Interaction of trip and grapple


Rules Questions

Scarab Sages

Ok, so I am GMing a pathfinder society game with a Combat manuver focused monk. Specificly, if he hits you, he trips you, then grapples you. Now, his claim is that his target is prone and grappled, but he is only grappled, giving him an effective +4 to AC versus attacks from the grappled.

HIs CMD is high enough that monsters wont break the grapple. The go to solution is to attack, but with the +4 (actually a -4 to the attack from prone), his AC is high enough to make that difficult with some enemies.

Now I dont want to fully take away from his concept, i like it and he built it well. However, I dont beleive you can grapple (and later pin) a prone opponent while standing. Last time I GMed this character I let it slide, to keep the game flowing as much as possible. However, knowing I am running with this character again, I am curious if my solution would seem reasonable.

I intend to let him know (before the game) that if he does not 'commit fully' to grappling his prone opponent and would rather just have his foot to the guys throat and call him grappled, he only gets 1/2 his cmb and cmd. If he commits fully to the prone grapple and gains the prone condition as well (gaining a -4 to ac vs. melee and balancing out the -4 to attack), or both are standing, it works normally.

So, PFS GMs, is this reasonable? Is there a rule im missing that overrides my decision? Right now it appears to be a gm call.

Scarab Sages

There is nothing in the rules that says that you need to be prone in order to grapple a prone target. Therefore, your player is correct, and he can indeed grapple the opponent after tripping him while remaining standing.

Note: The enemy gets -4 on his CMB (an attack roll) and CMD (penalties to AC apply to CMD) due to being prone, making it easier to initiate and maintain the grapple, and harder for the enemy to escape.

Grand Lodge

+1 to Sean.

Also keep in mind that unless he has something that lets him do Grapple and Trip in the same turn (qhich is quite possible, but just in case), then this would be a two-turn thing for him to do. A trip can be made in place of a regular attack in your full attack progression. A Grapple is a Standard action, and therefore cannot be used in place of an attack.


Before you start creating rules to deal with a perceived problem, it's best to make sure you understand it completely.

It sounds like we're looking at Binding Throw:

Binding Throw (Combat) wrote:


You can strike your enemy and use the blow as an opportunity to grab and hold him.

Prerequisites: Improved Grapple, Improved Trip, Improved Unarmed Strike, Ki Throw.
Benefit: After you successfully use the Ki Throw feat on an opponent, you can use a swift action to attempt a grapple combat maneuver against that opponent.
Normal: The grapple combat maneuver is a standard action.
Special: A monk can gain Binding Throw as a bonus feat starting at 14th level.

As far as I can tell, the earliest one could get that (barring retraining shenanigans) is at level 5 as a Maneuver Master Monk.

Is the character a L5+ Maneuver Master Monk?


also the monster is prone on it's turn it can stand up and then attack.

The standing usually does nto provoke from the monk since he has the grappled condition as well.

Now this may shut down some encoutners but realize that swarms, oozes, flying creatures, huge creatures, incorpreal and more he could not do this too. Plus there are plenty of creatures that hurt you severly for touching them.

If you want soem varirety if he keeps doing this pick scenario heavy with those i mentioned above.

Silver Crusade

Agreed with the answers so far. Mostly just posting to point out that this should be in the general rules forum. Not only isn't this PFS specific, it isn't GM specific, either.

Scarab Sages

Finlanderboy wrote:

also the monster is prone on it's turn it can stand up and then attack.

The standing usually does nto provoke from the monk since he has the grappled condition as well.

Now this may shut down some encoutners but realize that swarms, oozes, flying creatures, huge creatures, incorpreal and more he could not do this too. Plus there are plenty of creatures that hurt you severly for touching them.

If you want soem varirety if he keeps doing this pick scenario heavy with those i mentioned above.

I don't pick the scenarios, the Event Coordinator does.

If he can't move because he's grappled doesn't that mean he can't stand up?

Scarab Sages

redward wrote:

Before you start creating rules to deal with a perceived problem, it's best to make sure you understand it completely.

It sounds like we're looking at Binding Throw:

Binding Throw (Combat) wrote:


You can strike your enemy and use the blow as an opportunity to grab and hold him.

Prerequisites: Improved Grapple, Improved Trip, Improved Unarmed Strike, Ki Throw.
Benefit: After you successfully use the Ki Throw feat on an opponent, you can use a swift action to attempt a grapple combat maneuver against that opponent.
Normal: The grapple combat maneuver is a standard action.
Special: A monk can gain Binding Throw as a bonus feat starting at 14th level.

As far as I can tell, the earliest one could get that (barring retraining shenanigans) is at level 5 as a Maneuver Master Monk.

Is the character a L5+ Maneuver Master Monk?

I believe the earliest he could do it would be at level 2 as a human with retraining 1 feat.

