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Can a pinned creature attack its grappler?


Rules Questions

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Here's the relevant text from the SRD:

Pinned wrote:
A pinned creature is tightly bound and can take few actions. A pinned creature cannot move and is denied its Dexterity bonus. A pinned character also takes an additional –4 penalty to his Armor Class. A pinned creature is limited in the actions that it can take. A pinned creature can always attempt to free itself, usually through a combat maneuver check or Escape Artist check. A pinned creature can take verbal and mental actions, but cannot cast any spells that require a somatic or material component.

The grappled condition makes it clear you can attack your grappler at -2 to-hit. But the pinned condition removes that restriction, and specifically says it doesn't stack with the grappled condition. It makes no other reference to attacking.

At first I thought "creature cannot move" prevented attacking, but 3 things contradict that:
1. The grappled condition has the same text, and a grappled creature can attack.
2. A pinned creature can take verbal actions, so they can move their mouth.
3. A pinned creature takes only a -4 penalty to his armor class, rather than becoming helpless. And creatures that actually can't move (like bound creatures) are always helpless.
...so it seems clear to me that the "cannot move" text refers only to moving location, like with a move action to move up to 30 ft., and not moving in general.

It seems a pinned creature can attack its grappler, but it's really odd that a grappled creature takes -2 to hit and a pinned creature doesn't.


I'm pretty sure that the only attack the Pinned can take is a Grapple check to free itself or gain control of the Grapple, or nonphysical attacks such as Stilled spells or spells with no somatic component.

Miryafa wrote:
It seems a pinned creature can attack its grappler, but it's really odd that a grappled creature takes -2 to hit and a pinned creature doesn't.

No way is that the case. It does say that Pinned is a more extreme form of Grappled, so you can presume that all the elements of the Grappled condition apply, and in addition, the conditions of Pinned apply.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Miryafa wrote:

The grappled condition makes it clear you can attack your grappler at -2 to-hit. But the pinned condition removes that restriction, and specifically says it doesn't stack with the grappled condition. It makes no other reference to attacking.

At first I thought "creature cannot move" prevented attacking, but 2 things contradict that:
1. The grappled condition has the same text, and a grappled creature can attack.
2. A pinned creature can take verbal actions, so they can move their mouth.
3. A pinned creature takes only a -4 penalty to his armor class, rather than becoming helpless. And creatures that actually can't move (like bound creatures) are always helpless.

So it seems there's nothing preventing this, but it's really odd that a grappled creature takes -2 to attack its grappler and a pinned creature doesn't.

Here's the relevant text from the SRD:

Pinned wrote:
A pinned creature is tightly bound and can take few actions. A pinned creature cannot move and is denied its Dexterity bonus. A pinned character also takes an additional –4 penalty to his Armor Class. A pinned creature is limited in the actions that it can take. A pinned creature can always attempt to free itself, usually through a combat maneuver check or Escape Artist check. A pinned creature can take verbal and mental actions, but cannot cast any spells that require a somatic or material component.

The pinned condition says you are limited in the actions it can take and then lists those actions you are allowed. You can:

1) Attempt to free yourself.
2) Take verbal and mental actions.

That is it.


^ What those guys said.

Pinned is a more severe form of grappled, so the grapple condition effects are still in play, except for where it's expressly overruled by the pinned condition effects.

And the way the rules work, if it says you can only do a few small options, that's a all you can do. So no, no attacking while pinned.

That's why grappler characters focus so much on trying to get their target to pinned as soon as possible (whether through snapping turtle clutch or greater grapple)


Pinned creatures can't attack. It can only attempt to free itself either through a combat maneuver or escape artist check, or can take verbal and mental actions (including spell casting) but cannot cast a spell requiring somatic or material components.


Claxon wrote:
Pinned creatures can't attack. It can only attempt to free itself either through a combat maneuver

Eh, that Grapple Combat Maneuver is actually an attack, and I'm pretty sure that if successful, you can elect to, instead of escaping, be the one in control of the grapple.


You can only attempt to free yourself or take verbal and mental actions. However, there are ways you can attack with verbal or mental actions, most commonly by using spells (probably ones without material components or somatic components, but possible).

But as far as stabbing your attacker with a knife? Nope.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Claxon wrote:
Pinned creatures can't attack. It can only attempt to free itself either through a combat maneuver
Eh, that Grapple Combat Maneuver is actually an attack, and I'm pretty sure that if successful, you can elect to, instead of escaping, be the one in control of the grapple.

Breaking a grapple isn't the same as attempting to grapple someone outright. Breaking a grapple doesn't provoke if you don't have Improved Grapple. Breaking a grapple also doesn't take the -4 penalty for lack of two free hands.

And even reversing and breaking a grapple differ subtly.


The Archive wrote:
Breaking a grapple isn't the same as attempting to grapple someone outright.

Well, if your goal is to simply escape, then you have a choice between using Escape Artist and making a Grapple Check. The rules describe Pinned as a more severe form of the Grappled Condition, and Pinned does not specify that a successful Grapple Check when Pinned cannot be used to gain control of the Grapple. Unless, of course, I've overlooked something in the rules, and if I have, I'd like you to show us.

Archive wrote:
Breaking a grapple doesn't provoke if you don't have Improved Grapple.

