We need rules for some basic combat maneuvers

Disarm, Grapple, Trip, Bull Rush.  These things need rules.  They can be simple, that's ok.  But asking every DM to house rule their own version of these is just asking for trouble.  I'm actually surprised that they didn't include these in their test of the core rules, but maybe they're testing what happens when they don't include them (they said as much when they talked about removing rules).

What's funny is that grappling is mentioned several times in the rules... just things that make it easier to escape, rather than how you actually escape.

I don't like having to house rule such basic actions... it just means someone's going to be unhappy with the rule, and then it's the rule-maker's fault.  I know that's part and parcel with being a DM, but seriously, no grapple or disarm rules?  Those are bread and butter D&D.  

Maybe they're not defining rules so people don't feel so restricted... if there's no rules, you can do anything, right?  if there's rules for grapple and disarm, but not trip, then you obviously can't trip, right?  I'm not sure I buy it, but I could at least understand that thought process.

I do remember 2nd edition being a lot more open ended about stuff people would try.  With 3e and 4e, pretty much no one ever tries anything not defined by a feat or power.

This actually reminds me of a quote from an actual player (granted, a fairly new one) during a 3.5 game:

"Running.... is that a feat, or can I just do that?" 
I disagree. I don't care at all for specific disarm and grapple rules. They are always terrible. I always house rule them. They were never needed in the first place.
They should at least provide rules for basic actions like tripping, charging, bullrushing, etc. Every DM is going to come with houserules for this stuff anyways, and I'm sure most of them will suck.

WotC, why should I pay for your ruleset if you expect me to come up with all the rules myself? I don't need rules for basketweaving or fishing and all that crap. I just want good functional combat and exploration rules. Is that too much to ask?
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I would like to see a rules module that includes special combat maneuvers in the final rulebook/PHB/DMG.  Houseruling is fine but I can do that on my own with the current version of D&D that I'm playing.  There are a lot of good ideas out there already for handling these... hoping that there are not a ton of Feats that deal with this type of Combat.... maybe make one that grant an Advantage on doing these types of moves, Call it "Versatile Myrmidon" or something flavorful... might go along with the "old school" flavor of this new iteration.
Do you really need rules for that.

Tripping Str V Dex
Disarm STR V STR
Bull Rush STR V STR
Grapple STR V DEX to initiate, grappled opponents DEX or STR, and training (escape artist) v Grappeler STR to break.


Why must you be told how to do something, do what makes sense in the world based on the core of the game.
Don't assume; I never said "I" needed rules for that... I said I would like to see them in a module in the final version of the rules.  I have played all versions of D&D since 1983, DMed all but 4E: I don't need to be told how to do something in the game, any version.  The main reason I would like to see this in the final rules is that not everyone who will be playing the new D&D game will be a veteran player/DM and they might also be young, as in like 9 or 10 years old.  Abstract thinking at that age doesn't come as easily, at least from the kids I know...

Also, you didn't mention Sundering an item or Weapon.  And I would think a Disarm attempt would be STR vs DEX, just my 2CP.
Do you really need rules for that.

Tripping Str V Dex
Disarm STR V STR
Bull Rush STR V STR
Grapple STR V DEX to initiate, grappled opponents DEX or STR, and training (escape artist) v Grappeler STR to break.

Why must you be told how to do something, do what makes sense in the world based on the core of the game.



Because the rules matter for a number of different things: how viable the manuever is, how balanced it is, what kinds of mechanical effects it produces, etc. To take an example, Bull Rush - how many squares can I push an opponent with a successful Bull Rush? Given the current lack of AOO, Bull Rush might not be viable if you can only push the subject back by 5-10 feet or 1-2 squares. Does Bull Rush give me disadvantage or give advantage to my opponent? To take another, Sunder. How difficult is it to break an enemy's weapon or armor? If it's really easy, then you run the risk of the Fighter turning an elite boss with artefact armor who you're supposed to wear down into a cakewalk. If it's too hard, players aren't going to use the option. 

Freeform has its merits, but there's a reason that roleplaying advanced beyond cops vs. robbers. At a certain point, there needs to be a way to resolve whether I totally shot you or whether you totally had a forcefield up.  
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I don't want sunder to ever see the light of day again. While technically a sound maneuver, there isn't any real reason for a monster to NOT sunder a PCs armor/weapon, and that can get lame real fast. Breaking down doors and destroying objects don't need complicated rules. If you have a proper tool (axe to chop through a wooden door, hammer to smash an object, etc), assume it takes X amount of time, DM discretion. An improvised tool would adjust the time it would take.

