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Grappling and martial arts
Make grappling a martial arts skill?

On the town hall thread, I saw "How do we make Martial Arts less bad?" and "How do we make grappling less good?"

Would it be a bad idea to tie grappling to Martial Arts?

Currently it takes zero combat skill to grapple someone. I think it's a little silly, because some scientists, deckers, and journalists can pretty much kidnap/murder someone else without knowing anything about fighting.

Moving sleepers and @trust to grapple can still be auto-successes.

Feel free to neg this into the pit as someone who doesn't know what she's talking about. 😛

It could be an idea because one of the weak points of martial arts is the associated weapon you can use with it is extremely large, unwieldy and straight up socially unacceptable for most people or in most cases, at least topside, and still kind of a liability otherwise, so if you want to not block knives with your -arms- Martial Arts isn't a great pick.

But then, if we run with this idea a balance could be established where Brawling is preferential for blocking (taken from Boxing this is very nice) while martial arts (many of them grapple-based) provide an advantage/better defense against grapples.

I'm into this, though likely more in a defense way than outright requiring it to execute the grapple.

On the note of martial arts weapons, I really do wish there were more options than the frankly boring option at the moment, even if they are identical stat wise but aesthetically different.

But adding more utility to martial arts would be great, I totally support this. It does seem weird when you have people min-maxing into firearms with no unarmed capability, yet they can still grapple people exceptionally despite unarmed skill and grappling being tied together IRL.

Thinking further on it, I think one might ostensibly add a 'reverse' command executable while grappled, in addition to 'resist'. Reverse would be executed via the Martial Arts skill and puts one in control of the grapple. Possibly a 'throw' command could also be added, for those that don't want to take control of the grapple but slip free in a way more advantageous than 'resist' and maybe deal a hit of damage to the opponent as a result, also enabled via (even higher?) Martial Arts.
Grappling being related to either MA or brawling is a no brainer. Not only would it stop non-combat characters doing it, but also give a nice, viable option for unarmed combatants to fight armed ones. How do you fight someone with a gun? You make sure they cant use it.

And weapon variants should be a thing, with minor or no differences, since as far as I know only firearms have this, and not a whole lot. I still want weapon mods for all weapon types. I wanted to make an ideas thread the other day about adding some complexity to weapons, with quality values, durability and other effects, but I imagine it'll get dismissed as too intrusive. It is strange how forearms have all these things with maintenance, snipingg, assembly, ammo types, mods and... the other guy has a machete. Chop chop.

ICly, I like to tell people that only a fool would try to fight an armed opponent while unarmed. This is in line with basically all self-defense classes out there. If someone comes at you with a knife, or god forbid, an actual sword or a gun, your best option is always going to be to run, not try and disarm or grapple them.

I think that plays out very nicely in-game, and is well-represented in how martial arts work. However, brawling is really the elephant in the room here. For some reason brawling, which I'd consider to basically be on par with martial arts, is vastly better than martial arts for seemingly no reason. Even fighting defensively, brawling's go-to weapons are significantly better than martial arts go-to weapon, which again, doesn't really stack up.

There's a lot of things going on here, between the imbalance that dual-wielding has brought to the game, one weapon being significantly better than it's competitor despite being the same 'tier' of weapon, and even the way the underlying stats seem to play into the respective skills. I don't think it's a simple nerf X or buff Y answer to this problem.

My understanding is that MA and Brawling were a factor in grappling or al least they used to be before all the rework it had. So I don't really know what y'all are talking about in here.

Is MA and Brawling balanced and on par? Not when pitted against each other, but in a more broad general aspect they are. Each one has different cons and pros, which one is better? Neither, it depends on how your character works and the progression you envision for them.

Weapons vs No Weapons? Weapons are always more dangerous, but catch someone without their weapon or take it away from them and they might be in a lot of trouble.

For good combat advice seek mentors IC IG, instead of speculating mechanics oocly in the forums.

@GhostInTheMachine

Yes, a factor, but not a big one at all. I have personally witnessed people with no hand-to-hand skill completely nullify lower stat character efforts (who do have hand-to-hand skill, such as martial arts or brawling) through grapples. Someone trained in martial arts would be so much more knowledgeable in grappling techniques that the frankly hamfisted system right now is kinda frustrating, honestly, because it's for nothing.

Also, I see no readon why martial arts would not he compatible with cybernetic knuckle weapons, but that's just my personal view on it. Of course, no weapons will always be inferior to any other weapons, but one "unarmed" skill has viable WEAPONS and the other has... a single expensive, cumbersome, and silly stick.

