If one of my allies has grappled one of my enemies, do I get any bonus to attack this enemy? It does not say so in the rules, but surely it must be easier to hit an entangled foe than a free one...?


Yes and no.

You do not get any special bonus for attacking a grappled enemy, but you get at least a +1 gang-up bonus due to your ally being adjacent to your enemy. Additionally, you will (probably) get an additional +2 bonus for attacking an Unarmed Defender, because a grappled foe is considered unarmed (unless they have some special edge like Martial Artist).

So in most cases you will get at least a +3 bonus, almost the difference between a hit and a raise. Not bad, uh? ;-)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Why would a grappled foe be considered an Unarmed Defender? I don't see that listed in either the Grappling or the Unarmed Defender section. \$\endgroup\$ – Thunderforge Aug 29 '13 at 19:07
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    \$\begingroup\$ See here: peginc.com/forum/… \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Aug 30 '13 at 12:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why the downvote? Is the answer incorrect or not clear? \$\endgroup\$ – sergut Aug 30 '13 at 16:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @sergut The problem is that Clint was suggesting a possible situational ruling that a grappled character might count as unarmed, but he did not say it is a rule or that it is always true. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Aug 30 '13 at 17:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I downvoted because the answer is incorrect, at least how I interpret the rules. I agree with SevenSidedDie; Clint says that it could be applied, not that it is always applied. \$\endgroup\$ – Thunderforge Aug 30 '13 at 19:58

Easier than what, attacking in normal melee with one ally? You still get the +1 Gang Up Bonus, but unless a situation grants an Unarmed Defender (it isn't always the case), you do not get that bonus.

It is easier to hit an entangled foe than a free one, but it's also easier to hit the entangler, who is presumably your ally and therefore you want to restrain yourself from hitting them. So the short answer is that it's a wash and therefore no easier to attack a grappled character than a character in normal melee with an ally.

Now for the long answer. In Savage Worlds, there is no mechanical benefit to attacking a restrained character; the attacker does not receive a bonus and the defender has the same Parry. Narratively, this would be because even in a headlock, the defender might still be able to wave their weapon around, kick, turn so that the grappler is temporarily facing the potential attacker, etc.

What about the grappled character having his arms tied? You won't find an answer in the book, but the official ruling is that the siutation may sometimes result in the grappled character becoming an Unarmed Defender, resulting in a -2 Parry. If the grappled character is using a flail, they can't do much with it if their arms are restrained, so I think that Unarmed Defender should be granted. If they are holding a bastard sword in their hand, I can't see them being an Unarmed Defender because there's a giant pointy thing between them and any other melee attackers.

You also deal with the typical effects of attacking an enemy with an ally in melee. This means that if you are making a melee attack, you still get a +1 Gang Up bonus for having an ally adjacent to your target. It also means that if you are making a ranged attack, you risk shooting your allies because of the Firing Into Melee rules.

Note that of course the GM could certainly adjudicate that extenuating circumstances grant a bonus (or penalty) to attacking a grappled character.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ "...rules do not state that grappling turns the character into an Unarmed Defender", but it has been confirmed in the official forums several times. See rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/28381/…. \$\endgroup\$ – sergut Aug 30 '13 at 16:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @sergut I disagree with your interpretation of the official forum posts. Clint seems to be saying it's situational, not that it always happens. \$\endgroup\$ – Thunderforge Aug 30 '13 at 18:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Easier than what?". I meant easier than attacking a non-grappled character. I am not a native speaker so I am happy to make the question more explicit if you think it is ambiguous. \$\endgroup\$ – sergut Aug 31 '13 at 12:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ @sergut Your English is great, so no worries there! The reason I said "Easier than what?" was to clarify what we were comparing to. It is misleading to say that attacking a grappled character is easier because it gives you a +1 Gang Up bonus if we are comparing to attacking a character in melee with an adjacent ally because they also get a +1 Gang Up bonus. So it isn't "easier", at least for that reason, because you get the same bonus either way. \$\endgroup\$ – Thunderforge Aug 31 '13 at 15:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the clarification. I understand your point better now. :-) \$\endgroup\$ – sergut Sep 2 '13 at 9:56

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