True: it says so specifically

Grapple wrote:
If you are grappled, you can attempt to break the grapple as a standard action by making a combat maneuver check (DC equal to your opponent's CMD; this does not provoke an attack of opportunity) or Escape Artist check (with a DC equal to your opponent's CMD). If you succeed, you break the grapple and can act normally. Alternatively, if you succeed, you can become the grappler,

This raises another point. If you are Grappled and standing amongst your enemies, and you attempt to escape using Escape Artist, I think you are subject to Attacks of Opportunity from your opponent's allies for using a Skill in a Threatened Square. It wouldn't usually Provoke from the Grappler, since usually the Grappler has the Grappled Condition, too, when you have the Grappled Condition, you can't make Attacks of Opportunity. Again, I might be overlooking something, and if you can think of what it is, I'd like to see it.

The Archive wrote:
Breaking a grapple also doesn't take the -4 penalty for lack of two free hands.

True: the Grappled Condition does not rob you of the use of any hands to Grapple with.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Grapple wrote:
If you are grappled, you can attempt to break the grapple as a standard action by making a combat maneuver check (DC equal to your opponent's CMD; this does not provoke an attack of opportunity) or Escape Artist check (with a DC equal to your opponent's CMD). If you succeed, you break the grapple and can act normally. Alternatively, if you succeed, you can become the grappler,
This raises another point. If you are Grappled and standing amongst your enemies, and you attempt to escape using Escape Artist, I think you are subject to Attacks of Opportunity from your opponent's allies for using a Skill in a Threatened Square. It wouldn't usually Provoke from the Grappler, since usually the Grappler has the Grappled Condition, too, when you have the Grappled Condition, you can't make Attacks of Opportunity. Again, I might be overlooking something, and if you can think of what it is, I'd like to see it.

Where is the rule that says you take an AoO from using a skill?

As far as I know, if a specific skill provokes an AoO, that skill description says so. If you always provoke for using a skill, then you could never use Acrobatics to avoid an AoO, make a knowledge check to identify a monster, make a perform check to use certain bardic abilities, make a fly check to hover or only move 5 feet, etc.


Gwen Smith wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Grapple wrote:
If you are grappled, you can attempt to break the grapple as a standard action by making a combat maneuver check (DC equal to your opponent's CMD; this does not provoke an attack of opportunity) or Escape Artist check (with a DC equal to your opponent's CMD). If you succeed, you break the grapple and can act normally. Alternatively, if you succeed, you can become the grappler,
This raises another point. If you are Grappled and standing amongst your enemies, and you attempt to escape using Escape Artist, I think you are subject to Attacks of Opportunity from your opponent's allies for using a Skill in a Threatened Square. It wouldn't usually Provoke from the Grappler, since usually the Grappler has the Grappled Condition, too, when you have the Grappled Condition, you can't make Attacks of Opportunity. Again, I might be overlooking something, and if you can think of what it is, I'd like to see it.

Where is the rule that says you take an AoO from using a skill?

As far as I know, if a specific skill provokes an AoO, that skill description says so. If you always provoke for using a skill, then you could never use Acrobatics to avoid an AoO, make a knowledge check to identify a monster, make a perform check to use certain bardic abilities, make a fly check to hover or only move 5 feet, etc.

I also have never heard of this rule about threatening for using a skill in a threatened square. Need a citation for that.

Edit: In fact the Actions in Combat table lists what actions provoke. Drawing a hidden weapon using the sleight of hand skill does not provoke. Stabilizing an ally using the heal skill does. It also specifically says that Escape A Grapple does not provoke. So using a skill in a threatened square doesn't provoke unless the table says it does.


OldSkoolRPG wrote:
I also have never heard of this rule about threatening for using a skill in a threatened square. Need a citation for that.

Odd that you should say that you have never heard of using a skill in a threatened square provoking Attacks of Opportunity when

you wrote:
In fact the Actions in Combat table lists what actions provoke.

And that very table lists "Use skill that takes 1 action" as something that does provoke Attacks of Opportunity. So, by the way, does escaping from a net, which also would call for an Escape Artist Check. However, reviewing that table myself which I thought I remembered so well only says that "Use Skill" only "Usually" provokes, and OldSkoolPRG quite correctly pointed out that "Escape from a Grapple" is listed as something that does not.

My mistake.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
OldSkoolRPG wrote:
I also have never heard of this rule about threatening for using a skill in a threatened square. Need a citation for that.

Odd that you should say that you have never heard of using a skill in a threatened square provoking Attacks of Opportunity when

you wrote:
In fact the Actions in Combat table lists what actions provoke.

And that very table lists "Use skill that takes 1 action" as something that does provoke Attacks of Opportunity. So, by the way, does escaping from a net, which also would call for an Escape Artist Check. However, reviewing that table myself which I thought I remembered so well only says that "Use Skill" only "Usually" provokes, and OldSkoolPRG quite correctly pointed out that "Escape from a Grapple" is listed as something that does not.

My mistake.

Wow, I don't know how many times I have looked at that table and never noticed that line. Even looking to verify when you that using skills provokes and I still missed it somehow. Failed my perception check every single time I guess. You are absolutely right.


Hmm, does using intimidate to demoralize 'provoke'? If the chart says skills 'usually' provoke, do we need the skill to specifically say that it provokes, or do we need a skill to say that it specifically does not provoke?


_Ozy_ wrote:
Hmm, does using intimidate to demoralize 'provoke'? If the chart says skills 'usually' provoke, do we need the skill to specifically say that it provokes, or do we need a skill to say that it specifically does not provoke?