And as I said in the topic thread, someone who is caught off guard without the weapon they're good at can currently just fall back on grappling because grappling just uses the standard combat stats. Don't say that an unarmed character can catch a swordsman off guard when if they do, they just get choked out instead of cut up.
I think grappling is fine as a mechanic as it stands right now, and it makes sense that you don't need to be a kung-fu wizard to be able to do it successfully, you just need to be physically capable of restraining someone.

That said, I'd be wary of adding additional bonuses to the checks systems that grappling has, because grappling walks a very fine line between being crap and being totally overpowered, and I think staff have more or less hit the balance right as it is now.

I'd personally say that MA needs buffs, but perhaps not down this avenue. If you want to contextualize it ICly, I don't recall seeing any messaging in MA attacks across various styles representing you putting people into holds or manipulating them outside perhaps an arm bar or something. They're much more focused on striking arts from what I've seen (could be totally wrong about this- martial artists aren't exactly common). I'd love to see additional MA weapons, such as a Katar or other form of punching dagger, taser knuckles, handwraps with barbed wire, something. It'd be awesome if the stick got buffed, and if it got it's own messaging. It's really bizarre that it uses a kind of sword messaging, considering that's not at all how bo staffs are used in combat.

Tonfa, kama, hell, ropedarts could be cool-- there's an infinite number of Rule of Cool martial arts weapons out there, if there's a demand for more. I think one big one is going to have to be a cybernetic alternative that puts the skill on an even playing field with Brawling.
I think that giving Martial Artists access to a different damage type than brawling would also help to differentiate them, which is why I made the suggestions that I did. It could be an additional layer of gameplay diversity between the styles between simply punch X person with Y heavy thing.

@Batko What you are describing sounds like a big gap between the characters involved in the contest, a more experience character will more often than not have the upper-hand this is true.

But I can say from experience, that a dedicated pugilist can catch off-guard armed characters and defeat them if you know what you are doing. I've seen it, I've done it...and if stat correctly you could even counter the most dangerous streetsam to ever walk the streets of the Mix.

And on the topic of it not taking a kung fu master to grapple... yes, someone with no prior training could grapple, but it verges on total frustration when they can grapple better than someone trained in hand-to-hand. At the very least it may be a good idea to give the skill a bonus to defending against grapples, if not initiating and holding them.
I think grappling is already very powerful as it is, and it doesn't need any bonuses from skills. I feel doing such would make it an instant 'I win' button, especially for Brawlers who tend to already have very high strength. It maybe makes sense IC, but I feel it would unbalance the game a great deal from an OOC perspective.

Now MA vs Brawling? How to make those two more equal? That's a valid conversation in my mind. I believe a while ago the idea of tonfa were brought up as a possible dual-wielding weapon for MA users. Perhaps the current MA weapon could be downgraded in price compared and the tonfa could be added in as a slightly more expensive but dual-wielder friendly option.

What about making weapons more effective against others?

For example, a martial artist could have access to Sai, which could have something like a disarm bonus against blades?

Sai would probably be short blades, even if it isn't a blade technically.

And maybe it was misunderstood, but I suggest we require skill for grappling well, not just pile on more skill bonuses with how it is right now. Unskilled grappling would get a nerf, and grappling as it stands would be closer to what a skills-weighted grapple would be.

But I do agree that being able to max out a skill and grapple anyone would be pretty insane. I think martial arts and maybe brawling should factor into evading grapples and busting out of them, leave initiation and holding it to stats.

Agreed. I think someone without a combat background shouldn't be able to grapple.

Putting it into Martial Arts just seems like a good fit.

I think Grapple is quietly the most powerful and broadly useful combat mechanic in the game.

Giving it to a single skill set would be incredibly unbalanced.

Grapple isn't as easy to use and as easy to succeed with as is being made out here. Anyone who's succeeding with grapple has made some choices and trade-offs, whether they're a combat character with combat skills nor not.

some scientists, deckers, and journalists can pretty much kidnap/murder someone else without knowing anything about fighting

Not without having stats which are useful for fighting.

Not only would it stop non-combat characters doing it

How is this being abused? A lot of people are saying that it is but if non-combat characters are using grapple to cheese combat interactions with real fighters, I'm unaware of it. I'm completely convinced that a combat character investing combat stats will own a non-combat character investing non-combat stats.

