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Stirge Grapple


Rules Questions


So, I was grappled by two stirges. My rogue had a crappy CMB of 1 and CMD of 13. Firstly, we ruled that I couldn't attack the stirges with a dagger one-handed without first making an opposed grapple check. To me, the rules suggest that you can unless you are actively trying to get out of the grapple in which case you then make an opposed roll. I didn't want to oppose the grapple, I just wanted to stab it. Secondly, the stirge was using its considerable CMB of +11 (a racial bonus given in subsequent rounds once the grapple had been established) and a further +5 from the normal rules on grappling (pg 200 Core Rulebook), again, given if the victim couldn't break the initial grapple. So, +16.

But, it goes on to say on pg 201 that the victim can attempt to break a grapple as a standard action by making a combat maneuver check, DC equal to attackers CMD (in this case, 9).

Is it just me or does this sound totally contradictory? Can the stirge keep opposing me at +16 since it managed to grapple me in the first instance which would mean it uses its CMB vs my CMB or do I just beat its CMD of 9 and then stab at it?

Ideas please. I really feel this rule should be clearer.


prd wrote:
Attach (Ex) When a stirge hits with a touch attack, its barbed legs latch onto the target, anchoring it in place. An attached stirge is effectively grappling its prey. The stirge loses its Dexterity bonus to AC and has an AC of 12, but holds on with great tenacity and inserts its proboscis into the grappled target's flesh. A stirge has a +8 racial bonus to maintain its grapple on a foe once it is attached. An attached stirge can be struck with a weapon or grappled itself—if its prey manages to win a grapple check or Escape Artist check against it, the stirge is removed.

you are a rouge use escape artist.

-Flash


FAQ wrote:

Grapple: There are some contradictions between the various rules on grappling. What is correct?

To sum up the correct rules:
... 2) A grappled creature can still make a full attack.

Update: Page 201—In the If You Are Grappled section, in the fourth sentence, change “any action that requires only one hand to perform” to “any action that doesn’t require two hands to perform.” In the fourth sentence, change “make an attack with a light or one-handed weapon” to “make an attack or full attack with a light or one-handed weapon” ...

—Sean K Reynolds, 08/30/11 Back to Top

I took the important bits, but yea looks like you can attack it without a check.

-Flash


Your GM was mistaken -

First, the stirge has a CMB of 3 for the initial grapple check, it only gets the +11 after it has successfully attached.

Second, you can always attack with a light weapon in-hand when grappled. You take a -2 penalty to the attack.

Third, if you try to break the grapple, you roll a CMB against the stirge's CMD. The CMD does not get the +5 circumstance bonus, only the stirge's CMB gets the +5 circumstance bonus, most likely to be used when it attempts to maintain the grapple on its turn. However, the stirge's Attach ability does give it a +8 bonus to its CMD once it has successfully attached, thus giving it a CMD of 17, which is actually one better than your GM was assuming.

Finally, after being successfully attached for 4 rounds, and thus after it has drained you of 4 con, a stirge detaches and flies away.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

It's not an opposed roll. Fighting a stirge goes like this:

1) The stirge enters your square to attack, provoking an attack of opportunity because it is a tiny creature.
2) The stirge makes a touch attack and if it succeeds it is grappling you.
3) If it succeeds in the attack, at the end of the turn the stirge will drain your blood causing 1 point of constitution damage.
4) On your turn you have the option to either hit the attached stirge or grapple it to remove it.
5) If you try to break the grapple then you make a CMB check against the CMD of the stirge if you are successful then the stirge is removed.
6) If the stirge is still alive and not removed it must make a CMB check against your CMD to stay attached. If you did not try to remove it the stirge gets a +5 bonus to this roll. If it succeeds it drains another point of constitution.

Simple.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

By the way stirges act slightly differently to most other creatures when it comes to grappling.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber
Mabven the OP healer wrote:

Your GM was mistaken -

First, the stirge has a CMB of 3 for the initial grapple check, it only gets the +11 after it has successfully attached.

Not quite true. A stirge automatically grapples if it makes it's initial attack. No initial CMB roll is necessary.

