# Multiple grabs on full attack

### Rules Questions

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I have a few questions about creatures that can make multiple grab attempts as part of a full attack (specifically, I'm thinking of the Froghemoth.)

1) Is there anything that stops a creature from grabbing multiple targets?

2) If it can grab multiple targets, on its next turn, does it have to spend its standard action maintaining the grapple? If it has multiple creatures grabbed, would it have to release all but one?

3) If it makes a successful grab attempt with its first attack and gains the grappled condition, does it get to make the rest of its attacks, taking the -2 for being grappled to the attack and CMB rolls?

RumpinRufus wrote:
1) Is there anything that stops a creature from grabbing multiple targets?

Nope. Just remember to apply the Grappled condition as soon as one of the succeeds, unless it takes the penalty to Hold.

RumpinRufus wrote:
2) If it can grab multiple targets, on its next turn, does it have to spend its standard action maintaining the grapple? If it has multiple creatures grabbed, would it have to release all but one?

Yes and yes. It can either maintain (one of them), or drop them all.

RumpinRufus wrote:
3) If it makes a successful grab attempt with its first attack and gains the grappled condition, does it get to make the rest of its attacks, taking the -2 for being grappled to the attack and CMB rolls?

Assuming it didn't Hold, yes to attack, no to CMB, (also assuming the CMB is made to grapple). Grappled.

On #3, it would take the -2 to CMB rolls to grapple against targets it isn't already grappling wouldn't it? A bonus to maintain the grapple but a penalty to start a second grapple?

1.) See Grick's.

2.) Not always. It can make multiple grabs and then take a -20 to instead 'hold' them, which makes and maintains a grappled condition, without the creature actually gaining the grappled condition. It can always choose to do it this way over the normal grapple rules. This would allow him to also 'constrict' 4 targets in the same round if the Frog gets lucky with his rolls. Normally 'holds' don't do damage, but they do if the creature has constrict, and this creature does have that.

Corren28 wrote:
On #3, it would take the -2 to CMB rolls to grapple against targets it isn't already grappling wouldn't it? A bonus to maintain the grapple but a penalty to start a second grapple?

Grappled: "A grappled creature is restrained by a creature, trap, or effect. Grappled creatures cannot move and take a –4 penalty to Dexterity. A grappled creature takes a –2 penalty on all attack rolls and combat maneuver checks, except those made to grapple or escape a grapple. In addition, grappled creatures can take no action that requires two hands to perform. A grappled character who attempts to cast a spell or use a spell-like ability must make a concentration check (DC 10 + grappler's CMB + spell level), or lose the spell. Grappled creatures cannot make attacks of opportunity."

Winterwalker wrote:

1.) See Grick's.

2.) Not always. It can make multiple grabs and then take a -20 to instead 'hold' them, which makes and maintains a grappled condition, without the creature actually gaining the grappled condition. It can always choose to do it this way over the normal grapple rules. This would allow him to also 'constrict' 4 targets in the same round if the Frog gets lucky with his rolls. Normally 'holds' don't do damage, but they do if the creature has constrict, and this creature does have that.

That doesn't quite jibe with the rules there.

Yes it can grab->grapple->hold multiple targets in the round it makes the attacks but that doesn't carry over into the next round.

Grab wrote:
If a creature with this special attack hits with the indicated attack (usually a claw or bite attack), it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. The creature has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply to use the part of its body it used in the grab to hold the opponent. If it chooses to do the latter, it takes a –20 penalty on its CMB check to make and maintain the grapple, but does not gain the grappled condition itself.

The rule you are quoting is part of the special ability that happens when it hits attempts to start the grapple you ave the option of taking the -20 to CMB. The following round the condition has changed and it needs to spend a standard action to maintain the grapple. Since it's only a free action on the round it starts the grapple it defaults back to a standard action to maintain on following rounds and since you only have one standard action it can only grapple one of it's targets, the rest have to be released.

Ah, I was thinking it was -2 to attack and cmb except those made to maintain the grapple. Gotcha.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Winterwalker wrote:

1.) See Grick's.

2.) Not always. It can make multiple grabs and then take a -20 to instead 'hold' them, which makes and maintains a grappled condition, without the creature actually gaining the grappled condition. It can always choose to do it this way over the normal grapple rules. This would allow him to also 'constrict' 4 targets in the same round if the Frog gets lucky with his rolls. Normally 'holds' don't do damage, but they do if the creature has constrict, and this creature does have that.

That doesn't quite jibe with the rules there.

Yes it can grab->grapple->hold multiple targets in the round it makes the attacks but that doesn't carry over into the next round.

Grab wrote:
If a creature with this special attack hits with the indicated attack (usually a claw or bite attack), it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. The creature has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply to use the part of its body it used in the grab to hold the opponent. If it chooses to do the latter, it takes a –20 penalty on its CMB check to make and maintain the grapple, but does not gain the grappled condition itself.

The rule you are quoting is part of the special ability that happens when it hits attempts to start the grapple you ave the option of taking the -20 to CMB. The following round the condition has changed and it needs to spend a standard action to maintain the grapple. Since it's only a free action on the round it starts the grapple it defaults back to a standard action to maintain on following rounds and since you only have one standard action it can only grapple one of it's targets, the rest have to be released.

