Effects of Wrestling

The effects of Wrestling are pretty clearly explained, but much is left to the fiction.

Like, I’m assuming that a grappled opponent can’t just move away (or retreat), because he’s in a wrestling hold.

On the other hand, there’s nothing saying a grappled foe can’t attack, other than the fiction. So, is that how it should be played? Or is my fighter assumed to still be (awkwardly) swinging his broadsword around until one of the grapplers yanks it away with a 1+ Disarm?


A held opponent is, like any other character in melee, engaged. Therefore he would only be able to move if he declared defensive movement to leave the engagement.

However, a held character cannot use defensive movement until he escapes the hold. This was not made explicit in the rules, but was the intent of this sentence: "A held opponent may make a saving throw versus Paralysis each round to attempt to escape the hold."

While he cannot move until he escapes, a held character is not helpless; he can take other actions, including attacks. Howeer, a held opponent can be the subject of a brawl, force back, disarm, or knock down action each round without an attack throw being required. The held opponent still receives a saving throw. 


Round 1. Marcus is face to face with an orc chieftain (saving throw 13+). He has no weapon! He makes a wrestling attack against the chieftain (-4 to his attack throw for doing so) and hits. The chieftain fails his saving throw and is now held.

The chieftain attempts to escape. He makes a saving throw but rolls a 7 and fails. He is still held.

Round 2: Marcus brawls the chieftain. He automatically hits, dealing 1d4 +2 (STR) + 2 (fighter damage bonus) non-lethal damage to the chieftain. His roll is a 3, so the chieftain takes 7 damage. Brawling does not permit a saving throw.

The chieftain hacks at Marcus with his axe. He makes an attack throw and misses. He is also still held.

Round 3: Marcus decides to shove the chieftain into a nearby burning brazier. This is a forceback. He automatically hits. The chieftain gets a saving throw, but fails. Marcus's normal damage is 1d4+4 and the roll is 5, so the chieftain is shoved back 5' into the brazier. He takes 1d8 damage as burning oil coats him., for a total of 6.

The chieftain is now free of the hold. He charges Marcus with his axe and misses.

Round 4: The chieftain takes another 1d8 damage from burns, rolling a 5. He has now taken 18 points of damage and expires.