If there are non-combat reasons to invest in stats which are useful for combat, and such a person out-performs the fighter with uncompetitive stats but an investment in skill, please someone explain (better than the attempts provided so far) why this is undesirable.

Specifically, I haven't seen any unreasonable consequences described, only feels about 'it would make my cognitive dissonance better to relate grapple to combat skills.' Like, seriously, what I'm expecting and asking for here is examples of "this should not have fucking happened" type events.

Also want to point out that the MA weapon is silly also because it doesn't tie into any of the current MA styles, except potentially one. I'd feel awkward trying to explain why a krav maga practitioner or a muay thai kickboxer would carry around that thing... And also, yes, it makes zero sense for the knuckle chrome to not work with martial arts. Can just refluff it to include feet or make a different set for MA.

Anyway, another idea that's been thrown around before is a weapon or skill that focuses on incapacitating folks; doing mainly stamina damage. People suggested things like pepper spray and tasers, but I think MA could fit this niche nicely, and this would differentiate it from brawling nicely. Want someone kidnapped? Hire the sleek mano who knows 20 chokeholds instead of the caveman with arms the size of a lev, otherwise you might end up with a dead target, or at least a lot of broken bones.

Perhaps it could work better against unarmored targets or something along those lines, I don't know. I definitely favor the rock paper scissors approach to balancing, rather than to just try and make everything balanced and equal with just different fluff, because that's how you end up with headshots from a high caliber rifle that leave someone 'slightly injured'.

I dunno. But I'd definitely like for brawling and MA to be good for different things.

I really think people should explore grappling and MA more ICly before assuming so much. There's a lot of misinformation here and there's plenty of NPCs capable of clarifying.
I don't really see any issues at all with "non-combat characters" being able to grapple someone of a lesser skill level. Just because you are a doctor, journalist, technician, or whatever, real people (and hopefully the characters of Sindome) are not strict tropes to whatever their coded job might be.

If they are a Mixer, maybe they have been around the block a few times and realized the Mix is dangerous, and thus are invested in "combat friendly" stats and some sort of combat skill that may or may not be a hand-to-hand skill. If they're a Corporate, maybe they hit up Weston's after work everyday.

The point is, if they are able to fend off a crazy immy or a malnourished murderhobo by grabbing them and choking them out, I don't see an issue with that. Someone of equal experience who is a pure combat build will dumpster they regardless.

> if they are able to fend off a crazy immy or a malnourished murderhobo by grabbing them and choking them out, I don't see an issue with that.

Should they be allowed to do that without UE investment in a relevant skill though? I think it's silly that it's possible.

I personally haven't seen the idea of non-combat character defeating a combat character through grappling alone.

What I have seen is a combat character with absolutely no hand-to-hand skills defeat a highly skilled hand-to-hand fighter through grappling, since it's so stats-weighted.

That is what I really want to stop. That is the truth of what's happening currently. Non-combat characters aren't abusing grapples from what I am aware. But whatever bonus to grapple defenses that hand-to-hand skills give is obviously inconsequential.

Should grapples be dictated by Martial Arts alone? No, in my opinion, Martial Arts and Brawling should be equivalents in all ways but flavor, and this goes for my views on grappling as a skill, as well. If one gets bonuses to grappling, both should. But people are understandably against grapple as a skill, even though I think if you haven't learned the technique as a skill, it shouldn't be so powerful.

My suggestion, at the VERY least, is to make Martial Arts and Brawling more meaningful when being grappled. When dodging doesn't work, have it be your parry/block against it, just like an unarmed attack would have you pass. When you're breaking out of it, have the skill factor in with your kung-fu techniques for busting out of headlocks or your brute-strength efficiency knowledge of brawling.

What I have seen is a combat character with absolutely no hand-to-hand skills defeat a highly skilled hand-to-hand fighter through grappling, since it's so stats-weighted. That is what I really want to stop.

You still aren't saying why and/or what's unfair here. I still can't tell this apart from "I think it's silly" compared to "this is broken because <example of time something unfair happened due to broken mechanic.>"

I think that the fact that a gun-fighter can grapple a hand-to-hand master is, obviously, unfair. If someone invests their character concept and a significant amount of their UE into something just to be nullified in both mechanics and flavor by someone who barely cares about hand-to-hand fighting, how IS that fair? Just because one has higher stats, they automatically win, with no consideration of their knowledge or skills as characters.
Stats are more important than skills in literally every single aspect of the game.

This is perfectly in line with the overall game design of SD.