Please provide a RAW example of why the 'hold' text wouldn't carry over. Unless I am mistaken they are 'not considered grappling' while using the 'hold' in this fashion, and therefore it wouldn't need to 'maintain' said grapple as a standard action.

Thats how it reads to me.

Winterwalker wrote:
Unless I am mistaken they are 'not considered grappling' while using the 'hold' in this fashion, and therefore it wouldn't need to 'maintain' said grapple as a standard action.

The creature is still grappling, it just doesn't have the grappled condition.

"If it chooses to do the latter, it takes a –20 penalty on its CMB check to make and maintain the grapple, but does not gain the grappled condition itself."

Grick wrote:
Winterwalker wrote:
Unless I am mistaken they are 'not considered grappling' while using the 'hold' in this fashion, and therefore it wouldn't need to 'maintain' said grapple as a standard action.

The creature is still grappling, it just doesn't have the grappled condition.

"If it chooses to do the latter, it takes a –20 penalty on its CMB check to make and maintain the grapple, but does not gain the grappled condition itself."

I re-read and OK I see 'grappled' is an actual condition you gain, fair enough you are still 'grappling', however I think the option to take a -20 allows them to maintain said grapple without needing to use the standard action in the general rules, as it says as much right in the text of the specific ability used.

I believe this is a case where a specific rule is trumping a general rule, and at a hefty penalty to do it.

So my original thought that a Froghemeth can make and maintain 4 grapples at a time could actually happen.

no. they can indeed use the -20 option (not gaining the grappled condition themself) either for establishing the grapple as part of grab, or maintaining said grapple. the reference to 'the grapple' (using specific 'the' reference rather than generic 'a' grapple aka 'any' grapple) in 'the option to conduct 'the grapple' normally or ...use specific body part... to not be grappled... taking -20 penalty)' does mean that per RAW they can only use the -20 option to establish GRAB grapple attacks and maintain grapples resulting from said grab attacks, NOT for grapples resulting from other means (e.g. the normal action used to grapple with entire body).
but nothing in the 2 sentences pertaining to the -20 option does anything to change the action used to maintain a grapple, only the first sentence is changing the action to begin a grapple. the first sentence allowing the free grapple attack (on top of any natural attack that has the grab quality) only 'start(s) a grapple', it doesn't allow for maintaining a grapple (and attendant auxiliary effects of that, e.g. pin/damage/move).
this is why whenever grab is discussed on these boards, you will see people recommend that UNLESS you only have one target you are really focused on pinning (or otherwise maintaining grapple on), grab monsters with multiple attacks are often better off NOT maintaining, and simply full attacking again, doing full attack damage and getting to re-initiate grapple from the beginning... even though this misses out on the +5 bonus to maintain a previously existing grapple. (if the existing grapple doesn't 'expire' until the end of your turn, i.e. from not maintaining it that round, then the target will still suffer the CMD penalty resulting from the grappled condition's penalty to DEX, and this would still apply against new melee attacks/grab checks to start a new grapple)
if you have greater grapple that allows maintaining a grapple against two targets in one round, that could change things a bit (to enable pinning/maintaing a grapple vs. TWO opponents), but most grab monsters don't have greater grapple... So constantly 're-initiating' grab/grapple, effectively keeping them constantly in 'grappled' condition (but unable to advance to pin/etc) is the better option unless your priorities are to focus on pinning/maintaining a single target. If the natural attacks have low chances to hit, an the +5 bonus to maintain a grapple is really crucial, you may choose to maintain vs. a single target if keeping that target grappled is really important.

Winterwalker wrote:
I think the option to take a -20 allows them to maintain said grapple without needing to use the standard action in the general rules, as it says as much right in the text of the specific ability used.

Grab (Ex): "If a creature with this special attack hits with the indicated attack (usually a claw or bite attack), it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. Unless otherwise noted, grab can only be used against targets of a size equal to or smaller than the creature with this ability. If the creature can use grab on creatures of other sizes, it is noted in the creature's Special Attacks line. The creature has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use the part of its body it used in the grab to hold the opponent. If it chooses to do the latter, it takes a –20 penalty on its CMB check to make and maintain the grapple, but does not gain the grappled condition itself. A successful hold does not deal any extra damage unless the creature also has the constrict special attack. If the creature does not constrict, each successful grapple check it makes during successive rounds automatically deals the damage indicated for the attack that established the hold. Otherwise, it deals constriction damage as well (the amount is given in the creature's descriptive text).

Creatures with the grab special attack receive a +4 bonus on combat maneuver checks made to start and maintain a grapple."

Sentence 1: If you hit, you can attempt to start a grapple as a free action, no AoO.

Sentence 2: Size restrictions

Sentence 3: Exceptions to the size restrictions.

Sentence 4: There is an option to Hold

Sentence 5: When Holding, there's a penalty, but no grappled condition.

Sentence 6: Hold only does extra damage with constrict.

Sentence 7: Without constrict, grapple checks in successive rounds deal damage based on weapon.

Sentence 8: With constrict, it deals extra damage from constrict.

Sentence 9 or Paragraph 2: Hey, sweet bonus on starting and maintaining a grapple.

Which of those sentences do you think implies that maintaining the grapple is a free action when using a Hold?

Grick wrote:
Winterwalker wrote:
I think the option to take a -20 allows them to maintain said grapple without needing to use the standard action in the general rules, as it says as much right in the text of the specific ability used.