Since it says it usually does I would imagine it does unless there is a specific exception.


A reasonable view, but I've never actually heard of anyone imposing an AoO for a demoralize action.


OldSkoolRPG wrote:
You are absolutely right.

And so were you, more right than I was this time.


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.

Does a pinned creature threaten its grappler (for the purposes of gaining and/or granting bonuses to/from allies, such as for flanking) even though the only melee attack the pinned creature is capable of is a maneuver? (If so, that would imply that the pinned creature could be granted AoOs by allies, and use them to make further maneuver checks.)


Slim Jim wrote:
Does a pinned creature threaten its grappler (for the purposes of gaining and/or granting bonuses to/from allies, such as for flanking) even though the only melee attack the pinned creature is capable of is a maneuver? (If so, that would imply that the pinned creature could be granted AoOs by allies, and use them to make further maneuver checks.)

Well, a Threatened Square is a Square you can attack into. A Pinned Creature can make a Grapple Check to escape or take control of a Grapple, and a Grapple Check is an Attack. So, my first thought is yes, a Pinned creature does Threaten his Grappler, and so can Flank his opponent.

I think when you are Pinning someone, you lose your Dex Mod to AC anyway.

When you are Grappled or Pinned, you can't make Attacks of Opportunity. I have heard someone say that if you can't make Attacks of Opportunity, you don't Threaten. I don't think that is the case, but it should be looked up.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
I have heard someone say that if you can't make Attacks of Opportunity, you don't Threaten. I don't think that is the case, but it should be looked up.

Supposing it is true, here's a corner-case for you: A PC shares Paired Opportunists with an animal companion who is bull rushing a creature grappling and pinning the PC. If successful, the target is shoved 5', and 5' further for every 5 additional that the DC was exceeded. If the Paired Opportunist +4 bonus is "off" while the PC is grappled, but suddenly "on" again after the target is shoved the first 5' away, can that +4 be added to further exceed the DC for good chances of it being pushed a further 5' away (assuming the animal companion and its PC desire he keep bulldozing)? The bull rush maneuver isn't technically finished yet until the rusher stops moving due to being out of move, hitting the DC limit, or willingly stopping short.


Nix ^^^ that; I found the thread that resolves the threaten issue. (Threatening has no requirement for available AoOs.)


I'm pretty sure that thread you found has the truth of your Threatening even if you can't make and AoO.

Interesting example you brought up.

If the PC is Pinned, and the PC's Horse or something Bull Rushes the PC's Grappler, arguably the PC's Horse might break the Grapple that way, since a successful Bull Rush would Move the Grappler away from the PC, and you have to be adjacent to your opponent to Grapple him. I'm not certain how this would play out per RAW, but I know how I would adjudicate it:

If the Bull Rush attempt is lower than the Grappler's CMD for Bull Rush--the BMD--the whole thing fails, of course.

If the Bull Rush attempt is higher thae the BMD and higher then the GMD of the Grappler, the Grapple is broken, and the Bull Rush happens in the normal way. If it's higher than the BMD but lower than the GMD, the Grapple is not broken.

I seem to recall there are rules for Rull Rushing multiple people: the Bull Rush Roll is sufficient to Bull Rush 2 people as per those rules, then both the PC and his Grappler are moved with the Bull Rush, otherwise, the Bull Rush fails.

You were mentioning Bull Rush + Paired Opportunist. Remember that getting Bull Rushed out of a Threatened Square normally does not provoke Attacks of Opportunity. It will if the Bull Rusher has Greater Bull Rush: that's what GBR does. In that case, the Bull-Rusher's Allies get the Attack of Opportunity with or without GBR. The Bull Rusher normally does not get an AoO through GBR. Paired Opportunist, applied correctly would give the Bull Rusher the AoO.

If the horse had GBR, and if the Bull Rush successfully broke the Grapple, then I would allow the PC an Attack of Opportunity, but I think technically, that maybe shouldn't happen as an order of operations thing.


I don't see anything in that thread that supports your position.

"A pinned creature is limited in the actions that it can take. A pinned creature can always attempt to free itself, usually through a combat maneuver check or Escape Artist check".

A creature can only attempt to exit a grapple on its turn; it cannot take that action on someone else's turn; ergo it cannot make an attack to take an AoO. Ergo you don't threaten.


Perfect Tommy wrote:
I don't see anything in that thread that supports your position.

Whose position, my position?

I wrote:
my first thought is yes, a Pinned creature does Threaten his Grappler, and so can Flank his opponent.

The first sentence of the first post that appears on the link supports my position.

Suz wrote:

RAW

"You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn.

Now see it: something in that thread that supports my position.

Perfect Tommy wrote:
A creature can only attempt to exit a grapple on its turn

Not quite true. I Pinned creature can make a Grapple Check to either escape a Grapple or gain control of the Grapple.

Grappling, If you are Grappled wrote:
Alternatively, if you succeed, you can become the grappler, grappling the other creature
Core Rulebook, Conditions, Pinned wrote:
Pinned is a more severe version of grappled, and their effects do not stack.

Link.

FAQ wrote:
this also means that pinned supersedes the grapple condition; it does not compound it. For this reason you only need to succeed one combat maneuver or Escape Artist check to escape either a grapple or a pin.

Anyway, a Pinned Creature can make a Grapple Check against his attacker, which is an attack.

Core Rulebook, Conditions, Pinned wrote:
A pinned creature can always attempt to free itself, usually through a combat maneuver

A Pinned creature can attack his Grappler.

