Grappling + Chasing

I am unhappy with grappling and chasing.


The attacker rolls d20+strength modifier+attack bonus vs. opponent's dexterity or strength (choose highest) score. If they equal or exceed the score, they have successfully grappled the opponent.

"Grappled" means one of the following things as determined by the attacker:

  1. Pin. Both grappler and graplee are considered prone.
  2. Throw. Toss the opponent a metre per strength bonus (if that even matters). Minimum of one. Deals d4 damage from being bashed into floors or walls, by default. Other effects determined according to environment and whim.
  3. Attack. Deal your weapon damage from stabbing and bashing or unarmed damage from biting and breaking things. Ignores armour.
  4. Choke. Declare you're doing so, if the opponent fails their grapple roll on their turn they are rendered unconscious for 1d6 turns.

Any effect other than "throw" will mean the graplee must grapple on their turn. Any choice that results in a tussle means other people have +3 to hit the participants.

d20 + str. mod. + atk. bonus


dex./str. score


Roll d6+con. bonus, whoever rolls highest wins. If someone scores 6+ the chase ends. Pursuer gets a round of actions or pursued gets away. The chase then may or may not start all over again.

+1 if you are faster than your opponent (naked man vs. man with shopping bags)
+2 if you are a lot faster than your opponent (fat guy vs. sprinter)
+3 if this is a totally one sided race (man vs. jaguar)
+1 per consecutive roll you won.

If you roll a 1 you are winded. If the fight reconvenes you will have a -1 per time winded to all rolls. Recover if you get a minute to straighten yourself out.

An Armoury

Picture stolen from Matthew Adams

1 - Paddycrook

A traditional tentacled head attached to the dried and hardened penis of the jabobo. Originally a tool of the Kairnic herdsman who could use the flexible shaft to thwack wayward or aggressive animals or, if herding larger and more leathery stock — such as the muscular and often dangerously amatory jabobos themselves — can use the barbed metal head to grab, pull and lock limbs.

Cattle raiders soon discover that this tool is equally suited to taking them to task as it is the herds. The dried shaft can cut through unprotected skin and the barbed head will shred the soft flesh from anything it grabs.

2 - Absinthe Knuckle

You might be surprised that among the Absinthian plainsmen there is a huge societal stigma against killing. One might wonder, considering their notoriously warlike ways of carrying on against the city-states and each other, how this is possible. The answer is via a very generous interpretation of killing. They execute their criminals by placing them atop their high totems and waiting for them to fall off to their deaths, as they see it, by their own hand. They kill at range, by the wind's whim. They grasp their swords in the ice-pick grip of these Knuckles, creating a degree of separation from the deceased.

They are a pragmatic people, not to be stopped by generations of folk tradition.

3 - Iron Keys

An iron key for the iron gates of the Halls of the Castigator, ceremoniously held by every guard of the prison-city. They don't fit any extant lock and are instead used as symbols of office and massive flails.

The city is unchanged since before the fall of the Great City and its separation into scattered city-states divided by rubble and killing fields. The guards still guard and take prisoners, as they ever did, from the cities, secure in their ancient duty under the The Veracious Lawgiver and of their their indispensable position as neutral castigators among the roiling Empires.

Though they do have to stop the occasional prison break via siege.

4 - Fetch

Associated with the criminal class of Yongardy, who carry these openly as a sign of intent when the mood takes them.

They are a simple weapon best suited for alley ways or the narrow corridors of the manses of the rich. Simply put, they are a pair of knuckle dusters with a thin, strong, wire between them (used for garotting or general entanglement) and a spike set on one end. Typically used to ambush or grapple, they can also be utilised one handed as a wild and unpredictable flail, possibly keeping your perusers at bay.

5 - The Butterfly

Named not for its attractive shape and suprisingly pliable build, but its famed ability to "butterfly" opponents, splitting them from collarbone to pelvis, popping them open in spectacular fashion.

They were originally made by the warrior society/priesthood of Mayse, based on the apocryphal tale of early followers failing to penetrate the thick shells of the soldiers of the Snail God, buckling and bending their swords as they thrust at their twisted armour. Mayse, on seeing this failure and desperately desiring the high snail priests skull be bashed upon his temple steps, taught his followers to fully split their pliable swords and hack at them, thus shattering the shells and plunging into the rich goo beneath. Ever since then they have shunned piercing weapons as being inferior and suspiciously dastardly.

6 - Bucolicannon

All servants who attended The Raging Vizier in his troubled twilight years were required to wear one of these for their own safety. The Vizier, a world renowned and ancient sorcerer, was caught in the throes of a degenerative senility, one which would forget and then remember the spells of his youth and vomit them forth at the most unfortunate times.

So, rather than risk another 40 years of sleep, or the opening of a hellmouth, his chief page came up with the genius plan to equip every member of his staff, from the kitchens to the gentlemen of the privy chamber, with a helmet mounted blowgun full of powerful sedatives. Even with their arms turned to eels and their legs detached and arguing, they can roll on their side and safely subdue the doddering old coot.

Since his tragic demise others have seen the possible applications of them. If only the chief page, or in fact any of his household, had survived the lifehook he placed on them. Some say they're chasing him still, naked down the halls of the underworld.

A Maximalist Adventure

The entry for the top-right drawer of the Margrave's writing desk. 

A loose button
Rattling around in the back of the drawer is a large button made of horn. It has two large holes in it for attaching to garments or upholstery. It is well worn and shows signs of repetitive rubbing, as though from a thumb and forefinger. There are no obvious matches to it in the household.

