Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Sustained Hold

While browsing the SFtSG rulebook last night, I noticed something interesting in the section on "Sustained Holds" on page 140. It's not something I had noticed before, and it's not something I've seen discussed on other street fighter rpg sites. I'm not sure if that's because it's a dead end or because it was obvious to others. Here's the quote: 
If a wrestler executing a Sustained Hold scores at least one Health Level of damage, he has tied up his opponent. The opponent can do nothing until she escapes from the hold. The victim is allowed one escape attempt just after the end of the combat turn, before the new turn begins. The victim must defeat the wrestler in a contested roll of Strength versus Strength. 
If the victim does not break free, she loses her action next turn. The wrestler can choose to play the same Combat Card next turn and automatically gets to inflct damage on his held opponent whenever his Speed allows him to act during the turn. The wrestler may also decide to drop the hold and play a different Combat Card the following turn. 
Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game, p. 140
We always played it that if a sustained hold was released by the fighter, both fighters could choose a new maneuver for the following round, and I think that's a good interpretation of the intent of the section. But there's another interpretation here, and an interesting one: that after winning the contested roll to maintain the hold, the wrestler can voluntarily choose a different attack next turn. The victim (who lost the roll to break free) cannot choose an attack because they have lost their action.  

This would open up seriously interesting options for grapplers, who could use one of the faster grabs from their repertoire to snare an opponent and then switch to a more powerful attack the following round if they have succeeded in keeping the victim in the hold. This might be too powerful -- fast grapplers are already holy terrors -- but it's an interesting thing to think about. 
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