Perfect Tommy wrote:
it cannot make an attack to take an AoO. Ergo you don't threaten.

It's not the case that you can only Threaten when can make Attacks of Opportunity. You Threaten all the squares you can attack into, not just the squares into which you can make an Attack of Opportunity. And you can Flank all the squares you Threaten.

Core Rulebook, Combat, Flanking wrote:
When making a melee attack, you get a +2 flanking bonus if your opponent is threatened by another enemy character or creature on its opposite border or opposite corner.
Core Rulebook, Combat wrote:
Threatened Squares: You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally).

While a Grappled creature Threatens all adjacent squares, even though he he can't make Attacks of Opportunity, a Pinned creature pretty much can't take any action except make an Escape Artist Check or a Grapple Check against the Grappler, but the since the latter is an Attack, that means the Pinned person can Attack the Grappler, and so still does Threaten the Grappler, and therefore may Flank the Grappler.


@Scott

I mostly agree with what you are saying, but here are a few questions that pop up as I read it:

1) A pinned character can "attack" his grappler. But can he attack any squares around him? I think no.

2) I accept that the pinned character threatens his grappler because of point 1. However, I question whether he could flank since per the rules you quoted, in order to flank someone you must have an ally that threatens on the opposite corner or side. As the two grappled characters are in the same square (except for in cases where one is large or bigger and the other is medium sized) I don't know if I would rule that they are on the opposite side. Threatening, yes... flanking, probably not.

3) I think I know this one but... The combat section previously linked says if the grappled person succeeds at escaping the grapple, then they can take over the grapple. Pinned doesn't expressly say this so I wonder if they can still take over the grapple? I would think yes they could, but leads to my next question.

4) If pinned and I escape a grapple, does this put us back into the "grappled" condition? Or do I become the grappler and he becomes pinned? I would assume it becomes grappler and grappled rather than grappler and pinned.


Toirin wrote:
1) A pinned character can "attack" his grappler. But can he attack any squares around him? I think no.

I agree.

Toirin wrote:
As the two grappled characters are in the same square

Grapplers are not in the same square. They are in adjacent squares. I seem to recall they were in the same square in 3.5, but that changed in Pathfinder.

Core Rulebook, Combat Maneuvers, Grapple wrote:
If you successfully grapple a creature that is not adjacent to you, move that creature to an adjacent open space

I haven't found anything in the Grappling rules that states that you 2 are in the same square. Of course, if the Grappler is Tiny or smaller, they are in the same square, but that is true of any kind of attack.

Toirin wrote:
The combat section previously linked says if the grappled person succeeds at escaping the grapple, then they can take over the grapple. Pinned doesn't expressly say this so I wonder if they can still take over the grapple? I would think yes they could, but leads to my next question.

I also think "yes, they could," but I must confess that I wish the FAQ had been more explicit about this. My interpretation of this is based on the confluence of the description of Grapple, Pin, the Grappled Condition, the Pinned Condition, and the FAQ. I did have a PFS Grappler Pin someone, and then her victim made a successful Grapple Check making her then in control of the Grapple. That's how my PFSGM ruled it.

Toirin wrote:
If pinned and I escape a grapple, does this put us back into the "grappled" condition? Or do I become the grappler and he becomes pinned? I would assume it becomes grappler and grappled rather than grappler and pinned.

You have to Initiate the Grapple with yourself as the one in control first, then on your next check, you can Pin your opponent.


"Threaten" is a potential.
"Attack" is an actual.

Battle participants do not have perfect knowledge of whether or not various opponents are able or unable to attack them, and hence must be wary.

How would they know if someone is pinned as opposed to merely grappled? Visually it could appear to be exactly the same. How do you know if the guy holding a wicked-looking polearm doesn't have enough dexterity to take another Combat Reflexes-driven attack of opportunity if he's already taken four?

You can't, which is why they threaten.

Scarab Sages

Slim Jim wrote:
Nix ^^^ that; I found the thread that resolves the threaten issue. (Threatening has no requirement for available AoOs.)

The idea of what constitutes threatening a square has been (unofficially) addressed by a member of the design team HERE.

Essentially, as long as you can make an attack into a square, are wielding a melee weapon or spell, and are not flat-footed, then you threaten the square. it doesn't matter if you can take an AoO, or if the target is aware of your presence, or if the person you are flanking with is invisible.

Personally, I don't think a pinned creature can make an attack. Breaking a grapple, while it uses a grapple check, isn't exactly making an attack. But if someone wants to rule that it is, then I suppose the pinned creature would threaten only the creature pinning them. Not anyone else, because they can't attack anyone else. They are limited to the actions listed in the pinned condition, and that does not include making an attack in any other form than breaking the grapple. You could cast a spell if it only has mental or verbal components, but even if you cast something like shocking grasp, I don't think you can deliver a touch spell while pinned. So spells aren't going to affect flanking or not flanking when you are pinned.

It's unclear to me whether or not a pinned creature can reverse a grapple. A very strict reading would seem to be no. The rule on reversing a grapple is under Grapple. Pinned has a separate set of actions that can be performed and only mentions freeing yourself. So I think that means if you succeed at the check to free yourself from being pinned, then both you and your attacker are free from the grappled/pinned conditions and you would have to initiate a new grapple. But I could go either way on that and could probably be convinced to let the pinned creature reverse the grapple if they really wanted to.