I agree there needs to be a core set of maneuvers, such as trip (prone), disarm (disadvantaged next turn), and grab (both you and target are immobilized until your next turn). Positioning maneuvers aren't terribly useful if you aren't using a grid or similar. What does a bull rush do in a gridless system?

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I don't want sunder to ever see the light of day again. While technically a sound maneuver, there isn't any real reason for a monster to NOT sunder a PCs armor/weapon, and that can get lame real fast.



What if you had specific things that could only be done on a critical hit like sunder?

I agree there needs to be a core set of maneuvers, such as trip (prone), disarm (disadvantaged next turn), and grab (both you and target are immobilized until your next turn). Positioning maneuvers aren't terribly useful if you aren't using a grid or similar. What does a bull rush do in a gridless system?



I wouldn't mind a list of maneuvers and their effect. Just keep them simple.

I'm with Alynn on this. The contest rules seem to be the simplest solution to apply to these situations. As for sundering a weapon I would say non-magical weeapons/armor can be sundered only by magical weapons/armor and those of magical nature are sundered by other magical equipment with higher plusses ie a +1 sword can be sundered by a +2 sword ect. Although then we would need defined saving throws for items and with the current system of saves they would likely be Str based.

I see no problem house ruling these at the time since usually after a session my group tends to discuss the merrits of said house rules and come to an agreement that all are happy with. This is something we did back in 1e/2e, DM house ruled something and after the session we hammer it out and polish it up for use in the future. I feel though as far as core goes some clarification on which abilities are suitable for what contests and a short list of actions and their corrisponding ability contests would be handy as a guidline. 

What I don't want to see is overly complicated rules for interesting combat actions that make players shy away from attempting them. Ability Contests in my oppinion solve the issue quite handedly as they are simple and effective. With the proper amount of clarification defining these, the system can go quite far.
Do you really need rules for that.

Tripping Str V Dex
Disarm STR V STR
Bull Rush STR V STR
Grapple STR V DEX to initiate, grappled opponents DEX or STR, and training (escape artist) v Grappeler STR to break.

Why must you be told how to do something, do what makes sense in the world based on the core of the game.



Because the rules matter for a number of different things: how viable the manuever is, how balanced it is, what kinds of mechanical effects it produces, etc. To take an example, Bull Rush - how many squares can I push an opponent with a successful Bull Rush? Given the current lack of AOO, Bull Rush might not be viable if you can only push the subject back by 5-10 feet or 1-2 squares. Does Bull Rush give me disadvantage or give advantage to my opponent? To take another, Sunder. How difficult is it to break an enemy's weapon or armor? If it's really easy, then you run the risk of the Fighter turning an elite boss with artefact armor who you're supposed to wear down into a cakewalk. If it's too hard, players aren't going to use the option. 

Freeform has its merits, but there's a reason that roleplaying advanced beyond cops vs. robbers. At a certain point, there needs to be a way to resolve whether I totally shot you or whether you totally had a forcefield up.  




This is my main fear and why I just would like a few combat manevuers playtested and included.

I went for 3E to 1E/2E to 4E. And during the 1E/2E years, Both DMs had terribad houseruled combat manevuers.

One made them to complicated.
The other made them impossible to succeed.

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Do you really need rules for that.

Tripping Str V Dex
Disarm STR V STR
Bull Rush STR V STR
Grapple STR V DEX to initiate, grappled opponents DEX or STR, and training (escape artist) v Grappeler STR to break.

Why must you be told how to do something, do what makes sense in the world based on the core of the game.



Because the rules matter for a number of different things: how viable the manuever is, how balanced it is, what kinds of mechanical effects it produces, etc. To take an example, Bull Rush - how many squares can I push an opponent with a successful Bull Rush? Given the current lack of AOO, Bull Rush might not be viable if you can only push the subject back by 5-10 feet or 1-2 squares. Does Bull Rush give me disadvantage or give advantage to my opponent? To take another, Sunder. How difficult is it to break an enemy's weapon or armor? If it's really easy, then you run the risk of the Fighter turning an elite boss with artefact armor who you're supposed to wear down into a cakewalk. If it's too hard, players aren't going to use the option. 

Freeform has its merits, but there's a reason that roleplaying advanced beyond cops vs. robbers. At a certain point, there needs to be a way to resolve whether I totally shot you or whether you totally had a forcefield up.  



I would want these rules covered in the "tactical combat" rules module, but not the core; at least the versions you're talking about, Vikingkingq, involving forced movement.