Grab (Ex): "If a creature with this special attack hits with the indicated attack (usually a claw or bite attack), it deals normal damage and attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. Unless otherwise noted, grab can only be used against targets of a size equal to or smaller than the creature with this ability. If the creature can use grab on creatures of other sizes, it is noted in the creature's Special Attacks line. The creature has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use the part of its body it used in the grab to hold the opponent. If it chooses to do the latter, it takes a –20 penalty on its CMB check to make and maintain the grapple, but does not gain the grappled condition itself. A successful hold does not deal any extra damage unless the creature also has the constrict special attack. If the creature does not constrict, each successful grapple check it makes during successive rounds automatically deals the damage indicated for the attack that established the hold. Otherwise, it deals constriction damage as well (the amount is given in the creature's descriptive text).

Creatures with the grab special attack receive a +4 bonus on combat maneuver checks made to start and maintain a grapple."

Sentence 1: If you hit, you can attempt to start a grapple as a free action, no AoO.

Sentence 2: Size restrictions

Sentence 3: Exceptions to the size restrictions.

Sentence 4: There is an option to Hold

Sentence 5: When Holding, there's a penalty, but no grappled condition.

Sentence 6: Hold only does extra damage with constrict.

Sentence 7: Without constrict, grapple checks in successive...

No offense meant but I don't want to comment on anything you posted as it's not the point I am making here.

RAW says: " The creature has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use the part of its body it used in the grab to hold the opponent. If it chooses to do the latter, it takes a –20 penalty on its CMB check to make and maintain the grapple, but does not gain the grappled condition itself. "

What does "make and maintain" mean to you Grick? To me it means that they are in fact "maintaining" the hold and shouldn't need to use a standard action, as those are the general rules for maintaining a grapple.

This ability is trumps that doesn't it? It's a specific rule that says you can use the normal rules, or these ones.

Create a scenario where that RAW is disputed and I will comment on that. Not on whatever you posted above, as it's not specific to my argument I am posting here.

Winterwalker wrote:
No offense meant but I don't want to comment on anything you posted as it's not the point I am making here.

It's exactly the point. You said that something in the -20 option means you can maintain as a free action. I asked you to point out what part of those rules you think makes it a free action.

Winterwalker wrote:
RAW says: " The creature has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use the part of its body it used in the grab to hold the opponent. If it chooses to do the latter, it takes a –20 penalty on its CMB check to make and maintain the grapple, but does not gain the grappled condition itself. "

So you're looking at sentence 5. That's telling you that when you choose to Hold, you take a -20 penalty on CMB check to make and maintain the grapple, and that you don't gain the grappled condition.

That's what it says, and that's what it means.

Did you use the option to Hold? Then take a -20 penalty on the initial grapple check that you make as a free action when you hit with the Grab appendage.

Did you use the option to Hold? Then take a -20 penalty on the grapple check to maintain the grapple next round.

Did you use the option to Hold? Then you don't gain the grappled condition.

None of that has anything to do with changing the action required to maintain a grapple.

Winterwalker wrote:
What does "make and maintain" mean to you Grick?

It means the -20 penalty applies to two things:

1) The CMB check to make the grapple. This is a free action, because it says so in sentence 1.

2) The CMB check to maintain the grapple. This is a standard action, because that's the general rule, and there's no specific rule in the Grab ability that says otherwise.

Winterwalker wrote:
To me it means that they are in fact "maintaining" the hold and shouldn't need to use a standard action, as those are the general rules for maintaining a grapple.

The only time an action is mentioned in the entire ability is when it says you can attempt to "start a grapple as a free action."

Start a grapple. Not maintain, not pin, not do anything else. Just start.

Winterwalker wrote:
Create a scenario where that RAW is disputed and I will comment on that. Not on whatever you posted above, as it's not specific to my argument I am posting here.

It's completely specific to your argument, since your argument depends on the Grab ability saying something it doesn't say.

Grick the grab ability says you can make and maintain the grapple when you use it's alternate rules for "maintaining" this grapple via the grab ability. This couldn't be more clear to me personally.

Are you deliberately ignoring that?

Winterwalker wrote:

Grick the grab ability says you can make and maintain the grapple when you use it's alternate rules for "maintaining" this grapple via the grab ability. This couldn't be more clear to me personally.

Are you deliberately ignoring that?

And as Grick has so blatantly put it there is nothing in the grab ability that gives new rules for maintaining a grapple. It gives new rules for starting a grapple (as a free action) but since there is no wording at all in the grab ability that declares what kind of action is needed to maintain a grapple you use the default action for this type of Combat Maneuver. A standard action.

Everyone in this thread has said the same thing and you are the only one disagreeing and not providing any evidence of why.

are YOU deliberately ignoring the facts put in front of you?

Winterwalker wrote:
Grick the grab ability says you can make and maintain the grapple when you use it's alternate rules for "maintaining" this grapple via the grab ability.

Yes, you can make and maintain a grapple while using the Hold. Making the grapple is a free action, because it says so. Maintaining the grapple is a standard action, because it doesn't say otherwise.

You're applying one part of sentence one to sentence five, despite sentence one explicitly referring to starting a grapple, not maintaining one.