If Joebaka gun user has absolutely beast stats compared to Joebaka martial artist, then of course Joebaka gun user is well within their rights to use whatever they like to their advantage.

I've said this before in other threads, and I'll restate it here. Anytime you lose a 'fight' to a grapple and subsequent K.O. then it's probably a safe assumption that you would not have won that fight directly in the first place.

Stats are more important than skills in literally every single aspect of the game.

This is perfectly in line with the overall game design of SD.

Except when it comes to combat, since if an unskilled combatant went against a skilled combatant, even with wildly better stats, they would most definitely lose, regardless of most common stat disparities.

Which begs the question, why is grappling different than regular combat?

There are many reasons that grapple is different from unarmed combat skills - even in combat.

IC mentor yada yada, you can search the BGBB for many past discussions, brainstorms, and implementation news about multiple rounds of rebalancing grapple. It has received a lot of work over the years and at no point was it judged good design to make it depend on an unarmed combat skill.

That doesn't mean it can't continue to be questioned, or re-questioned, it just means that people who want to see a change have their work cut out for them to articulate why it's needed.

I think that the fact that a gun-fighter can grapple a hand-to-hand master is, obviously, unfair.

I get that to you it's obvious. To me that's an opinion, not an objective illustration of a severe balance problem. You're also leaving out a lot of relevant nuance:

someone invests their character concept and a significant amount of their UE into something just to be nullified in both mechanics and flavor by someone who barely cares about hand-to-hand fighting

OK, you're really wearing it on your sleeve now that "flavor" is bothering you. We've already discussed that.

What remains is that the MA expert didn't get nullified by "someone who barely cares about hand to hand fighting", they got nullified by someone who invested deeply into stats which allowed them to perform at this level.

@batko

Simply because grappling isn't a skill, it's just a verb anyone can use. Putting arguably one of the most important tools in the game behind a single skill would mean that you've essentially unbalanced the game as it stands for everyone with UE into combat skills, which would either mean that staff would have to be willing to offer UE resets for something like what- 70% of the game, or all of a sudden players with lots of UE in XYZ skill would suddenly become more powerful overnight.

@batko,

Just curious, how are you privy to the hand to hand skill level, or stats, of the hand to hand master you mentioned? And how are you privy to the hand to hand skill level of the gunfighter that you mentioned?

Not trying to be a pain, but you are stating these things as if they are facts and i'm not sure that we're able to say that with certainty.

No one seems to really be engaging with the idea of tying grapple defense to an unarmed fighting skill, just vehemently disagreeing with tying grappling as a whole to a skill.

Overall, I think grappling as it stands is unfair, as in normal combat at least a lower-level character has a chance to flee, can raise Dodge to help flee, or at least get some level of survivability, but there is no relevant skill to raise when you want to try and survive a grappler, there's just the get good principle of stats. Most people are trying to raise stats. Stats are slower to raise than skills. Skills give more short-term survivability to those who invest in it to defend themselves, and I think that's balanced.

Am I the only one that feels this discussion is veering quickly toward exposing mechanics?
@TalonCzar

I've already stated that I don't really think making grappling offense a skill-based endeavour is a good idea, mostly because I think grappling is kind of ridiculously powerful and maxing out a skill for the sole purpose of grappling would be an asinine way of fighting.

One thing I do think would be cool (just cool, not materially different in any way) would be custom, skill-related messages when "resist" is used successfully.
@BigArg

That's a good question, obviously nobody knows exact stats or skill levels unless they are that person, but even then that's only two halves of an equation. I don't know with any certainty anything but the -main focus- of each character's investments, not the exact extents. As I've said, again, obviously one is much higher-statted than the other, but to say one is a 'crazy immy' as implied earlier in the thread is also kinda dismissive to the issue at hand.

I do think that the unarmed skill of your choosing should give you a significant edge against grapple and to grapple, it seem people are complaining that this edge if it exists is not significant enough.

It might be worth bringing this up during the townhall meeting in order to get a more straight answer from the staff, just to know if this perception is misconstrued or not.

What I take from batko's words is something a long the lines "I don't like that more experienced characters with stronger stats but no or little unarmed skills investment can grapple a less experienced but more focused unarmed fighter." So the perception is that the skill bonus is not outweighing the stats bonus by much or at all...which in return make people who invest in these skills to feel they are less valuable.

As for MA weapons, we've been promised cyberware for MA for several years...code wise you'd think it wouldn't be that difficult to make, maybe we'll get lucky and the last @vote poll result lands in Cyberware then the coders could make something like this happen. It won't fix the disparity IMHO but at least it might tilt the scales of balance a bit.