I think the core should just give these as examples of Contests; but I don't want the core to give specific ability examples, for the reason shown above (one person thinks disarm is STR vs STR, another thinks it should be STR vs DEX).

Guide the DM in choosing which abilities to use for the Contest (a finesse combatant would use DEX to either disarm or defend against a disarm, where a strength-based combatant would use STR for either).

I concur in general, further options for combat are necessary, and opposed rolls would be the best way to do things. Not only are the options included here nice, but I would like to see more. I liked fighting defensively in 3.5, power attacking, etc. Especially with one feat (whose name I forgot, but let you sac armor for to hit) as a fighter I loved sliding around what I was doing.

It felt like a medieval version of star wars, 'all power to the shields' type combat.

Rules for feinting, aiming, or even more effects would be great.  Naturally, my players wanted to drop some platinum/electrum down in the local bar, antagonizing the locals into a brawl. Here the RAW failed me, and there was plenty of adjucating happening. Rules for nonlethal damage, blinding people with drinks, grappling, tackling, tripping all came up, and though it flowed smoothly enough, it can be frustrating as a player to rely on the DM to come up with fair rules.

As a side note, these effects are where they can also give the fighter a place to shine.  As it was a 'safe' fight, and people were more interested in roleplaying the brawl than defeating their foes, I had no issues with allocating advantage quite liberally, particularly to the fighter. Giving him a bonus on these alternate effects let the player, in their words, 'feel like I'm the best at fighting.' Which, in a brawl, I think is right...

TLDR- more options for combat are a great idea.
'That's just, like, your opinion, man.'
Do you really need rules for that.

Tripping Str V Dex
Disarm STR V STR
Bull Rush STR V STR
Grapple STR V DEX to initiate, grappled opponents DEX or STR, and training (escape artist) v Grappeler STR to break.

Why must you be told how to do something, do what makes sense in the world based on the core of the game.



Why?  Because I disagree with every single one of the above houserules, except maybe Bull Rush.  So if I was a player in your game, I'd feel really disappointed that we had to use your house rules instead of rules made by WoTC.  If they were rules defined by WoTC, at least I would know they had been playtested, and hopefully balanced.
"you" as I used it was non-directional. I really need to shift myself into academic mode and start using One.

"Why does one need those rules."

As it currently stands those aren't house rules. Those are judgements made within the rules framework. They may set precidence, but it depends on the naritive. It encourages player/DM interaction.

Player: I grapple him.
DM: How?
P: I grab him in a bear hug to immobilize his arms.
DM: Ok, Strength check versus his Dex to see if he can wriggle free before you can get a good grip.

or

P: I grapple him
DM: How?
P: I weigh more than him so I want to force him to the ground and lay on top of him.
DM: Ok your strength versus his strength to see if he can resist you trying to force him to the ground.

If one thinks within the framework of the world, one can make a quick judgement call on anything any player wants to do based solely on the ability scores.
WotC should make these basic options as core rules to find a good balance to them and make them worth the effort. If a DM wants to just go with the simple ability check stuff and ignore the core rule on that action, easy enough. Better to have a rule you can ignore than to have none and each DM makes it up. 

Each such maneuver should be designed in such a way as to be: simple as possible (but not too simple where you lose balance or usefulness or feel), balanced with the other game elements so the maneuver is not trivial to succeed at or not impossible, and it should have some meaningful effect in the contect of the game, so it does not totally suck (and thus never get used or worse be a trap option taken by noobs who end up wasting their action on it) or totally break the game.

This is why WotC needs to address these things. This is why we bother buying their rules and not just make our own. If a DM wants to go with a simple approach, they can easily ignore these and house rule them. So it is best, IMO, for WotC to err on the side of too many rules than not enough. They can just say that you need not use this rule as written, but it should be provided. They can even put them in a module if they think they should be left out of the core.

For example, if Grapple is just immobilize the target, and it requires a simple Str vs. Str, then since most mobs (especially large ones) will be stronger than a PC, this will have a low success rate. Furthermore, it takes up your action, and deals no damage. Then, is immobilize really that useful in combat to basically attempt this move, which if you just use Str vs. Str likley fails more than succeeds, knowing you deal no damage and just immobilze the foe. Furthermore, can the foe break free with a move action, making your action even less useful. Without some good thought into things like this, you end up with system that a player like myself cannot get engaged in because there is too much swinginess to the outcomes and these options become waste of actions/traps and end up being ignored, when they could have been made into useful, engaging, and fun options if some work was done on balancing them in the context of the rest of the game.
Do you really need rules for that.

