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Grappling is conducted as per the rules listed in the Exalted Core pp.157 - 158, with the folowing alterations and clarifications.

Clinches and Speed

A clinch is a Speed 6 attack. Contesting a clinch is also Speed 6, though not an attack per se, and somewhat different from the usual approach: the action is carried out, but only when a character achieves control does it become known who has taken the Speed 6 action: whichever character is now in control.

Clinches and Flurries

Note that a successful Clinch starts a grapple... this brings an end to any flurry being undertaken by the character attempting the clinch. The one exception to this is other clinch attempts against different opponents, which may be undertaken after a successful clinch provided use of an appropriate Charm or stunt.

Because of this, though not required, it is usually best to place Clinches at the end of any flurry a character undertakes, though multiiple clinches against one target in a flurry mean if the first one fails additional attempts can be available in hope they succeed.

The character controlling the grapple may employ flurries but must use every action to either contest control of the grapple or perform a clinch against a different target (requiring appropriate Charm or stunt). Their first action must always contest the grapple.


When control of a clinch is achieved, characters may select between several tasks: Break Hold (release with no further violence), Break Hold (throw away), Break Hold (throw to ground), Crush, Hold. This is not an action, or an optional effect: whenever control of a clinch is achieved the character selects one of the tasks and carries it out.

A character who succeeds on a clinch attack immediately assumes control and carries out one of the listed tasks. A character who wins the roll to contest a clinch immediately assumes control and carries out one of the listed tasks.

Breaking Grapple

While wrestling for control demands use of Martial Arts, even when grappled Melee fighters armed with weapons are able to bring to bear a number of skills and techniques designed to free them from hostile grasp. In addition to the roll of [STR or DEX] + Martial Arts to contest a clinch, the victim (not the current controller) may resist with DEX + Melee, so long as they are armed with a Melee-appropriate weapon.

If a character wins control of the clinch using any pool other than [STR or DEX] + Martial Arts, they can perform only one task: Break Hold (release with no further violence). This task is mandatory for such characters.