Cheliax

There is also the thing about stirges that most people miss, including me when I first ran them: they are tiny creatures with 0 foot reach, so your character should have gotten an attack of opportunity on them prior to their grapple attempt.

As for slicing them off, anything you can do with one hand free is fair game; you can actually switch up the hand you use as well, so long as you're not attacking with a two-handed weapon or playing a tuba.


Thanks guys! Yeah, on the second round I did use escape artist and was succsessful. After much reading last night I came to the same conclusion as you guys too.

I can imagine flailing at the thing as it gets on me, then ripping it off and it trying to re-attach again. What confuses me is this. Ok, it succeeds in attaching. When I get my turn I roll vs its CMD (9) and win thus removing it. On it's turn it just uses its initial numbers to attach again and we repeat the process?

Also it looks as if the grappler must make a roll each round to keep the grapple going? This is where the racial +11 comes in if it hasn't been removed on my turn?

What I should've done is ready an action to remove it (act directly after it does) so it can't end it's turn on me thus failing to drain me.

Thanks alot guys.


It seems absurd that the attach from a stirge gives the grappled condition, stopping movement even on gargantuan creatures.
Is that correct? Can a stirge stop a tarrasque dead in its tracks by attaching itself?


dotting cause I love stirges vs. low-level PCs


Infyra wrote:

It seems absurd that the attach from a stirge gives the grappled condition, stopping movement even on gargantuan creatures.

Is that correct? Can a stirge stop a tarrasque dead in its tracks by attaching itself?

I doubt a 1000 stirges could even damage a tarrasque. The tarrasque has a 66 CMD, is immune to ability damage, has +40 Regeneration.

Haven't even considered its damage reduction.. which is 15/EPIC....

I would consider the Stirge's attach grapple would need to go through Damage reduction to even count, although I can't find the rules that say that.


yup, you can attack it with a weapon, you can even full attack, you just can't do anything that uses 2 hands (unless you aren't humanoid shaped, e..g have more than 2 arms). there is no light weapon limitation.

mabven is wrong about the stirge's CMD, the bonus it gets to CMB to maintain the grapple does not apply to CMD.

yes, it would seem to block a tarrasque from moving.


Quandary wrote:


yes, it would seem to block a tarrasque from moving.

Just cause I'm piecing together the attach rules for myself, I'll rez this. It's not too old.

Attach doesn't give the target the grappled condition, only the attaching creature has the grappled condition. So it doesn't stop movement.


i see that, but some of the wording and interactions seem kind of confusing...
apparently the stirge can 'maintain the grapple', which allows them to Pin the target...


Quandary wrote:

i see that, but some of the wording and interactions seem kind of confusing...

apparently the stirge can 'maintain the grapple', which allows them to Pin the target...

If the target doesn't have the grappled condition, I'm pretty sure you can't pin it.


Ximen Bao wrote:


Attach doesn't give the target the grappled condition, only the attaching creature has the grappled condition. So it doesn't stop movement.

Hrm. I'm not sure on that. From Universal Monster Rules on Attach(Ex) you would be correct that any attaching creature gains the grappled condition while the victim does not.

PRD - Universal Monster Rules wrote:


Attach (Ex) The creature automatically latches onto its target when it successfully makes the listed attack. The creature is considered grappling, but the target is not. The target can attack or grapple the creature as normal, or break the attach with a successful grapple or Escape Artist check. Most creatures with this ability have a racial bonus to maintain a grapple (listed in its CMB entry).

However, the entry on the stirge says that upon attaching it is "effectivley grappling it prey". And I was under the impression that specific trumped general.

PRD - Stirge Entry wrote:


Attach (Ex) When a stirge hits with a touch attack, its barbed legs latch onto the target, anchoring it in place. An attached stirge is effectively grappling its prey.