Monk 1: Improved Trip
Monk: Improved Unarmed Strike
Human: Ki Throw
Monk 2: Improved Grapple
Level 1: (Retrain to Binding Throw at level 2)


burkoJames wrote:
Finlanderboy wrote:

also the monster is prone on it's turn it can stand up and then attack.

The standing usually does nto provoke from the monk since he has the grappled condition as well.

Now this may shut down some encoutners but realize that swarms, oozes, flying creatures, huge creatures, incorpreal and more he could not do this too. Plus there are plenty of creatures that hurt you severly for touching them.

If you want soem varirety if he keeps doing this pick scenario heavy with those i mentioned above.

I don't pick the scenarios, the Event Coordinator does.

If he can't move because he's grappled doesn't that mean he can't stand up?

Standing is a move action, not a move, so it's allowed.


burkoJames wrote:
Finlanderboy wrote:

also the monster is prone on it's turn it can stand up and then attack.

The standing usually does nto provoke from the monk since he has the grappled condition as well.

Now this may shut down some encoutners but realize that swarms, oozes, flying creatures, huge creatures, incorpreal and more he could not do this too. Plus there are plenty of creatures that hurt you severly for touching them.

If you want soem varirety if he keeps doing this pick scenario heavy with those i mentioned above.

I don't pick the scenarios, the Event Coordinator does.

If he can't move because he's grappled doesn't that mean he can't stand up?

You can stand in a grapple. Just not move from the square they are in.

Adv ice the coordinator what you would like to play or organize on yoru own.

Scarab Sages

Finlanderboy wrote:


You can stand in a grapple. Just not move from the square they are in.

Adv ice the coordinator what you would like to play or organize on yoru own.

Well, given this new information, I now have an option that solves my problem easier. Thanks to all who gave input.

As for running specific scenarios to counter this one player, A) I'm not guaranteed to get him signed up with that character and B) Im not looking to ruin the character concept, just address the grappled while prone but I'm not prone cheese. That is addressed by learning the growing consensus that grappled 'cant move' actually means can't leave the square.


Sean Ennis wrote:

I believe the earliest he could do it would be at level 2 as a human with retraining 1 feat.

Monk 1: Improved Trip
Monk: Improved Unarmed Strike
Human: Ki Throw
Monk 2: Improved Grapple
Level 1: (Retrain to Binding Throw at level 2)

Right, that would be with retraining shenanigans. I wanted to clarify if this is what the player was using to make sure everything was being done correctly. A lot (but not all) of the "my player is breaking the game" issues come from an incomplete understanding on one or both sides of the screen.

OP indicated the following:

Quote:
Specificly, if he hits you, he trips you, then grapples you. Now, his claim is that his target is prone and grappled, but he is only grappled, giving him an effective +4 to AC versus attacks from the grappled.

So a Maneuver Master with Binding Throw could trip (not hit + free trip) the target, and if successful move them prone into another square he threatens, and then spend a swift action to make a grapple check (with the target at -4 CMD due to being prone).

They could also, as a full attack, use Flurry of Maneuvers (at -2 to the trip and grapple checks) to hit, then trip (and then swift action to grapple).

Things to check on this:
Is the target the same size or smaller than the PC? If not, are they spending a ki point?
Are they spending their swift action?

For example, if he's starting a combat by entering Dragon Style and then charging the target with a trip, he can't grapple that turn because he already used his swift action to enter Dragon Style.

Scarab Sages

Oh he's following all the rules. Its just been a few weeks since then. He was level 5 when the scenario in question was run. Thinking back it probably was a flurry that he did. Target was the same size, and he hadn't spent a swift action prior. The big sticking point for me was the "I'm stepping on your chest and you're pinned."


Then just make sure he's taking the penalties for Flurry of Maneuvers (-2 to all maneuvers, which will include the grapple) and that he's taking penalties while grappled (-4 penalty to Dex, which should cancel out the -2 to attack the creature would take while grappled).

Grand Lodge

Don't forget that in pathfinder, "grappled" means "I control one of your limbs." Not "I am draped over you like a lead blanket." (That is why grappled is as permissive as it is in the responses your opponent can take.

So it is not him standing with his foot on the guy's throat, it is more like grabbing the guy by the arm, flipping him onto the floor and putting a foot on his neck while still holding onto his arm in some sort of arm bar. (Okay, realistically, you would probably have to at least have a knee down to do this in real life, but a) pathfinder does not distinguish between kneeling and standing and b) this is heroic pulp fiction, not real life.)

Scarab Sages

redward wrote:
Then just make sure he's taking the penalties for Flurry of Maneuvers (-2 to all maneuvers, which will include the grapple) and that he's taking penalties while grappled (-4 penalty to Dex, which should cancel out the -2 to attack the creature would take while grappled).

Those balance out, but the monster is at a -4 to attack because he's prone.

Shadow Lodge

Actually, kneeling confers a +2 AC bonus vs ranged attacks and -2 AC penalty vs melee attacks...but I'm not sure what action kneeling/standing up from kneeling is (Move?)

