So, let's get to the meat of the proposal I justified in the first part of this series on clinging
. First, take a look at a new special combat action, Cling. Then look at how I expanded and linked conditions that result in impeded motion.
As a standard action, you can attempt to cling to a foe that is two or more size categories larger than you, restricting his movement and imposing penalties on attacks and spell casting. Initiating a cling combat maneuver provokes an attack of opportunity from your target; any damage inflicted by such an AoO is also applied as a penalty to your combat maneuver check to establish the cling. The standard size modifiers apply for special attack combat maneuvers.
If you have the Improved Cling, Greater Cling, or Greater Grapple feats, or if you have the grab ability, then you do not provoke an Attack of Opportunity when you initiate the cling maneuver. Humanoid creatures attempting to cling to a foe without two free hands take a -4 penalty on the combat maneuver roll. If you have five or more ranks in the Climb skill, you gain a +2 synergy bonus on cling checks; if you have a climb speed, you gain a +4 synergy bonus on cling checks. Synergy bonuses do not stack.
If successful, both you and the target gain the hampered condition (see below). You can only attempt to cling to a creature in reach, and if you successfully cling to a creature that is not adjacent to you, you move to the nearest adjacent open space (if no space is available, your cling attempt fails). Although both you and your target gain the hampered condition, you can, as the smaller creature, release the cling as a free action, removing the condition from both you and the target. If you do not wish to release the cling, you must continue to make a check each round, as a full-round action, to hold on. If your target does not break the cling, you get a +5 circumstance bonus on cling checks made against the same target in subsequent rounds. If you have the attach or constrict abilities, you may use them while clinging.
Once you are clinging to an opponent, a successful combat maneuver check allows you to continue clinging to the foe, and also allows you to perform one of the following options (as part of the full-round action spent to maintain the cling).
Hide: You cling in a hard-to-see spot. The target to whom you are clinging suffers a 50% miss chance taking actions against you, including actions to end a cling or to grapple you. All other foes suffer a 20% miss chance against you. In addition, you gain a +2 bonus to maintain your cling next round.
Damage: You inflict damage to your target equal to your unarmed strike, a natural attack, or an attack made with armor spikes or a light or one-handed weapon. When using a cling to inflict damage, your combat maneuver check is your attack roll, and is modified by all the usual modifiers to attack, such as enhancement bonuses. If you successfully used the Hide option last round, your critical hit threat range doubles and all your critical threats are automatically confirmed. If you have the rake ability, you may roll your free rake attacks, doing damage as usual and inflicting critical hits with the usual threat range (not double). If you have the constrict, attach, or blood drain abilities, you automatically inflict extra damage if you use the damage option successfully, but with no multiplier for a successful critical hit.
Something Else: You can take any action that doesn't require two hands to perform, such as draw a weapon, retrieve a stored object, cast a spell, activate an item, or make an single attack with a natural, light, or one-handed weapon against any creature within your reach, excluding the creature to whom you are clinging (use the “Damage” option above to attack the creature to whom you are clinging). You cannot move while clinging; to move, you must first let go and end the cling (you can *be* moved if your target chooses to move).
If a creature is clinging to you: If a creature has used the cling combat maneuver against you successfully, you can attempt to rid yourself of the creature as a move action by making a grapple combat maneuver check (DC equal to your opponent's CMD; this does not provoke an attack of opportunity) or an Escape Artist check (with a DC equal to your opponent's CMD). If you succeed, you dislodge the creature, ending the cling, and you are no longer hampered. Alternatively, if you succeed via a grapple check, you can change the cling into a grapple, grappling the smaller creature, and becoming the grappler (meaning that the other creature cannot freely release the grapple without making a combat maneuver check, while you can). Instead of attempting to break or reverse the grapple, you can take any action you normally would, ignoring the smaller creature without any penalty other than those imposed by the hampered condition. If you move while a creature is clinging to you, the creature is carried along with you.
If multiple creatures are clinging to you: Several creatures can attempt to cling to one target. Each cling maneuver is resolved separately, and the effects of being hampered stack in a special way, depending on how many little creatures are clinging to you:
- If 1 to 3 creatures two size categories smaller than you cling to you, you are hampered but otherwise unaffected. If 4 to 11 creatures two size categories smaller than you cling to you, you gain the entangled condition, although the creatures clinging to you remain only hampered. If 12+ creatures two size categories smaller than you cling to you, you gain the grappled condition.
- In general, four creatures clinging to you of a certain size equal one creature that is a size category bigger. Four creatures three size categories smaller than you count as a creature that is two size categories smaller than you. Four creatures four size categories smaller than you count as a creature that is three size categories smaller than you.
- The standard rules for spacing continue to apply: Four tiny creatures or 25 diminutive creatures or 100 fine creatures fit into a single square, and larger creatures must be adjacent to the target to cling to them.
Hampered: The character is hindered in its freedom of movement. A hampered creature may move freely but cannot run or charge. A hampered creature takes a -2 penalty to Dexterity as well as a -1 penalty on all attack rolls and combat maneuver checks, except those made to end or maintain the hampered condition. A hampered character who attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability must make a concentration check (DC 10 + spell level) or lose the spell. Hampered is a less severe state of restricted movement than entangled, grappled, or pinned.
Entangled: The character is ensnared. An entangled creature moves at half speed and cannot run or charge; it cannot move at all if its bonds are anchored to an immobile object or tethered by an opposing force. An entangled creature takes a -4 penalty to Dexterity as well as a -2 penalty on all attack rolls and combat maneuver checks, except those made to to maintain or end the entangled condition. An entangled character who attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability must make a concentration check (DC 15 + spell level) or lose the spell. Entangled is a more severe version of restricted movement than hampered, and their effects do not stack.
Grappled: A grappled creature is restrained by a creature, trap, or effect. A grappled creature cannot move except upon winning a grapple check. A grappled creature takes a -4 penalty to Dexterity as well as a -2 penalty on all attack rolls and combat maneuver checks, except those made to maintain the grapple or escape from it. A grappled character who attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level), or lose the spell. Grappled creatures cannot make attacks of opportunity. In addition, grappled creatures can take no action that requires two hands to perform. Grappled is a more severe version of restricted movement than entangled, and their effects do not stack.
Pinned: A pinned creature is tightly bound and can take few actions. A pinned creature cannot move and is denied its Dexterity bonus. A pinned character also takes an additional -4 penalty to his Armor Class. A pinned creature is limited in the actions that it can take. A pinned creature can always attempt to free itself, usually through a combat maneuver check or Escape Artist check. A pinned creature can take verbal and mental actions, but cannot cast any spells that require a somatic or material component. A pinned character who attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level) or lose the spell. Pinned is a more severe version of restricted movement than grappled, and their effects do not stack.
This is the second part of a three-part series on little guys grappling big guys. Please check out Part I: Rationale, Part II: Clinging Rules, and Part III: Extras.
I am indebted to my good friend Mark B for suggesting the idea of "Cling" as a new special attack, and for the clever "Hold Me Closer, Tiny Grappler" title for this series of posts. Thanks Mark!