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Old 05-19-2021, 06:58 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Hit Location Penalty to Grapple Weapon Hand or Arm

Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
I'll note that the "grab" is an odd edge/corner case of a "grapple," and while the explanation "don't grab the pointy thing instead of the hand!" is sensible, it would be a tetch more elegant to have the general case be "location penalties are halved," but on the DEFENSIVE you have a bonus to parry and hit whatever's trying to grapple you.

Even so, the actual rule is pretty clear: trying to snag the hand with something in it is a grab; grapples are assumed to target the torso, but with hit location penalties halved if you choose otherwise.
The "-4 to hit the hand, -2 to grapple the hand, -4 to grab the hand" thing might make a bit more sense if we perhaps conceived a "grab hand" as "grabbing the fingers to wrench them off a weapon" and the -4 actually being half of a larger penalty to grapple fingers?

To help make sense of why B370's "with the usual penalty" of -4 not being halved, if it was actually half of a doubled thing.

MA137 gives a -7 (exta -3) to strike at the joints of the hand, so maybe when you try to wrench a weapon away by targeting the hand holding the weapon, it's like grappling the hand's joints?

Rounding to a higher penalty is supported on MA68 where it lists -3 (from -2.5 being half of -5) to grapple the face or neck, so -3.5 should become -4.

MA68 we also see reiterated "Grabs for weapons are at -4."

Given how weapons come in difference sizes it seems strange though, it's presumably easier to find somewhere to grab ahold of a bo staff than of a dagger.

TG13 approaches this with "Grabbing the Foe" vs "Grabbing the Obect"

The first (GTF) mentions "To move past a weapon and grab the wielder, you may step into close combat and attack the userís hand at -4 (see Grabbing, p. B370), or his arm at -2." but like B370 doesn't explicitly remind us (not exclude) the usual "halve the penalty" guide.

"Use the penalties given in Striking at Weapons (p. B400) instead of the generic -4 to hit the hand on p. B370" pretty well addresses the concern I had.

The only thing it doesn't really cover is how maybe if a weapon is a character (being grabbed) being behind the partial cover of your wielder might perhaps make it harder to target.

Like for example if it was held in a reverse grip, or you were on the opposite side of the hand wielding the weapon and trying to reach around the wielder to grab their weapon.

I could see using no penalties if the weapon is "offered" (ie you're being attacked by it) but perhaps penalties if it's being held back defensively.
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