Scarab Sages

Slim Jim wrote:

"Threaten" is a potential.

"Attack" is an actual.

Battle participants do not have perfect knowledge of whether or not various opponents are able or unable to attack them, and hence must be wary.

How would they know if someone is pinned as opposed to merely grappled? Visually it could appear to be exactly the same. How do you know if the guy holding a wicked-looking polearm doesn't have enough dexterity to take another Combat Reflexes-driven attack of opportunity if he's already taken four?

You can't, which is why they threaten.

To expand on my last message, the target's awareness of you has nothing to do with whether or not you threaten. That works both ways. If you are invisible, and the target is not aware of you, but you can make an attack into their square, then you threaten. On the flip side, if you are visible, but cannot make an attack into their square, even if they do not know that, you do not threaten.

So if a pinned creature cannot make an attack into the target's square, then they do not threaten, whether the target knows they are pinned or not.


Ferious Thune wrote:
Personally, I don't think a pinned creature can make an attack. Breaking a grapple, while it uses a grapple check, isn't exactly making an attack. But if someone wants to rule that it is, then I suppose the pinned creature would threaten only the creature pinning them.

You can make Combat Maneuver Checks against the person Pinning you. That is making an attack: listed under the heading "Special Attacks;" they say that when you make a Combat Maneuver Check, you make an attack roll. You can take Weapon Focus Grapple, etc.

Ferious Thune wrote:
Not anyone else, because they can't attack anyone else.

Agreed.

Ferious Thune wrote:
It's unclear to me whether or not a pinned creature can reverse a grapple.

If it could be proved that a Pinned creature cannot make a Grapple Check to gain control of the Grapple, but only to escape, that would make the case for no Flanking stronger. But since both Combat Maneuver Checks to achieve a Grapple or merely escape one both use the same game mechanics--Combat Maneuver--I'd say that a check only to escape is an attack, too.

I think that a Pinned Creature can gain control of a Grapple on a successful Grapple Check because the rules say that you can do that if you are Grappled; Pinned is described as only being a more severe form of a Grapple, and it doesn't say anywhere that a Pinned creature can't. Further, that's the way my PFSGM played it against me when I had someone Pinned.

But, like I said earlier, I do think a case for a Pinned Creature being unable to gain control of a grapple with a single check can be made. And I do wish that FAQ had been a little more clear.

Scarab Sages

It depends on how you read the pinned condition. I, and others here, read it as listing the specific, limited actions that you can perform. You can't do anything else. I get that from this language:

pinned wrote:
A pinned creature is tightly bound and can take few actions. A pinned creature cannot move and is denied its Dexterity bonus. A pinned character also takes an additional –4 penalty to his Armor Class. A pinned creature is limited in the actions that it can take. A pinned creature can always attempt to free itself, usually through a combat maneuver check or Escape Artist check. A pinned creature can take verbal and mental actions, but cannot cast any spells that require a somatic or material component. A pinned 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. Pinned is a more severe version of grappled, and their effects do not stack.

"A pinned creature is limited in the actions it can take." Then it lists the actions you can take. Included in that is "A pinned creature can always attempt to free itself." That does not say can attempt to free itself and may choose to reverse the grapple. It just says free itself. So I think that's all it means. It doesn't really allow for any other options. It just describes the ways you might free yourself (grapple check or escape artist) But, as I said, I might be persuaded to let them reverse the grapple. And I might let them gain a flank bonus on their attempt to break free.

Where the problem comes up is with the idea that a pinned creature can provide a flanking bonus to someone else. A pinned creature can make a grapple check, true, but being able to make a grapple check does not mean that you threaten. You may be considered unarmed, since you can't make other attacks. An unarmed character without improved unarmed strike can make a grapple attempt on an adjacent square when they aren't grappled or pinned, but that does not allow them to threaten that square.

Combat wrote:
You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you. If you’re unarmed, you don’t normally threaten any squares and thus can’t make attacks of opportunity.

If you are unarmed, you don't normally threaten any squares. So if a pinned creature is considered unarmed (since they can't make any attacks other than the grapple check), then they don't threaten, whether grapple is an attack or not.


Regardless, you cannot grapple with an AoO, that is a standard action. Could still give and receive flanking bonuses against your grappler.

Scarab Sages

toastedamphibian wrote:
Regardless, you cannot grapple with an AoO, that is a standard action. Could still give and receive flanking bonuses against your grappler.

I didn’t realize someone was saying you could grapple with an AoO. Or did you think i was? You are correct that you cannot.

The issue I was addressing was whether or not threatening is tied to being able to make an AoO (any AoO). It is not. You need to threaten to be able to make an AoO. You do not need to be able to make an AoO to threaten.


Ferious Thune wrote:
An unarmed character without improved unarmed strike can make a grapple attempt on an adjacent square when they aren't grappled or pinned, but that does not allow them to threaten that square.

True!

Another question is while a Grapple Combat Maneuver is an attack and it happens in melee, is it a "melee attack?"

Scarab Sages

I think we went back and forth on that one in a different thread. :) I think so, yes. If it isn’t, then you would never get a flanking bonus when making a grapple check, since the first sentence under flanking is “When making a melee attack...”

