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Dread Polack
I would like to propose a slight tweak to the subdual combat rules, making high strength a bigger factor in the contest for the attacker.

As it is, if I understand the rules correctly, here's the breakdown:

1) Attacker rolls Agility + Unarmed combat vs. the Defender's Agility + Unarmed Combat (+ Dodge if he's using full defense)

This will tell you whether the attacker can get a grip on the defender in the first place. If not, the defender deflects or dodges, and the attacker is done.

QUOTE ( SR4 pg. 152)
If the attacker successfully hits, compare his Strength + net hits to the defenderís Body. If the attackerís total exceeds the defenderís Body, the attacker grapples and immobilizes the defender. This subduing attack causes no damage to the defender.

3) After this, the defender basically makes an extended Strength + Unarmed combat test (Attacker's net hits, 1 complex action) to break out.

If the attacker wants to, he can spend a complex action to either roll Agility + Unarmed combat to add to the threshold for the defender to break out, or do stun damage = to his Strength to the defender.

The problem, in my mind, is that in order to be a good offensive grappler, you want high agility, not strength, since your strength only counts on the initial grab, and a defender wants high strength and extra initiative passes to get out.

I propose this:

1) make the grab test as normal. This is basically the D&D "touch attack" in grappling.

2) compare Str + net hits vs. Body as normal. Some really huge targets simply can't be subdued.

3) the defender's threshold is = to the difference from step 2, not the unarmed combat test.

4) the attacker rolls Strength + Unarmed combat to increase the threshold, because at this point, you're just holding on, you're not trying to be quicker than your opponent. If GMs want to give skilled characters an edge when wiggling loose, allow them to add escape artist as if they were going full defensive and getting 3 numbers to add together.

Finally, I'd make subdual combat a full-round action. Just because a weak, cybered-up character is squirming faster than a slow, strong troll doesn't mean he's getting out any sooner.

What do you think?

Dread Polack
from what i've heard, wrestling (which subdual combat closely resembles) is based a lot more on speed and technique than you seem to think.
QUOTE (Jaid)
from what i've heard, wrestling (which subdual combat closely resembles) is based a lot more on speed and technique than you seem to think.

I can second that. I've seen a 135 man (strong for his size, admittedly), tie a 6'8", 400-pound mountain of muscle into knots. It was absolutely no contest at all. And while this guy was quite good, he was by no means the best around.

So yeah, when it comes to grappling it's all about technique.
Actually having been a wrestler in high school and a little in college, I amactually very happy with the subdual combat rules as presented.

When you are locking an opponent into position when he has full mobility does rely on skill and strength.

After that, if you intend to press(damage,press down,etc), you need strength and leverage.

However, if you intend to tighten a hold, agility does come into play. You need to make deft moves around limbs while still using your strength at a near constant so they cannot move while you are locking them up further.

Just some observations from my own time in the game.
a lot depends on the hold. some holds just pin arms and legs. other compress the chest, preventing the victem from breathing. another presses on the sides of the neck, preventing flow of blood to the brain. then theres the classic chokehold on the windpipe. In some of these cases, the internal airtank cyberware would help a lot.

the rule looks pretty good overall. i dont think it needs changing. some extra options for judo or similar styles would be nice though.
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