If maintaining the grapple is a free action, you could maintain ten times in a round, damaging the opponent each time. Or pin then tie up then damage. Because the only limit is the action type, and using an unlimited action type means unlimited attempts, with no penalty for failure.

Mathwei ap Niall wrote:
Winterwalker wrote:

Grick the grab ability says you can make and maintain the grapple when you use it's alternate rules for "maintaining" this grapple via the grab ability. This couldn't be more clear to me personally.

Are you deliberately ignoring that?

And as Grick has so blatantly put it there is nothing in the grab ability that gives new rules for maintaining a grapple. It gives new rules for starting a grapple (as a free action) but since there is no wording at all in the grab ability that declares what kind of action is needed to maintain a grapple you use the default action for this type of Combat Maneuver. A standard action.

Everyone in this thread has said the same thing and you are the only one disagreeing and not providing any evidence of why.

are YOU deliberately ignoring the facts put in front of you?

So your saying the modification to grapple rules per the grab write up, which includes the -20 penalty, and rules for how to handle this maintained grapple, are in fact not to be used in favor of the general rules as you 'feel' they are not describing any kind of new rule here.

to counter, I've provided my source a few times, it's being dismissed. I'm stating it shouldn't be. It's a valid change to they way it works as written, it does modify how it operates, and does provide the framework for how it is different. It does say you can maintain the grapple by taking the method described which includes the -20 penalty to do it.

If you choose to play that differently than written then it's your choice to do so. But then your not playing by RAW. Even if you don't agree with me, it is there in black and white.

Maybe hit FAQ if you want a dev to chime in.

Winterwalker wrote:
So your saying the modification to grapple rules per the grab write up, which includes the -20 penalty, and rules for how to handle this maintained grapple, are in fact not to be used in favor of the general rules as you 'feel' they are not describing any kind of new rule here.

The rules do what they say. They do not say maintaining is a free action.

Here's a question for you: If you use Grab, but don't use the option to Hold (Which means you don't take the -20 penalty, and you do gain the grappled condition), what action is required to maintain the grapple next turn?

Winterwalker wrote:
It does say you can maintain the grapple by taking the method described which includes the -20 penalty to do it.

What it says is that if you're using the Hold option, the -20 penalty applies to both CMB checks to make a grapple, and CMB checks to maintain the grapple. Which has nothing to do with the action required.

Well it appears you have decided that you want the rules to work the way you want no matter the direct quotes from the book on how grapples actually do work, and in your home game that's great. Play however makes you and your players happy. Just remember these are your houserules, the rest of us are going by RAW.

The devs have chimed up on this multiple times and given the same info we have given you. But you seem to want it to work your way so you have fun with that. If you'd care to look further you might want to use the search function on this site to look up Grab +Octopus to understand what we are telling you.

If you grab two enemies and have greater grapples so you can maintain twice does that mean you can grapple two enemies at once?

Quote:
Please provide a RAW example of why the 'hold' text wouldn't carry over. Unless I am mistaken they are 'not considered grappling' while using the 'hold' in this fashion, and therefore it wouldn't need to 'maintain' said grapple as a standard action.

I think I might actually understand what you're saying. If you take the -20 option to hold you don't get the grappled condition. Since you don't have the grappled condition you aren't actually grappling and don't have to maintain the hold as if you were actually grappling. Since standard grapple rules don't apply, since you aren't actually grappling, the free action to grab carries over into a free action to maintain. Hopefully I'm interpreting this correctly. If not I apologize.

The problem is in that there is nothing in the -20 rules that says you aren't actually grappling. You're definitely grappling and all grapple rules apply with the exceptions noted in the grab ability. The -20 penalty allows you to get out of the typical penalties associated with grappling but you're still grappling.

TL;DR - I think you're saying if you take a -20 then you aren't grappling and so the grapple rules do not apply, but you totally are and they totally do.

I may be coming around, we'll see, but I can't find this thread with dev input, or a faq on it, can you link me?

Ok, just want to chime in with our groups interpretation. We have argued this exhaustively.

The 'hold' attempt described, per the rules, both makes and maintains the grapple. The creature 'takes a -20 penalty on its CMB check to make and maintain a grapple'. In other words, if a creature opts to Hold you, it gets a Hold check as a free action at -20 and if it makes that check 1) it makes the grapple, 2) it maintains the grapple, 3) it does not gain the grappled condition.

Further proof: please note the phrase 'on it's CMD check' is singular, thus implying that with only one Hold attempt it is obtaining all three benefits: starts grapple, maintains grapple, no grapple condition.

In future rounds, it does no damage unless it has constrict or it makes a grapple check to deal damage.

Liegence wrote:
The 'hold' attempt described, per the rules, both makes and maintains the grapple.

It has conditions that apply to making and maintaining the grapple. Specifically, it applies a penalty and a benefit. The hold text never mentions an action. The only time an action is mentioned is the attempt to start a grapple when it hits with the limb. That only applies to starting a grapple, because that's what it says.

Liegence wrote:
In other words, if a creature opts to Hold you, it gets a Hold check as a free action at -20 and if it makes that check 1) it makes the grapple, 2) it maintains the grapple, 3) it does not gain the grappled condition.