Heron blood pen
An elaborate horn dip pen with an incongruously normal tip. Contrary to its name, these pens do not necessarily hold heron's blood, any ink will do. They are used for their qualities of mitigating excess plasmic backlash from ill will held by recipients of written correspondence. The truth of this is uncertain, but it is a common tool for the magically inclined, regularly despised, or excessively superstitious. This pen tip is stained red and the reservoir is quite crusty.

A bunched up handkerchief
Sloppy yet vivid colour stains this silk kerchief in deliberate swirls common of the dyers of the coast. Crushed chromatic squid. The corner is embroidered in traditional style with the words "If I cannot have you, let me die M."
    Inside the cloth is a folded envelope, inside of which is a collection of 12 painted fingernails of uniform size and texture. Painted white. When unfolded, the envelope shows regular distortions, as though it contained something thick and square at some point. It is addressed to the Margrave, using his given name and no tittle.

Pots of ink
Two black, one red, one blue, and one brown, all trapezoidal in shape. Unlabelled. One of the blacks is empty and crusted dry, inside is a shrivelled chestnut, smelling of vinegar — a hole straight through, with a length of twine passed through and knotted on one end — the other is almost empty.
   The red (used only for signing death warrants and land leases) is full. The blue is half full and the lid has not been screwed on fully — 1 in 2 chance of spilling it, covering and possibly ruining d6 items.
   The brown smells of iron and the end of a thunderstorm. Anything written with it will disappear after drying. only reappearing while read aloud. The recipients of these "invisible" letters are usually pre-informed of a "lead-line" to start the process, they then read the fuse-like progression of words aloud quickly and in private.

A false backed drawer
It is easily spotted if the drawer is removed that in between a panel and the back there is a hollow nook. Found wherein is a selection of 7 thin, square, wooden slates. On each is expertly burned an erotic scene. All the faces are of the same woman.
   The first shows a woman in recline. Its artist has definite priorities, showing exacting detail of the breasts, especially the disk-like nipples. No hair nor bump nor pustule is exempt, while the rest is outlined in only vague terms.
   The second is a view from behind, arms outstretched. The artist has captured the rolls of skin in detail and is on the whole suggestive of a seductive decay, supported from above as though hung.
   The third is from above. The woman lays on crumpled sheets with long hair covering her as though thrown about. The detail is of hair and a blank, unfocused gaze.
   The forth is of feet being caressed by hand not belonging to the owner of the feet. The feet are unblemished, the hands are cracked and rugged, bedecked with rings and long well-kept nails.
   The fifth shows a female figure in symbolic resistance to three other — male and erect— figures around her. All possess the same face: female and of calm indifference.
   The sixth shows the woman figure straddling a naked male. The male is muscular but unengaged in the scene, looking away from the illustrator, all features obscured by wild and youthful hair. The woman is in rapture, her hands in the air at peculiar angles, the fingers arrayed in very specific and carefully illustrated arrangements. Her left has her thumb and ring finger forming a loop with others splayed. On her right, he little and ring finger are crossed while the index and middle form a loop with the thumb.
   The seventh is a low view of a woman giving birth, all that can be seen past her groin is swollen breasts and belly. The head of the child is emerging face first and it is of the woman.

A letter, written and ready to be sent, but unsealed
Wyfe I have resevyd your lettar of your gyrrelles hande rehersenge your wantes
I wyll souply them all I can I have cent you abuke adosen of pegens whyche were cent me this daye & for plate I wyll sende you ij basons & ewares more & all the cylvar plate I mene trenchares if I hadd more you shuld have it
I have cent you Abyllyment Ihone Knyfton brought by gylbard pryse xxjli strengar & sandes Ryse & nusum I have cent vnto you to wete
I wold have wrytten more but my hedd Akes fare well my good wyfe
It is written in black ink in a steady hand bereft of superfluous style. There is still some remnant of the sand used to set the ink.

A woollen pouch
The pouch is rough and cheap. The texture is unpleasing and it smells soil and dogs and damp hay. Inside it are two gold coins and a brass monocular.

Two gold coins 
The coins inside are recently minted and so still possess their original shape and lustre. Both show the profile of War-Pope Benefactus with his traditional long hair, lank with the blood of apostates. His face is at ease with a knowing benevolence. The opposite sides differ. One displays the arms of the Imperator, a rampant otter in full armour, standing tall though wounded with an arrow. The other is marked as being from the House Absent, possessing a simple image of an orb hovering above waves.

A brass monocular
Well oiled and clean, it has many small scratches and dents from repeated use. It consists of three segments that can be extended or contracted for ease of transportation.

Tiny skull of St. Ruskus
There are many like it, sold at street corners by vagabonds claiming to be of the families that slew the saint, and the the lucky holder of one of his many heads. They'll tell you of the secrets this or that one knows if you put it under your tongue and swish it around like a boiled sweet. Ruskus' thousand tiny heads are popular, there's nary a household without one. The majority are varying qulities of fake,  but some are not. This is one of those. It was cut from the armpit of the roiling saint and has approximate knowledge of the names of birds and local sumptuary law. It is a human skull the size of a marble, but its appearance is that of a wax model left in the sun; painfully distorted, it's jaw is fused, it's teeth flow into its cheekbones. You can't imagine how this looked in the flesh.

Loose Nibs and reservoirs
13 copper nibs, 5 copper reservoirs, uniform in original design, that of a typical writers sort. However all are bent or splayed from misuse, stained with ink and unusable. They rattle around loose in the bottom of the drawer.