@batko

I don't know with any certainty anything but the -main focus- of each character's investments

Thanks for clarifying - I'm not even sure you can know that with certainty in all situations, though.

@BigArg

That's fair, but I'm going off of what I know from interactions. If there are people out there roleplaying being martial artists and they were secretly only raising their decking skills the entire time, that'd be a really good gag, though. :p

@GhostInTheMachine

> it seem people are complaining that this edge if it exists is not significant enough.

I'm actually asking to be nerfed. I personally think it's silly that my character can grapple other characters.

@Ynk I was talking about the unarmed combat skill edge/bonus in regards the grappling equation. In case I wasn't clear enough.
@ynk

I am a little confused. GhostInTheMachine is trying to clarify that the underlying theme of the thread seems to be a complaint that the Martial Arts / Brawling edge to Grapple mechanics is too small. I agree with this assessment and I agree with the assertion.

Do you believe Martial Arts or Brawling should matter less in a grapple? My brain may be on haywire and I may very well be the one misunderstanding... but I believe you may be misunderstanding the post?

I'm such a slow typer. Ghost got it.
@ynk

You mentioned that you think it is silly that your character can grapple other characters.

"Grappling" is as basic as pushing or pulling someone. We grapple someone every time we hug them. That's a grapple, albeit a friendly and non-confrontational grapple.

My only concern would be is that if your character hasn't spent any UE on any sort of martial arts, yet they are successfully grappling characters who have.

Maintaining a grapple effectively is something that requires training. The game mechanics should reflect that if they don't.

I've trained grappling (jiu jitsu and judo) in real life, so I wanted to add my experiences here for perspective.

Disclaimer: sometimes the real world way a thing works isn't the most fun implementation in a game, so I'm not necessarily suggesting that.

Grappling in real life is very, very, very skill dependent. If you have no training, and grapple with someone who has even a few months of training, it is realistic to say you cannot possibly win, and that you will be in extreme danger almost instantly.

I've witnessed skinny, trained 13-year-olds defend themselves easily, indefinitely, against 25-year-old weightlifters with no training, and who were visibly angry that a 13-year-old was making them look foolish. I'm not a large person, and I've easily controlled people much larger and stronger than myself. In my experience, an untrained person needs to be about 30 kg heavier and be very fit, in order to have a small chance to get out of my holds with brute strength. In many cases, if I really wanted to hurt them, they still wouldn't be able to muscle out without being injured (granted, this is without them being allowed to try striking me, which might help or hurt them).

It's realistic to say that most untrained people will commit a fatal mistake in the first second of grappling. A slight repositioning of an arm, a slight shift of their weight, and they've put themselves in an unrecoverable position, completely unaware until a moment later when they can't move anymore. Once a skilled grappler has you in a bad position, you cannot get out. They can now do whatever they want to you, with very little effort. The physics of the arrangement makes it so you can't use your limbs, or you can't breathe. It's like trying to pull open a push door; it just doesn't work.

It's similar to an untrained chess player going against a master: it's likely that in the first few moves, the untrained player loses the game and doesn't even know why.

My experience is that it takes about a year of grappling training to be able to defend yourself briefly against an experienced grappler (until they eventually get past your defense). It takes a few months of training to be able to easily immobilize and control untrained people.

The disparity in skill levels is always enormous. When I used to train against a black belt, I felt like I couldn't put up the slightest resistance. Nothing I tried worked. It was like being untrained. Then there are world-class black belts who can easily defeat local gym-level black belts.

TLDR: grappling in real life is a skill that takes years to master. I'm not saying grapple should be a skill in this game, but my experience is that untrained people are immediately and completely at the mercy of trained people.

I know I'm new to the game, but I'm most certainly not new to martial arts in general. 8 years in baji quan and 4 in krav maga, and the krav class includes judo for just this reason.

Even a striking art like krav, has almost no chance against a trained grappler once they are in a hold. Honestly, having the baji experience helped my judo, as it has a good bit of standing joint locks and holds that are crippling.

Its a very humbling experience when a person half your weight moves you around like a peon with grappling, and then the realities of physics sink in. You're screwed.

I'm not sure how the game is set up mechanically right now, but there should be some sort of correlation between skill in grappling (or tied to multiple skills even, IE take the higher of brawling or martial arts, practical experience is a valid way to learn to grapple) that is significantly more important than strength.