So you're saying a creature with grab and constrict can:

A) hit you, dealing damage (attack roll)
B) start a grapple, dealing constrict damage (CMB roll)
C) maintain the grapple, dealing constrict damage and normal damage (CMB roll at +5)
D) deal damage as the option from maintaining the grapple (no roll at all)

That's five damage rolls on it's turn, before the opponent can even attempt to break the grapple, with an extra 3 damage rolls for each free action it takes after that.

Grick wrote:
Liegence wrote:
The 'hold' attempt described, per the rules, both makes and maintains the grapple.

It has conditions that apply to making and maintaining the grapple. Specifically, it applies a penalty and a benefit. The hold text never mentions an action. The only time an action is mentioned is the attempt to start a grapple when it hits with the limb. That only applies to starting a grapple, because that's what it says.

Liegence wrote:
In other words, if a creature opts to Hold you, it gets a Hold check as a free action at -20 and if it makes that check 1) it makes the grapple, 2) it maintains the grapple, 3) it does not gain the grappled condition.

So you're saying a creature with grab and constrict can:

A) hit you, dealing damage (attack roll)
B) start a grapple, dealing constrict damage (CMB roll)
C) maintain the grapple, dealing constrict damage and normal damage (CMB roll at +5)
D) deal damage as the option from maintaining the grapple (no roll at all)

That's five damage rolls on it's turn, before the opponent can even attempt to break the grapple, with an extra 3 damage rolls for each free action it takes after that.

No, not saying that. I am saying if the creature makes it's -20 CMB check option, it starts the grapple, that grapple is considered maintained for future rounds, and it deals constrict damage only (as the rule states). In future rounds, the grapple is considered maintained because the creature chose to hold it. It can full attack and the creature it grabbed, if it didn't escape, is still grappled and will only take constrict damage unless it uses its standard to deal damage to the grappled creature.

Liegence wrote:
I am saying if the creature makes it's -20 CMB check option, it starts the grapple, that grapple is considered maintained for future rounds, and it deals constrict damage only (as the rule states). In future rounds, the grapple is considered maintained because the creature chose to hold it.

Wow, so you're completely removing the need to maintain completely.

Do you know that normally, you must make a grapple check, as a standard action, to maintain a grapple every round? You either maintain the grapple or drop it.

Succeeding at the grapple check to maintain is what causes the constrict damage. If that check never happens, then the constrict damage never happens.

Grick wrote:
Liegence wrote:
I am saying if the creature makes it's -20 CMB check option, it starts the grapple, that grapple is considered maintained for future rounds, and it deals constrict damage only (as the rule states). In future rounds, the grapple is considered maintained because the creature chose to hold it.

Wow, so you're completely removing the need to maintain completely.

Do you know that normally, you must make a grapple check, as a standard action, to maintain a grapple every round? You either maintain the grapple or drop it.

Succeeding at the grapple check to maintain is what causes the constrict damage. If that check never happens, then the constrict damage never happens.

Yes, I am saying that if it succeeded in holding a creature it starts and maintains the grapple and deals constict damage as well.

We are not discussing normal grapple checks, we are discussing the grab special ability which, if successful on its single optional -20 check to start and maintain the grapple, deals only constrict damage after the initial hit that triggered grab. It has the option to make a grapple check in future rounds to deal normal attack damage and constrict if it has it. Otherwise, hold deals no damage, the creature grabbed is grappled, and the grabbing creature is not grappled.

Liegence wrote:
Yes, I am saying that if it succeeded in holding a creature it starts and maintains the grapple and deals constict damage as well.

What part of the Grab ability makes you think you don't have to maintain the grapple each round?

Even if you give them a free maintain (using whatever action) when it lands, what excuses it from maintaining (using whatever action) in the future?

Grick wrote:
Liegence wrote:
Yes, I am saying that if it succeeded in holding a creature it starts and maintains the grapple and deals constict damage as well.

What part of the Grab ability makes you think you don't have to maintain the grapple each round?

Even if you give them a free maintain (using whatever action) when it lands, what excuses it from maintaining (using whatever action) in the future?

Because the -20 CMB check is an optional roll to both make and maintain the grapple. One roll, triggered by the grab ability.

"if it chooses to do the latter (hold), it takes a -20 penalty to its CMB check (singular, one check) to make and maintain the grapple"

A (singular) check to make AND maintain the grapple.

If the creature so chooses, it may make a normal grapple check on a grab that imposes normal grapple rules, such as the normal rule to take a standard action each round to maintain.

Liegence wrote:

Because the -20 CMB check is an optional roll to both make and maintain the grapple. One roll, triggered by the grab ability.

"if it chooses to do the latter (hold), it takes a -20 penalty to its CMB check (singular, one check) to make and maintain the grapple"

A (singular) check to make AND maintain the grapple.

If the creature so chooses, it may make a normal grapple check on a grab that imposes normal grapple rules, such as the normal rule to take a standard action each round to maintain.

But what makes you think he doesn't have to maintain it next round?

What I mean is, even if the free action does start and maintain the grapple, why don't you still have to maintain it next round, why is that single maintain good forever?

If Jim has Greater Grapple, he can start a grapple as a standard action, and maintain the grapple that turn as a move action. Next round he still has to either maintain the grapple or let it go.

Grick wrote:
Liegence wrote:

Because the -20 CMB check is an optional roll to both make and maintain the grapple. One roll, triggered by the grab ability.