Also, I’m not sure if I was clear in the earlier message that you could gain a flanking bonus trying to grapple, even if you are unarmed. You just can’t provide a flanking bonus to someone else. That’s because flanking triggers when you are making a Melee Attack and someone else threatens from an opposite square. You’re making an attack whether you threaten or not. (So like an Unarmed Strike without Improved Unarmed Strike can still get a flank bonus, but doesn’t grant one to someone else)


Scott Wilhelm wrote:

"You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn.

Imagine this: You are pinned by a something with grab + 15ft reach. It grappled you and moved away. You have 5 foot reach.

Into what square can you make an attack? NONE.
You can attack no squares, you threaten no squares.

The fact that you can attempt a combat maneuver check against the person that has you pinned is immaterial. The rules don't say "you threaten all squares into which you can make a combat maneuver check."

"Threaten: (v) to be a menace or source of danger to." Seems the antithesis of pinned, which is nigh to helpless.

But to be more specific. A pinned character can only make a subset of attacks, one very specific maneuver. One which causes (usually) no damage.

You choose to interpret that as equal to an attack (the full set of combat options), which (almost always) includes the capacity to inflict damage.

Second. Image that Party A has Party B pinned. Party A's total is 40.
Party B's CMD is 4.

Party B, by the rules, can NEVER escape the pin, not even on a Nat20. He could role 100 times. Yet somehow this continues to be.. "an attack", by your logic.

Paizo has already ruled "The answer is no. An amulet of might fists "grants an enhancement bonus of +1 to +5 on attack and damage rolls with unarmed attacks and natural weapons." You make a combat maneuver to grapple."

Ie., what you thought was an attack (hitting with an unarmed strike and transitioning into a grapple, and to which you were entitled to AOMF boni was incorrect.

And you're wrong in this case too.

Look man. A character can always *spit* at someone. By your definition thats an attack. So by your definition you can always threaten.

But that definition is clearly not what the game means.

When the game says "you threaten any square into which you can attack" the definition of attack is not your arbitrary definition: spit, attempt to escape a grapple, stare menancingly.

It means you threaten every square into which you could make an attack that causes damage.


Ferious Thune wrote:


I didn’t realize someone was saying you could grapple with an AoO.

Slim Jim was.

Slim Jim wrote:
Does a pinned creature threaten its grappler (for the purposes of gaining and/or granting bonuses to/from allies, such as for flanking) even though the only melee attack the pinned creature is capable of is a maneuver? (If so, that would imply that the pinned creature could be granted AoOs by allies, and use them to make further maneuver checks.)


Perfect Tommy wrote:
So by your definition you can always threaten.

That sounds more like what my straw man says than what I say. But it is my contention that When you are Pinned, you usually Threaten the person whose Pinning you.

Perfect Tommy wrote:
Imagine this: You are pinned by a something with grab + 15ft reach. It grappled you and moved away. You have 5 foot reach.

When you Grapple someone, you have to pull them adjacent to you. I doubt most GMs would allow you to step away from your opponent without releasing the Grapple, even if you had Reach.

Perfect Tommy wrote:

Into what square can you make an attack? NONE.

You can attack no squares, you threaten no squares.

But assuming that was allowed, and I guess it could happen, what you are talking about is a corner case. If you found a way of Grappling your opponent at arms' length, and you had significantly longer arms than your opponent, then your Pinned Creature Threatens no squares? Yeah, sure, I guess.

Perfect Tommy wrote:
You choose to interpret that as equal to an attack

A Pinned creature is allowed to make a Combat Maneuver against his Grappler. Combat Maneuver is an attack per the Core Rulebook.

Perfect Tommy wrote:
(the full set of combat options),

No. I didn't say that.

Perfect Tommy wrote:
which (almost always) includes the capacity to inflict damage.

It doesn't matter what attacks usually do. If you can make any kind of melee attack into your Grappler's square against your Grappler, you are Threatening your Grappler. Just because there are attacks you can't make doesn't mean you can make no attacks. If I understand you correctly, what you are saying is a logical fallacy.

Perfect Tommy wrote:
Look man. A character can always *spit* at someone. By your definition thats an attack.

If the character was performing a Dirty Trick Combat Maneuver to Blind his Opponent by spitting tobacco juice in his face, then yes, I would call that an attack. But the goal of such a Combat Maneuver would have to be to escape, that just that thing wouldn't be allowed. Maybe to Stagger opponent so he could not take a Standard Action to Maintain the Grapple his next turn? I don't exactly remember what Conditions you can impose with a Dirty Trick and what they all do. But this is off on a Tangent from what this thread is about.


Perfect Tommy wrote:

Second. Image that Party A has Party B pinned. Party A's total is 40.

Party B's CMD is 4.

Party B, by the rules, can NEVER escape the pin, not even on a Nat20. He could role 100 times. Yet somehow this continues to be.. "an attack", by your logic.

Paizo has already ruled "The answer is no. An amulet of might fists "grants an enhancement bonus of +1 to +5 on attack and damage rolls with unarmed attacks and natural weapons." You make a combat maneuver to grapple."

Ie., what you thought was an attack (hitting with an unarmed strike and transitioning into a grapple, and to which you were entitled to AOMF boni was incorrect.

And you're wrong in this case too.

What is this? We aren't talking about natural 20s. We aren't talking about Unarmed Strikes. We aren't talking about the Amulet of Mighty Fists. This all seems derailing to the thread.

Scarab Sages

toastedamphibian wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:


I didn’t realize someone was saying you could grapple with an AoO.

Slim Jim was.