I think part of the disconnect might be envisioning the 'grapple' verb as akin to martial arts grappling, locks and holds and reversals et cetera.

But that's not actually what is described in feedback. You're just grabbing someone in a non-specific way and holding/dragging them.

I think you can RP this in different ways (@trusted grapples being carrying someone for example), but fundamentally this is a general action rather than a specific set of techniques.

Some might be able to use Grapple to great success in combat but, in my experience, if someone can dominate you with grapple it's because you either chose to min-max in a very sad way or they probably would have beat you down anyways.

Additionally, I feel that grapple is a very key RP tool for powerful combatants who would like to flex on far less powerful (combat wise) characters without actually killing or leaving them busted up and unable to move. If you make it specific to one combat skill then all the rest will start leaving bodies and characters broken so bad they can't move or RP much for an extended period.

There are other RP tools that you COULD use but few are as safe for the victim and few can force the scene on the victim the way grapple can. And by 'force the scene' I don't mean it in a negative way. I mean that me simply posing things won't go far as once the victim realizes there is nothing mechanically limiting them they will often just walk off before you can even type in some dialog.

Just something I think should be considered,

0x1 I get your point.

The disconnect for me, personally is, someone with knowledge of how to do those moves, holds, etc is very unlikely to be easily 'generally grabbed' that would be inviting some serious consequences.

Generally grabbing someone is exactly what the untrained do, and the result is usually instantly bad news for the one doing it.

I actually can see many situations where this could further the RP. Big bad boy, who could in any other situation stomp your face off and vat you, goes to grab you because he wants to teach you a lesson without vatting you. Now you've got him, what do you do with him? You just made him look like a fool, do you let him go and take your beating now? Do you choke him out and multiply your future beatdown by a thousand?

Hell he may laugh at his own mistake and offer you a job. There's a lot of potential here, but it does hinge on whether or not you think any particular Immy could handle that or not. Hell at that point there may just be no good option.

I see both sides of the argument really. There's a threshold for where training makes up for, and even surpasses what strength can do for you IRL, before that threshold the strong dude is gonna do whatever they want with you, period. After that threshold it changes significantly.

Again, mechanics wise I don't know how this stuff functions so its hard to give exact input, but I can assume from what I've read that grappling functions entirely off of strength stat so I'll assume that for my suggestion:

Tie resistance to MA or Brawling for whichever is higher, and by resistance I mean how easy it is for your character to resist to escape, but also whether you can be dragged or have some other maneuver pulled on you after the grapple is started. (Again, new here so I don't know if you can punch someone you've grappled or if it's rp'd only or what.) Have the offense roll off of strength as it is, so even if your Immy rolls in with a decent skill, they might escape if they're smart enough but they're not going to turn around and lay it back on you. It'd be pretty unlikely (though not impossible if strength and brawling/ma were their only focus) that they'd both get out AND turn it back on you.

This would make it so they might, even with a high starting strength lay a grapple on someone, probably will be easy for the more experienced character to just get out of if they have much combat experience in anything hand to hand or they might be able to get away and in super rare cases might be decent at both, but still won't hold a candle to a street sam that's been living the life a while.

This would also make it unlikely that Jim, the doctor (who in this case has no MA/Brawling and mediocre strength...not saying they couldn't its not unreasonable especially in the red, just this example) isn't going to be grappling anyone that doesn't @trust them. Not for long anyway.

Thoughts?

Grey0 has basically summarized what I've been trying to get at extremely well.

Grapple is used to force RP in a non-con way, because trying to RP combat or violence related things otherwise simply doesn't work either because of how SD's mechanics or culture are.

There's been instances when I've beat the tar out of players without killing them ICly, precisely so they couldn't just walk away, and people STILL try and spam every single verb in the game to try and get out of situations where they might lose things.

This comes across as extremely gamey in a RP-focused game, and often results in frustration OOCly and sometimes escalating things ICly that didn't need to be escalated in the first place.

Just to reiterate: Personally speaking, grapple is in a good place right now, and I worry that tinkering with it in the form of buffs -or- nerfs is going to result in situations that's going to leave all parties involved pissed off.

There are other ways to prevent people from leaving the area, without using grapples.

And if it's important for your character to be able to use grapples to 'flex' on lower-end characters, why is spending UE to do so such a bad idea? Isn't that what UE is for, building what your character should be able to do in your eyes?

I still think that defending versus a grapple should have more weight on skill that it seems to have right now, but I've already spoken on that quite a lot in this thread.

Reiterating an earlier point I made while rewording it.