"if it chooses to do the latter (hold), it takes a -20 penalty to its CMB check (singular, one check) to make and maintain the grapple"

A (singular) check to make AND maintain the grapple.

If the creature so chooses, it may make a normal grapple check on a grab that imposes normal grapple rules, such as the normal rule to take a standard action each round to maintain.

But what makes you think he doesn't have to maintain it next round?

What I mean is, even if the free action does start and maintain the grapple, why don't you still have to maintain it next round, why is that single maintain good forever?

If Jim has Greater Grapple, he can start a grapple as a standard action, and maintain the grapple that turn as a move action. Next round he still has to either maintain the grapple or let it go.

It is not conducting a normal grapple. It is using the 'grab and hold' option of the Grab special attack. The mechanic of the grab and hold option of the Grab special attack is to make a single check at -20 to make and maintain the grapple, and not gain the grappled condition. The 'grab and hold' option is not a normal grapple, they are two different options that are available to creatures that use the grab special attack. It states the one check required is to both make and maintain a grapple

Liegence wrote:
The 'grab and hold' option is not a normal grapple, they are two different options that are available to creatures that use the grab special attack. It states the one check required is to both make and maintain a grapple

There are general rules, and exceptions to those rules. Normally, starting a grapple is a standard action that provokes. People with the Improved Grapple feat don't provoke, because that ability has an exception. Aside from the exceptions in the feat, they otherwise grapple normally.

A creature with Grab has some exceptions. Aside from the exceptions in the ability, they otherwise grapple normally.

If they choose to hold, it's the same as to grab, with more exceptions. There's a penalty, and they don't get the grappled condition. Aside from those exceptions, they otherwise grapple normally.

Nothing in the ability says anything about not needing to maintain the grapple each round, so they still need to maintain each round.

Not having the grappled condition is not the same thing as not grappling.

I want to commend Grick on writing another set of accurate, detailed, and polite responses to a Rules forum question.

In the vast majority of situations, maintaining a grapple in PFSRD is a standard action. Unless the rules text very clearly stated otherwise, I would be leery of treating the maintaining of a grapple as another action type or an automatic success.

I agree with Grick's interpretation that taking a -20 to one's CMB as part of a Grab 'to hold' only removes the Grappled condition (and its modifiers) from the grappler but does not grant free maintenance of a grapple in subsequent rounds.

In terms of what the intent of the Grab and hold ability is, I would refer you to excerpts of text of 3.5's Improved Grab ability, which is very similar to PF's Grab text (although the grappling rules have changed significantly):

PFSRD Grab ability:
The creature has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply to use the part of its body it used in the grab to hold the opponent. If it chooses to do the latter, it takes a –20 penalty on its CMB check to make and maintain the grapple, but does not gain the grappled condition itself.

A successful hold does not deal any extra damage unless the creature also has the constrict special attack. If the creature does not constrict, each successful grapple check it makes during successive rounds automatically deals the damage indicated for the attack that established the hold. Otherwise, it deals constriction damage as well (the amount is given in the creature’s descriptive text).

3.5 Improved Grab ability:
The creature has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use the part of its body it used in the improved grab to hold the opponent. If it chooses to do the latter, it takes a -20 penalty on grapple checks, but is not considered grappled itself; the creature does not lose its Dexterity bonus to AC, still threatens an area, and can use its remaining attacks against other opponents.

A successful hold does not deal any extra damage unless the creature also has the constrict special attack. If the creature does not constrict, each successful grapple check it makes during successive rounds automatically deals the damage indicated for the attack that established the hold. Otherwise, it deals constriction damage as well (the amount is given in the creature’s descriptive text).

Note any similarities in language?

In 3.5, the grappled condition was much more severe than in PF: being 'grappled' would deny a grappler the ability to threaten an area and attack other opponents than the one being grappled as well as removing its Dex bonus to AC and opening itself up to sneak attacks. Taking a -20 to 'hold' as part of Improved Grab in 3.5 was a reasonable tactic for creatures with strong Grapple scores who faced multiple opponents.

In PFSRD, the grappled condition is much less debilitating (-4 to Dex, -2 to attack and non-grapple CMB's, no AoO's). Tactically, it is unlikely that most creature with Grab would benefit (although very large creatures who want to provoke AoO's might benefit) much from avoiding these modifiers versus taking a -20 on their grapple checks. However, the option is still there, mostly as legacy language inherited from 3.5.

[edited: added 'no AoO's' to PFSRD grappled condition description]

Quote:
The 'grab and hold' option is not a normal grapple

I know the wording says "The creature has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply to use (...)" which suggests the grapple and hold is not a normal grapple, but it is. The grab ability simply offers the creature another option above and beyond what normal combatants have. That option is to take a -20 to your CMB and not gain the grappled condition. That's the only change.

Liegence, high five man. Been saying the wording does in fact say that too.

Still can't find this Dev comment stating I'm wrong though. But if it is out there I'd love to see how it works.

Sigh. People making up rules. Grab (ex) 'hold' option does exactly what it says it does. Removes the grappled condition. Nothing else. At a -20, it is a useless option.

Dev says no, even though everyone (and the game) already told you that

Convinced yet?

Rathyr wrote:

Sigh. People making up rules. Grab (ex) 'hold' option does exactly what it says it does. Removes the grappled condition. Nothing else. At a -20, it is a useless option.