Silver Crusade

I use flurry of maneuvers on my fighter{loremaster}/monk(maneuver master). Use the main attack as the trip, which can be substituted, and then the bonus maneuver to grapple. The grapple gets the bonus to full BAB, and then both maneuvers get the -2 for flurrying with one bonus maneuver.

About standing/prone, yes, there is nothing saying the grappler has to go prone, and nothing preventing the target from standing on his turn.

DO remember that the grappler gets penalties for not having both hands free, so if there is tripping with a weapon happening, the weapon is likely to be dropped.

Grappled is a superb condition to give an enemy caster. High enough CMB and you are likely to shut them down. Prone is more incidental, and used to help get the grapple to work in the first place. Great for capturing.


My manuever master likes to poke them in the eyes with dirty trick then use binding throw. So their AC/CMD is much worse. He is usually very good towards shuttign down one foe.


sry to necro this.....
if i am controlling a grapple i can make the check to maintain +5 and perform a standard action (attack or manuever) but not a full round action like flurry of manuevers? it states that if you are being grappled you can still perform a full-round action (with the stated minus). so, while controlling grapple i could trip unarmed and ki throw enemy in any adjacent square using a free action to release grapple right before i throw him?

why would grappled enemy not in control of grapple have the option to full round attack but not my character who is obviously in a better combat situation?


i also understand while controling grapple i could make check to maintain and then trip causing prone and keep the grapple going. my thoughts are that i stand above them and keep my foot on their neck/head.

seems wonky...but the prone condition is a huge debuff against the enemy and his ac, cmd, his next attacks/actions


Finlanderboy wrote:
My manuever master likes to poke them in the eyes with dirty trick then use binding throw. So their AC/CMD is much worse. He is usually very good towards shuttign down one foe.

i'm being grappled and i just allow it and not try to reverse or break grapple. i can now full-round or take a standard action at a -2 as long as its with a light or one handed weapon. so i could use flurry of manuevers or just a standard trip or dirty trick at -2 and keep myself not in control of grapple? i guess im running the risk of getting pinned, but the guy with a grapple hold on me is prone or blinded?

the minus -2 is'nt that much of a penalty to a man master/ lore warden

thought?

Grand Lodge

Bran Towerfall wrote:

why would grappled enemy not in control of grapple have the option to full round attack but not my character who is obviously in a better combat situation?

i also understand while controling grapple i could make check to maintain and then trip causing prone and keep the grapple going.

i'm being grappled and i just allow it and not try to reverse or break grapple. i can now full-round or take a standard action at a -2 as long as its with a light or one handed weapon. so i could use flurry of manuevers or just a standard trip or dirty trick at -2 and keep myself not in control of grapple? i guess im running the risk of getting pinned, but the guy with a grapple hold on me is prone or blinded?

Part 1: Both Parties have the option to Full Round. It just so happens that in most cases, there is not a way to full round and maintain the grapple. Maneuver Master Monk is one such way to get around this limitation.

Part 2: There are a limited number of things you can do when you maintain a grapple. Trip is not one of them. Unless you mean trip as part of another action, but you will need to be more specific.

Part 3: partly covered in Part 1. The rest is opinion stuff, and situational.


Part 2: There are a limited number of things you can do when you maintain a grapple. Trip is not one of them. Unless you mean trip as part of another action, but you will need to be more specific.

why can't i execute a trip while being in-control of grapple ?


Aydin D'Ampfer wrote:

why would grappled enemy not in control of grapple have the option to full round attack but not my character who is obviously in a better combat situation?

i also understand while controling grapple i could make check to maintain and then trip causing prone and keep the grapple going.

i'm being grappled and i just allow it and not try to reverse or break grapple. i can now full-round or take a standard action at a -2 as long as its with a light or one handed weapon. so i could use flurry of manuevers or just a standard trip or dirty trick at -2 and keep myself not in control of grapple? i guess im running the risk of getting pinned, but the guy with a grapple hold on me is prone or blinded?

Part 2: There are a limited number of things you can do when you maintain a grapple. Trip is not one of them. Unless you mean trip as part of another action, but you will need to be more specific.

Part 3: partly covered in Part 1. The rest is opinion stuff, and situational.

re-format lol

Grand Lodge

Bran Towerfall wrote:

Part 2: There are a limited number of things you can do when you maintain a grapple. Trip is not one of them. Unless you mean trip as part of another action, but you will need to be more specific.

why can't i execute a trip while being in-control of grapple ?

Well, you can, but unless you have some way to maintain the grapple and make an attack, you lose control of the grapple when you trip them.

Remember, to maintain the grapple, unless you have greater grapple or a few other things, is a standard action. Tripping is done in place of an attack. Barring special rules, you cannot do both.

A few ways you could do both: Maneuver master monk, white haired witch, ki throw/binding throw, greater grapple, rapid grapple, rage grappler, getting grab as part of your attack (have to check this one).

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Rules Questions / Interaction of trip and grapple All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Rules Questions