If you want to find out more, there's plenty of people IC from PCs to puppets who can tell you about the intricacies of grappling. People are really assuming a lot in this thread.

Grapple is in a good place?

You can be armed with an Xo5 suit with a katana.

Then comes someone in immy clothing and a hood who can grapple, choke you out, snap your neck.

Sometimes it comes with zero roleplay because they don't want to reveal who they are.

Walk past a sewer drain, get grappled, dragged into sewers, choked out, dead.

No evidence, no problem.

That example is 100% made up, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that's now how the system works.
Quoting Johnny from the last code revamp the system had, c. 2016

3 Step Grapple

1. Setup - the aggressor moves into position according to the rules of held weapons and combat distances (i.e. a person with a firearm is trying to keep distance, a person with a knife is trying to close distance, etc). Distance between aggressor and victim play a role in the victim noticing something is about to happen. Recent combat makes the victim wary, boosting their ability to get the head start they need.

2. Closing the Distance - the aggressor needs to move across the room from whatever distance they're at in order to grapple their victim. If the victim noticed the aggressor's movements previously, they'll be able to act sooner and likely evade the grapple.

3. Overpowering the Victim - much like the old grapple system, your ability to overpower depends largely on your physical strength and your potential skill at holds.

Over all of these, fatigue, aiming, stealth, encumbrance, are all now being factored into the algorithm too.

So aggressor hide in stealth near an area with a sewer and wait.

Target is just like everyone and they don't hold their weapon out 24/7.

When target comes to area, get grappled and dragged into sewers.

Done deal. There is no difference.

There's so many other factors in that made up scenario that aren't being taken into account, Konata, and I'm not going to get into them on this thread.
@Konata

There are like a 100+ other scenarios in the game that can seem potentially 'unfair' to the victim, being grappled by someone stronger than you is just one of them. I don't think that is any indication that grappling is overpowered. The game world is a hostile place where bad things can happen to your character against their will.

That being said, I reiterate that I think grappling is fine as is. I think Batko's argument that MA should give you a bonus to BREAKING FREE from grapples has water to it, otherwise grapples should NOT get any bonuses of any kind from skills, imo.

It depends on what the purpose of the grapple is.

Moving them for interrogation. Good.

Holding someone down. Good.

Kidnapping. Good.

An easy way to stealth kill someone who is geared with zero RP to avoid being detected. Not good.

I think Konata is clearly upset and the example was hyperbolic since it can't be accurate.

(The no RP kills that you are describing can be valid, since even if the murder wasn't RPed for obvious risk factors, that doesn't mean there wasn't RP involved surrounding them. Or so have I been told by the staff when I faced similar situations.)

My takeaway from this thread is that even in its current and most balanced build the Grappling system still feels unsatisfying to many players regardless if they understand how it works or not. Hopefully it will get tweaked to make players happy, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Finally lets us not forget, this is a game which in spite of being RPI and RPE its not necessarily realistic. Cyberpunk has a lot of 'rule of cool'.

That's more a OOC / IC ussue though right? That's assuming they don't have a IC reason to do just that to you.

As I still haven't actually fought anyone, RP or not, my suggestions are all theoretical, and several responses indicate that they may very well already function exactly the way I'd expect.

That doesn't mean getting choked, dragged into a sewer and executed would be fun by any stretch, but is there really any way to know if someone had/needed a good reason to do so anyway? The only way I could see that being true is if you're required to log a note every time you kill someone listing why, even if it's just a brief "I was hungry and I'm a cannibal."

Still, just because you can do something with the coded systems doesn't mean you should.

I also echo the frustration of grapples being anti-RP. At least when you get overwhelmed by pure skill in combat, you get the fun of a last stand. When you're choked out, you get a frankly soul-crushing and pathetic end. Which, I mean, both can be themely, but only one is actually fun to experience, as fun as losing can be.
Going to somewhat reiterate points I've made very early in the thread since pfh brrought it up: MA should provide you an advantage in grappling defense and countering only.

When someone initiates a grapple, they are putting themselves into a close-up, hand-to-hand full-contact situation with another combatant. If you do that with someone who is trained in hand-to-hand and grapple-based disciplines especially, and you're not, you -should- get your ass beat. You just made the terrible decision to take the fight to an area where they far outdo you.