Dev says no, even though everyone (and the game) already told you that

Convinced yet?

No. JJ is not a dev. Where is the 'dev' comment? While I do respect his opinion, his view is not always a RAW clarification.

Then there is pretty much no convincing you of the RAW, if the rules (and a JJ clarification) aren't enough for you. Continue playing with your house rules.

'Hold' doesn't change the action economy for maintaining a grapple. If it did, it would say so. It removes the "Grappled" condition. The "Grappled" condition does not include any rules for maintaining a grapple.

The idea that an omitted 's' from "CMB check" in the Grab(ex) paragraph implies that that you can skip maintaining is incredibly far fetched. Not having to maintain a grapple is a MASSIVE shift in the grapple rules, and you think that they wouldn't spell that out?

Man, I hate grapple rules.

the -20 option is a big penalty to eat for most creatures, but it can definitely make sense in some situations.
vs. targets much weaker, e.g. squishy casters, the penalty isn't that bad for big bad grapple monsters.
(if they can benefit from True Strike, that is another way to negate the penalty)
being able to take AoOs can be a big deal (especially when your AoOs themselves have grab),
but i think the other most important part besides AoOs is being able to MOVE.

tactically, you can grab (the target automatically is moved to an adjacent square of your choosing),
and then move away from the target, potentially putting yourself outside of it's reach (of retributive attack).
everybody loves to say how the best thing to do when grappled is full attack them back, but that doesn't work in this case.

per RAW there is no limitation on how far you can move away from the target, albeit I personally say that you must still threaten the grappled target with whatever means you made the grapple with (this rule does appear in the grapple weapon quality in ultimate combat), so you can't move/teleport to the other side of the football field and the opponent is still 'grappled'. (of course, in any case, you need to threaten them in order to maintain or re-initiate the grapple next round). lunge wouldn't count to 'maintain' threatening them with grapple, since it doesn't apply off your turn (if you were relying on it, the grapple would cease once your turn ends).

alternately, if one wants to read "RAI" as saying that the target 'sticks to you' (adjacent) while grappled (which isn't RAW), taking the -20 option and being able to move (not being grappled yourself) would mean that fly-by attack (et al) would enable an attacker to grab/grapple the target and move away with them (carrying them) moving up to their full move distance, which otherwise is more difficult to accomplish.

If this 'stickiness' ISN'T intended (it's not RAW), then the grapple attacker won't be able to move the target very far on the first turn, at most they could attack the target from their max reach and 'pull' the target adjacent to them (even in the air) due to the original grab, and then move to their max reach again (the reach limitation is per my own house-rule, but it seems reasonable and in line with grapple weapons), the next round either maintaining to move the target, or simply using the automatic 'move adjacent to you' function of grapple in combo with a shorter distance move (again, if limited to house-rule 'within reach' if the grapple isn't to collapse).

it's also worth noting that the kraken and the white haired witch (amongst others?) gain the benefits of the -20 option without taking the penalty.

Follow up question... are you also suggesting that if a creature uses Swallow Whole it would also have to make a standard action grapple check each round to maintain the grapple?

 1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

No. I think the intent of Swallowed Whole is that once the target is swallowed, there no longer really is a normal Grapple happening, the target just 'keeps the grappled condition' by themselves (i.e. they keep the grappled condition as long as they are swallowed), as if they had gained it by drinking a Potion. The corollary to this would be that the Swallow Whole monster shouldn't be able to PIN the target within their stomach. I don't know if that's 100% clear per RAW (neither is it specified that they can't make their normal Bite attack against the target inside their stomach), but it seems like the intent to me. But the rules certainly aren't explicitly clear here, so I hit FAQ and invite you to also.

If the target successfully 'escapes the grapple' (in the stomach) and returns to the Swallow Whole monster's mouth, THEN there is again a normal grapple (that could proceed to a normal Pin, or could re-Swallow, be Reversed, etc). I would default to saying if an 'escaped' target is now grappled 'in the mouth', that the monster itself now has the Grappled condition (in the controller roll, by implication of being able to Swallow the target again immediately), since it didn't really plan on this situation happening, regardless of whether it was using the -20 option before. I'm not 100% certain on that though, since the whole 'grappled in mouth' part is definitely suggestive of 'using one body part to maintain the grapple', although I don't think Swallow Whole is really supposed to invoke the -20 rule (you COULD use it, but don't have to), it just needs to have been initiated by a Bite/Grab (and not some other Grab attack the creature may have, or 'normal' Grapple rules not using Bite/Grab) since the mouth still seems plausibly involved in a Bite/Grab even if the -20 rules isn't being used.

PRD:Swallow Whole wrote:
A swallowed creature keeps the grappled condition, while the creature that did the swallowing does not. A swallowed creature can try to cut its way free with any light slashing or piercing weapon (the amount of cutting damage required to get free is equal to 1/10 the creature's total hit points), or it can just try to escape the grapple. The Armor Class of the interior of a creature that swallows whole is normally 10 + 1/2 its natural armor bonus, with no modifiers for size or Dexterity. If a swallowed creature cuts its way out, the swallowing creature cannot use swallow whole again until the damage is healed. If the swallowed creature escapes the grapple, success puts it back in the attacker's mouth, where it may be bitten or swallowed again.