Slim Jim wrote:
Does a pinned creature threaten its grappler (for the purposes of gaining and/or granting bonuses to/from allies, such as for flanking) even though the only melee attack the pinned creature is capable of is a maneuver? (If so, that would imply that the pinned creature could be granted AoOs by allies, and use them to make further maneuver checks.)

Thanks. I missed that. You cannot make AoOs when pinned unless you have an ability that allows you to, and you cannot make a grapple check as an AoO unless you have an ability that allows you to.

Also, to reiterate, if the only attack you can make while pinned is a grapple check, then you do not threaten any squares, because being able to make a grapple check when you are not pinned does not make you threaten any squares. Anyone can make a grapple check whether they are armed or unarmed, have Improved Unarmed Strike or don’t. But they do not threaten unless they can make an “armed” attack. Improved Unarmed Strike has a specific rule to overcome that, by allowing an unarmed character to be considered armed. The feat reads, “You are considered to be armed even when unarmed.” and threatened squares says, “If you’re unarmed, you don’t normally threaten any squares.” I consider a pinned creature that can’t make an attack other than to escape unarmed. So they don’t threaten.


Ferious Thune wrote:
toastedamphibian wrote:
Ferious Thune wrote:


I didn’t realize someone was saying you could grapple with an AoO.

Slim Jim was.

Slim Jim wrote:
Does a pinned creature threaten its grappler (for the purposes of gaining and/or granting bonuses to/from allies, such as for flanking) even though the only melee attack the pinned creature is capable of is a maneuver? (If so, that would imply that the pinned creature could be granted AoOs by allies, and use them to make further maneuver checks.)

Thanks. I missed that. You cannot make AoOs when pinned unless you have an ability that allows you to, and you cannot make a grapple check as an AoO unless you have an ability that allows you to.

Also, to reiterate, if the only attack you can make while pinned is a grapple check, then you do not threaten any squares, because being able to make a grapple check when you are not pinned does not make you threaten any squares. Anyone can make a grapple check whether they are armed or unarmed, have Improved Unarmed Strike or don’t. But they do not threaten unless they can make an “armed” attack. Improved Unarmed Strike has a specific rule to overcome that, by allowing an unarmed character to be considered armed. The feat reads, “You are considered to be armed even when unarmed.” and threatened squares says, “If you’re unarmed, you don’t normally threaten any squares.” I consider a pinned creature that can’t make an attack other than to escape unarmed. So they don’t threaten.

I also offered an AoO while grappled, sort of. I brought up the scenario of the Pinned character's Ally with Greater Bull Rush Breaking the Grapple with a successful Bull Rush, maybe the Pinned character--no longer Pinned--would get an AoO as per GBR then. I'm not sure how that would get adjudicated on any level.

Scarab Sages

Well, that's more an order of operations thing. It also goes to the question of whether bull rushing someone in a grapple breaks the grapple. I don't know the answer to that (I think it's not he list of unanswered questions Sammy T posted in a different ongoing grapple thread). If the bull rush breaks the grapple, then it's the movement of the target that is provoking, and should provoke an AoO from someone who is no longer pinned. If the bull rush doesn't break the grapple, then a pinned creature would not get an AoO, as they don't threaten anyone (even the creature pinning them).


Ferious Thune wrote:
Well, that's more an order of operations thing. It also goes to the question of whether bull rushing someone in a grapple breaks the grapple. I don't know the answer to that (I think it's not he list of unanswered questions Sammy T posted in a different ongoing grapple thread). If the bull rush breaks the grapple, then it's the movement of the target that is provoking, and should provoke an AoO from someone who is no longer pinned. If the bull rush doesn't break the grapple, then a pinned creature would not get an AoO, as they don't threaten anyone (even the creature pinning them).

I think they do Threaten the person Pinning them, but neither a Pinned nor Grappled creature can make an Attack of Opportunity because the rules call that out specifically. Whether or not they Threaten is still being debated!

But I agree with the rest of what you said.


Between you and me, Mr. Thune, the issue about Threatening while Pinned boils down to whether a Combat Maneuver fits the definition of a melee attack.

I'm saying that it's an attack that happens during melee, and it's not a Ranged Attack, so it's a melee attack.

I think Mr. Tommy is saying that a melee attack is only an attack with something like a weapon for the purpose of inflicting damage. Is that your definition, too?


Correct. You threatened when you can make an armed attack.

As for you callling a creature grappling an edge case, it certainly isn't as edge as you make it out to be.

Many creatures have a grab ability. Many if those are large or larger.

You don't have logic to defeat the argunent, so you try to pretend it doesn't exist.

A huge creature with grab could certainly pin you and move 15 feet away.

Paizo has ruled you cannot ready an action to attack a body part as it approachesyou. This requires a feat such as snoutgrip. You must attack the creature.

Your 'logic' would have you threatening a creature 10 feet outside any weapon you wield. It's absurd on its face.

You must be able to make an armed attack to threaten. A grapple check to escape a grapple is not an armed attack and your entire position is absurd.

Scarab Sages

In order to threaten, it has to be an armed melee attack. That’s what I’ve neen trying to point out. A grapple check is not an armed melee attack, otherwise everyone would always threaten, because everyone can make a grapple check. If an unarmed character does not threaten before they are pinned, they do not threaten after they are pinned.


Same point I was trying to make Th


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Perfect Tommy wrote:
As for you calling a creature grappling an edge case, it certainly isn't as edge as you make it out to be.... Many... are large or larger.... A huge creature with grab could certainly pin you and move 15 feet away.

