I want to preface this product reveiw with the following: I’ve not yet played Pathfinder or Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition, but have read both and have a good understanding of the rules therein. I’ve played many games with the original Dungeons and Dragons game engine (aka “OSR” aka “Swords and Wizardry”). Additionally, I worked as both an editor and indexer on this project and the author, +Douglas Cole is a good friend of mine. All that said, to the review!
Douglas has created a stunningly beautiful book. This 53-page PDF (or softback – it comes in both) has some of the most impressive art I’ve ever seen. But more than that, the content is well-crafted and simplistic. Like all of Doug’s work he takes something complex and flavourful and makes it easy to use and straightforward.
The various rules for grappling cover three different rules engines: Swords and Wizardry (a retroclone of Dungeons and Dragons), Pathfinder, and Dungeons and Dragon’s 5th edition. Most of the affects and rules are the same and where they greatly differ (as in Pathfinder) there is extensive rules to cover most contingencies.
Their are further sections on each different game system to cover the nitty gritty details (including new feats and abilities as appropriate).
Finally, there are rules for monsters grappling PCs (which is the height of drama in my opinion). Monsters grappling a player character can lead to interesting results and make combat more deadly (or less) if done right.
All in all, I would have bought this book even if I wasn’t a part of the design team – it really is that good. It takes something I like about GURPS and transposes it to three other systems in a way that not only makes sense, but is actually easy to use.
You can buy it here at DriveThruRPG and it’s own sale thanks to it being GM’s Day.