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Quick question about the Skull Ripper and the order of operation with grapples and the behead ability.
Round 1) Hit with claw, do claw damage, make grapple check, success, do constrict damage.
Round 2) Maintain grapple as a standard action, success, apply pinned condition, do constrict damage and claw damage.
Round 3) Maintain grapple as a standard action, success, continue pin, do constrict and claw damage, do behead special ability.
Does this sound right?
Yep. Looks right. The attack is "made as part of a grapple check to maintain an existing pin", so it doesn't get to do it 'til round 3.
Too bad. It's nice and gruesome, and I'm sure the look on your players' faces would be priceless...
Yeah, even when it fails, it's scary. When I ran it a few weeks ago, I got the party paladin down to 2 HP on the behead attempt, and my description of it trying to rip his head off had them all in a panic to kill the thing THAT ROUND before it could try that again. Of course, it was already heavily damaged by then, too, so they did manage to kill it and free the pally before he died, but that sense that it was a tough fight that they barely overcame before another party member was killed made it lots of fun.