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Constrict: Question About If / When Slam Damage Also Occurs?


Sovereign Court

I need a quick answer on how to attack my players in this afternoon's game. Example: SHAMBLING MOUND has 2 slam attacks plus Constrict.
According to the rules, and the eratta (see below), the monster deals constrict damage with the grapple. QUESTION: Does the grapple check replace the slam damage?

EXAMPLE 1: Creature uses 1 slam attack and 1 grapple check - if successful on the grapple, also does constrict damage?
EXAMPLE 2: Creature does 2 slam attacks plus grapple plus constrict damage if successful?


Constrict (Ex)

A creature with this special attack can crush an opponent, dealing bludgeoning damage, when it makes a successful grapple check (in addition to any other effects caused by a successful check, including additional damage). The amount of damage is given in the creature's entry and is typically equal to the amount of damage caused by the creature's melee attack.

Format: constrict (1d8+6); Location: Special Attacks.

When a creature with the constrict universal monster rule grapples a foe, when does it deal constrict damage?
A creature with constrict deals this additional damage every time it makes a successful grapple check against a foe. This includes the first check to establish the grapple (such as when using the grab universal monster rule).


EXAMPLE 1 is correct, however, EXAMPLE 2 can be correct also.

If I understood it right from reading before on other topics, you can opt not to use grab on successful hit. So you could -> 1st. Slam, 2nd Slam + grab.

GMs should have some freedom with Grab rules since they are confusing a bit and can nerf monster abilities.

This is my interpretation of rules.

Sovereign Court

I see what you mean, Malag. The creature does slam damage+grab in the stat block.


Example 3: Slam attack plus grapple check + Slam attack plus grapple check + constrict damage (if either grapple is successful) all on its turn.

I created a Shambling Mound Advanced+3 so...
2 slams +17 (2d6+11 plus grab) plus constrict (2d6+7)

Max damage could be as much as little as 13+13+9 or 23+23+19.

Let me know if that is correct. Thanks.


Well, the problem usually with Grab ability is that it stops full-round attacks of creature.

This can often nerf/weaken/reduce the damage output of the creature to the degree that it poses no threat at all.

There has been many issues and topics were raised regarding it, but few things should be noted that are within GM limit and legit that you can do.

1. Often a creature has Bite + Grab, Slam. This type of full-round attack can be set that creature simply uses Slam first and Bite after it, so Grab doesn't stop your attack routine.

2. I believe I saw Grick saying that you can finish full-round attack but simply apply the penalty for grappled condition (grappler gains grappled condition also).

3. You can use your slam attack but simply skip if you don't wish to use the Grab ability. Creature after all, doesn't have to Grab, maybe it just finished his dinner and doesn't feel like eating 2nd adventurer. (80% sure you can do this.)

4. You can drop creature as free action on your turn and again do full-round attacks normaly.

So to sum it up, your Shambling Mound should be able to:

1st slam:
if hit -> choose whether to grapple or not -> if yes, attempt to grapple -> if grapple is successful, PC is grappled and immediatly receives constrict damage.

2nd slam:
Does your Shambling Mound have Grappled condition?
If yes, apply the penalties.
if hit -> choose whether to grapple or not -> if target is already grappled, PC immediatly receives constrict damage, if not, attempt to grapple -> if grapple is successful, PC is grappled and immediatly receives constrict damage.

"Max damage could be as much as little as 13+13+9 or 23+23+19." - I believe that's correct.

I hope I did it right, and that everything makes sense.

This is my interpretation of rules.

Okay, so this comes up kind of frequently. Let's lay out an example that hopefully makes all of it clear.

Let's assume the shambling mound starts its turn ungrappled and within reach of its target.

The shambling mound can make a full attack to attempt two Slam attacks. If the first one hits, it deals damage for the attack as normal and it can do a grapple attempt for free. If that grapple attempt succeeds, it will do the damage listed for constrict and both it and its opponent gain the grappled condition. Grappling with grab does not interrupt a full attack, so at this point, it can take its second Slam attack. However, because it's already grappled, it does not get a second grapple roll (or the subsequent constrict damage) if this one hits since Grab is only good for starting grapples.

Alternately, after dealing constrict damage from the first grapple attempt, it can release the grapple as a free action. Then when it makes its second Slam it can try to start another grapple with Grab and get an additional constrict damage.

Now, if it is still grappling with its opponent at the start of its next turn, it can release the grapple as a free action and attempt another full attack as above, or it can choose to maintain the grapple as a standard action. It gets a +5 bonus for this grapple roll for being the one in control of the grapple. If it succeeds this check, as part of Grab, it automatically does damage from the slam attack that it used to start the grapple, then it automatically does its constrict damage, then it has its choice of the three standard grapple actions, move, pin, or do additional damage equal to one slam. In this instance you would not get any attacks outside of the roll to maintain the grapple, since doing so expends a standard action.

So if you do the Slam, Grapple, Constrict, Release routine during a full attack, you can potentially do four attacks worth of damage each round. However this requires landing two attack rolls and two grapple maneuver rolls. From the second round forward, if you choose to maintain the grapple you make grapple roll at +5 and do three attacks worth of damage. Math-wise, that will frequently come out ahead.

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