Tripping Str V Dex
Disarm STR V STR
Bull Rush STR V STR
Grapple STR V DEX to initiate, grappled opponents DEX or STR, and training (escape artist) v Grappeler STR to break.

Why must you be told how to do something, do what makes sense in the world based on the core of the game.



Why?  Because I disagree with every single one of the above houserules, except maybe Bull Rush.  So if I was a player in your game, I'd feel really disappointed that we had to use your house rules instead of rules made by WoTC.  If they were rules defined by WoTC, at least I would know they had been playtested, and hopefully balanced.

I figured part of the point of simplifying things to attribute roll was SPECIFICALLY so you could use these obvious contested rolls without needing specific rules for every little thing. Too many rules was definitely one of 3.5E's problems. (See: rules compendium) 
Question, though: Why do you disagree with those examples? (I mean, I would go dex vs. dex or str for... well, a lot of them. maybe dex vs str or str vs str on trip) but that's easy enough to negotiate on the table, it's trivial. 
Without some good thought into things like this, you end up with system that a player like myself cannot get engaged in because there is too much swinginess to the outcomes and these options become waste of actions/traps and end up being ignored, when they could have been made into useful, engaging, and fun options if some work was done on balancing them in the context of the rest of the game.




I have a hard time understanding why not having a rule for everything is so difficult or objectionable for some. For me I can see the fun of playing with group A who use house rule X for grappling and then two weeks later playing with
group B who use a completely different house rule, or perhaps just an ability check. It would create an opportunity for
discussion, and an opportunity to try something different.


Of course the main reasons not to have too many rules in the core is to keep it light, simple, quick, easily learned, easily mastered, and to keep combat from monopolizing the playing time.


I agree with you though on publishing optional or advanced rules for grappling and a sundry of other things. Just make it so that we can easily and seamlessly transition between the modules at anytime. I would like to play in the core rules most of the time and then switch to the advanced combat rules for special sessions of play.

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I considered these all contest rolls, though some simple guidance would be helpful.
I disagree. I don't care at all for specific disarm and grapple rules. They are always terrible. I always house rule them. They were never needed in the first place.



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a good list of example improvised actions would be nice.
so you have guidlines this should help make the game more consistant between difrent gaming groups.


Strength should not necessarily be the go-to stat for all those maneuvers. I could easily see a mental stat being used instead of strength for tripping and disarming. Bull rush I admit would probably be primarily strength, but grappling could also include other stats, based on the exact "how" you are going about it. Look at some martial art videos, where you see skinny little guys constantly tripping guys twice their size. So much of that is not dependant on strength.

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Because the rules matter for a number of different things: how viable the manuever is, how balanced it is, what kinds of mechanical effects it produces, etc. To take an example, Bull Rush - how many squares can I push an opponent with a successful Bull Rush? Given the current lack of AOO, Bull Rush might not be viable if you can only push the subject back by 5-10 feet or 1-2 squares. Does Bull Rush give me disadvantage or give advantage to my opponent? To take another, Sunder. How difficult is it to break an enemy's weapon or armor? If it's really easy, then you run the risk of the Fighter turning an elite boss with artefact armor who you're supposed to wear down into a cakewalk. If it's too hard, players aren't going to use the option. 

Freeform has its merits, but there's a reason that roleplaying advanced beyond cops vs. robbers. At a certain point, there needs to be a way to resolve whether I totally shot you or whether you totally had a forcefield up.  




I would want these rules covered in the "tactical combat" rules module, but not the core; at least the versions you're talking about, Vikingkingq, involving forced movement.



Why would you not want them in the Core? These are basic things people do in hand-to-hand combat. 

And these rules are about much more than forced movement. A player disarms a monster...there needs to be some standard about how long it takes to pick up a sword off the ground, and whether bending over to pick it up and/or not having a sword to parry with makes it easier to hit them. The same thing goes for the player trying to cut their armor off or knock them over the head and stun them or feint to draw them out of position.
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Strength should not necessarily be the go-to stat for all those maneuvers. I could easily see a mental stat being used instead of strength for tripping and disarming. Bull rush I admit would probably be primarily strength, but grappling could also include other stats, based on the exact "how" you are going about it. Look at some martial art videos, where you see skinny little guys constantly tripping guys twice their size. So much of that is not dependant on strength.



It would be very odd if Feint had nothing to do with Dexterity. 