So now we are going on intent of the rules and not the rules themselves, where as before that was not applicable? I am sorry, please be consistent. Please show me in the text where it says swallow whole, as initiated by grab (for instance), removes the grapple requirement of a standard action each round to maintain the grapple.

If losing the grapple condition now, by intent of the rules as you stated, somehow releases us of the requirement to maintain the grapple let us apply 'intent of the rules' logic to grab in similar fashion which with the -20 CMB check also grants the similar scenario of the grappler not gaining the grappled condition. We can reasonably conclude it makes sense for a colossal kraken to hold more than one person in its tentacles each round without this nonsensical notion that every 6 seconds he mystically is compelled to drop all but one of his victims.

Following strict RAW, you would still have to maintain a grapple from Swallow Whole. Unlike the 'hold' option, you might actually have a case of arguing common sense that everyone can understand with your DM (I would be very surprised to see a DM require you to maintain a grapple for something in your stomach). RAW, there is no mention of any action economy changes to maintaining the grapple, thus there isn't.

Vicious Stomp triggers before the target is prone (interrupts the trigger, as per all AoO rules). Sometimes the strict RAW don't really make sense when compared to the description of the ability and common sense.

If you feel that Hold should not have to be maintained RAI (a fairly reasonable assumption, given that a -20 is brutal), bring it up to your DM. I know I would for Swallow Whole.

On a whole, the grapple rules are probably the worst written rules in all of PF. Too many exceptions, poorly defined terms and rule voids for such a small subset of the game.

Liegence wrote:

Please show me in the text where it says swallow whole, as initiated by grab (for instance), removes the grapple requirement of a standard action each round to maintain the grapple.

I bolded the text that says that.

As I mentioned, if we imagine that there still is a semi-normal ongoing grapple, i.e. both Swallower and Target are 'grapplers' (whether or not Swallower has the grappled condtion, e.g. is using the -20 option or not), then all the normal grapple rules still apply (except per explicit exception). There is a special clause saying escaping the grapple means the Target is moved back to the Swallower's mouth (and is grappled there), but that still leaves other normal Grapple options (if an antagonistic Grapple track is still ongoing): the Swallower Pinning the target within their stomach (50% miss Chance unless they have Blindsight?) or the Target REVERSING the grapple (without leaving the stomach). OK. The above would be the implications of a normal antagonistic grapple continuing. I don't really know, I just described what I thought the intent was, I think the text could be more clear either way, although I wouldn't fault you for reading the RAW as per above.

I mentioned the concept of having the Grappled condition applied to you by means other than an antagonistic 'grapple track', e.g. by drinking a Potion that applies the grappled condition to you, to hilight the fact that the grappled condition is just some crunch modifiers that hypothetically could be invoked without the rest of the grapple rules. A grab monster using grab still is involved with the normal grapple rules, it's just able to change the required action to BEGIN a grapple.

There's no need to imagine 'dropping' opponents unless you're really intent on disparaging a particular rules function. A grapple is dropped if you don't maintain it, which you can do at any point in your turn. The Grab Monster can FulL Attack at the beginning of it's turn, it's Targets still have the DEX penalty of Grappled, and re-attack and re-grab all of it's targets. Nobody is dropped... The Grab Monster's facility at Grappling multiple targets just doesn't extend to PINNING multiple targets... It's just good at GRABBING (Grappling) them.

Like I said before, feel free to hit FAQ if you disagree or think the rules are unclear or whatever.

Quandary wrote:
There's no need to imagine 'dropping' opponents unless you're really intent on disparaging a particular rules function. A grapple is dropped if you don't maintain it, which you can do at any point in your turn. The Grab Monster can FulL Attack at the beginning of it's turn, it's Targets still have the DEX penalty of Grappled, and re-attack and re-grab all of it's targets. Nobody is dropped... The Grab Monster's facility at Grappling multiple targets just doesn't extend to PINNING multiple targets... It's just good at GRABBING (Grappling) them

You know I looked at the (many) other threads regarding 'grab' - which in the context of grapple and how it applies when used must be confusing to a great many people.

Hundreds of replies and arguments - and I think the above is quite simply the very best explanation of this ability I've seen. This makes perfect sense.

So a creature with grab - uses full attack - can make a grab with any of the attacks at -20 to give the 'grappled' condition to the target - however if it chooses to use a normal check it would gain the grappled condition itself (my assumption would be as the grapple check is a free action due to grab the creature could continue it's full attack).

Next round (assuming it didn't use a normal check last round) anyone who failed the CMD check would have a grappled condition but the creature does not - it doesn't have to make a grapple check but it would need to make another attack/grab on the target to maintain the 'grab'. This also makes sense and means that the monster can't full attack an entire party (and grab them) - then make free checks to maintain and move (with a octopus possibly drowning the entire party for instance) - the only way to 'grab' a target and then move would require a normal grapple - the 'grab' feature only really gives the creature the ability to limit party movement unless the creature wanted to focus on one character.

That falls in line with other 'special abilities' as (in every instance they are clarified that I have found) if you can read in a way to make them a bit more limiting then that's most likely the intent. Whenever provoked to make a response on creature attacks JB has always advocated being careful with special properties on monsters otherwise the become much deadlier than the CR would indicate.

lol long story short - thank you Quandary for that explanation - it clarified quite a bit of confusion trying to read through the rest of the grab discussions created for me.