Pain and Breaking Free

Experienced fighters extol the virtues of injuring a rival grappler in order to distract him and break free (see Break Free, p. B371). This is realistic and effective . . . if you hit! Attacks are at -4 while grappled and can't involve any body part or weapon that your foe is restraining.

If your assailant is behind you - using a garrote, applying a Choke Hold, etc. - your options are limited. You can make a Wild Swing (p. B388) or a Back Strike (p. 67) with a weapon in a free hand; use Back Kick (p. 67) or Elbow Strike (p. 71); try a Stamp Kick (pp. 80-81) to his foot; or bite his arm or hand (see Teeth, p. 115). The penalties for these attacks and hit locations are cumulative with the -4 for being grappled.

If you're pinned, you can't attack without an exotic advantage: Extra Mouth on your torso, Innate Attack from the eyes, etc.

If your attack roll succeeds, your opponent can try any close-combat parry with a free hand; a Jam, if you kicked; a grappling skill parry with the arms he's using to hold you; or a dodge. The last two options represent shoving you aside. If he fails, you inflict your usual damage.

Killing him, knocking him out, or crippling the only limb he's holding on with means you're free! Crippling one of several limbs lowers his ST bonus to restrain you. Stunning him gives him -4 to prevent you from breaking free until he recovers.

If you wound him, his shock penalty (-1 to -4) lowers his ST as well as his DX if you try to break free. However, the penalty vanishes before your next turn, so the only way to capitalize on it is to try to break free immediately. To do so, you must make two attacks - whether via All-Out Attack (Double), Extra Attack, or Rapid Strike. Your first attack is your attempt to wound your attacker; your second is your attempt to break free.

These rules also apply if an ally wounds your attacker.

All of this cuts both ways. If you're injured, your shock penalty applies to your attack rolls and your ST rolls to break free! The same goes for pain penalties caused by an assailant who uses Inflicting Pain with Locks, above.

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