. If she doesn't, the grapple immediately ends. She may then make an opposed strength Test. If she succeeds, she may take one of the following actions:

Attack with Weapon: The controller of the grapple can attempt to damage the opponent with your fists or a held weapon. The opponent cannot make any reactions to this attack. Roll damage normally. You cannot use weapons that require both hands in a grapple.

So the question then becomes whether this action can be considered a Standard Attack. The rules text does not explicitly call it a Standard Attack, so that's as far as rules-as-written analysis can take us. I think the intent is clear that it should be treated as one, and that's how we played it at my table. The alternative is that the Setting Sun grapple-only restriction is a dead rule with no practical use.


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