Any way to combine grappling with sneak attack?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

Sovereign Court

I'm currently playing a "dirty fighter" type of character and one thing that I'd like to do, but so far can't find how to do with the rules, is be able to grapple an opponent and also use my sneak attack ability. I want a nasty, in your face, slit the throat type of grappler... but it just doesn't seem to be able to link up well.

Is there some ability or magic item that can bridge the gap and let me pounce on someone and then achieve a garroting/stabbing in the heart/mashing my thumbs into their eyes type of mechanical effect (that is, do a lot of precision damage)?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mok wrote:

I'm currently playing a "dirty fighter" type of character and one thing that I'd like to do, but so far can't find how to do with the rules, is be able to grapple an opponent and also use my sneak attack ability. I want a nasty, in your face, slit the throat type of grappler... but it just doesn't seem to be able to link up well.

Is there some ability or magic item that can bridge the gap and let me pounce on someone and then achieve a garroting/stabbing in the heart/mashing my thumbs into their eyes type of mechanical effect (that is, do a lot of precision damage)?

You dont need any magic. You just need the grapple rules. On the round following a successful grapple, assuming they stayed grappled (failed to break free) you can pin them. A pinned enemy is flatfooted, and thus subject to sneak attack.

"Grapple
As a standard action, you can attempt to grapple a foe, hindering his combat options...If your target does not break the grapple, you get a +5 circumstance bonus on grapple checks made against the same target in subsequent rounds. Once you are grappling an opponent, a successful check allows you to continue grappling the foe, and also allows you to perform one of the following actions (as part of the standard action spent to maintain the grapple).
Move: You can move both yourself and your target up to half your speed. At the end of your movement, you can place your target in any square adjacent to you. If you attempt to place your foe in a hazardous location, such as in a wall of fire or over a pit, the target receives a free attempt to break your grapple with a +4 bonus.

Damage: You can inflict damage to your target equal to your unarmed strike, a natural attack, or an attack made with armor spikes or a light or one-handed weapon. This damage can be either lethal or nonlethal.

Pin: You can give your opponent the pinned condition (see Conditions). Despite pinning your opponent, you still only have the grappled condition, but you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC.
"

"Pinned: A pinned creature is tightly bound and can take few actions. A pinned creature cannot move and is flat-footed. 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 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."

Turn 1, grapple,
Turn 2, pin
Turn 3, slit throat.


Or, with Greater Grapple, you can do it in two rounds.

Turn 1: Move up and grapple
Turn 2: Pin with move action, slit throat with standard


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Mauril wrote:

Or, with Greater Grapple, you can do it in two rounds.

Turn 1: Move up and grapple
Turn 2: Pin with move action, slit throat with standard

Right there are certainly ways to make this better, without question a rogue that wants to do this will want improved unarmed strike, improved grapple and greater grapple as feat choices. I was just saying, you dont need anything fancy to get sneak attack with a grapple, just 3 rounds and a 1handed weapon or unarmed strike.


Right. I guess I was just assuming that any dedicated street brawler character would have taken those three feats, or a level or two of monk. As a rogue, he's going to need a little help making the grapple check due to the 3/4 BAB hurting his CMB, so he's definitely going to want Improved and Greater Grapple anyway. If he's playing a DEX heavy build, he might also consider Agile Maneuvers, for a further boost in his CMB.


I remember an encounter I ran a few years back that had one npc grapple (and pin) and another npc sneak attack/belly slash. It was pretty brutal.


There are rules for creating any kind of item you want. It is nice to be a spell caster and do it yourself, but if not you can still pay. One of our old tricks was to use a light spell or continual light spell to blind opponents, you could apply this with permanance to the gem of a ring which you wear reversed. Or maybe a silence spell applied to a pair of boots, it might not technically be a sneak attack, but you should work out a basic bonus ahead of the time. A bit of Native American Folklore is a pair of boots that would sound like thunder when the wearer would make a special magical stomp.
If you want to get the best out of your abilities plan these things ahead of time so you can have the advantage of terrain and hazards. Suddenly, just as the hammer falls, some gamer is always yelling: "stealth, dodge, engineering..." but that just isn't the way it is supposed to work.
A good place to keep a dagger for a grappler is strapped tot he back of the forearm. Daggers strapped to the belt are more likely to be grabbed by an escaping opponent. Nice cross-over idea too, what kind of stats does that character have?


Feats‎ > ‎Combat Feats‎ > ‎
Strangler (Combat)

Throttling the life out of enemies is second nature to you.

Prerequisite: Dex 13, sneak attack +1d6, Improved Grapple, Improved Unarmed Strike.

Benefit: Whenever you successfully maintain a grapple and choose to deal damage, you can spend a swift action to deal your sneak attack damage to the creature you are grappling.


This thread necro will require 36 onyx gems worth 25 gp each.

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