Unarmed Combat And Grappling

See below for more details on what each maneuver does.

Overview of Unarmed Combat

Unarmed combat applies the Brawl Skill and usually inflicts bashing damage. Going unarmed into battle doesn’t have to put one at a disadvantage over opponents. Training in this style of combat can make your character fully capable of disabling others.

There is a variety of options possible in Brawl combat. The fundamentals available to anyone include punches, kicks and grapples. More versatile and even exotic maneuvers – throws, nerve pinches – are learned by studying the martial arts. See the Boxing and Kung Fu Fighting Style Merits (pp. 110 and 111) for examples of such training. The average guy on the street with no martial training can perform any of the following basics.

Unarmed Combat Maneuvers

Strike: A basic unarmed strike, a blow with the fist, knee, foot, or elbow. Roll Strength + Brawl without any bonus dice.

Bite: Your character’s teeth clamp down on a target. Roll Strength + Brawl + Bonus dice based on size of attackers jaw. For a human this is typically 0.

Grapple Rules

Grappling a Target

To grapple someone, roll Strength + Brawl to achieve a hold. The target’s Defense is subtracted from your attack pool as normal. If you get at least one success, your character has successfully grappled the target.

Breaking a Grapple

To break free of a grapple roll Strength + Brawl minus the attacker’s Strength. Any success rolled means breaking free of the grapple.

Performing an Overpowering Maneuver During a Grapple

An overpowering Maneuver is performed by either party in a grapple by rolling Strength + Brawl minus the other party’s Strength.

Overpowering Maneuvers

Render Opponent Prone – Both combatants fall to the ground. Either party must break the hold in order to stand up again on a subsequent turn. Rising is considered an action in a turn. If one combatant manages to rise, close combat attack rolls to hit the prone opponent gain a +2 bonus.

Damage Opponent – Successes achieved on the Maneuver roll are applied as bashing damage to the target.

Immobilize Opponent – The victims physical actions are restricted to breaking free (he cannot attempt any overpowering maneuvers of his own), although some supernatural abilities may still be usable.

In addition, the victim’s defense does not apply against attacks from opponents outside the grapple.

Once immobilized a target remains so from turn to turn until he breaks the hold. You do not need to make further overpower rolls from turn to turn to keep the victim immobilized. However your character can do nothing except maintain the hold. If you dedicated an action to any other effort, the target is no longer immobile. You are still grappled, but the you will need to reroll a successful overpower maneuver again in order to immobilize the target.

Breaking free of immobilization is handled as a contested action between grapples. The immobilized target rolls Strength + Brawl minus the attacker’s strength. Successes rolled are compared to those that were gained by the holder when he applied the immobilization maneuver. If more is gained, the hold is broken and the victim is free.

Draw Weapon – Drawing a weapon during grapple combat is considered an entire turn. The weapon has to be small, such as a knife or a small gun in order to be usable during grapple combat.

Attack with Drawn Weapon – An attack is made with a drawn weapon. Strength + Brawl is used to attack with the weapon regardless of the type of weapon. You do however gain the weapon’s bonus dice.

Turn a Drawn Weapon – If your opponent has a weapon drawn in grapple your character may turn it against the enemy. Your first turn is dedicated to gaining control of the weapon and turning it, Actions on subsequent turns are dedicated to successful attacks with the weapon.

If the opponent manages to regain control of the weapon after you have initially turned it towards him, he may not attack with it that turn. Thus control of a weapon in grapple can be wrestled back and forth between combatants.

Disarm Opponent – If you get one or more successes your character manages to pry an object from his opponent’s hand. Taking possession of the item is subsequent turns is considered the equivalent to drawing a weapon, see rules above. No damage is inflicted.

Use Opponent as Protection From Ranged Attacks – See concealment rules on page 162 in the main WoD book.

Grapples involving 3+ People

If multiple people seek to grapple a single target and they all get a hold, the target can try to break free of all holds simultaneously. Roll Strength + Brawl and subtract the highest Strength amonst all the grapplers, with an a additional penalty for each grappler after the first.

Downsides of Grappling

Grapplers lose the capacity to Dodge (See Dodge, page 156 of the main WoD book) and can perform only close-combat attacks. Ranged attacks are not allowed. Also see “Shooting into Close Combat” (WoD, p. 162) and “Autofire” (WoD, p. 160).

The “All-Out Attack” technique (WoD p. 157) cannot be used to attempt an overpowering maneuver or to break out of a grapple.

tldr; Grappling Summary

  • Roll Strength + Brawl – opponents Defense for attacker to get a grip on target.
  • Target’s next action can be dedicated to breaking free. Roll Strength + Brawl – attacker’s Strength. Any successes indicate breaking free. Or, the target can attempt to apply an overpowering maneuver to the attacker, participating in the grapple rather than trying to break free. Roll Strength + Brawl – attacker’s Strength. Any successes allow for a maneuver (see below).
  • If the attacker’s grip on the target persists, and he is free to do so, the attacker can try to apply an overpowering maneuver to the victim. Roll the attacker’s Strength + Brawl – opponent’s Strength. Any successes allow a maneuver (see below).
  • Possible maneuvers. Choose one:
    - Render opponent prone
    - Damage opponent
    - Immobilize opponent
    - Draw weapon
    - Attack with drawn weapon
    - Turn a drawn weapon
    - Disarm opponent
    - Use opponent as protection from ranged attacks
    Attempting to break free is always an option instead of performing an overpowering maneuver.

Unarmed Combat And Grappling

Bellevue World of Darkness DevlinBentley