So the insanity from last game's grapple-fest had me comparing the rules on grappling in OSRIC to how I used Philotomy's rules on Combat Sequence. I wanted to simplify it down so that it's 1) clear who can do what/when and 2) make it reflect some realities (size of opponents).
Here's the OSRIC rules on Grappling/Overbearing:
Two other unarmed attack forms are possible: Grappling attacks and Overbearing attacks. A successful grappling attack inflicts 0-1 (1d2-1) points of damage, but also restrains the target and prevents him or her from fi ghting. The chance of breaking a successful grapple should be determined according to the relative strengths of the creatures concerned. (An ogre could restrain a kobold almost indefinitely, and would be able to break free of the kobold’s grasp at will.)
Overbearing attacks are Grappling attacks exercised at the end of a Charge (see “Charge” above). If successful, the opponent is prone rather than restrained. Otherwise the attack is treated as a grapple.
Simple, right? For one on one, yes. The situation Sunday was that we had several opponents (goblins) trying to take down a human. It was not fun to roll through this, and I didn't like trying to roll each individual attack and determine it on an attacker by attacker basis. Now 1E's grappling rules are non-existant in the PHB, while DMG and UA has insane grappling rules.
I proposed the following rules to my group and there was no consensus on whether this was a Good Thing or not - so I'm going to at least try them on for size and see how it goes. A trial post at Knights & Knaves got a couple of questions, but the only real feedback I got was "It's close to UA" so I'm guessing at least I'm not way off base. I don't think I've made a fantastic rule that will change RPG-dom, but I like it and it's stood up to most questioning.
Chgowiz's OSRIC Grappling rules
I want to make attacks and freeing attempts as a simple attack vs. AC roll. I want to keep the max # of modifiers to 3 - Number of opponents involved, size and any STR modifiers available.
Grappling attacks are made against an opponent using the standard modifiers applicable to melee combat (including attribute and magical effects.) If an grapple attack is successful, the opponent is now held. Any future attacks by the held combatant are at -2 for each grappler holding. A grapple attack results in 0-1 (1d2-1) points of damage.
Multiple opponents may attempt to grapple one opponent. For each additional grappler, +2 is added to attack roll. If the grapple attack is successful, then all grapplers are said to have a hold. Only dice once for damage. For mixed level groups, designate a primary attacker (would usually be the highest level.)
A held combatant may attempt to free themselves the next attack (this round if they lost initiative, next round if they've already attacked this round) by rolling a successful attack roll. They suffer a -2 penalty per grappler having a hold. If they are prone, they also suffer the normal -4 to the attack. A held combatant may not perform any other combat action or movement.
In the round following a successful grapple, the grappler(s) may attempt to force them prone (pin) with a successful attack. The multiple opponents bonus applies.
Alternatively, rather than forcing a pin, the grappler(s) may choose to pummel the held opponent (think sucker shots here...). Roll an attack normally, with +2 bonus to the attacker. Damage is 1d2 with normal bonuses/penalties.
Size matters in grappling attacks or freeing attempts. Any penalty is applied ONCE to a single die roll, and multiple attackers vs a larger being may end up negating the penalty. Bonuses are cumulative.
If an attacker is Small, they have +0 versus other Small, -2 versus Medium, -4 versus Large.
If an attacker is Medium, they have +2 versus Small, +0 versus Medium, -2 versus Large
If an attacker is Large, they have +4 versus Small, +2 versus Medium, +0 versus Large
Aramin faces 4 snarling goblins who wish to force him down. They win initiave and attack first. Aramin's AC is 3. The goblins gain a +6 for 3 additional grapplers, and a -2 for the small size penalty, for a total bonus of +4. They roll a 15 (+4) for 19 total, a successful attack. Aramin has now been grappled. The goblins dice a 0 for damage. This ruins the attack that Aramin had planned for that round, but he can try to free himself. Unfortunately, he rolls a 14 which is penalized a -8 (-2 per attacker) although he gets a +2 for STR and +2 for size difference. His total attack is an 10. He cannot free himself.
In the next round, the goblins win intiative (again) and attempt to force Aramin prone. They have the same bonus (+6 for 3 additional grapplers, -2 for small size) of +4. This time, they roll a 3. Aramin is proving too strong for them to pull down!
Aramin will now attempt to free himself. He has a +2 for strength of 17 (example), a +2 for the size difference, and a -8 for 4 grapplers, for a total penalty for -4. The goblins' AC is 7. Aramin dices a 16, which is enough for a successful attack. He throws off the grapplers and frees himself!
Now, this is not perfect, but it serves to abstract the inclusion of multiple attackers and the size differences enough without being too cumbersome. We can also run through this and tweak it if it works. I should also note that group vs. group grapples, I would resolve singly or however the party wanted to divide up the attacks.
(Edited to update that I will allow an attempt to free oneself if they still have their attack to perform that round.)
Also, as an edit addendum, someone asked me about AC and the fact that AC would actually hinder someone. Well, I says, this is abstract D&D combat and I'm thinking that while someone might be easier to pull down in plate, I'm also thinking that if I'm trying to grapple someone in armor and he smacks me in the head... well, then I wouldn't care so much about AC, I'd just have a lump. I may go to ignoring AC for grapples, but since the grapple-fest previously mentioned, it hasn't come up again. We'll see.