But again, I don't see a flat defense of not getting grappled in the first place as necessarily enough in this case. You moved the fight to an area where they have control. They should be able to reverse, or throw you (throwing meaning to the ground in a MA maneuver) out of the grapple. As opposed to an untrained grappler who simply uses 'resist' to get out, and, presumably in the theatre of mind that is combat, putting distance between the combatants, especially gun users, to move away from the full-contact hand-to-hand situation.

The options should increase with the grapplers skill.

On the other hand, if you are fighting an MA user and they wish to grapple you, there is no reason why your opponents skill should undermine your ability to keep distance (again, combat is theatre of the mind, you're not hugging by default, even if other verbs let you literally give/take things within arms reach in the same room) dodge, move, notice their intention, and so on. A skilled grappler might try to apply a 'fancier' hold, but they still move with the same speed an untrained grappler with the same reflexes would when trying to, so no bonus to achieving the grapple is warranted.

I think was PCow is exactly what I've been trying to say, as poor as I can be at expressing it.

I think Martial Arts or Brawling should help more than it currently does with defending against grapples.

There's some misinformation and hyperbole in the thread owing to some being absolutely frustrated (and understandably, honestly) with how much a brick wall grapples can feel like.

I don't think Martial Arts or Brawling should get a buff for -initiating- or -maintaining- a grapple, but rather avoiding them or busting out of them. But that's my humble opinion. I don't want grapple -offense- to be tied to a skill, since that would make it too easy to become a grapple god off one skill.

This entire thread would be a nightmare of revealing IC mechanics if so much of it weren't just entirely wrong.

I'm sure the staff have gotten the feedback, we don't need to make X, Y and Z claims about mechanics to provide evidence for the arguments.

It's totally valid to suggest ideas and not explain why, or provide any justification. They're not implemented based on popular acclaim.

mad cuz bad

get good, scrubs

pee pee poo poo
Invaluable.
On a somewhat related note, perhaps allow martial arts to block knives and machetes by grabbing or impeding the attackers arms? Make it work on machetes, wakazashis, knives ect, probably not full length katanas as they are much longer, and grappling at the arms is a lot less viable? When it comes to grappling, maybe give a bonus to martial arts and brawling, allow brawling to have more ways to attack their grappled target and do damage, while martial arts grapples are better at stamina drain and disabling targets? Just an idea.
Just one last point on MA vs grapple in case it hasn't already been considered and factored in...

When going for a grapple, the grappler is exposing themselves to a lot of punishment.

@koots kind of alluded to this when he mentioned jiu jitsu and the prohibition on striking. There are rules in MMA to prevent striking because the most effective way to break a grapple is crush the windpipe or take out someone's eyes. Or barring that, start breaking fingers.

A grappler is rolling the dice going up against a trained opponent. They are hoping that they can grab and painfully immobilize / break an appendage before they are severely maimed or killed.

Everyone should be able to grapple, it’s not that hard to lunge at someone and pin them down, it just depends on your stats. However, holding that person down or trying to break out of a grapple should be more difficult. Martial artists usually have ways to deal with being pinned down, and a lot of real life martial arts have way to deal with getting grabbed, which is why I think that the suggested reversal mechanic is a good idea. Reversals and the such should come easy to trained martial artists, but fighters trained in other styles may have problems with dealing with grapples.

I’m also suggesting two new mechanics that could help balance martial arts:

Sweeping: Martial arts has leg sweeps, etc, that can leave their opponents unbalanced and on the ground. The way that it could work is either have a manual command to attempt to sweep an opponent off their feet and stun them, or have it happen automatically as a sort of ‘crit’ attack.

Throwing: Martial arts tends to have throws when grappling, why not give trained martial artists the ability to throw a grappled person to the ground? I’m imagining a ‘throw’ command after having grappled someone to throw someone to the ground and stun them or, on a failure, just release them.

Stunning someone would give you a higher success chance of fleeing, and also lower the stunned person’s dodge and preventing them from attacking for a short period of time.

I think this fits with the theme of many martial arts being based around self defense, and by giving more defensive abilities to the skill it would make martial arts less bad compared to other skills and give it strengths that skilled players would use well, rather than just give it a damage buff or whatever. I'd just like to see martial arts as more of a defensive art with a wider variety of options you can take while in a fight.

When going for a grapple, the grappler is exposing themselves to a lot of punishment.

I honestly thought this comment was referring to the IC situation when I first read it. Because it's true, IC.

It's a little different, once you've got someone in a grapple the risk goes down, but I can't tell you how many fights I've seen lost because someone stopped striking and tried (and failed) to grapple. These are fights which probably could have been won if they hadn't thrown away the initiative.