Initiating and Maintaining a Grapple are things that are done when you are adjacent to a creature.

Grapple wrote:
If you successfully grapple a creature that is not adjacent to you, move that creature to an adjacent open space (if no space is available, your grapple fails).

So, the situation you are talking about is a creature with greater Reach than his opponent Initiating a Grapple, Moving away while still controlling the Grapple because you say after moving your opponent adjacent to you upon Initiating the Grapple, you are then free to Move off so long as you are within your Reach. Then on your next Round, you Maintain the Grapple again, again moving the creature adjacent to you, this time Pinning your opponent, and again moving 15' away from your opponent, still controlling the Grapple.

I'm dubious of your getting away with doing this at a PFS table, although technically, I'm not sure this is illegal.

But again, if this is legal to do, then what you are describing is a creature using superior Reach to avoid being Threatened by an opponent, even while Grappling and Pinning him.

That doesn't mean that a Combat Maneuver is not an attack that happens in melee and therefore a melee attack.

Perfect Tommy wrote:
Paizo has ruled you cannot ready an action to attack a body part as it approachesyou. This requires a feat such as snoutgrip. You must attack the creature.

So? You're attacking a creature. That is what I've been saying.

Perfect Tommy wrote:
Your logic would have you threatening a creature 10 feet

Actually, my logic + your example, if your example is legal, would have me Attacking a creature I don't Threaten. If the situation you're proposing is even allowed, then the rules clearly say I can make a Grapple Check against my Grappler while Pinned. The rules clearly say that a Grapple is an Attack. The rules clearly say you can't Threaten a Square you can't Reach, while at the same time they say you Threaten any Square you can make a Melee Attack into.

So, you've brought us to a paradox. I think we need an official ruling. Either

A) A Combat Maneuver is not a melee attack even though it is an attack that is done in melee, that a Melee Attack is only an attack made with some sort of weapon to inflict points of Damage, or

B) Regardless of your Reach, you have to be adjacent to your opponent your are Grappling with.

Perfect Tommy wrote:
You must be able to make an armed attack to threaten.
Ferious Thune wrote:
In order to threaten, it has to be an armed melee attack.

Citation required. Also, can you find any official text that defines a melee attack that disqualifies Combat Maneuvers? You know a definition like what we proposed earlier, "A Melee Attack is only an attack made with some sort of weapon to inflict points of Damage."

And look man, I am not making judgements about your logical faculties. I'm not dismissing your arguments as absurd. Seriously, keep your personal remarks to yourself.

Perfect Tommy wrote:

Scott,

I'm not interested in getting into personal flame war with anyone, especially

Well, how about you stop flaming me?


Ferious Thune wrote:
In order to threaten, it has to be an armed melee attack.

Seriously, Mr Thune and Mr. Perfect, if you can show me where the rules say that, I will be convinced.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:
As for you calling a creature grappling an edge case, it certainly isn't as edge as you make it out to be.... Many... are large or larger.... A huge creature with grab could certainly pin you and move 15 feet away.
Initiating and Maintaining a Grapple are things that are done when you are adjacent to a creature.

If you look at the grappling charts, the only time you have to move a creature adjacent is upon a successful grapple. It does not have that requirement to maintain.

But I don't wish to have that rules argument with you. For the sake of argument we can say it is as you propose - that the Grappler pins and moves away.

Quote:


Grapple wrote:
If you successfully grapple a creature that is not adjacent to you, move that creature to an adjacent open space (if no space is available, your grapple fails).

So, the situation you are talking about is a creature with greater Reach than his opponent Initiating a Grapple, Moving away while still controlling the Grapple because you say after moving your opponent adjacent to you upon Initiating the Grapple, you are then free to Move off so long as you are within your Reach. Then on your next Round, you Maintain the Grapple again, again moving the creature adjacent to you, this time Pinning your opponent, and again moving 15' away from your opponent, still controlling the Grapple.

I'm dubious of your getting away with doing this at a PFS table, although technically, I'm not sure this is illegal.

But again, if this is legal to do, then what you are describing is a creature using superior Reach to avoid being Threatened by an opponent, even while Grappling and Pinning him.

That doesn't mean that a Combat Maneuver is not an attack that happens in melee and therefore a melee attack.

Thats exactly what it means.

You are proposing that your attempt to escape a grapple is a "melee attack"

a). When you do not have a weapon.
b). When your opponent is not in any square that you can reach even if you did have a weapon.
c) When Paizo has specifically ruled that you cannot attack a body part.

It wouldn't matter if your opponent were 100 squares away - you are somehow equating your ability to escape a grapple with a melee attack.

So even while you could attack one creature - a hundred squares away and NOWHERE/NO ONE else - you are somehow saying you threaten and should qualify as flanking?

Really? What is the opposing square pray tell?

Furthermore, you are hand waiving away the requirement that you must be able to make an attack into a *square*.

You are trying to make the false equivalence that attacking a person is the same as attack a square.

As for the rest of it - the situation I outlined is perfectly legal - and happens somewhat infrequently - but it happens.

Quote:

Threatened Squares

You threaten all squares into which you can make a melee attack, even when it is not your turn. Generally, that means everything in all squares adjacent to your space (including diagonally). An enemy that takes certain actions while in a threatened square provokes an attack of opportunity from you. If you’re unarmed, you don’t normally threaten any squares and thus can’t make attacks of opportunity.

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