 
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Strength should not necessarily be the go-to stat for all those maneuvers. I could easily see a mental stat being used instead of strength for tripping and disarming. Bull rush I admit would probably be primarily strength, but grappling could also include other stats, based on the exact "how" you are going about it. Look at some martial art videos, where you see skinny little guys constantly tripping guys twice their size. So much of that is not dependant on strength.



It would be very odd if Feint had nothing to do with Dexterity.

Not odd at all. A feint is a bluff, so I would say it would far more to do with charisma than dexterity. Dex is more for muscle memory maneuvers, like parry, dodge, and disarm/riposte.

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Strength should not necessarily be the go-to stat for all those maneuvers. I could easily see a mental stat being used instead of strength for tripping and disarming. Bull rush I admit would probably be primarily strength, but grappling could also include other stats, based on the exact "how" you are going about it. Look at some martial art videos, where you see skinny little guys constantly tripping guys twice their size. So much of that is not dependant on strength.



It would be very odd if Feint had nothing to do with Dexterity.

Not odd at all. A feint is a bluff, so I would say it would far more to do with charisma than dexterity. Dex is more for muscle memory maneuvers, like parry, dodge, and disarm/riposte.




A feint isn't a bluff in the normal sense; it's a deceptive movement in which you begin an attack from one direction in order to get the enemy to parry from that direction, then switch half-way through to attack from another direction.

It requires physical dexterity and speed, not strength of personality. 

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a)We need rules for clarity!

b)No we don't we can make them up!

c)why would I play a game that I have to make up?

d)why not have more rules then we can ignore them?



a)there are basic rules for contests and saves, but rules or guidelines for things like bullrush and sunder may be worthwhile for those who are new to the game or want clarity.

b)Yeup, that's what contests and saves and checks are for, but ambiguity can lead to long arguments at some tables.

c)its a role playing game, its kinda the point to be making stuff up... but clarity can be useful.

d)because you will have more lawyering and rule mongering/abusing the more rules you have.

conclusion: Clarity would be good, particularly for objects and forced movement.  I think there should probably a guideline section for things such as these like, should objects they have no independant saves? or should they be a function of the person attending them? and somewhat for forced movement but really I think that would be a function of your level of success on a contest.  Things like: if I disarm/bullrush someone by 5+ it goes +5ft.  The problem with hard and fast rules is that a lot of people can't ignore them, they get caught up in these rules and can't see the game for the dice.  I personally have had more problems with players lobbying for RAW and spending much time flipping through pages for rules than I've ever had with adjudication.
I would err on the side of the player, you have a Dex using rogue attempting a trip you let him use his Dex (and encourage a nice discription).  On the other hand a big strong figher using a trip would ping of their Str with hopefully a completely different discription. (Rogue spinning takedown vs. Fighters brutal shove both end up hopefully with the enemy on the ground).  That being said, ideas or examples of what happens (how many feet, what happens when they are down) would be helpful.
Once you establish some simple combat maneuvers, like:

1- Shove (Push 1)
2 - Trip (Prone)
2 - Grab (Immobilize)
3 - Flip/Throw (Push 1 and Prone)
3 - Feint (gain Advantage on Next Attack)
4 - Pin (Prone and Immobilize)
4 - Disarm (Weapon users Attack with Disadvantage or deal Half Damage - Disarmer's Choice - Until End of Next Turn)
7 - Dirty Fighting (Dazed - save ends)
7 - Sand in Eyes (Blinded -  save ends)
8 - Called Shot (Attack is an Auto Critical if it Hits - if you actually roll a normal Crit you may pick any other Maneuver of Cost 4 or less)
10 - Head Shot (Stunned - save ends)

The number in front is their Maneuver Cost (this would need to be balanced, these are just my first rough guess)

Just allow them to be used with a Basic Attack, but you suffer a penalty to the attack roll equal to the Maneuver Costs you want to apply to that attack. To keep the game fast, just allow an attacker to only pick one Maneuver per attack (you can create new more complex ones if needed).

Then the Fighter can have some class benefit that reduces the penalty from using Maneuvers by 1, increasing this reduction by 1 more for each X levels. Perhaps certain Maneuvers are not open to all at first and only the the Fighter.

This avoids the need for a separate skill check for these maneuvers (skill checks would be reserved for things not covered already by these rules) and still allows the user to attack while using them. It reduces the die roll to 1 attack roll just adjusted by the Maneuver Cost. 

Themes and feats could give reduction in penalties to certain of these for example. So could certain weapons, like a Rapier might reduce the Disarm Cost by 1. A Shield Expert (feat?) might reduce the Push, Feint and Pin Costs by 1 (making Push a free add on to any Basic Attack).  
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