At our home game we read "grappling it's prey" as meaning "it's prey is grappled". Thus the prey has the grappled condition. We may be misinterpreting it, and I agree that it doesn't really make sense for larger things like huge dragons to not be able to move, but it is how we've run it to date. Regardless of other considerations you want those things off you as quickly as possible.


the stirge ability seems to be an independent ability, not referencing the universal one.
some specific monster COULD reference the universal ability and specify any variations, but that isn't the case here.
there are other cases of monster abilities being identically named to univeral abilities, but working differently (see gibbering mouther/shoggoth vs. engulf).
not to mention class abilities with the same name but working differently (different sources of hide in plain sight).
so stirge attach doesn't have the 'the target is not [considered grappling]' clause,
and the default for if any sort of grapple is going on is for both creatures to gain the grappled condition, so that should be the case per RAW.

the universal ability itself is poorly worded (besides allowing the attacher to maintain without excluding pin/other options). by not explicitly referencing that the target does not gain the grappled CONDITION (it says they aren't considered grappling, a broader concept), that means that they can't reverse the grapple... and thus if they choose to use the 'can... grapple the [attach] creature as normal' option, that would seem to mean that two parallel grapple tracks are established since the first was never broken.

likewise the blood drain ability doesn't follow the universal format, in the special attack line it should read: blood drain (1 Constitution) but the parenthetical damage info is missing (it's mentioned in the write-up, but the offense section is straying from the format).


Quandary wrote:

the stirge ability seems to be an independent ability, not referencing the universal one.

some specific monster COULD reference the universal ability and specify any variations, but that isn't the case here.
there are other cases of monster abilities being identically named to univeral abilities, but working differently (see gibbering mouther/shoggoth vs. engulf).
not to mention class abilities with the same name but working differently (different sources of hide in plain sight).
so stirge attach doesn't have the 'the target is not [considered grappling]' clause,
and the default for if any sort of grapple is going on is for both creatures to gain the grappled condition, so that should be the case per RAW.

the universal ability itself is poorly worded (besides allowing the attacher to maintain without excluding pin/other options). by not explicitly referencing that the target does not gain the grappled CONDITION (it says they aren't considered grappling, a broader concept), that means that they can't reverse the grapple... and thus if they choose to use the 'can... grapple the [attach] creature as normal' option, that would seem to mean that two parallel grapple tracks are established since the first was never broken.

likewise the blood drain ability doesn't follow the universal format, in the special attack line it should read: blood drain (1 Constitution) but the parenthetical damage info is missing (it's mentioned in the write-up, but the offense section is straying from the format).

I'd love clarification on this as I use stirges all the time on my druid. We thought they counted as grappling thanks to the

Quote:
An attached stirge is effectively grappling its prey.

clause which seemed to over ride the general attach rules.


Undone wrote:
Quandary wrote:

the stirge ability seems to be an independent ability, not referencing the universal one.

some specific monster COULD reference the universal ability and specify any variations, but that isn't the case here.
there are other cases of monster abilities being identically named to univeral abilities, but working differently (see gibbering mouther/shoggoth vs. engulf).
not to mention class abilities with the same name but working differently (different sources of hide in plain sight).
so stirge attach doesn't have the 'the target is not [considered grappling]' clause,
and the default for if any sort of grapple is going on is for both creatures to gain the grappled condition, so that should be the case per RAW.

the universal ability itself is poorly worded (besides allowing the attacher to maintain without excluding pin/other options). by not explicitly referencing that the target does not gain the grappled CONDITION (it says they aren't considered grappling, a broader concept), that means that they can't reverse the grapple... and thus if they choose to use the 'can... grapple the [attach] creature as normal' option, that would seem to mean that two parallel grapple tracks are established since the first was never broken.

likewise the blood drain ability doesn't follow the universal format, in the special attack line it should read: blood drain (1 Constitution) but the parenthetical damage info is missing (it's mentioned in the write-up, but the offense section is straying from the format).

I'd love clarification on this as I use stirges all the time on my druid. We thought they counted as grappling thanks to the

Quote:
An attached stirge is effectively grappling its prey.
clause which seemed to over ride the general attach rules.

The stirge is grappling the target. It gains the grappled condition.

However, that doesn't mean the target is grappled. It does not gain the grappled condition.

Such is the nature of attach, and nothing here contradicts it.

If the text can simply be read as consistent with the general case, that's how it should be interpreted.

Sczarni

The Weasel "automatically grapples its prey", too. I think that's just the wording of Attach to convey the idea that this tiny-sized creature is holding on.

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